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Living Car Free/Car Lite Introductions

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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: How long have you been car light or car free?
Car light less than 1 year
171
16.13%
Car free less than 1 year
98
9.25%
Car light less than 5 years
138
13.02%
Car free less than 5 years
119
11.23%
Car light more than 5 years
95
8.96%
Car free more than 5 years
228
21.51%
Contemplating a car light or car free change
185
17.45%
Not interested in becoming car light or car free
26
2.45%
Voters: 1060. You may not vote on this poll

Living Car Free/Car Lite Introductions

Old 12-27-10, 09:39 PM
  #376  
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I use this trailer for groceries. I've only used half the capacity at once so far. I find it incredibly easy to tow, and I live up a fairly steep hill.

I took this shot at my vet's office. My cat is in it here, though I can't see him. Maybe you can.

Tom

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Old 12-29-10, 09:14 AM
  #377  
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For years I used to just carry them on the handle bars. This was cheap, and I could carry over 1.5 cart fulls of groceries (about 120 pounds) but it took a long time to get everything situated on the handle bars and when large loads were hauled, there was a good chance one bag would find it's way to the front wheel and start rubbing through.


A while back, a cousin told us about Xtracycles, and so we caved and bought them; probably one of the better decisions we've made. One Xtracycle can easily carry a cart full of groceries, and more if you take the time to be a bit more strategic with placing the groceries. We've also hauled fire wood, tools, tree branches, and an endless assortment of other items with these bikes. If you can afford an Xtracycle, go for it, it'll be worth every penny.
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Old 01-29-11, 06:05 PM
  #378  
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I've been car light most of my life. Car free for four years. I thought more persons would accept the life style, but I've learned that they do not; at least, where I live.

Last edited by zbikema; 01-29-11 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 01-29-11, 07:46 PM
  #379  
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I've never owned a car, though I did use one of my parents' rather extensively up until I moved to college a couple of years ago. I'd have brought it with me, but it seemed too much of a hassle, physically and financially. I don't plan on ever owning a car.
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Old 02-02-11, 02:23 AM
  #380  
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Hi all, I'm 22 years old and I guess I've been car-free for 22 years as I never had a driver's license. I primarily take public transit, and use the bike to get groceries and run errands and stuff. I'm contemplating to go the other direction and go super-super car light, as I enjoy hiking and camping, but have been limited to locations that either public transit or my legs can reach. There's still a lot of places I still haven't explored, but having the option of being able to rent a vehicle and go for a weekend camping trip somewhere out of the way is nice.
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Old 02-02-11, 05:47 PM
  #381  
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Originally Posted by Frida View Post
Hi all, I'm 22 years old and I guess I've been car-free for 22 years as I never had a driver's license. I primarily take public transit, and use the bike to get groceries and run errands and stuff. I'm contemplating to go the other direction and go super-super car light, as I enjoy hiking and camping, but have been limited to locations that either public transit or my legs can reach. There's still a lot of places I still haven't explored, but having the option of being able to rent a vehicle and go for a weekend camping trip somewhere out of the way is nice.
Have you ever done any bicycle touring?
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Old 02-02-11, 10:34 PM
  #382  
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No I haven't, but I am interested in doing touring in the future, probably in the summer if I'm fit enough for it. There's some pretty nice areas to tour around here (I live in Vancouver, Canada).
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Old 02-12-11, 11:10 PM
  #383  
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Hey James here.
Car light I would say. Sold my car two years ago, upgradred my wifes car, and I ride my bikes most anywhere unless theres ice on the road. I live a mile from a fresh produce market so I buy grocerys on a day to day basis which makes it easy, my wife does the rest in the car.
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Old 02-20-11, 02:12 PM
  #384  
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I have been car free my entire life. Aside from my parents driving me around or getting a lift somewhere far away. Fortunately I was encouraged at a young age to seek alternative transporation and my parents were car lite. I was groomed early to embrace my chosen way of living. Honestly I don't regret it one bit. I have not had need for a vehicle except in only a few instances. When I did I would just go spend the 50 dollars and rent a U-Haul for a day.
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Old 03-08-11, 09:42 PM
  #385  
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Serious contemplating since gas prices have gone up. School is 12 miles away from my house. My girlfriend lives 4 miles away from me. I don't think it's that bad.
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Old 03-09-11, 01:23 PM
  #386  
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Originally Posted by Wheres My Key View Post
Serious contemplating since gas prices have gone up. School is 12 miles away from my house. My girlfriend lives 4 miles away from me. I don't think it's that bad.
Cycling 12 miles in the city could take an hour, depending on how many traffic lights. But how long does it take to drive and find a parking space, then walk to class? Probably almost an hour.

