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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 12-17-14, 05:21 PM   #1
Machka 
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Living Car Free/Light Highlights of 2014

Do you, personally, have any car-free or car-light highlights in 2014?

Perhaps you cycled to work 80% of the time? Maybe you made use of public transportation for most of your trips? You might have opted to do a car-free vacation. Possibly you used your motorised vehicle once a week or once a month? Perhaps you walked to do most of your errands? Or ... ??
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Old 12-17-14, 05:33 PM   #2
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I canceled the registration and insurance on my truck.
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Old 12-17-14, 05:55 PM   #3
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I canceled the registration and insurance on my truck.


Sometimes a truck would be handy, but I've been using my bike like a small truck.
(Yes, the load is destined to be the next generation of bike trailer).
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Old 12-17-14, 06:06 PM   #4
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Buying a trailer made getting rid of the truck possible.

I had to be able to carry trash to the county dumpsters.
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Old 12-17-14, 06:21 PM   #5
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I haven't hooked up my kiddy trailer more than about twice in 2014. Odd because the weekly or even twice-weekly trailer runs were part of my routine.

Instead I just run 2 panniers down to the store, leave them on the bike, instruct the grocery baggers to just shove ithe grubback in the cart (to their utter amazement...), take the stuff out of the plastic bags that they insist on and carefully load my bags outside. Even if it's raining.

I'm not sure what this means exactly. I'm eating less. I'm making more trips. The world is going to end. ?
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Old 12-17-14, 06:45 PM   #6
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2014... Was the first year, first time in my life I actually rode my bike instead of driving to get to the liquor store for a case of beer and didn't drive my car...
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Old 12-17-14, 08:03 PM   #7
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I got a job. Started bicycle commuting again. It's about 8 hilly miles. I'm still getting into shape.

Tonight, a car knocking my elbow with their mirror had me questioning my sanity. But the job doesn't pay enough to drive.

My longest ride was to a city 30 miles away where I gave a talk and rode home afterwards.

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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.

Last edited by Artkansas; 12-18-14 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 12-17-14, 10:49 PM   #8
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I reached the 5-year mark this year -- it's been over 5 years since I last operated a motor vehicle. I suppose that counts as a highlight. I don't even think I've ridden in a car more than a dozen times this year. (I do use buses and trains several times a month though.)
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Old 12-17-14, 11:20 PM   #9
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I saved a lot of money, and kept a lot of carbon dioxide out of the air.
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Old 12-17-14, 11:44 PM   #10
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In 2014 ...

I took the bus to work, rather than driving or riding in a private automobile, just about every work day. There might have been 2 or 3 days where I got a ride to work, but a very small percentage of the whole.

Going home from work, Rowan and I carpooled just about every evening until we moved in early September. Since then, I've been taking the bus home anywhere from 3 to 5 days a week. I also walked home (4 km) most days last January.

I have been able to run most of the household errands by walking where I need to go at lunch ... and those household errands have been aided by the use of the internet. I can search for what I need on the internet, and take care of a lot of the details of various matters, and then if I need to go out to deal with something in person, it's an efficient trip.

Rowan and I have also done quite a few car-free or car-light weekend trips.
Car-free ... where we cycle from home to go to events, explore, etc.
Car-light ... where we drive a certain portion of the trip, and then park the van and cycle the rest of the time. Hub and spoke tours are an example of these sorts of trips, and we did several of those this year. So are trips like the one we did last Sunday where we drove into town, parked the van and spent the rest of the day cycling, dining, and going to a community event. Or the other weekend where we drove into town, and then spent the day participating in the Open Homes event by cycling to each venue rather than driving. Those have been a particular highlight ... they provide a purpose to the ride. An extra element of interest and sometime ... challenge.

And a special highlight ... we got all our bicycles out of storage!! We're still working on getting them all set up etc., but we're looking forward to a variety of cycling in 2015.

