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Car Free for 10 Years !!!

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.

Car Free for 10 Years !!!

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Old 07-04-18, 06:26 PM
  #1  
vja4Him
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Car Free for 10 Years !!!

I got rid of my last car (Dodge Caravan) 10 years ago, in 2008. I got an Electra Townie and rode that for around one year, then got my Surly Long Haul Trucker, which I rode from April, 2009-late 2017. Due to serious health issues …. I am investing in a custom high-tech Yuba Sweet Curry with a 1500W motor, and 80Ahr battery pack (4 batteries), 4 headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals, and many other features …..

I was planning on buying a low-mileage mini-van when I retire in two or three years, but decided not to get another car. I will just keep riding my Yuba Sweet Curry eBike ….. which will be perfect for cycling to work, shopping … and going on tours two or three times every year, and camping at local campgrounds.

I have two tours planned for this year … 1) Napa Valley and surrounding area … 2) Bodega Bay to Brookings … and at least two tours planned for 2019 … 1) San Francisco to Santa Cruz over Spring Vacation 2019 and 2) Point Reyes and the surrounding area during the summer, 2019 …..
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Old 07-05-18, 11:23 AM
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Good for you. 10 years is a long time and is impressive in todays car centric life many/most have... Many here are seeming to be "trying" but like me are not even close to living life without a vehicle...
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Old 07-05-18, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
Good for you. 10 years is a long time and is impressive in todays car centric life many/most have... Many here are seeming to be "trying" but like me are not even close to living life without a vehicle...
Living Car Free will not work for everyone, but millions of people in the US could go Car Free, especially where the ground is pretty much level, like where I live. Also, we have no snow and no ice, which is even better for cycling. Weather is mild in the winter. People who need to commute long distance would not be able to cycle to work.

Originally, I was going to install a gas-powered motor on my Townie Electra, but after doing much research, I discovered just how versatile bicycles really are. I never knew that so many people carried tons of stuff with their bicycles. Some people, like in Portland, Oregon, actually move all of their stuff from their big house to another house, using ONLY Bicycles … !!! You can watch the videos on YouTube !!! I was absolutely amazed … and began thinking that I could go Car Free. At first I went Car Light, started getting into shape … invested in good quality gear, and quickly realized that I could carry all of my groceries …. cycle to work ….

Just start out slow …. don't over do it … Think positive …
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Old 07-05-18, 01:18 PM
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That's my plan too. Going electric.
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Old 07-05-18, 03:07 PM
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Choosing bike over car takes courage. But when you do, it’s amazing how much fun it is. Keep rollin’ :-)
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Old 07-12-18, 09:44 AM
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Sweet! And all that money saved on car insurance/gas/registration/repair, etc., means more goodies for the bike =)
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Old 07-12-18, 12:15 PM
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When I calculated the costs to purchase a used minivan with low mileage, and total costs for maintenance and repairs for 10 years ... I figure that I would spend around $80,000.00+ US.

Costs for my eBike (including the initial cost to custom build my eBike ... around $10,000.00 US), total cost for the first 10 years might be around $15,000-18,000.00. Quite a big difference !!!
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Old 07-12-18, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
When I calculated the costs to purchase a used minivan with low mileage, and total costs for maintenance and repairs for 10 years ... I figure that I would spend around $80,000.00+ US.

Costs for my eBike (including the initial cost to custom build my eBike ... around $10,000.00 US), total cost for the first 10 years might be around $15,000-18,000.00. Quite a big difference !!!
If you can accomplish all your transportation tasks with a vehicle as limited in cargo and passenger hauling as an e-bike, why would you compare its costs with the costs of a motor vehicle as a large and relatively expensive as a minivan, rather than the smallest available subcompact car or a motorcycle which would be much less expensive to purchase and operate? Unless you wish to convince yourself of your wisdom in vehicle choice?
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Old 07-12-18, 05:33 PM
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I have seen lots of people riding cargo bikes hauling stuff that would never fit in a subcompact or even a compact car! And, of course, a motorcycle can't haul very much at all. The OP's comparison as pretty generous, with a USED vehicle compared to new. A hatchback "might" work (although my friend's Prius couldn't haul as much as she thought). But let's say the OP adds in rental of a minivan a few times a year to his cost of ownership for the e-bike....he is still saving a small fortune compared to the cost of any new car+insurance+gas+maintenance+registration. I'm assuming the e-bike was new so both should be new for comparison). "For vehicles driven 15,000 miles a year, average ownership costs added up to about $8,469 per year in 2017." Nerdwallet

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Old 07-12-18, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
If you can accomplish all your transportation tasks with a vehicle as limited in cargo and passenger hauling as an e-bike, why would you compare its costs with the costs of a motor vehicle as a large and relatively expensive as a minivan, rather than the smallest available subcompact car or a motorcycle which would be much less expensive to purchase and operate? Unless you wish to convince yourself of your wisdom in vehicle choice?
Because that is "Realistic" … !!! Plain and simple !!! I would NOT even want a motorcycle, or a just a "Small Car" … I am talking about "Camping" …. "Touring" …..

