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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.

Bicycle alternatives?

Old 03-07-16, 02:51 PM
  #1  
james1024
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Bicycle alternatives?

Since August I've been having to catch a ride into my local town to get to school. I did this while bringing my bike so that I'd have my own way around town. My total commute is 32 miles, though I only biked the final 3. To make the entire commute on my bike is definitely possible, but highly impractical.

I'm now in a situation where I'm catching a ride in a sedan, and can no longer bring my bike. I could buy a rack, but I'm not really all that thrilled with the prospect of buying a rack for use with someone else's car. I feel like I would get more for my money buying something that would easily fit in a car and get me around, such as a skateboard.

A skateboard is my first thought, but I'd like to know if you guys have any suggestions to make. I would consider speed to be my first criteria. With you guys also being car free, do you have any experience with not having a bike as an option?
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Old 03-07-16, 03:34 PM
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How about a folding bicycle? I love my Brompton. Although they're a bit pricey, they're great for multi-modal commuting. I take mine on the train with me every day. One would fit in the trunk of your friend's car. No problem.
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Old 03-07-16, 03:58 PM
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Why doesn't your current bike fit in the trunk? I routinely have carried mine (60cm frame) in the trunk of small sedan (Corolla). Just pop off the wheels and it fits fine and is as quick as folding a Brompton.
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Old 03-07-16, 04:01 PM
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ebike?
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Old 03-07-16, 04:10 PM
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I've heard xooter scooters are very efficient, also carryable- if a folding bike doesn't work.

Cruiser boards with the soft durometer large diameter wheels could work too. Standard skateboards with the tiny rock hard wheels are terrible for getting around.

There are also electric skateboards now, hear they have regen brakes on those. That might be the way to go for steep hills.
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Old 03-07-16, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by riva View Post
I've heard xooter scooters are very efficient, also carryable- if a folding bike doesn't work.

Cruiser boards with the soft durometer large diameter wheels could work too. Standard skateboards with the tiny rock hard wheels are terrible for getting around.

There are also electric skateboards now, hear they have regen brakes on those. That might be the way to go for steep hills.
There are a couple of folks getting around on these in my neighborhood. They look like a lot of fun. They also appear to be quite fast, but that could be partially an illusion caused by the narrow size of the body as it goes by.
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Old 03-07-16, 06:03 PM
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Inline skates. If you get a good pair you can zoom as fast as a bicycle. Doop makes some with three big wheels on each foot and these can be attached over regular sports shoes. Of course these require dry smooth roads.
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Old 03-07-16, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Why doesn't your current bike fit in the trunk? I routinely have carried mine (60cm frame) in the trunk of small sedan (Corolla). Just pop off the wheels and it fits fine and is as quick as folding a Brompton.
+1

Nashbar sells a transportation bag for $39.00 dollars! It fits full size bikes.
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Old 03-07-16, 08:32 PM
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For the distance you mentioned... (32miles round trip) About the only thing that would/could work as personal transport is an E-Assist bicycle... If your goal is to be car free/car light. IMO... As I have one, and that is a realistic alternative, depending on where you live and the road/bicycle trail set up in your area... I'm sure there are folding E-Assist bikes out there that you can also use for a dual purpose and fit in a trunk when you want/need...
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Old 03-08-16, 02:24 AM
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Walking.
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Old 03-08-16, 07:56 AM
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Thanks for the replies, guys.

I've considered a pedelec in the past, even test rode a Specialized Turbo. Nice bike, but too expensive. That and it wouldn't have saved me much time on my commute.

I think I'll play around with fitting the bike in the trunk over spring break next week. Too many tests this week. I'll probably stop by a skate shop, as well.

I'm currently walking now, but it's slow and a real pain while carrying 30 or 40 pounds worth of books on my back.
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Old 03-08-16, 09:47 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by james1024 View Post
I'm currently walking now, but it's slow and a real pain while carrying 30 or 40 pounds worth of books on my back.
You'll have plenty of stories to tell your grandchildren! (I had to walk 32 miles to school and back when I was your age!!! And with 40 pounds of books on my back! You youngins don't know how good you have it!!)
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Old 03-08-16, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by james1024 View Post
I'm currently walking now, but it's slow and a real pain while carrying 30 or 40 pounds worth of books on my back.
I wouldn't want to ride a skateboard or inline skates while carrying this much weight because of the risk of falling. I don't even like cycling with weight on my back, which is why I use a luggage rack and crate.

