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  1. #1
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    Anyone car-less?

    I am fed up with putting money into my 94 pickup truck that is falling apart. I am seriously considering taking time off and going carless for a while. With 2009 here, it might make for a good "resolution" too. See how long I can go.

    Work is 4.5 miles away, bikeable
    Shopping is all within 2 miles.
    Only problem is visits to family (Half Moon Bay about 30 miles) would involve taking Bart from Berkeley, and having them pick me up. Kind of tricky.

    Anyway, anyone else go carless for a while?

    Pros? Cons?

  2. #2
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    You could probably bike it from Berkeley, if you have your druthers. Here are the BART Bike Rules. From there you'd have to map it out, which station to get off at, etc... Could probably take Skyline to 92?
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    You could probably bike it from Berkeley, if you have your druthers. Here are the BART Bike Rules. From there you'd have to map it out, which station to get off at, etc... Could probably take Skyline to 92?
    Yea there are rush hour rules on BART unless you have a foldup bike. Honestly, I only go over there once every 2-3 weeks anyway...I talked to my family and they don't mind picking me up. This is kind of exciting, and scary at the same time! Worse comes to worse, my truck will be parked in front of my place and if I cant stand it anymore I will get it fixed.

    Might be kind of cool to see how long I can go though...

  4. #4
    MTT
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    I sold my car over a year ago and I don't miss it. My wife and I share one car, but since it was my decision to sell my car, I go with out most days. It sounds like you are in a semi-urban area; you will be fine. You will save a ton of money, and since your commute is so short, even if the wind is 50mph you could walk right? Cars suck and I hate trucks even more!!!! Sell it you are better off............MTT

  5. #5
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    30 miles isn't bad. Especially for a trip that isn't all that often. Worst case is you have to rent a car. I've been carless since summer '06 and I live in Wisconsin.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    30 miles isn't bad. Especially for a trip that isn't all that often. Worst case is you have to rent a car. I've been carless since summer '06 and I live in Wisconsin.
    Cool. How do you manage? Shopping? Work? Weather? Family? Fun weekends? etc etc

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTT
    I sold my car over a year ago and I don't miss it. My wife and I share one car, but since it was my decision to sell my car, I go with out most days. It sounds like you are in a semi-urban area; you will be fine. You will save a ton of money, and since your commute is so short, even if the wind is 50mph you could walk right? Cars suck and I hate trucks even more!!!! Sell it you are better off............MTT
    This is going to attack my inner laziness like never before

    I am thinking of times I need to go to Costco for stuff etc etc...hmmm, I can have a friend take me I mean

    Now the real question is, my truck is currently in a parking lot behind Kragen. Dead. Do I have it towed in the morning to my place? Or to work? (huge lot there, doesn't matter) Where would be less tempting or frustrating seeing the truck but not being able to use it?

  8. #8
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    I could never part ways with my car. I'm a certified car nut. I don't think I could manage without one.
    2002 Schwinn Aluminum Comp. Beater.
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  9. #9
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    Since I've started commuting, I have a love/hate relationship with my SUV. I love being able to make multiple stops all across town and load up all kind of cargo in the SUV, but I hate being in traffic (especially rush hour traffic). Whenever I'm sitting in traffic, I think to myself that I could be at my destination already if I were on my bike. Finding a parking spot in a car is a pain in the butt as well. I'm' doing ranting because I'm sure that I'm preaching to the choir.

  10. #10
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    I don't know how people drive in the city. I've never had a car, and barely even have a drivers permit. I think I would probably die if i had to drive or take the bus everywhere. Bike commuting is really easy where I live, but I would still do it if i lived somewhere else. Cars are nice to have (or its nice to have friends with cars) for long trips, hauling stuff, going to races etc etc, but I would hate myself if I drove one everywhere all the time.

    Keep your car, but use is sparingly.

  11. #11
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    The Bay Area has one of the best public transportation systems in the US. Take full advantage of it....the buses too. Man, I already miss it up there!

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  12. #12
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    I'm car-less, have been now for the better part of a full year with non at all and had one but only used it for big hauling trip to do laundry etc and that's for the last 2.5 years. I live on a small island, the roads aren't great, but the traffic is horrible, especially where I live and anytime I drive - using someone elses vehicle and get into traffic I get aggrivated sitting there and wish I was on my bike.

