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Old 05-24-10, 03:03 PM   #1
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New from BC

Hi everyone

I just found this site a few days ago and have spent those days reading through posts. I'm glad to have found this forum as I've already read a great wealth of information!

I've just begun the journey of becoming car-lite. After finally(!) getting sick and tired of vehicle repair costs, gas prices, insurance rates and traffic, I decided that it is not only a great idea but a very do-able idea to get by on a bike. I've tossed the idea around for awhile but always thought that I a)needed a car because God forbid "x" happens!, and b)I bought into the status symbol illusion that vehicle ownership provides.
A few weeks ago I really started to assess things. I put a stop to unnecessary trips outside of my city and replaced them with their equivalent within my city. Once I did that I realized that almost everything I need is now within a 7 block radius, with a few exceptions being just a bit farther out than that. I started thinking how easy it would be to ride a bike everywhere and I started hating the fact that I was paying so much money on a vehicle I hardly used. Granted my van is paid for, but other costs add up and do not justify the use. I work from home as a daycare provider and initially had bought my minivan as a means for driving kids around. Aside from my own two, that has never happened. Not even once. Being that we are headed into summer I thought it would be a great idea to try out being car-lite and parking the vehicle for as long as possible. I'm leaving it insured for one month to give me time to buy a bike, a trailer and the gear needed (helmets, locks, etc.) and then I'm pulling it off the road. If this goes well then I will down the road consider getting rid of the van altogether. For now I like the idea that it's there if ABSOLUTELY necessary, and it will be there in the winter. Even so, I am going to give winter riding a try, but also plan on utilizing other means and services in the winter (grocery delivery, transit, family members, etc.). I'm very excited to get started, and so are my kids!

I look forward to chatting and getting to know you all

Last edited by amndahgnkss; 03-05-11 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 05-24-10, 03:26 PM   #2
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Welcome Amanda to Bike Forums.
Great is the challenge before you.
You will do good and have fun.

Feel free to ask many questions.
Fred "The Real Fred"
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Old 05-24-10, 03:26 PM   #3
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Welcome, Amanda.
Congrats on your success.
I've felt freer since I gave up driving. Of course it helped to move to a place where bikes rule the road and transit is cheap and efficient.
I love the Simpsons reference in your username.
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Old 05-25-10, 11:16 AM   #4
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Amanda - I have been car lite for 9 months now. I was relocated to California last summer, and my wife and I decided to not move one of our cars with us. We rented a house which has good access to transit and is within bike range from my work. We can walk to many shops and restaurants. I was very nervous at first, not knowing what I might NEED a car for, so I also made sure that there were car rental places which I could get to on transit or by bike. We haven't needed any of that. My wife uses the car sometimes for grocery shopping, and we have used it on weekends to get to places that are not served by public transit, but the one car that we have in our family is not a part of any of our usual routines.

My wife and I are not young - we are both in our 50s, and grandparents, so I figure that if we can live car light - most anybody can.

Things that I have found very helpful:

1) I have two utility/commute bikes which are similar to one another - if one has a maintenance issue, I can use the other until I get around to repairs.
2) I have a utility trailer (made by cycletote) which I use for grocery shopping, runs to the hardware store etc - very handy!
3) We tend to shop for food more frequently than we used to - which has been good in many ways. We have less waste, and are eating fresher stuff.
4) We get a lot of stuff from much closer to home, including greater reliance on our home garden.

Last edited by sauerwald; 05-25-10 at 11:17 AM. Reason: hit save too early :)
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Old 05-26-10, 08:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips sauerwald! I am fortunate to live walking distance to bus stops, a bus loop and a train station so if need be, they are there. With practically everything I need close at hand, I think this will be an easy transition and one that I will very much enjoy and stick with. I'm also starting a home garden this year. I live in a townhouse so I just have a small patio area, not a large yard but I'm making the most of my space. Topsy Turvy's are great for that!

Last edited by amndahgnkss; 03-05-11 at 07:35 PM.
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