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How come you're carfree or carlight?

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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.

How come you're carfree or carlight?

Old 06-19-15, 01:09 PM
  #26  
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1. I started riding my dad's old bike to work in 2007 because one day it dawned on me that my commute wasn't even one mile long and I could reduce how much money I was spending on gas.
2. Then I realized I could ride other places too (school, shopping, socializing).
3. Over the course of a few years I gradually figured out how to make biking work for pretty much all my local travels, so I drove less and less and rode the bike for more and more of my trips because it was more satisfying, enjoyable, cheaper, and improved my health at the same time. Also got into road cycling and mechanics at the same time.
4. Eventually I reached the point that I wasn't driving anymore, even during the winter, and then in 2011 my little sister had her car totaled. She didn't have the resources to replace it, so I gave my car to her as a near-permanent loan. Then about a year later 'my' car was also totalled, I kept the insurance payout from its loss and never replaced it, making me officially car-free.
5. I have chosen to continue living without a car (which is very unusual where I live) because I simply don't need one for my everyday life, and bicycling makes me happy.
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Old 06-23-15, 11:00 AM
  #27  
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I got gradually more and more fed up with the expense and legal complexity of car ownership. Texas can be a kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare at times. The stress of the ambiguity of never knowing for sure if it was legal for me to be driving that car eventually got to be too much for me to deal with. Bicycles are much simpler; as long as I have lights and brakes I'm all good.
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Old 06-24-15, 09:27 AM
  #28  
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I dunno... I could answer this question many ways, that would probably seem contradictory, but all perfectly true as far as that goes.

I never really grew up. When I was a kid, little cars were my favorite toys, but full sized cars just looked like responsibility to me, and I've never been big on responsibility. I remember when I loved to go for a ride in the car, especially if I got to sit in the front seat. But when it got so I had to get in the car, I wasn't so happy about that. I could never face the idea that you need a car to be a fully functional member of society.

My wife came with a car, and early in our marriage, when we did everything together, I became dependent on the car, and I didn't even see it happening. It wasn't until we'd been married almost ten years that sharing a car started to be a strain on us both, and I was seriously thinking I'd have to buy a car of my own. I didn't get as far as starting to look at cars before I realized, hey, I could just go back to riding my bike everywhere.

I still get that idea now and then, that I might have to buy a car. Fortunately it never lasts very long.
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Old 06-24-15, 10:40 AM
  #29  
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Health, and health only..

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Old 07-10-15, 01:39 PM
  #30  
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Because I live in NYC, and most New Yorkers are. Especially in Manhattan, where the number of households that own cars hovers somewhere around 20%. There may be down sides to living in the city, but one of the great joys is not having to own a car.

The trick for me was becoming subway light. These days I can go entire months traveling only under my own power. Compared to the train, riding a bike is more reliable, and very often faster. And subway service is deteriorating, becoming more and more crowded, and less and less pleasant. And of course riding a bike is more fun.
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Old 07-13-15, 04:13 PM
  #31  
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I had no car when I moved away from my Dad's house and it worked out, so I continued.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
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.
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Old 07-13-15, 11:32 PM
  #32  
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When I was in art school in the late 90s living in my parents house, my car broke down and I couldn't afford insurance anymore (this is a weird loophole with car insurance when it's tied to your house insurance, if you're a driver with a licence living in a house with cars you must pay, even if you won't be driving). I gave up my license in '98 and just never really bothered to get it back. I lived in a small town for a few years in the interior of BC, and my roomate had a truck. When I moved back to Calgary, I always lived in or very close to downtown so always took the train. It wasn't till a few years ago I actually started walking 8km every day to and from work with the train in between, then I started running 13km (26 round trip) all the way to work and back as I started to get into fitness. Then I got my first bike since childhood, a Kona Splice, which eventually got upgraded to a Kona Jake, and now, several bikes later (4 of which serve individual purposes) I commute on my Defy Advanced 0 in the summer and spring, my Jake in the rainy seasons, and my Spec Crosstrail in the winter.

