Car free living.

@Philbo (579)
Canada
June 7, 2009 2:32pm CST
There are actually people in North America who have decided to leave the car in the garage and do everything by bicycle. We lived that way for a period of time but it wasn't by choice. It is surprising how much you can actually do on a bicycle if you set your mind to it. I still commute to work daily whenever possible. I do wuss out on rainstorms and snowstorms. It's hard to ride through a torrential downpour and then look presentable in an office environment.
4 responses
@ShepherdSpy (8563)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
16 Jul 09
The rain while biking would be my issue too...in heavy rain you'd be less visible to truckers and car drivers,and so more at risk from them,(Never mind getting half drowned in the spray from a truck!) as well as perhaps your own visibility and braking capability being reduced -I was looking online for alternatives and solutions-I saw a German company that was offering a high visibility weather canopy for a bike,which would be one option,E-Bikes are becoming popular,giving you extra range,cruising ability on the flat,and maybe not arriving at your destination in need of another shower(!),and recumbent cycles or "Velomobiles" which are bikes or trikes with a weatherproof enclosed fairing-a Velomobile with an electric assist motor is effectively a human hybrid electric car! (With No road tax,no insurance,no fuel..)they're expensive to buy,but how much does a car cost to run,and how soon could the savings pay off?
@Philbo (579)
• Canada
16 Jul 09
I've looked into velomobiles and they are way out of my budget. I have however got a lot of parts and when I get some time I'm considering building one. My biggest problem with them is visibility. The recumbents that get my attention sit lower than the hood of a regular automobile. I'd definitely be riding with flashing tail lights even during the day. I wouldn't bother with the electric assist. I keep in pretty good shape and I think the added weight of batteries and all would take away the advantages.
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
16 Jul 09
A recumbent trike with a good range of gears wouldn't have much need for an electric assist,as the stability with the third wheel lets you dial in the rate of progress you want for any hill or flat area..I've yet to try a velomobile (would like to try one!) but I'd wonder how much extra weight the fairing would add? and would an assist be worth having as a backup?
1 person likes this
@Philbo (579)
• Canada
17 Jul 09
I'm kind of partial to the tadpole trike layout. I hear though that they fishtail a little if the rear drive wheel is too small. I think I would have any easier time building a decent fairing with this layout. What material I haven't decided yet. I'm a woodworking by trade and have considered a couple of options.
@lampar (7597)
• United States
12 Jun 09
I prefer motor bike or bicycle over car in short distance trip. But it will be impractical not to have car if i need to travel long distance unless the public transportation system here is improved and certain efficiency is ascertained, then car free living in USA is only viable, just my personal two cents and wishing thinking.
1 person likes this
@Philbo (579)
• Canada
12 Jun 09
Good point. If you are like my family and do not live in town. Many services are too far away to be practical. For example the grocery store is too far. Yes, there are little corner stores closer but the price is too high. For us to keep our grocery bill reasonable we have to go further. Public transportation is not as highly developed in North America. I remember visiting relatives in Holland when I was a kid. Many of my relatives are farmers living out in the country. We were able to travel to their homes by bus/train. Most people in North America could not imagine that. Another worry is getting to a hospital. For us the nearest hospital is 25 minutes by road away. The people in North America that I know of who do this all live in a city that has all necessary services close at hand or they are Amish/Mennonite and live in communities with like minded people.
1 person likes this
@lampar (7597)
• United States
12 Jun 09
Since i am in USA, i can say i'm familiar with car free living in north America. Even one live in a urban setting, with public transportation easily access, it is still not practical to abandon car totally, as the service provided by private corporation is not efficient at all, example if you want to travel two miles trip with own car, it usually take few minutes to reach your destination, but depend on public bus, it can take up to a hours or two for same distance trip, not mentioning yearly rising of ticket price in public transportation n one have to reserve long hours in between waiting and traveling.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jun 09
The parking issue is the big one especially in big cities or college campuses. I have done this for periods of my life but right now with a young one, it is hard to find routes that are safe for pulling the little one in a trailer so usually I end up in the car.
@Bradpete (822)
• Philippines
10 Jul 09
I like using a bike than a car only when with many people . But in short and mid range travel I preferably use my bike pollution free. Saving our planet Earth. t is good thing to use the bike. Some people on our town using tri-bike it is smoke free.
1 person likes this
@Philbo (579)
• Canada
10 Jul 09
Zero emissions is what you get from a bike. Better yet it gets you in shape and makes you healthier. If everyone did there short distance traveling by bike instead of by car whenever possible we would save a lot of pollution and a lot of money.
@maezee (27784)
• United States
7 Jun 09
I see a lot of office workers or businessmen/women who work in the downtown part of my city - who bus & use public transportation as a way to get to work. I couldn't imagine biking to work in my freshly ironed clothes - I agree with you, they'd get totally messed up! But a lot of people in my area bus as a way to avoid paying for parking - which is really expensive downtown. I don't see too many bikers (biking to work) where I live, though.
1 person likes this
@Philbo (579)
• Canada
7 Jun 09
I live in the country and I am the only one around here that consistently commutes by bike. I occasionally see others riding when the weather is warm but they are rarely on their way to work. In the nearest town though there are quite a few people who commute by bike even in the winter but they don't have to go very far.