Living without owning an internal combustion engine

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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feefee8
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Location: Fort William

Re: Bicycle only

Postby feefee8 » 25 Jul 2019, 2:39pm

I changed jobs in December and had to hand back the company car. I have continued to cycle to work daily as well as other utility cycling and have had to hire a car once to cover a work trip.

However my partner (non-cyclist) has a car and we use that for his work commute, shared journeys, food shopping and caravan towing (yes, we have turned into those people). We live 16 miles from the nearest shop, although due to small passenger ferry there is one which is only 5 miles away which I pass on my commute.

I'd love to minimise both our dependence on the vehicle but it would mean giving up a hobby (bagpipes are a bit hefty and precious for 16 mile hefting on back, even less desirable in kilt outfit), giving up caravan type getaways and my other half having to really get into cycling (boat times don't suit his work and he is REALLY nowhere near a 16 mile journey fitness wise). Public transport is getting scarcer in our rural locations too which makes it trickier.

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horizon
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Location: Cornwall

Re: Bicycle only

Postby horizon » 25 Jul 2019, 2:57pm

feefee8 wrote: Public transport is getting scarcer in our rural locations too which makes it trickier.


I wonder why!

feefee8: just as a friendly challenge, I would say there is nothing you have written that suggests you really need to own or even use a car.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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feefee8
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Location: Fort William

Re: Bicycle only

Postby feefee8 » 25 Jul 2019, 3:14pm

horizon wrote: I wonder why!

feefee8: just as a friendly challenge, I would say there is nothing you have written that suggests you really need to own or even use a car.


I do get what you're saying and I could sort of get by if it was just me I had to get to, say, a pipe band competition in Belfast. From Fort William. With no2 Highland dress, a set of bagpipes and other clothes for a weekend. It would take a lot longer than it currently does and would probably require a trailer (which I've toyed with getting).

However, part of the fitness issue for my other half is a currently undiagnosed respiratory complaint and he was unfit enough before that :( You think I should start work early and put him in the trailer?!

(also would struggle to pull the caravan on the bike :lol: :lol: )

Oldjohnw
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby Oldjohnw » 25 Jul 2019, 3:16pm

I live in the country. We do not have a bus service. I sing in concerts around the county. My daughter lives some distance away. My wife struggles to use public transport.

I do use my bike or train+ bike for meetings. But if I were to give up my car (instead of 5k per annum) my life would come to an end in terms of what I can do.
John

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horizon
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby horizon » 25 Jul 2019, 3:44pm

Oldjohnw wrote:I live in the country. We do not have a bus service. I sing in concerts around the county. My daughter lives some distance away.



Me too. It took me a while to get my head round the carcentricity of the choir I sing in but so much was about assumption: you just assumed you had to use a car because that's what everyone else did.

I take your point but you could look at it differently (I'm not saying you should, I'm just offering a different perspective). What I am saying is that we build our lives around the car - we take full advantage of what having a car can give us - it would seem pointless not to. Our wealth and happiness then depends on that car use. That is a huge choice but it is still a choice. To take feefee8's choice of having a caravan, I can understand why they might choose it but that's because IMV, not having a car wasn't even a consideration: we have a car, we will always have a car, there is nothing stopping us from having car so what is the best choice based on that? Yes, a caravan.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

Oldjohnw
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby Oldjohnw » 25 Jul 2019, 5:09pm

Tell how to travel 30 rural miles in a northern winter without public transport.
John

Mike Sales
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Jul 2019, 5:24pm

A bicycle cannot fill a car shaped hole.
If your life is built around car use, then, if you want to do without a car, you will have to change your life.

The same applies to the whole of society. We have, over many years, built our society around enabling car use. If we want to cut car use this way of organising society will have to change.
I sometimes think of car use in terms of addiction. The physiology of an addict is changed to incorporate regular use of a drug. Doing without the drug is resisted by the addict, it needs changes to physiology and to life style.
Going cold turkey is hard and there are easier ways to go straight, but it is never easy. When the addict protests it is a normal part of recovery, and he/she has to be encouraged with understanding.
I use the analogy as a way to think about car addiction, not as a precise equivalence.

Ivor Tingting
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby Ivor Tingting » 25 Jul 2019, 5:27pm

horizon wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:I live in the country. We do not have a bus service. I sing in concerts around the county. My daughter lives some distance away.



Me too. It took me a while to get my head round the carcentricity of the choir I sing in but so much was about assumption: you just assumed you had to use a car because that's what everyone else did.

I take your point but you could look at it differently (I'm not saying you should, I'm just offering a different perspective). What I am saying is that we build our lives around the car - we take full advantage of what having a car can give us - it would seem pointless not to. Our wealth and happiness then depends on that car use. That is a huge choice but it is still a choice. To take feefee8's choice of having a caravan, I can understand why they might choose it but that's because IMV, not having a car wasn't even a consideration: we have a car, we will always have a car, there is nothing stopping us from having car so what is the best choice based on that? Yes, a caravan.


