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nschessnerd 11-06-07 06:19 PM

Im currently 16 and car free. I do live in chicago so i get to battle the crazy weather. but i totally love it, and i laugh at my friends who drive to school and get stuck in traffic. Im definitely a car hater. the worst thing about winter is breathing all of their smoke. yuck. I do ride in critical mass every month, love it. But yea theres no reason to drive a car in a city like chicago. and i feel bad for all the people stuck in their metal coffins

lisitsa 11-07-07 12:29 PM

Oh boy. I am 19 and riding my bike everywhere and intend to until i finish uni at 24, and onwards depending on my work schedule, although I would take a serious paycut to have a job close by to where i can train or ride. I am shocked by the way people are talking in this thread. What does a 17 year old possibly need a car for. People are lazy sods today. That is all I have to say.

I live in Australia and a lot of people here have cars at my age, and I think worse of them for people terrible taxes on the environment, and pity their health.

dingster1 11-07-07 01:06 PM

My son is 17 and has yet to express any interest in getting his liscense. We live in the DC metro area so its not a big deal as he has no problem catching the bus or riding his bike where ever he wants. When he graduates this year he may have to work a little harder at it depending on where he wants to go to school.

maddyfish 11-19-07 07:47 AM

I would get a drivers license. BUt not getting a car would be smart. They waste so much money.

Diggidy_Dylan 11-19-07 01:06 PM

Hello all,
I've been car free for two-years. I'm 18 and have yet to get my liscense yet. I love it! When I was living in Corvallis, OR, I could ride to school faster then the school bus. Then I would ride to my job at one of the bike shops in town. When I told people in high school that I didn't drive, most of them thought I was crazy, but a lot of them thought it was pretty cool. I was also accepted as the "bike nerd" at my high school. Where I got the most crap for being car-free was in my Autoshop classes. I didn't care about cars, I just like wrenching on stuff, and why not get credit for it?
My parents have also been very supportive of me being car-free. I got my parents two decent bikes and fixed them up. They're planning on selling both of their cars and getting one truck (that they'll drive rarely) and commuting almost exclusively.
So, for everyone trying to kick the habit, sell your car, buy a helmet, some lights and fenders and you might even have some change left over.
Thanks for your time,

beaman 11-24-07 09:52 AM

i'm 15, and before i ever got a bike i got a ride to school and usually from school as well. since i've gotten it i ride just about every day, unless i don't feel great etc. it's much more enjoyable for me. i have my permit and i'm insured already, but my mom said my insurance was very cheap, surprisingly. i want my license, cuz i know there'll be times when i have to drive. but my bike, i ride it lots of places, not everywhere, cuz my mom's wierd about where she'll let me ride but i understand. traffic here kinda sucks. i don't think i really get negative comments from friends or anything, if anything they think it's "cool", i guess. haha

newbeat 12-03-07 01:00 PM

I bike everywhere, and while it is a great alternative to driving i still wish i had gotten my license in a more timely fashion. it's better to have it and not use it than to be without it at all i think. more later, class is over

EDIT: Just adding that if you bike everywhere, you get automatic scene points as well as toned calves...... pnx 4 lyfe.

Shleppin Deckle 12-16-07 03:48 PM

Hi. I'm eighteen and have had my license for two years and ride a bike just about everywhere I go. I drive a car about once every two weeks I'd say. I live in Orlando though and everything is so spread out it gets hard to ride sometimes. But, I'm still working towards being car-free. My suggestion is to get your license and continue riding. Driving is a good thing to know how to do.

ryansexton 12-23-07 04:00 PM

I am a seasonal driver for the most part. I drive during the winter because its just too hard/cold to ride on two feet of snow. I will probably stop driving once my parents make me pay for insurance because to me its not worth it. Insurance, Gas, Mechanic Bills, Etc. For all the money I will spend on that, I can easily afford lots of awesome things (new bikes left right and center). To get out of town, the bus to the next city is 5 dollars, and to the big city (Toronto) its 30 dollars round trip.

