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

What do people think about Bikenomics?

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.

What do people think about Bikenomics?

Old 11-22-16, 03:50 PM
  #1  
willydstyle
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 654
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
What do people think about Bikenomics?

I'm reading this book, about halfway through, and although I'm obviously already on board the car-free train, I think she does make persuasive arguments for why living car free in a culture that subsidizes driving is an economic and political decision.
willydstyle is offline  
Old 11-22-16, 09:39 PM
  #2  
gerv 
In the right lane
 
gerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 9,565

Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
I read this a while back and it seemed like a compendium of a lot of topics we covered here on BF...

It's interesting to view economics from a cultural catalyst like a bicycle subculture... I just read today that Sweden is thinking about paying its citizens to repair their "stuff". Which seems radical, but it also comes out of the culture of bike kitchens and co-ops where repairing recycled bicycles is a value add for the local economy.

So if you need transportation you don't reach out to China to supply the demand, but instead look for existing local resources (used bicycles... that would normally go to the landfill) and use the at-hand resource. In the long run, it's gotta add to the wealth of the community.

Now if that kind of thinking extends to the mainstream culture...
gerv is offline  
Old 11-22-16, 09:55 PM
  #3  
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,844

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

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3910 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 67 Posts
We did have a thread on it - here - but always worth revisiting the topic.
cooker is offline  
Old 11-23-16, 10:16 AM
  #4  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21,827
Mentioned: 72 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14226 Post(s)
Liked 5,273 Times in 3,002 Posts
Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
I think she does make persuasive arguments for why living car free in a culture that subsidizes driving is an economic and political decision.
Would you care to summarize these arguments for us? Or share any other ideas you found compelling?

I disagree that not using a car in the USA is inherently political or even economic. It can be, and for many in this forum it is. But this forum is not a microcosm of the country. For a lot of people, there are personal reasons that have nothing to do with anything larger. I used my bike to pick some groceries up last night when I had a car available, the reason wasn't to save money, I just wanted a bike ride. I commuted to and from work by bike until the office moved out of riding range for me; again it wasn't to save money, it was because traffic made driving times unpredictable but riding home took the same amount of time every day, which allowed me to make plans. Plus, I enjoy riding a bike.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 11-23-16, 11:36 AM
  #5  
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,844

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

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3910 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I disagree that not using a car in the USA is inherently political or even economic...I used my bike to pick some groceries up last night when I had a car available...
willydstyle, and presumably Elly Blue, referred to living car-free, rather than than not using an available car now and then, as being an economic and political decision. To me that seems pretty obvious. It's probably more economic in the majority of cases, but for people who can afford a car and opt not to have one, in some cases it may be a political decision.

Last edited by cooker; 11-23-16 at 11:48 AM.
cooker is offline  
Old 11-23-16, 11:46 AM
  #6  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21,827
Mentioned: 72 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14226 Post(s)
Liked 5,273 Times in 3,002 Posts
Car free and car light are almost the same thing. They're a slight difference in degree, not in kind. Car light is a long series of times when a person completes a task in a car free manner.

But trolls on this forum love to complain about other peoples' posts when these is not sufficiently dogmatic for their tastes, as we can see in #5.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 11-23-16, 12:01 PM
  #7  
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,844

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

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3910 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Car free and car light are almost the same thing. They're a slight difference in degree, not in kind. Car light is a long series of times when a person completes a task in a car free manner.

But trolls on this forum love to complain about other peoples' posts when these is not sufficiently dogmatic for their tastes, as we can see in #5.
You're calling me a "troll" who "complained" about your post? LOL. You disputed the OP and I was responding, somewhat in defense of the OP, both of us discussing the issues raised, completely on topic. I think there is a categorical difference between owning a car and sometimes not using it (you and me), and not owning a car by choice. In both cases, the reasons for doing so may vary, but the choice of not owning a car at all (if it is a voluntary choice), is more likely to be motivated by economic and/or political reasons, rather than just the whim of deciding to cycle instead of drive sometimes, since car ownership is so much seen as a norm in our societies.

Last edited by cooker; 11-23-16 at 02:01 PM.
cooker is offline  
Old 11-23-16, 01:47 PM
  #8  
Walter S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA. USA
Posts: 3,804

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1015 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Would you care to summarize these arguments for us? Or share any other ideas you found compelling?

I disagree that not using a car in the USA is inherently political or even economic. It can be, and for many in this forum it is. But this forum is not a microcosm of the country. For a lot of people, there are personal reasons that have nothing to do with anything larger. I used my bike to pick some groceries up last night when I had a car available, the reason wasn't to save money, I just wanted a bike ride. I commuted to and from work by bike until the office moved out of riding range for me; again it wasn't to save money, it was because traffic made driving times unpredictable but riding home took the same amount of time every day, which allowed me to make plans. Plus, I enjoy riding a bike.
I share similar feelings around enjoying a bicycle ride and how good it can be for commuting. But "a lot of people"? I work with several hundred other people. Most of them think I'm crazy. A few of the employees are "serious" rodies and ride 50 or more miles on weekends. None of them bicycle-commute. None of them even use their cycle for utility/shopping purposes with any regularity.
Walter S is offline  
Old 11-23-16, 02:33 PM
  #9  
steve-in-kville 
Warehouse Monkey
 
steve-in-kville's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,600
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 302 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Car free and car light are almost the same thing. They're a slight difference in degree, not in kind. Car light is a long series of times when a person completes a task in a car free manner.
Yes and no.

