Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Living Car Free
Reload this Page >

PFP: Car-bike balance in small towns and rural areas

Notices
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.

PFP: Car-bike balance in small towns and rural areas

Old 10-25-16, 03:36 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lively or Not's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: NE Oklahoma (*really* NE)
Posts: 108

Bikes: 1985 Raleigh Portage, 1976 Araya commuter (yes, they make frames)

Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
PFP: Car-bike balance in small towns and rural areas

This is a serious thread and a conversational experiment. PFP in the title means "politics-free, please." Let's see what happens....

I live in an isolated town of 13,000 people. The nearest city and bike shop is 30 miles away. I drive a car. I also own two bikes. I bike to work and for routine errands (groceries, drug store, library, etc.). I happily don rain pants and use waterproof panniers during downpours. If it's extraordinarily windy or icy, or if I need to get the bike worked on, I drive. If I feel under the weather I drive. I don't often travel, but most of my old friends live far away, so fun get-togethers means driving. OTOH, last weekend I did an 80-mile, 2-day unsupported bikepacking tour beginning at home; no car required!

This is my current car-bike balance. It works for me, and it makes me happy.

I'd like to hear about other car-driving people who don't live in or near cities or towns having transit options. What car-bike balance do you keep? Are you happy with it? What limits have you found to your bike-centric aspirations? What unexpected life hacks have you stumbled across that expanded your bicycling horizons? PFP, please and thank you.
Lively or Not is offline  
Old 10-25-16, 03:49 PM
  #2  
What happened?
 
Rollfast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
Posts: 7,927

Bikes: 3 Rollfasts, 3 Schwinns, a Shelby and a Higgins Flightliner in a pear tree!

Liked 292 Times in 255 Posts
As I always say, I can't ride a bike 40 miles on the interstate one way to see my dead and dying relatives. The speed limit is 80 mph most of the way and it's not safe (or apparently legal). The rumble strip on the shoulder makes it harder too.


Sometimes you at least want a small motorcycle. The entertainment of choice was always 7 miles away in the next town, traveling on a heavily traveled set of roads or a lonely highway going in the back way, both having bridges over the main river.


I would love to have some kind of highway capable motor vehicle for that reason. I still assert that LCF is more of a circumstance than a choice. I don't mind living with only bikes so much, but my social life is thin.
__________________
I don't know nothing, and I memorized it in school and got this here paper I'm proud of to show it.
Rollfast is offline  
Old 10-25-16, 04:10 PM
  #3  
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,880

Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others

Liked 117 Times in 92 Posts
I don't live in a rural area but I consult in rural areas about 10% of the time, so my experience only partially applies. I stay at a hotel near the jobsite and walk back and forth most of the time. At my most common gig, there are suburban malls on the route so I can shop if I need to on foot. However for some sites it's not possible to avoid car use and so like almost every other person aspiring to be car-free or car-light, I use a car when I have to, and try not to when I don't have to.

By the way, in reference to another thread where you talked about people being critical of others for not doing it "the proper way", I don't think you have anything to worry about!

Do you live right in the historic old town (if that applies), or more on the periphery? Are there other family members? Do those factors affect your car-bike balance? Eg. my wife doesn't bike and prefers to use a car so I "have to" use a car if I go anywhere with her.

Last edited by cooker; 10-25-16 at 04:16 PM.
cooker is offline  
Old 10-25-16, 04:30 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Mobile 155's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex
Posts: 5,058

Bikes: 2013 Haro FL Comp 29er MTB.

Likes: 0
Liked 45 Times in 35 Posts
I moved from a town even smaller than yours. I now live just outside of a small town of about 100,000. To me it is close to the perfect size and i live a perfect distance to down town. I guess I live between a suburb and an rural area. However living in Southern California cycling is pretty easy. I am about 60 percent bicycle and 40 percent car at this point and I am at the age that it seems about perfect.

If I want I can ride to the mountains and have lunch with friends, 4000 feet of climbing over 16 miles. Or to the beach, about 65 miles one way and pretty flat. But like some others my wife doesn't ride at all for health reasons. So if we are going together we drive.

I have lived in big cities and small towns and i have found that this size town is about perfect for my cycling interests.
Mobile 155 is offline  
Old 10-25-16, 07:29 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
badger1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 5,197
Liked 1,273 Times in 648 Posts
Excellent new thread, LorN.

