Living without owning an internal combustion engine

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
cc1085
Posts: 38
Joined: 8 Feb 2015, 11:41pm

Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby cc1085 » 25 Jul 2019, 9:06am

Hi all,
does anyone here use a bicycle as their sole means of transport? As lifelong cyclist and car/motorcycle owner I'm thinking of going bicycle only though it may be a little more difficult at my age (68) Any thoughts? Has anyone already done this?

reohn2
Posts: 35244
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Bicycle only

Postby reohn2 » 25 Jul 2019, 9:14am

The best way to find out is to keep the car and see if you can manage a six month period bike only from October to the end of March.
It would be a good test and by the end of it you'll have a personal answer.
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

Mike Sales
Posts: 2855
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bicycle only

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Jul 2019, 9:18am

cc1085 wrote:Hi all,
does anyone here use a bicycle as their sole means of transport? As lifelong cyclist and car/motorcycle owner I'm thinking of going bicycle only though it may be a little more difficult at my age (68) Any thoughts? Has anyone already done this?


I have not owned a motor vehicle since about 1975. A bike is not my only transport: I use public transport.
In one way this is easier at your age. Bus pass.
Last edited by Mike Sales on 25 Jul 2019, 9:22am, edited 1 time in total.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16935
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Bicycle only

Postby Vorpal » 25 Jul 2019, 9:18am

Even when we have had car-free periods, I have supplemented cycling with public transport use.

Do you have access to public transport? Could you hire or borrow a car if you needed one?

Maybe a good idea to get some winter tyres or avoid going out when it's icy.

Other than that, I can't see how it would be anything other than a benefit.

You can always get another car or motorbike if it doesn't work out for you.

Good luck and enjoy the cycling :)
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 16935
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Bicycle only

Postby Vorpal » 25 Jul 2019, 9:19am

reohn2 wrote:The best way to find out is to keep the car and see if you can manage a six month period bike only from October to the end of March.
It would be a good test and by the end of it you'll have a personal answer.

I have a hard time not using the car at least a little when it's there...
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

reohn2
Posts: 35244
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Bicycle only

Postby reohn2 » 25 Jul 2019, 9:24am

Vorpal wrote:
reohn2 wrote:The best way to find out is to keep the car and see if you can manage a six month period bike only from October to the end of March.
It would be a good test and by the end of it you'll have a personal answer.

I have a hard time not using the car at least a little when it's there...

Exactly :wink:
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

User avatar
Vantage
Posts: 2631
Joined: 24 Jan 2012, 1:44pm
Location: somewhere in Bolton
Contact:

Re: Bicycle only

Postby Vantage » 25 Jul 2019, 9:57am

I've never owned any form of motorised transport.
Friends or relatives have been there when it's been necessary and nowadays there's online ordering of shopping etc.
If you already have a driving licence then you'd also have the option of car hire for the day if need be.
Plus, if you wanted to do bulk shopping on your own, there's bike trailers :)
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

User avatar
geomannie
Posts: 525
Joined: 13 May 2009, 6:07pm

Re: Bicycle only

Postby geomannie » 25 Jul 2019, 10:01am

It really depends where you live. In a major city it's easy. In Glasgow many of my friends are now car free. With the demise of local shops and good bus services, it would be much harder in the countryside.

Only you can judge
geomannie

PH
Posts: 7289
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Bicycle only

Postby PH » 25 Jul 2019, 10:10am

Depends where you live and what your lifestyle is.
I haven't owned a car since 1998, I have occasionally missed it, but far less than I thought i would - I use the train and coach for some longer journeys, hire a car once or twice a year, a few taxi rides and mostly the bike. There have been other times in my life, different location, different needs, where it wouldn't have been possible without considerable lifestyle changes that I wasn't prepared to make.

User avatar
geomannie
Posts: 525
Joined: 13 May 2009, 6:07pm

Re: Bicycle only

Postby geomannie » 25 Jul 2019, 10:33am

With regard to your age, my car-free friends in Glasgow are older than your 68 years and manage fine.

