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Two years ago, I gave my car away to charity

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Two years ago, I gave my car away to charity

Old 10-01-14, 11:03 AM
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Bluish Green
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Two years ago, I gave my car away to charity

Hi all, it's my 2 year anniversary of going "car light," so I thought I would post a short note and also thank this Forum for helping me get where I am today.

Two years ago today, I donated my car to Kars for Kids. My wife still has her small hatchback car, so we are "car light". It was a big deal for us at the time, a big change.

Looking back today, I can report that things are delightfully normal and uneventful. Bicycle commuting has become regular, expected, uneventful (most days). Driving the car seems weird to me now. I have to apologize for not posting here as often as I used to when I first started bicycle commuting, but honestly it is probably because this thing is so routine now that I don't think about it so much. I commute by bicycle, 6.5 miles each way, every day, regardless of weather, in Central Illinois.

My health is better and quality of life is higher. My weight stabilized, and the 65 pound weight loss has held for two years now. My blood pressure and cholesterol remain controlled (both were high before), and I don't take meds for those any more. Blood sugar is normal. The persistent lower back pain I used to have has been gone for so long that I have to conciously think of it to remember.

Our finances are better now, too. It took some initial investment in a variety of outdoor clothing to make year-round bicycle commuting possible (plus studded tires, etc.), but now we are saving money that we used to spend on a second car, gas, car insurance, etc. It adds up.

There are occasionally days where weather makes things a little challenging. Last winter was occasionally brutal. But you make it through, and the hot tea tastes better, the effortless easy days like today are even nicer by comparison.

It was definitely a change for the better for me. When I was considering starting and going through the switch, this Forum was very helpful. It still is helpful, although I admit I don't read it daily like I used to. It's good to see familiar friends when I come back - I enjoy reading your thoughts. Sorry for the long ramble, but I thought I would share my story, because probably the most surprising thing, if I look back on it, is just how routine it is.
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Old 10-01-14, 03:54 PM
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no1mad 
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Thanks for sharing .
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Old 10-01-14, 03:59 PM
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Mark Stone
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Hi Bluish Green, great narrative and very encouraging. Thanks for posting!
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Old 10-01-14, 07:05 PM
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Dahon.Steve
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Good story. I'm going back on a diet this week so which one did you choose to lose weigth?
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Old 10-01-14, 07:13 PM
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Very nice post, Bluish Green. So do you ride every day in the winter? Or occasionally get a ride or bus? I too go year-round, but in winter I usually have a few snow days when I get the bus.
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Old 10-01-14, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluish Green View Post
My health is better and quality of life is higher. My weight stabilized, and the 65 pound weight loss has held for two years now. My blood pressure and cholesterol remain controlled (both were high before), and I don't take meds for those any more. Blood sugar is normal. The persistent lower back pain I used to have has been gone for so long that I have to conciously think of it to remember.
This EXACTLY parallels my experience. I did the med route through two popular Stage 1 Hypertension prescriptions and they didn't work. I decided to toss the pill and try some age-old medical advice. I started riding the bike everywhere and got a food scale to control portion sizes. When I went back to the doctor for my quarterly check-up she told me I didn't need to come back for a year. Add three office visits to the savings.

Here in Georgia they send the County Marshall after you if you default on your vehicle insurance. It takes several months but I've had the Marshall at my house wanting my idiot-in-law's license after they moved to Chicago and just stopped paying their insurance bill. It lapsed and out came the badge. I've bought a tag sticker and paid insurance on the truck four months in a row since it's been started to even move.

Just this afternoon I told Cheryl that I was riding the road bike to the tag office in the next town and give it back to the DOT. Then, I can cancel the monthly insurance payment and....maybe sell the truck. She said to go for it. That surprised me.
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Old 10-01-14, 10:18 PM
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I miss your posts Bluish Green! I'm glad you updated and things are going well for you.

My experiences with my health were similar, except it was 12 years ago that I became carfree and got a lot healthier!
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Old 10-04-14, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Good story. I'm going back on a diet this week so which one did you choose to lose weigth?
At first, I cut out all fast food and all sweets. Over time, the sweets have sorta partially returned... haha. But I still eat zero fast food. Zero French fries, etc. If I am on the road for business and have to eat something fast, I'll eat a sandwich at a Subway or Jimmy Johns. I also make my own homemade granola and carry that into work in my panniers. It is not low-calorie, but it is heart-healthy (with oats and almonds) and satisfying. Good luck with your dietary changes - find something that is repeatable, and you will likely succeed.
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Old 10-04-14, 11:50 AM
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Bluish Green
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Very nice post, Bluish Green. So do you ride every day in the winter? Or occasionally get a ride or bus? I too go year-round, but in winter I usually have a few snow days when I get the bus.
Yes, I have studded Nokian A10's, and I ride in the winter most days. I will say though, that I keep a few vacation days saved up for winter and will use them occasionally to stay home and avoid the worst of the worst days. My employer encourages Telework one day per month too, and I do that to avoid one bad weather day a month too. But generally, I am out there, wearing my wool and toughing it out on the A10's. Last winter was hard, but I made it through.
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Old 10-04-14, 12:19 PM
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Well done.
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