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.

One Less Car?

Old 11-01-13, 11:03 AM
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One Less Car?

Almost exactly two years ago, I sold my truck and have lived car-free. Earlier this year, Diane, now my fiance, moved in with me. She brought her car along with - package deal, you know.

This morning we discovered the car was stolen overnight. It has not yet been recovered. It's an 11-year-old Hyundai, so it's likely to have enough damage to be a total loss.

Luckily, Diane now has a couple of bikes, and works less than three miles from home. I wish I could get her to embrace the car-free lifestyle, but I know she'll replace this car soon enough.

We have an errand to run on Saturday to a location 20 miles away. I already have her convinced to ride there on the tandem, and camp nearby, then ride home on Sunday. WIN!
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Old 11-01-13, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
Almost exactly two years ago, I sold my truck and have lived car-free. Earlier this year, Diane, now my fiance, moved in with me. She brought her car along with - package deal, you know.

This morning we discovered the car was stolen overnight. It has not yet been recovered. It's an 11-year-old Hyundai, so it's likely to have enough damage to be a total loss.

Luckily, Diane now has a couple of bikes, and works less than three miles from home. I wish I could get her to embrace the car-free lifestyle, but I know she'll replace this car soon enough.

We have an errand to run on Saturday to a location 20 miles away. I already have her convinced to ride there on the tandem, and camp nearby, then ride home on Sunday. WIN!
Sorry to hear about the theft, but--dare I say it?--perhaps it's a blessing in disguise. Are you sure you can't win Diane over to the car-free lifestyle?

Last edited by Ekdog; 11-01-13 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 11-01-13, 12:02 PM
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Sorry about the car, but have fun on the camping trip.
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Old 11-01-13, 12:11 PM
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Sorry about the car. Hopefully, she will love the 20 mile errand and forget all about the replacement. Have fun on the camping trip. It looks like it may rain on Saturday, don't forget the rain gear. There is nothing worse than being cold and wet. It should be a nice ride home on Sunday.
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Old 11-02-13, 07:56 PM
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Hmm, so you happen to have a nice tandem waiting for her to ride. I wonder now if you stole the Hyundai yourself... lol, j/k. I'm with Ekdog though. This seems to be a blessing in disguise. She'll likely get a car still and she should (shouldn't at least one of you have a paid-off and seldomly used vehicle?), but this may be just the opporutnity you needed to get her more into bicycle commuting/errands. Best of luck with the car search and insurance dealings.
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Old 11-02-13, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by treal512 View Post
Hmm, so you happen to have a nice tandem waiting for her to ride. I wonder now if you stole the Hyundai yourself... lol, j/k. I'm with Ekdog though. This seems to be a blessing in disguise. She'll likely get a car still and she should (shouldn't at least one of you have a paid-off and seldomly used vehicle?), but this may be just the opporutnity you needed to get her more into bicycle commuting/errands. Best of luck with the car search and insurance dealings.
I find it amusing that you would post on a carfree forum that somebody should own a car, as if that goes without saying.
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Old 11-02-13, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I find it amusing that you would post on a carfree forum that somebody should own a car, as if that goes without saying.
I'm all for being car free (in a sense), but I couldn't go as far to say that cars are completely unnecessary, especially in the states. Bicycle where you can, but when you have to travel further, dust off the car and hit the road. I guess that's just me?
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Old 11-03-13, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by treal512 View Post
I'm all for being car free (in a sense), but I couldn't go as far to say that cars are completely unnecessary, especially in the states. Bicycle where you can, but when you have to travel further, dust off the car and hit the road. I guess that's just me?
When I have to travel farther, I put my folder on a train or bus. I see there's a train called the Texas Eagle that will get you to Austin in 51 minutes, but there's only one a day! From what I can glean from Google, the traveller who wants to go to San Antonio is faced with the same situation. Nor does there seem to be any bus service. Is that right? If so, what a shame! San Marcos seems to be a fairly important town (the fastest growing city in the U.S. from 2010-2012). Why do you think the citizens there put up with this?
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Old 11-03-13, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
Luckily, Diane now has a couple of bikes, and works less than three miles from home. I wish I could get her to embrace the car-free lifestyle, but I know she'll replace this car soon enough.

