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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

Large Filipino 06-25-08 04:32 PM

I try to set an example for my kids and it hasn't worked.
Some day when the world will close in on them they will know.
They will know.
Until then,I will smirk.
I will smirk!

Machka 06-25-08 06:02 PM


Originally Posted by cookie addict (Post 6816089)
"You do not truly own anything that you can not carry at a dead run."




I almost lived this when I toured for three months on my bicycle in Australia a few years ago. For three months I lived out of two panniers, a trunk bag, and a handlebar bag ...... and interestingly, they contained everything I needed during that time. It was a very eye-opening and freeing experience learning how little I could live with, and still be comfortable.

Tat2Art 07-06-08 12:28 PM

Apologies if this quotation is a repeat (I haven't had time to read everything on this thread) but it's one of my favorites:

"My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants."
- J. Brotherton

eofelis 07-06-08 09:13 PM


Originally Posted by Tat2Art (Post 7008750)

"My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants."
- J. Brotherton

Need less.

unrevealed 07-08-08 02:57 PM

i dont own a car, furniture, cd's, tv / appliances.

i do own a futon, clothes, books, laptop, bike.

i cook most all my meals.

i am 100% debt free.

i own a 'pay as you go' phone.

i dont flush the toilet if i take a piss.

i bag my groceries in my mess bag.

i buy a pair of shoes when my current pair are fubar'd.

i dont use / own an air conditioner.

etc, etc.

Roody 07-12-08 10:55 PM


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 6761135)
College Life is Grand ain't it? Brotherhood, Fraternity; the Simple Life! Nothing more simple than a New Age Toga Party. Enjoy it. :thumb:

Or there's cynical, jaded and bitter adult life. How's that working for you, old dude?

I don't go for all the communal stuff, but I sure wish I had a couple neighbors who wanted to go in on a bike trailer. I can't see buying one for myself, since I'd only use it a couple times a year, and I can get along without it. But it would be nice to own a share in a trailer, so I could use it when I want it.

I suppose that sounds pretty juvenile and radical to you. I guess stretching your dollars by cooperating with others is just too "new age" for an old age cyclist like you.

uke 07-14-08 12:21 AM

I just finished reading the full thread.
 
It took me two or three days, but I read it all. With the exception of a few trolls, it's by far one of the most interesting threads I've ever read online. Great discussion, folks. I registered just to be able to add my two cents.

I've been gradually trying to simplify my life, with various degrees of success. At the start of college, I took at least two big cases and my guitar over, and for the first two years of travel, I'd lug one of the cases back and forth when flying home--along with my guitar. It was ridiculous. I got tired of it, and started traveling just with my guitar and backpack. I never owned a TV (can't stand commercials), and I never had a need for it. I graduated this past spring, and threw/gave away everything I couldn't fit into my guitar case, one large case, and my backpack. Even with that, I still came in over the weight limit in my luggage case, and paid at least $50 in fines when flying back home. In reflection, I'd have been better off mailing the clothes instead of trying to carry them with me all the way to the airport (it was hell dragging it until I found a taxi) and paying a fine due to the weight.

Now I'm at home, and I've spent some time trying to get rid of all the junk in my room. I've also pulled out most of my clothes and sorted them (sweaters, jeans, shorts, etc) in a visible place, so I can get an idea of how much I have. I'm heading to grad school in the fall, and I want to keep things simple. Ideally, I'll only take a few sets of clothes (maybe five sweaters, five jeans, five shorts, etc), my guitar, my ukelele, and my backpack (which will include my laptop). Oh, and the textbooks I've bought for the first semester of the program. That's it.

When I get there--to my apartment--I'll pick up a mattress, a microwave, a ground fan, and perhaps a wireless router. I'll also try to get a bike; I've decided not to get a car. Throughout college, I either walked or took public transportation to gt wherever I needed to go; 99% of the time, I got around on foot. Hope to do the same in school, but if that's not possible, I'll gladly get a bike before looking into a car. We have several run down ones here at home, and if there's room, I might try to squeeze one into my parents' van for when we drive to the campus. If that doesn't work, I'll do my best to get one over there.

