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Have you given up the car?

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Have you given up the car?

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Old 11-23-18, 10:58 PM
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BikingTech
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Have you given up the car?

This is my first starting post so forgive me if it has been brought up (there is so much to read here). What year did you decide to give up the car? My year was 1992. My life was in shambles. I was in pain, physically and mentally. I went home to visit the parents and found my old bicycle in the shed. I cleaned, polished and started racing. I was CAT 3, was that good in the day? I am a commuter now and just enjoy life as I see it or run over it, heh heh.
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Old 11-23-18, 11:50 PM
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Welcome! Not all of us have. We’re mainly about the challenges of doing the ride and sharing our daily stories. There are two other relevant sub forums, Living Car Free (very active) and Utility (not very). There’s also an Advocacy & Safety subforum that might entertain you.
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Old 11-24-18, 02:02 AM
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I have since 2007 but since then I have lived in European metro areas.

However, I did just get my UK license as I have a little nugget on the way and it might be useful.

I do own half of a turbo Golf but my gf drives it all the time.
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Old 11-24-18, 02:47 AM
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Living in Europe, in a flat-land area. So shorter distances than I hear are in the US (10 km radius gets you all the shops, services etc. you need). So yes - no car for decades. Kid gets into a bicycle trailer. Densely populated arela makes lots of traffic jams and hard to find a parking spot. Public transport is very good also - that's important. Finally, I'm fine with winter - not all the people are.

I do however think having a one car in the family is useful - there are occasions when I need to borrow one (hauling heavy stuff, field trips with the kid - still too small for a motorcycle - etc.).
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Old 11-24-18, 08:41 AM
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No, I still own and drive a car(s). Bike commuting is just how I have worked a fitness activity into my daily schedule for the past 26 years...and I love it!

While everybody is relative healthy right now, I recently endured four years of health crises and emergencies that concurrently affected my two daughters, and grand-daughter, all the while caring for a non-driving mother-in-law, with ongoing health issues. There is no way my wife and I could have done that without our automobiles.

While one or two toddlers in a bakefiets is cute, ferrying adult children and elderly parents in one would not be so.

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Old 11-24-18, 09:09 AM
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I haven't owned a car for a little over five years. I do own a motorcycle that got the majority of my miles until very recently.

My wife does have a car that she uses daily and we take on weekend adventures and whatnot. She will never give up her car.
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Old 11-24-18, 09:19 AM
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Living in a dense, urban, transit-friendly, bike-friendly city allowed me to forgo car ownership for all of my bachelorhood in my 20s/early 30s.

then I met the woman of my dreams in 2011 and she came bundled with a car. We got hitched, we now have two kiddos and we still have a car because it really makes life easier sometimes.

so I haven't ditched the car entirely, but my bike commuting, along with living in a city neighborhood where we can walk to so many things within a 1/4 mile allows our family of 4 to be a one-car household..... which is nice.
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Old 11-24-18, 09:21 AM
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Living in the suburbs and with three kids it'd still be possible to give up the car, but it'd be very difficult. I cycle to work all year, but my wife does the driving and chauffeuring during the week.
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Old 11-24-18, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Living in the suburbs and with three kids it'd still be possible to give up the car, but it'd be very difficult. I cycle to work all year, but my wife does the driving and chauffeuring during the week.
Ditto (2 kids) - I have been car free for 10 years but I still share a car with my wife. She is the primary driver and I cycle to work everyday.
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Old 11-24-18, 10:11 AM
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April, 1989.

I do rent cars fairly often. Maybe 1-5 days a month to get out of town.

My wife owns a car. If you see me driving it, I am doing something for her.

Car rentals are getting very expensive locally, so the temptation to acquire a car has been bugging me.

I am not anti-car FYI. I just don't need one right now.

There is a car-free sub forum here.