I am not currently in this position, living as I do in a mid-size city. However, 'retirement' (such as it will be) looms in 3-4 years, and we then will be making a decision as to where to live -- it won't be 'here'.

Our most likely candidate is my home region of southeastern Vancouver Island (on the Wet Coast of Canada). My own homesickness aside, that choice is as well deliberately shaped by my desire to live as LCL as possible. We (Ms. Badger and I) will never live CF; Ms. Badger cannot cycle (like Mobile 155's spouse, Ms. Badger cannot as a result of chronic health problems) and so we will always run one (but only one) car.

The region's major town is only 7500 or so pop., but the area enables comfortable year-round cycling, and is very compact. The region is a valley, home to a rich and growing small-scale agricultural industry -- inspired by and heavily involved in the Slow Food movement. Organic produce, breads, local wines, fish (genuinely 'wild caught') and dairy are available -- again, year-round -- and the vendors are easily accessible by bike, whether at the main Farmers' Market on Saturdays or at their farms etc. in the countryside on weekdays.

One can live in this region, on the ocean as we intend to do, and still reach either of the two major cities on the Island easily either by bike (me), or by car (the two of us). For me there is also the added bonus of being able to indulge my love of mountainbiking -- and 'nature' generally. There are world-class (not an overstatement) trails 5-10 minutes riding away from my sister's front door, for example -- trails that are designed to accommodate all levels of cyclist, even geriatric fossils like me who have no 'mad skilz' at all, but just want to ride in the dirt, watch the birdies and do the occasional 2" bunny-hop. Added bonus: I will not -- ever -- have to violate my self-imposed rule of 'never driving to ride'.

So, I imagine having two bikes: the first will be a lightish one set up primarily for road (what I have now), and able to take racks etc. as needed; the other an mtb.

Unlike Mobile 155 I'd say I'm about 40% bike/60% car right now when it comes to transportation/shopping etc. I am hoping to shift that balance considerably post-retirement in favour of cycling.

All a dream at this point, of course, but one we (Ms. Badger and I) are actively working toward.
badger1 is offline  
Old 10-25-16, 10:19 PM
  #6  
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,880

Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others

Liked 117 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by badger1
Excellent new thread, LorN.

I am not currently in this position, living as I do in a mid-size city. However, 'retirement' (such as it will be) looms in 3-4 years, and we then will be making a decision as to where to live -- it won't be 'here'.

Our most likely candidate is my home region of southeastern Vancouver Island (on the Wet Coast of Canada). My own homesickness aside, that choice is as well deliberately shaped by my desire to live as LCL as possible. We (Ms. Badger and I) will never live CF; Ms. Badger cannot cycle (like Mobile 155's spouse, Ms. Badger cannot as a result of chronic health problems) and so we will always run one (but only one) car.

The region's major town is only 7500 or so pop., but the area enables comfortable year-round cycling, and is very compact. The region is a valley, home to a rich and growing small-scale agricultural industry -- inspired by and heavily involved in the Slow Food movement. Organic produce, breads, local wines, fish (genuinely 'wild caught') and dairy are available -- again, year-round -- and the vendors are easily accessible by bike, whether at the main Farmers' Market on Saturdays or at their farms etc. in the countryside on weekdays.

One can live in this region, on the ocean as we intend to do, and still reach either of the two major cities on the Island easily either by bike (me), or by car (the two of us). For me there is also the added bonus of being able to indulge my love of mountainbiking -- and 'nature' generally. There are world-class (not an overstatement) trails 5-10 minutes riding away from my sister's front door, for example -- trails that are designed to accommodate all levels of cyclist, even geriatric fossils like me who have no 'mad skilz' at all, but just want to ride in the dirt, watch the birdies and do the occasional 2" bunny-hop. Added bonus: I will not -- ever -- have to violate my self-imposed rule of 'never driving to ride'.

So, I imagine having two bikes: the first will be a lightish one set up primarily for road (what I have now), and able to take racks etc. as needed; the other an mtb.

Unlike Mobile 155 I'd say I'm about 40% bike/60% car right now when it comes to transportation/shopping etc. I am hoping to shift that balance considerably post-retirement in favour of cycling.