I just feel so much better doing this. I feel relaxed when I get to work, it's great stress relief. I get a bare minimum of 1 hour of exercise each day (which usually leads to 2 or 3 after my evening rides in the summer). Ultimately, it's a fitness thing. A few years ago, at 6'2, I weighed in at around 400lbs, and now I'm about 250..around 230 in the summer. It's a great way to keep myself in check, and keeps me from going back up the scale. It's also much much better on the knees than running was, and way better on the arse than driving is.
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Old 07-14-15, 12:33 AM
  #33  
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I'm car light. We have one car, which has been sitting in the car port now for about one year since I'm trying to get it through the German regulatory system.
My commute to work is roughly 9 miles and I have the S-Bahn (commuter train) 500m from my house.
I shop with a trailer, have a bike addiction, ride wherever I can. The money not spent on gas is nice, but that's not so important to me. I just love to ride, it relaxes and calms me. It always has.
Driving a car is a pain in my ass, especially during the summer holidays when everyone and their grandma is on the road and I'm enviously eyeing the cyclists on the road when I take my mom's minivan around with the family in it.
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Old 07-14-15, 01:29 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
Health/fitness (physical and mental)
Low cost
Reduced carbon footprint
Getting from here to there is generally more pleasant on a bike than in a car.
That pretty much sums it up. Better for me, better for my wallet, better for the environment, better for my mental health. Oh, and I can't pop a wheelie in a Lexus. We're car light... mainly because family is far away. Our closest family is my wife's parents, and her dad will ride to our house (16 miles) for a visit. He's all about fitness, but still very motivating. My mom is 160miles, sister is 450miles. Brother in law is just under 2000miles. Sometimes a car is nice, but for every day stuff, why isn't everyone car light?

Outside of that, bicycles are just fun to ride. Period.
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Old 07-16-15, 08:07 AM
  #35  
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I'm 19, have my car license for almost a year now. Just can't afford the amount of hours as day to work and try to study architecture so I decided bike and bus is my best option for cost (and fitness) we spend too many hours as it is looking at screens, what better way to keep fit and save money.

Plus I do feel the kind of man and machine relationship with bikes, I mean some of the components we discuss on here might be much simpler than an engine, but they're impressive instruments which perform just as beautifully! (not sure if this last bit makes me a weirdo) haha
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Old 07-16-15, 08:25 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Lil Bear View Post
Oh, and I can't pop a wheelie in a Lexus.
Are you sure about that?
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Old 07-16-15, 08:29 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by SB739 View Post
I'm 19, have my car license for almost a year now. Just can't afford the amount of hours as day to work and try to study architecture so I decided bike and bus is my best option for cost (and fitness) we spend too many hours as it is looking at screens, what better way to keep fit and save money.

Plus I do feel the kind of man and machine relationship with bikes, I mean some of the components we discuss on here might be much simpler than an engine, but they're impressive instruments which perform just as beautifully! (not sure if this last bit makes me a weirdo) haha
Good post--it kinda inspired me to start a new thread. I hope you'll take a look at it:

http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car...l#post17984575
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Old 07-30-15, 12:06 AM
  #38  
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I usually answer "because I want to become rich". People grossly underestimate how much their cars cost them.
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Old 07-30-15, 06:49 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Krieke View Post
I usually answer "because I want to become rich". People grossly underestimate how much their cars cost them.
Have you been successful at "becoming rich"? Know anybody who has "become rich" by this method?

I suppose it all depends on how you want to define "become rich", eh?

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Old 07-30-15, 08:29 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Have you been successful at "becoming rich"? Know anybody who has "become rich" by this method?