This thread is a good example of why more bike-shares are needed. Whenever I take the bus, I don't want to bring my bike because I'm afraid that either the bike racks on the bus will be full on one of the legs of my journey (e.g. the ride back), or if I lock my bike at the bus stop it will get stolen, damaged, or just bake in the sun all day. Of course, petitioning for a bike-share in your area isn't the most immediate solution to your problem.

For greater portability, I have thought about those kick scooters with inflatable tires and handlebars without pedals. I think the handlebars may fold down to fit the thing in a trunk and pneumatic tires are a blessing generally (except for flats). Those scooters are pretty expensive though, I think, which is strange considering they don't have half the mechanical components of a bicycle. I guess people just don't want to produce and sell things without making plenty of money.
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Old 04-01-16, 08:31 AM
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sinclairs a-bike.co.uk its basically a scooter that kinds looks like a bike and is road legal but slow at just 12 miles per hour. folds up nicely for bus travel
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Old 04-02-16, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TuckertonRR View Post
You'll have plenty of stories to tell your grandchildren! (I had to walk 32 miles to school and back when I was your age!!! And with 40 pounds of books on my back! You youngins don't know how good you have it!!)
The OP is only walking 3 miles and getting a lift the rest of the way. I would think a kick scooter like Xootr or a MicroKick Board would be better. I like this new one called the Micro Pedalflow. (I want one bad!!)

https://youtu.be/naXjjuGMM1Q
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Old 04-02-16, 11:06 PM
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I had a friend who did a long commute by joining a car pool, and putting a simple rack on the car. He pools going to work and bikes the last few miles, then rides all the way home most of the time. That combination worked well for him, and the cost of the rack paled in comparisons with his other options.

IMO 3 miles is a bit on the long side for a scooter or skateboard, and before doing that I'd buy a very basic 20" folding bike.
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Old 04-04-16, 05:19 PM
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Offer to pay for (and install and remove) the car rack and to sweeten the deal by giving him an extra 5-10 bucks per ride. Test your persuasive skills. It's your best bet.
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Old 04-05-16, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
Offer to pay for (and install and remove) the car rack and to sweeten the deal by giving him an extra 5-10 bucks per ride. Test your persuasive skills. It's your best bet.
I can't imagine thinking of 5-10 dollars "extra" (much less, total) as reasonable per commute.
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Old 04-05-16, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I can't imagine thinking of 5-10 dollars "extra" (much less, total) as reasonable per commute.
Nope.., it's probably not.
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Old 04-14-16, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
Inline skates. If you get a good pair you can zoom as fast as a bicycle. Doop makes some with three big wheels on each foot and these can be attached over regular sports shoes. Of course these require dry smooth roads.
Years ago, I used to rollerblade around the city, long before I started biking. I didn't think of them as transportation, but I definitely used them that way. And there's nothing quite like bombing down Broadway on rollerblades in the middle of the night; even doing it on a bicycle isn't quite the same.
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Old 04-15-16, 01:41 PM
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Reminds me of that song by Dire Straits. Rollergirl, she's taking chances....
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Old 03-10-17, 07:20 AM
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Me-Mover

Been riding bicycles for a long time, still, ride my Cannondale r600 triple, but wanted to try something different. I have been riding trikkes, carving similar to skiing, still wanted something closer to running. I found a scooter called a Me-Mover designed in Denmark, propelled by stepping on 2 transmissions, needs more energy to propel than a bicycle, but lots of fun. Builds aerobics quickly, gives a fast workout, I can get up to speeds close to a bicycle but working harder to do. I've done over 40 miles in a day, some athletes have gone about a century, another did a 400-mile multi-day trek in Europe. This scooter is great for runners who are injured, uses the same muscles, but with low impact, very stable, have ridden off road, over debris, broken sidewalks, can lean into turns, very maneuverable. Have done HIIT workouts with the MM, works legs and core big time. Cross training at it's best in my opinion.
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Old 03-24-17, 09:51 AM
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Assuming you're willing to make the entire 32 miles commute human powered, do some research velomobiles. It's sort of like a 1 seat car without a motor or a recumbent cycle with a covering. Best or worst of both worlds?
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Old 03-25-17, 12:40 AM
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You could leave a bike by your drop-off point if there is a good place to lock it. If it's near a bus station or train station, there might even be bike lockers you can use.

Otherwise, IMO, a folding bike is the best option mentioned so far. You seem to have kinda skipped over that excellent suggestion. For three miles, any of the aforementioned alternatives such as scooter, skates, or even walking would be very doable.
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Old 04-02-17, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by james1024 View Post
.... A skateboard is my first thought, but I'd like to know if you guys have any suggestions to make. I would consider speed to be my first criteria. With you guys also being car free, do you have any experience with not having a bike as an option?
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