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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.

How important is bicycling to you?

Old 10-02-12, 01:02 AM
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bragi
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How important is bicycling to you?

All of us, presumably, have an opinion about the role of bicycles in our lives. Here's my view:

My attitude towards bicycling has kind of evolved in the last couple of years. I initially bicycled to save money and to save the world (yes, I'm that important). Then it became a lifestyle. Then I did it to stay in shape. Now I do it merely as one way to go places. It does save money, but it's not going to save the world. It's way better exercise than driving, but if you want to be really fit, you're going to have to do other stuff, too. It's a very practical way to travel in the city, especially if parking is scarce, but it's not really a great option if you have to show up someplace formal, wearing a suit when it's warm outside. I love cycling as much as ever, but have come to the understanding that it's a means, not an end. Your destination, and what you do once you arrive, is a lot more important than how you get there. It's just a machine.
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Old 10-02-12, 01:19 AM
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I ride because I love to ride. The most obvious benefits — saving money, going green, keeping in shape — matter far less than the pleasure I get from a good ride. It's a special experience on a hot summer day, in spring or fall and on a snowy road in winter.

If the love of cycling ever goes away, it's time to put away the bike and find another way of getting around. But I don't see that happening.
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Old 10-02-12, 04:46 AM
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It helps me xlear my mind of the days bull****, keeps me semi fit and GREAT scenery in a college town
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Old 10-02-12, 08:02 AM
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It's absolutely the most important thing, but as the zen monks say, nothing special. It's the most natural way to travel, and I need to ride daily. But after all of these years, my ego is rarely involved, so it's not like I need to do a 50 mile ride to prove something, and riding for that long means that I cannot do other things with the time. So my rides are all utility rides except when they are for pleasure.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 10-02-12, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bragi View Post
[h=2]How important is bicycling to you?[/h]
It gets me to work, keeps me fit, saves me money, go on
organized rides and have fun; so I would say it's very
importatnt to me




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Old 10-02-12, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bragi View Post
I love cycling as much as ever, but have come to the understanding that it's a means, not an end. Your destination, and what you do once you arrive, is a lot more important than how you get there. It's just a machine.
This is the exact opposite of my philosophy. My maxim is that the journey is greater than the arrival. Every ride is an adventure--even if I'm only going to the drugstore for a bar of soap.
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Old 10-02-12, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
It's absolutely the most important thing, but as the zen monks say, nothing special. It's the most natural way to travel, and I need to ride daily. But after all of these years, my ego is rarely involved, so it's not like I need to do a 50 mile ride to prove something, and riding for that long means that I cannot do other things with the time. So my rides are all utility rides except when they are for pleasure.
Koan!

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Old 10-02-12, 02:40 PM
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Roody read my mind. If it were only about the destination I'd drive.

Originally Posted by Roody View Post
This is the exact opposite of my philosophy. My maxim is that the journey is greater than the arrival. Every ride is an adventure--even if I'm only going to the drugstore for a bar of soap.
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Old 10-02-12, 02:56 PM
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for a long time, a couple years ago it was all I had keeping me together. unfortunately, it wasn't enough when the bottom really dropped out. then everything fell apart. as I peice things back together, I'm adding more cycling back in.
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Old 10-02-12, 03:39 PM
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There are days when I wish I could drive again. I read a link on this site that said the average car owner shells out $9,900 a year to own a car. If I'm correct I read this in a link in the utility forum. As someone that gets $11,488 a year to live on car ownership is out of my reach. However I hope to pass the medical tests this winter and be cleared to drive again. If that happens I will carefully analyze the cost of a scooter (highway speed) or a motorcycle. For now bicycling is very important to me because it's the only thing that enables me to have independance. Tomorrow I have to go on a 16 mile round trip to run an important errand. It will make me tired but it's necessary. While I'm getting healthier and stronger there are days where I'm just plain whipped. If I didn't have a bicycle I would have to take cabs, bus, or walk.
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Old 10-02-12, 03:47 PM
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The aboove two posts show us how important a bike can be for people who have real problems, not just the first world problems that most of us have. My son also used a bike as therapy (physical and mental) as he slowly recovered from severe injuries in a car accident.

rumrunn6 and iheart bacon--congratulations and keep up the good work!

