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32 Years Car-Free Finally Ended Today

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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.

32 Years Car-Free Finally Ended Today

Old 03-11-21, 08:27 PM
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JoeyBike
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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!
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Old 03-11-21, 09:58 PM
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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.
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Old 03-12-21, 10:30 PM
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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.

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Old 04-02-21, 02:19 PM
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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.
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Old 04-26-21, 05:07 PM
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Environment doom troll girl from Sweden Greta Thunderberg .is already on your case!
Once you embrace the climate change religion no return is allowed.
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Old 04-27-21, 01:15 PM
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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
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Old 05-02-21, 08:16 AM
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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.

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Old 05-02-21, 01:10 PM
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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.
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Old 05-17-21, 01:31 AM
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Congrats!
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Old 05-17-21, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
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.
I always found it interesting that so few people who think the earth is overpopulated commit suicide.

Everyone judges themselves by their ideals and judges others by their worst known actions.
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Old 05-20-21, 09:18 AM
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Which store in the Mall did the OP work........
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Old 05-31-21, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
Which store in the Mall did the OP work........
Have not worked in a mall. Aren't malls going the way of the dinosaurs and internal combustion engines?
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Old 05-31-21, 08:15 PM
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^
Not in the initial time period you mentioned "1989" (I did work in a Mall then, but for the Mall)

I live in an area where I don't need a car, but as a flipper, and someone who doesn't own a car I can tell you how difficult it is to make money without one.

And no. In the mid atlantic you are not going to be able to pull a cart behind a bike.......

I made $550 off of a couple flips last week, and neither would have been possible without the use of a car, which I had to acquire said flips, and to move one flip much easier than I would without a car.

Neither flip was bike related. Both were large, and or heavy.

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Old 06-01-21, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
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..
There are no more profligate specimens of humanity on the planet than American Catholics of the Silent and Boomer generations. Thats you and me! Greta's cohort? There are more LGBT in the GenZ and Alpha generations than all others combined. And they don't do families. Gay adoption, marriage and all that establishment role playing is a Gen X deal. Greta is solidly in the Gen Z cohort, hell she might even be an Alpha.. Even the non-LGBT Z's and Alphas don't much go in for the procreation thing. They can't afford it for one thing. I never thought you were ignorant Joey but you have flattened me with your display in this thread. Not just ignorant. Insensitive.

You will be long dead when Greta (if she survives) reaches your age. If the tables were turned you would be taking hostages and torturing them until the Fossil Fuel Industry is repurposed to making renewables. Don't worry Covid variants will take more of the Silent Generation before its over. The country that should have come out of this the best is having the worst time because a majority of Americans are CRIMINALLY ignorant and anti-intellectual. The age for a first colonoscopy was just lowered to 45! What Covid misses Cancer will get. You're 63? I'm 62. Congratulations we have a 100% chance of getting Prostate Cancer. It's all because of CARS. Byproducts of internal combustion have been seeping into our bodies over decades and it is now a certainty that anyone born after 1992 or so will NOT live a normal lifespan. It is impossible. We are entirely in too toxic an environment. Cars. Yes. Cars. So drive your car. No one can stop you. But don't be so OFFENSIVE about it. Greta is showing more nous than any 10 Boomers I know.

That any of this has to be said in a "Living Car Free" forum ... only in America <smh>

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Old 06-01-21, 08:29 AM
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The car free forum is always good for a few laughs.
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Old 06-01-21, 08:47 AM
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And yes Ghost Rider, I have had a mid grade copy of Marvel Spotlight #5 since 1981......(Technically Blaze wasn't the first Ghost Rider)
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Old 06-05-21, 09:48 AM
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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!
Great post/narrative JoeyBike -- I had taken some time off from BikeForums and just returned, coming across your post. I disagree with one phrase - "Well, that's it. No longer in your ranks here." For people (like myself) that have spent time car-free, or as I characterize it "car-light", we never change, even when we eventually own a car. I, for one, support your decision -- nevertheless please know that your heritage here at the forums and IRL has given many of us the courage to continue our own Car-Light journeys. So, no, you're still in the "ranks" here. Ten years ago, when I was completely car-free, sometimes if I had a bad day with a driver or the weather or something else and wanted to go over to the Ford dealership - there was nothing like a good JoeyBike post here at the forums to make me want to continue the journey. I appreciate your influence in some of my own decisions.
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Old 06-05-21, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
...the semantics of my "car-free" status.
Understood... Over 30 years no car... Bravo!

