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Thread: Going Carless!

  1. #1
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    Going Carless!

    Well, I'm officially going completely car-less. The car has been broke down in the drive way since Labor Day weekend and I finally got around to seeing about fixing it. You can tell how much I care. Well, the cost is equivalent to it's worth and I don't have that kind of cash so screw it, I'm selling it for what I can as is and will now be 100% car free.

    Not my first time-went until 21 before bothering to get a car. Bike, skateboard, thumb, and bus did me fine then and it will have to do again.

    It will be tough, primarily when I want to get to the ski mountain for quick turns, trails for riding, or when I want to get to the nearby city for concerts. But for travel rental cars are actually pretty cheap considering no routine maintenance, registration, insurance, payments. And there is always friend's cars.

    Any one else recently car-free?

  2. #2
    A God Without A Name
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    been car free since the start of the Semester and I don't want to go back. I can eat what I want yet I keep losing weight. I save so much money on cost of living I can do whatever I want. its insanely fun and freeing.

    Did it for two years, roughly 4 years ago. so I'm not new to the hardships of it. Or to winter riding.

    the only time it gets me down is when I want to date some gal who lives 110 miles away!

    Other than that, buses, Trains and friends make it nearly a non issue.

  3. #3
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    I have a car but got an email recently about a new program here that should make getting rides to the slopes easier, maybe there is something similar by you...

    [I]Imagine this: You see the powder day coming and you want to share the ride to the slope. No problem. With a quick search, you can find that carpool partner for a single event.

    Not sure which day you'll go? That's OK too. With the single trip ridematch, you can narrow or expand your search from a 5 day window to a 5 minute window or anything in between. Flexibility is built right in. We are talking about a powder day after all. https://www.rideproweb.com/vt35/trip/search

    In hunting for this info, I also found this site eRideShare.com Carpool / Rideshare Community which had a bunch of ride listings across the country. You can plug in your state and browse.

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    Congratulations and good luck to both of you! I`m in awe of people who willingly pull that one off, and my hat is truly off to all of you. At times I daydream about it too, but there`s just no way I`m dedicated enough to make that kind of sacrifice.

  5. #5
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    I think I may be a rare breed, but I have never owned a car. I have always relied on public transportation and my bicycle (primarily). Granted, I am only 21 years old, but I get all my groceries, dog food, school books, and errands done with my bike just fine, even in the winter. I think that the only time I will honestly need to have a car is if I ever have children at some point in my life.
    "Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves." - Benjamin Franklin

  6. #6
    bikexor
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    Recently car-free here too. I was driving a Subaru that was near to death. I figured it would be easier to sell a working car than a non-working one so I got rid of it before it was too late. Not to mention it needed about $1500 sunk into just to get through winter. The $1500 I saved was the perfect amount for a Pugsley to commute through the snow!

    My job also offers a $20/month "bicycle commuter subsidy" for those who ride more than 50% of the time (I'm 100% now). Between that and the money I save on gas, insurance, and maintenance, it's quite a nice little raise. The subsidy isn't unique and is actually written into a law that allows any company to pay their employees (tax free) a $20 commuter subsidy.

    Something I did that other car-less should consider was to sign up for a "non-owner" automobile insurance policy. It's cheap, around $20/month, but will protect you if you drive friends' cars, work vehicles, or rental cars. Plus, many insurance companies consider a "lapse of coverage" a bad thing and can make your premiums go up if you later need an insurance policy.
    Little Shred Riding Hood

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    Quote Originally Posted by derockus View Post
    My job also offers a $20/month "bicycle commuter subsidy" for those who ride more than 50% of the time (I'm 100% now). Between that and the money I save on gas, insurance, and maintenance, it's quite a nice little raise. The subsidy isn't unique and is actually written into a law that allows any company to pay their employees (tax free) a $20 commuter subsidy.
    Really interested to learn more about this..

  8. #8
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Not to be the lame guy, but when my biggest stresses are figuring out how to get to the ski hill or a nearby city for a concert, I'll go carless too

    Not that I don't have respect for doing it when your situation allows it (if I lived in Manhattan I doubt I'd have a car) but I have no doubt that I will always have at least a couple. Now going motorcycle-less is something that I probably could do...but I don't see that happenening anytime soon either
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  9. #9
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    It's not by choice. I would rather have car around.

    But I also have the same issue Agwan mentioned. I live in a small town and the single gals are sparse. The city nearby is now pretty much out of reach, not to mention that they will have to drive me around. unless I put some pegs on the back of my bike.

    Thanks on the non-owner insurance tip. I'm looking into that right now.