We have an errand to run on Saturday to a location 20 miles away. I already have her convinced to ride there on the tandem, and camp nearby, then ride home on Sunday. WIN!
You should be glad that she's doing some travel to work by bike. 3 miles is totally do-able. Even if she eventually gets another car, perhaps she'll be more car light than previously.

I wonder if she thinks those 20 mile away errands are not do-able by bike. Anything I need to do that's 20 miles from home usually goes to the bottom of my to-do list.
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Old 11-03-13, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by treal512 View Post
I'm all for being car free (in a sense), but I couldn't go as far to say that cars are completely unnecessary, especially in the states. Bicycle where you can, but when you have to travel further, dust off the car and hit the road. I guess that's just me?
Just you and a billion other people who own cars. But the majority of the worlds people do not own cars, and that's the topic of this forum.
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Old 11-03-13, 04:26 PM
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The trip was wonderful. We did get a brief rain (and hail!) storm in the first few miles yesterday, but she handled it well. It was smooth sailing after that.

Today, the hills were hurting her. We detoured to busier roads to shorten the ride and avoid some hills. We got about 52 miles in over two days, and had a great time.
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Old 11-03-13, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I find it amusing that you would post on a carfree forum that somebody should own a car, as if that goes without saying.
Yeah. I've done fine without a car for two years. You don't need to own one. In the two years I've been car-free, I've actually needed a car once. So I rented one. Most of the time when you think you need a car, you don't. It would just be more convenient.
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Old 11-03-13, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
When I have to travel farther, I put my folder on a train or bus. I see there's a train called the Texas Eagle that will get you to Austin in 51 minutes, but there's only one a day! From what I can glean from Google, the traveller who wants to go to San Antonio is faced with the same situation. Nor does there seem to be any bus service. Is that right? If so, what a shame! San Marcos seems to be a fairly important town (the fastest growing city in the U.S. from 2010-2012). Why do you think the citizens there put up with this?
Perhaps little to no interest in bus or train transportation on that route from the local citizens?

Now if they were all transported back in a time machine to the wonderful days of old when few citizens but the wealthy had access to their own personal transportation (other than walking) there might be more demand, if the citizens actually had the free time to travel here and there, even on a whim.
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Old 11-03-13, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
When I have to travel farther, I put my folder on a train or bus. I see there's a train called the Texas Eagle that will get you to Austin in 51 minutes, but there's only one a day! From what I can glean from Google, the traveller who wants to go to San Antonio is faced with the same situation. Nor does there seem to be any bus service. Is that right? If so, what a shame! San Marcos seems to be a fairly important town (the fastest growing city in the U.S. from 2010-2012). Why do you think the citizens there put up with this?
It's simple, IMO. People grow up thinking cars are the best and superior way to get around. It's nothing new. You all know this. It's the scenario anywhere you look. In the San Antonio / San Marcos / Austin area though, I think the large gaps in between all the towns and the humid subtropical climate contribute a lot to the dependency on cars. Luckily, there has been a recent proposal to build a rail system connecting San Antonio to Austin. That would be nice!

Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Just you and a billion other people who own cars. But the majority of the worlds people do not own cars, and that's the topic of this forum.
A billion other people share my stance on cars? You sir, are completely wrong. For starters, you don't know very much about me. I haven't owned a car for 3 years now.

As for the topic of the forum, too bad, Roody. Not everyone who comes into this particular sub-forum is entirely convinced of your stance on vehicles. So why don't you convince me instead of wasting your time by barking up a tree?
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Old 11-03-13, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Perhaps little to no interest in bus or train transportation on that route from the local citizens?