It's not strange that when you picked up that used car it was a Toyota. I have had very good luck with high mileage Toyotas. Having a back up car is almost a must. Having one that is yours specifically allows you to do the "Mods". Bike Rack, Bumpers, Roof Rack, Trunk Storage, Tools, Stickers and Flags!!! What fun...

There is nothing like sliding into your car dripping sweat and dirt, your bike behind you cause you removed the seats and tearing off with no worries. Your car now a bicycle transport device and therefore simply another part of your bicycle and you.
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Old 06-06-21, 05:25 PM
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Thanks guys! Much appreciated. Thanks for taking a minute here.

Originally Posted by Mark Stone View Post
Great post/narrative JoeyBike -- I had taken some time off from BikeForums and just returned, coming across your post. I disagree with one phrase - "Well, that's it. No longer in your ranks here." For people (like myself) that have spent time car-free, or as I characterize it "car-light", we never change, even when we eventually own a car. I, for one, support your decision -- nevertheless please know that your heritage here at the forums and IRL has given many of us the courage to continue our own Car-Light journeys. So, no, you're still in the "ranks" here. Ten years ago, when I was completely car-free, sometimes if I had a bad day with a driver or the weather or something else and wanted to go over to the Ford dealership - there was nothing like a good JoeyBike post here at the forums to make me want to continue the journey. I appreciate your influence in some of my own decisions.
Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Understood... Over 30 years no car... Bravo!

It's not strange that when you picked up that used car it was a Toyota. I have had very good luck with high mileage Toyotas. Having a back up car is almost a must. Having one that is yours specifically allows you to do the "Mods". Bike Rack, Bumpers, Roof Rack, Trunk Storage, Tools, Stickers and Flags!!! What fun...

There is nothing like sliding into your car dripping sweat and dirt, your bike behind you cause you removed the seats and tearing off with no worries. Your car now a bicycle transport device and therefore simply another part of your bicycle and you.
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Old 06-07-21, 09:06 PM
  #20  
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Gonna sell a lamp tomorrow, and although the sale is very close by, it's not going to be possible to carry it. I could carry it on the bus but.......
And it has vintage globe bulbs which I can't find anywhere. The buyer will eventually have to replace them but they still add to the lamp and of course have some fragility.

Again, need the car. (Okay, I won't add anymore to this thread, but folks get the idea)

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Old 06-08-21, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
Again, need the car. (Okay, I won't add anymore to this thread, but folks get the idea)
Thankfully I still don't need a car. My wife's old clunker kinda fell into my lap at a moment when I had some funds.The danged thing is def a liability for me in several ways. And in general I HATE driving in the city and still rarely do that. Still biking to work most days. 99% of my car owning motivation is to extend my play radius. 40 minutes away is a great shaded Rail Trail and 60 minutes is an awesome beach path. It will also be nice for my wife to have a second car at her disposal when hers needs work. Rentals are STOOPID expensive just now. And if I need to sell an antique lamp, I'm all set! If only a car could be happy being driven once or twice a week, or a month, I likely would never have made it 30 years. My last car (van) died from lack of use - moisture condensing inside the oil pan for one.

Cheers man. It's my thread and I ain't judging anybody.

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Old 06-08-21, 03:47 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
Gonna sell a lamp tomorrow, and although the sale is very close by, it's not going to be possible to carry it. I could carry it on the bus but.......
And it has vintage globe bulbs which I can't find anywhere. The buyer will eventually have to replace them but they still add to the lamp and of course have some fragility.

