Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
itaa
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Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby itaa » 18 Mar 2017, 2:44am

I live near a semi-large city so everything I need is roughly 3-4miles away, with plenty of bike paths as well.
My current car isn't the freshest or anything special and I just use it as an appliance - for getting to places and transporting stuff, so no hard feelings about it and it's not worth anything. However... with all the Insurance/upkeep/servicing/fuel/tax/tyres/occasional part /depreciation etc.. costs me roughly £3000/year. And that's for a super reliable/economic car that needs almost nothing and has no real deprecation etc.. Mainly due to expensive insurance.

I'm sure I could do my grocery shopping with a bike+few racks as the shop which I visit the most is just a mile away anyway. For rest of the stuff I'm sure I could just pay for the shipping costs or when I need something larger transported could ask someone for a favor. Combined with the fact there aren't much parking spaces where I live makes it even more attractive choice.

+ I hate the damn traffic, and to get to my work it takes roughly the same time with bike than with a car and I can cycle through woods instead of sitting in traffic feeling miserable.

Has anyone done something like this? How did it went?

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SimonCelsa
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby SimonCelsa » 18 Mar 2017, 4:32am

It all depends on your situation.

If you are free of parental responsibilities & other family commitments then I would imagine going car free is fairly painless & quite liberating.

Unfortunately if you have (for example) a wife and kids then maybe they would not be so happy with your envisaged new mode of transport!! 'Tally Ho kids we are off to the shops in the rain'.....does not have the appeal it once had.

I personally would ditch the car. Fortunately my job entails a twice yearly intercontinental commute (fly out to join a ship somewhere) & thus I am spared the unenviable chore of the daily drive to work. I honestly do not think I could suffer that & would far rather become a hermit, living a simple existence in a Highland Bothy somewhere remote, chewing on grass & eating peat!

All the best Simon

gbnz
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby gbnz » 18 Mar 2017, 8:11am

I've routinely ditched a car for odd years here or there, the longest single period being four year (My commute for work and shops has typically been 6-8 miles, never exceeding 26 miles, though the fact it's a hilly area can make it hard work).

It's straightforward enough, the only issue I've found being employers insisting on the ownership/use of a car for work I.e. my recent local authority employer of five years insisted I have a car, despite my preference to travel 30 miles to work by bus and use a bike for a regular once a twice a week work visit to a site 2 miles away from the office (Along a flat, empty road). The authority was very staid and unable to think "out of the box" (Ironic that the managers involved all belonged to the policy unit!)

In contrast a director of an earlier commercial employer requiring daily mileage in and around the office typifying 20-30 miles per week and a typical business meeting 200-400 miles away once per month, immediately agreed to a £1800.00 personal travel allowance in lieu of a company car on my request and never had an issue with my using the bike to inspect works/sites over the course of a twelve month period by bike (Nb. Obviously I tied in various inspections to post work cycle rides, rather than cycling here and there within the course of the working day).

eileithyia
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby eileithyia » 18 Mar 2017, 8:24am

Sounds highly sensible if you live without and maybe use a taxi / delivery service for larger items that need to be delivered. I did for 3 months not use a car at all, commute and shopping all done by bike etc., but I was young free and single, no children, no large shopping items needed and all touring was done from home or by train and ride. This all ended once the race season started and I needed to transport bike to races, but at least the 3 months of fuel saving helped fund my racing habit :lol:
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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Mick F
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby Mick F » 18 Mar 2017, 8:25am

When I'm 70 is five years (and a bit) time, I'm seriously thinking of not renewing my driving licence.
Mrs Mick F will probably still be driving, so we won't be without a car. Being a cyclist and having a bus pass, I won't have to rely on her to ferry me about.
Mick F. Cornwall

Stradageek
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby Stradageek » 18 Mar 2017, 8:27am

I'm winding up to it. My 15 mile each way commute is a bit too far, though I do it twice a week by bike and car share the rest. Weekend shopping and travel is all by bike (+trailer) unless visiting distant children and relatives. The car is growing a lot of algae and moss - but then again it hasn't been washed for over 2 years.

