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Travelling, Holidays, Vacations -- Car Light or Car Free

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Travelling, Holidays, Vacations -- Car Light or Car Free

Old 02-10-16, 07:04 PM
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Travelling, Holidays, Vacations -- Car Light or Car Free

There is an older thread on this topic, but I thought I would start a new one for us all to talk about our car light or car free travels and holidays.

Where have you gone?
What have you done?
What are some of the challenges you've overcome?
Are you still working on some solutions?
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Old 02-10-16, 07:09 PM
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We're back from a short tour. A short multi-modal credit-card hub-and-spoke tour that included planes, trains and automobiles ... and buses, cycling and walking!

Thursday 4 February we drove to the airport and parked the van. That was the last bit of driving we did until we returned. We unloaded our 'one piece of checked luggage' each ... our Bike Fridays neatly and compactly folded into suitcases. The first leg of the journey was a flight to Melbourne and a shuttle van to the hotel.

We usually select a hotel right at the Melbourne airport, but I thought I'd check around to see if there were other options, and found one. The two were about the same price, but the determining factor was dinner. The hotel at the airport offered us McDonalds or possibly a cafe in the airport, if any were still open by the time we got there. Not particularly appealing. The other hotel offered an all-you-can-eat buffet for a decent price ... and it was definitely the right choice. Delicious!


The next morning we caught the shuttle bus back to the airport, and then caught the Sky Bus (https://www.skybus.com.au/) to the Southern Cross station.

We were booked onto a direct train between Melbourne and Warrnambool, but unfortunately they've been doing work with the trains and so we were informed that the train would take us to Geelong, but there we would have to transfer to a coach. Inconvenient ... but free! Yes, the trip between Melbourne and Warrnambool was free because of this inconvenience!

Up till now we had been pleased with our method of transporting our bicycles ... neatly and compactly folded into suitcases. We had no issues getting them onto the plane, into the shuttle van, into the hotel, or onto the Sky Bus. No extra charges. No raised eyebrows. No heavy sighs. No refusals. But when we were informed of this change of plans to the train portion of our journey, we were immensely pleased with our decision to use our Bike Fridays!! If we had full-sized bicycles there's a really good chance we would not have gotten them onto the coach in Geelong.

The train portion of the trip was lovely ... the coach, not so much. Very crowded. They had to run at least three coaches to fit everyone in! But we got there in the end and acquired a taxi to our caravan park. Again, it was good to have the Bike Fridays because the suitcases easily fit into the boot of the taxi.

Once settled in our cabin, we walked to the nearby shopping area for dinner.


Saturday, Rowan built up our Bike Fridays so we could ride ... 45.02 km in total. Our first journey was a mission to find breakfast ... not as easy as we had anticipated and we had already logged about 10 km before we finally found a place.

Then we decided to explore the city ... up and down some of the roads and checking out the cycling paths.

"The Promenade links the historic breakwater to Logans Beach. The sealed pathway starts with great views at the 1890 Breakwater, passes Lake Pertobe, follows around Lady Bay (it can be tempting to divert to the beach), crosses the mouth of the Hopkins River estuary, and ends at the whale nursery at Logans Beach. The path is suitable for all forms of wheeled transport including bikes, rollerblades, wheelchairs and pushers."

Visit Warrnambool | Bike & Walking Trails

I really liked the Promenade ... mostly because of the proximity of the beach and the ocean. It was beautiful!

We decided to take in dinner and a show that evening at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village: Flagstaff Hill | Home Page ... the Shipwrecked Sound and Lasar Show ... and of course we cycled there and back after the show. Dinner was good, the show was really good, and the ride home in the dark was lovely.


On Sunday we decided to take on the Warrnambool to Port Fairy Rail Trail ... 84.7 km in total. Victoria has a number of lovely rail trails, and we've ridden several of them. We had ridden some of this trail a number of years ago, and it was not particularly brilliant then, but I had read that they had made some improvements so we wanted to see.

https://www.railtrails.org.au/trail?view=trail&id=160
Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail

The first part of our journey was along the Promenade, mentioned above. That was nice. Then we headed out of town on a path of finely crushed quartz dotted with boardwalk bridges here and there as we made our way through marshy land. We enjoyed that part as well. The path was decent and we could watch the herons and ibis and other birds.