All a dream at this point, of course, but one we (Ms. Badger and I) are actively working toward.
Will you have good access to health care?
cooker is offline  
Old 10-26-16, 05:17 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
badger1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 5,197
Liked 1,273 Times in 648 Posts
Originally Posted by cooker
Will you have good access to health care?
Yes -- we've thought about that quite a bit, cooker, as one must. Pretty much as here in Ontario. The valley's regional hospital is excellent, and about 10 - 15 minutes from anywhere we'd be likely to live. Although the city's permanent pop. is still around 7500, the Regional serves a population closer to 30,000 and there are much larger teaching hospitals in Victoria -- no more than 40 minutes away by car/ambulance. Finding a gp would not be an issue for us.

Last edited by badger1; 10-26-16 at 06:16 AM.
badger1 is offline  
Old 10-27-16, 09:33 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Mobile 155's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex
Posts: 5,058

Bikes: 2013 Haro FL Comp 29er MTB.

Likes: 0
Liked 45 Times in 35 Posts
I think I should add that being retired has made It easier to use my bikes more than my car. That and living in area where weather is not a restricting factor.
Mobile 155 is offline  
Old 10-27-16, 09:01 PM
  #9  
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,880

Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others

Liked 117 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by Mobile 155
I think I should add that being retired has made It easier to use my bikes more than my car.
I think that is a very good point. I think most people who live or aspire to live car-free in a rural area are going to find getting to work to be the biggest barrier or challenge. There's another thread going on about how far people live from a grocery store, and even in your semi-rural area you actually live pretty close to several food options; and we learned from an old thread on "food deserts" that most people in America actually live within 2 miles of groceries, even if some don't live within one mile of groceries (the definition of a food desert).

So if you have a way to get to work without a car, or don't need to, that's a good first step towards living car-light or even car-free, wherever you are. Luckily for the OP, even though he lives in a pretty small town, he can still bike to work.

Last edited by cooker; 10-27-16 at 09:35 PM.
cooker is offline  
Old 10-28-16, 09:32 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
mconlonx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,558
Liked 134 Times in 92 Posts
I live in a semi-rural area -- since the 80s, with the exception of a brief 1-yr stint in Boston, I've lived in the Seacoast ME/NH area of Southern ME, in towns ranging from 7500-14000. The nearest bigger towns or small cities (40k-60k) were anywhere from 3-17 mi away.

For a series of years, I was more home-focused, with little activity outside the house besides work. Which facilitated a car-lite lifestyle and a bulk of bike-commuting. During this time, grocery store was 3 mi away, work was either a 34 or 38 mi commute depending on the job. We were car lite because my partner at the time was not big into biking and didn't want to be -- she would cycle recreationally, sometimes commuted into work on a tandem, but was not buying into an LCF lifestyle. Even when I got a job nearly 50 mi away, I still did mainly a bike-bus-bike commute: 7 mi to the bus station, 40 mi by bus, 3 to work.

That relationship fell apart and I started van-dwelling, which by definition is nearly the polar opposite of LCF. But I would routinely do a hybrid drive-bus-bike commute.

And then I stopped drinking and got into recovery. And yoga. In order to fit AA meetings and an Intensive Outpatient Program into my work/commute schedule along with Bikram yoga 4-7 days/wk, something had to give, and that something ended up being bike commuting, and a bike-heavy lifestyle.

The van died, I moved into a primitive shack in the woods I built, and got a car. So even though I was driving, ecologically speaking I still enjoyed a fairly small-footprint lifestyle.

Things changed once again, and did not get less hectic, so I am once again in a relationship, living a traditional USA lifestyle, with a car.

By contrast, if all this went down within a more urban setting, I could have got along car free, regardless of situation. But living in a semi-rural area, there's more to consider about transportation than just the economics of driving and environmental aspects -- it's a timing and schedule issue as well.
mconlonx is offline  
Old 10-28-16, 10:36 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
winston63's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 707

Bikes: Specialized Diverge E5 Comp, Specialized AWOL Comp, Scott Solace 10

Liked 27 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by badger1
Yes -- we've thought about that quite a bit, cooker, as one must. Pretty much as here in Ontario. The valley's regional hospital is excellent, and about 10 - 15 minutes from anywhere we'd be likely to live. Although the city's permanent pop. is still around 7500, the Regional serves a population closer to 30,000 and there are much larger teaching hospitals in Victoria -- no more than 40 minutes away by car/ambulance. Finding a gp would not be an issue for us.
I know the area you are referring to (I live in Victoria), and I think you are making an excellent choice for retirement. A number of folks get seduced by the beauty of the Gulf Islands and plan to retire there, but that's an area that is far more isolated as far as health care is concerned and I could see difficulties in making that work well.

