Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Anyone not own a car?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Anyone not own a car?

Old 05-05-05, 06:09 PM
  #1  
rs_woods
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 250

Bikes: Trek T80, Trek SU200, Trek SU100, Giant Bowery

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Anyone not own a car?

I haven't purchased a car on account that I don't feel like I need one. I can get to wherever I want to go fine walking, and I have enough reasons to not use a car that I could write a book on the subject. Recently, I purchased a bicycle to make getting around a bit more fun, and that's what I'm doing on these forums.

The problem is, I'm getting to be that age (21) where purchasing an automobile machine is sort of expected to happen as part of the typical progression of an individual's property, in accordance with increasing income and greater responsibilities. That, of course, is a social illusion. My pals all own vehicles (have for years), but their parents still pay for the things they can not yet afford, like insurance and maintenance.

Regardless, when on the road I do feel inadequate next to the cars, simply because of that social tier that exists among people my age. Does anybody else suffer this? What are some ways to deal with it?
rs_woods is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 06:25 PM
  #2  
spider-man
Ferrous wheel
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 1,388

Bikes: 2004 Gunnar Rock Hound MTB; 1988 Gitane Team Pro road bike; 1986-ish Raleigh USA Grand Prix; mid-'80s Univega Gran Tourismo with Xtracycle Free Radical

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hey rs woods. I live in New Orleans also and don't own a car. I don't feel any inadequacy as a result. To the contrary, I possess more bicycles and nicer bicycles than anyone I know. In my mind, they should be envious of my possessions, not vice versa.

I can get around the city faster, save a ridiculous sum of money, get great exercise and avoid gridlock. I find bicycles fun and cars not fun. Embrace your lack of cardom!
spider-man is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 06:26 PM
  #3  
dee-vee
vegan powered
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chico, Ca
Posts: 385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What are these cars you speak of.
dee-vee is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 06:34 PM
  #4  
Crash Dummy
I get hit by cars
 
Crash Dummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 111

Bikes: Fuji Team Pro '05 / Ancient Bianchi commuter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I do have a car, but I really never use it. I'm 23 at this point, and after graduating from college, I moved to DC for my job. I live less than 2.5 miles from work and I'm right next to virtually everything I need to buy. I kept telling my parents that I don't need a car and I'd rather save the money I'd have spent on a vehicle and put it toward something more useful. However, they insisted that I have a car. They were so insistent that they're paying the insurance and parking fees on a car that's had all of 800 miles put on it in eight months (this includes the mileage of driving from my old home in SC up to DC). And all the miles that I DID put on the car could have just as easily been put on my bike or subway. I'm not sure why they continue to throw money into something that doesn't see any use, but no amount of effort on my part will convince them that I honestly don't need, nor do I want to keep a car.

I don't feel the least bit inadequate next to cars. There's no good reason to. In a city, a bicycle is superior to an automobile. It has very low upkeep, it doesn't require a parking permit, and it gets places just as fast as a car given all the traffic lights you get in cities. I prefer to think of myself in a way as more enlightened than those who drive a car because commuting on a bike would be "plebian." Especially now that gas prices are going through the roof. I get a little feeling of pride when I pass the gas stations in town and watch people filling their SUVs up with $2.80/gallon premium gas.

For some, car-less living isn't a choice. For me, its both a financial and a lifestyle choice. I don't want to drive a car because I don't need to and I don't want to support suburban sprawl and its disastrous effects on the planet (hippie, I know, but I studied my ecology in college and I've never had a class actually scare me before) I know I couldn't afford to keep a car. But for those who can, I can understand how it might feel odd to give up a luxury/status symbol even if it is unnecessary. The best thing I can think of to get over it is to just keep riding. Once riding becomes routine, you probably won't even notice the cars. You'll blend right into traffic and all will be well.

