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When will you be too old for car-free?

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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.
View Poll Results: When will you be too old for car-free?
30's
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0%
40's
1
1.54%
50's
2
3.08%
60's
4
6.15%
Never!
58
89.23%
Voters: 65. You may not vote on this poll

When will you be too old for car-free?

Old 08-20-07, 07:35 AM
  #1  
Bike_UK
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When will you be too old for car-free?

Despite still being fairly young, i have noticed over the last few years that it has started to get cold in the winter! Last year my enthusiasm was maintained through a combination of very mild winter and a new bike. This morning, though, i needed my lights again for the first time in months and i am remembering the cold, wet, dark winters that i (we) cycle through and thinking of how dry and warm a car is even though i don't actually like driving, particularly my commute.

So long do you think you will be able to put yourself through being car-free year round?
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Old 08-20-07, 08:02 AM
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that's hard to say exactly but I think in general you would gradually slide away from the bike towards other means of transport as you age.

having said that I'd always seek public transport, a recumbant bike, car pools and the like, instead of an 'either/or' bike & car situation.

I say all this because in my 20s I could ride to work 5 days a week with no problems; in my thirties i usually needed one day off or i started getting tired and cranky. Now, at 43, if I ride more than 4 days in a row to work my neck and back get achy and I definitely lose some zip in my legs. I have to balance out my commuting and weekend long rides (A long ride on weekend leads to 2 or 3 days commuting at best the following week; 4-5 days commuting in a week means I have less ooomph - if any - to offer the following weekend).

ymmv, of course.....In addition to the alternate transport i mentioned, I am trying to mix more crosstraining in as I age to keep more flexible, strong and limber. weights are good (low wt, high reps) and yoga has been an absolute godsend in the last 5 years or so!
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Old 08-20-07, 08:48 AM
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One of my heroes is a woman who's about 80 years old, lives out in the burbs where almost everyone drives, and doesn't have a car. She rides a nice old bike (fenders, rack, 6-speed, one derailler, sprung saddle, cruiser bars) and she's in great shape for her age.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:27 AM
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Oldest member of my club 78 yrs old --- commuted from first grade to 2 yrs ago.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:42 AM
  #5  
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I'm not car free but I think it would be easier when your kids are on their own. And a lot of older people are car free involuntarily if they can't drive or can't afford a car. The key is to live somewhere that supports it: a downtown condo, or right off main street in a town that still has a working main street.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:49 AM
  #6  
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nevah! at least till i can't ride no more
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Old 08-20-07, 10:04 AM
  #7  
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In my 30's I thought there might be a time when it would become impractical because of dangers on the road. But I've learned that the solution was to move to a nicer neighborhood where I can bike safely. Twenty years on, I can see that at some point I might not be able to go on. But till then...
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Old 08-20-07, 10:21 AM
  #8  
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Right about when they pry my bike from my cold dead fingers.
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Old 08-20-07, 11:03 AM
  #9  
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This poll is ridiculous. The older people get the less capable they are of driving. Your eyes and your reflexes usually go way before your legs do.
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Old 08-20-07, 11:32 AM
  #10  
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I was too lazy to ride yesterday (rain not age) and today I'm feeling stiff and achy. Ride every day and you'll prevent most of the problems of premature aging. (Of course you'll still get old, but you'll more likely stay in good shape til the end.)

I'm 52. I pay attention to my body and provide it with challenges all the time. I'm stronger now, and a faster rider, than I've ever been. The trick is to keep trying stuff that's hard for you. Fitness is progressive, never static.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:37 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by .
When will you be too old for car-free?
If the fates are willing, right about the time that the worms sharpen their cutlery.

Originally Posted by roody
I was too lazy to ride yesterday
Sell your car, and then that won't happen.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:55 PM
  #12  
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Age has nothing whatsoever to do with when to stop cycling.

Physical ability and desire are the important factors.
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Old 08-20-07, 01:00 PM
  #13  
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I assume I will be riding the bike and then wipe out and end up being buried right there (or road kill)
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Old 08-20-07, 01:03 PM
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Another vote for "they'll have to pry the bike out of my fingers".

I'm forty now.

Ten years from now, I intend to be a better rider in every way than I am today.

Thirty years from now, I'll be a little slower, but I'll be smarter...and if there's a way to haul my aging bones over that mountain range, I'll find it.

And in fifty years, I hope they'll be saying, "...and then one day last fall, the old son-of-a-***** just rode off and never came back. They never did find him. Maybe he's still riding..."

Last edited by divergence; 08-20-07 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 08-20-07, 01:07 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by divergence View Post
Another vote for "they'll have to pry the bike out of my fingers".

I'm forty now.

Ten years from now, I intend to be a better rider in every way than I am today.