Anyway, part of what simplicity means to me is having fewer things I don't need. I've spent too much of my life lusting after things, and it would be great to move past that. Stuff can't bring lasting happiness; that comes from being around people, and doing things truly meaningful to you. I realize if I'm lucky enough to find someone to spend the rest of my life with, I might have to compromise on many things (like television). Those are compromises I'd be willing to make, if needed. But right now, I'm single, and I'd like to see what it's like to live freely from being controlled by my wants, as so many people seem to be these days. Keeping up with the Joneses is a losing proposition, and companies spend billions annually convincing us we can find fulfillment in material objects instead of through each other. But I don't think we can. At either rate, I was very happy to find a thread like this when browsing google, and glad to read about people's experiences pursuing simplicity, and coming to terms with what such a way of living means to each of us. Keep this thread up, guys!

Roody 07-14-08 08:12 PM


Originally Posted by uke (Post 7054589)
It took me two or three days, but I read it all. With the exception of a few trolls, it's by far one of the most interesting threads I've ever read online. Great discussion, folks. I registered just to be able to add my two cents.....

Welcome, uke, and good luck in grad school. What field will you be in?

I hope you read some of the other stuff here and we can convince you to use a bike!

:)

uke 07-15-08 11:28 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 7060643)
Welcome, uke, and good luck in grad school. What field will you be in?

I hope you read some of the other stuff here and we can convince you to use a bike!

:)

Thanks, Roody! I'll be in child psychology. Not sure how it'll turn out, but hopeful. And yes, I'd love to use a bike to get around there. It was only through reading this forum I found out people actually had to pay monthly insurance on cars owned. In addition to gas, that's just another reason to try alternate transportation if possible. It looks like the biggest obstacle will be navigating roads with traffic (or sidewalks with pedestrians). I'll see how it looks when I get to the area.

Roody 07-15-08 12:32 PM


Originally Posted by uke (Post 7064410)
Thanks, Roody! I'll be in child psychology. Not sure how it'll turn out, but hopeful. And yes, I'd love to use a bike to get around there. It was only through reading this forum I found out people actually had to pay monthly insurance on cars owned. In addition to gas, that's just another reason to try alternate transportation if possible. It looks like the biggest obstacle will be navigating roads with traffic (or sidewalks with pedestrians). I'll see how it looks when I get to the area.

College campuses are usually bike friendly. I went to grad school (also psych) at Michigan State and I still live near there. There are thousands of bikes on campus, and extensive bike paths, combined with bike lanes on most roads. Watch out for bike theft and vandalism. They're common on campuses.

Do you think you'll live on- or off-campus?

c_dinsmore 07-18-08 09:13 PM

well, roody, you live in lansing. not so far from our grand rapids... what kind of trailer do you want to split up?

uke 07-19-08 03:34 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 7064924)
College campuses are usually bike friendly. I went to grad school (also psych) at Michigan State and I still live near there. There are thousands of bikes on campus, and extensive bike paths, combined with bike lanes on most roads. Watch out for bike theft and vandalism. They're common on campuses.

Do you think you'll live on- or off-campus?

Yeah, I'm going to get a u-lock and hope for the best. This is part of why I don't want an expensive bike; I want to know I could replace it after a brief period of mourning, rather than feeling as if I'd gambled away my life savings. I'll be living off-campus, but no more than a couple of miles, so it wouldn't be more than a fifteen minute ride on smaller streets. :O)

Fairmont 07-21-08 04:22 PM

In my town (Peachtree City, GA) you can go anywhere on the cartpath system. Originally it was called the bikepath system, but most people use a golf cart. But there are tons of bikes who use it too. Every single neighborhood, school, church, business, etc. is on the system.

Ever see a bike or golfcart in a drivethrough? You will here.

Our path system is independent from the roads. Only the true roadbikes are going out on the highway. Everyone else uses the path system.

And, yes, they're paved and smooooooth (except a couple rough spots here and there).

Fairmont 07-21-08 04:23 PM

In most of Georgia they came up with a solution for bikes and cars. No, they didn't build bike lanes or widen the roads.

They put up thousands of signs that say, "Share the road." :rolleyes:

mondaycurse 07-25-08 01:41 PM

After graduating, I plan on spending a year interning in Chicago before getting into college. I'll live with a roommate or 2 and anything that doesn't fit into a small moving van is left home. The car is being sold to my dad who will love twice the gas mileage in addition to his bike. Right now, I see taking 2 bikes, clothing, my home theater & equipment rack (biking and movies are passions 1 and 2), laptop, Zune, and some of my cooking gear. The more I realize it, that's about all I ever use. Even then I guess I live fairly complex compared to some of you guys.

