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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 05-12-14, 09:26 PM   #1
eicca
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Pump me up -- I'm gonna go car free!

I'm looking for employment for the summer, and my goal is to get a job within biking distance since my car is a pig and I hate feeding it. I've started looking at jobs within 2-3miles but I really want to work at a bike shop and all the ones around here are 4-7miles away, so I'm going to bite the bullet tomorrow and go turn in resumes on bike.

Throw me stories of happiness and success, that's what motivates me! I need the rockin' thighs anyway
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Old 05-12-14, 10:43 PM   #2
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7 mi isn't that much, really. Depending on where you live, it might be half an hour's travel time. Or 45-60 min in city traffic. But still not ridiculous. I had a commute about that long for years.

If you want the rockin' thighs, you'll need to ride more than that.... which makes it a very manageable bicycle commute!
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Old 05-12-14, 10:52 PM   #3
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7 miles isn't too bad eh? I like the sound of that!

I figure with the added mountain biking and the fact that it's almost entirely downhill one way, the thighs should do pretty well for themselves
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Old 05-12-14, 11:15 PM   #4
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I'm almost 60 years old and overweight. But seriously, seven miles is a sweat-free 30 minute ride, even for me.
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Old 05-12-14, 11:22 PM   #5
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I'm almost 60 years old and overweight. But seriously, seven miles is a sweat-free 30 minute ride, even for me.
What's the terrain like?
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Old 05-12-14, 11:49 PM   #6
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What's the terrain like?
Flat as a pool table. But really, to anybody with normal health and a few weeks of bike experience, all but the steepest climbs are doable on a daily basis. Worst case, you push the bike up the hill until you get in better shape.

Seven miles just isn't very far on a bike. It's about like walking 1.75 miles in terms of exertion and time.
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Old 05-12-14, 11:59 PM   #7
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Flat as a pool table. But really, to anybody with normal health and a few weeks of bike experience, all but the steepest climbs are doable on a daily basis. Worst case, you push the bike up the hill until you get in better shape.
I'm losing self-confidence. I commute 10 miles one way 2-3 days a week. It is certainly doable, and the route does include some hills, but it gets me down to think that anyone with normal health and a few weeks of bike experience should be able to do it on a daily basis. I have a lot more training to do...
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Old 05-13-14, 01:05 AM   #8
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What is the weather like in winter where you live? Unplowed roads will make riding very slow if there is enough snow on the ground.

For a while i had a job 8.1 miles from home. In good weather it took 55 minutes to make the trip.

If you find that distance too difficult in the long run get a small motor scooter. It will be cheaper than a car and won't pollute as much. Of course if you do this trip long enough it will become very easy to do. Only the time factor might come into play for you. Would you want to spend money on a motor vehicle just to save an hour of pedaling per day?
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Old 05-13-14, 02:07 AM   #9
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Don't bother about the distance, yet.
First of all: try it.
Second: if you can't, you tried at least...
3: the job counts, get it. It's good for your resume.
FOUR: 7 miles is a really good workout for your condition.

I now do 1-2 miles (single fare) a day to the nearest railway station, and I don't progress in condition... with 7 miles I would work on condition a lot more.
Actually... I should ride to the next railway station a few miles further to increase my condition... Maybe I'll give it a try when the weather is better.
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Old 05-13-14, 03:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by daihard View Post
I'm losing self-confidence. I commute 10 miles one way 2-3 days a week. It is certainly doable, and the route does include some hills, but it gets me down to think that anyone with normal health and a few weeks of bike experience should be able to do it on a daily basis. I have a lot more training to do...
What happens when you try to do it every day? If you are experiencing pain or fatigue, there are many things to check out, including:
Bad bike fit
lack of sleep
wrong quantity or type of food
undiagnosed illness or physical problem
hammering too hard (you're a commuter, not a competitor)
poor gear selection
dehydration
etc....
Just think it over and try to rule out one thing at a time. Feel free to come back and ask questions any time. And hang in there!
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Old 05-13-14, 03:47 AM   #11
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What happens when you try to do it every day? If you are experiencing pain or fatigue, there are many things to check out, including:
Bad bike fit
lack of sleep
wrong quantity or type of food
undiagnosed illness or physical problem
hammering too hard (you're a commuter, not a competitor)
poor gear selection
dehydration
etc....
Just think it over and try to rule out one thing at a time. Feel free to come back and ask questions any time. And hang in there!
hh, I try to blame the weather each time...
But I guess my bike is a little too heavy, but I think it's good for my muscles.
I hammer too hard too, uphills. Fair enough... I want to go a little faster to catch my train on time.
Lack of sleep: check. My daughter doesn't let us sleep the whole nights.

So indeed, some of these points break my physical condition...
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Old 05-13-14, 04:41 AM   #12
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hh, I try to blame the weather each time...
But I guess my bike is a little too heavy, but I think it's good for my muscles.
I hammer too hard too, uphills. Fair enough... I want to go a little faster to catch my train on time.
Lack of sleep: check. My daughter doesn't let us sleep the whole nights.

