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Old 09-09-2010, 12:42 AM
 
Location: Eastern Missouri
3,054 posts, read 5,033,612 times
Reputation: 1377

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I need a car for a daily driver. I also need a truck to pull the racecar with to the tracks. Only people I see not "needing" a car is people in dense cities with buses and taxi's. I'll never understand the mental disability of people who think they don't need a place off the street to park.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:05 AM
 
10,874 posts, read 41,191,303 times
Reputation: 14020
For those of us who live in rural areas with a minimal population and no public transportation system, going without private vehicles is not possible.

To support our farming and ranching operations, we need trucks to haul materials and supplies and livestock, as well as cars for transportation to jobs/shopping when we don't need the capacity of a truck.

To put this in perspective, it's 12 miles to the nearest fuel station from my house, and 35 miles to the nearest grocery store. Bicycling on our county dirt roads for the first 9 miles isn't very pleasant, and the two lane roads into town after that have little or no road shoulder to ride and avoid the traffic.

My wife works in town, and her job requires that she make house calls throughout the county. My off-farm business is a manufacturer's rep traveling 3 (and sometimes, 2 or 3 more) Rocky Mountain States to call on clients. This area is also an extreme climate zone with strong winds and cold temps for most of the year, so walking/bicycling/motocycling is not an option.

The bottom line is that there's an entirely different paradigm of life for us than a city or town transportation need.

It's a lifestyle choice, but a productive one ... you city folks need to consider that you do not produce wheat/corn/fruits/vegetables/poultry/beef/lamb/pork in your high-rise buildings, nor in many small/walkable communities in urban settings of SFH's. When I hear city based people propose taxing the he!! of our energy and fuel ... because it won't affect them very much, and may even achieve their vision of energy reduction due to the expense ... it's very shortsighted in view of the energy component of raising your food, as well as transportation & refrigeration costs for it. Eliminate the local and domestic food production due to excessive costs ... there's a reason why so many farmers have off-farm jobs ... and you'll all be eating imported food. Not only that, but you'll take American jobs away in all the sectors that support the agricultural industry/production ... as well as destroy the American capacity to export foodstuffs, which is a significant source of foreign exchange cash.

Your local supermarket doesn't raise the foodstuffs in the back room of the place ... it's grown and raised and processed and packaged somewhere else, by people with jobs using equipment made by people with jobs and sold & serviced by people with jobs ... I don't care if you're vegan/vegetarian or on a normal diet ... your food comes from an entire productive industry and support and transportation structure that isn't found in an urban or surburban area. With 300 million people to feed in this country, it's a big job ... and an essential one for everybody's welfare and well-being.

I, for one, can live without a lot of products/goods/services that society apparently deems essential to modern life ... but neither you or I can live without food for very long.

Last edited by sunsprit; 09-09-2010 at 04:25 AM..
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 13,664,160 times
Reputation: 14764
I was car-free for about 3 years, but last December I bought a car because one of my knees started giving out, and the grocery store that was just a few blocks from my house closed and the next closest one is several miles away and a PAIN to get to. Living in TN, the biggest problem I usually faced was sweat. It has to be under 55F for me not to sweat after riding a bicycle, and not much of our year is that cool. This town is also just barely bike-able, and I'd often have to take a much longer route to avoid really bad traffic. We have a bus system but it's practically useless, and it gets old having to ride seven miles to get to the doctor that's only two miles away by car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinsanity View Post
I already do ride a bicycle to work, but I consider my car a necessity, because even though the supermarket is a mile away, how would you fit all those groceries on a bicycle?
For the record, I used to routinely bring home about 60+ pounds of groceries on my bicycle. Bicycles can hold enormous weight for their size, as long as you have enough bags and racks. This was a light load:

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Old 09-09-2010, 06:11 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 17,798,082 times
Reputation: 2295
I like that but for a family of three, thats 2 days worth of groceries. lol
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:52 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 12,913,854 times
Reputation: 8127
Need a car here in rural central Minnesota.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:22 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,509,074 times
Reputation: 4494
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
For those of us who live in rural areas with a minimal population and no public transportation system, going without private vehicles is not possible.

To support our farming and ranching operations, we need trucks to haul materials and supplies and livestock, as well as cars for transportation to jobs/shopping when we don't need the capacity of a truck.

To put this in perspective, it's 12 miles to the nearest fuel station from my house, and 35 miles to the nearest grocery store. Bicycling on our county dirt roads for the first 9 miles isn't very pleasant, and the two lane roads into town after that have little or no road shoulder to ride and avoid the traffic.

