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The End is Nigh

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.

The End is Nigh

Old 04-22-19, 01:45 AM
  #1  
CliffordK
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The End is Nigh



It looks like I went "car free" in October 2014.

But, this summer my niece is applying to do a 5 week Youth Corps program.

Not in her home town, but available here (with her grandmother). At age 15, they only have a day program, so she'll have to commute morning and night for 5 weeks.

I've suggested that she could ride her bike, but that was nixed.

So, I may be recruited to do some "Taxi" service.

I still have cars, just I haven't been driving. So, now the next choice is what to get back on the road, and update the vehicle registration and insurance.

And, of course, decide what I wish to drive.
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Old 04-22-19, 05:59 AM
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Are you asking if you can still be considered car free if the driving isn't for you personally?
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Old 04-22-19, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Are you asking if you can still be considered car free if the driving isn't for you personally?
It does kind of point out how family issues can get in the way of being car free.

It will be interesting going out and getting insurance, registration, etc once again.

I have to decide what I wish to drive.
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Old 04-22-19, 01:07 PM
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Yeah - I'm kind of in the same boat: the family car went away in March 2014, but the end is near.

I'm relocating for a one-year temporary research gig halfway across the country with my SO, critters, and other essentials (bikes, instruments, clothes), and plan to obtain a crappy cargo van. Since I'll have a much longer commute (by bike) to an area not served by public transit, a backup plan might be prudent. We're also looking into playing music in public and have a lot of equipment.

I am looking forward to getting that 35% discount on my homeowner's insurance, though.
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Old 04-22-19, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Are you asking if you can still be considered car free if the driving isn't for you personally?
For me:

I have not had my name on an automobile registration since 1989. That is car free IMO.

I rent cars whenever I feel like it, and I use my wife's car now and then. I even take a taxi once in a while. However, when push comes to shove, I do not own car nor have one to use whenever a whim strikes me. And I have gone a year or two at a stretch without even driving a car.

If and when the day comes when my name is on a car title again, then i lose my car-free status. Other people's rules may differ. Fine.
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Old 04-22-19, 10:05 PM
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I actually still own a couple of cars, but no registration/insurance, and not everything runs. And, NO GAS.

I'm still trying to decide what I wish to get back on the road. The easiest would be the Blazer, and if I only drive it for say 2 months, then the gas usage won't be bad.

Or, I might try something a bit more unique. My "not quite Ferrari"? But, that would take some work to get it moving.

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Old 04-25-19, 06:01 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post


It looks like I went "car free" in October 2014.

But, this summer my niece is applying to do a 5 week Youth Corps program.

Not in her home town, but available here (with her grandmother). At age 15, they only have a day program, so she'll have to commute morning and night for 5 weeks.

I've suggested that she could ride her bike, but that was nixed.

So, I may be recruited to do some "Taxi" service.

I still have cars, just I haven't been driving. So, now the next choice is what to get back on the road, and update the vehicle registration and insurance.

And, of course, decide what I wish to drive.
How far is it? Why isn't there anyone else to drive her?

It seems pretty unreasonable to expect someone who lives car-free to drive for the sake of toting someone else around. If the situation was reversed and it was a 15 year old wanting to bike 20 miles to school each day but for some reason they needed an adult to bike with them as chaperone, how many adults would be willing to take that job?
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Old 04-25-19, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
How far is it? Why isn't there anyone else to drive her?

It seems pretty unreasonable to expect someone who lives car-free to drive for the sake of toting someone else around. If the situation was reversed and it was a 15 year old wanting to bike 20 miles to school each day but for some reason they needed an adult to bike with them as chaperone, how many adults would be willing to take that job?
Obviously he's leaving out all the "personal" details that isn't our business.

Suffice it to say --

with family, its always something.
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Old 04-25-19, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
How far is it? Why isn't there anyone else to drive her?

It seems pretty unreasonable to expect someone who lives car-free to drive for the sake of toting someone else around. If the situation was reversed and it was a 15 year old wanting to bike 20 miles to school each day but for some reason they needed an adult to bike with them as chaperone, how many adults would be willing to take that job?
She'll be staying with my mother. But, it will be difficult to expect her to do drop-offs/pick-ups twice a day, every day.

I could probably borrow a car (pickup), for those occasional days I'll need to help, but I've chosen not to impose myself on other people's vehicles.

Distance is about 9 miles each way, plus about 32 miles RT for me to get from my house to the Mom's house and back, so shuttling won't be particularly practical for me either.

In gradeschool (age 11 or 12), I would occasionally do the trek one-way, solo, but further, maybe 20 miles or so. We moved closer, but generally along the same route between 6th and 7th grade, so by age 13 or 14, I was frequently doing most of the route to school (ending in a different direction).

