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

32 Years Car-Free Finally Ended Today

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.

32 Years Car-Free Finally Ended Today

Old 03-11-21, 08:27 PM
  #1  
JoeyBike
20+mph Commuter
Thread Starter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
Posts: 6,969

Bikes: Surly LHT, a folding bike, and a beater.

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1136 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 41 Posts
32 Years Car-Free Finally Ended Today

Yes, it's true. Parked my previous car for the last time on April 12, 1989 to take a long bike tour around the USofA. 5 months later I returned home and decided to leave the car (van) parked until I pumped up my bank account a bit. Moved one block from a huge mall with a grocery, movie theater, and everything I could ever need. Needless to say, I never went back to the van - gave it to my little brother.

Some here will argue the semantics of my "car-free" status. I often rented cars. Took a few taxis. Mostly used my bikes. Almost never public transport. My wife owns a car. If you see me driving it, I am likely running errands for her. But as far as having a car 100% at my disposal any time I need one, 1989 was the last time I had that. Until today.

My wife's 2003 Camry was showing it's age and becoming less than trustworthy for long trips or hurricane evacuations. So she has been kinda looking for a newer one. Just spent abut $3,000 dollars beating the old car up mechanically, then two weeks later the oil light came on. Towed it to the shop. While at the shop (Toyota Dealer Service) we looked at used cars. Like a miracle a perfect 2016 was on the lot, low miles. She bought it on the spot. So I offered to buy the old car assuming it wasn't ruined.

Before I could drive my "new" car even one mile it cost me $750 in repairs. Just picked it up today. Runs fantastic. Somehow the screen in the oil filter got clogged up with gunk. They cleaned the whole engine oil system top to bottom. Yeah....car ownership. I remember this ****. So this repair plus the $3K for the last repairs is what the car is costing me. 123,000 miles. No wrecks.

So why did I finally break down?

My new job (2 years now) is M-F most of the year and I get off at 3:30 PM. Plenty of time to hit some nice Rial-Trails 30-60 minutes away drive time. My commute these days is only 1.5 miles each way and I have pretty much given up road riding in traffic past few years (since smart phones and TVs in cars became a thing). So I will jump into my armored and air-bagged cage and venture out for some relaxing rides in the country and at the beach. And I guess having a second car available for when hers is in for service will be convenient.

Well, that's it. No longer in your ranks here. For now. We'll see how it goes. My spirit will still be in Car-Free as I will certainly lurk here now and again.

Cheers All!
JoeyBike is offline  
Likes For JoeyBike:
Old 03-11-21, 09:58 PM
  #2  
Russ Roth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 1,497

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 542 Post(s)
Liked 402 Times in 307 Posts
When I lived in Albany the car was often an inconvenience and public transport plus a bike were all that was needed. In Rochester cars were something to keep in the driveway for the nasty days. In the country required to go get groceries and to work. Now on Long Island I can't imagine living without one since I don't trust traffic enough to feel even half safe getting to riding areas. Just have to keep an eye on costs. Last time I had to actually spend 3k to keep a car running I called up the scrap yard, accepted their 300 check for the car and put 3300 down on a new car. I really like my current high mileager, I'm going to install all new shocks, struts, sway links and steering assembly but I'll do the work myself and its 500 in parts. That'll have me at 800 in over 141k miles so worth it. Anything serious enough to cost more then a grand and I'll toss the car. Not always worth pumping money into an old car just cause its paid off.
Russ Roth is offline  
Likes For Russ Roth:
Old 03-12-21, 10:30 PM
  #3  
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,755
Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1440 Post(s)
Liked 48 Times in 25 Posts
I know this is a bit of a strange post, but...

Health of you rather the car is a priority for anyone to retain and use a driver's licence.

I have been familiarised with this for almost exactly three years. The 10 years or more that I didn't have a car and rarely drove one have been expanded out to 13-plus because of a head injury I suffered in a workplace accident almost exactly three years ago.

A long period in hospital, and medical reports from doctors to our state's licence-issuer, and then an epileptic attact almost exactly 12 months later -- and only three days after I successfully did a test to regain the licence -- means I have probably said goodbye to a driver's licence for a long while. The epilepsy was attributed to the seriousness of the origilnal injury, and no, I wasn't driving at the time of both the original injury or the epilepsy attack.

Still, I can stilluse my bikes carefully, am still aware of traffic laws and the stupidity of an inproportionate number of driver's, have a wonderful chauffeur in Machka on the various rare occasions she is needed (and mostly to organise Audax bike events), and make use of buses which are excellent where I live.

Soooo.. after all that, I do know what it is like to go for an extended period car-free, get the vehicle travel back, and then lose it for somewhat different reasons. Cycling does play that pivotal role, however, in enabling people to maintain contact with life.

Take care, Joey. Look after yourself as well as you do your cars. And retain cycling as one of your primary methods of transport.