Right now I am spending roughly 30 dollars a week on gas based on driving to school a few times a week (I have a first period spare at school, so I end up missing the morning bus to school). Its burning holes in my pockets because I only work in the summertime.

It sucks that I like this country so much, otherwise I could easily be car free somewhere warm.

discosaurus 12-31-07 10:28 AM

This thread is so inspiring! When I was a teen, there was so much pressure to have and drive a car, and I caved. It's great to see so many that are smarter and more thoughtful than I was at that age.

I got my license when I was 17, until then I walked, biked, or skated the 1/2 mile to school. After I got the car, I drove everywhere. Even to school. Five blocks, and I drove. I look back on those days with shame. Now that I"m in my mid-20s, lots of my friends have finished college, are slaves to car loans, getting fat and bored, being car free never looked so good!

Dylan, that is awesome about getting your parents to ride bikes! I've been trying to work on mine, as they work in the same office only about 1 mile from home, but still drive two separate cars! They even have rather nice bikes that do nothing but sit in the garage and collect dust.

ryansexton 01-04-08 08:42 PM

I'd rather ride my bike than anything, it just sucks having to ride my bike to my girlfriends house (60 K round trip) on the highway in the snow.

I need to move to a more centralized area to avoid this

BFG 01-08-08 09:10 AM

Hi, newbie to this end of Bikeforums. I'm 16, live in Western Australia and am henceforth eligible to learn to drive. I have my permit, and ive been drivin since a young age thanks to a hearty country upbringing.

But, i am a cyclist at heart and i ride everywhere, if not, i take public transport or a lift. I don't see the necessity for my own car in 12 months when i would be eligible for my Probationary licence. My mum has a Holden Astra, which i drive, but she is a good 60% car free also, so it would be available should i need to drive somewhere later. The only thing i dont like to ride to is my stand up comedy gigs - the'yre generally a fair distance away, and being such a whippersnapper mum has to come too.

I see/hear/read of some folks being restricted about being car-free by their parents, which is where i love mine because they are the complete opposite:
"Do we have to drive you? Just ride one of your bikes dammit" or something along those lines is something i got used to hearing, so i just stopped asking and now it goes something like this "Hey mum, im going to my girlfriends, and im riding there of course, ill be back before dinner." And she's happy with that - she doesn't have to drive me anywhere :lol:

It's not that i'm anti car - I just dont see a necessity for one. I ride to job interviews, heck i left my dress shoes at home once and went into the interview wearing SPD shoes. I got that job.....

Anyway, enough from me. Many happy rides ahead.

Rusty Piton 01-11-08 01:24 PM

Don't give in! IT ain't worth it! I didn't get my licence untill I was nineteen, and only then to go on a road trip with my girlfriend, not to get around town.

JackWGroves 01-12-08 06:50 PM

I am 17 and have no car. I'm car free and gear-free. I do all of my commuting on my fixie (I do run a brake tho) and single speeds, even days of over 100 miles of riding. I have a full time job and ride to and from work as well as to parties, shows, friends houses etc. The only toruble that it's ever given me is that I was hit 2 months ago and injured very badly. I was on my fixed (but with brakes, headlight, 2 lights, reflective clothes and helmet) and was taken out by a Honda Pilot. My jaw broke in 3 places, my right shoulder was broken, I lost 5 teeth and had some pretty bad head trauma. I had to spend some time in the hospital but all's well now and I can ride again on Febuary 1st. I've been building a new bike to replace the one that died in the crash and this has led to many people giving me a hard time and questioning my sanity but I love bikes and I'd never give the up. All this being said car-free is a great way to be and given that the right precautions are taken can be just as safe as being in a car so if you're considering it (espescially as a teen) go for it and don't let anyone or anything hold you back.