Now if they were all transported back in a time machine to the wonderful days of old when few citizens but the wealthy had access to their own personal transportation (other than walking) there might be more demand, if the citizens actually had the free time to travel here and there, even on a whim.
You show, once again, that you are not the least bit interested in car-free living. No surprises here.
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Old 11-04-13, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Perhaps little to no interest in bus or train transportation on that route from the local citizens?.
True, there won't be much interest in public transit that doesn't exist, or that runs once a day.

Most cities that have decent transit have high levels of usage. Many people (including car owners) love trains and buses that are clean, comfortable, and convenient.
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Old 11-04-13, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
You show, once again, that you are not the least bit interested in car-free living. No surprises here.
If you don't want to get an honest answer to your question, either don't ask, or provide your only acceptable answer first, then proceed to provide the question.
You asked a question. I gave you the logical and correct answer and that is not the answer that you would like to fabricate as having validity. No surprises? No kidding!
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Old 11-04-13, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by treal512 View Post
It's simple, IMO. People grow up thinking cars are the best and superior way to get around. It's nothing new. You all know this. It's the scenario anywhere you look. In the San Antonio / San Marcos / Austin area though, I think the large gaps in between all the towns and the humid subtropical climate contribute a lot to the dependency on cars. Luckily, there has been a recent proposal to build a rail system connecting San Antonio to Austin. That would be nice!
I suspect your first answer, people's mentality, is probably closest to the mark because the distances between those three cities is not that great, too far to cycle in most cases, yes, but neither the distance nor the climate would preclude taking a bus or a train, if only there were decent service. The proposal to build a rail line between the three cities is encouraging (but why not just improve the existing line and put on more trains?). Maybe people are changing. I don't know about San Marcos, but there are certainly a lot of progressive people in both Austin and San Antonio who I'm sure would back giving people car-free travel options.

Last edited by Ekdog; 11-04-13 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 11-04-13, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by treal512 View Post
It's simple, IMO. People grow up thinking cars are the best and superior way to get around. It's nothing new. You all know this. It's the scenario anywhere you look. In the San Antonio / San Marcos / Austin area though, I think the large gaps in between all the towns and the humid subtropical climate contribute a lot to the dependency on cars. Luckily, there has been a recent proposal to build a rail system connecting San Antonio to Austin. That would be nice!

A billion other people share my stance on cars? You sir, are completely wrong. For starters, you don't know very much about me. I haven't owned a car for 3 years now.

As for the topic of the forum, too bad, Roody. Not everyone who comes into this particular sub-forum is entirely convinced of your stance on vehicles. So why don't you convince me instead of wasting your time by barking up a tree?
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to insult you.

You had said that for long trips people should drive cars. That's probably good advice for people who have cars and want to use them, but amusing when told to people who don't own cars. The point of the forum, if you read the blurb, is to talk about using bikes and public transportation instead of cars.

My son lived in San Antonio for about a year. He said the bus service was horrible, and he found it faster and easier to ride his walmart bike even for long distances.
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Old 11-04-13, 06:05 PM
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To people living in other countries and maybe some other states maybe a refresher on how mass transit works rather than should work in a good portion of the US might be helpful. Passenger rail more or less fell on its sword years ago and most rail lines are owned by freight companies. So special light rail has to be built between cities if you want a rail line that isn't hampered by having to "rent" space on the track. Look at the average on time record for AMTRAK to see the effect. For some reason Trains and Buses are in competition for tax dollars some in many cases bus riders protest the building of the very light rail that is necessary for intra-city movement. So why do people put up with bad mass transit? Because mass transit is divided. There is even a separate Bus Ride rail.rs Union in LA that both protests and lobbies against light rail, feel fee to look it up. Car commuters don't have to set their time or their movements like they do for mass transit so it is perceived as easier. It is the same reason many here find bikes a better solution because movement is done on the person own schedule.