We are a one-vehicle family. I have two teenage drivers, soon three. But we make due with what we have.
__________________
'10 Specialized Hardrock
steve-in-kville is offline  
Old 11-23-16, 06:56 PM
  #10  
jon c. 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,102
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1140 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 324 Times in 179 Posts
Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
Yes and no.

We are a one-vehicle family. I have two teenage drivers, soon three.
I might guess a lot of people with teen boys live 'car light' somewhat against their own desires.
jon c. is offline  
Old 11-23-16, 07:13 PM
  #11  
1989Pre
Standard Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brunswick, Maine
Posts: 2,827

Bikes: 1948 P. Barnard & Son, 1962 Rudge Sports, 1963 Freddie Grubb Routier, 1980 Manufrance Hirondelle, 1983 F. Moser Sprint, 1989 Raleigh Technium Pre, 2001 Raleigh M80

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 720 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 13 Posts
"economic and political"? Well.., which one? I don't get O.P.'s point. Like Cooker said, some opt-out of having a car for purely economic reasons. Myself, I want clean air, less traffic and to keep the body fat off, as well as save money. I find it hard to characterize that as political.
1989Pre is offline  
Old 11-23-16, 10:52 PM
  #12  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,441

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 484 Times in 309 Posts
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Car free and car light are almost the same thing. They're a slight difference in degree, not in kind.
I beg to differ. Car ownership and car light are the same thing, period. There is a difference in the degree of driving or usage of the motorized vehicle at hand, sometimes slight, sometimes not, but neither are anything close to being car free, and neither require the significant adjustment/modification to lifestyle that may be required to live car free in the U.S., especially for families.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 11-24-16, 04:58 AM
  #13  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,148
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1144 Post(s)
Liked 262 Times in 157 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I beg to differ. Car ownership and car light are the same thing, period. There is a difference in the degree of driving or usage of the motorized vehicle at hand, sometimes slight, sometimes not, but neither are anything close to being car free, and neither require the significant adjustment/modification to lifestyle that may be required to live car free in the U.S., especially for families.
It's not clear how being car free but occasionally making use of a car, taxi or rental, is any different than being car light and occasionally making use of a car in your garage.

Isn't the ultimate goal to be more efficient in our use of resources?
gregf83 is offline  
Old 11-24-16, 06:02 AM
  #14  
Ekdog
Senior Member
 
Ekdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Seville, Spain
Posts: 4,403

Bikes: Brompton M6R, mountain bikes, Circe Omnis+ tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by willydstyle View Post
I'm reading this book, about halfway through, and although I'm obviously already on board the car-free train, I think she does make persuasive arguments for why living car free in a culture that subsidizes driving is an economic and political decision.
Yes, her arguments are persuasive, and she obviously put a lot of effort into researching the book. It's a good antidote to the pro-car crusaders who dominate this forum.

Last edited by Ekdog; 11-24-16 at 06:10 AM.
Ekdog is offline  
Old 11-24-16, 06:52 AM
  #15  
baldilocks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 426

Bikes: Giant ATX Lite & Schwinn Mesa

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 153 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Economic, I guess so. Political, no. What about the fact that we love riding a bike and going places on it is an excuse to ride. (killing to birds with one stone) Speaking of birds, Happy Thanksgiving. Concerning Trolls, that would work, butt I'd prefer an Ogre.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
ogre-14_sv_930x390.jpg (56.5 KB, 173 views)
baldilocks is offline  
Old 11-24-16, 08:13 AM
  #16  
Walter S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA. USA
Posts: 3,804

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1015 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
"economic and political"? Well.., which one? I don't get O.P.'s point. Like Cooker said, some opt-out of having a car for purely economic reasons. Myself, I want clean air, less traffic and to keep the body fat off, as well as save money. I find it hard to characterize that as political.
Clean air is where you cross into Political, at least in the minds of many.

On a personal level I'm with you. Clean air is fundamental. The problem is that achieving it is based primarily on the behavior of other people. If the air is not clean or getting dirtier then politics will be part of the solution if there is one.
Walter S is offline  
Old 11-24-16, 09:05 AM
  #17  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,441

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 484 Times in 309 Posts
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
It's not clear how being car free but occasionally making use of a car, taxi or rental, is any different than being car light and occasionally making use of a car in your garage.

Isn't the ultimate goal to be more efficient in our use of resources?
Perhaps this will clear it up.