But then, we were plunked onto a fairly rough gravel road and it wasn't long before we were longing for paved roads again. Thankfully, we got to a paved lane after a few kilometres, and we opted to stick with the road the rest of the way to Port Fairy. We figured it would take us forever to get there if we returned to the gravel path and we were getting hungry!

Port Fairy is a favourite location of ours and we've been there several times. We would have liked to stay in Port Fairy this time too, but the logistics were a bit difficult. However, we checked out the beach and then cycled to our favourite fish and chips place. Sadly it closes for a while between lunch and dinner and we weren't prepared to wait 2 hours for it to open again. So we found another cafe ... and discovered that a monument to Graham Woodrup (well known in the cycling community in Australia) had been removed!! There had been some construction in the area, so we hope it will be replaced.
Graham Woodrup | Monument Australia

Feeling more energetic, we decided to take the rail trail back to Warrnambool. It is paved in Port Fairy now, but the moment it leaves Port Fairy it turns to crushed limestone ... a bit rough, but not too bad. And it was definitely an improvement over what it had been a few years ago. A few years ago, it was a narrow overgrown path, but now it is quite wide and fairly well groomed. There were several cyclists using it as well, so that was good to see. It is a gradual climb all the way to Koroit plus a slightly steeper bit on the other side of Koroit before the descent into Warrnambool.

Just before we reached Koroit, Rowan flatted and had to change his tube. We suspect that the replacement tube may have been mislabelled because it was a lot larger than what we expected. Bike Fridays take 20-inch tubes, and we have a suspicion that tube may have been a 24-inch tube. Nevertheless, Rowan stuffed it in and we got going again.

The trail is paved through Koroit, and then returns to crushed limestone again. About 10 km from Warrnambool, we intersected a paved road ... and decided to take the road back to Warrnambool. We had had enough of gravel. That last 10 km was much quicker, and we arrived back at our caravan park in time to freshen up a bit and then cycle into town to one of the Mexican restaurants for dinner.


On Monday we decided to cycle the other direction and check out a tourist attraction which we've seen from a distance before and was recommended to us again this time ... Allansford Cheese World: Allansford Cheese World - Warrnambool Our impression was a bit different from reality. Somehow I envisioned a whole lot more cheese ... or perhaps a variety of dairy products. Unfortunately the place has seen better days and was more or less a run-of-the-mill cafe and gift shop.

However, we ended up spending a bit of time there because Rowan flatted again, and this time it was because of the size of that tube, we suspect. He patched it, but because we didn't feel entirely comfortable with how well it was going to hold up, plus because time was getting on, we decided to return to Warrnambool via the Hopkins Training Route ... a cycling route so popular it is actually signed. I'll post a photo of the sign soon.

Back in Warrnambool we went to a different Mexican place for dinner ... which, incidentally, I've just discovered, has recently opened in Hobart too!! Then we cycled around town a bit in the evening because it was so nice out. 51 km in total. And actually Rowan had cycled a couple extra kilometres getting some supplies in the morning.


Tuesday was our last day so we did a short ride out to a bicycle shop, which didn't have much of interest, and then to the beach, and finally for fish and chips. 13.75 km in total. We packed the Bike Fridays back into the suitcases, and the process only took 1 hour!

Then it was a taxi back to the train station, where we were able to check our bags in, and then we were free to walk around town until the train arrived. The train was delayed half an hour because of some difficulties with one of the carriages, but fortunately, we had a train all the way back to Melbourne, and it was a lovely trip. Very comfortable and relaxing ... we do like trains. I even saw a kangaroo hopping along the track. I was hoping to see one. Tasmania has lots of different "hoppies" but no kangaroos. The biggest here is a wallaby.

We arrived in Melbourne quite late, but had a hotel right next to the station, within easy walking distance. We weren't sure what it would be like, but it turned out to be quite nice.

