Living without owning an internal combustion engine

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
PH
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby PH » 30 Jul 2019, 10:23pm

Mick F wrote:There's no way that we could exist without a car.

Somewhat over the top, is there a reason you couldn't exist somewhere else?
We make choices and those have consequences, we're free to do so, but the idea that we had no choice, or that we didn't understand the consequences is going to look pretty weak to future generations.

PH
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Re: Living without the internal combustion engine

Postby PH » 30 Jul 2019, 10:28pm

Why has the thread title changed?
Living without a motor vehicle isn't the same as living without relying on one. I've had two deliveries in the last few weeks, if it keeps raining I'll be on a bus tomorrow and while I was walking away from the grocers this afternoon they were having a van full of fruit delivered, some of which had travelled thousands of miles.
There's also the question of non ICE motor vehicles, yes undoubtedly an improvement, but if anyone thinks alternative power sources will make having your own personal transport sustainable, I think they're wrong.

francovendee
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Re: Bicycle only

Postby francovendee » 31 Jul 2019, 8:34am

Mick F wrote:
geomannie wrote: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
Yes. Correct.
There's no way that we could exist without a car.

Poor bus services, but the greatest barrier is the "gigantic" hill situation. I can do it, but I'm very unusual round here. Some folk are amazed that anyone can ride happily round here!


We're the same here but for different reasons. Zero public transport so you walk, cycle, or drive. We walk to the village for bread and a beer, about 1 mile. Main shopping we take the bike, about 7 miles. For bulk groceries large stores, cinema, concerts etc. we need to go to a large town and this means a car.
Care must be taken when condemning the use of a car, somethings are impossible or extremely difficult without one.
I guess I could move to a large town but I'm not doing that just to avoid using a car the small amount we do.
Until you know the full details nobody should criticise others use of a car.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Living without the internal combustion engine

Postby Oldjohnw » 31 Jul 2019, 8:40am

Francovendee wrote:Care must be taken when condemning the use of a car, somethings are impossible or extremely difficult without one.
I guess I could move to a large town but I'm not doing that just to avoid using a car the small amount we do.
Until you know the full details nobody should criticise others use of a car.


Hear hear!
John

reohn2
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Re: Living without the internal combustion engine

Postby reohn2 » 31 Jul 2019, 8:49am

PH wrote:Why has the thread title changed?
Living without a motor vehicle isn't the same as living without relying on one. I've had two deliveries in the last few weeks, if it keeps raining I'll be on a bus tomorrow and while I was walking away from the grocers this afternoon they were having a van full of fruit delivered, some of which had travelled thousands of miles.

Quite!
The ICE powered vehicle is here to stay if only in part.

There's also the question of non ICE motor vehicles, yes undoubtedly an improvement, but if anyone thinks alternative power sources will make having your own personal transport sustainable, I think they're wrong.

Electricity can be generated at home on the roof or collectively on the many large warehouse,etc roofs up and down the country,or by tidal,river flow and wind power.
They may not be the total power needed but can be the majority of it,that and a different approach to travel,public transport,much smaller private vehicles,pedelecs,etc,etc can save a lot of power and particularly fossil fuels which should be conserved as better more green power sources come on stream.As it is we seem to be going in the opposite direction with ever bigger private cars such as SUV's which seem to be on the increase,and cheap air travel,at what point does the country say stop,and take a long term view on the issue of travel?
Presently I don't see much in that direction with the building more roads and vanity projects such as HS2 :roll:
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amediasatex
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby amediasatex » 31 Jul 2019, 10:26am

Horizons philosophical points are very valid and I think several posters are missing them.

We make many choices in our life, and some of them are made on the assumption that we have a car, as he says the box is already ticked. I'm (and he?) not saying the choices are wrong but it is important to recognise that such choices are based on that assumption.

Where you live, the activities you do, where you shop (and when), etc are often based on the assumption that you have a car to get around. People may not consciously acknowledge that though. There are many people who cannot drive, and that number is increasing amongst the young, they are making different decisions because of that.

One way to look at it is ask yourself this question:

"If my license was revoked tomorrow on medical grounds, what would I do?"

This will instantly highlight every decision in your lifestyle that has been predicated on your ability to drive, whether knowingly or not.

This has happened to two friends of mine, one in his 30s, one in his 60s and the impact on their lives was considerable. One managed to change and adapt his life to remain living where he was and keep the same job. The other had to sell his house, move, and change jobs, and was devastating for him for a while, but even he now acknowledges that some of that was because he had literally built his life on the assumption that he could drive. It wasn't that he needed a car, it was that he had built a life that required a car.