My wife works in town, and her job requires that she make house calls throughout the county. My off-farm business is a manufacturer's rep traveling 3 (and sometimes, 2 or 3 more) Rocky Mountain States to call on clients. This area is also an extreme climate zone with strong winds and cold temps for most of the year, so walking/bicycling/motocycling is not an option.

The bottom line is that there's an entirely different paradigm of life for us than a city or town transportation need.

It's a lifestyle choice, but a productive one ... you city folks need to consider that you do not produce wheat/corn/fruits/vegetables/poultry/beef/lamb/pork in your high-rise buildings, nor in many small/walkable communities in urban settings of SFH's. When I hear city based people propose taxing the he!! of our energy and fuel ... because it won't affect them very much, and may even achieve their vision of energy reduction due to the expense ... it's very shortsighted in view of the energy component of raising your food, as well as transportation & refrigeration costs for it. Eliminate the local and domestic food production due to excessive costs ... there's a reason why so many farmers have off-farm jobs ... and you'll all be eating imported food. Not only that, but you'll take American jobs away in all the sectors that support the agricultural industry/production ... as well as destroy the American capacity to export foodstuffs, which is a significant source of foreign exchange cash.

Your local supermarket doesn't raise the foodstuffs in the back room of the place ... it's grown and raised and processed and packaged somewhere else, by people with jobs using equipment made by people with jobs and sold & serviced by people with jobs ... I don't care if you're vegan/vegetarian or on a normal diet ... your food comes from an entire productive industry and support and transportation structure that isn't found in an urban or surburban area. With 300 million people to feed in this country, it's a big job ... and an essential one for everybody's welfare and well-being.

I, for one, can live without a lot of products/goods/services that society apparently deems essential to modern life ... but neither you or I can live without food for very long.
Very good points, but that doesn't change my opinion that those of use who can live car-lite or car-free should do so. I live in a suburb a mile from work, a half-mile from a major mall, and a couple blocks from a grocery store. Public transit drives right past my house and the light rail is just up the hill. Most everything I could possibly need is just a few minutes away by foot or bike. There's very little reason for me to clutter up the highways even more because I need another status symbol to proclaim my worth to the world.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,620 posts, read 12,798,753 times
Reputation: 11167
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12GO View Post
I need a car for a daily driver. I also need a truck to pull the racecar with to the tracks. Only people I see not "needing" a car is people in dense cities with buses and taxi's. I'll never understand the mental disability of people who think they don't need a place off the street to park.
That was totally unnecessary.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:52 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,509,074 times
Reputation: 4494
Quote:
Originally Posted by motormaker View Post
^^ That's all well and good, but when your shopping gross amount exceeds your pedal power or the excessive cost of delivery or distance from the store you think about it.

I could not even think about how much we hauled home this past week if we didn't have a vehicle. If we did the cost would be prohibitive.
My grocery purchases have never exceeded my capacity to haul them on a bike. I'm only feeding four people! I go once a week and carry at most a couple hundred dollars of groceries about half-a-mile on a well-tuned cruiser with a trailer. It's not like I'm running a marathon.

If it snows, I can have the local King Soopers deliver my groceries for a few extra dollars that week. I don't live at the extremes of my budget, so it's not like the $10 delivery charge is going to break me. Lands' End and LLBean are more than happy to ship any clothing to me, and if I time my purchases well, I can usually get the shipping for free. I can walk or take the local shuttle, which drives right past my house, to the mall if need be. We rarely need to go to a place like Home Depot, but I suppose if the Do-It-Yourself bug bit us, we could rent one of their trucks to haul our materials; otherwise, we hire contractors. Small bits of hardware needed to perform the minor maintenance that goes hand-in-hand with home ownership rarely exceed the capacity of a bike trailer.

Anyway, if you think you need a car, then by all means, have a car. Somebody (you?) asked how I handle groceries and other supplies. There's my answer. I wasn't issuing a challenge for you to justify your ownership of a car/truck/SUV. I really couldn't care less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dub D View Post
This is a real stupid question and I'm real tired of seeing it asked in this forum, the frugal living, and the great debate forum.
Get over it. Nobody is forcing you to participate in the discussion.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 09-09-2010 at 08:23 AM..
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
12,563 posts, read 18,950,112 times
Reputation: 7201
I went over 3 months without a car last year. Thanks to public transportation here, it wasn't so bad. However, where I'm from, public transport is non-existent, so if I lived there then a car is a must have.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:59 AM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 12,706,640 times
Reputation: 3975
Hummmmmm, I'm four miles from the closest grocery store, six miles to my feed store, and I am not walking back with a 50lb bag of dog food on my shoulder. AND.....my pickup truck is the perfect tool for carrying the rest of my tools.
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