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What is it like where you are?

Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

What is it like where you are?

Old 01-17-16, 11:46 PM
  #51  
brianinc-ville
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Where I live, it's flat, wet, and (most of the year) hot.

Winter in Eastern North Carolina is usually nice for riding (though today it was about 36ºF/2ºC and raining. Yuck.). It hardly ever snows, though when it does it's interesting -- we have no equipment or salt for dealing with it, nor skills for driving in it.

Summer here is pretty trying. Very humid and swampy. Get used to sweat.

This is a small city, but it's very sprawly and car-oriented -- most of the development has happened since 1960. To get around by bike, you need to put some effort into finding usable routes through back streets, parking lots, and the occasional off-road shortcut. You also need fairly robust vehicular cycling skills.

That said, the town is small enough that no two points are more than 25 minutes apart by bike. The central city is making a comeback. It's not bad!
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Old 01-18-16, 04:29 AM
  #52  
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I live in the western part of the Netherlands in Europe and while we have an outstanding bikepath system its the weather that keeps me from being totally car free. It rains a LOT over here and when its not raining its headwinds of 6 to 8 bft that will get you. Worst days are when its both raining and the wind is blowing. Even in the summer we get a lot of rain. The only days its not raining or storming its either freaking hot or freezing.

I bike to work 2 to 3 days in the week and maybe 4 days (out of 5) in the summer but thats all i will do. I have biked all week long for a while but with weather like this and with a pretty lengthy commute (44km a day) its just too much.

I cant go to customers when im soaking wet or smelly so thats another reason i take the car a couple of times in the week.

And today was -3 celcius but without strong winds or rain so i was happy

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Old 01-18-16, 05:23 AM
  #53  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
We have a "Where Do We Live?" thread, which we can continue posting to as well ...
http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car...o-we-live.html

But for this thread, I'm thinking more in terms of weather, environmental conditions, road surfaces, etc. to describe your local area.

What is it like where you are?

Does it affect your ability to be car-free or car-light?
Does it have an effect on your cycling?
See my reply to that thread. From a couple of other previous threads:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Does a near-perfect weather place exist?

Personally the only weather I don’t like to ride in is rain, and no rain would be a desert. That said, I really like riding in all seasons, even winter. So my near perfect weather would present the best of all seasons, without the extremes, and I already live here. Nice, albeit short Spring with beautiful blossoms and that first few weeks of relief from Winter; glorious summer; cool crispy Autumn with colorful foliage; and even a bracing, and challenging Winter, but not one impossible to ride in.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Describe Your Commute

Kenmore Square, Boston to Norwood over 30 years

Route: Reverse commute from downtown on four different routes of a minimal distance of 14 miles, each defined by a different hill; can expand to about 30 miles to train
Environment: In order of hill difficulty: Gritty (but safe) urban, pleasant suburban, pleasant urban, ritzy suburban
Hills: One moderate hill on each route, then smaller hills; estimate only about 1-2 miles flat
Road conditions / surfaces: All paved blacktop roads, many, but usually avoidable potholes and cracks; better in summer; shoulders and bike lanes usually available on the major thouroghfares; pleasant residential streets. A pretty well connected, scenic and utilitarian system of bikepaths is available.
Traffic: Heavy urban traffic on major routes during usual travel times, but I ride the reverse commuter direction, mostly very early in AM…
Alternative Transportation: subway, train, car, bus, taxis, car rentals, Zipcar, place to stay comfortably overnight [at work].
In summary,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner...

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… through one of America’s most charming, interesting, and historic metropolises on residential and light commercial roads (and partially on a bikepath in a park)…during all four (pleasant to tolerable) seasons…
Not to brag, but to illustrate the possibilities.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-18-16 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 02-16-16, 07:22 AM
  #54  
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After some nice, relatively warm weather ... we had snow down to 900 metres last night. Snow ... in the middle of summer!
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Old 02-16-16, 07:49 AM
  #55  
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High 40's to low 50's all week but windy as heck. Occasional sprinkle that lasts a minute or two as sytems get pushed through quickly. Roads are clear but not swept, trails are muddy but clearing fast. Mornings are a little brisk but that changes by noon to shorts weather. Conditions are amazing considering it's February in Montana. Couldn't ask for more since I've done more riding and frisbee golf than ice fishing this winter. Kinda backwards but I'm not gonna complain. We're due for a real winter here as we've been spoiled for the last decade.