    Only issues I have is I don't have a properly setup commuter with permanant fenders etc, nor do I have proper rain gear so when the weather gets nasty it's hard to get about without at least getting dirty - this is something that I plan on remedying for '09 though My bros live about 14 miles away and I have no issue riding there and back, even with my recent family addition of a puppy - who used to travel in a basket, but who has quickly outgrown that and no travels in a backpack and weighs upwards of 17lbs.
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  13. #13
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    one

    I got rid of my car a few months ago. I ride to work and to shopping in the city. I use my wifes car or zipcar to go MTB, or other stuff outside the city.

  14. #14
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    4 months ago I ditched the truck myself.

    Ride about 120-140 miles a week. Good stuff..

    I haven't lost much weight, but thats because riding enables me to eat a ton of food and not gain any It certainly takes a certain amount of dedication and a large lifestyle change.. but its nice to keep it so simple. I live in phoenix arizona which is a *MASSIVE* city. I just live within 10-15 miles of everything I need. I walk to the grocery store, grab about 4-6 bags worth of food and walk it home. Sometimes I just pack up my backpack full of stuff and ride that home.

    You find ways to adapt for sure. I can't even start to count how much cash I have saved. No gas, insurance, maintence, etc etc... the bike takes its own brand of love, but thankfully its cheap.

    I am getting a motorcycle soon, but that is because I need to drive to tucson to see my sick brother. Thats about it
    2008 Specialized Rockhopper -- STOLEN! *cry*
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  15. #15
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    Ok I puckered. I was all set to take my truck to work and just let it sit there. I took it to the shop near me. Apparantly it is an easy fix, not expensive.

    THAT said however, I have decided to leave my truck at work full time anyway. Not be tempted with it at my place, and go "car lite" only using it when absolutely necessary.

    I feel good having this as a fallback, but also excited about trying to change my habits

  16. #16
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    Congrats! If you start riding full time prepare for an increase in the food bill.. when I started riding full time nothing could keep me from eating every thing in sight.
    2008 Specialized Rockhopper -- STOLEN! *cry*
    09 Stout SE(Its like your sister, cheap and fun)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaa
    Cool. How do you manage? Shopping? Work? Weather? Family? Fun weekends? etc etc
    I have a touring bike with front and rear racks and Ortlieb rolltop panniers for going to the grocery store. Rarely do I need more than the rear two. I live 3.5 miles from work. It's a 12 minute commute in the summer. It can be a 30 minute commute with a winter headwind at -30F. Weather is. Buy fenders. I don't really care about my family, so that's not much of a concern. Only my parents and my grandma live in the area. So if I have to go out to my parents' place I go to my grandma's and drive her there in her car. A fun weekend for me is riding my bike. The trailhead is about seven miles away. I work weekends, but on my days off during the week I ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by OhioGuy82
    I could never part ways with my car. I'm a certified car nut. I don't think I could manage without one.
    I own a '77 Corvette and used to ride motorcycle. Cycling is much more enjoyable. Little worry about getting pulled over doing things for adrenaline on a bicycle, but quite a bit more in the Corvette. Maybe in a decade when I've had a real job for a while I'll go back to the Corvette and finish up my last project on it.

  18. #18
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    If you leave your truck at home, be sure and not leave it on the street for too long or park it in a driveway so you don't get a delinquent vehicle ticket.

    My girlfriend and I have two cars between the two of us, but we bike and/or take public transit as often as possible. I have a lot of reasons for bicycle commuting, the main one being that I simply enjoy it. I'd rather not go completely without a car as we do go on frequent road trips and have other reasons for needing a car. My GF was considering selling her car or taking it off the road for awhile. I still have 2 1/2 years until mine is paid off, so it isn't going anywhere for awhile!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    If you leave your truck at home, be sure and not leave it on the street for too long or park it in a driveway so you don't get a delinquent vehicle ticket.