Last edited by Machka; 12-17-14 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 12-17-14, 11:53 PM   #11
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Incidentally ... if you're interested in reading about, or sharing, highlights that are a bit more cycling-specific, there's a thread going in Road ...
Your Cycling Highlights of 2014


Last edited by Machka; 12-18-14 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 12-18-14, 12:14 AM   #12
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2014 has been a lot like most other years as far as car-free living goes for me. I really enjoy it when I meet a young person who is intrigued by the notion of going car-free but hasn't ever seen it in action. Today my spouse and I brought five garbage cans full of our past five months recycling (our business generates an incredible amount of material to be recycled, most all of it shipped to us by our suppliers). A young man was amazed that such a load could be hauled by bike. He's working for minimum wage plus 20%, so his car is a substantial expense. He also noticed the difference between our mid-fifties bodies and those of his similar-aged co-workers. It looks like there might be another car-free person in my community pretty soon.

Monday was also one of those fun days for utility riding. I needed some heavy-duty shelving for the business as well as some other things from Costco (big box store that pays its employees a living wage). By the time I had loaded the cart, I had over 500 pounds of stuff. More than a few employees stopped to watch us load up in amazement. I'm glad they didn't see me as I headed across a severely crowned road from a standing stop.
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Old 12-18-14, 06:35 AM   #13
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Living Car Free/Light Highlights of 2014

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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Do you, personally, have any car-free or car-light highlights in 2014?

Perhaps you cycled to work 80% of the time? Maybe you made use of public transportation for most of your trips?...Or ... ??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Incidentally ... if you're interested in reading about, or sharing, highlights that are a bit more cycling-specific, there's a thread going in Road ...
Your Cycling Highlights of 2014
From the title of this thread, I first thought this one would reflect on the most active threads of the LCF Forum in 2014. No one particular of the many interesting threads this year comes to mind, though I think I have been motivated to post here more than in previous years. My cycling highlights are pretty much focused on the long summer weekend rides I do, especially the Fifty-Plus Annual Ride.

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…The Annual Rides he [DnvrFox] initiated have veritably defined my cycling year as I train for them…
Now long rides are not necessarily within the purview of this Living Car Free Forum, but my commuting (with training) rides are, though while enjoyable, are more daily, routine and mundane. This year was particularly auspicious though as a lowlight for Living Car Free.

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For several weeks I’ve been curtailed in my [cycle] commute by work… Even with winter coming and my carbon fiber bike to be put away, the flesh is indeed always willing (though the spirit may be weak)…[but]

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...I did ride my 14 miles on Monday, memorable as the first Cold Ride of the Season…it was indeed 19º F at 5:30 AM. The roads looked dry and this was a waning chance to ride the carbon fiber bike….
I still traveled mostly car-free as before, but my New Year’s Resolution is to get back to a virtual six day a week cycle commute.
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Old 12-18-14, 06:56 AM   #14
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From the title of this thread, I first thought this one would reflect on the most active threads of the LCF Forum in 2014.
I don't care about the threads here, I'm more interested in hearing what people are actually out there doing ... in real life!
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Old 12-18-14, 07:33 AM   #15
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2014 was my eighth year of bike commuting and I topped the 30,000 mile mark since I started. My commuting mileage was a little off this year due to much higher than normal rainfall but I still topped well more than 4,000. My overall mileage will be very close to my highest in a year, and many of my non-commuting rides were "green" rides in which I didn't use my car to go somewhere to ride. My city has been building an extensive greenway system for a number of years, and it's finally gotten to the point where I can ride almost anywhere in the city on bike paths. Thus I've been doing a lot of recreational rides on weekends in which I ride the greenways to downtown or other destinations, eat brunch/lunch, and then return home.

The highlight of my riding for the year was a 400-mile tour on the GAP-C&O Canal trails from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. That was mostly car-free. Me and two friends "car-pooled" to Bethesda, MD, parked the vehicle there, and cycled to Union Station in DC. We took the Amtrak with our bikes to Pittsburgh, rode to our hotel during the middle of the night, and rode back to DC on the trails over the following week. It was a great trip and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking a "car-free" journey.
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Old 12-18-14, 08:20 AM   #16
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2014 was my eighth year of bike commuting and I topped the 30,000 mile mark since I started. My commuting mileage was a little off this year due to much higher than normal rainfall but I still topped well more than 4,000. My overall mileage will be very close to my highest in a year, and many of my non-commuting rides were "green" rides in which I didn't use my car to go somewhere to ride. …

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From the title of this thread, I first thought this one would reflect on the most active threads of the LCF Forum in 2014….This year was particularly auspicious though as a lowlight for Living Car Free...

