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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.

People Without Cars

Old 03-15-15, 01:14 PM
  #26  
EvilWeasel
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I'm a mechanic by trade and a gear head by the grace of god. I love the internal combustion engine in all its forms. I'm also a bachelor, i live in a city, it's only 3 miles to work and 3 miles from the bars i hang out in down town. I hang out with bicycle club folks. I date girls that ride. I can't think of one reason i need a car right now. I'm not opposed to cars... But the next one i buy will be old, simple, and infinitely rebuildable. Oh and did i mention classic and beautiful.

I've been offered free cars (as a mechanic it happens allot) I've turned all of them down. I don't need a car just for the sake of having a car. If I'm going to take on that expense again, it needs to be special.

Till than my bicycles will do.

You can't explain bicycle, motorcycle, or heroine addiction to those that haven't been there.
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Old 03-15-15, 01:15 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
there is a potential drawback to not owning a car, living in an urban area. moving from urban to rural & not having a car.
If a car-free person who lives in a urban area has plans to move to a rural area then it's time for them to give up their car-free lifestyle and purchase a car or a pick up truck. Only a moron would place severe limitations on themselves and live car-free out in the sticks.... Personally I wouldn't want to live in a rural area...I don't mind doing a recreational bike ride through rural areas, but I would never live there, too boring and dull.
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Old 03-15-15, 01:23 PM
  #28  
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I live in the county seat of a rural County at the northern most western corner Of Oregon ...

At 66 I was Finally able to have resources to Buy a 1 brm House , not Burning thru a Lot of money In Car payments and operating costs helped .

Never marrying and having children was also a reduction to meet my miserly income.
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Old 03-15-15, 01:25 PM
  #29  
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I've lived in places with winter or 20 miles of nothing between me and anyplace useful. I don't live in those places anymore. If i did i would still own a car or motorcycle and not feel bad about it.

Necessity rules.
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Old 03-15-15, 02:25 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
If a car-free person who lives in a urban area has plans to move to a rural area then it's time for them to give up their car-free lifestyle and purchase a car or a pick up truck. Only a moron would place severe limitations on themselves and live car-free out in the sticks.... Personally I wouldn't want to live in a rural area...I don't mind doing a recreational bike ride through rural areas, but I would never live there, too boring and dull.
What was implied is that a good family car isn't cheap. It's quite a setback to move, then add the expense of a decent car. Out here where we are, we feel the crunch of the modern wage on a rural route. It isn't much better in an urban setting. With cars becoming more difficult for the avg motorist to diagnose/wrench on & the cost of living continually rising. It's tough to see the automobile surviving, as it has in past decades. More & more people will submit to alternative methods of transport.
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Old 03-15-15, 02:29 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
More & more people will submit to alternative methods of transport.
Believe it or not, many will enjoy it.
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Old 03-15-15, 02:36 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Believe it or not, many will enjoy it.
One would hope so. Especially If a bicycle is that alternative method.
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Old 03-15-15, 03:11 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
I've lived in places with winter or 20 miles of nothing between me and anyplace useful. I don't live in those places anymore. If i did i would still own a car or motorcycle and not feel bad about it.

Necessity rules.
I'd let necessity rule--as you seem to have done--by moving.
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Old 03-15-15, 03:28 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I'd let necessity rule--as you seem to have done--by moving.
Lol. Thank you. We should all be able to do as we please and have the ability to step out on a limb and change our circumstances if we don't find them suitable to our desires.

Keep on doing what you want Lord knows i will.
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Old 03-15-15, 06:28 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
You can't explain bicycle, motorcycle, or heroine addiction to those that haven't been there.
I hear you there...



Original question--I like to have the extra cash each month to spend or save more than I want the car. I am lucky enough to have decent weather most of the year, and reasonable commuting conditions. I also have the luxury of a golf cart to cruise around the neighborhood and get groceries and such. I had a small motorcycle for a while and would get one again if the right deal came up. A car is a tougher sell to me. I want to retire one day, and owning a car means treading financial water vs. saving without too much effort.
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Old 03-15-15, 10:21 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
I hear you there...