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Old 03-09-11, 03:05 PM
  #387  
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Originally Posted by Frida View Post
No I haven't, but I am interested in doing touring in the future, probably in the summer if I'm fit enough for it. There's some pretty nice areas to tour around here (I live in Vancouver, Canada).
I'm in the Okanagan Valley. There are a lot of good areas for touring all over southern British Columbia. Even the big climbs like Allison Pass east of Hope and Anarchist Mountain near Osoyoos are fun in their own special ways.
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Old 04-13-11, 05:08 AM
  #388  
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I currently own a car but i'm trying to be car light en maybe eventually car free. I have driven just over 500km since january, about 170km a month. I have cut down on driving a lot since a couple of years. I used to drive around 30.000km a year, that went down to 10.000 km a year and then 6000km a year and by the looks of it i will only be doing maybe 2000 km this year. If i really only do 2000km this year i will for the first time bike more than i drive (i bike around 3000km a year.
Maybe next year i'll get rid of the car altogether. My GF also has a car and also almost never drives it so one car should suffice.

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Old 04-14-11, 10:01 PM
  #389  
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Last Sunday I was driving out to St. Augustine (80 miles away) and was determined to get gas at a lower price than what it costs here in the city (~3.85) -- unbelievably, I only found a handful of gas stations below $3.80. I was (and still am) disgusted by the gas prices. When I got back from the beach I decided that I would pump up the tires on my bike and attempt to acclimate myself to riding my bike everywhere rather than take the car. I've been riding to work each day, and plan on including school soon (which is a bit further away, and I have to figure out how to not smell like sweat right before class). Today I rode 8.5 miles and felt great throughout. Work is only 1.3 miles away so I took an incredibly scenic route to get there. It feels great to be without a car. I plan on decreasing the use of it as much as I can. Life is good.
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Old 04-15-11, 11:01 AM
  #390  
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Originally Posted by Sandlotje View Post
Last Sunday I was driving out to St. Augustine (80 miles away) and was determined to get gas at a lower price than what it costs here in the city (~3.85) -- unbelievably, I only found a handful of gas stations below $3.80. I was (and still am) disgusted by the gas prices. When I got back from the beach I decided that I would pump up the tires on my bike and attempt to acclimate myself to riding my bike everywhere rather than take the car. I've been riding to work each day, and plan on including school soon (which is a bit further away, and I have to figure out how to not smell like sweat right before class). Today I rode 8.5 miles and felt great throughout. Work is only 1.3 miles away so I took an incredibly scenic route to get there. It feels great to be without a car. I plan on decreasing the use of it as much as I can. Life is good.
That's great! As you ride more, you'll be in better shape so it will soon feel like nothing to ride 25, 50 or even more miles every day. But with only a 1.3 mile commute, you are lucky because if your bike broke down it would be easy to walk to work until you fixed it.

I find that if I shower just before I leave, I might sweat a lot but I don't smell bad when it dries. Try getting some quick-drying clothing like wicking shirts, or even light weight wool clothing. I don't know why, but wool almost never smells bad, and you can now get it in summer clothing too.
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Old 04-15-11, 11:02 AM
  #391  
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Originally Posted by metro2005 View Post
I currently own a car but i'm trying to be car light en maybe eventually car free. I have driven just over 500km since january, about 170km a month. I have cut down on driving a lot since a couple of years. I used to drive around 30.000km a year, that went down to 10.000 km a year and then 6000km a year and by the looks of it i will only be doing maybe 2000 km this year. If i really only do 2000km this year i will for the first time bike more than i drive (i bike around 3000km a year.
Maybe next year i'll get rid of the car altogether. My GF also has a car and also almost never drives it so one car should suffice.
Welcome! We love having another voice from Holland, the Nirvana of bicycle commuting.
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Old 04-16-11, 07:02 PM
  #392  
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Well, I just sold my car yesterday. It was an old Nissan Pathfinder that was falling apart. But I have been driving it for 2 years, and it's been a crutch for me. My commute to work is only 3 miles one way. I rode it on a brand new bike I bought last spring. One of the tires went flat after about a month. Instead of fixing the bike, I just started driving again (I had biked on a too-small mountain bike for part of the previous summer because I was trying to lose 200+ pounds), until I bought the Nissan).

Now I have gained back 100 pounds of the 135 or so it took me two years to lose. The car was dying anyway. So I dumped my "crutches". My bike is currently at the LBS getting new tubes and a tune-up. I've been looking out the window of my office and seeing people biking around town, and I really missed it.

So here I am. . .
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Old 04-17-11, 10:32 AM
  #393  
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Welcome to the LCF forum, ytonic! I always found bike riding to be a great antidote for the sitting-too-much-in-the-office blues.
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Old 04-18-11, 04:02 AM
  #394  
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Nice rigs everyone. Here's one of my rides.