Anyway, I've been riding on those roads for many years. But, Mom doesn't want to turn my niece loose on the bike.

I've been looking at my Ferves Ranger. I could probably get it road worthy in the next month or so, but it should have a roll bar and seatbelts added which might put me over the deadline. Still, worth doing some work on it. So, it will probably be the Fiat 500. I could, of course, get one running, then do an engine swap into the other if I was ready.
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Old 04-25-19, 01:08 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Suffice it to say --

with family, its always something.
Not for an LCF zealot who considers Living Car Free status as inviolate and a higher priority than considering those "somethings" that affect family or dependents.
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Old 04-25-19, 01:14 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post

I could probably borrow a car (pickup), for those occasional days I'll need to help, but I've chosen not to impose myself on other people's vehicles.
IMO, this is entirely reasonable. If something goes wrong, it can be very bad - even if you are not at fault. I've had this happen twice: both driving my grandmother's car, with her in it, and letting a friend borrow my car. I was not at fault, nor was my friend, but both cases turned into a hot mess with the insurance companies.

There is also the matter of insurance, and IME, it's much easier to get a policy when you have your own vehicle than to try and get a non-owner policy. (Obviously, I do not know what your insurance situation is, or your local/state laws. )I personally will not drive a vehicle without the legally required insurance; since I do not own a vehicle or have insurance, this prohibits me from borrowing cars as well.
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Old 04-25-19, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
IMO, this is entirely reasonable. If something goes wrong, it can be very bad - even if you are not at fault. I've had this happen twice: both driving my grandmother's car, with her in it, and letting a friend borrow my car. I was not at fault, nor was my friend, but both cases turned into a hot mess with the insurance companies.

There is also the matter of insurance, and IME, it's much easier to get a policy when you have your own vehicle than to try and get a non-owner policy. (Obviously, I do not know what your insurance situation is, or your local/state laws. )I personally will not drive a vehicle without the legally required insurance; since I do not own a vehicle or have insurance, this prohibits me from borrowing cars as well.
The insurance is on the vehicles in Oregon. So, technically, it should be covered with insurance.

I do, on occasion, drive with my mother in her car, for example helping with long trips, and consider that fair game with what should be covered by insurance. In the not too distant future, the insurance company should want me to drive her.

But, you're right, it could get messy if I was say borrowing the pickup on a regular basis, but didn't have insurance of my own, or my name on the policy.

And, you're right, say a secondary vehicle is driven 5,000 miles a year, and I'm found driving it. The question would be how much of that 5,000 miles is mine, and how much is Mom's.

About 2 years ago when I was quite sick, I borrowed Mom's pickup for the afternoon. Then a couple of days later, she found a small, relatively recent dent that nobody was aware of. I'm quite certain that it was nothing that I did, but nonetheless, it was somewhat disturbing for all.
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Old 04-25-19, 05:16 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
She'll be staying with my mother. But, it will be difficult to expect her to do drop-offs/pick-ups twice a day, every day.

I could probably borrow a car (pickup), for those occasional days I'll need to help, but I've chosen not to impose myself on other people's vehicles.

Distance is about 9 miles each way, plus about 32 miles RT for me to get from my house to the Mom's house and back, so shuttling won't be particularly practical for me either.

In gradeschool (age 11 or 12), I would occasionally do the trek one-way, solo, but further, maybe 20 miles or so. We moved closer, but generally along the same route between 6th and 7th grade, so by age 13 or 14, I was frequently doing most of the route to school (ending in a different direction).

Anyway, I've been riding on those roads for many years. But, Mom doesn't want to turn my niece loose on the bike.

I've been looking at my Ferves Ranger. I could probably get it road worthy in the next month or so, but it should have a roll bar and seatbelts added which might put me over the deadline. Still, worth doing some work on it. So, it will probably be the Fiat 500. I could, of course, get one running, then do an engine swap into the other if I was ready.
Maybe you have no choice in some weird family-obligation sense. Sometimes the universe just wants to prove it can force your hand and then it delivers you from a situation you're unhappy with. There is always hope, even when none is in sight.
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Old 04-25-19, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Maybe you have no choice in some weird family-obligation sense. Sometimes the universe just wants to prove it can force your hand and then it delivers you from a situation you're unhappy with. There is always hope, even when none is in sight.
Life has compromises, and one has to consider both one's personal needs, as well as one's family's needs. And, they may have differences.

In this case, my niece has applied to the Youth Corps. But, due to her age, they only have a day program available. Her family is going through a rough patch, and I think this will be a good opportunity for her. And, because of the day program, it is only available here, not in her home town.