BanffBikeGirl 07-28-08 09:14 AM

I'm not living as simply as I was, mainly because I have moved across a large portion of Canada from Banff Alberta to Guelph Ontario. I left behind a tiny apartment and a good 25% of my stuff, bought a pickup, and moved with my boyfriend. Now, the truck is for sale, my boyfriend and I are in a larger apartment, and I drive too much, mostly to work and back. Most of the important stuff is within walking and biking distance, though, so I intend to be more active as soon as posible.

Lamplight 07-29-08 06:24 PM


Originally Posted by Fairmont (Post 7105520)
In most of Georgia they came up with a solution for bikes and cars. No, they didn't build bike lanes or widen the roads.

They put up thousands of signs that say, "Share the road." :rolleyes:

Ah yes, the head of transportation in my town stated that we have four, count them, four miles of share the road "facilities". :lol: He was bragging, btw.

Fairmont 07-29-08 08:02 PM

Traffic signs that say "share the road" are about as effective as those "Slow, children at play" signs in neighborhoods.


Ever notice the "no littering" and "no loitering" signs are in the various places where it's the biggest problem? That would seem to make sense, but it still doesn't solve the problem.

Tat2Art 08-02-08 09:25 PM

Well I just finished with page 9 (still in 2006) and will pick up where I left off some time soon. This is one of the most interesting threads I've stumbled upon.

I believe we do not have as much control over our lives as we think, and things happen or are allowed to happen for a reason. I've personally been up and down, over and out as the song goes. We do not own anything our possessions own us. An $80,000 investment turning into $600,000 in 30 years is great. May lightening never strike.

I and a partner once made an unbelievable amount of money, in a relatively short amount of time, not being very materialistic, we really didn't know what to do with it. He suggested investing in "x" because of what "x" was going for at that time, that's exactly what he did with his portion. I disagreed because no matter what "expert" or "book" tells you something is worth the most important factor is finding the person willing to pay that amount. I invested my portion in cash and gold, only because I'm a numismatist.

Here's my take, the only thing we really own is this moment, we can only hope for more.

Another thing, ya can't take it with ya.

It may be anti-American to say but we as Americans are a spoiled, arrogant mix of people. I Love this country so much so I volunteered for Vietnam twice. By the way we didn't loose that war, we simply left.

Wanna get rich quick, count your blessings.

Apologies IBarna if I got us off track again.

zeppinger 08-07-08 12:50 AM

I live pretty simply is comparison to most on this thread. I can fit most of what I own in the truck of a small car. The only bulky things are my collection of books and movies (I dont watch TV) which you can pry from my cold, lifeless hands. However, I just graduated college as well and am off to South East Asia for 2 years to work with the peace corps, then to grad school. I have to get rid of everything i own, save a couple boxes of movies/books that a friend is watching for me. I dont want to pay for 2 years of storage fees for the small amount of crap I own! Also, I am getting rid of my bike which I have no room for. I am considering buying a bike in Asia and doing some touring, maybe bring ti back with me if I like it! That would be cool to have some crazy Chinese bike no one has ever heard of! :)

uke 08-07-08 10:49 PM

Since I last posted in this thread, I've moved to a different town in a different state to begin a not-so-different life as a grad student. This necessited getting an apartment, and filling it with things. I'd never have gotten any of it done without my family. Just wanted to say: appreciate those closest to you. Regardless of how simple or complex life may be (and it does vary), family's all you've got in the end. This doesn't always mean blood family; it does mean those you'd give your life for, and who'd do the same in return. Those are special peeps.

