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I need my car to ride my bike.

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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.

I need my car to ride my bike.

Old 11-24-12, 05:30 PM
  #1  
mtb123
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I need my car to ride my bike.

I am in my 4th year of graduate school. I moved to new city a found and apartment that happens to be right near a greenway (I had literally never heard of a "greenway" or "mup" in St. Louis, MO where I am from). After my first semester, I realized that I could bike from home to my office on campus in less time than it takes to drive my car, circle the parking garage to find a spot, then walk to my building. Since then I have really gotten into cycling. I've purchased 10+ bikes and I currently own 8.

I love the idea of living car free and it is very doable in my current situation. In addition to being near the greenway that takes me to campus. I am within walking distance of grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants...pretty much everything I need.

Like I said...I have really gotten into cycling. My favorite is mountain biking. There are several trail systems in town that are a 15-30 min drive by car and countless options if you are willing to drive for an hour or so. I ride my bmx or dirtjumper at the skatepark when the trails are wet. I also enjoy the occasional club ride on my road bike and the miles and miles of gravel roads in the nearby national park and national forests.

I love the idea of living car free but if I give up my car then I lose access to my recreational cycling, and it's just too much fun. I could theoretically pedal my mtb from home to the trailhead but then a 2 hour mtb ride becomes a 4+ hour endeavor. As a graduate student, I just don't have that kind of time.

I just find it funny that after getting to the point where I commute and run my errands by bike, I can't give up my car because of how much I like to bike.

Last edited by mtb123; 11-24-12 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 11-24-12, 05:43 PM
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Out of curiosity, since time constraints are a factor in your decision making process here- how often are you hitting the trails? Is there no local transit system that could get you closer to the trail head?
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Old 11-24-12, 05:50 PM
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Trails are outside of town so no access via local transit systems and bus options are very limited in the evening (at say 9pm or so). I often ride til dark in the summer and with a headlamp in the winter. My mountain biking varies depending on the weather and my schedule. Some weeks I don't get to ride at all. Some weeks, when the weather is nice, I ride every day.

Last edited by mtb123; 11-24-12 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 11-24-12, 06:17 PM
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There's nothing wrong with owning a car and being car-light , driving occassionally. I was car-light for few years before I decided to go car-free. And yes I did give up mountain biking after I went car-free. Some of the best trails are out of town and require driving. Lucky for me we also have a few dirt/singletrack trails right in the city along the ravines and river valleys... but most of my riding is now on pavement. To be honest with you , living car-free keeps me busy, plus I work at a physically demanding job, and I also do HIT workouts with weights/bodyweight calisthenics...I just don't feel like driving out of town on the weekends to ride trails.
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Old 11-24-12, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb123 View Post
I am in my 4th year of graduate school. I moved to new city a found and apartment that happens to be right near a greenway (I had literally never heard of a "greenway" or "mup" in St. Louis, MO where I am from). After my first semester, I realized that I could bike from home to my office on campus in less time than it takes to drive my car, circle the parking garage to find a spot, then walk to my building. Since then I have really gotten into cycling. I've purchased 10+ bikes and I currently own 8.

I love the idea of living car free and it is very doable in my current situation. In addition to being near the greenway that takes me to campus. I am within walking distance of grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants...pretty much everything I need.

Like I said...I have really gotten into cycling. My favorite is mountain biking. There are several trail systems in town that are a 15-30 min drive by car and countless options if you are willing to drive for an hour so. I ride my bmx or dirtjumper at the skatepark when the trails are wet. I also enjoy the occasional club ride on my road bike and the miles and miles of gravel roads in the nearby national park and national forests.

I love the idea of living car free but if I give up my car then I lose access to my recreational cycling, and it's just too much fun. I could theoretically pedal my mtb from home to the trailhead but then a 2 hour mtb ride becomes a 4+ hour endeavor. As a graduate student, I just don't have that kind of time.

I just find it funny that after getting to the point where I commute and run my errands by bike, I can't give up my car because of how much I like to bike.
There is no reason not to practice moderation in most everything we do. Car free doesn't need to be a religion just an option. Car light works as well. There is a disadvantage to riding 2 hours to a trail head and then another 2 hours home, break downs. It is one thing to break a few spokes a few miles from your car or trail head and quite another to be another 20 miles from home on top of that.

Some people commute every day to work and during the season race their road bikes all over the State, mass transit is effy at best and riding to all of the events isn't practical. Most often you will hear, "then give up racing, give up single track, give up Cyclocross, give up Tri events." But why should you if you enjoy those things? I think you are fine as long as you think you are fine.
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Old 11-24-12, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
I think you are fine as long as you think you are fine.
I agree 100%. And I should be clear. I am not "struggling" with any sort of decision to give up mountain biking. I derive too much utility from it. I just find it amusing as I've come to enjoy the "Living Car Free" threads on this forum that the only reason I need my car is so that I can enjoy my bikes.
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