Living without owning an internal combustion engine

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
buryman
Posts: 71
Joined: 16 Mar 2009, 8:30pm
Location: Bury Lancashire

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby buryman » 19 Aug 2019, 12:02pm

Is that a Holdsworth Ultima?

Euskadi
Posts: 165
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 8:16am
Location: London

Re: Bicycle only

Postby Euskadi » 20 Aug 2019, 4:58am

horizon wrote: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.

Really enjoyed reading this post. I have never driven a car. For the 4 years have lived in the High Weald and get by with public transport and cycling. Your life is just lived in a different rhythm. Having owned a Brompton I can definitely recommend an easier to carry folding bike.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2818
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Bmblbzzz » 20 Aug 2019, 9:28am

Morzedec wrote:Morning all; back in the UK again (yesterday's Roscoff to Plymouth ferry crossing) for a week.

Most might know that I'm now living pretty much 'off-grid' in France: no car, telephone, television, washing machine, microwave, nor much else either. 12km each way to the nearest shop keeps my legs in trim, and the 600km each way back to the UK gives my backside a proper workout (camping each night, of course).

Apple, peach, cherry and pear trees in the garden, and three large veggie beds, keep me fed, and I make and swap marmalade and jams with my neighbour (only got one!) for any help that I might need.

I'm fortunate to have the use of a computer here in the UK, if only to see if I won the Lottery when last here. Nope.

A downside? perhaps the continuing absence of a rich widow, to pay for the wine?

Happy days.

Wondering, out of idle curiosity, how completely off-grid you are? Electricity? Sewers? Water? Does no phone refer only to landline or no mobile also? etc...

NetworkMan
Posts: 691
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 11:13am
Location: South Devon

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby NetworkMan » 20 Aug 2019, 4:13pm

More questions.
Food in winter?
Sugar for jam and marmalade?
Source of protein?
Source of carbohydrate?
How many acres?

User avatar
Morzedec
Posts: 66
Joined: 11 Jul 2016, 6:03pm
Location: Cornwall/Deux-Sevres

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Morzedec » 20 Aug 2019, 4:44pm

Bmbzzzbmbib, or whatever - thank you for your response.

We do have mains electricity and water, so not 'off-grid' in that sense. As with most rural properties in France our waste water goes into a pit. No telephone line, and no mobile either - in an absolute emergency (leg falling off, broken spoke, etc.) I could pop up to my neighboring farmer (about a kilometer) and I'm sure he would help. Just the two properties in our hammeau,. The emergency would, of course, need to be before six AM or after seven PM, or he would be out in the fields.

I do get to read the local paper if visiting my nearest bar, if only for the cycling and rugby results.

Lots of books, lots of music CD's, lots of peace and quiet. When working in the garden, all I hear is birdsong. So far this year I've had three letters in the box, and but one caller at the door (the rich widow who just won't give up, but in the words of the old song, 'I don't wan't her/you can have her/she's too fat for me').

It took me an extra half a day to reach Roscoff for the ferry last week (5 1/2 days for 600km) because of all the wind and rain, and the need to dry the tent out before I could use it again - but hey!, what's an extra half a day at my age? - I'm just happy to still be able to cycle everywhere.

Ah yes, happy days indeed.
Image Attachments
April 2019 22.JPG

Oldjohnw
Posts: 1794
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Oldjohnw » 20 Aug 2019, 5:18pm

I had my own water supply for years. We had to give the children fluoride tablets. We did have electricity and a submersible pump at the bottom of the well.
John

Cycling and recycling

User avatar
al_yrpal
Posts: 7679
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Location: Cully
Contact:

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby al_yrpal » 20 Aug 2019, 10:56pm

Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

francovendee
Posts: 954
Joined: 5 May 2009, 6:32am

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby francovendee » 21 Aug 2019, 7:46am

al_yrpal wrote:https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/electric-car-volkswagen-e-golf-london-cornwall-drive-a9056226.html?amp

I read an account of a journey in a Jaguar I Pace (nice car) from England to Scotland. He loved the car with it's effortless speed and reasonable range. His problems were all from trying to get it charged up on route. Charging points not working, low amps, hence long charging times. He stopped at one charging point and it was 1.5 hours to get the battery charged, enough to finish his journey. He decided to have a meal while waiting but on his return the charger had had a problem and no charge delivered to the battery.
We need evangelists for EV's but I'll keep my money in my pocket for now until the infrastructure is in place and working.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2818
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Bmblbzzz » 21 Aug 2019, 9:37am

Morzedec wrote:Bmbzzzbmbib, or whatever - thank you for your response.