About the only thing that can be a problem is that the Malahat highway does sometimes close due to accidents or occasional crummy weather which leaves the valley largely cut off from Victoria (outside of the Mill Bay Ferry). But that's not a very big deal these days as the Valley has very good facilities and infrastructure, and the closure is usually fairly short-lived.

But back on topic: the area you are considering is an exceptional area for cycling and should permit you great opportunities to ride year round. Unlike some other rural areas, most drivers are used to seeing cyclists and are generally quite accommodating. I think you'll love it!
winston63 is offline  
Old 10-28-16, 12:27 PM
  #12  
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,880

Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others

Liked 117 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by winston63
But back on topic: the area you are considering is an exceptional area for cycling and should permit you great opportunities to ride year round. Unlike some other rural areas, most drivers are used to seeing cyclists and are generally quite accommodating. I think you'll love it!
i suppose I should make a note of all this too, but I'll likely stay in Ontario as all the immediate family is here.
cooker is offline  
Old 10-28-16, 01:27 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
badger1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 5,197
Liked 1,273 Times in 648 Posts
Originally Posted by winston63
I know the area you are referring to (I live in Victoria), and I think you are making an excellent choice for retirement. A number of folks get seduced by the beauty of the Gulf Islands and plan to retire there, but that's an area that is far more isolated as far as health care is concerned and I could see difficulties in making that work well.

About the only thing that can be a problem is that the Malahat highway does sometimes close due to accidents or occasional crummy weather which leaves the valley largely cut off from Victoria (outside of the Mill Bay Ferry). But that's not a very big deal these days as the Valley has very good facilities and infrastructure, and the closure is usually fairly short-lived.

But back on topic: the area you are considering is an exceptional area for cycling and should permit you great opportunities to ride year round. Unlike some other rural areas, most drivers are used to seeing cyclists and are generally quite accommodating. I think you'll love it!
Yes, I know (absolutely no snark intended!!). See my post #5 for the backstory.
I'm an Islander -- always have been/always will be, no matter where I am or end up. Simple as that!

Born in Cowichan; grew up/lived there until age 20 or so, then in Victoria the next 20 years (uni, then work) until I moved out here (SW Ontario) -- work. I've been here some 25 years, but I've always been and still am 'there', if you see what I mean.

Cheers!
badger1 is offline  
Old 10-28-16, 01:32 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
badger1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 5,197
Liked 1,273 Times in 648 Posts
Originally Posted by cooker
i suppose I should make a note of all this too, but I'll likely stay in Ontario as all the immediate family is here.
Copy that. We're in a (not unusual in N.A.?) situation where what there is of my immediate family is on the Island, while Ms. Badger's is all here. Hers is much more substantial than mine, so there is that.

I will not go against her wishes on the question of location. Fortunately repeated, sometimes extended, visits 'home' with me are slowly re-shaping her views on the matter. If we get another couple of winters like 13/14 and 14/15 in the next few years -- well, that might be a tipping point!
badger1 is offline  
Old 10-28-16, 11:42 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
3alarmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 22,997

Bikes: old ones

Liked 10,450 Times in 7,249 Posts
.
...probably the best setup I ever had in a small town environment for cycling was in Merced, California. It's a Mediterranean climate, so dry summers with some rain in the winter, but no snow or really cold weather, the town was just large enough to have a community college and a business district, but you could bike a couple of miles and be on the road passing fenced fields and meadowlarks for many miles. Mostly flat, traffic was not, IIRC all that intense.

This was in the early 1980's, so it might have changed by now, but I hardly ever started my car except to travel out of town on union business or to get over to San Francisco for a lark, or to go in the other direction to Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. I think the most important life hack for this sort of thing was learning to do all my own mechanical stuff, on both the bikes and the cars. You cannot depend on finding good repair guys for much any more....they're out there, but you just can't count on them being in your locale.
3alarmer is offline  
Old 10-29-16, 01:03 AM
  #16  
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Posts: 24,221
Liked 13 Times in 13 Posts
I think you can live totally carfree in a small town and be quite happy. That's IF you work in the town, and IF the town is at least large enough to have decent shopping, such as a Walmart, Meijer's or similar large store. Those are two big ifs, however.