In future years, she should qualify for the overnight program, and could be dropped off anywhere (and should also be able to drive herself some as needed).

But, this will also get her out of the house, and some independence.

I also anticipate this to be a short-term need this summer, of a few months, then I'll get back to riding as soon as it starts raining again.
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Old 04-26-19, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Life has compromises, and one has to consider both one's personal needs, as well as one's family's needs. And, they may have differences.

In this case, my niece has applied to the Youth Corps. But, due to her age, they only have a day program available. Her family is going through a rough patch, and I think this will be a good opportunity for her. And, because of the day program, it is only available here, not in her home town.

In future years, she should qualify for the overnight program, and could be dropped off anywhere (and should also be able to drive herself some as needed).

But, this will also get her out of the house, and some independence.

I also anticipate this to be a short-term need this summer, of a few months, then I'll get back to riding as soon as it starts raining again.
You have to work within the parameters that you are dealt in each situation. That said, I see a pattern where people become powerless to address the larger issues we face, such as climate, sprawl, etc. because they keep getting stuck in the day-to-day details of social-economic patterns that seem compulsory for various reasons. LCF involves making certain sacrifices to avoiding complying with a human-geographical paradigm that favors driving in numerous subtle ways. It makes it harder when there are so many people who just ignore/deny the issue as being an issue at all, and then they are putting social expectations and pressure on those of us that do to go along with their complex of needs/wants and making themselves out to be victims when we refuse to tow the automotive line.

Often people talk in this forum as if LCF is some self-righteous elitism that looks down judgmentally on those who drive. If that happens, it's because we have to resist the enormous subjugating pressures of the automotive compulsion somehow. Maybe if more people would adopt a disdain for driving with self-righteous elitism, they would gain the strength to reject things that require driving to a destination. Someone once said about debt, "if I can't afford it with money I already have, I don't need it." Such an attitude puts most purchases out of reach, but the sacrifice is worth it. The same can be said about LCF, that "if I can't get there without driving, I don't need to go there," but most people aren't strong enough to make such sacrifice, so you end up having to decide how much to nurse along the culture of weakness/dependency that the driving culture has fostered.
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Old 04-26-19, 11:34 AM
  #16  
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As someone who went car free only a few months ago, I personally think you should be applauded for being car free for however long you are. For whatever duration, that is one less car on the road and we all benefit from that. I also personally think it doesn't matter if you ride in someone else's car if they were driving someplace anyway. You're not adding a car to the road. Now if you're getting rides that are generated by yourself (uber, taxi, friends) I think that's not car free. But shared Uber rides mean you are putting one less car on the road. That's my own interpretation....it's about the # of cars, not the rider alone. It's not about some holier-than-thou bragging, it's about reducing fossil fuel usage. Just my 2 cents. Maybe the OP can convince the young lady to consider riding a tandem with him !! =)
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Old 04-26-19, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
As someone who went car free only a few months ago, I personally think you should be applauded for being car free for however long you are.
I've put a few miles on the bike. Over 22,000 miles since I started tracking in the fall of 2015.

I'll likely drive some this summer, then go back to non-driving shortly thereafter.

Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Maybe the OP can convince the young lady to consider riding a tandem with him !! =)
I have a tandem that I might try out. But, it wasn't particularly popular with the kids the last time I tried it.

Although, one issue was that I thought one of those trailer "Afterburner" bikes would be a good idea with helping my nephew learn to ride. And, while successful, it gave him a thorough distaste for tandems. I'm not sure how his sister will react.

I could, of course, escort by bike. We'll see.
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Old 04-26-19, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
As someone who went car free only a few months ago, I personally think you should be applauded for being car free for however long you are. For whatever duration, that is one less car on the road and we all benefit from that. I also personally think it doesn't matter if you ride in someone else's car if they were driving someplace anyway. You're not adding a car to the road. Now if you're getting rides that are generated by yourself (uber, taxi, friends) I think that's not car free. But shared Uber rides mean you are putting one less car on the road. That's my own interpretation....it's about the # of cars, not the rider alone. It's not about some holier-than-thou bragging, it's about reducing fossil fuel usage. Just my 2 cents. Maybe the OP can convince the young lady to consider riding a tandem with him !! =)
I think it's great to reduce fossil fuel usage, and even non-fossil fuel energy usage; but I am more concerned with reducing congestion and sprawl, because deforestation is reduced the narrower corridors are paved and the more full-canopy trees and other ecology are preserved within human-inhabited areas.

So it really goes beyond anything personal. It is about embodying a vision for a neo-industrial civilization where industrial technologies no longer cause unsustainability and gradual loss of (forest) ecology and other living soil functions is reversed.
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Old 04-26-19, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Life has compromises, and one has to consider both one's personal needs, as well as one's family's needs. And, they may have differences.

