First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

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horizon
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby horizon » 13 Apr 2012, 10:10pm

I just want to remind us that the OP was giving up his car because it just wasn't good value for money - he didn't benefit from it personally. So we don't actually need to worry too much about getting other people onto bikes - there's no persuading to be done. Basically, getting on a bike is a no brainer - it's cheaper, healthier, more enjoyable and quicker. Certainly I would prefer that those who "need" their cars use them without destroying too much of the landscape and environment they share with me, but apart from that, the benefits of riding a bike start from the moment you wheel it down the garden path. That's why the idea of getting rid of your car is so attractive - it's "Wow, why can't I do that!". Of course there will be the pioneers who tell the rest of us that it is possible, but we shouldn't need much persuading to follow. The really nice thing is that you don't need the rest of society to have done it first or the government to change the law: you start getting the benefits yourself from day one whatever anyone else does. And it's magic. The link above to the moustachio-money-man says it all - how your life changes from top to bottom. The funny thing is that we write a lot on this forum about how criminal drivers should be locked up in small grey spaces for a long time: most people willingly lock themselves up in small grey spaces without access to sunshine, friends and fresh air for long periods of their life. At the moment we can even keep a car in reserve or hire one - so we can have our cake and eat it. But the real cake (and the icing on it) is not owning a car at all.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

reohn2
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby reohn2 » 13 Apr 2012, 10:20pm

horizon wrote:............But the real cake (and the icing on it) is not owning a car at all.

The "cake" for me is having a car and a bike.I can used either when I feel the need or want.
It becomes a no brainer when We(MrsR2 and I) can manage without a car,if we so desire.
Call me selfish if you like.
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horizon
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby horizon » 13 Apr 2012, 10:48pm

reohn2 wrote:It becomes a no brainer when We(MrsR2 and I) can manage without a car,if we so desire.
Call me selfish if you like.


No, I don't call anyone selfish for that reason. Owning a car and using it wisely seems fine to me. What I'm getting at is that the OP started the topic of not owning a car at all and I'm saying that this might have very interesting benefits and consequences, not for society but for the individual. I'm fascinated by it. Of course, having no car at all pushes you into awkward situations and I have every sympathy with people like karlt who juggle life with children (though he cycles 15 miles to work to his great credit!). But what if we tried it? What if we found it was actually rather good? Sure, many of us would shy away from it for all the obvious reasons but johnw manages it. The point I'm making is that we should do it because we would want to! - once we got over the fear - it's a bit like jumping into cold water. And yes, we would have to make some changes. I'm also not splitting hairs over occasionally hiring one or having stuff delivered - I'm talking about not having that thing parked at the end of the path with all its monthly costs and endless needs like MOTs and somewhere to park. To me it's liberating. By the way, we have two cars. One is never used, was lent to friend and will soon be disposed of. The other.....? I haven't filled up in about two years and rarely if ever use the car but that isn't quite the same as not having one. Mrs H remains to be persuaded but I think I would try it ... maybe...
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

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meic
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby meic » 13 Apr 2012, 11:24pm

I might hate the car for the two weeks of the year when I, rather lazily, get it through its MOT.
For the rest of the time it does just sit there being not much hassle to me, except for removing the mould and bailing out the water occasionally.

On the occasions I use it it is really useful, like tomorrow morning driving to an Audax (Do Taxis work that early? Trains dont and they dont even go that way).
Then it may well sit there for another week or two without moving.

On the occasions that it is wanted, it is very invaluable.
Enough to offset the days and money spent on it.
Yma o Hyd

snibgo
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby snibgo » 13 Apr 2012, 11:41pm

Carlton Reid makes the case that Roads were not built for cars. However, many have certainly evolved to facilitate motorised transport.

Cars are certainly convenient, darn them. Sitting there like patient servants ready to ferry the family or heaps of stuff tens or hundreds of miles. I wouldn't criticise anyone for taking advantage of these wonderful inventions. The problem is our voluntary enslavement. We are no longer their masters. They master us. We have built a society for the benefit of cars, at the expense of people.