I lived totally carfree in a small town (7,000 pop.) with a Walmart and a Meijers. It was idyllic. You could get anywhere in town (literally) with a 10 minute bike ride or 40 minute walk. But I worked in a city 25 miles away through horrible traffic, and that was insurmountable. I moved to the city. The other choice would have been to buy a car for the commute.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline  
Old 10-29-16, 09:11 AM
  #17  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Liked 2,492 Times in 1,287 Posts
What happens if you need to get out of your small town for whatever reason and there is no bus, no train, no car rental, no car-share ??....What if you loose your job and the next employment opportunity is 50 miles away ??...Majority of jobs in rural areas require a truck or a car...What if you need to transport some heavy bulky items and all you have is your bicycle and there is 3 feet of snow outside ??
I think living car-free in rural area is only for people who like to stay put and never go anywhere further then their own backyard and for people who don't work and are supported by somebody else...
wolfchild is offline  
Old 10-30-16, 12:54 AM
  #18  
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Posts: 24,221
Liked 13 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild
What happens if you need to get out of your small town for whatever reason and there is no bus, no train, no car rental, no car-share ??....
That's a very good question. Any thoughts on that?

What if you loose your job and the next employment opportunity is 50 miles away ??...Majority of jobs in rural areas require a truck or a car...What if you need to transport some heavy bulky items and all you have is your bicycle and there is 3 feet of snow outside ??
I think living car-free in rural area is only for people who like to stay put and never go anywhere further then their own backyard and for people who don't work and are supported by somebody else...
My own actual experience was very different from your speculation. Most small towns are somewhat connected to the larger world by some form of public transit, crappy though it may be. The small town I lived in briefly had an on-demand and also a fixed route bus that got you to the outskirts of the nearest city. From there, you could easily hook up with city bus, Greyhound, Amtrak, and the commercial airport. Or you could take your bike on the bus and ride when you got to the city.

The problemn wasn't in occasionally getting to the city (and beyond)--but it was very difficult to rely on those buses for everyday transportation, as in my case, trying to commute to work.

If all you have is your bike, you might be SOL, but that would be poor planning on your part, wouldn't it? If youinsist on using only your bike, and you refuse to use, or even learn about the available alternatives, you're not very smart when it comes to being carfree, no matter where you live.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline  
Old 10-30-16, 03:17 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,771
Liked 85 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild
What happens if you need to get out of your small town for whatever reason and there is no bus, no train, no car rental, no car-share ??....What if you loose your job and the next employment opportunity is 50 miles away ??...Majority of jobs in rural areas require a truck or a car...What if you need to transport some heavy bulky items and all you have is your bicycle and there is 3 feet of snow outside ??
I think living car-free in rural area is only for people who like to stay put and never go anywhere further then their own backyard and for people who don't work and are supported by somebody else...
Answer to the first question: Walk.

Answer to the second, is: Move. You're making the assumption that people own their residences, I think. In my case, I moved from property to property where there was free or low-rent accommodation. When I moved into town, Machka and I rented. We got asked many times if we were buying. No. That rental situation gave us the flexibility to move when the work ran out, or we wanted to go somewhere else, without the hassle of having to manage or sell a property we owned remotely, or worrying about renting it.

The jobs I had in the country didn't require me to own a truck or car at all. I spent around half of my car-ownership-free years living in that environment, admitted without family responsibilities. Nevertheless, it can be done.
Rowan is offline  
Old 10-30-16, 06:29 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lively or Not's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: NE Oklahoma (*really* NE)
Posts: 108

Bikes: 1985 Raleigh Portage, 1976 Araya commuter (yes, they make frames)

Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild
What happens if you need to get out of your small town for whatever reason and there is no bus, no train, no car rental, no car-share ??....What if you loose your job and the next employment opportunity is 50 miles away ??...Majority of jobs in rural areas require a truck or a car...What if you need to transport some heavy bulky items and all you have is your bicycle and there is 3 feet of snow outside ??
I think living car-free in rural area is only for people who like to stay put and never go anywhere further then their own backyard and for people who don't work and are supported by somebody else...
These questions strike me as really important for two reasons: first, they are legitimate and deserve serious answers; and second, because not having answers to them (or being intimidated by these issues) can be a significant barrier to entry for people who might entertain the notion of LCF. As I see it, there are many good responses to these challenges. Which answer works depends on individual circumstances, but I think for many the real answer is to keep a car hoping to drive it only rarely. Perhaps one day the car gets sold; perhaps it doesn't. If having the car is the price of admission to using a car less, I say go for it.
Lively or Not is offline  
Old 10-30-16, 06:43 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lively or Not's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: NE Oklahoma (*really* NE)
Posts: 108

