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Fingers crossed, finally going car free

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Fingers crossed, finally going car free

Old 12-09-18, 10:35 AM
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Fingers crossed, finally going car free

Well, I applied to the State of California car retirement program to retire my 2002 Honda Civic. It takes about 4-6 weeks to see if I qualify, but if so, they dismantle the car for parts and I get $1500.The goal is to get older cars off the road, as they likely pollute more. Probably more than the car is worth now. Been a great car, 135,000 miles and still has the ORIGINAL brakes and clutch. But I only drove 400 miles last year, so it's time. That $1500 plus the savings on car insurance will cover the cost of any car share if I need it, although I am hoping to use my bike/trailer exclusively (especially once i get my friction drive set up). It's kind of scary letting it go - thinking what if I am making a mistake - I certainly won't be able to buy even an old used car for that $1500 privately. Leap of faith. I guess I could always get a motor scooter. Hoping it all works out, I've done as close to a "test pedal" as I can by using it so little. It's felt like an albatross hanging over me this last year, what with having to remember to move it on street sweeping days and run it up so the battery didn't die.
Anyone have any regrets or encounter any situations right after they went car-free where they wished they hadn't done it? Just trying to be fully prepared.
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Old 12-10-18, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Well, I applied to the State of California car retirement program to retire my 2002 Honda Civic. It takes about 4-6 weeks to see if I qualify, but if so, they dismantle the car for parts and I get $1500.The goal is to get older cars off the road, as they likely pollute more. Probably more than the car is worth now. Been a great car, 135,000 miles and still has the ORIGINAL brakes and clutch. But I only drove 400 miles last year, so it's time. That $1500 plus the savings on car insurance will cover the cost of any car share if I need it, although I am hoping to use my bike/trailer exclusively (especially once i get my friction drive set up). It's kind of scary letting it go - thinking what if I am making a mistake - I certainly won't be able to buy even an old used car for that $1500 privately. Leap of faith. I guess I could always get a motor scooter. Hoping it all works out, I've done as close to a "test pedal" as I can by using it so little. It's felt like an albatross hanging over me this last year, what with having to remember to move it on street sweeping days and run it up so the battery didn't die.
Anyone have any regrets or encounter any situations right after they went car-free where they wished they hadn't done it? Just trying to be fully prepared.
I did grocery shopping with a trailer for a while but that gradually gave way to doing more shopping trips per week with just a crate on the luggage rack.

I used to search for bathrooms near work to change into pants before arriving. One day I realized I could just wear pants over shorts and change without a bathroom. Everything keeps getting easier the longer you practice it. You keep figuring out new ways to tweak your routine and you wonder why you didn't think of the tweak sooner.
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Old 12-10-18, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I did grocery shopping with a trailer for a while but that gradually gave way to doing more shopping trips per week with just a crate on the luggage rack.

I used to search for bathrooms near work to change into pants before arriving. One day I realized I could just wear pants over shorts and change without a bathroom. Everything keeps getting easier the longer you practice it. You keep figuring out new ways to tweak your routine and you wonder why you didn't think of the tweak sooner.
My trailer is for stuff like the 40lb bag of dog food from Costco. I've actually hitched a ride with my neighbor when she's going to the market; if she's going anyway, it's not an extra car on the road. So between the trailer, my bike bag (holds almost a paper sack full) and rides with my neighbor, I think I got the market thing down. There's just this moment of panic when I think that it might be a mistake to sell it - but I don't use it - and I think I've figured out the one issue I had of going to the movies with a friend (where I won't lock my bike up on the street because it would be gone). The local bike shop down the street has agreed to let me park it in their shop during the movie for $2, which totally works for me. Safe, secure, and by paying $2 I'll have a receipt just in case anything happens. Of course, watch me sell it and then NorCal will get a massively wet winter for the first time in ages, haha. I've got a good bike poncho ;-). "Everything keeps getting easier the longer you practice it." I'll remember that!! Thanks.
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Old 12-10-18, 02:05 PM
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The way you described your civic I'd bet you can get closer to $3k for selling it privately, if it's a good working car. If you listed it for $2k, I bet you'd sell it fast, likely to a flipper who will sell it for more, just mention the brakes. At least that would be the value in the Los Angeles area.

135k miles is nothing on the clutch, my 03 Accord has around 202k miles on the original clutch.