Cheers
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Old 11-24-18, 10:20 AM
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I was car-free for 3 years and found it to be very exciting at the beginning but after a while the novelty and excitement wore off and I found it to be very impractical at times... Not having to pay for gas, insurance, registration, maintenance, parking is nice and can save a bundle of money in the long run but it all comes at the cost of having to deal with a lot of inconvenience...There are times when having a car makes life easier. After my car-free experiment I bought a vehicle and settled for a car-light lifestyle which I find more practical. I still bike commute 3-4 days per week all year round.
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Old 11-24-18, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post

There is a car-free sub forum here.
LCF forum is a mixture of P&R and FOO a place where daydreamers share their own personal visions of alternate reality. Good luck finding any practical advice on how to live car-free in the real world in that sub-forum
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Old 11-24-18, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
LCF forum is a mixture of P&R and FOO a place where daydreamers share their own personal visions of alternate reality. Good luck finding any practical advice on how to live car-free in the real world in that sub-forum
Yeah, LCF does favor oddballs living Spartan lifestyles. That is my excuse anyway. Fewer needs/wants does facilitate doing without a car, but the average person with Internet access can't relate. Some can't resist visiting LCF even though they have no desire to go car free/light. Therefore, LCF is a mess as you stated.
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Old 11-24-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Some can't resist visiting LCF even though they have no desire to go car free/light. .
I admit I've been guilty of that myself, sometimes I just can't resist the entertainment. I try my best not to post there, but sometimes I just can't resist.
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Old 11-24-18, 11:56 AM
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Have you given up the car?
Originally Posted by BikingTech View Post
This is my first starting post so forgive me if it has been brought up (there is so much to read here). What year did you decide to give up the car? My year was 1992…

I am a commuter now and just enjoy life as I see it or run over it, heh heh.
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Welcome! Not all of us have. We’re mainly about the challenges of doing the ride and sharing our daily stories. There are two other relevant sub forums, Living Car Free (very active) and Utility (not very).

There’s also an Advocacy & Safety subforum that might entertain you.
Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
Living in Europe, in a flat-land area. So shorter distances than I hear are in the US (10 km radius gets you all the shops, services etc. you need). So yes - no car for decades. Kid gets into a bicycle trailer.

Densely populated arela makes lots of traffic jams and hard to find a parking spot. Public transport is very good also - that's important. Finally, I'm fine with winter - not all the people are.

I do however think having a one car in the family is useful - there are occasions when I need to borrow one (hauling heavy stuff, field trips with the kid - still too small for a motorcycle - etc.).
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
Living in a dense, urban, transit-friendly, bike-friendly city allowed me to forgo car ownership for all of my bachelorhood in my 20s/early 30s.

then I met the woman of my dreams in 2011 and she came bundled with a car. We got hitched, we now have two kiddos and we still have a car because it really makes life easier sometimes.

so I haven't ditched the car entirely, but my bike commuting, along with living in a city neighborhood where we can walk to so many things within a 1/4 mile allows our family of 4 to be a one-car household..... which is nice
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Boston is probably one of the most Car-free cities in the world, and having a car is often detrimental. We live near the transportation hub of Kenmore Square. Our easily accessible Car-free / Car-light modalities at home and work are:

  • subway and Commuter Rail
  • taxis and Uber
  • car rentals, including Zipcar
  • shopping and personal services within walking distances
  • a convenient place to stay overnight at work
  • my cycle commutes are on pleasant routes in the reverse of the usual commuting direction.
Nonetheless we own a car (with a deeded parking space). We bought it after the second child, and it became too hard to take a stroller on the rush hour subway while escorting the first one to school.

Even though I’m the main breadwinner, it’s my wife’s car, and I have to negotiate to use it
.
Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Living in the suburbs and with three kids it'd still be possible to give up the car, but it'd be very difficult. I cycle to work all year, but my wife does the driving and chauffeuring during the week.
From my 10 years on Bike Forums I recognize the above subscribers as stalwart urban / suburban cycle-commuters. I’m struck by the similarities of our situations.It’s evident that kid(s)=car(s). But I have also posted:
Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Cycling was popular in the US around the turn of the last century. The Wright Brothers were not an anomaly -- there was a bike shop in every town. But the US is where mass production of the automobile got its start, and that's what killed cycling. Today, our cities are designed around the car.