This morning, we were able to put our baggage into storage while we roamed Melbourne for a few hours on foot. Breakfast by the Yarra River. Exploring Federation Square. Checking out the shops along the Bourke Street Mall: Bourke Street. Listening to street performers, including a talented concert pianist.

Back at the hotel, we collected our bags, and walked up to Southern Cross station to catch the Sky Bus back to the Airport ... and from there, it was a quick hop over to Tasmania. Home again.


Six days of no driving, but a whole bunch of other methods of transportation, including 194.47 km of cycling + 11.5 km of walking. And 4 of those days were just cycling and walking.

We were very pleased with the comfort of our Bike Fridays, and the convenience of being able to pack them into ordinary suitcases.


Just a few photos so far, but there will be more: https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...12198466/page5 ... the last few on that page, but the other photos in that album are from previous trips to that area.

Photos so far ...










Last edited by Machka; 02-11-16 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 02-11-16, 01:28 AM
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I'm glad you had fun on your trip.

One time, touring in Europe. I stopped in Venice and then took the train to Calais. Only my bicycle got shipped to Boulogne. I waited a week for it to arrive in Calais, but the SNCF could not tell me where it was. So I finally went on. It wasn't until I had been back for several months that anyone told me where my bike was. I had a friend who worked for an import/export company and she tried for six months to get the bike back and then advised me to give up.

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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 02-11-16, 02:03 PM
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I guess that ended up a bike light/bike free holiday...
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Old 02-11-16, 06:29 PM
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Is anyone here planning a car-light or car-free holiday this year? Or even just a long weekend away?
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Old 02-15-16, 06:55 PM
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Lots more photos ... including some of the rail trail I mentioned earlier ...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...12198466/page6
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Old 02-15-16, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
I guess that ended up a bike light/bike free holiday...
Yeah, after that, I took the train up to Copenhagen and then got invited to stay in Stockholm by a Swedish lady. That was fun.
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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 02-16-16, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Is anyone here planning a car-light or car-free holiday this year? Or even just a long weekend away?
I just got my invitation to my niece's wedding in Davis. I'm going to do my usual thing and ride there. My last trip down my wife and I rode our tandem on the coast. She hates riding in traffic situations, since there's always pinch-points, so we did a lot of night riding (we both love riding at night). However, there's only so much darkness before the motorists wake up. This year, I'm going to explore some inland routes and see how it goes. It might not be exactly the route I'll use when my wife joins me since I'm going to stop over in Medford to see a sister and my mom on the way. The Medford area is a notoriously lousy place to ride, but I haven't seen them in over a year so I'll put up with it.

Unfortunately, this little down-and-back, probably about 1500 miles round-trip, will likely be the last ride of any distance for me until September or October. I've got a huge time-sensitive project that will start in June and totally consume me until Fall. I hope to sneak in a couple hundred miles of riding each week, but there will be some weeks that doesn't happen.
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Old 02-16-16, 10:33 AM
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The wife and I are planning to ride from the top of Vancouver Island to the bottom this year, maybe some other Islands around there. Probably doesn't qualify as car light, maybe not even as a bicycle trip as we have E-Assist bikes and a truck with a camper to stay in...
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Old 02-16-16, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
The wife and I are planning to ride from the top of Vancouver Island to the bottom this year, maybe some other Islands around there. Probably doesn't qualify as car light, maybe not even as a bicycle trip as we have E-Assist bikes and a truck with a camper to stay in...
Sure it qualifies as a car light holiday/vacation; you and the wife won't be driving in a car 100% of the time will you?

Doncha know that every minute spent outside of you motor vehicle is a credit to your car light status?

Any/every holiday, vacation or any other activity that occurs while not actually behind the driving wheel qualifies as a car light activity by a car light person and suitable for posting on this this so-called Car Free Living list.
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Old 02-16-16, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
The wife and I are planning to ride from the top of Vancouver Island to the bottom this year, maybe some other Islands around there. Probably doesn't qualify as car light, maybe not even as a bicycle trip as we have E-Assist bikes and a truck with a camper to stay in...
Who's driving the truck?
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Old 02-16-16, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Who's driving the truck?
We switch, 1Hr on 1 Hr off riding the bikes or driving the truck...
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Old 02-16-16, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Sure it qualifies as a car light holiday/vacation; you and the wife won't be driving in a car 100% of the time will you?