Also, on a more lighthearted note, if you don't have a car, you can very easily get out of being the designated driver! You also won't be the guy who gets called to take folks places or pick them up from other places. A bike can be an exercise tool, but it can also help you be lazy
Crash Dummy is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 06:35 PM
  #5  
ksheuk
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Lake Charles, LA
Posts: 22

Bikes: Trek, Cannondale

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You're in a good city to go car-less. If I didn't have to drive 42 miles one-way to work, I wouldn't own one either. Your friends can give you a ride if you have to go long distance. You're also old enough to rent a car if you need one occasionaly.

You can do without the car, besides, look at the price of gasoline on top of insurance, maintainance, etc.

Stay car-less.

KS
ksheuk is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 06:46 PM
  #6  
palmertires
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 124

Bikes: Beater 8000 custom

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
30 years. No car. Happier. Healthier.
palmertires is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 06:54 PM
  #7  
twahl
Tom (ex)Builder
 
twahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Manassas, VA
Posts: 2,814

Bikes: Specialized Allez

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here's a suggestion: Ask your friends to give you an estimate of what they spend on driving in a month. Average your responses. Take that amount of money from your income, and put it in the bank. In 6 months, tell your friends how much money you have in the bank. Ask them whether they'd rather have that amount in the bank, or drive their cars.

I wish it was possible for me, but having kids, and life in general in the 'burbs makes it not possible. I use my bike when I can. If my wife and I could do without...*runs off to do some math*...we could save about $10k a year. I think I'll be ill.
__________________
Tom

"It hurts so good..."
twahl is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 07:01 PM
  #8  
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Posts: 24,221
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 710 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
If you mature (as opposed to just aging), you will arrive at a point where you don't really give a damn what others think of you. The sooner you reach that point, the happier and more productive your life will be.
Roody is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 07:08 PM
  #9  
markhr
POWERCRANK addict
 
markhr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Acton, West London, UK
Posts: 3,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by palmertires
30 years. No car. Happier. Healthier.
ditto
__________________
shameless POWERCRANK plug
Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
markhr is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 07:23 PM
  #10  
rs_woods
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 250

Bikes: Trek T80, Trek SU200, Trek SU100, Giant Bowery

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the replies, pals. What others think has never stopped me from doing I want to, and it definitely won't get me in a car (like I said, I have a very strong opinion about the subject). I'm less concerned about what others think about me than I am concerned about what I think about myself. Specifically, how I feel about my carlessness. Nobody really bothers me about not having a car, but it's awkward for me, personally, to always be the passenger. The elitism thing has never really appealed to me and perhaps that's why I feel the way I do.
rs_woods is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 07:32 PM
  #11  
JohnBrooking
Commuter
 
JohnBrooking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 2,568

Bikes: 2006 Giant Cypress EX (7-speed internal hub)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It seems parents often want to keep "helping" you for as long as they can, and if it looks to them like you are lacking something, they want to help you to get it. Especially if it's something that's so widely assumed to be "necessary". I think it takes a while for this urge of theirs to go away, and maybe in some cases it never does.

When I graduated from college, I realized I didn't have a TV and decided to see how long I could do without one. It lasted for about 2 years until I was given one from my grandparents' house after my grandfather died, because no one else in the family needed another one. (Fortunately, by then I had broken the habit, and have watched very little since.)

As a grand old man of 39, I'm very encouraged to see you twenty-somethings thinking consciously about this. The good thing about being aware of these alternatives so early is that it will allow you to make wiser choices as your lives get more complicated. Many people my age get trapped into needing a car (and other ecologically unsustainable habits) because of choices made earlier in life, when maybe they were less aware (if they are even aware now). As you make future life choices regarding where to live and work, you already have a good idea of the trade-offs to your values. These decisions may not be easy ones, but I think it's easier to "do the right thing" gradually as a matter of habit than to suddenly try to do it all at once without having prepared yourself for it.
JohnBrooking is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 07:51 PM
  #12  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,914

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 138 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3121 Post(s)
Liked 354 Times in 224 Posts
I haven't owned a car since February, 1999.
Machka is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 10:12 PM
  #13  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,752
Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1439 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by twahl
Here's a suggestion: Ask your friends to give you an estimate of what they spend on driving in a month. Average your responses. Take that amount of money from your income, and put it in the bank. In 6 months, tell your friends how much money you have in the bank. Ask them whether they'd rather have that amount in the bank, or drive their cars.
It's nice in principle, but I have real trouble getting the money into the bank in the first place before I spend it on ... bike bits... bike clothes... bike touring.