Cycling culture thrives in college towns where the college is modeled after a Medieval European city. If you visit the typical regional or commuter college campus, it's all cars.

It's not about culture, but about urban design, economics, and objective factors such as climate
Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
People walk a lot more in places where there is somewhere to walk. But in much of the US, housing is relatively far from anywhere people want to go.

And if you want to walk from your home to a nearby restaurant and that involves crossing a six lane highway and walking across a large parking lot, the journey is much less appealing.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Some cities never lost those neighborhoods, like Boston.

It seems to me that in order to be an attractive place to support a variety of restaurants and shops to which to walk (and not drive to visit that neighborhood…the basic premise of this thread) a neighborhood must be a large area with a substantial, dense population living there, likely that evolved in the pre-automotive era
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Like real estate, for cycle commuting…Location, location, location

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Old 11-24-18, 08:26 PM
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Have not given up cars; I share two cars with my wife but did bike commute 1500 miles in the last year instead of driving those miles.
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Old 11-26-18, 09:57 AM
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My family was car free when I was growing up, as we lived in Manhattan. I didn't learn to drive until I was 20, and it was not an urgent thing. My friend's mother just offered to teach me, and I said sure, it might come in handy one day. I got my first car at age 26 when I moved to the NJ suburbs. I moved back from NJ to NYC in 2013, and I soon afterwards sold my car, because managing the on-street parking was difficult, and the need wasn't great. I was getting about $400 in parking tickets each month, and a garage could cost around the same. My wife has a car. She commutes in it, as she works all over the area. We have a weekend home, so we use it for that, although we often go up and come back on different schedules, in which case, I take a bus.

I've been thinking that a motor vehicle might be handy, but I'd like it to be cheap, so maybe it could be a motorcycle. Too bad there aren't any old, used cars the size of a Geo Metro that run on electricity.
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Old 11-26-18, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
My family was car free when I was growing up, as we lived in Manhattan. I didn't learn to drive until I was 20, and it was not an urgent thing. My friend's mother just offered to teach me, and I said sure, it might come in handy one day. I got my first car at age 26 when I moved to the NJ suburbs. I moved back from NJ to NYC in 2013, and I soon afterwards sold my car, because managing the on-street parking was difficult, and the need wasn't great. I was getting about $400 in parking tickets each month, and a garage could cost around the same. My wife has a car. She commutes in it, as she works all over the area. We have a weekend home, so we use it for that, although we often go up and come back on different schedules, in which case, I take a bus.

I've been thinking that a motor vehicle might be handy, but I'd like it to be cheap, so maybe it could be a motorcycle. Too bad there aren't any old, used cars the size of a Geo Metro that run on electricity.
If you don't mind dressing for skiing in the winter, a scooter is fine for city - cheaper than a car, faster than a bike (and no sweat when rushing). But the limited space makes it limited (I can haul more stuff on a bicycle with a trailer, than on any motorcycle).

Also, insurance and taxes, at least in my country, make a small, cheap petrol car close in terms of $ per mile, especially for low yearly mileage use.

Plus I think a bicycle, or a "normal" motorcycle are safer for traffic than a scooter - you sit higher up, so better visibility and you tend to fly over a car in case of a low speed in-city accident.