Again, need the car. (Okay, I won't add anymore to this thread, but folks get the idea)
I could carry that lamp (safely) on a bike. I'm serious. I'm not saying I would. I'm saying I could. I've carried items as fragile, even more unwieldy, and (possibly) more valuable items by bicycle than that lamp. Respectfully, y'all's just don't get it. I drop in here every couple of years and the ethos never changes. "Car free is just too hard, you have to be some kind of really special individual, or one of those LOSERS who has one too many DUI's ...". Didja's ever think that there are GOOD people. INTELLIGENT people. That the DMV is NEVER going to grant an operator's license to? Probably the number two most frequent reason driving people to suicide must be the loss of driving privileges. But not all people who CANNOT drive kill themselves! Nor do they all molder away in a parent's basement. More should consider a bicycle. When the price of decent e-assists comes to equilibrium I think a lot more involuntary non-drivers are going to take up vehicular cycling. I don't think it would be that bad of a thing if this forum were shut down until such time as actual LCF cyclists become the majority of those participating.
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Old 06-08-21, 06:17 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I could carry that lamp (safely) on a bike
I have a 6' Bikes At Work trailer. And I live in a perfectly flat city other than bridges. I could haul the lamp. That's not the point really. I've biked across the USA five times self contained. Irrelevant to this discussion. I could ride out a Category 5 hurricane in New Orleans, but I'm not - I'll fill the car with my bikes and stuff and evacuate to live and ride another day to be lectured in this ghost town of a forum. Maybe that's why people don't come in here much. Unless you live on the freaking MOON with your bike there will be times when you need or want motorized transport. Like after an injury or surgery. I ain't getting any younger. Now I can baby any cycling overuse injury properly.

Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I don't think it would be that bad of a thing if this forum were shut down until such time as actual LCF cyclists become the majority of those participating.
Is someone making you come here to be annoyed?
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Old 06-09-21, 10:18 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
I have a 6' Bikes At Work trailer. And I live in a perfectly flat city other than bridges. I could haul the lamp. That's not the point really. I've biked across the USA five times self contained. Irrelevant to this discussion. I could ride out a Category 5 hurricane in New Orleans, but I'm not - I'll fill the car with my bikes and stuff and evacuate to live and ride another day to be lectured in this ghost town of a forum. Maybe that's why people don't come in here much. Unless you live on the freaking MOON with your bike there will be times when you need or want motorized transport. Like after an injury or surgery. I ain't getting any younger. Now I can baby any cycling overuse injury properly.
The reason why this forum is (your words) a ghost town is because there aren't that many LCF interested in posting about it. It's so shameful to be LCF, why ever would you want to talk about it with strangers? But, way to go, defend your situation by bringing The MOON into the argument. There is no need to be defensive. I am only making the point that most, and maybe all, of the common arguments for why people must have cars at the ready, even if they do not use them much, are false. No one NEEDS a car. It only seems that way. When one absolutely cannot have a car, the truth of that becomes more obvious.
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Old 06-09-21, 11:10 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I could carry that lamp (safely) on a bike. I'm serious. I'm not saying I would. I'm saying I could. I've carried items as fragile, even more unwieldy, and (possibly) more valuable items by bicycle than that lamp. Respectfully, y'all's just don't get it. I drop in here every couple of years and the ethos never changes. "Car free is just too hard, you have to be some kind of really special individual, or one of those LOSERS who has one too many DUI's ...". Didja's ever think that there are GOOD people. INTELLIGENT people. That the DMV is NEVER going to grant an operator's license to? Probably the number two most frequent reason driving people to suicide must be the loss of driving privileges. But not all people who CANNOT drive kill themselves! Nor do they all molder away in a parent's basement. More should consider a bicycle. When the price of decent e-assists comes to equilibrium I think a lot more involuntary non-drivers are going to take up vehicular cycling. I don't think it would be that bad of a thing if this forum were shut down until such time as actual LCF cyclists become the majority of those participating.
I have never insinuated any of those comments, and I have rarely seen these types of responses.

The facts have been laid out why it's so hard to live car free. Being a flipper, and not owning a car, and purchasing things for resale to make the kind of money you need to make you really need a car. I made more money in the last year because I had access to a car that I didn't have before.

I am in complete support of living without a car. But I have found it nearly impossible in an area where it's very easy to get around without a car. At least form a money making standpoint.

Not one soul with a well paying job around here is riding a bike to work. The city yeah, the burbs, no way.

Right now it's like a blast furnace outside, and I still may ride down to the coffee shop.........

And I will stop in the local REI where the manager once in a blue moon rides his bike to work........

Last edited by StarBiker; 06-09-21 at 11:17 AM.
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