BTW, eight years next month without owning a car.
Rowan is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 10:19 PM
  #14  
CdCf
Videre non videri
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 3,208

Bikes: 1 road bike (simple, light), 1 TT bike (could be more aero, could be lighter), 1 all-weather commuter and winter bike, 1 Monark 828E ergometer indoor bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I'll be 26 in a couple of months. That's 26 years of not owning a car.
I hope I'll live to be a hundred, so I'm expecting another 74+ years of carfree living.
CdCf is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 10:36 PM
  #15  
Raiyn
I drink your MILKSHAKE
 
Raiyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 15,061

Bikes: 2003 Specialized Rockhopper FSR Comp, 1999 Specialized Hardrock Comp FS, 1971 Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Machka
I haven't owned a car since February, 1999.
August 1997
__________________
Raiyn is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 10:54 PM
  #16  
CagerTools
done with civilization
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: roaming the wild lands of the gods
Posts: 195

Bikes: Xtracycle connected to a Schwinn Sport Hybrid.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm 23, and basically stopped using my car more than a month ago. I know what you mean. At first, there is some sort of feeling of lowerness. I've had a car, and used it daily practically, since I was 16. My dad gave me a car...he always provided one for me, and he pays the insurance.

When I started trying to bike places, or walk, I would feel inferior...so open out there , walking outside in public... and would feel kinda lame or something. Hard to describe, but I decided not to let those feelings get ahold of me... After awhile, I got used to doing what I did, and I started noticing the benefits. I started feeling better, and everyday that went by that I was car-free, made me feel that much better.

I think the more your away from the culture of the car, and the more time your away from driving one, eventually you kinda just forget what its like to actually drive, and you don't get as caught up in the whole mindset and culture of it..

I do get feeling of satisfaction, when I'm walking to work (I live about 15 minutes away) and see cars getting backed up, seeing stressed out drivers, and hearing car horns from angry drivers... That is when I get reminded that I'm walking, and have a lot of freedom in movement. I get satisfaction when I walk into the shopping complex where I work, and the parking lot is FULL of car all competing for spaces... I can just walk right by, leisurely. It honestly feels good. Not to mention that I'm more ready to work when I get there.

I now look forwards to my mornings. I never thought I would say that. But, because I've been waking up and walking 45 minutes on the way to work, for some reasons my biological clock reset or something, and I end up waking up naturally early in the morning, and I'm ready to go. Its like my body is ready to go out and walk, and get out there in the sun. The only annoying thing is hearing the noise of the cars, and all the toxic fumes they make... but I've started wearing earplugs, which helps alot... There's always ways to deal with them....

Today, on my way to walking to work, I noticed someone had broken my rear passenger side window...its shattered. I had to file a police report, and now I have to drive it to get it fixed and all that sh*t. How annoying. It makes me want to get rid of that thing even more, so I never have to worry about it.

I think your right, that with age, comes increasing incomes (usually) and greater responsibilities. But I think one of those responsibilities is realizing your own impact on the environment, which you are understanding I think. Alot of people are ignorant...so maybe when your biking and the 21 year old passes you in his tricked out Mustang...he probably has no idea the impact he is having. Thats why you need to keep riding, as a model for other 21 year olds, as a model for everyone.

Last edited by CagerTools; 05-05-05 at 11:10 PM.
CagerTools is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 11:06 PM
  #17  
bcc423
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i just bought a car( a 1999 daewoo lanos) i spend 160/mo. on insurance and about 100 on gas, but weather and distance dont permit biking, im wanting to move to a bigger/more condensed city in the next few years, so i can get rid of that burden
bcc423 is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 11:16 PM
  #18  
lilHinault
.
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: .
Posts: 3,094

Bikes: .