I'm not make judgement or suggesting anyone change their current situation or get rid of their car, I'd just gently encourage people to consider the impact both personally, and as a society of consciously or unconsciously structuring our lives and society around personal car use.

Disclaimer - yes I do own a car, I don't use it much, but that's by choice. Some of our life decisions have been made to deliberately minimise it in terms of both reliance and discretionary use.

mattheus
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby mattheus » 31 Jul 2019, 10:37am

amediasatex wrote:We make many choices in our life, and some of them are made on the assumption that we have a car, as he says the box is already ticked. I'm (and he?) not saying the choices are wrong but it is important to recognise that such choices are based on that assumption.

...

Good post.

I knew a colleague in our 20s who was diagnosed with some brain disorder (epilepsy?); he remained very healthy and capable of almost anything - except legally driving in the UK. He retrained as a teacher (not due to the illness!) and moved to a different city (with wife+new son) - all very successfully, the last I heard.

meanwhile, we are seeing outbreaks of luxury housing developments right next to "well connected" motorway junctions. gawd help us ...

reohn2
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby reohn2 » 31 Jul 2019, 10:48am

amediasatex wrote:.....One way to look at it is ask yourself this question:

"If my license was revoked tomorrow on medical grounds, what would I do?"......

Turning that on it's head how would you go on if you lost both legs tomorrow?
It's not the vehicle that's the problem but the unrestricted use of it that's the problem which is supported by the lack of governmental intervention to curb it's use by restriction that's got us into the situation we now find ourselves in.
A situation that is becoming dire until something will have to be done sooner rather than later!
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PDQ Mobile
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby PDQ Mobile » 31 Jul 2019, 10:52am

The idea raises all sorts of complex issues, and also reflects profound changes in society.

Firstly reohn's point about ever larger vehicles is so true.
There is a middle way to be navigated here.
We (car owners) need only a vehicle just big enough for our needs.
Cars have got ever and ever larger and 4x4 more commonplace.
Any 4x4 will be less fuel efficient than it's equivalence as a 2x2.
If all those big vehicles one sees commuting were simply replaced by smaller vehicles great savings of energy and infrastructure could be made at a stroke.
There is, I fear, a deep-seated social status issue here.


The rural issue is partly one of the way society has evolved.
Food (produced by oil energy on a large scale) is so cheap, ever less folk grow their own. For the trials and tribulations of gardening -drought, slugs, badgers in the carrots!, and white butterflies are legion!!

Small local shops and dairies have all but vanished, so distances to collect essential supplies have become much larger.
Whilst not wishing to attract too much derision, another thing that has disappeared from rural areas is horse drawn carriage of goods.
A century ago the horse was still quite an important (and very sustainable) means of doing heavy work in the deep countryside.
Hauling fuel for example.
Almost unthinkable today.

thelawnet
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby thelawnet » 31 Jul 2019, 10:53am

I am a bit surprised nobody has mentioned rental/car clubs. They seem a sensible option.

One thing about car ownership is that the marginal cost of the trip is low due to the high fixed costs. This makes unnecessary/marginally worthwhile journeys more attractive compared to using a taxi or renting a car.

Most of my trips are local, but on occasion with a 60 mile round trip and 4 people, bikes don't look that attractive.

amediasatex
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby amediasatex » 31 Jul 2019, 10:54am

reohn2 wrote:
amediasatex wrote:.....One way to look at it is ask yourself this question:

"If my license was revoked tomorrow on medical grounds, what would I do?"......

Turning that on it's head how would you go on if you lost both legs tomorrow?
It's not the vehicle that's the problem but the unrestricted use of it that's the problem which is supported by the lack of governmental intervention to curb it's use by restriction,that's got us into the situation we now find ourselves in.


Those without the use (or presence) of legs can still drive ;-)

I see what you're saying, but the only point I was making is that it is good to recognise the impact that inbuilt easy access to cars has on how we make personal and societal decisions, and that such a thought-experiment question is an easy way to highlight that. It's one of those situations where most people don't realise how reliant they have made themselves on their car until the prospect of it not being available crops up.

