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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.

It's lonely out here

Old 09-12-05, 02:54 PM
  #26  
HabershamCoyote
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Hi. My name is Tim, and I'm with Car Free Savannah.
carfreesavannah.org --The web site is pretty basic at the moment, but it's got our mission statement and all that.
we're going to be encouraging people to try and go without cars for at least one day, as well as get some bike racks where they need to be. We're meeting every Weds. at Metro Coffee House (MLK&Jones, across from the enmark.) at 9pm to plan it out. If you're interested, come on over.
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Old 09-13-05, 10:04 AM
  #27  
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Sometimes, you have to be the one person doing it first to inspire others to do it.
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Old 09-13-05, 11:28 AM
  #28  
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Old 09-13-05, 11:33 AM
  #29  
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I would like to get together with others in cycling matters. But the bicycling world is so divided amoung itself (roadies, mounties, folders, recreational people and just plain fanatics) how can anyone can begin to bridge the rift between competing sub-groups?
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Old 09-13-05, 02:14 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by folder fanatic
I would like to get together with others in cycling matters. But the bicycling world is so divided amoung itself (roadies, mounties, folders, recreational people and just plain fanatics) how can anyone can begin to bridge the rift between competing sub-groups?
You forgot recumbents, trikes, delivery bikes... :-)

In my opinion, the bicycling world isn't divided, it's simply diverse, and it's good that it is. True, there are fanatics and idiots (from my point of view, found almost exclusively in the ranks of Lance wannabes who blow five grand on a carbon bike of some known brand, cover themselves in ridiculous billboard-lycra, and go pose on the local bike paths with a bunch of other Lance poseurs every saturday), but as a mostly recumbent rider, I meet roadies and convert them to bents regularly, and conversely, one of them converted me to mountain biking some years ago, and a car-less guy converted me to car-free living back in the early 90s. I don't think there's a rift to be bridged, my experience is that most cyclists talk to, and learn from each other.

Regarding living without a car, I do regard most US folks who go this route as heros. Apart in some rare bike-friendly cities, or gridlocked-enough dense cities where bikes become a sensible necessity, relying on a bike in a country that's designed for and around cars is a courageous decision.

We in Europe don't really think it's so out of the ordinary, it sort of comes naturally to many of us here. Those who chose to go without car here are numerous, and the act isn't really extraordinary. But I lived in Utah for 4 years, and took my European car-free habits with me by getting me a bike as soon as I arrived: my friends and colleagues took me for an alien from outer space. Often did I hear things like "aren't you afraid of getting run over?", "you commute 10 miles with that bike? 10 MILES? you must be MAD, it's so FAR!!" or "you put your bike on the bus to go to Salt Lake? but busses are for poor people!" and other such inanities. These people have been brainwashed into thinking one must have a car to get around, it's actually scary to see their look of terror at the mere thought of not having one. True, biking in Utah wasn't always the piece of cake it is here in Europe, but it was far from unmanageable, and not at all unpleasant.
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Old 09-13-05, 05:20 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by HabershamCoyote
We're meeting every Weds. at Metro Coffee House (MLK&Jones, across from the enmark.) at 9pm to plan it out. If you're interested, come on over.
Thanks, Tim. I can't make it tomorrow night, but please keep me on the mailing list (I sent you an e-mail this morning).
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Old 09-13-05, 05:27 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by chocula
I've noticed that riding my bicycle to the grocery store, library, restaurant, or the minor league ballpark is a solitary experience (unless my wife comes along).
Driving a car is also a solitary experience for many, but the quality of the solitary experience is different. In a car, you feel like a lonely sardine in a big sardine tin, whereas on your bike, you can feel free. In a car, one may curse any slows downs, whereas on a bike, it might be a chance to catch one's breathe.
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Old 09-13-05, 08:39 PM
  #33  
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Excellent points Vicious.
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Old 09-13-05, 11:39 PM
  #34  
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I see a lot (up to 9 or 10) of cyclists congregating at various points along the Grand River. Not to stereotype, but they appear to be homeless people. I'm gonna introduce myself sometime this week. What will I learn?
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Old 09-14-05, 09:04 AM
  #35  
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Well, I'm happy to report that things have improved since I started this thread in late June. There are more cyclists on the streets of my city these days. I'm guessing the up tick can be traced to two circumstances:

1. Daily low temperatures have dipped below 80 degrees.
2. College students have returned for the fall term.

Also, although local gasoline prices have retreated from post-Katrina highs in the neighborhood of $3.50, some people might be starting to make other arrangements for their personal transportation needs. At least I hope that's the case.

On Sunday I had my first ride-along discussion with a stranger. I cycle in street clothes, so I sometimes perceive that the people in full cycling costumes on the slick bikes are looking down their noses at me and my humble conveyance. I had to spend some time in the office this weekend and I rode my 1979 Peugeot UO-10 instead of my normal commuting/utility bicycle. A guy in a jersey pulled up beside me on his nice Trek and we had a pleasant discussion about local cycling routes. I think he found my bike boom Peugeot sort of quaint. Eventually he became impatient with my leisurely pace and took his leave. Still, I count it as a very satisfactory encounter.
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Old 09-14-05, 05:08 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by chocula
On Sunday I had my first ride-along discussion with a stranger. I cycle in street clothes, so I sometimes perceive that the people in full cycling costumes on the slick bikes are looking down their noses at me and my humble conveyance. I had to spend some time in the office this weekend and I rode my 1979 Peugeot UO-10 instead of my normal commuting/utility bicycle. A guy in a jersey pulled up beside me on his nice Trek and we had a pleasant discussion about local cycling routes. I think he found my bike boom Peugeot sort of quaint. Eventually he became impatient with my leisurely pace and took his leave. Still, I count it as a very satisfactory encounter.
If a roadie snubs you --

DROP HIM!


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