Original question--I like to have the extra cash each month to spend or save more than I want the car. I am lucky enough to have decent weather most of the year, and reasonable commuting conditions. I also have the luxury of a golf cart to cruise around the neighborhood and get groceries and such. I had a small motorcycle for a while and would get one again if the right deal came up. A car is a tougher sell to me. I want to retire one day, and owning a car means treading financial water vs. saving without too much effort.
Porsche 912... Or dodge charger with a 440 six pack. What ever you prefer. Just don't let anyone tell you a 1996 Ford Taurus is the better option just for the sake of having a car. You understand your needs best. If you need a car. Buy one, screw the bicyclists. If you don'treally need one... Skip it. Screw the car guys.

Only you know what is right for you.
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Old 03-15-15, 10:46 PM
  #37  
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I love 'em all! My circumstances and relatively recent (two years) passion for cycling mean that I ride more, drive less. In fact, I just got about $400/year lopped of my car insurance bill! but I still like to grab the cars for a nice run down a twisty road, road trip getaway. or a track day. Most work days are now bike commutes with longer cycling rides on the weekends.
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Old 03-16-15, 02:07 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by EvilWeasel View Post
Porsche 912... Or dodge charger with a 440 six pack. What ever you prefer. Just don't let anyone tell you a 1996 Ford Taurus is the better option just for the sake of having a car. You understand your needs best. If you need a car. Buy one, screw the bicyclists. If you don'treally need one... Skip it. Screw the car guys.

Only you know what is right for you.
Should we ever, under any circumstances, consider the needs of society as a whole, or should hedonism be our only guiding light?
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Old 03-16-15, 05:59 AM
  #39  
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I grew up with both automobiles and bicycles. My parents enjoy cycling ... still do ... and we did a lot of cycling together as a family. I was commuting to school by bicycle when I was 6 years old. I grew up surrounded by bicycles, bicycle equipment, and Bicycling Magazine back when it was good. My parents (father in particular) also enjoy automobiles. I grew up reading Road & Track and learning to appreciate the beauty of automobiles.

Fortunately, Rowan also likes both cars and bicycles. One of the things we did for my birthday last weekend was to go to the Speeedway. 4 or 5 hours of great entertainment watching the various vehicles race!!
We also cycled 137-ish km over the weekend.


I think that each person needs to make their own decision regarding automobile usage. The glib and easy answer thrown around here is "move". But of course, that's not always the realistic, practical answer ... especially when one partner works in one area, and the other works some distance away. Where do you move? Or when you really like living in a particular spot, but work is elsewhere? Or when there isn't much in the way of transportation alternatives?

And I think that circumstances change. I was carfree for a while ... that worked for me then. For the next few years I was "car heavy" ... I used a car a lot. That worked for me then. Then we moved to a small town, and I became "car light". Again, that worked for me then.
You've got to go with what works for you at the time.

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Old 03-16-15, 07:04 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Should we ever, under any circumstances, consider the needs of society as a whole, or should hedonism be our only guiding light?
I always say that if I win the lottery, I'd rather have a Corvette and give 100 grand to charity than buy a Lamborghini. But, everyone has to draw their own line, and the extra cash I spent going out to eat last night probably could have done someone else more good.
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Old 03-16-15, 07:54 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
I always say that if I win the lottery, I'd rather have a Corvette and give 100 grand to charity than buy a Lamborghini. But, everyone has to draw their own line, and the extra cash I spent going out to eat last night probably could have done someone else more good.
I'm not interested in hypothetical situations. Should we ever consider how the decisions we make affect other people our should we think only about ourselves?
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Old 03-16-15, 08:19 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
I always say that if I win the lottery, I'd rather have a Corvette and give 100 grand to charity than buy a Lamborghini. But, everyone has to draw their own line, and the extra cash I spent going out to eat last night probably could have done someone else more good.
My son has been trying to coax me to buy the Miata that he knows I want and could easily write the check without blinking. But my 2003 Sentra still works fine and I prefer not to spend money for things that would not provide much incremental value. Neither whale hugging nor other saintly side issues are in play in this personal car purchasing/ownership decision.

