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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 04-06-14, 08:27 AM   #76
gerv 
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Another thing that conditioner helps with is if someone throws your sweater in the dryer, soak it in conditioner and then dry it by blocking out. It may never get all the way back to its original size, but I have restored a few.
My grandmother taught me about this. It has worked for me.
Thanks, shipwreck. I'm gonna give this a shot. I have a couple of tight sweaters...
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Old 04-07-14, 08:55 AM   #77
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1. Fenders
2. Be able to fix a broken spoke, broken chain, flats (plural), tighten every bolt on the bike, and boot a tire.
3. Goretex sort of keeps you dry
4. Wool warmish when wet and doesn't stink like poly shirts do
5. Lights and reflectors
6. In the deep South, a CCW.
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Old 04-07-14, 08:05 PM   #78
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6. In the deep South, a CCW.
OMG! I had to google this.
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Old 08-28-14, 11:54 PM   #79
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One piece of advice for going car-free...

Purchase some "peace of mind" to protect your primary ride!...If necessary.

When I went car-free, I realized I would be forced to park and lock my "mid-range priced" ($900 with tire upgrade and accessories) bike in some rather sketchy areas with high bike thefts. I decided it would probably be a good idea to purchase a cheap 2nd "beater" bike that I could leave in these high risk areas instead. I actually found a decent bike on Craigslist with some nice components for only $150. A second bike is also great as a back-up emergency plan should your primary bike have an unexpected flat or sudden mechanical breakdown.

Although I still try to secure my beater bike with multiple locks when I need to park it for any length of time,...if it should be stolen, it will be much easier and cheaper to replace than my primary ride. The way I see it, I spend a little now so I don't have to spend a lot more later.
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Old 08-29-14, 05:28 AM   #80
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Purchase some "peace of mind" to protect your primary ride!...If necessary.
The problem with my beater bike is that I've gradually added a lot of time and money into upgrading it. Beaters are great but it's hard to resist upgrading.

Insurance is another option. Last time I checked (maybe 8 years ago...) insurance was running around $60 a year. But guessing it's quite a bit more nowadays.
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Old 08-29-14, 07:05 AM   #81
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The way I see it, I spend a little now so I don't have to spend a lot more later.
You spend a little now to prevent the hypothetical need to spend more later - a need that may or may not arise. For me, I just have one bike. I don't want to compromise with a beater bike that doesn't have the various things that make the ride practical and comfortable for me. If I bought a beater and rode that I would always be missing my real ride and its amenities. So I know already that I would probably keep adding stuff to the beater, so it becomes less and less "beaten".

A trap to be less than frugal and simple. I'll just protect my good ride best I can.
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Old 08-29-14, 07:55 AM   #82
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You spend a little now to prevent the hypothetical need to spend more later - a need that may or may not arise. For me, I just have one bike. I don't want to compromise with a beater bike that doesn't have the various things that make the ride practical and comfortable for me. If I bought a beater and rode that I would always be missing my real ride and its amenities. So I know already that I would probably keep adding stuff to the beater, so it becomes less and less "beaten".

A trap to be less than frugal and simple. I'll just protect my good ride best I can.
Probably need to update your settings - you have two listed there
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Old 08-29-14, 08:00 AM   #83
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Insurance is another option. Last time I checked (maybe 8 years ago...) insurance was running around $60 a year. But guessing it's quite a bit more nowadays.
Yep. More like $60/week now.
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Old 08-29-14, 08:08 AM   #84
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Probably need to update your settings - you have two listed there
True, I got rid of the cannondale after the surly was broken in and I realized I didn't need it.
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Old 08-29-14, 08:16 AM   #85
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Yep. More like $60/week now.
For just insuring bicycles?
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Old 08-29-14, 08:20 AM   #86
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For just insuring bicycles?
Over here insuring bicycles is not cheap. I'm not sure what it actually is ... probably not quite that much ... but the last time we looked I figured we'd be better off just putting a couple hundred a month away in a bank account.
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Old 08-29-14, 09:36 AM   #87
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Purchasing a 2nd "beater bike",...acquiring bike insurance,...starting a savings account just in case of theft,...or as "Walter S" simply stated: "...protect my good ride (as) best I can..."

Different strokes for different folks.

All good advice for preparing for the "hypothetical" loss of your primary bicycle. Like most types of insurance,...its better to have a plan and not need it, than the other way around...

'nuff sed. Peace.
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Old 08-29-14, 10:39 AM   #88
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Over here insuring bicycles is not cheap. I'm not sure what it actually is ... probably not quite that much ... but the last time we looked I figured we'd be better off just putting a couple hundred a month away in a bank account.
That's the best kind of insurance! Then when everything turns out OK and you don't need the insurance, you get to spend the premiums like you want to instead of see that money kept by your insurance company.
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Old 08-29-14, 01:10 PM   #89
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Over here insuring bicycles is not cheap. I'm not sure what it actually is ... probably not quite that much ... but the last time we looked I figured we'd be better off just putting a couple hundred a month away in a bank account.
You ain't kidding that $60/week for insuring only bicycles isn't cheap!
Heck, I pay half that amount for homeowner's/fire, automobile and personal liability insurance combined which covers bicycle theft and personal injury while cycling, as well as a multitude of far more financially disastrous possibilities.