  10. #10
    bikexor
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLoMatic View Post
    Really interested to learn more about this..
    Public Law 110-343 Troubled Asset Relief Program lets companies receive a tax benefit for providing a monthly subsidy to bicycle commuters. Currently, this benefit is $20 per month. Employers may reimburse employees, tax free, for “reasonable” expenses related to their bike commute, including equipment purchases, bike purchases, repairs, and storage if the bicycle is used as a “substantial part” of the commuter’s trip to work for the month.

    "Substantial part" of the commute can mean different things though. My job says "50% of the time". I just try to ride at least 50%+1 day of the working days in the month. I've heard of other places setting the bar as low as 5 days/month. I think the "substantial" might also be in place so people who live far from work can drive part of the way (like, outskirts of town, or just off the interstate) and then bike the rest of the distance.

    Kinda funny that this ended up in the law which was actually the law for the whole TARP bailout mess. It gives new meaning to "rider bill", huh, huh!? Get it?!
    Little Shred Riding Hood

  11. #11
    weirdo
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    CB, none of those guys are in Manhattan. You`re just a pansy like me.


    Quote Originally Posted by jmmorath View Post
    I live in a small town and the single gals are sparse. The city nearby is now pretty much out of reach, not to mention that they will have to drive me around. unless I put some pegs on the back of my bike.
    No pegs, lemons to lemonade!

  12. #12
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    It IS possible!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dann C View Post
    I think I may be a rare breed, but I have never owned a car. I have always relied on public transportation and my bicycle (primarily). Granted, I am only 21 years old, but I get all my groceries, dog food, school books, and errands done with my bike just fine, even in the winter. I think that the only time I will honestly need to have a car is if I ever have children at some point in my life.
    Thirty eight years old, no license ever. My wife drives, but the town I live in is small. I have commuted daily since 1992 with perhaps forty days in all that time when I needed "alternate" transport by vehicle, (usually weather related.) Bob trailer for goods and recreation, backpack for the rest of the time. Three different rigs for different times of the year, a Gary Fisher Montare Dual Sport fully winterized with bar mitts, studded tires and fenders, Schwinn road bike with fenders and bar mitts, and the latest addition is a Surly Pugsley which will be given a chance this coming winter. (Just finished the custom fenders.)
    Commuting with no car is doable if you have friends who let you tag along when they ride in places that are too far to get to by bike, (share the fuel costs, buy them beer and grub, tune their bikes at the shop for free or at low cost, etc....).
    Our local IMBA club has a great mtn. biking trail system just 12 miles from my house and we have hundreds of miles of farm grid roads for road riding. No kids or this would be a total no-go!


    Mikey

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    I'm car free at the moment too because my car sits dead in front of the house! Ive been more interested in fixing it to sell it than to get back to driving.

  14. #14
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    carless since 2004 ,,, WOOT-WOOT!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyonthemadone View Post
    Thirty eight years old, no license ever. My wife drives, but the town I live in is small. I have commuted daily since 1992 with perhaps forty days in all that time when I needed "alternate" transport by vehicle, (usually weather related.) Bob trailer for goods and recreation, backpack for the rest of the time. Three different rigs for different times of the year, a Gary Fisher Montare Dual Sport fully winterized with bar mitts, studded tires and fenders, Schwinn road bike with fenders and bar mitts, and the latest addition is a Surly Pugsley which will be given a chance this coming winter. (Just finished the custom fenders.)
    Commuting with no car is doable if you have friends who let you tag along when they ride in places that are too far to get to by bike, (share the fuel costs, buy them beer and grub, tune their bikes at the shop for free or at low cost, etc....).
    Our local IMBA club has a great mtn. biking trail system just 12 miles from my house and we have hundreds of miles of farm grid roads for road riding. No kids or this would be a total no-go!


    Mikey

    That sounds fantastic. I salute you! I plan on getting a trailer for my Vaya eventually for those days when I have a lotttt to haul. Sometimes a grocery load gets a bit heavy on the back. I have a fat front El Mariachi coming on the way that will help for my winter dilemmas.
    "Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves." - Benjamin Franklin

  16. #16
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    Two weeks of sharing a car with my fiancé. That means I'm riding everywhere we don't go together. We moved out to the San Fernando Valley last year - I don't know why it took me this long to start using my bike as my main mode of transportation.

  17. #17
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    Im very close to doing this! Friday I put 40$ worth of gas in the car and yesterday morning it wouldnt start. Getting closer and closer to just selling it. Once my girlfriend gets a new kia, im just gonna man up and do it.

  18. #18
    It's about showing up.
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    WhiIe commuting to the college has exposed me to using the bike more often, I will always use a car.
    I don't rattle.