Where I live is hilly. It's a good workout just commuting. Especially garage saling on bike. Typically I can put on 25 miles just going to a dozen different sales. It's really spread out. There are some long steep streets in Helena. Lots of single track very close to town. Lots. More than anywhere else I've been. Helena is a great place to live if you love riding singletrack. Very scenic, minimal traffic. I can hop on my mountain bike and not not see people for miles on the trails most week days. It gets secluded fast up Oro Fino and Grizzly gulches offshoot trails. And it is quite challenging. I can't get up most of it without a rest or two these days. Now when I was 20 and racing, I was a little more gung ho. Even then I struggled on a few trails. Mount Ascension being one of them. That thing is stupid steep and loose. Now I wouldn't even think of trying it. :^) It would probably kill me.

Commuting in traffic. Unless I take the back roads, I give this town a thumbs down for lack of bike lanes and crossings on busy streets. Motorists seem okay to interact with and the city is adding more bike lanes every year so I feel things are improving but slowly . I've had a couple scrapes with motorists in the 30 plus years I have lived here. But really overall, drivers are mostly fine with cyclists. I think it was worse back in the 90's or it could've been that I was young and full of attitude. Or a little of both.

Last edited by hatrack71; 02-16-16 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 02-16-16, 10:27 AM
  #56  
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I got my first ride in for the year yesterday... Earliest ever, as the snow is almost gone from the roads and it was 7*C.
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Old 02-16-16, 10:36 AM
  #57  
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I've been using my bike as my primary form of transportation since the mid-80's and I've ridden in many states, since I was career navy. However, I've retired to Florida and it's perfect, especially the weather. No problems here, except that I live very near the beach, which is always windy and as luck would have it, it's always a headwind; however, it's all in your attitude and I see it as a chance to train
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Old 03-07-16, 06:21 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I've been using my bike as my primary form of transportation since the mid-80's and I've ridden in many states, since I was career navy. However, I've retired to Florida and it's perfect, especially the weather. No problems here, except that I live very near the beach, which is always windy and as luck would have it, it's always a headwind; however, it's all in your attitude and I see it as a chance to train
I know ... the sea breeze! It comes in quite strongly here about 3 pm.
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Old 03-07-16, 01:29 PM
  #59  
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I've only biked 7 times since New Year's as I don't ride on ice. I rode today as it was warm enough that the water from melting snow banks had not frozen into ice sheets overnight - that often significantly discourages/delays my early spring riding, especially if a lot of snow has piled up over the winter. We had fairly light snow this year, but enough intermittent snow and melting that most days in January and February the roads were a bit icy.

Actually, I like winter and snow, but not for bike commuting! As previously mentioned ad nauseum, I take public transit when I am not cycling, and it takes way longer, but now that some major road construction is partially done, I have a surface route on a bus that goes most of the way, and I usually get a seat, so I can surf the net on my phone, or read uninterrupted for much of my time.