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
*Sigh* Own an SUV, at least it's plastic with a mouse motor (most gutless saturn vue they make hehe) and actually gets decent mileage, and is great for transporting bikes, and I have to carry all kinds of crap all over for my business.
lilHinault is offline  
Old 05-05-05, 11:53 PM
  #19  
KrisPistofferson
Immoderator
 
KrisPistofferson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: POS Tennessee
Posts: 7,630

Bikes: Gary Fisher Simple City 8, Litespeed Obed

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
No car since 2000. Happier. Healthier.Wealthier. I don't really give a care what anyone thinks of it.
__________________
Originally Posted by Bikeforums
Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.
KrisPistofferson is offline  
Old 05-06-05, 12:13 AM
  #20  
super-douper
Powered by PB&J
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: San Jose, CA, USA
Posts: 521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
my wife and I share 1 car. I get the best of both worlds. a car when i need to go to the store or on a trip, but a bike or bus/train when it's raining or i just don't feel like riding. It takes me 3x as long to get to work either by bike or bus vs. in a car but I don't mind. I get to read and walk a bit.

I find that people are constantly concerned with my modes of transportation. Constantly offering rides and such, they're just trying to be nice and I appreciate it but rarely accept. Oh, and I've also found that I need to be entertained less. All the time walking and biking give me lots of time to myself to think and stuff....so when i'm not biking or walking or riding the bus, I can just sit and stare at the wall and think. It probably looks wierd to others, but that's their problem
super-douper is offline  
Old 05-06-05, 12:21 AM
  #21  
bobiamnot
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1

Bikes: Diamondback, 1948 Higgins, 1946 Hiawatha

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am way over 21 and do not own a car. I was given a truck at one point but never used it. I have never had a drivers liscence and quite frankly don't want one. Yes, in an emergency i could drive someone to the ER<i did learn on a stick, so i am pretty sure i could drive an automatic>

I ride my bike to work, do my laundry, grocery shop etc..

I have a real job and own a business, and i do not own a car. ride on...
bobiamnot is offline  
Old 05-06-05, 04:21 AM
  #22  
MsMittens
Virtulized geek
 
MsMittens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NYC, NY
Posts: 523

Bikes: Modified Davinci (single speed) and custom Gunnar Rock Tour

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Don't own a car.

In fact, don't even have a license.
__________________
My Blog
MsMittens is offline  
Old 05-06-05, 04:57 AM
  #23  
cryogenic
Campy or bust :p
 
cryogenic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 3,139

Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey commuter build

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ditto... no need for it. I'll keep my $5000 a year and spend it on stuff better than a money pit most people know as a car. Granted, I still get reminded quite often that I "need a car". Why I need one, I don't quite understand. For transportation? My bike is transportation. nix that argument... uh, so I don't get wet in the rain? Since when did rain hurt anyone (directly speaking)? Yup, that's right.. we're not gonna melt in the rain. So I can get places faster? What's the rush? So yeah... can anyone tell me why I need a car? I can't figure it out yet.
cryogenic is offline  
Old 05-06-05, 08:20 AM
  #24  
recursive
Geosynchronous Falconeer
 
recursive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 6,312

Bikes: 2006 Raleigh Rush Hour, Campy Habanero Team Ti, Soma Double Cross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am 24, and haven't owned a car for... *(does some math)* 24 years. Before last year, I never lived more than 3 miles from anywhere I needed to go, but last year, I moved away from downtown/campus, and started getting much more heavily involved in cycling. I don't feel inferior at all.
__________________
Bring the pain.
recursive is offline  
Old 05-06-05, 08:36 AM
  #25  
gmacrider
Ice Eater
 
gmacrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 106

Bikes: Specialized Rockhopper (summer), Nakamura Battle Pig (winter)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I could've managed without a car before we had kids. But with 3 kids (now teenagers) I can't even imagine not having a car. I've commuted by bike 100% for 4 years now, so I AM trying to reduce my car usage.

I'm curious to know if anyone is managing to raise kids in a typical middle-class househould without a car and are still able to have their kids participate in sports and extra-curricular activities all over the city every night and every weekend. If there's a way, PLEASE enlighten me.
gmacrider is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.