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Peakster 01-26-2008 08:16 PM

Landon's Epic Vlog Thread: living without a car in a car-happy world
 
Note: this was posted in the blog thread but here everyone (including guests) can keep tabs on my challenge of living without a car

Landon's Vlog #1: preparing to live without a car
[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/v/T2Eji40Al4Q[/YOUTUBE]

Gas is $4 a gallon. I've already downsized to a Geo Metro. I spend well over $500 a month on my car. It's time to do something about it!

If I can survive in a automobile-centric city without a car, anyone can! Let me be your inspiration (as well as you being mine) to challenge yourself to a healthier way of getting around! By the way, that's Gloria's (my Ford Tempo's) passenger seat I'm sitting on ;)

Landon's Vlog #2: Dressing for Success
[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/v/i_i2FWdqqqA[/YOUTUBE]

It's one thing to go living without a car if you live in a moderate climate, but what do you do when temperatures reach -46*C with the windchill?

I tack on the additional cost of 'Gloria', my Ford Tempo, show what kind of fashion statement I make when I go outside, and get a sneak peak at my new (or used) bicycle!

Be sure to stay tuned for more Vlogs to come!

Gone4 01-26-2008 08:41 PM

I completely applaud this decisions :thumbup:. I did it mostly while I was working in Houston, TX, which is a city with 8 million people (including those under the driving age) and almost 7 million cars (!). Everything was spread out too far for my to become completely independent. My biggest problem was to go grocery shopping I needed to go with my roommate because it is hard to carry many groceries on a bicycle, especially without a rack on it. How do you plan on going grocery shopping?

Do you plan on making the vlog solely in this thread or on some other website?

I will be attempting to be completely car free again this summer, if my situation deems it possible. So I will be right there next to you I hope :D!

Good luck, and I look forward to tracking your progress.

Peakster 01-26-2008 09:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenKreton (Post 7066)
Houston, TX, which is a city with 8 million people (including those under the driving age) and almost 7 million cars (!).

Holy crap!

Quote:

My biggest problem was to go grocery shopping I needed to go with my roommate because it is hard to carry many groceries on a bicycle, especially without a rack on it. How do you plan on going grocery shopping?
There is actually 3 major grocery stores to choose from near my house (I live so close to 'big-box' central, I used to be able to see all the stores out my kitchen window. Not so much now that they've developed houses/condos behind us) so it's very walkable/bikeable. Also, the entire city is only 46 square miles in area.

As a matter of fact, my house scored 37/100 on www.walkscore.com which isn't too bad for suburbia. Check out the website. It's very valuable in finding services where you live.

Quote:

Do you plan on making the vlog solely in this thread or on some other website?
Definitely my focus will be this website's forum and blog since this is where my idea originated from.

Quote:

I will be attempting to be completely car free again this summer, if my situation deems it possible. So I will be right there next to you I hope :D!
Sounds fantastic! What are some obstacles for going car-free during the winter months in Texas?

Gone4 01-26-2008 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peakster (Post 7070)
Sounds fantastic! What are some obstacles for going car-free during the winter months in Texas?

During the winter I am at home in New Hampshire or at School in Vermont. Texas would be MUCH easier to deal with since they never get snow or ice. At school I don't keep a car since all of my needs are provided by campus or a trip to a store with friends every ~3 weeks. At home it would be pretty impossible since ice mixed with snow banks shrinking the roads would make for some extremely unsafe conditions to bike or walk in.

Part of my apprehension about the summer is I am graduating in May, and maybe going to graduate school so I have no idea where I will be living...

A bicycle is what I consider the first step to independence from the oil overlords. I was doing 400-485 km (250-300 miles) a week pretty easily while working 50 hours. I'm not the most in shape guy, but pretty skinny, as well. A lot of the riding was for pure fun.

Are you keeping the car in a situation where things don't turn out?

Peakster 01-26-2008 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenKreton (Post 7076)
Part of my apprehension about the summer is I am graduating in May, and maybe going to graduate school so I have no idea where I will be living...

Sounds like you're in a similar boat as me. This is also my last year of university and I have no idea what my future beholds. The exciting thing is that both you and I can start out our lives anywhere and anyhow we wish. We're pretty adaptable and young enough where it can't be a better time to make a change (since we don't have the responsibilities of mortgages, marriages, kids, jobs, etc.)

I too like having a car while in school (it real handy when I need materials for sculpture class and be able to quickly drive to a hardware store and use the Geo as my 'truck'). So I'm going to keep it until I'm done with the U. of Manitoba before going all out. Meanwhile this is a perfect time for me to get used to walking places and I may even start using a bicycle a bit before the semester end.

Quote:

Are you keeping the car in a situation where things don't turn out?
That's a good question. The problem of keeping a car 'just in case' may lead to using it more than I need. For instance my mom wanted me to drive my sister to work downtown tonight. It would be a lot easier to say "Sorry, I don't have a car" than "I don't want to because I want to save money". By the way, I did drive her. I'll definitely give it some thought.

One part of me wants to sell my Geo (I'm not emotionally attached to the car and I could recoup some of the $2,300 I spent buying it since I'm sure high-FE cars will be in huge demand this spring) and keep "Gloria", my Tempo. That's because I really like Gloria: the insurance is cheap ($50 a month) and no one wants to ride in it! :D

On the contrary, I know I can live without owning a car at all.

Daox 01-26-2008 10:13 PM

Great resolution Peakseter. I have no ideas for you, but wish you good luck. :thumbup:

DifferentPointofView 01-26-2008 11:54 PM

If things don't turn out, you ride a scooter or street legal mo-ped!

Peakster 01-27-2008 12:00 AM

One of the challenges is the weather. Lower-Canada only has frost-free days 50% of the year, so there's more of an issue of freezing my buns off in the dead of winter rather than not being able to travel long distances. In the summer, I can bike from one end of the city to the other in about an hour. That same drive would be about 20 minutes, max.

Also, how do cyclists deal with rain?

RH77 01-27-2008 01:10 AM

Cold
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Peakster (Post 7087)
One of the challenges is the weather. Lower-Canada only has frost-free days 50% of the year, so there's more of an issue of freezing my buns off in the dead of winter rather than not being able to travel long distances. In the summer, I can bike from one end of the city to the other in about an hour. That same drive would be about 20 minutes, max.

Also, how do cyclists deal with rain?

This is my biggest concern for you: cold snaps. Even at 10F, waiting 10-minutes for a bus, I recently froze my arse off. Bicyclists have to have a (potentially costly) adverse Weather kit, with multiple layers of clothing and a rain/snow-proof outer layer. I found a great coat at an outdoor supply store that lets you vent perspiration (to avoid moisture freezing), but repels precipitation. It was a bit costly, but really worth it when outdoors in the cold snow/rain for many hours. For me, I'd have to get into better shape to bike a decent distance. Goals, I s'pose...

I honestly respect your resolve. Bundle up and look for that public transit or bike route! I look forward to the result. I admit that I'm addicted to driving -- always have been. That seems like a big freedom to relinquish.

Best to you!

RH77

Stan 01-27-2008 01:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peakster (Post 7070)
my house scored 37/100 on www.walkscore.com

Wow...my house scored a big fat goose egg. Zero. Zip. Nada.

Of course, living out in the country has its own rewards. :)


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