Now, in keeping with the theme of the thread, I've got lots of stuff. Lots. As a matter of fact, I just ordered a printer, as well as paper, and a few other accessories. Rather than beat myself up over having these things, I try to reember that the goal isn't necessarily to have as few things as possible, but rather, to have as few things as necessary. And even that might not be the goal. No matter how simply we live, we each afford ourselves and our loved ones various luxuries. Somewhere between excess and want lies balance. The trick, as with most things, is to find that balance.

shuguru314 08-29-08 07:26 PM

the simple life...
 
i too love this thread...

im in the process of "purging" most of my superfluous goods and commodities...

ive sold my ipod, watches, clothes, furniture in the last few months

haven't driven a car for 3 years now...finally got a bike...i only drink tap water (sometimes a beer)

i believe in living and taking advantage of our modern technology but doing so in a responsible way...

for instance... im minimizing my wardrobe and replacing cotton t shirts with merino or poly moisture
wicking fabrics...
they allow for less sweat and dirt and odor accumulation and in turn are easily cared for...
i can use a small table top washer on a 2 minute cycle and let the rapid-drying fabrics hang to dry

im getting to the point where i can live with everything i need on my back...(except the bike)

the laptop is one of my main tools... i use it for movies, research, art, music ( i even sold most of my art supplies in order to a buy a digital tablet which can accomodate thousands of different effects and techniques of traditional art supplies and it minimizes paper and material usage, and of course space)

i believe that reading is one of the greatest things we can do to learn...but i check out 2-3 books a week from the library and return them..

i try to eat locally and nutritious natural foods

...its great to hear that some other ppl have a good philosophy on life...most of my peers/family would think im crazy

wahoonc 08-30-08 05:00 AM


Originally Posted by shuguru314 (Post 7369716)
i too love this thread...

im in the process of "purging" most of my superfluous goods and commodities...

ive sold my ipod, watches, clothes, furniture in the last few months

haven't driven a car for 3 years now...finally got a bike...i only drink tap water (sometimes a beer)

i believe in living and taking advantage of our modern technology but doing so in a responsible way...

for instance... im minimizing my wardrobe and replacing cotton t shirts with merino or poly moisture
wicking fabrics...
they allow for less sweat and dirt and odor accumulation and in turn are easily cared for...
i can use a small table top washer on a 2 minute cycle and let the rapid-drying fabrics hang to dry

im getting to the point where i can live with everything i need on my back...(except the bike)

the laptop is one of my main tools... i use it for movies, research, art, music ( i even sold most of my art supplies in order to a buy a digital tablet which can accomodate thousands of different effects and techniques of traditional art supplies and it minimizes paper and material usage, and of course space)

i believe that reading is one of the greatest things we can do to learn...but i check out 2-3 books a week from the library and return them..

i try to eat locally and nutritious natural foods

...its great to hear that some other ppl have a good philosophy on life...most of my peers/family would think im crazy

I wouldn't call you crazy:thumb: Everybody is unique, some of us more so than others:p Personally I would rather see someone who thinks outside the box, rather than following the herd.

My wife and I have been doing a pretty serious purge of household items, biggest problem is she is big into the mementos and heirloom stuff. So it has been interesting. I mean what do you do with great-grandma's china? She remembers eating off of it as a little girl, and didn't want to get rid of it. So we compromised and kept 4 place settings and sold off the rest.(for a tidy sum!)

I have been burning my entire CD collection to a spare hard drive that I can download music to my MP3 player. Before I would make copies to play in my truck or in my laptop. Sometimes I am a late adopter of technology. I have a bunch of books downloaded, however I find an analog book is much easier for me to read for some reason....must be old fashioned.:lol:

Aaron:)

denjca29 08-31-08 10:12 PM

This is my first post on bikeforums. This is the first thread that I looked at seriously and I've read every last post on here. I own a Trek 3.2 FX and I sometimes borrow my mom's and my former bike which is a Trek Hybrid that has a huge basket on the back. In the past 2 months I've really committed myself to not using my car. I worked from home a lot before so I didn't think much of it but then once I got a job outside the house I started using the car. That was a temp job and I told myself the next job I get will be a bike commute. From day 1 at the new and current job, I rode my bike, 10km each way. It's great and I love it! I'm almost glad I don't live closer to work, otherwise I don't get an excercise to and from work! haha

So that was all before I discovered bikeforums.net What I got from this post was how happy I could be by living a minimalistic life style. First off, I'd like to define what I see as living minimalistic. That is having as few possessions as possible of the ones you don't really use. In the past month I've sold lots of things such as 2 backup ice hockey goalie pads, surfboard, my car is for sale, i gave away some clothes that I never wear, an old laptop that I never use... Lots of stuff that I'm sure other people would enjoy more than me.