Nick C 01-14-08 07:48 PM

I just turned 15 and a half, and am soon going to pick up my permit, but I've been giving serious thought to living car free. I've always loved mountain biking and ride my bike alot. My dad recently picked up a cf race bike, so I inherited his old roadie, and have been commuting to school by bike since I started high school. The way I see it, with Washington metro as good as it is, a free bus card from school and a bike are all I need to get anywhere a teen would really need to go.

carbonjockey 01-19-08 07:30 PM

how many of you ride fixies- i ride road, and am transitioning from driving to riding my fixie these days

roughrider504 01-19-08 09:38 PM


Originally Posted by carbonjockey (Post 6013616)
how many of you ride fixies- i ride road, and am transitioning from driving to riding my fixie these days

I do. I like fixed gear drivetrains because I don't have to do much to them and less stuff to worry about since its my daily rider. The DIY factor is nice too.

No hills neither.

nschessnerd 01-21-08 01:14 PM


Originally Posted by carbonjockey (Post 6013616)
how many of you ride fixies- i ride road, and am transitioning from driving to riding my fixie these days

I've thought about it before but i crash a lot (my nickname is the crasx now). I decided that riding a fixed geat would be like suicide for me, so im instead getting a bike with a flip flop. That way i can make it to school without getting screwed, but i can also switch it to fixed and ride along the lakefront.

fordfasterr 01-21-08 01:25 PM


Originally Posted by carbonjockey (Post 6013616)
how many of you ride fixies- i ride road, and am transitioning from driving to riding my fixie these days

I ride a fix daily... except today - I rode my tall bike !

kjohnnytarr 01-21-08 01:28 PM

Right now my only working bike is fixed, and it's great for absolutely anything I do, but I also want to build up a townie with a coaster-brake and a big pair of baskets. I think that'd be practical.

carbonjockey 01-23-08 04:46 PM

so this should probably go over in the fixed/ss forum but what do you guys think i should paint my latest beater fixie: matte black with the lugs lined in silver, or straight chrome (maybe just stripped and polished steel)?

Cave 01-25-08 05:18 PM

It is extremely unusual around here for people to drive to high school; I think when I was in final year there was only one at my high school (but we're talking early 1990s, things may have changed a little...) The normal mode of transport was to use public transport or walk, the enlightened rode everywhere. Once we turned 18 (independent driving age) borrowing parents car on weekends and carpooling with friends (designated driver, others can have a drink at parties/clubs/whatever). Some friends had cars, we would contribute a dollar or two petrol money when they drove.

Even now the car is used mostly on weekends, big shopping trips and if I have to wear a suit at multiple work sites in the same day. If you're 2 miles from school, and going to school 5 days a week, your own car is a huge cost for zero convenience 5 days a week. Also New Orleans is pretty flat, isn't it? Cycling should be easy and pleasant.

Get your car licence and borrow parent's car when needed; think about a motorbike licence as well (but not much use without lots of practice), more dangerous than a bike or a car but much cheaper and less polluting than a car for 1 person.

roughrider504 01-26-08 10:18 AM

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with another teen about car ownership. We started talking about drivers ed, then she said it. . I need a car. I then told her about how I an get by just fine without a car and some of the benefits of not having a car.

"But cars are fun". True, but is paying for the ever rising gasoline prices, insurance and maintenance costs fun too?

"But I need a car for work" So I asked, but what are you working for? Your car!

Then she pulled a whole different card, she told me that car ownership is a part of growing up and a responsibility. So. . . I am not growing up because I don't want to drive a hunk of poorly manufactured steel everywhere I go? Am I less responsible because I am not throwing money down the drain?? I would think I am more "grown up" than her because I don't follow everyone else's example by driving a car.

Keep in mind that I am 15 and she is 16.

Maybe I shouldn't be as hard on people about their, stupid to me, decisions though.

DirtMO*SHette 01-26-08 11:23 AM

thats tight, i would be car free but i live in a rural area but our small town only has a church and a post office so cars are needed, i tend to ride my motorcycle mainly because its much more fuel efficient.

carbonjockey 01-26-08 05:07 PM

that girl will change her mind when she has to pay for gas and insurance: thats what happened to me haha. I was an avid cyclist, but the convenience of a car is tough to be in the burbs, so until my parents made me foot the gas bill i drove everywhere. I am planning on riding more!

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