I am a light rail kind of guy and support it even if it is only a small part of Southern California Mass Transit. I have even looked into getting a cool little folder like a Strida MAS, a small LBS got some to rent to snow birds and if that doesn't work he is willing to sell me one. I could see taking a folder on a train with the room provided, a bus not so much. But then I admit I don't like buses even if my Sister was a bus driver for ACTA.
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Old 11-04-13, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I suspect your first answer, people's mentality, is probably closest to the mark because the distances between those three cities is not that great, too far to cycle in most cases, yes, but neither the distance nor the climate would preclude taking a bus or a train, if only there were decent service. The proposal to build a rail line between the three cities is encouraging (but why not just improve the existing line and put on more trains?). Maybe people are changing. I don't know about San Marcos, but there are certainly a lot of progressive people in both Austin and San Antonio who I'm sure would back giving people car-free travel options.
Yes, the decent service is the trick I think. I recently found a bus service called CARTS that is fairly cheap and lets you bring a bicycle, so that's always an option, but not very substantial. As for the new rail system, I think it has something to do with the existing rails not being nearby enough people to be effective or considered a viable option for more than just a small group of people. I haven't read about the proposed rail system in a while though.


Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to insult you.

You had said that for long trips people should drive cars. That's probably good advice for people who have cars and want to use them, but amusing when told to people who don't own cars. The point of the forum, if you read the blurb, is to talk about using bikes and public transportation instead of cars.

My son lived in San Antonio for about a year. He said the bus service was horrible, and he found it faster and easier to ride his walmart bike even for long distances.
Well, that's not what I was expecting. Thank you for not responding in kind. I had no intention of and have no intention of derailing this thread. I'm uninformed on the ways of traveling without cars for some types of travel, but I'll read around the forum to see if I can learn a thing or two.
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Old 11-04-13, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by treal512 View Post
Well, that's not what I was expecting. Thank you for not responding in kind. I had no intention of and have no intention of derailing this thread. I'm uninformed on the ways of traveling without cars for some types of travel, but I'll read around the forum to see if I can learn a thing or two.
Yes, I think you'll find it interesting, the things people do without cars. If I come across as a bit defensive, it's because we do get a LOT of snide and unflattering comments against the idea of using something other than cars for almost all transportation needs. Why these folks bother to post on a carfree forum, I have no idea.

Anyways, it can be interesting to discuss the practice of getting by with "one less car." The problems and solutions discussed recently are fascinating. These have included getting a hot pizza and cold six-pack home on your bike, the many methods of moving household goods, family vacations without a car, good places to live, and many others. I hope you enjoy LCF.
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Old 11-04-13, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Yes, I think you'll find it interesting, the things people do without cars. If I come across as a bit defensive, it's because we do get a LOT of snide and unflattering comments against the idea of using something other than cars for almost all transportation needs. Why these folks bother to post on a carfree forum, I have no idea.

Anyways, it can be interesting to discuss the practice of getting by with "one less car." The problems and solutions discussed recently are fascinating. These have included getting a hot pizza and cold six-pack home on your bike, the many methods of moving household goods, family vacations without a car, good places to live, and many others. I hope you enjoy LCF.
It can't be entirely surprising that a group of people who have enough chutzpah to go mixing it up with vehicles 10-400 times their mass on a daily basis, also tend to have hard-won opinions and are unafraid to expound them.
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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 11-04-13, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
It can't be entirely surprising that a group of people who have enough chutzpah to go mixing it up with vehicles 10-400 times their mass on a daily basis, also tend to have hard-won opinions and are unafraid to expound them.
Are you arguing that riding in traffic is character building? I've run into a few carfree types around here and they are characters
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Old 11-04-13, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by treal512 View Post
As for the new rail system, I think it has something to do with the existing rails not being nearby enough people to be effective or considered a viable option for more than just a small group of people.
A new rail system proposed as an option/effective for a small group of people is by definition not viable.
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