So from cost and convenience point of view, I'd add a car to a bicycle, not a motorcycle, or a scooter. However, I choose to not own a car and do have a motorcycle - for fun and weekend joyrides, roadtrips with not enough time to cycle etc (motorcycle gets me to the nearest seaside within a day's ride, unlike a bicycle, for example).
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Old 11-26-18, 02:58 PM
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We were a one family car for a long time but after I got hit and lost the use of my upper right arm for a bit of time I couldn't drive our stickshift so we bought another car w/ an automatic transmission. One thing led to another and now we have 3 cars (only 2 licensed driver but a 3rd w/ a permit...). The formerly sole car is now pretty much plan c but the only one we can load up for backpacking so it remains useful. I got a chance to drive plan A for a week a couple weeks ago (usually my wife has that) and I got my first speeding ticket in ages.
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Old 11-26-18, 04:40 PM
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Haven't made it down to single-car family, but I'd love to. We have a minivan that gets all the driving, and 'my car' which gets driven much less. Much of the time I leave it in the parking deck at work (out of the SoCal sun), where it has a few times sat so long that the battery died and I had to push it to a downhill ramp to start it by popping the clutch. I'm super proud that one year it was driven only 863 miles, but it's gone up since then, because our oldest got his license and used it to take over driving him and his siblings to school. But there was never any question of turning into a three-car family.
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Old 11-26-18, 05:33 PM
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Nope. Still have a car. Three in the family, actually.
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Old 11-26-18, 05:35 PM
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Thank goodness this is the commuting section, not the living car free section where things get to get acrimonious.

Living car free isn't important for most of us. It's not a measure of virtue, at least not to me. There is a very good blog called Mr Money Mustache, and he writes a lot about the virtue of driving less rather than ceasing to drive. He also points out how useful bicycles are. One of his salient points is that we underestimate the marginal cost of driving a mile. He says we should consider it to be 50 cents or so, even though fuel costs are much lower than that.
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Old 11-26-18, 07:24 PM
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My wife and I went car-free Sept 2017. We’ve used a combination of Lyft/Uber/borrowing friends’ cars since then. The toughest part has been my daily commute, 12 miles each way. My wife works 1/2 mile from home and daughter rides the bus to middle school. Shopping/entertainment can all be done within 2 miles of home. We live in the suburbs and I commute through the countryside to a small town. I have flexibility with my employer that allows me to work remotely from home with my work laptop when road conditions are hazardous (snow/ice) but it takes some planning and carrying the laptop back and forth.
We are looking into getting an old beater station wagon or small pickup. Healthcare accessibility and zero cycling infrastructure are the primary driving force behind this, pardon the pun. If we lived and both worked downtown, we’d probably be satisfied to stay car-free, and that still remains the long term goal. I personally am finished with using a car for commuting unless/until my body or living situation demand otherwise.
I agree with others about avoiding the LCF sub-forum. I suspect that most of the “car-free” posters there probably aren’t really car-free, and have my doubts about how many of them even ride actual bicycles. The longer I’ve been car-free, the stronger my suspicions/doubts.
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Old 11-26-18, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Thank goodness this is the commuting section, not the living car free section where things get to get acrimonious.

Living car free isn't important for most of us. It's not a measure of virtue, at least not to me. There is a very good blog called Mr Money Mustache, and he writes a lot about the virtue of driving less rather than ceasing to drive. He also points out how useful bicycles are. One of his salient points is that we underestimate the marginal cost of driving a mile. He says we should consider it to be 50 cents or so, even though fuel costs are much lower than that.
I used to read MMM blog religiously. It was one of the inspirations for riding my bike instead of driving. Good stuff. He has a lot of valuable advice to offer, finance aside, like diet and exercise and stuff.
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Old 11-27-18, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
He says we should consider it to be 50 cents or so, even though fuel costs are much lower than that.
I thought the IRS allowed a running cost that involved depreciation of 41 cents / mile, which is almost an honest evaluation.

I'm pretty thrifty and we have one car spread out over the 2 households and that car eats cash, but my partner loves it to death. We bought a three-year old Golf for 50% less than new with only 6k miles and have driven it 60000+ miles since (4 years). It's nice to have for certain excursions but I refuse to have to use a car to commute to work. It's quite expensive but we'll see if it's really needed with a kiddo. I highly doubt it and and thinking a box bike / Römer Jockey instead.
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