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Old 04-19-2010, 03:55 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,934 posts, read 37,677,211 times
Reputation: 21002


Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
I laugh at these people that say they "shop" on their bike. I've never seen anyone peddling home with a gallon of milk, a gallon of OJ, a 24 pack of 20oz bottled water, a mega pack of toilet paper, and a 40 lb bag of dog food.

Buying in quantity is also part of frugal living (this forum <wink><wink>) so buying a 25 lb bag of dried beans or rice on a bike, well I've never seen it. ... plus I live in the mountains, and that means steep hills.
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
It ain't as flat here as it is in Indiana where you are, big difference if you a load in your cute little trailer.
and oh, the view here...cape horn WA - Google Search The 80 mpg winds w/ freezing rain in winter make me happy I have a 50 mpg 'Stealth Rabbit' + a Bike
I've lived and bicycled in the mountains most my life, my bike trailer will haul plenty of "Junk" (or food) (and adults you will note in the pics
Blue Sky Cycle Carts bicycle trailers at Yellow Jersey I have the model with a snap-on top (not shown ~30" tall x 24" x 24" 200+# cargo capacity)

Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
... Strangely, Colorado is the place where it seemed easiest to find what we were looking for at a price we could afford, which I never would have imagined, but here we are.
I rode my bike to work everyday but 3 the last yr I lived in Colo (~1980) It is REALLY bike friendly with LARGE snow shoulders that make HUGE bike lanes in the summer

Originally Posted by plaidmom View Post
One of the often over-looked benefits of walking or riding to do errands:

No more impulse shopping!
Oh, but the 'Gems' you find on the road walking or riding a bike!!! Especially tools!! and countless bungee cords...

Old 04-19-2010, 04:03 PM
8,649 posts, read 14,917,789 times
Reputation: 4563
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
Or on a 8 mile stretch of a 2 lane road (the only way to work) with no curbing or sidewalks, and hay trucks zooming along at 55 mph.
Watch your back out there....
Old 04-19-2010, 04:52 PM
10,630 posts, read 22,836,181 times
Reputation: 6691
We've lived on both coasts and in-between without driving. In some places we did own a car, but I've never had a license. I plan on breaking down and getting one soon, but I don't anticipate starting to drive more often (we don't even currently own a car). Obviously it doesn't work for everyone, but it's often far easier than people realize. I agree with those who note that it's easy for those who have never gone without a car to overlook the positives, or to assume that it just isn't possible for people outside of the biggest cities to live without a car. Sometimes on these forums I get the sense that most people think that if you don't live in New York, or maybe DC or Boston, then you might as well not bother.

I currently do the bulk of my shopping walking; I have a good backpack, and we buy in relatively small quantities. Given that we're a family of three it's not like I have to stock up on massive amounts, anyway, and if I did the stores deliver.

I think one of the best trends out there is the increasing popularity of car share programs like ZipCar or City CarShare (or HOURCAR in the Twin Cities); many of us DO want regular access to a car, but don't necessarily want the expense or the hassles of maintaining and insuring one, or for those of us in some places, dealing with the cost or trouble of parking it. The car share programs really seem to be the best of both worlds. Right now I think they're mostly in cities, but I hope the idea will continue to spread to smaller cities or suburbs as well. They make it a lot easier for people to either go from one car to no cars, or from two cars to one car.

As far as freedoms, not driving definitely does mean some loss of freedom (one of the reasons I'm going to finally get my license, as I'd like to have the option of renting a car when I need it), but in general not driving can sometimes bring with it just as many freedoms as it takes away. I like being able to walk somewhere or hop on a bus and have the option of moving on elsewhere or going on a long walk without having to worry about returning to wherever the car is parked.
Old 04-19-2010, 06:21 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
8,377 posts, read 12,123,686 times
Reputation: 8069
We are a two-car family - my husband drives one to work, and one mostly stays parked as I try to walk everywhere the kids and I need to go. When we shopped for a home, we only looked for ones that were in a walkable downtown. We walk to preschool, parks, the library, the grocery store, and classes at our local community center. I put gallon milk jugs in the stroller or in the back of a bike trailer with my kids. My husband stops at Costco on his way home from work for big, bulk pick-up trips. We could probably go down to one car if we had to as I drive it so little. My problem is the weather since I hate the cold, I drive in the winter.

If everyone made an effort to walk places for errands, we could cut down on how much gasoline we use and roll our errands and exercise into one activity. I always chuckle when people drive everywhere - especially to the gym to go walk on the treadmill. Part of the problem is the developments of many of the suburbs that were not built around city centers. Walkable downtown towns and cities are hard to find in many areas.