  19. #19
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    I have a bike for commuting to classes, but it's quite a distance (40 miles).. So I mounted an engine on an old Trek to scoot me along at around 30ish. so I think this is still a bike?? It's too small (engine cc's) to be a motorcycle, and I still need to pedal at any hill I come too. I would like to actually ride the distance, but I dont exactly live in a city and it gets dark about an hour and a half after I'm done with classes so I don't have time in a day to ride it :/

  20. #20
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by muayteg View Post
    Im very close to doing this! Friday I put 40$ worth of gas in the car and yesterday morning it wouldnt start. Getting closer and closer to just selling it.
    Aw, man! I hate it when a car gives up the ghost on me with a full tank- I`ve had that happen a few times and the contents of the gas tank were usually of higher value than the "container". Hope you don`t have new tires on there too!

  21. #21
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    Wow, this thread makes me feel bad about my apparently lack of dedication. Unfortunately, I live in an area of the country that's completely unfriendly towards bikes. NO bike lanes, drivers HATE me, bike racks are few and far between, traffic pretty much everywhere you go.

    To put the amount of bike commuters in this area in perspective, there's close to 900 people working here on a daily basis. The most bikes I've ever seen outside is 3, usually it's just mine though.

    I dream of someday living in a city I can do most of my trips by bike though.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by derockus View Post
    My job also offers a $20/month "bicycle commuter subsidy" for those who ride more than 50% of the time (I'm 100% now). Between that and the money I save on gas, insurance, and maintenance, it's quite a nice little raise. The subsidy isn't unique and is actually written into a law that allows any company to pay their employees (tax free) a $20 commuter subsidy.
    They pay me about 21 cents a km (imperial: about 45 cents a mile).
    That's the amount they can give you tax free.
    In my case that makes roughly 250 dollars a month.
    Sometimes they actually do stuff that makes sense here! Too bad i'm spending all of it on insurance for a car i haven't driven once... At least that keeps someone else from using it, right?

  23. #23
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    Never had a car or a full driving license (although I'm only 21), don't plan on getting one either. Got a road bike for long distance stuff or when I'm in a hurry, got a mountain bike and studded tyres for the odd time there's any serious amount of ice about and I've got a trailer for when I've got to carry a load. And then there's always public transport if I need a back up although generally I manage to avoid it.

    Replacing my bikes with a car (or even just adding a car to the mix) for me would mean a huge reduction in my standard of living. I'd get less exercise, probably wouldn't live as long as I would otherwise, I'd have less money day to day and less money saved up for emergencies/luxuries, my daily commute would be 10 minutes longer and a lot less fun, parking would be a nightmare and I'd be more likely to run some poor innocent biker down and kill him.

    If/when I have kids I'll get a dutch cargo bike or a more elaborate trailer and if/when I get old I might get myself a bus pass, a car's never going to be anything more than a questionable luxury for me.

    I realise other people may have different needs/priorities and a lot of people will tell you that you need a car largely because they feel they need one, that's not a valid argument. If you don't really want a car and find you can get around ok without one then chances are you'll be just fine without one in the long-haul. There may be some disadvantages to not owning a car but there are plenty of disadvantages to owning and relying on a car as well, it's all about what your personal preferences and priorities are.

  24. #24
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    I live in a small town and it's only about 5mi from one end to the other. Totally reasonable to bike across that. Since I built my On-One Pompetamine I've been biking it quite a bit.

    A couple drawbacks for me to go completely carless:
    There's no public transit to get OUT of this town. Houston is 2.5-3+ hrs away by car, and while it's not completely the closest airport (a couple of closer regional ones), but it usually costs double to fly out of one of the regional airports. Also, the ONLY rental car agency in town stopped doing one-way car rentals a few years ago. So I cannot rent a car to get to the airport anymore (I did that once when I was taking a one-way flight and driving back in a moving truck) unless I pay to park the car at the airport (and pay for the extra days I'm not using it) and then drive it back to town to check it in.

    Very few people here bike. If I want to leave town to go ride, I have to transport myself.

    I own a house and a bit of property. Buying large, heavy items at Lowes or the garden center is very common. Could rent a truck to do that stuff, but I'd be renting frequently during certain times of year.

    What I do think might be feasible would be to own 1 efficient daily driver car between the wife and I. Sometimes we'd need to get creative about sharing it, but nothing out of the realm of possibility. My neighbors do it and they've got a kid...and they don't even own bicycles as an option. I have long wanted an old work pickup. Something that looks like crap, but runs reliably that I could use for getting to remote trailheads and hauling the supplies necessary when you own a home and property.

  25. #25
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    I just go by BMW!

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