I still traveled mostly car-free as before, but my New Year’s Resolution is to get back to a virtual six day a week cycle commute

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I don't care about the threads here, I'm more interested in hearing what people are actually out there doing ... in real life!
I’m not a hardcore commuter (in real life), but I play one on Bike Forums.

Congratulations, tarwheel. My goal every year is 5000, but never arrived there. On my best year, in 2012, I was on my way to 5K in June, but took off five months from a cycling accident.

That Gap-C&O Canal trip sounds cool; have you posted details. like how many days, available facilities?
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Old 12-18-14, 08:35 AM   #17
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Tonight, a car knocking my elbow with their mirror had me questioning my sanity. But the job doesn't pay enough to drive.
Ouch! that could be a highlight of 2014... I hope you are OK.
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Old 12-18-14, 08:53 AM   #18
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That Gap-C&O Canal trip sounds cool; have you posted details. like how many days, available facilities?
Jim -- I posted a ride report with a lot more photos in the Touring forum. Here's a link:

GAP - C&O Canal trail tour
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Old 12-19-14, 04:24 AM   #19
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Jim -- I posted a ride report with a lot more photos in the Touring forum. Here's a link:

GAP - C&O Canal trail tour
Thanks for the link; nice write up. All my touring has been on roads and highways (asphalt), so such a trail trip seemmingly devoid of cars sounds exotic.
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Old 12-19-14, 01:55 PM   #20
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The thing this year that made me most appreciate being car free was when a good friend had to buy a new car and was complaining about how much it cost. It made me appreciate all the things I can spend that money on instead!

My biggest car-free trip of the year (counting only trips made for transportation, not rides done only for their own sake) was getting myself from one gig in Plymouth, MA to another gig in Lubec, ME in two days. It involved 250 mi of riding, on a 90-lb loaded bike. Actually I had a total of six days last summer that involved riding over 90 mi for transportation on a loaded bike; the two longest were 140 mi and 150 mi.
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Old 12-19-14, 05:30 PM   #21
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I finished bike commuting on every street in the approx 2.5 mile X 5.5 mile parallelogram between my house and main office.

If I get one more day with streets clear of ice and snow to commute, I'll pass 2000 commuting miles for the year. EDIT: made it.

We traded in for a smaller car (so a bit "car-lighter" at least in vehicle weight!)

The city finished a segment of a major transit construction project that had impeded my preferred public transit route to work, so that mode of commute got easier.

I commuted on my Bike Friday for the first time. (Before, I thought it was too valuable to lock up outside, but now it's a bit older and a bit beat up, and we have a locked bike compound at work, so I'm not as anxious).

Two of my kids' partners asked me to help them choose bikes, so apparently I have some street cred.

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Old 12-20-14, 07:55 AM   #22
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Ouch! that could be a highlight of 2014... I hope you are OK.
Happily, yes.
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Old 12-21-14, 06:25 AM   #23
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I moved to KS where I don't have a car. As such I am living car-free. It was just cheaper to fly out and ship a bike than any other optoins.

I see no real need to do anything different. I have needed a car twice this year. Once I rented a car, the other time I used a company fleet car. I do get a lot of use out of my bike trailer (and really would like to see a better hitch design). To move into the apartment I went to a used furniture store and they delivered.

Later today I will ride to the airpot and fly out to visit family for the holiday. The Airport has a bicycle area that is monitored by camera and has a window to the TSA office, bikes are checked in and out.
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Old 12-21-14, 06:46 PM   #24
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The Airport has a bicycle area that is monitored by camera and has a window to the TSA office, bikes are checked in and out.
Really? That sounds pretty deluxe. I normally take a cab to the airport, but I'm pretty sure there's no bike parking, but you could probably swing a deal with the park and ride.
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Old 12-21-14, 08:02 PM   #25
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I built an aerobelly then trimmed it down a little bit. After today's ride it needs some maintenance.
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