Thirty years from now, I'll be a little slower, but I'll be smarter...and if there's a way to haul my aging bones over that mountain range, I'll find it.

And in fifty years, I hope they'll be saying, "...and then one day last fall, the old son-of-a-***** just rode off and never came back. They never did find him. Maybe he's still riding..."
I just turned the big 4 - 0 myself, and I think I'm gonna use that as my philosophy.
Old eskimos float off on icebergs, and old cyclists pedal off into the sunset.
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Old 08-20-07, 01:21 PM
  #16  
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Being car free involves more than bicycling. Cycling is great when you can do it, but you can't always: weather, illness, time. Even living downtown is no guarantee, because some things have moved out and you may have to go to them in the far suburbs. Car free must also include convenient access to decent rapid transit. It's not just a matter of age either, because nobody, not even the young and healthy are guaranteed that health. I'm all for promoting cycling, but it's only one aspect of being car free, even for cyclists. There has to be public, rapid transit that goes where people live and where they need to go.
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Old 08-20-07, 01:24 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
Being car free involves more than bicycling. Cycling is great when you can do it, but you can't always: weather, illness, time. Even living downtown is no guarantee, because some things have moved out and you may have to go to them in the far suburbs. Car free must also include convenient access to decent rapid transit. It's not just a matter of age either, because nobody, not even the young and healthy are guaranteed that health. I'm all for promoting cycling, but it's only one aspect of being car free, even for cyclists. There has to be public, rapid transit that goes where people live and where they need to go.
That is true. A couple of years ago I tore my Achilles tendon and could not ride for several months.
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Old 08-20-07, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by crtreedude View Post
I assume I will be riding the bike and then wipe out and end up being buried right there (or road kill)

I have a business card wrapped in plastic and taped to the underside on my Brooks.

It simply says

"I died happy"
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Old 08-20-07, 02:00 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Bikepacker67 View Post
Sell your car, and then that won't happen.
I haven't had a car for years. I got a ride to work in my landlord's Cadillac.
He lives one flight down from me, and works one flight up. So at least I wasn't causing any additional car usage.
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Old 08-20-07, 02:02 PM
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My dad's neighbor is 76. He rides the DALMAC (300 miles) and a couple other big rides every year. I'm 52 and he's a big inspiration to me.
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Old 08-20-07, 02:28 PM
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The poll, it is silly. 60's? Pfff. MAYBE in my 80s...
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Old 08-20-07, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by everichon View Post
The poll, it is silly. 60's? Pfff. MAYBE in my 80s...
Lots of them young snot-nose kids figure life's practically over at 50 and 60's is just unfathomably deep old age and decrepitude.
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Old 08-20-07, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
Being car free involves more than bicycling. Cycling is great when you can do it, but you can't always: weather, illness, time. Even living downtown is no guarantee, because some things have moved out and you may have to go to them in the far suburbs. Car free must also include convenient access to decent rapid transit. It's not just a matter of age either, because nobody, not even the young and healthy are guaranteed that health. I'm all for promoting cycling, but it's only one aspect of being car free, even for cyclists. There has to be public, rapid transit that goes where people live and where they need to go.
Agreed.

I'll also add there are plenty of these towns all over the nation. I live in one. However, if the time comes when you can no longer cycle, does this mean you should drive in your poor condition?

This is an important question because as the population ages, millions of the elderly who should not be driving will be on the road. Statistics show they are just as dangerous as teenagers when it comes to driving a motorcar. Many end up killing and injuring thousands of individuals including themselves.

The question should not be if I'm too old to become carfree. The right question is I'm I going to be too old to remain car dependant!

One thing is certain, I don't want to be 80 years old, overweight, failing health with poor vision living in the burbs without any public transportation, miles from a local hospital.
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Old 08-20-07, 07:54 PM
  #24  
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Hopefully there will be a point in my life where I own enough land that transportation won't be an issue because I'll be getting all I need from my land, and whatever roams across it.
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Old 08-21-07, 01:09 AM
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It's just silly to put an age limit on being car-free. Being car-free probably extends your useful life span. Take my grandfather. He wasn't car-free, but he only used the car for vacations. He smoked, and drank three glasses of wine a day, sometimes quite a bit more. He walked at least ten miles a day. At the age of 70, he could walk teenagers to exhaustion. He was active, fit, and mentally sharp until shortly before his death of lung cancer (go figure) at the age of 83. This is what I imagine will be the case with any active person who takes care of himself. I figure I can bike, walk, maybe even run until I fall over dead at a ripe old age. It's not the clock that incapacitates you; it's the sedentary lifestyle. The world is full of old people who keep on doing what they do because they didn't have the option of sitting in cars and packing on the pounds. They should be our role models.
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