But that is what "I was planning" …. not somebody else, who does not understand me, my thinking, what I want.
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Old 07-12-18, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I have seen lots of people riding cargo bikes hauling stuff that would never fit in a subcompact or even a compact car! And, of course, a motorcycle can't haul very much at all. The OP's comparison as pretty generous, with a USED vehicle compared to new. A hatchback "might" work (although my friend's Prius couldn't haul as much as she thought). But let's say the OP adds in rental of a minivan a few times a year to his cost of ownership for the e-bike....he is still saving a small fortune compared to the cost of any new car+insurance+gas+maintenance+registration. I'm assuming the e-bike was new so both should be new for comparison). "For vehicles driven 15,000 miles a year, average ownership costs added up to about $8,469 per year in 2017." Nerdwallet
The reason I used the "Used, low-mileage Mini-van" for comparison is because that is what I was originally planning on buying …. a used mini-van with low-mileage, because a new mini-van could easily cost $25,000.00-50,000.00 … !!! I was NOT going to buy a new mini-van. So, I was comparing what "I was going to do" in real life.

My early retirement refund was not enough to buy a new mini-van anyways. My later retirement refund would be enough to buy a new mini-van, but then there would be the monthly/yearly costs, which anyone who drives a car/van knows what the "Real Expenses" are ….. I have driven many vehicles for many years.
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Old 07-12-18, 09:55 PM
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And …. as any cyclist knows …. Bicycles/eBikes can go many places that cars >>> CANNOT go … !!! Even though I will be loaded to the gills with gear, I still will be roughing it much of the time … pitching a tent … cooking with a Coleman Stove, or over the fire … enjoying the fresh outdoors …. listening to nature …. watching the stars …. meeting other cyclists …. hikers … campers … walking along the beaches … hopefully siting whales (I have never seen a real live whale …), and leaving a much lighter footprint than cars …..
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Old 07-12-18, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikewolf View Post
Choosing bike over car takes courage. But when you do, it’s amazing how much fun it is. Keep rollin’ :-)
Yes, it was a bit of a shock …. but I did go "Car-Light" for several years. And I have been riding bicycles since I was four years old (I'm 61 years old now). And yes, it is fun, at least for me. I enjoy traveling slower, with the wind in my face …. I can easily slow down, or even stop anywhere, anytime, to chat with people, take pictures, rest ….. We (US) live in such a fast-paced world/society …. missing out on the more important things in life …..
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Old 07-13-18, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
And …. as any cyclist knows …. Bicycles/eBikes can go many places that cars >>> CANNOT go … !!! Even though I will be loaded to the gills with gear, I still will be roughing it much of the time … pitching a tent … cooking with a Coleman Stove, or over the fire … enjoying the fresh outdoors …. listening to nature …. watching the stars …. meeting other cyclists …. hikers … campers … walking along the beaches … hopefully siting whales (I have never seen a real live whale …), and leaving a much lighter footprint than cars …..
Got any pictures of your e-bike loaded to the gills with gear? How far do you travel with this camping e-bike combo? Travel with anybody or is all your travel socialization with strangers?
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Old 07-13-18, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Got any pictures of your e-bike loaded to the gills with gear? How far do you travel with this camping e-bike combo? Travel with anybody or is all your travel socialization with strangers?
I am still waiting to pick up my eBike … Still lots of customizing to finish … I will post pictures when I have my eBike fully loaded. Should be ready next week.
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Old 07-13-18, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
I am still waiting to pick up my eBike … Still lots of customizing to finish … I will post pictures when I have my eBike fully loaded. Should be ready next week.
Now I understand. The "perfection" of an e-bike for cycling to work, shopping … and going on tours two or three times every year, loaded to the gills, and camping at local campgrounds will be demonstrated sometime in the future.

Good luck with your e-bike and I hope it works for all your transportation and cargo hauling needs as well as you expect
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Old 07-13-18, 07:13 PM
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[QUOTE=I-Like-To-Bike;20446215]Now I understand. The "perfection" of an e-bike for cycling to work, shopping … and going on tours two or three times every year, loaded to the gills, and camping at local campgrounds will be demonstrated sometime in the future.

Good luck with your e-bike and I hope it works for all your transportation and cargo hauling needs as well as you expect[/QUOTE]

Now, will it be as good as he expects...??? Probably not.. But, will it be as big a fail as you seem to be expecting... Probably not... JMO...E-Bikes have a huge advantage In some ways, when people really want to ditch their cars, and want, to still be riding a "bicycle", instead of driving a car..

