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Backsliding?

Old 09-18-13, 07:43 PM
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gerv 
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Backsliding?

While I was in Canada recently ( and doing a bit of driving...) I wondered if I could ever go back to driving a car full time. (I'm not considering this... but the thought did occur.)

I'm so used to hopping on a bike for everything, I think it would be strange... even if I was using a car occasionally.

Plus I now find driving stressful and it gives me a backache for some reason.

Anyone go back to driving a car all the time?
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Old 09-18-13, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv
Anyone go back to driving a car all the time?
Yep. After being car-free from 1999 to 2004, I started driving a car again in February 2005. My job was a 70 km round trip commute, there was no public transportation, and February is winter in Canada ... as is March, April, and sometimes part of May. There was no way I was tackling a 70 km round trip commute in the winter by bicycle.

A couple years later, I spent about 4 months driving over 1000 km a week to get to and from uni + to and from my job.


I will add that I don't think of it as "backsliding" ... it's just life. Life changes. Sometimes you need a motorised vehicle, sometimes you don't.

Last edited by Machka; 09-18-13 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 09-18-13, 09:35 PM
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I backslid a couple years ago when I inherited a car from my father. I drove the hell out of it for a couple weeks before I came to my senses and sold it. A car can be very addictive indeed.
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Old 09-19-13, 01:05 AM
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I can't imagine reverting to a car-centric lifestyle. Just the thought of it disgusts me.
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Old 09-19-13, 06:54 AM
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I find that when I drive I over all stiffen up, aches around hips and leg get stiff. It's weird how the driving of a car makes me feel older. I will have to probably drive again this winter, I am going to try my best not to though, but the streets are tough in winnipeg, might ride the bus, but it takes almost 3 times as long.
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Old 09-19-13, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by gregmxwll
I find that when I drive I over all stiffen up, aches around hips and leg get stiff. It's weird how the driving of a car makes me feel older. I will have to probably drive again this winter, I am going to try my best not to though, but the streets are tough in winnipeg, might ride the bus, but it takes almost 3 times as long.
My advice as winter begins is to "just ride one more day." By the middle of December, you will realize that you've already handled the worst that winter can throw at you, so you might as well keep riding until spring.

Besides, if summer driving makes you tense, how are you going to feel when your two ton machine is sliding around on ice?
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Old 09-19-13, 11:11 AM
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I arrived in Arkansas in January. As I commuted in February I worried what riding in winter would be like. Coming from California, it took me a while to realize that it was winter. A mild one as it turned out, no snow. More recent ones have been a bit more frosty.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
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 09-19-13, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by gregmxwll
I find that when I drive I over all stiffen up, aches around hips and leg get stiff.
That's cause you got your right leg on the gas I assume. But yes... I find that too. It's especially bad if you have to drive for more than 1 hour.
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Old 09-19-13, 01:36 PM
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Being a bicyclist or pedestrian isn't a religion. We aren't required to stay out of cars in order to get into heaven. We're not in a club that will ban us for using a motorized vehicle. Machka's got it right. It's just life. All of us seek happiness in our own way. Stay on the bicycle or on foot if that makes you the happiest. If you need a car sometimes don't get mad at yourself. Just use one. They're tools.
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Old 09-19-13, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels
Being a bicyclist or pedestrian isn't a religion. We aren't required to stay out of cars in order to get into heaven. We're not in a club that will ban us for using a motorized vehicle. Machka's got it right. It's just life. All of us seek happiness in our own way. Stay on the bicycle or on foot if that makes you the happiest. If you need a car sometimes don't get mad at yourself. Just use one. They're tools.
+1
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Old 09-19-13, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gregmxwll
I find that when I drive I over all stiffen up, aches around hips and leg get stiff. It's weird how the driving of a car makes me feel older. I will have to probably drive again this winter, I am going to try my best not to though, but the streets are tough in winnipeg, might ride the bus, but it takes almost 3 times as long.
When I lived in Winnipeg, I cycled year round except for the occasional snow days when I took the bus or walked. However, my commute was only 13.6 km round trip, and Winnipeg streets are (or were) well plowed.
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Old 09-19-13, 06:13 PM
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This thread reminded me of the 1942 cartoon "The Dover Boys" and their arch nemesis "Dan Backslide".



And of course, the Dover Boys ride bicycles and Dan Backslide is a motorist.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
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.

Last edited by Artkansas; 09-20-13 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 09-19-13, 08:26 PM
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Driving isn't very fun unless I'm on the highway in an Audi or something. Then it's vroom vroom time. Anyways no. Can't afford a vehicle.
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Old 09-19-13, 09:25 PM
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Sure cars are tools, but they are seductive and sometimes highly addictive tools. Worse yet, the more one relies on a car for simple transportation desires, the more likely one is to lower one's basic fitness level down to the point where short bicycle trips and even walking begin to feel like chores instead of joyous dances.

I really feel sorry for the people I see who have trapped themselves into cars. Their bodies have been so destroyed by years of sedentary living that regaining their health would be a full-time job. I have two neighbors who are fighting diabetes and lower leg circulatory issues as a result of their lack of exercise over the years. Sadly, one of them was once quite fit, but when his wife was severely brain damaged in a wreck that killed his elder son, he turned his back on the bicycle for decades. (His wife and son were riding bikes in a bike lane when they were run over by a car.)
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Old 09-19-13, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv
While I was in Canada recently ( and doing a bit of driving...) I wondered if I could ever go back to driving a car full time. (I'm not considering this... but the thought did occur.)

I'm so used to hopping on a bike for everything, I think it would be strange... even if I was using a car occasionally.