Last edited by cooker; 03-07-16 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 03-22-16, 10:28 AM
  #60  
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Where i am from ( Chicago) It is really flat. It can be windy some days. Today the wind is going at 20mph. The summers are kind of extreme and the winters as well. In the winter, i train indoors but starting march I start riding outside up to December when it starts to snow and the streets get more dangerous. Right now it is in the 40's and cloudy. It is normal weather for this time of year.
In the winter i commute via public transportation. Public trasnportation is really good here in Chicago and everyone has access to it within two blocks.
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Old 04-17-16, 04:45 AM
  #61  
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The last few days ... feels like winter is coming! But they're promising a bit more warm weather yet.
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Old 07-04-16, 07:28 AM
  #62  
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Dark and cold here. The last three weekends our rides have taken us past sunset so we're getting some night riding experience in.
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Old 07-27-16, 10:57 AM
  #63  
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I live in Spokane Valley Washington, so we have 4 honest seasons. Slightly Hilly terrain, but amazing riding thanks in part to our Centennial trail. Essentially a freeway for us cyclists. Lush forests and a beautiful river. High heat is 100 f. Winters can be cold, but not too long. Snow is not major, though present. Having been born and raised in Alaska I find this place close to paradise. Also the highway Dept. is adding bike lanes on all new road construction, which is a bonus. We also have a "share the road" program and laws in place. I think that the Spokane area is quite bike friendly.
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Old 09-20-16, 09:10 PM
  #64  
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Spring is kind of half-heartedly showing up here. Yesterday hit 18C ... it was almost hot! Can't wait to be able to start wearing non-winter jackets, and to go cycling in just shorts and a jersey.
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Old 09-20-16, 10:27 PM
  #65  
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-1*C here this morning... Winter is coming...
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Old 09-20-16, 10:36 PM
  #66  
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Nicest time of year, Fall. I feel awake when the weather is cool, or chilly. And my but doesn't sweat.
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Old 09-21-16, 09:53 AM
  #67  
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We get the most glorious early autumns, thanks to high pressure domes and our location just west of one of the Great Lakes. It's raining right now, which is the only reason I'm on BF instead of outdoors! But before this sudden cloudburst, it's been sunny and warm every day--and more nice weather is predicted for the next few days.
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Old 10-02-16, 08:46 AM
  #68  
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With a train every five minutes on Sunday, it's Seattle without ambulances.
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Old 10-14-16, 12:34 AM
  #69  
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Mid-spring here ... but it is hard to tell. We're still seeing a lot of wintery weather.


So tell us what it is like where you are, and what sort of preparations you need to make to walk or cycle in your conditions.
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Old 10-14-16, 12:49 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Mid-spring here ... but it is hard to tell. We're still seeing a lot of wintery weather.


So tell us what it is like where you are, and what sort of preparations you need to make to walk or cycle in your conditions.
Well, my walk yesterday made me very aware that we're transitioning into autumn here. Three signs that fall is here:
  1. I got my flu shot,
  2. noticed that leaves are changing colors quickly,
  3. and wore long pants for the first time in a few months.

No special preparations are necessary yet, but soon will be. I did an inventory of my winter garb and gear. I'm pretty good for everything except gloves. I never much liked the gloves I used last year but conveniently one has gone missing. I'll need to buy a new pair soon!
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Old 10-14-16, 05:19 AM
  #71  
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Nice autumn weather here, remarkable little rain, quite fresh, about 12 C and lots of wind. Nice temperature to speed, especially with a rear wind.
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Old 10-14-16, 05:34 AM
  #72  
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I live in Salem, Oregon, in the heart of the Willamette Valley. We are a single-car family (car-light, I guess), and I commute by bike year-round. I do, however, draw the line at black ice and snow. With the proper ride, I suppose I could ride in snow, but I have crashed too many times on black ice, and I'm just not as young/dumb as I used to be!

We are in the midst of several days worth of wet weather, with lots of heavy wind and rain. I rode to and from work yesterday in the rain, and it appears that today will be the same.

But hey, there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad outerwear!
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Old 10-14-16, 05:43 AM
  #73  
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It's getting cooler and cooler every morning. I hate it! I love the heat. http://farmersalmanac.com/weather-ou...nter-forecast/
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Old 12-27-16, 04:11 AM
  #74  
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It's been a very long, long winter ... and no spring. Winter just kept going.

We've only had sort of summer-ish weather in the last few days (Christmas Day was really nice!) and who knows how long that will last. The predictions are that we're to have a cold and wet summer ... or in other words, even more winter.

Maybe autumn will be nice.

Meanwhile it's one day at a time. Today was nice. Tomorrow is supposed to be another deluge.

We ride when we can, and generally prefer to walk or workout inside when the rain gets really heavy, the wind howls, and it gets cold.
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Old 03-10-17, 07:46 PM
  #75  
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I live in Ottawa Canada. It is cold. Damn cold and my outie became an innie! Cannot wait for this snow to melt as my milage goal for April 2017 is 900 km/560 miles. Oh boy.
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