But you do have a car even if you only do 500 miles a year in it. It's a bit like people who say they no longer drive or have a car and yet the wife or OH drives around in a great big 4x4 that they clearly get benefit from even if they themselves don't drive it, or Ebikers lying to themselves that they are cycling and deluded that they are saving the planet when they are not. Every one's circumstances are different. I was carless for 2 years because at the time I was poor. I had no money. I live in a rural area with little public transport and the nearest train station 12 miles away. My commute to work was a 59 mile round trip. I did it 5-6 days a week for this time. I was permanently eating, sleeping and cleaning and maintaining my then bikes. Whilst it was doable in summer it became an onerous miserable chore in winter which lets face it is 11 months of the year in the UK. If you don't have many responsibilities, no family, nor many friends or social life, perhaps you are retired, don't do very much and you can afford to spend hours and hours in the saddle getting some where then great, but I found it did limit my life and opportunities to quite an extent. I was very fit though, fittest I have ever been, but constantly knackered but on reflection the only things I did were immediately cycling related. Balance is important. If you have a public transport network to supplement your cycling then you are likely living in a city or suburbia and it can be done but if you live in a rural area with next to no transport other then a car, be prepared to forego a lot of convenience and additional opportunities a car undoubtedly gives you.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

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horizon
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby horizon » 25 Jul 2019, 5:39pm

Oldjohnw wrote:Tell [me] how to travel 30 rural miles in a northern winter without public transport.


(Warning: this is a philosophical discussion!)

I think what I am trying to say is this: a person thinks, "How can I be happy?" and then does what is within their means to do so. But if the person has a car, then their means include that, so their options are wider. And one or more options will thus depend on having a car but that box is already ticked. I think you have to make either a huge effort of will or be entirely convinced not to have a car: nearly all the costs are externalised, nearly all the benefits are internalised. Very, very few people are excluded from being able to take advantage of a car if they so wish. If you say to someone: why not give up your car and give up what you do with it, the response will be, "Why should I?". I can answer that question, both at a personal level, a societal level and at a moral level. But by that time, the person will have walked away, shaking their head as they go.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

hamster
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby hamster » 25 Jul 2019, 5:53pm

I did without one almost 3 years when I lived in Singapore, commuting by bike. Public transport was excellent, completely integrated between underground and buses - and taxis ubiquitous and cheap.

Back in the UK they are not. I live in one of the worst-served areas for rail considering population (20 minutes drive to nearest station), and bus transport is a joke. Southampton is only 18 miles away and the last bus is 17:30.

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TrevA
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby TrevA » 25 Jul 2019, 6:13pm

We did it for about a year when we first got married. We simply couldn’t afford to run a car. We managed by cycling and using buses. I used to do the weekly shop using 2 panniers and a small trailer. However, going to say a DIY store was a major expedition, involving several bus journeys, checking timetables, standing around at freezing bus stops. What would take 10 minutes in a car would take a couple of hours. As soon as we could afford a car again, we bought one.

My current next door neighbours don’t have a car and manage quite nicely using the bus, walking and shopping online. They don’t cycle.

My son is also giving up his car, but he lives in Inner London. He does cycle but public transport is so good that he doesn’t need a car.
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reohn2
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby reohn2 » 25 Jul 2019, 6:32pm

Ivor Tingting wrote:....... or Ebikers lying to themselves that they are cycling and deluded that they are saving the planet when they are not........

Perhaps you could point us to where on the forum anyone's said that or even alluded to it?

The Ebike would be a perfect answer to anyone wishing go carless if they thought cycling everywhere was too much for them for whatever reason,if you'd put aside the blinkered prejudice against Ebikes you expressed in the electric bike part of this forum,you may be able to see more clearly the many advantages the Ebike can offer over a car especially for city and urban dwellers.
After initial outlay an Ebike costs next to nothing to run over a conventional bike,and doesn't litter crowded street with a tonne or more of metal when not in use,it also offers the freedom of cycling plus some of the benefits to those who otherwise may not be able to cycle either due to distance,health,age or a myriad of other reasons best known to themselves .
Please don't put down Ebikes if you own and run a car as your argument just doesn't stack up.
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby Cyril Haearn » 25 Jul 2019, 6:44pm

Oldjohnw wrote:I live in the country. We do not have a bus service. I sing in concerts around the county. My daughter lives some distance away. My wife struggles to use public transport.

I do use my bike or train+ bike for meetings. But if I were to give up my car (instead of 5k per annum) my life would come to an end in terms of what I can do.

The last statement might be an exaggeration :?
The money saved by not having a vehicle could fund a lot of taxi trips

To am not retired yet, plan to live on the edge of a small town, no need for a motor at all
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Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby Bmblbzzz » 25 Jul 2019, 6:49pm

I probably cycle a greater distance than I walk but I walk far more frequently. I virtually never take the bus but I take trains from time to time. And I've had one journey as a car passenger this year. Bicycle only would be difficult, some trips are more conveniently walked...

Oldjohnw
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby Oldjohnw » 25 Jul 2019, 6:51pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:I live in the country. We do not have a bus service. I sing in concerts around the county. My daughter lives some distance away. My wife struggles to use public transport.

I do use my bike or train+ bike for meetings. But if I were to give up my car (instead of 5k per annum) my life would come to an end in terms of what I can do.

The last statement might be an exaggeration :?
The money saved by not having a vehicle could fund a lot of taxi trips

To am not retired yet, plan to live on the edge of a small town, no need for a motor at all


Er, taxis use the internal combustion engine. And no, they are not available. I am not seeking to save money, it happens. I won't be telling anyone how to live their lives.

Without a car I could not visit my son who lives 100 miles away and there is no public transport.
John