Thus far it is very liberating. I have two days a week when I don't sit in a traffic jam and the tag line 'cycle to work and you'll never commute again' is definitely true. I often feel guilty about enjoying the trip to work, surely going to work shouldn't be fun?

The weekend shopping experience is even better, no more fighting traffic and searching for parking spaces, instead a leisurely 1-2hr ride chatting with my wife and cycling right up to the shop door. I'm often in and out of a shop in the time most people take to park.

My daughter and son-in-law are well ahead of me having ditched the car over 5yrs ago. Mike has joined my daughter in becoming a keen cyclist, holidays are all by train or bike and occasional unavoidable car journeys are done by car rental - which is very cheap especially when you take out separate 'excess protection' insurance rather than that offered by the hire company.

I find that the best bit is that every task becomes a minor logistical challenge, a bit of exercise and a lot of fun - rather than something to get done as quickly as possible to free up time to squeeze in yet another task.

It sounds a bit over-romanticised but life actually feels 'fuller'

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Graham
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby Graham » 18 Mar 2017, 8:48am

Society's dilemma : Huge personal benefits balanced by significant disadvantages. Many of the disadvantages intangible, unmeasurable and subject to externalisation.

I had the convenience of my late mother's Volvo while renovating a bungalow.
Total costs per annum : £600 approx
When the ( fairly recently fitted ) starter failed, the scrappy towed it away.

Car -free living resumed.
160419VolvoRIP1.jpg
Off to the scrappy . . . .

tatanab
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby tatanab » 18 Mar 2017, 9:03am

I could, but have not. I drive sometimes as much as 1500 miles a year. The car is used for taking garden waste to the tip (not something you would hire a car for) and for long journeys to aging relatives or cycling events. It is certainly not used for shopping etc since the supermarkets and other shops are about a 4 mile round trip so I simply walk, I could not be bothered to get a bike out for such a short distance once every couple of weeks.

thirdcrank
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Mar 2017, 9:21am

It's obviously possible to manage without a car because plenty of people do it. Abstaining when you have the choice is a bit different. eg unless everyone in the household is a cyclist, they might not appreciate cycling being a principle form of travel. For many years, I cycled and the car was in the garage, mainly used for transporting everybody else. That was also when Woy had decided the police could travel free on buses which was another reason for not needing a car. For some years, my wife could not drive which I found inconvenient and after a near emergency on holiday when I only just recovered from illness in time to bring us home, she got her licence. All hunky-dory until she started full-time shift work. It meant that on the days when I got up at 0430 for a 0600 start in a blizzard, cycling was the only option. I managed.

I'd urge caution in long-term planning, especially in older age. My general plan was to carry on cycling forever. Out-of-the-blue I was diagnosed with angina. I overcame much of the fear caused by cautious medics and the chest pains were not bad, but then I did my achilles. Some are lucky with their health and regular cycling must improve the likelihood of being able to continue forever, but don't take it for granted.
======================
Tatanab has posted while I was typing.

Part of the deal when I retired and my wife was still working was that I would do the cooking, which also meant most of the shopping. I began by walking - we have a Morrison's at a mile and Sainsbury's and ASDA each around three miles, but my whole life seemed to be spent walking with a couple of full plastic carriers on the way home. The solution was my shopping bike :D

Not everybody wants to join in cycling. On one occasion I bumped into Mrs next-door-neighbour outside Morrison's and as a joke offered her a lift. She screamed and scarpered. It was only later I discovered she had deteriorating mental health and was eventually admitted as an in-patient. Very sad, and nothing really to do with the thread :oops:

Postboxer
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby Postboxer » 18 Mar 2017, 9:44am

