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20 years since I last owned an automobile

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20 years since I last owned an automobile

Old 03-01-21, 11:36 AM
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mev
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20 years since I last owned an automobile

On February 28, 2001 I dropped car keys under the floor mat for a friend to retrieve. Next morning, I cycled away on a one year bicycle tour that brought me across the USA, one lap around the outside of Australia and through India and New Zealand.

Plan was to buy a car on my return, but in March 2002, spring was coming and I had been riding all year - so I put off buying a car until fall. When fall came, I thought it would be an interesting challenge to see if I could continue to bicycle through a Northern Colorado winter. I did that for seven winters in a row before moving to Portland, Oregon in 2009. Along the way, I took another long bicycle tour. This time 10 months and across Russia, parts of China and through Thailand.

I lived close to downtown Portland, and a car would have been more of a hindrance than a help. Zipcar was starting and convenient enough on occasions I rented one. Besides, I was going on another trip in 2013, this time six months across Africa.

Moved to Austin in 2012. My employer was located ~10 miles from center of town, but found housing not too far away and was able to continue bicycling as my primary mode of transport. On occasion, I'll rent a vehicle but for daily/weekly commuting and errands, a bicycle works pretty well. In 2016 I took off for another long bicycle tour, this time for 18 months. Today marks the 20 year mark since I sold my car. I have found that using a bicycle as primary mode of transport works pretty well but I've also had ways that I have adapted including:
  1. Bicycle and cycling is my preferred and primary mode of transport
  2. Single and no children makes a car free lifestyle easier.
  3. Made choices on where I live so that I am close to both shopping and work.
  4. Use an on-demand model to rent a vehicle for those cases where destinations aren't easily reachable e.g. some bicycle tour starting points. I have a separate non-owner liability insurance policy rather than buying insurance from rental car company
  5. On those occasions I have rented a car, I'll sometimes double up on errands. Being car free sometimes requires a bit more planning in advance.
  6. I know the bus system. It isn't very useful where I live but I've ridden it on occasion.
  7. Some places I've lived have been easier and harder, e.g. Portland was the easiest; Fort Collins, Colorado wasn't too bad- flat, 5mi to work; Austin reasonable and ~4 miles to work. In past I've lived in New England and outside a big city like Boston, it would be tougher mostly because in the winter there is more ice along the roads.
  8. Uber has made additional on-demand things slightly easier than cases I would have rented a car.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:47 AM
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alloo
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
On February 28, 2001 I dropped car keys under the floor mat for a friend to retrieve. Next morning, I cycled away on a one year bicycle tour that brought me across the USA, one lap around the outside of Australia and through India and New Zealand.

Plan was to buy a car on my return, but in March 2002, spring was coming and I had been riding all year - so I put off buying a car until fall. When fall came, I thought it would be an interesting challenge to see if I could continue to bicycle through a Northern Colorado winter. I did that for seven winters in a row before moving to Portland, Oregon in 2009. Along the way, I took another long bicycle tour. This time 10 months and across Russia, parts of China and through Thailand.

I lived close to downtown Portland, and a car would have been more of a hindrance than a help. Zipcar was starting and convenient enough on occasions I rented one. Besides, I was going on another trip in 2013, this time six months across Africa.

Moved to Austin in 2012. My employer was located ~10 miles from center of town, but found housing not too far away and was able to continue bicycling as my primary mode of transport. On occasion, I'll rent a vehicle but for daily/weekly commuting and errands, a bicycle works pretty well. In 2016 I took off for another long bicycle tour, this time for 18 months. Today marks the 20 year mark since I sold my car. I have found that using a bicycle as primary mode of transport works pretty well but I've also had ways that I have adapted including:
  1. Bicycle and cycling is my preferred and primary mode of transport
  2. Single and no children makes a car free lifestyle easier.
  3. Made choices on where I live so that I am close to both shopping and work.
  4. Use an on-demand model to rent a vehicle for those cases where destinations aren't easily reachable e.g. some bicycle tour starting points. I have a separate non-owner liability insurance policy rather than buying insurance from rental car company
  5. On those occasions I have rented a car, I'll sometimes double up on errands. Being car free sometimes requires a bit more planning in advance.
  6. I know the bus system. It isn't very useful where I live but I've ridden it on occasion.
  7. Some places I've lived have been easier and harder, e.g. Portland was the easiest; Fort Collins, Colorado wasn't too bad- flat, 5mi to work; Austin reasonable and ~4 miles to work. In past I've lived in New England and outside a big city like Boston, it would be tougher mostly because in the winter there is more ice along the roads.
  8. Uber has made additional on-demand things slightly easier than cases I would have rented a car.
Congratualations!

I'm Carless fpr 16 years started in San Antonio, TX. I ride a motorscooter and ebike. Along the way, I reade a book How to Live well without a car. Instead of On Demand Car rental, I use Enterprise it's cheaper and they pick you up. Also I get my groceries delivered now for about six years. You're right being Car free does simplify your life and make you have to plan more for large purchases.

https://www.amazon.com/How-Live-Well.../dp/1580087574
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