The description of "Car light" would include the examples you provide. Judging by the use of "Car light" on this forum, it also includes those who live in a household where regular/typical use is made of that car in the garage (not necessarily occasionally) by members of the household for the benefit of the household members (commuting, shopping, vacations, transporting children to school activities, etc.) just like any other car owning household, but the poster likes to ride a bike to work or other destinations and also likes to wear the label of car light for whatever reasons that suit him or her.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 11-24-16, 03:27 PM
  #18  
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,844

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

Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3910 Post(s)
Liked 79 Times in 67 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I beg to differ. Car ownership and car light are the same thing, period. There is a difference in the degree of driving or usage of the motorized vehicle at hand, sometimes slight, sometimes not, but neither are anything close to being car free, and neither require the significant adjustment/modification to lifestyle that may be required to live car free in the U.S., especially for families.
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
it also includes those who live in a household where regular/typical use is made of that car in the garage (not necessarily occasionally) by members of the household for the benefit of the household members (commuting, shopping, vacations, transporting children to school activities, etc.) just like any other car owning household, but the poster likes to ride a bike to work or other destinations and also likes to wear the label of car light for whatever reasons that suit him or her.
Well, we are agreement that car non-ownership is different than car ownership, but not about the difference between car-light and car-heavy. Within car ownership, there is quite a large range of light versus heavy usage. In fact there are likely to be some individuals who live in a household with a car, but derive less usage or benefit from cars, than some people who don't own a car, but do use or benefit from cabs, uber and rides from others.

Of course, car-light is a relative term. It means lighter than...some hypothetical alternative. Eg. (from another thread) Dave Cutter drives 3500 miles per year, while an average American drives 12-15 thousand miles. I would say that makes him car-light.

Last edited by cooker; 11-24-16 at 04:14 PM.
cooker is offline  
Old 11-25-16, 12:05 PM
  #19  
willydstyle
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 654
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Arguments about car-light vs car-free seem pretty pointless to me. It's clear that any reduction in single-occupancy automotive use is a good thing due to less space being taken up on the roads, less oil being burned (plastics made from oil have the lowest lifetime environmental impact, making oil a manufacturing feedstock that is too important to burn), less air pollution, and a healthier population overall.

The decision to drive less or not at all is a political one because policy makers who decide how to distribute public resources pay attention to how people travel, whether you want them to or not. The fact of the matter is that in many communities there are fierce political battles waged over whether or not road space should be allocated to non-automotive users, and people who make the decision to ride in roads are also making a political statement by their very existence.

Last edited by willydstyle; 11-25-16 at 01:23 PM.
willydstyle is offline  
Old 11-26-16, 12:54 AM
  #20  
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Posts: 24,221
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 711 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
"economic and political"? Well.., which one? I don't get O.P.'s point. Like Cooker said, some opt-out of having a car for purely economic reasons. Myself, I want clean air, less traffic and to keep the body fat off, as well as save money. I find it hard to characterize that as political.
I think the "clean air" part is definitely political.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline  
Old 11-26-16, 12:59 AM
  #21  
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Posts: 24,221
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 711 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by baldilocks View Post
Economic, I guess so. Political, no. What about the fact that we love riding a bike and going places on it is an excuse to ride. (killing to birds with one stone) Speaking of birds, Happy Thanksgiving. Concerning Trolls, that would work, butt I'd prefer an Ogre.
Yes, you might be apolitical in your choice of riding more and driving less or not at all. But you might be political if you then went to a community meeting or city council meeting and expressed that you want better bicycling infrastructure, or if you advocated at a social gathering for better laws to protect cyclists from motorists.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline  
Old 11-26-16, 07:44 AM
  #22  
1989Pre
Standard Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brunswick, Maine
Posts: 2,827

Bikes: 1948 P. Barnard & Son, 1962 Rudge Sports, 1963 Freddie Grubb Routier, 1980 Manufrance Hirondelle, 1983 F. Moser Sprint, 1989 Raleigh Technium Pre, 2001 Raleigh M80

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 720 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I think the "clean air" part is definitely political.

No.., its a question of ethics, not politics.
1989Pre is offline  
Old 11-26-16, 05:24 PM
  #23  
Walter S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA. USA
Posts: 3,804

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1015 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
"Clean air" may not be political. Cleaning the air or preventing more pollution is.
Walter S is offline  
Old 11-26-16, 08:12 PM
  #24  
jon c. 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,102
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1140 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 324 Times in 179 Posts
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
It's not clear how being car free but occasionally making use of a car, taxi or rental, is any different than being car light and occasionally making use of a car in your garage.

Isn't the ultimate goal to be more efficient in our use of resources?
I suspect the majority of people who live car free do so for reasons of personal economics and convenience. For the individual who makes limited use of their car, the decision to become car free and instead utilize other modes as necessary can provide significant economic advantage. And that's the ultimate goal for many.
jon c. is offline  
Old 11-26-16, 08:18 PM
  #25  
350htrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada, PG BC
Posts: 3,820

Bikes: 27 speed ORYX with over 39,000Kms on it and another 14,000KMs with a BionX E-Assist on it

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 998 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 38 Posts
Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
"Clean air" may not be political. Cleaning the air or preventing more pollution is.
No again, It's ethics, not politics... It's actually pretty simple... Once you discard ethics then, it becomes political/or legal/or religious/or what ever you can get away with because you are powerful enough/rich enough to swing it and just do it. IMO. This is where the whole world is heading.... https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.ed625390c630

Last edited by 350htrr; 11-26-16 at 08:22 PM.
350htrr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.