We have two cars, getting the second when my son was small, we went down to one for 6 months during my wife's maternity leave when my daughter came along, we didn't need two cars, I wish I'd got some kind of bakfiets bike for doing the school runs in, it would have saved a lot of money, the kids are the wrong age now, soon getting to the age where they could cycle themselves, plus, if I ditched the car for a year, I'd lose all my no claims bonus, which, if circumstances changed so I needed a car, would mean my insurance was even more expensive, it's a trap. I've done the school run with a bike trailer a few times, but it doesn't seem anywhere near as convenient as a dedicated bike with the box and raincover built in, it's a lot of faff getting the kids into a trailer, doing up the tricky harness, putting the cover back on, wheeling out of the garage, trying to then close the garage whilst wheeling bike and trailer out of the way, then more hassle trying to park and get the kids out at the other end, then parking again when I get home. It's also trickier parking a bike than a car, because of criminals. If I go to the supermarket in my car, I park, jump out, push a button and it's locked, going on a bike I'd probably get myself a cheap bike just so I didn't spend time locking it up and locking all the parts up to it.

Compared to the £10ish a day car ownership is costing, the cost of hiring a car for a few days here and there isn't much, vans can be hired by the day, weekend and now places like B&Q and Ikea have some you can hire by the hour if you're just moving a couple of loads.

bohrsatom
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby bohrsatom » 18 Mar 2017, 10:38am

Not a typical case because I live in London, but am now early 30s and have never owned a car. Short trips are done by bike and longer trips are by public transport or a taxi/Uber later at night. As others have said, hiring a car can be very cheap and we do this on the occasion where making circular trips rather than point-to-point ones.

Also, rather than go to large supermarkets/out of town stores we buy online as much as possible. This always works out cheaper than travelling to the store and gives you time to do more interesting activities instead.

blackbike
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby blackbike » 18 Mar 2017, 10:52am

I'm sure there are a few people who have ditched their cars completely but in my experience most serious cyclists are reasonably affluent middle class types who live in households with more cars, newer cars and bigger cars than the average person.

That affluence means they can afford to use their cars quite a lot for non-essential leisure driving, and this probably means they do as many if not more motoring miles than many non-cyclists.

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meic
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby meic » 18 Mar 2017, 10:56am

plus, if I ditched the car for a year, I'd lose all my no claims bonus,

They are valid for two years after you cease the insurance.

People seem to have a theoretical idea of what a car is for that doesnt suit my reality.
If the car is really only for carrying one person and a suitcase sized load on routes and at times which served by public transport then it shouldnt be that hard to live without.
Consider illness, fatigue and lousy weather. Carrying bulky, heavy and dirty loads.
If you can cope with them then OK. You may need extras like an electric assist, winter studded tyres and even a trailer.
Yma o Hyd

brynpoeth
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby brynpoeth » 18 Mar 2017, 11:26am

blackbike wrote:I'm sure there are a few people who have ditched their cars completely but in my experience most serious cyclists are reasonably affluent middle class types who live in households with more cars, newer cars and bigger cars than the average person.

That affluence means they can afford to use their cars quite a lot for non-essential leisure driving, and this probably means they do as many if not more motoring miles than many non-cyclists.


For example to take the bikes to the York rally

I picked up a brochure about York, it did not mention accessibility by rail

I mailed the tourist info and was pleased to read that trains do still run to York :wink:
We love interesting signatures, thread drift, cycling, safety cameras, parsnips,
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brynpoeth
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Re: Anyone Ditched their Car Completely for a Bike?

Postby brynpoeth » 18 Mar 2017, 11:32am

blackbike wrote:I'm sure there are a few people who have ditched their cars completely but in my experience most serious cyclists are reasonably affluent middle class types who live in households with more cars, newer cars and bigger cars than the average person.

.. .


Is that true? What socio-economic class do you belong to?

I am half-educated, left school at 18 but I have read and learnt so much since I could pass for a PhD

I could get a newer vehicle but I choose to have a car from the last century. Lived car-free for many years, must have *saved* many thousands
We love interesting signatures, thread drift, cycling, safety cameras, parsnips,
Steam Railway #1 +++ We hate motor crime +++ A dead tiger is still a tiger She might be asleep