Plus I now find driving stressful and it gives me a backache for some reason.

Anyone go back to driving a car all the time?
I was car free for several years, then I bought a car. Initially, I drove it everywhere, but quickly remembered that I absolutely hate driving, and went back to riding almost everywhere within a few weeks. I kept the car for emergencies, but the emergencies became rarer and rarer, and finally got rid of the car last spring when I realized that every car trip was costing me $40 just for insurance.

I should add, though, that I'm not orthodox in my car-free-ness. I don't attach much moral significance to being car-free, and I do subscribe to a car-sharing plan, which I use about once every 2-3 months. As I'm sure everyone here knows, you don't always, or even usually, need a car, and financially it's kind of silly to own one if you live in a city, but when you do need a car, it's nice to have access to one.
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Old 09-20-13, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv
That's cause you got your right leg on the gas I assume. But yes... I find that too. It's especially bad if you have to drive for more than 1 hour.
On long trips growing up we always stopped every couple of hours. The 15 minute restroom, stretch your legs, and for my Dad a cigarette break. Mom wouldn't let him smoke in the car or house, as far back as I can remember.

To tell the truth I would have to stop every couple of hours or even more riding my bike to stretch my back as well.
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Old 09-20-13, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels
Machka's got it right. It's just life. All of us seek happiness in our own way. Stay on the bicycle or on foot if that makes you the happiest. If you need a car sometimes don't get mad at yourself. Just use one. They're tools.
I know I'm in the minority, but I don't look upon cars as innocuous tools. Nor are they "just life". They are responsible for death on a massive scale:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ted_death_rate

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...-epidemic.html

Last edited by Ekdog; 09-20-13 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 09-20-13, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog
I know I'm in the minority, but I don't look upon cars as innocuous tools. Nor are they "just life". They are responsible for death on a massive scale:
You are right, cars are not innocuous. But they are ubiquitous. In this time and place, we cannot escape them. Not only are they all around us, influencing the culture and how everyone we know does things, but our food, our clothes and even our bike parts arrive by them.

Not using a car for trips at all is nice. It certainly points in the right direction. To imagine, though, that we could get entirely beyond the car by our personal choice of transportation would be fooling ourselves, of course.

But it's very important that we do it. Riding at the side of the highway as we do, is an insistence that car travel is a choice that people are making, not just a given that must happen. By riding, we keep the dialog open.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
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.

Last edited by Artkansas; 09-20-13 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 09-20-13, 03:41 PM
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And now, just to make sure that things don't get too serious, my favorite car-free-living cartoon and the 49th best cartoon ever.

An experimental gem of Chuck Jones, it's.

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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
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 09-20-13, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog
I can't imagine reverting to a car-centric lifestyle. Just the thought of it disgusts me.
lol

I pick up a recycelable item and sell it for a living, so I drive about 100 miles a day in a van. When I am done I dont want to get back in a car or van ever, so I do everything by bike, shop, out to eat, to the doctor, everything, When I stop working in about 5 years I will get rid of the van and do everything by bike.
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Old 09-20-13, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog
I know I'm in the minority, but I don't look upon cars as innocuous tools.
In addition to the death rate, they are also contributing to an epic environmental disaster.

But I don't think any of us forget that. It's just that once in a while we have to deal with or use cars.

It doesn't absolve us either from needing to mainly stick with efficient alternatives.
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Old 09-21-13, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels
Being a bicyclist or pedestrian isn't a religion. ...........If you need a car sometimes don't get mad at yourself. Just use one. They're tools.
+1
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Old 09-21-13, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
I will add that I don't think of it as "backsliding" ... it's just life. Life changes. Sometimes you need a motorised vehicle, sometimes you don't.
Originally Posted by Smallwheels
Being a bicyclist or pedestrian isn't a religion. We aren't required to stay out of cars in order to get into heaven. We're not in a club that will ban us for using a motorized vehicle. Machka's got it right. It's just life. All of us seek happiness in our own way. Stay on the bicycle or on foot if that makes you the happiest. If you need a car sometimes don't get mad at yourself. Just use one. They're tools.

In the town where we've been living and working for the past approx. 3.5 years, I have been able to walk everywhere ... to work, to church, to the grocery store, etc. etc. There isn't much further than 1 km away.

We're moving now, and will be looking for a place to live. I would like a place that is close enough to walk to work and/or close enough to cycle to work and/or on a bus route. If at all possible, I do not want to drive to work.

It has nothing to do with the environment ... and nothing to do with finances... it has everything to do with the fact that I don't enjoy driving. I have done a lot of driving, and once I get going I feel relatively comfortable, but I don't enjoy it.

However, I do enjoy walking and cycling immensely, and taking the bus is also more enjoyable than driving.

Also, when I was commuting by bicycle regularly, I was in great shape. Of course, I was riding a lot in addition to my commute too, but commute alone I was logging over 2500 km per year. And I think all the walking I've done over the years has also helped keep me in reasonable shape too. Even if I can't get out and exercise in the evening for some reason, it's nice to know that I did something active during the day in the form of my commute.

Last edited by Machka; 09-21-13 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 09-22-13, 01:26 PM
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Thread is being reopened following cleanup, but you guys need to stay on topic and cut it out with the nastiness, or it gets closed again for good.
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Old 09-22-13, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
... I do enjoy walking and cycling immensely, and taking the bus is also more enjoyable than driving.
While I could be guilty of projection, I think this is the norm. Think of how often we all exchange pleasant greetings with other people who are walking or riding when we are doing one of those activities. Now go look at the expressions on the faces of motorists; there's nary a smile to be found amongst them.
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