On the other hand, the only reason I keep my car is to cater to the needs of my very old, almost blind mother, hospital, doctor, eye tests, hearing tests, trips out etc. We could do it by taxi but a lot more effort.
geomannie

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9350
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Bicycle only

Postby horizon » 25 Jul 2019, 10:37am

I own car but I'm down to about 500 miles a year and that includes a busy working life (for which a car, accordng to everyone else who does my work is an absolute essential). I've replaced the car with a combination of bike and train with a folder for the train. I live in easy distance of a railway station but often get home after the last train (7.20 pm) so cycle the last ten hilly miles from a different one. At some point I'm going to decide whether to get a smaller folder (my Dahon is pretty useless) to enable me to take buses. All holidays are bike based and food is largely delivered. The fixed costs of the car are not huge but certainly not justified by the amount of use. When or if it fails its MOT, it won't be replaced. Mrs H has a car but I rarely if ever use it.

So that's the situation - minimal use verging on a bike-based lifestyle despite living outside a city and still working and travelling. But that isn't the point I want to make.

When you don't use a car very much you start to realise what owning and driving a car actually involves. It is like going from a very noisy pub into the quiet street outside. Suddenly your head is freed from the "noise" and you realise what you have been trying to shout over. Even lots of TV adverts just go over your head as you forget about car insurance or the latest model of SUV that they are trying to sell you. No more parking worries, no more "misery" in traffic jams, no more stewing in a plastic and metal box looking at petrol prices in a ghastly supermarket filling station. You're fit, you're free, you're financially better off. Life is just a whole lot better.

Why don't more people give up their cars? Because they have built their life around their cars. They believe they're using their car to support their lives when it is obvious that it has always been the other way round. And maybe because they are just not brave enough to turn up on a bike.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

Mike Sales
Posts: 2855
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bicycle only

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Jul 2019, 10:46am

horizon wrote:
When you don't use a car very much you start to realise what owning and driving a car actually involves. It is like going from a very noisy pub into the quiet street outside. Suddenly your head is freed from the "noise" and you realise what you have been trying to shout over. Even lots of TV adverts just go over your head as you forget about car insurance or the latest model of SUV that they are trying to sell you. No more parking worries, no more "misery" in traffic jams, no more stewing in a plastic and metal box looking at petrol prices in a ghastly supermarket filling station. You're fit, you're free, you're financially better off. Life is just a whole lot better.

Why don't more people give up their cars? Because they have built their life around their cars. They believe they're using their car to support their lives when it is obvious that it has always been the other way round. And maybe because they are just not brave enough to turn up on a bike.


Very good points.
Having never had a car I have not fully appreciated my freedom from all that.
Ivan Illich calculated the average speed of a car taking into account all the time spent earning the money to run it, and all the time spent looking after the damn thing.

cc1085
Posts: 38
Joined: 8 Feb 2015, 11:41pm

Re: Bicycle only

Postby cc1085 » 25 Jul 2019, 1:04pm

What great replies. Thanks everyone for taking the time and effort to write such great advice and reasons. I will attempt to do it as much as possible. Have bus pass but not much good in rural Ireland as one needs to be close to main roads. Great to know others are already doing it and have been for years.
Thom

mercalia
Posts: 10807
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Bicycle only

Postby mercalia » 25 Jul 2019, 1:51pm

cycle only means an ebike? or 2 bikes , an ebike and a normal one?

simonhill
Posts: 2442
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Bicycle only

Postby simonhill » 25 Jul 2019, 2:11pm

The type of vehicle also has a bearing.

I have an old VW camper and would greatly miss it. However, I very rarely use it as an around town car. Annual mileage is about 2,000 but I have about 40 nights away in it.

I live in a town where I can shop very locally and even big supermarkets are only a few miles away. Train and buses about 10 mins away.

For much of the winter it is SORN'd off the road. I do admit to using it in urban car mode around the Christmas New Year period when cycling is less than appealing.

To answer your question, if I didn't want a campervan, I probably wouldn't have a motor vehicle and my lack of use of it shows I could probably survive.