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Old 03-16-15, 09:26 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
I'm not interested in hypothetical situations. Should we ever consider how the decisions we make affect other people our should we think only about ourselves?
Yes, you should consider others, but you have to have a threshold. It is not practical to ONLY consider the impact of your decisions on others. I try not to judge others until they get to the Lamborghini level, though we could all do better. You must have some indulgence you could give up to take care of some homeless or hungry person, no?

You should be able to see when your actions are obscenely wasteful, but you also need to find a point to release yourself from the guilt of taking care of yourself and enjoying your life. You'll drive yourself nuts if you dwell on it.
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Old 03-16-15, 11:15 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
You should be able to see when your actions are obscenely wasteful, but you also need to find a point to release yourself from the guilt of taking care of yourself and enjoying your life. You'll drive yourself nuts if you dwell on it.
And/or possibly drive others nuts as well.
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Old 03-16-15, 11:23 AM
  #45  
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The OP question "people who can actually afford cars, and are getting older, or are old why do you not have a car" doesn't really make much sense to me. I don't need a reason to not have a car - I need a reason to have one.

I am in my mid-50's so I am "getting older", and I do have a car now so I can "actually afford" one. Not long ago I didn't have a car, for a short period I did have one that barely worked and no reason to repair it - I just didn't care. No reason to buy one, or to fix one. For the normal uses- commuting, shopping, errands, recreation - it just wasn't needed, and I could rent one for special trips or hauling something.

Since then I've had some reasons to own a car (which I won't go into), so now I have one. It doesn't make sense to ask "why not" without reference to some reason why I should.
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Old 03-16-15, 11:57 AM
  #46  
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Cars and traffic are symptoms of poor land use planning; by themselves, they are not the problem. I live in Vermont and am often struck by the irony and lack of self-awareness of some (many) of my fellow citizens who are totally convinced they are strong environmentalists yet live in a rural setting and need two or more cars.
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Old 03-16-15, 02:09 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by yote223 View Post
That might be fine for your country which is about the size of a postage stamp, (and yes I have been to Singapore) but the USA is third only to Russia in Square miles. Vehicles are a necessity if you want to have a LIFE or be able to to see the Grandeur of this very large country. Sorry if I have offended any of the "Urban Hermits" viewing this post. JMHO
I haven't met many folks who use a car to visit the entire US on a regular basis. That seems like an unsatisfying way to go about it.

It seems to me that most people own and use cars, but they use them for mostly short trips (the median trip distance by car in the US is under 2.5 miles). It's not like these trips can't be done by other means; people are simply choosing to use cars, which is a far cry from needing to use them. And yes, even suburban and rural dwellers can be car free and still have a life. It seems that for most motorists, the need for a car is similar to the need that tweekers have for methamphetamine. It's a lifestyle choice they made that, sadly, now owns them.
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Old 03-16-15, 02:17 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
I would get rid of my car tomorrow but I have a 120 mile daily commute. I guess I would be in great shape if I could bike it everyday.
Yes, that length commute by bike will indeed get you fit. When my commute was exactly that length and I did it by bike I was in very good condition. Thankfully, I found that if I changed my work hours I could take the main highway "short cut" and bring the total down to a very doable 100 miles. Of course, I mostly worked four-day weeks, so I was cheating a bit.

There is always the half-step approach to long commutes. One can drive to work with a bike, then ride home. The next work day, ride in and drive home. Rinse and repeat. You're still using the car, but who cares? You're driving less than before and getting a nice 100 km ride in a few times per week (or however many times works for you).
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Old 03-16-15, 04:57 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Neither whale hugging nor other saintly side issues are in play in this personal car purchasing/ownership decision.
They should be.

Here?s what your city will look like when the ice sheets melt | Grist
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Old 03-16-15, 05:18 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Neither whale hugging nor other saintly side issues are in play in this personal car purchasing/ownership decision.
Personally, I do take environmental concerns into consideration when I decide what to buy. I wouldn't call this saintly, but I am very concerned about the quality of life that I'm leaving for my grandson. No decisions about consumer purchases are completely "personal" because they literally impact on everybody in the world.
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