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Old 10-02-12, 04:03 PM
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My bike is important to me as it also gives me independence as I dont often have the bus fare or tram fare to get to places.

It also getting me fit (er) and I just enjoy riding it in the fresh air.

It has been really wet today and i was in two minds whethere to get the bus instead.

But I had to go to my partner's workplace to pick up something sent for him and then to a doctor's appointment.

It would have meant waiting for a bus, paying for a day rider ticket, then getting off at the doctor's then waiting for another bus to the workplace and then waiting for another bus home.

But the weather dried up enough so I cycled and only had to stop twice.

Took a quarter of the time and saved me 4:20 which may not seem a lot but its very steep for the distance and its too painful for me to walk that distance so my bike is a lifeline for me now.
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Old 10-02-12, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
rumrunn6 and iheart bacon--congratulations and keep up the good work!

Thank you!
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Old 10-02-12, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
It's absolutely the most important thing, but as the zen monks say, nothing special. It's the most natural way to travel, and I need to ride daily. But after all of these years, my ego is rarely involved, so it's not like I need to do a 50 mile ride to prove something, and riding for that long means that I cannot do other things with the time. So my rides are all utility rides except when they are for pleasure.
Nice post!

I also like Bragi's evolution. It's sort of like the Basho quotation I heard years ago. A young man wants to paint bamboo, so he works hard for many years to learn bamboo painting. Then he becomes a bamboo. Then he forgets about bamboo.

I think that was it anyway.
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Old 10-02-12, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
This is the exact opposite of my philosophy. My maxim is that the journey is greater than the arrival. Every ride is an adventure--even if I'm only going to the drugstore for a bar of soap.
The way I look at it, our modern world is so safe....if you want to live an honest life that is. There is very little out in the world for a middle aged lady like myself that fills me with joy and giddiness. My work is a challenge at times but that's a mental challenge.

Getting on my bike on these chilly fall mornings, with the sun not yet risen as I ride to work, I feel like an adventure awaits; I am instantly put in a good mood. I feel the wind on my skin and feel my lungs fill with fresh air. To some, it's a boring old ride to work but for me it's the best, most free part of my day.

When winter comes, I'll put the bike away (I'm not that adventurous,) so I am sure enjoying it now while I can.

Bicycling is very important to me.
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Old 10-02-12, 06:50 PM
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Bicycling is very important to me because it gets me everywhere I need to go. If I had the extra money for a car I would own one or perhaps own a scooter if I lived in a warmer climate. My bicycles are tools. The good thing about them is that when I'm using them I also get to experience my environment in person instead of through a windshield.

I do like cars. I just don't use them anymore. When I did own one it wasn't used very often.
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Old 10-02-12, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cycleobsidian View Post
The way I look at it, our modern world is so safe....if you want to live an honest life that is. There is very little out in the world for a middle aged lady like myself that fills me with joy and giddiness. My work is a challenge at times but that's a mental challenge.

Getting on my bike on these chilly fall mornings, with the sun not yet risen as I ride to work, I feel like an adventure awaits; I am instantly put in a good mood. I feel the wind on my skin and feel my lungs fill with fresh air. To some, it's a boring old ride to work but for me it's the best, most free part of my day.

When winter comes, I'll put the bike away (I'm not that adventurous,) so I am sure enjoying it now while I can.

Bicycling is very important to me.
Wow, we have got to get you out on your bike this winter. I can tell that you would really really really like it!
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Old 10-02-12, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cycleobsidian View Post
Getting on my bike on these chilly fall mornings, with the sun not yet risen as I ride to work, I feel like an adventure awaits; I am instantly put in a good mood. I feel the wind on my skin and feel my lungs fill with fresh air. To some, it's a boring old ride to work but for me it's the best, most free part of my day.