Last edited by Rowan; 03-12-21 at 10:33 PM.
Rowan is offline  
Likes For Rowan:
Old 04-02-21, 02:19 PM
  #4  
SkinGriz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: LA
Posts: 199

Bikes: BigBox bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Yes, it's true. Parked my previous car for the last time on April 12, 1989 to take a long bike tour around the USofA. 5 months later I returned home and decided to leave the car (van) parked until I pumped up my bank account a bit. Moved one block from a huge mall with a grocery, movie theater, and everything I could ever need. Needless to say, I never went back to the van - gave it to my little brother.

Some here will argue the semantics of my "car-free" status. I often rented cars. Took a few taxis. Mostly used my bikes. Almost never public transport. My wife owns a car. If you see me driving it, I am likely running errands for her. But as far as having a car 100% at my disposal any time I need one, 1989 was the last time I had that. Until today.

My wife's 2003 Camry was showing it's age and becoming less than trustworthy for long trips or hurricane evacuations. So she has been kinda looking for a newer one. Just spent abut $3,000 dollars beating the old car up mechanically, then two weeks later the oil light came on. Towed it to the shop. While at the shop (Toyota Dealer Service) we looked at used cars. Like a miracle a perfect 2016 was on the lot, low miles. She bought it on the spot. So I offered to buy the old car assuming it wasn't ruined.

Before I could drive my "new" car even one mile it cost me $750 in repairs. Just picked it up today. Runs fantastic. Somehow the screen in the oil filter got clogged up with gunk. They cleaned the whole engine oil system top to bottom. Yeah....car ownership. I remember this ****. So this repair plus the $3K for the last repairs is what the car is costing me. 123,000 miles. No wrecks.

So why did I finally break down?

My new job (2 years now) is M-F most of the year and I get off at 3:30 PM. Plenty of time to hit some nice Rial-Trails 30-60 minutes away drive time. My commute these days is only 1.5 miles each way and I have pretty much given up road riding in traffic past few years (since smart phones and TVs in cars became a thing). So I will jump into my armored and air-bagged cage and venture out for some relaxing rides in the country and at the beach. And I guess having a second car available for when hers is in for service will be convenient.

Well, that's it. No longer in your ranks here. For now. We'll see how it goes. My spirit will still be in Car-Free as I will certainly lurk here now and again.

Cheers All!
Thats a great story!

I get jealous of my coworkers that ride bikes to work. Only 1 or 2 out of 200 or so.

I live a little to far, and the roads on the way to work are not the kind of roads to ride a bike on.

Some people even commute on trails? Thatís awesome if so.
SkinGriz is offline  
Likes For SkinGriz:
Old 04-26-21, 05:07 PM
  #5  
aland2
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 10 Posts
Environment doom troll girl from Sweden Greta Thunderberg .is already on your case!
Once you embrace the climate change religion no return is allowed.
aland2 is offline  
Old 04-27-21, 01:15 PM
  #6  
350htrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada, PG BC
Posts: 3,818

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: 997 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by aland2 View Post
Environment doom troll girl from Sweden Greta Thunderberg .is already on your case!
Once you embrace the climate change religion no return is allowed.
Maybe it's more like, the earth isn't going to return, to the state it was before the industrial revolution... If people don't embrace a less damaging lifestyle to the earth... You know, we all need to live on an earth that is supporting us, it's going to be a horrendous existence for our children and an almost impossible existence for their children the way things are going... IMO
350htrr is offline  
Old 05-02-21, 08:16 AM
  #7  
JoeyBike
20+mph Commuter
Thread Starter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
Posts: 6,969

Bikes: Surly LHT, a folding bike, and a beater.

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1136 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by aland2 View Post
Environment doom troll girl from Sweden Greta Thunderberg .is already on your case!
Once you embrace the climate change religion no return is allowed.
I do believe that human activity is changing the climate, and almost every other natural resource for the worst. But until that darling little girl starts telling her generation to cut back on having children - like TWO MAX - i can't hear a word she says. ZPG (Zero Population Growth) became a political land mine a few decades ago but unless we are talking about ZPG, we are just talking s**t. Cutting our emissions in half and doubling the population is just wheels spinning in the sand. Total nonsense.

FYI...I never was a part of Greta's religion. It was all about the money. I structured my life so that I didn't need a car so that A. I never had to work very hard or B. I could work hard for a short time during Winter months when the days are short and weather bad, and take off on a bike tour for the rest of the year. I am pragmatic. I actually LOVE cars and owning one. I just didn't want the aggravation or expense for 30+ years. Now I have a job with all the benefits - which is a ball and chain so to speak - but at 63yo I had a great run! Now I use the car to go bike in the country and relax. It's worth it at this moment. I am VERY adaptable. And I used to rent plenty of cars but the prices are crazy now.

Right now, I want a car. Greta can go **** herself. Cheers.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 05-02-21 at 08:58 AM.
JoeyBike is offline  
Old 05-02-21, 01:10 PM
  #8  
kaput
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: New York
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
This country makes it very difficult not to own a car. I wouldn't feel bad about it. I hate cars and do own one, but do not blame anyone for if they do. If we had better infrastructure, and too a bigger stand against auto manufacturers to make automatic braking/ped and cyclist detection standard, we'd all feel safer on the streets. I think the only place personal responsibility comes in is making sure you're not making trips by car that you could otherwise safely do by active means.
kaput is offline  
Likes For kaput:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


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.