So indeed, some of these points break my physical condition...
OTOH, the exercise probably helps you deal with the stress of being the hard working parent of a young child. And I too have no problem with blaming the weather, the topography, or even the bike.
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Old 05-13-14, 08:54 AM   #13
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I'm going to do the ride today and go meet all the guys at the shop. (soon as I get the invisible dog fence installed, that is). I appreciate all the input; I'm determined not to be outdone now

This might even motivate me to get our old 90s Cannondale up and going! It's super light!
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Old 05-13-14, 10:04 AM   #14
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I'm looking for employment for the summer, and my goal is to get a job within biking distance since my car is a pig and I hate feeding it. I've started looking at jobs within 2-3miles but I really want to work at a bike shop and all the ones around here are 4-7miles away, so I'm going to bite the bullet tomorrow and go turn in resumes on bike.

Throw me stories of happiness and success, that's what motivates me! I need the rockin' thighs anyway
Do it! If it's hot where you live or there's lots of hills, make sure to bring plenty of water. I used to do 16 miles RT in the dirty South with a big hill at the end, and it was totally manageable. The benefit of working at a bike shop is that they'll expect you to be a bit grungy.

This forum is full of tips on how to do other things car-free, like transporting pets, bikes, bulk groceries...I sold my car two months ago and nothing about my life has really changed or become more difficult, so there ya go
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Old 05-13-14, 12:46 PM   #15
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4-7 Miles isn't bad. My last commute was 10 each way with hills. My longest commute was 17 miles each way.

So go apply to the bike shops. The distance shouldn't be a show stopper. And loving what you do will more than make up for any extra distance.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 05-13-14, 01:10 PM   #16
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Got an interview with one of the shops this week....!
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Old 05-13-14, 01:21 PM   #17
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7-miles is probably gonna be a simple distance on the nice days. However, when you start to get headwind, rain, and snow, it'll be a bit tougher but definitely doable still.
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Old 05-13-14, 03:46 PM   #18
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If he has to deal with snow for a summer job, I'll be impressed.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 05-13-14, 03:47 PM   #19
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If he has to deal with snow for a summer job, I'll be impressed.
It's happened before
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Old 05-13-14, 06:22 PM   #20
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I'm coming up on a year car free and I'm so glad I went through with it. Good luck, you can do it!
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Old 05-13-14, 08:27 PM   #21
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What happens when you try to do it every day? If you are experiencing pain or fatigue, there are many things to check out, including:
Bad bike fit
lack of sleep
wrong quantity or type of food
undiagnosed illness or physical problem
hammering too hard (you're a commuter, not a competitor)
poor gear selection
dehydration
etc....
Thanks for the response. I can do it every day now. What gets me down is that it has taken me a few months to get there rather than a few weeks. I used to get fatigued after riding in 3 days in a row. I believe it was the combination of hammering too hard and poor gear selection, primarily. I should just be happy to know I'm in better shape now than I was before starting cycling.
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Old 05-13-14, 09:02 PM   #22
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[/INDENT]What gets me down is that it has taken me a few months to get there rather than a few weeks. I used to get fatigued after riding in 3 days in a row. I believe it was the combination of hammering too hard and poor gear selection, primarily. I should just be happy to know I'm in better shape now than I was before starting cycling.
Slow down daihard... Rome wasn't built in a day!
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Old 05-13-14, 09:06 PM   #23
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Slow down daihard... Rome wasn't built in a day!
Very true. Thanks for the encouragement.

I just wish I'd begun cycling much earlier in my life, but hey... better late than never, right?
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Old 05-13-14, 10:25 PM   #24
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[/INDENT]Thanks for the response. I can do it every day now. What gets me down is that it has taken me a few months to get there rather than a few weeks. I used to get fatigued after riding in 3 days in a row. I believe it was the combination of hammering too hard and poor gear selection, primarily. I should just be happy to know I'm in better shape now than I was before starting cycling.
I didn't know how old you are either. As you get older, it can take longer to get in shape, but it can still be done. I always increase difficulty by 5% or 10% a week. At my age, I would go to the low end of that. So it might be a reasonable goal for me to double the distance I can ride in four or five months with little or no discomfort. A 30 year old might do the same in a couple months, and an 18 year old in a couple weeks. Of course everybody is different, and don't get discouraged if you hit plateaus from time to time.

I've noticed that when I'm climbing a hill, I tend to focus on my pedaling and the top of the hill. But if I get discouraged, I try to turn my head and look to the bottom of the hill. Then I see how far I've come, and I get more energy to get to the top of the hill. I think you can do the same thing with any goal you're trying to reach. Try to realize how far you have come, instead of focusing on how far you have yet to go.
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Old 05-14-14, 03:09 AM   #25
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[/INDENT]Thanks for the response. I can do it every day now. What gets me down is that it has taken me a few months to get there rather than a few weeks. I used to get fatigued after riding in 3 days in a row. I believe it was the combination of hammering too hard and poor gear selection, primarily. I should just be happy to know I'm in better shape now than I was before starting cycling.
I noticed I rode a lot better than yesterday, since I was consciously breathing.
Yesterday I was just hammering and felt empty after the ride... Today I was counting my breath frequency and it worked a little better.
I also carried a pound of luggage less than yesterday.
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