Doncha know that every minute spent outside of you motor vehicle is a credit to your car light status?

Any/every holiday, vacation or any other activity that occurs while not actually behind the driving wheel qualifies as a car light activity by a car light person and suitable for posting on this this so-called Car Free Living list.
That's just it... The truck does end up being used 100% of the time so... Even tho I would still travel 1/2 of the trip by bicycle I suspect as a car light holiday/trip it may not qualify?
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Old 02-16-16, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
That's just it... The truck does end up being used 100% of the time so... Even tho I would still travel 1/2 of the trip by bicycle I suspect as a car light holiday/trip it may not qualify?
On this list, any activity "qualifies" as a so-called car free activity, just as long as it doesn't take place in a moving car/truck. Doesn't matter how much driving is involved before or after the car free activity. Not having your hands occupied with a steering wheel frees you to take umpteen pictures of your car free activities to post on this list.
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Old 02-16-16, 09:15 PM
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@I-Like-To-Bike ... have you taken a holiday recently, especially one without the use of an individual motorised method of transportation? Sounds like you need one! You might want to pencil one into your busy schedule.

Then come back and tell us all about it.
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Old 02-16-16, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
@I-Like-To-Bike ... have you taken a holiday recently, especially one without the use of an individual motorised method of transportation? Sounds like you need one! You might want to pencil one into your busy schedule.

Then come back and tell us all about it.
When I want to tell everyone on the Internet about my routine activities or holidays, or post family pictures I will post them on Facebook.
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Old 02-16-16, 09:49 PM
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Last summer went to San Miguel Island in the Azores. Got off the airplane in Ponta Delgada, walked to the downtown and rented 2 road bikes at a reputable bike shop (Specialized Allez). Loaded up the bikes and biked 10 miles to the rental apartment in nearby town. Spent the vacation between biking and perusing local buses. Saw the entire island. If you love hills, you will love biking on San Miguel :-) I did not count on that. It built character and in the end it was totally awesome.

We live close to the ocean. 2 years ago we mapped out all the islands that could be biked for reasonable mileage. We ended up planning weekends to take the ferry to an island and circumnavigating it, sometimes choosing to spending the night. Good Time.
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Old 02-16-16, 10:16 PM
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There is an opportunity for this fail yet, but I'm still planning on making it happen somehow: Annual camping weekend in Ohio. Fly into Columbus with bike, bike to campground ( about 60 miles up the Ohio to Erie Trail) and spend a long weekend camping with friends and family. Then back on the Ohio to Erie trail for two days to get to Cleveland. Catch the train to Pittsburg (Roll on bike service, so I won't even have to box the bike). Take the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal trails to Washington, DC over the course of about a week. Train home from DC.
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Old 02-16-16, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
When I want to tell everyone on the Internet about my routine activities or holidays, or post family pictures I will post them on Facebook.
OK then, I guess we won't be hearing any more from you in this thread.
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Old 02-17-16, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Where have you gone?
What have you done?
What are some of the challenges you've overcome?
Are you still working on some solutions?
The NJ seashore last summer. A week at the beach. Without a car. First time 100% car free (other than a taxi to & back from the bus terminal). Relied on my two feet the rest of the time there. Either walking or biking. Challenges included planning & co-ordinating transport to and from home and the vacation cottage, Trash collection (usually would just take left over trash with me in the trunk of the car), getting groceries (made smaller, more trips instead of one big grocery trip), and......that's pretty much it. Oh, I forgot, planning & packing stuff for the vacation to fit one backback. And the kitties unfortunately have to stay home.