Close enough!

It sounds idyllic. I'm neither rich nor a widow and I probably am fatter than I should be, but if I knew where, I'd be at your gate too! Maybe not with the same intentions... Actually, it sounds idyllic in summer, autumn, spring, maybe not so much winter, though if there's snow, that's enjoyable. And I'd probably miss the city after a few weeks TBH. Anyway, please carry on enjoying it. (Right, I need to get on with some work now.)

De Sisti
Posts: 740
Joined: 17 Jun 2007, 6:03pm

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby De Sisti » 21 Aug 2019, 10:55am

Morzedec wrote:Bmbzzzbmbib, or whatever - thank you for your response.

We do have mains electricity and water, so not 'off-grid' in that sense. As with most rural properties in France our waste water goes into a pit. No telephone line, and no mobile either - in an absolute emergency (leg falling off, broken spoke, etc.) I could pop up to my neighboring farmer (about a kilometer) and I'm sure he would help. Just the two properties in our hammeau,. The emergency would, of course, need to be before six AM or after seven PM, or he would be out in the fields.

I do get to read the local paper if visiting my nearest bar, if only for the cycling and rugby results.

Lots of books, lots of music CD's, lots of peace and quiet. When working in the garden, all I hear is birdsong. So far this year I've had three letters in the box, and but one caller at the door (the rich widow who just won't give up, but in the words of the old song, 'I don't wan't her/you can have her/she's too fat for me').

It took me an extra half a day to reach Roscoff for the ferry last week (5 1/2 days for 600km) because of all the wind and rain, and the need to dry the tent out before I could use it again - but hey!, what's an extra half a day at my age? - I'm just happy to still be able to cycle everywhere.

Ah yes, happy days indeed.


Like this. :lol:

User avatar
Morzedec
Posts: 66
Joined: 11 Jul 2016, 6:03pm
Location: Cornwall/Deux-Sevres

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Morzedec » 21 Aug 2019, 3:27pm

Someone asked about snow .........................

February 2018, it was: a white-out for weeks, so no riding possible - I had to WALK to the nearest bar!

Even more happy days,
Image Attachments
6.2.2018 (26).JPG

Samuel D
Posts: 2852
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby Samuel D » 21 Aug 2019, 5:21pm

Is there anywhere we can read more about your way of living, Morzedec?

slowster
Posts: 933
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby slowster » 22 Aug 2019, 10:15am

I too would like to hear more about Morzedec's way of living.

There have been a couple of articles on the BBC website about people living without modern technology.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-43113400

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-48202236

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13739
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby mjr » 22 Aug 2019, 10:36am

MPs say more of us should do this and government should support it, instead of the current "cars are essential" statements we get viewtopic.php?f=6&t=132236
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13739
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby mjr » 22 Aug 2019, 11:10am

brynpoeth wrote:Can anyone explain why planners (do they have powers?) allow food stores to cluster? Near me in the suburbs there are five almost next to each other
And six around the train station

Zoning, in a word. Food stores have certain externalities (cars parking more than most would forecast and jamming up junctions before Christmas, lorries delivering noisily at all hours despite any theoretical legal restrictions, the rats and gulls arrive if waste isn't controlled, and so on) and UK governments seem to have decided it's easier to manage if the bigger shops of each type are all in one place and big food shops are not in residential areas.

France seems to have more of a polarised small-shops and one-hypermarket-per-retail-park approach - I don't recall seeing many retail parks with two hypermarkets and two supermarkets facing off like in the UK. Belgium just seems like chaos, almost random. I'm not as sure about other countries.

What's better for cycling? I suspect a small-shops culture but I am unsure of the evidence and experiences. Maybe delivered internet food shopping could be better.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.