    My girlfriend and I have two cars between the two of us, but we bike and/or take public transit as often as possible. I have a lot of reasons for bicycle commuting, the main one being that I simply enjoy it. I'd rather not go completely without a car as we do go on frequent road trips and have other reasons for needing a car. My GF was considering selling her car or taking it off the road for awhile. I still have 2 1/2 years until mine is paid off, so it isn't going anywhere for awhile!
    I can leave it at work as long as I want, which is nice. Guarded lot, fenced in. No big deal.

    My truck has been paid off for 11 years which is nice. All the more reason to keep it around for emergencies, AND all the more reason to use it sparingly so I don't need a new car/ car payment!

  20. #20
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    My daughter has taken BART from dublin to SF state three times a week for the last 2 or 3 years. Shes totally converted from the bad driving habit she picked up living at moms out in the valley for a few years and rarely if ever takes her accord into the city anymore.

    Now if I could just get her back on a bike. . .

    These things take time I spose.

    Take advantage of BART and enjoy the riding. It would be really cool if there was a way to shuttle your bike up the 92 to skyline so you could glide down to the coast. Sheesh I couldn't imagine riding that now. It was hecka crowded in the 80's and 90's before I moved away.

    Good luck getting free.

  21. #21
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    I really tried to go carless this year. Despite temps getting down to around -30 at times and often wind speeds ranging from 5 to 40 mph depending on the day. The main thing holding me back was that I had one hell of a time getting to work after the first snow storm. They don't salt the roads here, instead they plow the top layer of snow away and throw dirt on the rest and let the traffic sort out the difference. It also took about 3 days for them to finish clearing off the roads. I didn't actually fall, but at one point i was sliding sidways on two wheels and one foot
    After a full summer to biking to work, i was Just plain exhausted after 5 miles of snow, battling tire ruts and cold air in my lungs. I got to work and everyone thought i was crazy, and i didn't disagree with them once. Perhaps if my city starts doing proper snow removal I'll try again.
    I am in the process of getting rid of four cars and me and my girlfriend will be sharing one.

  22. #22
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    This thread has some really good points! I'm also a certified car nut, but I've recently sold my ol porshie to pay some bills and ride the commute for a while. I live less than 3 miles from work (Arlington, VA) and 4 from downtown DC, as well as plenty of nearby shopping and paved trails throughout.
    That being said, I've also been eating everything in the fridge, and I'm worried that next season I won't be able to get to the trails/mountains when I want to. Might go car-lite like some have said, for those times I need to get my bike somewhere without too much hassle. Zipcar is a good idea!

  23. #23
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    Well I have been thinking about the car thing a lot lately, especially about getting to the trails. The few trails I get to, I ride to. They're mostly XC stuff, so the risk of damage is minimal. However, if you DH/FR/AM/etc and you have a decent chance of bike damage, OR riding there on said bike is too insane....

    then you probably need a car. It sucks, but its true.
    2008 Specialized Rockhopper -- STOLEN! *cry*
    09 Stout SE(Its like your sister, cheap and fun)

  24. #24
    Blind biker
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    Im car-less since I cant get a drivers license because of my vision and decied for a bike instead of a moped becuase of the laws they are trying to pass to require a vision test for owners. So now I have a bike to commute on and I love it. Keeps me in shape so I dont have to go to the gym or track and have to pay for it( everyone on my swim team jokes because my quads and calves are the biggest and I can barely jump).

  25. #25
    ong
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    I haven't had a car for the last four years. I live in Portland, and work mainly out of my house, which obviously makes things a little easier. I have an Xtracycle for grocery shopping and various other cargo-intensive trips, and my "around-town" bike (mountain bike with drops, slick narrow tires, and full fenders) for most of my regular trips, visits to clients, etc. The main thing in the NW is having good rain gear and good fenders. Waterproof shoes are a nice thing to have, too.

    It is a drag having to ride to singletrack, because there really isn't much close to Portland -- that's my biggest regret in not having a car. But I always felt really guilty driving a bike anywhere! Driving in general has started to seem increasingly irresponsible to me -- it's only feasible from an environmental standpoint if most of the people in the world don't do it. I guess I spent the first half of my life driving around, so I'm pretty comfortable with giving it up for the second half.

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