In any case, good luck with going car free.
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Old 12-10-18, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
The way you described your civic I'd bet you can get closer to $3k for selling it privately, if it's a good working car. If you listed it for $2k, I bet you'd sell it fast, likely to a flipper who will sell it for more, just mention the brakes. At least that would be the value in the Los Angeles area.

135k miles is nothing on the clutch, my 03 Accord has around 202k miles on the original clutch.

In any case, good luck with going car free.
I dunno. The clear coat is peeling, the front bumper is just hanging on, someone backed into in and put a hole in it and broke the clips on the sides. And there's a small dent in one rear quarter from a shopping cart. Given the lack of hassle, I think I'd be ok with the $1500. Not many people can drive 5 speeds anymore, anyway, lol. That's amazing on your clutch btw!
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Old 12-10-18, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Hoping it all works out, I've done as close to a "test pedal" as I can by using it so little. It's felt like an albatross hanging over me this last year, what with having to remember to move it on street sweeping days and run it up so the battery didn't die.
Anyone have any regrets or encounter any situations right after they went car-free where they wished they hadn't done it? Just trying to be fully prepared.
I got rid of my car in March 2014, for similar reasons - remembering to move the car, starting it to keep the battery from dying, and just generally keeping it maintained was no longer worth it. Part of the $1200 I got for it was immediately invested in a good cargo trailer and an older geared hardtail MTB (all my other bikes at the time were fixed gear).

I cannot think of any situations that caused difficulty - immediately after selling the car, or in general, in the past close to five years. The only unanticipated result was that the homeowner's insurance bill went up, as I previously had a bundle discount with the car insurance. (Should have known that, though.)

It's also worth noting that when we got rid of the family car, we were new to the area (so no friends/family who we could really ask for rides) in an area that, at the time, had incredibly unreliable cab service, limited public transit, and no Uber/Lyft (I think they came in 2016). So, getting rid of the car really meant sticking to human-powered transportation - walking and biking!
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Old 12-10-18, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
I got rid of my car in March 2014, for similar reasons - remembering to move the car, starting it to keep the battery from dying, and just generally keeping it maintained was no longer worth it. Part of the $1200 I got for it was immediately invested in a good cargo trailer and an older geared hardtail MTB (all my other bikes at the time were fixed gear).

I cannot think of any situations that caused difficulty - immediately after selling the car, or in general, in the past close to five years. The only unanticipated result was that the homeowner's insurance bill went up, as I previously had a bundle discount with the car insurance. (Should have known that, though.)

It's also worth noting that when we got rid of the family car, we were new to the area (so no friends/family who we could really ask for rides) in an area that, at the time, had incredibly unreliable cab service, limited public transit, and no Uber/Lyft (I think they came in 2016). So, getting rid of the car really meant sticking to human-powered transportation - walking and biking!
That's great to hear. I already had the homeowner insurance increase when I took my car insurance to Metromile because they charged for miles driven and were half the price of my Allstate car insurance (bundled). It wasn't a huge increase (about $80 yr) so made financial sense to move the car over to MM. Of course, once I drop that insurance after the car is gone, it will all be much better $-wise. Having very good public transit and the options now of e-scooter/e-bike share along with car share is what makes me think this will work for me. Of course, once the car is gone...it HAS to work, lol. I've had a car since I was 16 so it just feels a little weird, but good weird. My 31 year old son otoh has NEVER owned a car and is a piss-poor driver as a result. He bikes everywhere.
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Old 12-10-18, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Having very good public transit and the options now of e-scooter/e-bike share along with car share is what makes me think this will work for me. Of course, once the car is gone...it HAS to work, lol. I've had a car since I was 16 so it just feels a little weird, but good weird.
All of that will definitely help! It's of course a good idea to have a backup plan, and it sounds like there are many available options in your area.

You have lots of hills, right? I applied for a job in SF and that's one thing I've thought about...were I to get the job (a really long shot at this point), just commuting might be a pretty serious workout!
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Old 12-10-18, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
All of that will definitely help! It's of course a good idea to have a backup plan, and it sounds like there are many available options in your area.