Bikes: 1985 Raleigh Portage, 1976 Araya commuter (yes, they make frames)

Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by cooker
Do you live right in the historic old town (if that applies), or more on the periphery? Are there other family members? Do those factors affect your car-bike balance?
I live right in town, though it probably doesn't qualify as historic. Living in town makes a huge difference in how much I need to drive. I can get most places without a car. Right now, the biggest hinderance is my still-developing cargo system. I've got a great Blackburn office-friendly pannier I use to/from work, but my grocery pannier needs some modifications to play nice with my rack. Until I do that, my grocery/errands runs are for small quantities only. Even when that's done, though, I'll probably still need a car for when winter weather gets really serious. We don't get much snow, but ice can be a real problem in this area. My bikes are vintage (though not valuable), so tires beyond 1 3/8 are no good to me.
Lively or Not is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 01:35 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
mconlonx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,558
Liked 134 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by Rowan
The jobs I had in the country didn't require me to own a truck or car at all. I spent around half of my car-ownership-free years living in that environment, admitted without family responsibilities. Nevertheless, it can be done.
The key to LCF in a rural area is very much dependent on your circumstances and choice of lifestyle.

If you want to be a homeowner, you better have a stable job you can do from home or something along the lines of a stable, hand-me-down, successful family business you can ride out into the indefinite future.

Or maybe you inherited a house and only have to come up with real estate taxes and living expenses, which might be covered by freelance or service sector jobs. Or you live in a tent/parked van/shack/tipi -- in some alt-living arrangement or style.

Another way is to be mobile enough to move where the work is, and unencumbered enough to be able to do this CF. As Rowan outlined. It's a great way to practice non-attachment...
mconlonx is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 03:30 PM
  #23  
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,880

Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others

Liked 117 Times in 92 Posts
Originally Posted by mconlonx
The key to LCF in a rural area is very much dependent on your circumstances and choice of lifestyle.

If you want to be a homeowner, you better have a stable job you can do from home or something along the lines of a stable, hand-me-down, successful family business you can ride out into the indefinite future.

Or maybe you inherited a house and only have to come up with real estate taxes and living expenses, which might be covered by freelance or service sector jobs. Or you live in a tent/parked van/shack/tipi -- in some alt-living arrangement or style.

Another way is to be mobile enough to move where the work is, and unencumbered enough to be able to do this CF. As Rowan outlined. It's a great way to practice non-attachment...
Certainly it's possible we'll see more telecommuting and virtual reality jobs, that enable small town living. On the other hand as AI and automation continue to put people out of work it's possible rural people will be hit harder as they have fewer choices than urban people, so if an urban person loses a job and finds another a little farther away, it may still be within commuting distance, whereas if a rural person loses their work the only available job might be in another jurisdiction requiring them to travel much farther or else move.
cooker is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 03:36 PM
  #24  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,595

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,361 Times in 867 Posts
I have No Car, But I use the Shuttle van provided , to go 2 hours each way to Medical Appointments,
at the Portland Veterans Hospital.. Old, No longer Hired to do anything of value.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 06:39 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 39,267

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Liked 3,118 Times in 1,717 Posts
Since I don't see being LCF or LCL as any kind of moral issue, I make the choice purely on preference and practical considerations. These days, I'm solo in the NYC area, and living with Deb in Cozumel, so I have fewer obligations or burdens affecting my decision.

I suspect that for all but the fittest and most stubborn diehard, LCF is limited to situations where work and 90% of amenities are within 5-10 miles. This is possible in many smallish towns, and in fact what it's like in Coz, where Everything is within bike range of a few miles, and one can take a cheap (25mxn, $1.35) taxi for those occasional bulk shopping trips at Sam's.

Up here, I'd actually prefer to have kept my car, but that meant spending more than it was worth for occasional use, and outdoor storage, unused over the winter was hard on it.

I'm actually not an advocate of LCF or even LCL, but I suspect that for most who opt for that will fin that LCL makes more sense except in large cities like NYC where people were living car free long before bicycles were part of the decision.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

Just because I'm tired of arguing, doesn't mean you're right.

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.