I suppose it all depends on how you want to define "become rich", eh?
What was your motivation?
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Old 07-30-15, 09:12 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
What was your motivation?
I like to bike. I find that bicycling enriches my life. Painting myself as a saint or a financial wizard is not necessary to enjoy the activity.
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Old 07-30-15, 09:59 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I like to bike. I find that bicycling enriches my life. Painting myself as a saint or a financial wizard is not necessary to enjoy the activity.
I guess it all depends on how you define "enriches"

Seriously though, if others do it for their own reasons including what they consider to socially responsible reasons or personal financial reasons, what's that to you? Why would you so relentlessly try to mock and ridicule them?
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Old 07-30-15, 10:09 AM
  #43  
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I only got a license when my wife told me I had to get before the wedding and that was 16 years ago, and at 30. When my truck got rear ended and totaled I chose not to replace. that was in 2007.
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Old 07-30-15, 10:30 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I guess it all depends on how you define "enriches"

Seriously though, if others do it for their own reasons including what they consider to socially responsible reasons or personal financial reasons, what's that to you? Why would you so relentlessly try to mock and ridicule them?
The only activity being questioned ("mocked" and "ridiculed" is your description) is self righteous bloviating by a handful of smug posters who relentlessly attempt to associate riding a bike with their own moral superiority over those who don't share their alleged "good" thoughts, goals, lifestyle and/or dreams.
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Old 07-30-15, 11:44 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
The only activity being questioned ("mocked" and "ridiculed" is your description) is self righteous bloviating by a handful of smug posters who relentlessly attempt to associate riding a bike with their own moral superiority over those who don't share their alleged "good" thoughts, goals, lifestyle and/or dreams.
It may be just a lack of perception on my part, but I actually just see a bunch of people responding on topic this thread talking about their own motivations (except you, of course, as usual, in your first post). Can you point out the self-righteous bloviating (by others)?
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Old 07-30-15, 12:28 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
It may be just a lack of perception on my part, but I actually just see a bunch of people responding on topic this thread talking about their own motivations (except you, of course, as usual, in your first post). Can you point out the self-righteous bloviating (by others)?
Can I? Yes.
Will I? No; two reasons, forum guidelines and sensitive souls who are easily "insulted" when their opinions are criticized and anxious to report such injuries. Of course you know that already.

I think you are perceptive enough to figure out all by yourself who can wear the label, even if he/she/they are uncomfortable with the perfect fit.
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Old 07-30-15, 12:40 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Can I? Yes.
Will I? No; two reasons, forum guidelines and sensitive souls who are easily "insulted" when their opinions are criticized and anxious to report such injuries.
So you can call people all kinds of rude names without having to take any responsibility for it. Sweet deal!
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Old 07-30-15, 01:19 PM
  #48  
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A gentle reminder from the OP--this thread is about people's own personal reasons for becoming carfree or carlight. Different people will have different reasons, but all reasons are valid.

I hope we can all work together to ensure that people will feel comfortable enough to share some information about themselves. I've found the thread to be very interesting, almost entirely. I hope it can continue. It's fun to find out how much we have in common, but also how many different reasons there are for reducing/eliminating car usage.

Thanks to everybody who is keeping it nice!
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Old 07-30-15, 01:37 PM
  #49  
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Good point!

I was probably more motivated by a combination of health, enjoyment and financial reasons. Our first house was right on the subway line and it was easier to get to work by subway than car or bike.

When we bought the next new house and a new car, I had intended to still use the subway, but it was slightly less convenient than before, and before I got around to selling the old car, I found myself driving it to work fairly often as it was always "there" ready to go. However, I soon found I was a bit prone to road-not-quite-rage, cursing and muttering to myself about all the other drivers getting in my way, and kind of annoyed or stressed at the end of my commute. Plus we had big mortgage payments, a second child, I didn't have as much time or energy for hockey or squash and was getting out of shape, and the old car was at the end of its useful life, so it wasn't working out well.

Then we had a short transit strike, and traffic was even worse, so I tested out biking to work and it made me so much happier than driving that I immediately ditched the second car. I started alternating between cycling and transit in 1992 and I'm still doing it - about 70% biking and 30% transit, mostly on icy or very heavy rain days.

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Old 07-30-15, 02:19 PM
  #50  
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I live in Montreal with buses, subways next to my door. When I need a car, car-sharing service is there. Bicycling to work help me relax and avoid subway crowd.
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