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  1. #1
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    3 months into Carfee life..it has been a great experience!

    Hello.
    Back in early spring My wife and I..got rid of the SUV(crossover)..it needed major repairs..and we just did not have the money to do it all..so I suggested we do carfree lifestyle trial..just a month, to see If she like it. I already knew I liked it..I did it for a 10 month stint before we were married..even through some winter months.
    Well, to start off..I only had a single speed cruiser for myself. She did not have a bike and has not ridden in like 15 years! So I bought her a nice strudy moutain bike, online..put it together ( a lot easier, then we thought..we both put together so she could get hands on). She got on the bike, and after only the second try was riding on her merriy way. She was excited, felt like a kid!
    She works a mile away..and gets a ride there every a.m. and back in the p.m.. She has walked there a few times, once rode her bike with me..though there is a hill to get over..and shes not in shape..and it makes her feel bad to get off and walk it up. So for now..she just rides the neighborhood...and rides with me occasionaly further to the bikepath (again up a steep hill)..but we both walk up our bikes( Its only 1/8 mile but real steep..and my legs are fine. but I get out of breath..totally.).
    Anyhow..after a month..she agreed this is the best lifestyle for us..I don't work presently due to medical concerns. So to save money..(no car insurance/gas/maintence/register//etc)
    Month two is when we invested in another bike for me (a $88..shipped 15 speed huffy!). I put it together..and found out the derailuer was broken..will only shift in lower gear 5 speeds..also the v-brakes in the front..were hard as anything to get adjusted right. I rode this bike for a few weeks..but knew I needed something else. So last month, month three..I bought a electric bike..online. It was only $400. (250watt motor, 24v sla battery). Its a yukon navigator..some people really had problems with it..so there are soem really bad reviews on some sites..but equally there are good reviews as well. It has been great! The range due to me being over 200 pounds is only like 10 miles at 15mph..with very light pedaling..my town is only 4 miles in any direction..so I am good..the ebike is smooth to ride , has a very comfortable seat..very strudy built in to frame rear rack..motor is very quiet.
    I also bought a cargo trailer for $100..to get groceries and stuff. Amazingly, other then when you start up at a light/stop sign you feel it to pull..but when you ride even with 60 pounds of groceries it easy to pull, as the torque is in the lower left axle.
    My wife this last month has ridden much..shes been very busy..and we had her dads pick up for a few weeks. So its really just me doing the carfree thing for present. Even having the truck..I still ride my bike..to get groceries, prescriptions, post office, church..etc.
    Now my town has a bikepath..that goes out to the country in both directions, and completly through the middle of town..so its nice not have to travel the roads to much. I do pedal with the ebike sometimes.but also do cruise on full throttle as well..probaly more ofthen then not.
    Ebikes are great..I wa thinking of saving up this year, to get next spring a electric moped..that could go 25 mph, and 40 miles range..(about $1,200.).. but after talking to people..I changed my mind..My ebike does have a sla battery..so I know I will need to upgrade to lithium lifepo4..next spring. I will proabaly get 20ah battey, for longer range ( to get me to next town 8 miles away and back).
    So in the last three months..going car free has been great overall. I actually like getting up early to ride to the store or the path. I am sure my wife will get back on the bike more when its cooler out after dinner time.
    Now I must tell you we really invested some cash to get this lifestyle rolling:
    A womans moutain bike.--$260.
    A mens 15 speed Huffy--$88.
    A 250 watt, 24" mens bike-$400.
    A foldable cargo trailer--$100.
    Bells, horn, tail blinkys, small headlights, 2 locks, small tube bags, singals for ebike, a new chain, chain tool. Chain lube, plastic fenders, bike speedometer for ebike, 2 helmets, a safety vest, a air pump, a water bottle holder, sunglasses, a rear rack, slime for ebike tires. I think thats it!--$200.
    so we put in over a $1,000 to start out..However I really do not need anything else..til next spring ( A new ebike battery $400+ linthium or I could get 2 12volts for like $60)
    I know I typed a lot to read..thanks for doing so..the next hurdle is winter bike riding.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Out of curiosity, would $1000.00 have paid for the car repair?

  3. #3
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're doing great! Like any time you start something new, there's a lot to learn. I'm kinda glad they didn't have e-bikes when I first started. It would have been one more complicated thing to figure out! Your wife sounds like a good sport and the two of you have good team work.

    congratulations!!!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  4. #4
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    On the hill climbing--try some different gears and work on your breathing. Try to get a few feet further up the hill each time. Actually, this issue has come up a lot lately. I think I'll start a new thread on it...


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  5. #5
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Carfreeforme, thanks for the post. Sounds like an interesting adventure... both of you will have some fun with it. You should tell your wife there's no shame in walking a bike. Many of us here will mix riding with walking (particularly in winter) just to get a little break off the saddle. The hills will flatten out with experience too!!

  6. #6
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    There is no shame in walking up a hill. I'm glad you are enjoying the car-free life. Props to your wife as well.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    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.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBentley57 View Post
    Out of curiosity, would $1000.00 have paid for the car repair?
    it would have put a huge dent in the bill..however there would be further maintience down the line..The Grand we spent on getting all the stuff we need to bike around will level out the cost of owning a vechicle in the long run..we anticpate owning abike after intial startup to be like $200 a year. (tubes/tires, a part here and there) compared to $6000 a year or more to operate the vechicle.

  8. #8
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carfreeforme View Post
    it would have put a huge dent in the bill..however there would be further maintience down the line..The Grand we spent on getting all the stuff we need to bike around will level out the cost of owning a vechicle in the long run..we anticpate owning abike after intial startup to be like $200 a year. (tubes/tires, a part here and there) compared to $6000 a year or more to operate the vechicle.
    There was a thread about carfree expenses a while ago. Maybe it's time for another one....


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  9. #9
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    Cool, thanks for responding without taking what I said as an attack, after reading it to myself, it comes off as about ~21 % smug. I was mainly curious about the break even point that folks are faced with in making these types of decisions.

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBentley57 View Post
    Cool, thanks for responding without taking what I said as an attack, after reading it to myself, it comes off as about ~21 % smug. I was mainly curious about the break even point that folks are faced with in making these types of decisions.
    That's understandable. I did start a thread about bike expenses or rather carfree expenses, if you're interested. I expect there will be a wide range of expenses. There's also a thread about hill climbing, which you mentioned.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  11. #11
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBentley57 View Post
    I was mainly curious about the break even point that folks are faced with in making these types of decisions.
    For me I think the break-even point would be when I found it impossible to be car-free due to disability or living situation.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    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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