In this case, my niece has applied to the Youth Corps. But, due to her age, they only have a day program available. Her family is going through a rough patch, and I think this will be a good opportunity for her. And, because of the day program, it is only available here, not in her home town.

In future years, she should qualify for the overnight program, and could be dropped off anywhere (and should also be able to drive herself some as needed).

But, this will also get her out of the house, and some independence.

I also anticipate this to be a short-term need this summer, of a few months, then I'll get back to riding as soon as it starts raining again.
Remember family is pretty important. Ideas and lifestyles come and go but your mother and your niece are blood. Your mother has stated her preferences and it seems as if you have tentatively agreed. As you said it will not be long term and you can go back to whatever you are doing now. The people you might upset by driving today won’t remember you or your “sacrifice” tomorrow but your mother remembers your first step.

Just a thought.
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Old 04-27-19, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
Remember family is pretty important. Ideas and lifestyles come and go but your mother and your niece are blood. Your mother has stated her preferences and it seems as if you have tentatively agreed. As you said it will not be long term and you can go back to whatever you are doing now. The people you might upset by driving today won’t remember you or your “sacrifice” tomorrow but your mother remembers your first step.

Just a thought.
In love there is sometimes sacrifice, but true love never subjugates people against their will and/or conscience except maybe where the end is so great it justifies the means, like when you have to force a child to take medicine against their will for their own good.

E.g. if you really care about your LCF family member, you avoid asking them to drive if at all possible. Only out of utmost desperation would you ask them to sacrifice their ethic, and then it would be with a heavy heart, i.e. if you truly respect them as a person and their value of not driving.

Too often ideologically mainstream people marginalize their family members because they can't understand them. People choose certain religious beliefs, cultural preferences, etc. for well thought-out reasons, so it's important to respect these deeply and give serious consideration when asking them to go against their own better judgment to go along with other cultural norms/expectations, however normal and mainstream you may consider them.

Last edited by tandempower; 04-27-19 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 04-27-19, 10:09 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
In love there is sometimes sacrifice, but true love never subjugates people against their will and/or conscience except maybe where the end is so great it justifies the means, like when you have to force a child to take medicine against their will for their own good.

E.g. if you really care about your LCF family member, you avoid asking them to drive if at all possible. Only out of utmost desperation would you ask them to sacrifice their ethic, and then it would be with a heavy heart, i.e. if you truly respect them as a person and their value of not driving.

Too often ideologically mainstream people marginalize their family members because they can't understand them. People choose certain religious beliefs, cultural preferences, etc. for well thought-out reasons, so it's important to respect these deeply and give serious consideration when asking them to go against their own better judgment to go along with other cultural norms/expectations, however normal and mainstream you may consider them.
So you suggest he has his mom drive the niece?
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Old 04-28-19, 10:20 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
Too often ideologically mainstream people marginalize their family members because they can't understand them.
Sometimes people do understand that a family member, work colleague, or even a discussion list poster is obsessed with an ideology or new found "religion" (spiritual or political) and marginalize the family member's rants, opinions and allegedly "good ideas" because they know that the family member appears to have little grasp of reality and is unwilling to stop spouting P&R gibberish.
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Old 04-28-19, 10:49 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
So you suggest he has his mom drive the niece?
I don't know the people involved, so I can't speak to their specific situation.

I can say that if it was me, I would question the importance of whatever the driving destination is.

That is because I look at much of what people do and question the necessity of it. It's like the normalization of driving and sprawl has led to widespread indulgence in relatively unnecessary social convening, which could simply be skipped. E.g. why do kids need to drive around to field-trips, sports meets, etc. instead of just finding constructive activities they can do within walking/biking distance or by bus if that's available?

It's easy for people to have a car to drive and cheap fuel to burn and then take a trip just for the fun of it or to have a change of scenery for an activity, but it's not really necessary; so if you are really serious about changing how things are done to resonate with permanent sustainability and climate restoration, you're not going to prioritize other things over LCF/car-lite considerations unless it's for something that is really critical.
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Old 04-28-19, 10:50 AM
  #24  
tandempower
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Sometimes people do understand that a family member, work colleague, or even a discussion list poster is obsessed with an ideology or new found "religion" (spiritual or political) and marginalize the family member's rants, opinions and allegedly "good ideas" because they know that the family member appears to have little grasp of reality and is unwilling to stop spouting P&R gibberish.
I understand sarcasm but that doesn't make me appreciate it in all cases.
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Old 05-19-19, 10:43 AM
  #25  
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Unless you have reasons you want to drive again, why not Uber for your niece? It would save you a pile of time and money but give you her less exposure to you.
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