I appreciate all of those on here without cars or with one car - you give me inspiration to walk more and drive less!
Old 04-19-2010, 07:24 PM
Location: Tucson, AZ
2,165 posts, read 7,509,814 times
Reputation: 2906
I will be in TN next week for a visit and plan on going over to Memphis. I'm going to take a closer look at the City with Soul and see if it's worth considering for car lite living. I've been there before but never spent much time on the ground beyond downtown and Beale Street. They have a decent sized city bus system, a streetcar line covering the downtown area, and a mostly grid oriented street layout. The terrain is not very hilly once you get up on the plateau east of the Mississippi River, so it would be fairly easy to get around on a bike even if it did not have (m)any gears. A bike rider has options besides just one main road from getting from A to B. There's a fair number of cyclists around the city, based on the number of bike shops. Some of these bike shops seem oriented towards transportation bike riding in town as opposed to the typical bike shop that is selling bikes to the off road or high end "roadie" crowd. They even have a fix it yourself / build it yourself community bike co-op.

Memphis has plenty of pros and cons. Cost of living around Memphis is lower than many other cities in the USA, weather varies and the worst would be a few peak months of summer heat. Good public water supply (from a sandstone underground aquafer). Crime in some (or many?) parts of town is a problem. Plenty of entertainment and events to keep me occupied. Several colleges and universities in case I want to go back to school and take some classes after I quit working full time here in the corporate cubicle jungle. Anyone got other places like this to put on my list?
Old 04-19-2010, 08:48 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,934 posts, read 37,677,211 times
Reputation: 21002
I would go to Chattanooga and Knoxville while you're in the state.

There are a lot of bike and transit friendly options in these more desirable destinations in TN.
Old 04-21-2010, 10:46 AM
Location: North Phoenix
1,128 posts, read 1,408,733 times
Reputation: 687
Its almost impossible to go anywhere here in Phoenix w/o a car, especially when u have a family. Bus passes cost a lot, to have to buy them for around 4 people would cost more than putting in gas!
Not to mention trying to grocery shop or go anywhere at night, this isn't NY where busses and subways run all night. After 10 PM your out of luck.
Plus, there are too many psychos on public transportation!
I do try to consolidate my trips and be careful with gas, b/c i dont like driving around all the time. I will say though we have some pretty bad drivers here, I would not want to ride a bike on these streets!
Old 04-22-2010, 05:40 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,838,193 times
Reputation: 35910
I moved to a place where I did not need a car, and weaned myself from it. In the past year, I used it so little that I literally paid $20 per mile for insurance, and said that's it. I gave it away to my neighbor's friends who needed a vehicle, and I was sure it was going to a good home. When I had it, it was nice to know it was there if I needed it, but I never did, and I don't miss it.

I live within about a 15 minute walk of two supermarkets, the college library, a postal station, two fast-food places, a hospital, and the Salvation Arny thrift store, and for everything else, there is a good bus service here, but I haven't been on the bus in about a year. I go to the supermarket as often as I need to, so I never have to buy more than I can carry, and it never snows.

I chose my living location, exactly because I could be car-free here. Victoria would be wonderfully easy on a bike, too, it's flat with a sensible residential street grid. But I can't ride a bike for the same reason (vision) that I can't drive a car, so I just walk.

By the way, Nicet4's nice town of Hahira GA, for inquiring minds that need to know, is pronounced "Hay-har". (Hay-high-ra by the more erudite.)

Last edited by jtur88; 04-22-2010 at 05:55 PM..
Old 04-22-2010, 05:54 PM
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 40,381,856 times
Reputation: 10917
I'm good with walking. My vision is actually a liability for driving--something called exotropria. I can drive, but it isn't safe.
Old 04-23-2010, 09:21 AM
14,694 posts, read 29,832,283 times
Reputation: 17367
I'm not ready to go car-free yet, but we live in a place where I think I could when I am ready. I'm here in coastal Florida, so the terrain is flat and the weather is nice, easy for biking or walking. While I don't live in an "urban" setting, this is an older neighborhood just two blocks off the main drag, and within a mile or two I have everything - grocery, restaurants, drugstore, medical and dental, two colleges, airport and much more. Also the bus stop is only two blocks from the house.

So....the potential is there. I am driving a 10 year old Jeep, I don't do a whole lot of driving, but when this car poops out, I don't want another one. I have a nice commuter/cruiser bicycle I recently bought for exercise, so I want to try to utilize that more when the time comes. Big problem here where I live is the dangerous traffic, riding a bike on the highway (even with a bike lane) around here is scary. At least there are sidewalks for pedestrians, so all is good there.

I admire all of you who have ditched your cars. Someday I will, too.
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