I wouldn't expect any UK government, at any level, to acknowledge this problem. That would be political suicide (or perhaps merely cowardice). But pressure can be applied at all levels, and it's worth doing. 25% of UK residents cycle at least once per month (DfT NTS0313). That's a lot of people, a lot of voters.

If it's all about money and growth: there is loads of both in "greener" transport, all the way from cycles through small light efficient machines up to power stations.

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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby mrjemm » 14 Apr 2012, 7:59am

With regards to increasing the cost of motoring being the answer, I'd go against that as the route to take as it would end up another thing the wealthy reap the benefits of, whilst the less affluent are priced out of it, despite equal "rights" to such access. Yes, OK, they're "better off" cycling, like kids at Gordonstoun in their cold showers (and when it's peeing down, much more like them), but monied folk will pay the extra willingly to enjoy roads without oiks and riff-raff.

CREPELLO wrote:How many times have we said/read on here that if the gov'ment would only spend a fraction of what they spend on the big projects (HS2, 2x aircraft carriers, Trident.....) on some serious cycling infrastructure, we could all reap the benefits, cyclists and non cyclists alike.


Like that's going to happen- public demand will be for other big popular beneficiaries such as hospitals, roads (of course) and schools. Perhaps better education may have the secondary outcome of young people being wise enough to make intelligent transport choices. Again, yeah, right.

But of course we're a tiny nation on a very very highly populated planet. Firstly our choices will be almost negligable on a global scale, i.e. we're doomed. And secondly, as long as it's things people do that are the problem, it's people that are the root problem, and people don't want to stop making more people.

Do you need that baby? The world doesn't.

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danfoto
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby danfoto » 14 Apr 2012, 7:59am

As I have said before, were it not for The Lady Wife's need for further hospital treatment shortly, we would have given up the motor car already, as planned. We were able to plan to give it up because over the last 20 years or so, we have tried to order our life together such that when I became an OAP, we were able to live as frugally and sensibly as possible.

We also don't have a television set, having got rid of it 30 or so years ago when we realised how much of our lives were being wasted watching the thing. And I gave up smoking 15 or so years ago after maybe 35 years of it.

I therefore understand just how hard it is for many people to contemplate their existence without something upon which they currently rely. What makes matters worse where car dependency is concerned is the ease with which, for the time being, those suffering from it seem able to convince themselves that nothing's going to change any time soon ...
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

Edwards
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby Edwards » 14 Apr 2012, 8:09am

Edwards wrote:i am also very fortunate to to be able to ride a bike some of the time.

Why not just celebrate the fact that we can take part in this activity and if somebody else decides that they do not want or need to run a car, then say good for them.



I am however puzzled why the above is so contentious. If you are of a mind to take it that is defends car usage then so be it. However this is a cycling forum and the topic is about not owning a car so why is it I need to explain or defend the position.

Just to make the statement clear for some. Why not just celebrate the fact that we can take part in this activity (CYCLING).


Horizon I am also interested in how Songsforpolarbears is getting on without a car.

Why do we not attempt to lean something from somebody who is making this step in an area of the country that we think of as not being the best for not owning a car, after all if we want to know more then we need him to speak.

The OP has more to offer than most of us in the way of advice and I apologize to him for taking his thread way of subject.
Keith Edwards
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danfoto
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby danfoto » 14 Apr 2012, 9:17am

Finally found it ...

Image
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

reohn2
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby reohn2 » 14 Apr 2012, 10:05am

snibgo wrote:Cars are certainly convenient, darn them. Sitting there like patient servants ready to ferry the family or heaps of stuff tens or hundreds of miles.

Thats the reason for our continued ownership.They tow a caravan well too :)
I wouldn't criticise anyone for taking advantage of these wonderful inventions.

Nor me.
The problem is our voluntary enslavement.

That statement could also be applied to any number of labour saving devices to a greater or lesser degree. I take you're point but only partially.

We are no longer their masters. They master us

Again I can only take that point partially,they master some of us.Its our dependence on oil that masters us.

