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Thread: Five years ago today (car free)

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    Default Five years ago today (car free)

    It was five years ago today that I became car-free. Living in Arlington definitely makes it possible, because there are lots of options and alternatives. More than that, having a bike to take me most places makes it pretty easy most of the time.

    I have a little saying I use when people express surprise or interest or astonishment. "Riding a bike makes me happier, healthier and richer. Why would I not want to be all those things?"

    Or the other way of putting that, "Why would I want to less happy, less healthy and poorer?"

    I know there are many others on this forum who are also car-free, some for much longer than 5 years. Go team!

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    I'm not car free but car light. My 1981 Toyota Tercel died in 2014 with about 65,000 miles on it. I briefly considered going car free but decided against it. My 2015 Honda Fit has about 16,000 miles on it. I just brought it in for a 15,000 mile check-up. Nothing was unexpected except that some squirrels had started building a nest in the air filter. Recommendation: Drive it more, or at least more often.

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    My wife and I were car free from Dec 2015 until June 2020. Lived in SW DC and Capitol Hill. Wife took Metro or bus to commute and I commuted by bike.

    We got pregnant before the pandemic started. We considered staying car free, and continuing to use Uber/Lyft for baby transporting needs, but decided to purchase a vehicle because of COVID to avoid more exposure to unknown individuals.

    As a side bonus, I got a hitch and bike rack for our vehicle in hopes of getting out more to explore bike routes further out of the city. Alas the baby arrived 3 weeks ago and I never got a chance to use the bike rack!

    It's been nearly a month of no cycling between taking care of the newborn and nursing a sprained/broken toe. Babies are rad but I miss getting out to ride my bike for hours at a time...

    Maybe when covid subsides and group rides return I'll have some more free time to get out and ride!

    Way to keep it up Steve! Here's hoping to 5 more years!

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    I have been car free for a while. During the pandemic, I haven't been willing to rent a a car, take Uber/Lyft, or take public transit, either, so I go only where I can bike. Unfortunately, this hasn't resulted in a whole lot of biking, because I have almost nowhere to go.

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    From the time QOTM and I became a household, in 1989, until 1993, we had two cars. From 1993 to 2014 we went back and forth between having two cars and being car lite with one - not out of idealism but becaue we tended to shop for cars rather slowly. During the car lite times we relied on transit, walking and the occasional car rental to supplement. Generally it was annoying - from 1995 to 2001 I worked in suburban locations which made a second car important for us, and when I began to work in DC we moved to Fairfax, which tended to make being car lite challenging. I did not realize the potential of transportation biking.

    In 2014 we moved back to Alexandria, and I began to bike commute more frequently (with encouragement and advice from this community). Transportation biking, plus improved bus service around here, have made car lite living very comfortable - we have not even rented a car once since 2014 (we have rented vans or trucks a couple of times to move furniture). I can't imagine wanting a second car.

    The opening of a supermarket within easier walking distance (by summer 2021? the work on HT build out has started this last week) and QOTM dipping her toe into transportation biking, will mean we use our car even less than now. Given that its paid off, and parking (for the first car) at our building is fairly cheap (and being avid walkers, we can usually find free parking where ever we want to drive to) we probably will not go car free anytime soon (plus - "I do own a car, I just don't want all car centric policies, and oh yeah, it IS more comfortable to drive on the road dieted streets" - is an argument I would like to still be able to use)
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 09-14-2020 at 11:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty2k1 View Post
    My wife and I were car free from Dec 2015 until June 2020. Lived in SW DC and Capitol Hill. Wife took Metro or bus to commute and I commuted by bike.

    We got pregnant before the pandemic started. We considered staying car free, and continuing to use Uber/Lyft for baby transporting needs, but decided to purchase a vehicle because of COVID to avoid more exposure to unknown individuals.

    As a side bonus, I got a hitch and bike rack for our vehicle in hopes of getting out more to explore bike routes further out of the city. Alas the baby arrived 3 weeks ago and I never got a chance to use the bike rack!

    It's been nearly a month of no cycling between taking care of the newborn and nursing a sprained/broken toe. Babies are rad but I miss getting out to ride my bike for hours at a time...

    Maybe when covid subsides and group rides return I'll have some more free time to get out and ride!

    Way to keep it up Steve! Here's hoping to 5 more years!
    Don't feel bad about gaps in when you can ride, just get out and ride when you can! My son's almost 14 months and this past Sunday was the first time I was able to get on the bike in almost four months.

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    Congrats on the five years, Steve! You and the others who have gone car-free inspired me to do the same. This was the scene last Thursday:

    Name:  20200917_123849rsz.jpg
Views: 101
Size:  46.4 KB

    I've used my car exactly once in 2020, to bring my office plant home when I started working from home in mid-March. I figured the car wasn't doing me or anyone else any good sitting in the garage, so I donated it.

    Hopefully, five years from now, I'll be able to report that I'm still blissfully car-free.

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    Quote Originally Posted by komorebi View Post
    I've used my car exactly once in 2020, to bring my office plant home when I started working from home in mid-March. I figured the car wasn't doing me or anyone else any good sitting in the garage, so I donated it.

    Hopefully, five years from now, I'll be able to report that I'm still blissfully car-free.
    Congratulations, Komo!!! Your bank account will be happy, too.
    Hopefully you kept your bike rack. Some people find it slightly bemusing that I own a bike rack but don't own a car to put it on. However, it's handy for when one rents or borrows a car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by komorebi View Post
    Congrats on the five years, Steve! You and the others who have gone car-free inspired me to do the same. This was the scene last Thursday:

    Name:  20200917_123849rsz.jpg
Views: 101
Size:  46.4 KB

    I've used my car exactly once in 2020, to bring my office plant home when I started working from home in mid-March. I figured the car wasn't doing me or anyone else any good sitting in the garage, so I donated it.

    Hopefully, five years from now, I'll be able to report that I'm still blissfully car-free.
    That is awesome Komorebi! I am in awww that you guys take that plunge! I want to follow in your footsteps just as soon as I feel comfortable that Iím also child-free!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Congratulations, Komo!!! Your bank account will be happy, too.
    Hopefully you kept your bike rack. Some people find it slightly bemusing that I own a bike rack but don't own a car to put it on. However, it's handy for when one rents or borrows a car.
    Steve O,

    Can I borrow your bike rack to mount on my bike trailer?




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