When winter comes, I'll put the bike away (I'm not that adventurous,) so I am sure enjoying it now while I can.
Winter riding is a lot easier than it seems. Riding on fresh snow on a quiet moonlit night is a euphoric experience.
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Old 10-03-12, 12:36 AM
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It's absolutely the most important thing, but as the zen monks say, nothing special. It's the most natural way to travel, and I need to ride daily. But after all of these years, my ego is rarely involved, so it's not like I need to do a 50 mile ride to prove something, and riding for that long means that I cannot do other things with the time. So my rides are all utility rides except when they are for pleasure.



Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Koan!

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Old 10-03-12, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by davidmcowan View Post
Roody read my mind. If it were only about the destination I'd drive.
No you wouldn't. Who wants to get to the destination in a very bad mood?

Last edited by bragi; 10-03-12 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 10-03-12, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Wow, we have got to get you out on your bike this winter. I can tell that you would really really really like it!
I could tolerate the cold, I might even get to like the cold and the snow, but I am deathly afraid of wiping out on ice, even with the appropriate tires.

I am a bit of a klutz.
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Old 10-03-12, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cycleobsidian View Post
I could tolerate the cold, I might even get to like the cold and the snow, but I am deathly afraid of wiping out on ice, even with the appropriate tires.

I am a bit of a klutz.
Best bike I have found for winter riding is a 20" wheel with studded tires. I used to laugh at my buddy with the BMX bike but he can get a foot down a lot quicker than I can. I currently have a Raleigh Twenty, but don't worry about winter riding here in the Deep South. If it snows I stay off the roads and let the gene pool reduce itself.

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Old 10-03-12, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by cycleobsidian View Post
I could tolerate the cold, I might even get to like the cold and the snow, but I am deathly afraid of wiping out on ice, even with the appropriate tires.

I am a bit of a klutz.
Ice is easily avoided. Don't ride after ice storms, or any time when you think it might be too slippery. Or you can stick mostly to riding on the arterial roads and intemediate roads that are scraped and salted, and walk your bike on the little side streets. If you follow this plan, you shouldn't even need special tires and riding will be possible many days of the winter.

However, you might find that riding a bike (with studded tires) is easier than walking when it's slick--especially if you're a klutz.
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Old 10-03-12, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Best bike I have found for winter riding is a 20" wheel with studded tires. I used to laugh at my buddy with the BMX bike but he can get a foot down a lot quicker than I can. I currently have a Raleigh Twenty, but don't worry about winter riding here in the Deep South. If it snows I stay off the roads and let the gene pool reduce itself.

Aaron
I never tried a BMX on ice. But my friend Tony used to ride one. Years ago, before I started cycling, I followed Tony in my car while he rode his BMX across Lansing in an ice storm. He was dancing on the ice, literally riding circles around me in my fwd Toyota. I think he was the only one of the few people out that night (mostly tow trucks and ambulances) who was actually enjoying the ice. I know I was sweating it in that car!
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Old 10-03-12, 09:49 AM
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We can't afford a car, it just put's too much stress on our meger budget, I have two very mean forms of arthritis and it makes walking a chore. Although it still hurts to ride a bicycle, I can actually get somewhere at a distance in a decent time frame and I REALLY do not like riding the city bus due to bladder control problems in my being 50+. I totally MISS owing a motorcycle so we could do "longer distance touring" in a much shorter time span than trying to do it via bicycles. Motorcycles are VERY expensive, upkeep wise, tire's are insanely priced for the few miles you get out them, maint. shop time is close to $100 an hour, nowadays and accessiories are even more expensive. The bicycle is the ONLY "moving vechical" that works for us, we can get to work, get food, haul stuff, ride across town in a fairly short time. Without the bicycle I'd have to walk to the store, haul the food in a two wheeled cart, hassle getting that kinda load on a city bus, we'd be STUCK to this area only for recreation, ect. My bicycles are extremly important to ME!
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