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A story to make the car free smile

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.

A story to make the car free smile

Old 07-27-08, 07:20 PM
  #1  
derath
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A story to make the car free smile

Ok guys, you are gonna love this one. And yes I will be making fun of ME. All for the benefit of you.

So I peruse theses forums a bit, and while I am not car free (barely could even call me Car lite) I am not anti car free either. I am not a car fan, but my job (IT consulting) basically requires that I use my car. I work from home other times so I only have to drive when going onsite to clients.

So anyhow, last week I had a client visit day (I try to plan my days with a few stops so I am minimize the wasted travel). I started out with what I figured would be sufficient gas in the car to make it out and back. So I didn't top it off (something I usually do).

Low and behold, on my way home the car begins to stutter and die. I ran out of gas! And of course it was maybe 1.5 miles from home and 1 mile from the gas station I was trying to get to.

Well my wife was at home, but our son was napping. So I jogged home (straight up a hill). Changed my clothes, strapped the gas can to the rack of my bike, biked to the gas station, then to the car, and finally made it home.

And yes, the whole time I was thinking "those LCF folks would LOVE this story"

Enjoy

-D
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Old 07-27-08, 08:39 PM
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That is pretty funny. Did you take the towing cable in case you couldn't get the car started?
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Old 07-28-08, 07:23 AM
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derath
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
That is pretty funny. Did you take the towing cable in case you couldn't get the car started?
That would have been good. But I don't think my bike is geared quite low enough
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Old 07-28-08, 08:02 AM
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Lamplight
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Ah, irony!
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Old 07-28-08, 08:07 AM
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Haha...

My first car had a gas gauge that never really went to "E", so I never knew if I was really close to be out of gas. Ran out of gas on a busy bridge once, luckily they just rebuilt it and added a median. Another time I was 2 miles from home and was able to coast down a hill about 1 mile, parked it and walked the rest and got the car the next day.
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Old 07-28-08, 08:19 AM
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Pretty good thinking.

It reminds me of an engineer who used to work for me. I sold him an ancient Schwinn Mesa Runner... a saber-toothed mountain bike. Rigid fork & frame, five speed friction thumbshifters. He gave me $50 for it, laid it in the back of his rust bucket Toyota pickup, and rattled away down my driveway.

Next morning, he came up and said "man, thank you. I owe you one." Then he explained... None of the instruments worked on his pickup, so he never knew how much gas was in it. He usually kept a gas can in the bed, but he'd taken it out to fill the lawnmower, and forgot to put it back. Natch, he'd run it out of gas a dozen miles from my house and five miles from his. No worries... He locked it up, and rode the Schwinn home. Not being as resourceful as you, he rode back to the truck while balancing the gas can on the top tube of the bike, Third-World-Delivery style.

This being years before cellphones, he figured he'd saved the cost of the bike in roadside assistance and/or cab fare.

Now you know why people attach bikes to the backs/roofs of motor vehicles... They're like lifeboats on a cruise ship.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:17 AM
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The picture of you filling up a gas can with a bicycle would be priceless!
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Old 07-28-08, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Captain Slow View Post
Now you know why people attach bikes to the backs/roofs of motor vehicles... They're like lifeboats on a cruise ship.
You know, I never thought of it like that! Definitely makes sense!
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Old 07-28-08, 10:36 AM
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Wife and I have been driving less around town, at least for short trips around town; I might have to bike to get some gas for the mower before too long. I should put the milkcrate back onto the bike for that, and fill up the can while still in the milkcrate for full effect.

[Note: I wouldn't fill up a gas tank while it's in the milk crate; something about static electricity worries me... But you have to admit, that'd be the proper way to fill up for this story!]
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Old 07-28-08, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Nick The Great View Post
The picture of you filling up a gas can with a bicycle would be priceless!
I do this once a year, getting gas for my lawnmower on my bike. That's the only gas I use. I tried one of those old "reel" mowers to get rid of that, too, but my front yard has a sharp hill that makes it impossible to get enough traction to turn the wheel. Still, one gallon per year doesn't seem too terrible.
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Old 07-28-08, 07:20 PM
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One night I managed to lock myself out of the car at the gas station. This was the desert, so the nearest gas station was 5 miles from home. We were car-lite, so there was no way my then-wife could drive over and bail me out.

I got lucky in that a samaritan offered me a ride home. Our car was a Mitsubishi Mirage and I had never been able to find a way to carry a bike with it, inside or out, so pedaling back and carrying the bike home with the car was out of the question. So, after getting the second set of keys, back out into the night I walked, all five miles.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:30 PM
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I used to keep my last mountain bike in the trunk of my car in case I found myself with friends and we wanted to bike. Once, I ran out of gas about a mile from a gas station, but I was in a hurry. A tow truck happened to be right there, but the driver wouldn't sell me any fuel.

I thought for a second, then realized I had everything I needed. The truck driver watched in quiet surprise as I took a bike frame and two tires from the trunk, put together a bike, then pulled out a one-gallon gas can and affixed it to the bike with small bungee cords.

I was driving again in less than 15 minutes.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:40 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Sammiches View Post
I used to keep my last mountain bike in the trunk of my car in case I found myself with friends and we wanted to bike.
As I read this thread I started thinking it would be a good idea to keep a folding bike or whatever wouldn't be too obtrusive in the trunk in case of emergencies. Turns out you beat me to it, in a way.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:10 PM
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Pretty funny stuff...if only you had it on a rack in the back you would've saved yourself a lengthy uphill climb!
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Old 07-29-08, 02:17 PM
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derath
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Originally Posted by jdamaso84 View Post
Pretty funny stuff...if only you had it on a rack in the back you would've saved yourself a lengthy uphill climb!
Well I often keep a bike in my car. Sometimes if my appointments end early I will hit a local trail for some mountain biking. When I have to go into Wash DC I will often just park at a metro stop and metro/ride to the client.

But this day my car was chock full with about $10k in computer hardware (servers etc) so I didn't have my bike.

-D
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