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Old 07-23-18, 07:21 AM
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Well Done! A true achievement.
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Old 07-24-18, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
JMO...E-Bikes have a huge advantage In some ways, when people really want to ditch their cars, and want, to still be riding a "bicycle", instead of driving a car..
I would have to agree with this. Plus, with power assist e-bikes, a person can still opt to put in effort and work up a sweat just like with a "normal" bike.
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Old 07-25-18, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Sir Lunch-a-lot View Post
I would have to agree with this. Plus, with power assist e-bikes, a person can still opt to put in effort and work up a sweat just like with a "normal" bike.
I had no choice but to go with an eBike due to serious health problems. I can use pedal assist, but I'm not sure how much …. Still waiting for my custom eBike …. Took longer than expected for the 12g spokes to arrive. Now, waiting for the shop to rebuild the wheel for extra strength. I hope that I can pedal at least some. I really need the exercise, but cannot do strenuous exercise anymore.

The eBike will be great transportation for me to get to work, shopping, and also enjoy cycling tours several times a year. I've been riding Uber and Lyft too long, costing me around $300-400 month, and that is usually only one way, taking the city bus home.
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Old 07-25-18, 03:23 PM
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How do you keep your bike from being stolen, stripped or vandalized? I was car free for a few years in the late 80s to early 90s, but could bring my bike inside at work and walk to stores. How are you able to keep a decent bike rolling reliably thru hostile times and environments?
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Old 07-25-18, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Son_Rising View Post
How do you keep your bike from being stolen, stripped or vandalized? I was car free for a few years in the late 80s to early 90s, but could bring my bike inside at work and walk to stores. How are you able to keep a decent bike rolling reliably thru hostile times and environments?
Excellent question … I have been using the massive and heavy New York Kryptonite Chain Lock, weight around 9+ pounds. I also have two heavy-duty cables with big padlocks. Also, my panniers are locked with cables and more padlocks. My handlebar bag also locked to the frame. My front and rear racks also locked to the frame. Seat also locked. Everything locked.

My new eBike has a motorcycle alarm system, which will sound a loud, ear-piercing alarm, and also notify me on my phone. I can enter a pin, which will alert the police, and using the GPS on the bike, allow the police to find my eBike, and hopefully get it back. Hopefully, that won't happen.

When I cycle to work, I put my bicycle either in the staff room, or the classroom, depending on which school I work at (I have a different job assignment each day). When I lock up at a store, I try to find the most open spot. At Cost Less, my bicycle is always locked up right next to the front door. Wal-Mart is a problem, because their bicycle rack (the only place I can lock up) is around the corner, not visible to anyone in the store. So, I try to make my bicycle shopping at Wal-Mart very quick.

At Starbucks, I can lock up close, and visible through the window where I sit. Same at McDonald's. Library is a serious problem …. So, I will make sure to have the Alarm app always open, and also get up often to check on my eBike, and I will tell all of the three security guards at the Library to keep an eye on my eBike, when they are outside walking around.

At church, another problem ….. So, I will have to sit in the lobby usually (they have big screens to watch and listen to the service, and I can also watch the full service on my phone).

I'm really concerned about bicycle camping/touring …. because I would really like to do some hiking, but I'm too paranoid to hike very far, so probably will not do much hiking. I will most likely pack everything up when I leave the campsite to go exploring, even if I'm coming back to the same campsite that day, just to be safe. There are serious problems with homeless all over the California campsites, which has caused some campsites to actually close down.

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Old 07-25-18, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
Excellent question … I have been using the massive and heavy New York Kryptonite Chain Lock, weight around 9+ pounds. I also have two heavy-duty cables with big padlocks. Also, my panniers are locked with cables and more padlocks. My handlebar bag also locked to the frame. My front and rear racks also locked to the frame. Seat also locked. Everything locked.
[SKIP]
At church, another problem ….. So, I will have to sit in the lobby usually (they have big screens to watch and listen to the service, and I can also watch the full service on my phone).

I'm really concerned about bicycle camping/touring …. because I would really like to do some hiking, but I'm too paranoid to hike very far, so probably will not do much hiking. I will most likely pack everything up when I leave the campsite to go exploring, even if I'm coming back to the same campsite that day, just to be safe. There are serious problems with homeless all over the California campsites, which has caused some campsites to actually close down.
Sounds like you are an additional ball and chain for securing your bicycle when you go to church, and will also be chained to your bike on your planned bicycle camping/touring hiking trips.
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Old 07-29-18, 09:11 AM
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a hardcore bike keep
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Old 08-01-18, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by vja4Him View Post
I got rid of my last car (Dodge Caravan) 10 years ago, in 2008. I got an Electra Townie and rode that for around one year, then got my Surly Long Haul Trucker, which I rode from April, 2009-late 2017..
Congratulations!

i'm way past 10 years myself but if you can stay that long without a car, the next 25 years will be just as easy.
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