You have lots of hills, right? I applied for a job in SF and that's one thing I've thought about...were I to get the job (a really long shot at this point), just commuting might be a pretty serious workout!
Yes, there are hills, lol. Part of what is going to make this do-able for me is that "eventually" I will get my kickstarter friction drive for my bike. Total weight 6 lbs including battery, on/off in 10 seconds, and fits in my sling bag I wear riding. The bulk of my riding is pretty flat or easy hills but having this to pop on when I know my route is going to be more than I can handle will be huge. Until I get it, I will just have to either use the gears and hope my knees don't blow up too bad or research a longer but easier route. Fortunately, I'm retired, so I can just choose to not go somewhere if I can't get there without the motor. Once I get it (Feb. I think) it's got the power to get me up almost any hill but the ability to either turn it off or just take it off otherwise. It's only 3 years late...hahahaha....but I do believe he is getting close to release. If not, I can always get a hub motor and swap front wheels. "Technology makes things possible" ;-)

Working in SF is great, but if you get an offer make sure it pays enough to afford the rent - it's pretty expensive.

Last edited by linberl; 12-10-18 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 12-11-18, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I used to search for bathrooms near work to change into pants before arriving.
I walk into work wearing bibs and a jersey and change in my office.
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Old 12-11-18, 01:26 PM
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I walk into office and change without closing the door.

In the beginning, I was very self conscious about walking into any building with bike apparel. Then I slowly realize nobody cares about that anymore here.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 12-11-18 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 12-11-18, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
135k miles is nothing on the clutch, my 03 Accord has around 202k miles on the original clutch.
Not always, our first Honda Accord (1988) would wear out the clutch at 90,000 mi and then before 200,000 mi. It's well document that gen Accord had weak clutch. Plus, we always had 4 people in the car. I bet the heavy load has something to do with it.

OP is in hilly San Francisco...having to start uphill probably wear out the clutch even faster.
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Old 12-11-18, 02:16 PM
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When I was car free, the town I lived in was"dry",i.e. you couldn't buy alcohol in town, so I had to go to the neighboring town to get beer with my bike trailer, and haul a case home. I eventually got a car again, and my town is no longer "dry", but I still carry beer on my bike. A few years ago VO sold a little attachment for a front rack to carry a six pack.
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Old 12-11-18, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Not always, our first Honda Accord (1988) would wear out the clutch at 90,000 mi and then before 200,000 mi. It's well document that gen Accord had weak clutch. Plus, we always had 4 people in the car. I bet the heavy load has something to do with it.

OP is in hilly San Francisco...having to start uphill probably wear out the clutch even faster.
Fortunately, my commute when I was working was flat but...stop and go traffic was an every minute occurrence. I've hardly used the car since then and not on hills at all, but I know that constant clutching in traffic and at toll booths had to cause some serious wear. Most of the time, you get places faster biking around here rather than driving, lol.
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Old 12-19-18, 01:00 AM
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You have a sound plan, it seems. And with the power-boost thing (assuming it ever arrives) you probably won't even need a scooter. I am interested in hearing how this goes.
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Old 12-19-18, 03:29 AM
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Would love to be car free but bike thieves are a problem.
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Old 12-19-18, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I walk into office and change without closing the door.
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Old 12-20-18, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Randy Barat View Post
Would love to be car free but bike thieves are a problem.
My bike is a Bike Friday Pakit - folding bike - 19lbs. I carry it everywhere with me or I don't go there. Although...I'm gonna buy a cheap sundeal folder for those rare instances when i do have to lock up outside. At under $125 if it gets stolen I won't cry too hard. I have a dr. appt. today and I will ride to Bart (light rail) and ride from the
nearest station to the kaiser offices. Bike is going inside folded. The trick is to not ask or act like it might be a problem, just carry it in like you know what you're doing and have done it before, lol.
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Old 01-08-19, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Well, I applied to the State of California car retirement program to retire my 2002 Honda Civic. It takes about 4-6 weeks to see if I qualify, but if so, they dismantle the car for parts and I get $1500.The goal is to get older cars off the road, as they likely pollute more. Probably more than the car is worth now. Been a great car, 135,000 miles and still has the ORIGINAL brakes and clutch. But I only drove 400 miles last year, so it's time. That $1500 plus the savings on car insurance will cover the cost of any car share if I need it, although I am hoping to use my bike/trailer exclusively (especially once i get my friction drive set up). It's kind of scary letting it go - thinking what if I am making a mistake - I certainly won't be able to buy even an old used car for that $1500 privately. Leap of faith. I guess I could always get a motor scooter. Hoping it all works out, I've done as close to a "test pedal" as I can by using it so little. It's felt like an albatross hanging over me this last year, what with having to remember to move it on street sweeping days and run it up so the battery didn't die.
Anyone have any regrets or encounter any situations right after they went car-free where they wished they hadn't done it? Just trying to be fully prepared.
I envy people who simplify their lives
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Old 01-08-19, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by airgreek View Post
I envy people who simplify their lives
I'm sure lots of people would consider if it fit better into their lives. I've just reached a place and time where it works for me, and after decades of commuting, I actually HATE driving now. It was fun when I was in my teens, blasting music but it gets old when you're crawling along a commute corridor every morning and night. January 30th is the big day - I kiss the car goodbye. I'm not emotionally attached to my car ( like I am my bikes, lol) but I will feel sad to see what has been a good car get chopped into parts. I'm sure I'll get over it when I take the family to dinner that night with some of the $1500 the state is giving me.
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Old 01-10-19, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Anyone have any regrets or encounter any situations right after they went car-free where they wished they hadn't done it? Just trying to be fully prepared.
Only one. To get out of town I have to rent a car. If I had a car sitting in my driveway I would get out of town at least 4X as much. So I kinda miss that luxury. And picking up / dropping off the rental car takes time too. Can't just hit the road on a whim at sunrise with skates/bikes/skateboards/kayaks etc.