How, or whether, to change that reliance in future is another (related) discussion and is very much a personal decision based on circumstances, unless it becomes a forced issue through external factors whether they be medical/situational or government induced. I have chosen to reduce my reliance on a car, not because I have to but because I want to. If you or anyone else don't want to then that's your choice. However, acknowledging that it's a decision, that has consequences, is important.

mercalia
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby mercalia » 31 Jul 2019, 11:59am

well if the question is living without my own personal .... then easy in a city like London esp if you have a Freedom Pass to use the buses/trains/tubes within London. But if you live in the sticks where buses are once in a blue moon I cant see how you can avoid having a car or motor bike,as there will be times when the weather is bad or cold, or you are not well, where riding a cycle could be masochistic at best? Living in London I now sorn my m/c for most of the year and just put it on the road for a couple of months in the summer. What we maybe need is an option of Pay-As-You-Go road tax so that you can keep the car etc off road most of the time just putting it back for that occasion when a cycle is just too much? The trouble with rental is that it can be very expensive, and you have to go and collect it?

reohn2
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby reohn2 » 31 Jul 2019, 12:28pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:....There is, I fear, a deep-seated social status issue here.

I agree and that is definitely being played out on our roads with too little inclination by the authorities to stop it.

The car has become an extension of the home for many and as the roads have become more crowded the marketeers have devised ways of selling a protection from other drivers,that's the thrust behind the sale of the SUV/4x4 boom,and some vehicles I see being driven are plain ridiculous,a sledgehammer to to crack a very small nut if you will.But more than that the attitude that comes with such vehicles can be equally as ridiculous the overblown trucks people are nipping to the shops in.

The problem is a political one in that politicians are afraid of losing votes by restricting car use and size/power where it's most needed.
So far there's only ever been a tinkering at the very edge of what is needed,with the tail wagging the dog for far too long IMO and politicians more interested in scoring brownie points off each by looking green than actually being green. Cross party agreement on a constructive and radical way forward out the mess the UK is currently in from a lack of decent integrated transport,which currently is only ever a curate's egg at best,with far more parts bad than good IMHO.


The rural issue is partly one of the ways society has evolved.
Food (produced by oil energy on a large scale) is so cheap, ever less folk grow their own.....

It's for food distribution and growing that fossil fuels need preserving whilst society brainstorms where we go next as a source of energy to do both.
Time's running out and people are choking!
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mattheus
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby mattheus » 31 Jul 2019, 12:33pm

mercalia wrote:well if the question is living without my own personal .... then easy in a city like London esp if you have a Freedom Pass to use the buses/trains/tubes within London. But if you live in the sticks where buses are once in a blue moon I cant see how you can avoid having a car or motor bike,as there will be times when the weather is bad or cold, or you are not well, where riding a cycle could be masochistic at best?


I looked at a map of Britain in a museum- dated before Henry Ford saved humankind by inventing mass transportation - and
It's True! People only lived in London back then!

(if they taught you about Hadrians Wall, or any life north of Watford at school pre-18C, you should sue your teachers right now - LIARS!!! )

reohn2
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Re: Living without owning an internal combustion engine

Postby reohn2 » 31 Jul 2019, 12:42pm

amediasatex wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
amediasatex wrote:.....One way to look at it is ask yourself this question:

"If my license was revoked tomorrow on medical grounds, what would I do?"......

Turning that on it's head how would you go on if you lost both legs tomorrow?
It's not the vehicle that's the problem but the unrestricted use of it that's the problem which is supported by the lack of governmental intervention to curb it's use by restriction,that's got us into the situation we now find ourselves in.


Those without the use (or presence) of legs can still drive ;-)

I see what you're saying, but the only point I was making is that it is good to recognise the impact that inbuilt easy access to cars has on how we make personal and societal decisions, and that such a thought-experiment question is an easy way to highlight that. It's one of those situations where most people don't realise how reliant they have made themselves on their car until the prospect of it not being available crops up.

How, or whether, to change that reliance in future is another (related) discussion and is very much a personal decision based on circumstances, unless it becomes a forced issue through external factors whether they be medical/situational or government induced. I have chosen to reduce my reliance on a car, not because I have to but because I want to. If you or anyone else don't want to then that's your choice. However, acknowledging that it's a decision, that has consequences, is important.

I was playing DA
The only way society(not isolated individuals) will change is if it has to either by legislation or same/better/cheaper/more convenient alternative way to travel.
Its inconceiveable that so many people's jounery by car is less than 5miles,but only so because those people are helped by a failed transport and political system so bad in the first instance and and so far up it's rear end in the second that it cant see the light of day!

As has been said before,when it's cheaper to fly to say Spain than it is to get on a train from even Manchester to London there is something very seriously wrong with the country's transport policy IMHO
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I cycle therefore I am.