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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.

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Old 03-20-17, 07:22 AM   #26
jimmie65
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Sadly, I live in the suburbs and getting around just by bike or mass transit isn't really a option.
I tease my wife a lot about switching jobs and moving to San Antonio so we can get rid of at least one vehicle. Won't happen, but I can dream.
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Old 03-20-17, 10:13 AM   #27
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Everyone's story and circumstances are different. I live in NYC most of the time, and public transit takes me just about everywhere. I ride a bike to work about two days a week, and I ride a bike to a few other places. I sold my car after moving back into the city. We also are members of Citi Bike, the big bike sharing program, and it's better for trips of two miles or less than riding one's own bike, because (1) locking the bike is much easier, and (2) we can ride one way and walk or take the subway the other way. But with longer trips, Citi Bike becomes annoying, because the bikes are 50-pound clunkers.

My wife still has her car and needs it to commute almost every day. We go upstate -- two hours each way -- most weekends, and we take her car. Sometimes she drives without me and I take a bus.

I've done some grocery runs on bike but have found that they're more convenient on foot. Stores are close by. I can't carry much on bike or foot, so trips are frequent. The kids are gone, so there isn't so much to buy anyway.

Commuting and doing errands on bike have become so common here that I frequently see people wearing bike helmets without being on bike.
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Old 03-22-17, 12:05 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I'd advise against getting rid of your car if you're still working, unless you can afford to quickly replace the car later if need be. You need to remain flexible enough to change jobs or change locations within a job. That's very difficult to do without a car in many places.
This; as of today, my commute pretty much doubled, and while it's a heck of a lot more scenic, I suspect I'll be catching a ride with a coworker from about my one mile mark anytime the weather isn't as great as it was this morning. (Went from one really big hill to three, and a couple of long shallow climbs, plus the one really good long downhill that got me to 28mph without pedaling is a bit rough for that speed, really.)
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Old 03-22-17, 01:32 PM   #29
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The trouble with replacing my car (now sold) is that I don't have enough cash on hand to buy one, and I've decided I don't want to take a loan to get a car if I should ever need one again. That keeps me carfree, but that it also keeps my transportation budget nice and low.
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Old 03-22-17, 01:56 PM   #30
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We've been a one car family for most of my adult life. I was a skateboard commuter for over 15 years. I'd ride to the bus stop and then from the end of the bus line to work.
In 2005, I got a job well outside the bus system, so I got a bike to bridge that gap. Fell in love with it and eventually phased out the bus.
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Old 03-23-17, 12:20 PM   #31
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I live in Portland, OR - which admittedly is a pretty bike/ped/public transportation friendly area.

Having said that, I've been car free for the last three years. We're a three-person household (including our 6 year old son) and none of us have had any difficulty adapting. The bike gets me to work, brings home the groceries, and gets me and the kid out on the weekends. We have the larger stuff delivered if I can't find a way to strap it down (I'm looking to purchase a trailer before too long which should cut that necessity down by quite a bit). Public transportation gets my wife around since she's not much of a cyclist.

It's doable and I encourage you to do it. The more people that go car free, the larger the investments made in non-car-oriented infrastructure by states and local communities.
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Old 03-23-17, 02:48 PM   #32
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@ce111917, how far are the food stores from you?

If rolling the trailer in and out of your home isn't too much trouble, you might love it. I used to use a kiddie fairly regularly. I've towed large amounts with it. It even works great with a racing bike, and racing bikes are fun. I set up an alert for bike trailers on craigslist and wait until someone is selling one cheap. I used them as-is (or as-was) for a while and then eventually took the sides off to make them flatbeds. But you can tow your kid in one for the next couple of years, with or without cargo.
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Old 03-23-17, 02:54 PM   #33
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I think if I were to ditch my car, I'd need to have a heavy duty utility bike, and not a road bike or mountain bike. Everyday transport and buying groceries and commuting require more practical and durable and less style and speed.
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Old 03-23-17, 04:26 PM   #34
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mtb_addict - I considered going in for a dedicated utility bike, but in the end went with a touring model. I live in a fairly high crime area (at least as far as bike and bike component theft goes), so I stripped the stickers off of my LHT, wrapped various kinds of tape around various areas of the frame, and threw some old Wald folding baskets on the back and a semi-rusted-out basket on the front. With that setup and a decent sized backpack, I can haul almost a week's worth of groceries for my three-member family. Last month I brought home a 15 gallon aquarium that I strapped and padded for the ride. Plus I have a fun and convenient bike to ride around when it doesn't need to be fully loaded. And hopefully it's not the most attractive thing out there to potential thieves. Less style and speed indeed!

I only had enough money for one "nice" bike purchase so I wanted it to be versatile and somewhat covert. The only things I can't haul now are furniture and...well, other furniture I guess. For that I think I'll be following noglider's suggestion of picking up a cheap child-carrying trailer off of Craigslist (thanks noglider!) and modifying it with a flatbed. That would blend right in with my current setup.

In the meantime, I'll start putting away money for either a fancy $1000 trailer or an actual utility bike.

There are always reasons not to go car free. It's amazing how easy it is to work around them when you actually do it.
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Old 03-24-17, 02:57 PM   #35
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I gave up the only car I've ever owned in 1991, so I can't say I ditched the car for a bike. However, I gave up the subway almost 100% for a bike. Does that count? Until about three years ago, hardly a day went by I didn't take the train multiple times. Now, I went from June, when I took the subway from the airport, through I think January, when we got our first round of bad winter weather without take the subway. In that period, my transportation in town was almost completely under my own power, with just a few exceptions. About once a month, I take the PATH train to New Jersey, because the bike route involves a 25 mile detour. I probably rode in a car a handful of times, cause I was with other folks. And I've taken a few trips out of town by train.
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Old 03-24-17, 05:32 PM   #36
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I don't own a car, don't really have a desire to own a car, but I do have a license and access to a car if need be. About 14 years ago I owned a car for roughly 6 months...
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Old 03-25-17, 07:23 AM   #37
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I'm mostly car free, which is pretty easy in high school, considering I haven't had to get groceries or carry anything super bulky yet. I've been saving for a cargo bike and getting familiar with what little public transit is available in North Texas. I don't ever want to own a car.
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Old 03-26-17, 03:38 AM   #38
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I don't use my car around town. I've found over the years that a bike is more convenient and fun than driving in city traffic. I still have a car and generally put less than 2500 miles on it during the year. I keep the car because the insurance is still cheaper than renting when I need one. It's for out of town trips or moving something big and awkward occasionally.

Marc
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Old 03-26-17, 09:16 AM   #39
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How would I pull my tractor and zero turn in for service? How would I tow my boat? No, I love cars and trucks and the freedom they provide to me.
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Old 03-26-17, 10:54 AM   #40
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here is that section: Living Car Free - Bike Forums
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Old 03-27-17, 03:09 PM   #41
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I built an electric bike for commuting, and a couple years later sold my "summer" car because I struggled to put more than 250 miles on it in a year. the bike was a heck of a lot more fun to ride.
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