I see living minimally as living with little worries and not having such a large estate to keep track of. But in some instances, I do things like spend a lot of time in my Mom's very large yard taking care of her garden and fruit trees, but to me that is enjoyable so I don't consider it work, therefore I still count that as something I can do in my minimal life style. Letting go of some friends who live too far is something I've been doing, I've been working on making my life much smaller. I end up saving so much money that I'll be buying a sweet ass 1 bedroom condo with a spiral staircase to the upstairs bedroom!! It even comes with a carport which is great because my guests will always have parking if they need it since I won't own a car.

Again, I don't see living minimally as living with no technology, I see it as living with little worries. I got rid of my TV because I don't need it, everything i need is on the internet!

Thanks again! I wonder if any ladies are into a guy living in South OC without a car.. haha!

sXerider 09-14-08 10:54 PM

Anything I don't use I sell, give to charity, or trash. I do have books, movies, etc. but unless I will be reading a book over again I give it to the library and I borrow a lot books from them too instead of buying. I'm 26 and still have clothes from high school if that tells you anything about my fashion cares. ;) I think it's cool to check out these threads where people have like 30 bikes and parts everywhere but to own more than one bike would drive me crazy. Ok, actually I have a bmx bike too but that's for sale, so there. :)

hornytoad 09-30-08 07:33 AM

4 bikes (2 road, 1 mtn and 1 commuter), car (only driven when i have leg/foot injuries), computer/office supplies, 2 sofas, 2 tables, 4 chairs, lamps, kitchenware, toiletries, 2 fans, radio/cd player, some books, cd's, minimal clothing and numerous backpacking/camping/fishing supplies.

i am curious to see the posts on this thread grow as the 'american dream' morphs into a world dream. imo, this is a good thing. consumption in the u.s.a. has been out of control for ~ 50 years! great american leaders will return to politics during this balancing phase of our economy. and lost industries too will return.

i commend those like you and your examples on these posts.

extend and diversify your skills. and contribute more to community so others may follow your lead.

sunburst 10-12-08 01:35 AM

I live pretty simply: mostly car free, mostly vegan, small fairly uncluttered house on a small lot, old computer, very old stereo, etc.

My luxuries: multiple bikes (mostly cheap), multiple guitars (uh, not cheap) - but hey, each one (bikes and guitars) has a different purpose. Thought about selling a bike the other day, but my son said, "don't sell any bikes, I want to inherit them all!"

z3px 10-13-08 11:38 AM

What are some things that easily pile up and take up a lot of space? For me, itís DVDs followed by books. I have always looked at finding ways to "relieve" myself of the extra clutter without losing access to these resources, preferably the ease of having them on hand whenever I want. Does anyone know of a storage service that allows you to "store" them offsite, then send for them whenever you want. What would also be cool is if this service would basically sell the item (like put it on eBay automatically) at the click of a button. Then again, I guess I could rip the DVDs then sell them, although the legal issues with that are a bit shady.

Also, what about living paperless. Any tips for doing that?

Platy 10-13-08 12:28 PM


Originally Posted by z3px (Post 7656257)
...Does anyone know of a storage service that allows you to "store" them offsite, then send for them whenever you want. What would also be cool is if this service would basically sell the item (like put it on eBay automatically) at the click of a button...

Also, what about living paperless. Any tips for doing that?

I like your idea for a Stuff Management Service! The shipping charges for moving things back & forth would be significant but I bet there are people who would consider it worthwhile.

One thing that helps with living paperless is to do all banking online and have all your bills set up as either auto pay or online. Doing it that way also helps when you travel.

I've heard of at least one service that receives all your mail, throws away what's obviously junk, scans the rest and puts the images online where you can read them. That particular service is for houseboaters and RVers who have no fixed address, and I think the cost is very significant. I wonder if such a service could be provided more cheaply. Maybe it would be a good small business for a car free person who lives close to a post office.

z3px 10-13-08 01:06 PM

We pay as many bills as we can online right now, but non the less we still end up with more paper than i want.

I also thought about bringing a bunch of stuff to our library but i would be afraid they would sell or other wise get rid of the majority of the books i would donate (mostly technical books).


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