Getting to the doctor's office when sick as a dog is another issue that only happened to me once, and a neighbor dropped me off, wife picked me up. Once in 30 years! Now with Uber proliferating, less of a big deal. Taxi is always an option as well, just sometimes harder to get one of those.

If you are single, young, and dating you may look like a loser without a car. So the shallow ladies get screened out automatically! A big PLUS.
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Old 01-10-19, 04:50 PM
  #22  
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When i was entirely car-free, i sometimes had situations arise where a car would have been easier ... but i never "regretted." No point. Mostly, on those rare unforeseeable occasions where a car would be Really handy, the LCF folks just have to work harder to get there. But you have a good plan and those sorts of things won't come up much, if ever.

Kind of funny ... you can get a car-ride ride with someone and listen to non-stop complaints about traffic, gridlock, other stupid drivers ... but most car owners never even realize they chose that, let alone that they obviously sometimes regret the choice.
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Old 01-10-19, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
When i was entirely car-free, i sometimes had situations arise where a car would have been easier ... but i never "regretted." No point. Mostly, on those rare unforeseeable occasions where a car would be Really handy, the LCF folks just have to work harder to get there. But you have a good plan and those sorts of things won't come up much, if ever.

Kind of funny ... you can get a car-ride ride with someone and listen to non-stop complaints about traffic, gridlock, other stupid drivers ... but most car owners never even realize they chose that, let alone that they obviously sometimes regret the choice.
That's funny and true sometimes, but sometimes there's no other option in terms of getting to a job. It's only really a choice when there are truly decent alternatives. As the date approaches to turn my car in, I am feeling more relaxed surprisingly. It's been raining a lot lately (we need it, so good) and I've done fine using my bike between rainstorms to stock up on groceries and get errands done. I did get poured on one day, and didn't have my rain poncho with me (dumb), but I dried out and so did my bike.
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Old 01-12-19, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I've done fine using my bike between rainstorms to stock up on groceries and get errands done. I did get poured on one day, and didn't have my rain poncho with me (dumb), but I dried out and so did my bike.
Sounds like you'll be fine

One thing I've found (both not having a car, but also when I left the car at home and bike commuted) is that I've become much more interested in the weather. I've also definitely forgotten to pack appropriate gear and ended up sitting around in soggy socks.
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Old 01-12-19, 11:21 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
Sounds like you'll be fine

One thing I've found (both not having a car, but also when I left the car at home and bike commuted) is that I've become much more interested in the weather. I've also definitely forgotten to pack appropriate gear and ended up sitting around in soggy socks.
I consider that recent dunking a learning experience. I too pay more attention to the weather now, but of course it is often wrongly reported. But now I have "staged" gear. Slight chance of rain/probably showers/likely to pour. Each stage has different clothing & gear that I carry. My cycling rain poncho fits in a small hip bag and I've now gone and bought some two sided velcro and it stays attached to my sling bag I ride with always. Detach for spring/summer. The poncho actually keeps me almost entirely dry and fits nicely over both my 16" and 20" folding bikes so they stay pretty dry.The poncho plus my Bogs rain shoes and I'm good. I also learned in bad weather not to use my 16" Bike Friday, as it is steel and multigeared and requires a LOT of cleanup from road crap; the 20" is aluminum with stainless steel chain, single speed, and bigger wheels keep it from getting so cruddy. In a weird sick way, it's kind of been fun dealing with the problems, lol.
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