1994 Specialized Crossroads with Nashbar Trekker handlebars, and a Nordic Track Trailer. The panniers are Nashbar Townie Bags. This is my errand bike.
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Old 04-18-11, 08:00 AM
  #395  
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Living Car Free since 2007

I used to work for a Corporation Bicycle Business Chain over 2 years ago. I was the one out of my own participation and the goodness of my own heart, did some additional research on my own time about cycling, etc. When someone bought a bike I gave them additional information on the side; benefits of cycling as well as how to combine cycling with public transportation which only = tons of money savings. Now that Gas prices are way more even when I was paying for it when I had a Car; I wonder what a lot of Americans think about the Oil Industry, since the oil spill, and now the continuing in Gas Increasing costs**********(Why?). By common sense and unfortunately, IMO, all those who regularly drive their car are worshipping the countries which we-USA receives its' oil from and how I also know that a lot of those who work in the Oil Industry are Very FASCIST like persons who have not been telling the truth for a very long time.
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Old 04-19-11, 07:54 PM
  #396  
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This is one hell of a long lived thread - and a very good one. I've been working progressively toward being car light for ten years or so. I've been at the point for the past few years where I won't take my car anywhere that I can get to by bike or transit. I am in a business that doesn't permit being entirely car free and my personal life and business life overlap so much that I sometimes can't find the line anymore. I know, this is a sign of either a genuine love of one's avocation - or a sign of some serious life choice denial - jury still out on that one. I can bike to work 90% of the time if it's an ordinary day at the office ( and above freezing if it's wet - I'm a wuss in the face of glare ice ) and about 60% of the time if i'm working on a job site. The advent of bike sharing here in DC combined with the local metro subway and bus system have really put even going bike free to work sites over the top. Unless I'm going someplace that I must carry a really large, heavy load or go 40 miles on a freeway now biking is the routine answer and driving is the nuisance choice.

Now I will admit that the prime motivation for my biking in a large city ( well DC is relatively large ) is just plain old impatience. I HATE sitting in traffic. DC reputedly has the second worst traffic in the US - it is genuinely faster to bike through much of the city than to drive.
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Old 04-19-11, 11:19 PM
  #397  
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Originally Posted by erileykc View Post
Now I will admit that the prime motivation for my biking in a large city ( well DC is relatively large ) is just plain old impatience. I HATE sitting in traffic. DC reputedly has the second worst traffic in the US - it is genuinely faster to bike through much of the city than to drive.
Your whole post sounds like what I would've written. This part is no joke, either.
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Old 04-20-11, 05:36 AM
  #398  
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Name's Ted Pinson...I've lived in Chicago, IL for about 5 years and I've been car-free since about October of 2006 when I totaled my Honda Civic and decided not to replace it. I'm a science teacher for CPS and I ride a Cannondale Quick ZS dual sport all year round. Used to take public transportation on nasty days but got tired of waiting for trains so decided to get a bike that could handle just about anything instead. As far as motivations...environmental/sustainability, health, and cost are the big ones. I teach environmental science, and it's nice to be able to have at least a few examples of walking the talk, as they say.
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Old 04-20-11, 11:18 AM
  #399  
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Originally Posted by TPinson View Post
Name's Ted Pinson...I've lived in Chicago, IL for about 5 years and I've been car-free since about October of 2006 when I totaled my Honda Civic and decided not to replace it. I'm a science teacher for CPS and I ride a Cannondale Quick ZS dual sport all year round. Used to take public transportation on nasty days but got tired of waiting for trains so decided to get a bike that could handle just about anything instead. As far as motivations...environmental/sustainability, health, and cost are the big ones. I teach environmental science, and it's nice to be able to have at least a few examples of walking the talk, as they say.
Welcome, Ted. What do your students think about your cycling and your lack of a car?
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Old 04-21-11, 01:25 AM
  #400  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Welcome! We love having another voice from Holland, the Nirvana of bicycle commuting.
Thank you! Biking in holland is really great compared to other countries. Seperate bikepaths are a real blessing but has its drawbacks too.
Often the bikepath take the 'scenic' route and can be quite a detour compared to the motorways but we are getting more and more bicycle 'highways' so thats promising.
There is also a lot of other bike riders so you have to constantly overtake other people which can be annoying on some narrower bikepaths. Some bikepaths are in bad condition and you are not allowed to ride on the road if theres a bikepath available so that can be a pain sometimes too when you see the smooth asfalt for the cars and you have to drive over a bad bikepath.

Other that that: i love my bikes and i love riding them!

and @ sandlotje, i wish gas was 3,80 ... it's almost 9 dollars a gallon at the moment in Holland...

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