I'd like to set up an attachment to my bike for the dolly I've got to transport my boats, but that's not really a priority at this point in my life.
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Old 02-17-16, 01:15 AM
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One girlfriend and I took a week's trip up from Los Angeles and spent New Year's Eve in Solvang. We took the train from L.A. to Oxnard, got off and rode our bikes up into the Mountains and camped at a campground at the top of the pass. Turned out that the local teens regarded that campground as a lover's lane. But it was good we stayed there. That night, below us, there was a major storm. With a push of our bikes, we coasted down in the morning into the small town of Ojai.(pronounced Oh, hi) After a great breakfast, we pedaled on to Santa Barbara along the Coast Highway. In Santa Barbara, we spent the night at my Mom's. Then we climbed into the mountains over San Marcos Pass and down to Solvang. Solvang is a tourist destination that trades on their Danish origin. But, no one spends New Year's Eve there. They roll up the sidewalks early. So we had a nice cozy evening in a hotel. On New Year's Day we headed back to Santa Barbara and then took the train back to L.A.
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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 02-17-16, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I just got my invitation to my niece's wedding in Davis. I'm going to do my usual thing and ride there. My last trip down my wife and I rode our tandem on the coast. She hates riding in traffic situations, since there's always pinch-points, so we did a lot of night riding (we both love riding at night). However, there's only so much darkness before the motorists wake up. This year, I'm going to explore some inland routes and see how it goes. It might not be exactly the route I'll use when my wife joins me since I'm going to stop over in Medford to see a sister and my mom on the way. The Medford area is a notoriously lousy place to ride, but I haven't seen them in over a year so I'll put up with it.

Unfortunately, this little down-and-back, probably about 1500 miles round-trip, will likely be the last ride of any distance for me until September or October. I've got a huge time-sensitive project that will start in June and totally consume me until Fall. I hope to sneak in a couple hundred miles of riding each week, but there will be some weeks that doesn't happen.

Sounds like it will be a good ride!

I'm with your wife ... I'm not fond of riding in traffic situations either.
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Old 02-17-16, 06:23 AM
  #23  
Jim from Boston
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Travelling, Holidays, Vacations -- Car Light or Car Free

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
There is an older thread on this topic, but I thought I would start a new one for us all to talk about our car light or car free travels and holidays.

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
On this list, any activity "qualifies" as a so-called car free activity, just as long as it doesn't take place in a moving car/truck. Doesn't matter how much driving is involved before or after the car free activity. Not having your hands occupied with a steering wheel frees you to take umpteen pictures of your car free activities to post on this list.
So if I drive about 600 miles to an organized cycling weekend, and for two days drive fifty miles one-way from motel to and from the Ride, and then 600 miles home, that counts?

Pictures available on request, though my cycling companion who drove about 1000 miles one-way took better ones. He stayed on site.

Actually though, @Machka, I'm fortunate that nearly all my cycling is excellent just outside my door. For me, driving to a venue just subtracts cycling time from my busy life. Most of my vacation cycling though is secondary to a long car drive, mostly 700+ miles to visit family in Michigan, but at least I can (usually) bring my own bike.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-17-16 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 02-17-16, 07:44 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Travelling, Holidays, Vacations -- Car Light or Car Free


So if I drive about 600 miles to an organized cycling weekend, and for two days drive fifty miles one-way from motel to and from the Ride, and then 600 miles home, that counts?
Sure it does, anything and everything is a car light/car free activity if someone on LCF chooses to post about it on this list. Read what gets posted, repeatedly, on LCF. Makes for good "neutral" filler on this list amongst the political rants, economic theorizing, and counter-cultural snark.

Not driving to every and all destinations, or occasionally going for a walk or bike ride appears to be the only difference between a "car light" person and everybody/anybody else who also owns/drives their car and doesn't attach that label to themselves or their activities.
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Old 02-17-16, 08:53 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Sure it does, anything and everything is a car light/car free activity if someone on LCF chooses to post about it on this list. Read what gets posted, repeatedly, on LCF. Makes for good "neutral" filler on this list amongst the political rants, economic theorizing, and counter-cultural snark.
You're free to start threads on what interests you. And if nothing in this forum interests you, there are a number of other forums which might suit your needs.
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