We have built a society for the benefit of cars, at the expense of people.

IMO its six of one and half a dozen of the other.


I wouldn't expect any UK government, at any level, to acknowledge this problem. That would be political suicide (or perhaps merely cowardice).

Which amounts to the same thing in a land addicted to the motorcar and its social standing in that society.
A government willing to do something about such a "problem" would need to put in place an alternative.
But pressure can be applied at all levels, and it's worth doing. 25% of UK residents cycle at least once per month (DfT NTS0313). That's a lot of people, a lot of voters.

I'll agree that cycling is on the increase both as a utility and pleasure vehicle,but the numbers aren't enough to make a difference under the current system of government.Governments who are in the multinational companies pockets.
It would need a waking up of the electorate,an electorate so preoccupied with the products of those same multinationals and enough of that electorate not even bothering to vote a all.Something that successive governments have done nothing to sort out because it suits them,whatever the party.
If it's all about money and growth: there is loads of both in "greener" transport, all the way from cycles through small light efficient machines up to power stations.

But if it makes even a very small difference in profit to those multinationals profit, no matter how "dirty" their products,they will always prefere the most profitable.
This is the problem with unbridled capitalism,it has no conscience and goverments are bought and sold.
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reohn2
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby reohn2 » 14 Apr 2012, 10:09am

danfoto wrote:Finally found it ...

Image


That could be applied to so much,in so many ways.


danfoto wrote:Eventually it dawned on me that in many cases, listening to a motorist explaining why he "needs" his car has much in common with listening to a smoker explaining why he still smokes.

It would do if smoking had any real use,which it hasn't.
Not so the motorcar.
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reohn2
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby reohn2 » 14 Apr 2012, 10:22am

mrjemm wrote:...............it's things people do that are the problem, it's people that are the root problem, and people don't want to stop making more people.

Do you need that baby? The world doesn't.


Spot on.
But then again I have three daughters one has five children,one has two children and one has one child.
In the West our health is better than ever and so, generally people are living longer and infant mortality is minimum.
But I agree with you the world's problem is one of overpopulation.
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Reigncloud
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby Reigncloud » 14 Apr 2012, 11:38pm

We drove to Exeter airport to take a flight out to Majorca last week, then drove home again after the holiday. 60miles each way and we had to be at the airport for 4.30am. We could have taken a taxi, but it would have cost nearly £100 to get us there, and we could have taken the train to get us home. Instead we used about 3gals of petrol and spent £50 to park the car.

No contest.


You've missed the point as well. If you didn't have a car then £100 would be cheap compared to the cost of fuel, insurance etc.

And of course you've made your decision purely on financial terms. The associated environmental degradation is what economists call an externality i.e. something you don't pay for directly but offload onto society to deal with. If the true cost of travelling to the airport in a tonne of metal powered by fossilized plants was included then your outcome would probably be different.

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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby Reigncloud » 14 Apr 2012, 11:43pm

I also highly contest that anyone 'needs' a car. What ever did humans do in the thousands of years prior to the 20th century? The claimed 'need' for a car is a shockingly recent and western phenomenon (though I do concede that it's the direction society pushes people)

reohn2
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Re: First day of NOT owning a car tomorrow

Postby reohn2 » 15 Apr 2012, 12:04am

Reigncloud wrote:I also highly contest that anyone 'needs' a car. What ever did humans do in the thousands of years prior to the 20th century? The claimed 'need' for a car is a shockingly recent and western phenomenon (though I do concede that it's the direction society pushes people)


What did humans do before electricity or gas central heating or eating fruit grown in other countries,or man made fibres,etc,etc.............
Theres so much convenience that is directly connected to fossil fuel use its very hard to distinquish and seperate which is and which isn't.
Lets not keep pointing the finger at anyone who uses a car on the grounds of fossil fuel wastage when that pointing hand has three of those fingers pointing back its owner.
No human(even cyclists) is without "guilt" where pollution and fossil fuel use is concerned.
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