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Old 08-29-14, 01:14 PM   #90
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That's the best kind of insurance! Then when everything turns out OK and you don't need the insurance, you get to spend the premiums like you want to instead of see that money kept by your insurance company.
The purpose of insurance is as an affordable hedge against the risk of unaffordable financial disaster.

I suppose if someone can afford to lose everything due to fate or bad luck, or doesn't care about the future, or has nothing of much financial value to lose, or likes to gamble, self insurance makes sense.
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Old 08-29-14, 01:37 PM   #91
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The purpose of insurance is as an affordable hedge against the risk of unaffordable financial disaster.

I suppose if someone can afford to lose everything due to fate or bad luck, or doesn't care about the future, or has nothing of much financial value to lose, or likes to gamble, self insurance makes sense.
In this case the insurance is for the bicycle. It's not there to cover you against losing "everything". It's there to cover against losing the bicycle. I keep enough in savings to cover me for that specific loss. OTOH I don't keep enough savings to replace my house, so I have house insurance.
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Old 08-29-14, 09:22 PM   #92
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In this case the insurance is for the bicycle. It's not there to cover you against losing "everything". It's there to cover against losing the bicycle. I keep enough in savings to cover me for that specific loss. OTOH I don't keep enough savings to replace my house, so I have house insurance.
Makes sense to me; spending $60/wk ($3,000+ per year, every year!) to insure a few good bicycles no matter how expensive, does not.
I suspect Machka has her numbers mixed up. Maybe $60 for six months of coverage sounds right.
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Old 08-29-14, 09:30 PM   #93
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Makes sense to me; spending $60/wk ($3,000+ per year, every year!) to insure a few good bicycles no matter how expensive, does not.
I suspect Machka has her numbers mixed up. Maybe $60 for six months of coverage sounds right.
It depends on how much the bicycle costs ... $10 per $100 worth of bicycle, perhaps. I'd have to look it up again.
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Old 08-29-14, 11:16 PM   #94
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It depends on how much the bicycle costs ... $10 per $100 worth of bicycle, perhaps. I'd have to look it up again.
Are you insuring bikes with a total value of $30,000?
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Old 08-30-14, 05:59 PM   #95
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$60 a week sounds insane. My insurance for almost $4k coverage is only $22 a month, that is with liability. I think the quote was $18 a month without liability. Reading my policy they cover specifically against theft of the whole bike are parts as long as it is more than your deductible. (can be as low as $100) I hope to never use it but it is nice to have. Velosurance is the broker and Markel is the insurance.
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Old 08-30-14, 06:27 PM   #96
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$60 a week sounds insane.
You do realise I was employing hyperbole when I said $60/week ... right?


It was a bit of a grumble at insurance companies.



My point was that 10 years ago, I could insure a $3000 bicycle for something closer to gerv's $60/year in Canada ... actually, if I recall correctly it was an extra rider on my content insurance that amounted to about $150/year ... about $5/$100 value.

But when I moved to Australia and looked into bicycle insurance, I was rather taken aback by the price. We've looked into it twice and both times the amount they were charging seemed quite outrageous. I don't recall the exact numbers because it has been a while since we've looked, but I mentioned $10/$100 value ... it might have been that or possibly up around $12 or $15/$100 value.

When you're aiming to insure even half of your 17 bicycles ... that adds up!!

Yes, we've kind of taken DiamondDave247's suggestion to the extreme.


But if there's an Australian insurance company that will do $5/$100 value (or less), I'm interested!

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Old 08-30-14, 06:34 PM   #97
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Bundle errands might be my first answer. Plan for disasters/emergencies would also be near the top of my list of advice. But I think those are good advice in general, not just for the car free.
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Old 08-30-14, 09:10 PM   #98
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When you're aiming to insure even half of your 17 bicycles ... that adds up!!
But you can only ride one at a time. Presumably the only way you could lose more than two of them is through a home burglary or fire which should be covered by homeowners insurance. Or is the plan for insuring all these bikes just another exercise in hyperbole?
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Old 08-31-14, 03:01 AM   #99
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But you can only ride one at a time. Presumably the only way you could lose more than two of them is through a home burglary or fire which should be covered by homeowners insurance. Or is the plan for insuring all these bikes just another exercise in hyperbole?
Not all ... about half. And there's no plan, we've just looked into it a couple times.
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Old 08-31-14, 04:42 PM   #100
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Plan for disasters/emergencies would also be near the top of my list of advice. But I think those are good advice in general, not just for the car free.
When you are car-free, the planning is a little more critical. For example, I try to keep a minimum amount of food in the cupboard on the premise that some night I might arrive home tired and hungry.. and then a trip to the grocery store is needed. LIke you say, bundling errands, keeping minimum food and supplies... these are important to an existence where there's no car.

Seems like car owners can be a little more serendipitous about these things.
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