Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
Low mileage car in the garage and increasing mileage on the bike. Just about even at the moment.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
I'm looking to ditch the second car in a month or two. It will probably only last for a year or so until we move out to the country, but in Sydney I can ride or take the taxi to the airport, then do the long bit of my commute (270km to 400km) in a Saab that does 500kmh.
It does seat 34, so it's public transport I s'pose...
Humans are not so much rational beings, as rationalizing ones.
2010 Giant Yukon with slicks and stuff.
2008 Salsa Casseroll
2010 SE Lager
I have only owned one car in my life but it was the biggest PITA money pit ever. After I spent quite a lot of money fixing it up I eventually sold it when I moved to Perth. I decided that cars were too expensive, I hated always worrying about fuel prices and I also felt that it was better overall to ride due to the health, social, environmental etc benefits it provides over cars.
Haven't owned a car since November '07 and I have no plans to buy a car ever again. My GF has a Camry which we use for the occasional trip down south or to the beach, other than that I made sure that I was renting a house close to a train station (2 mins), the city (20 mins), my Uni (12 mins) and shops (10 mins on the way to Uni).
So yeah, I have gone all in, and I am constantly trying to get mates from Uni into it. However their issue is that many of them live with their parents still in fringe suburbs, so riding to Uni would be almost impossible, especially given how car oriented Perth is.
Saved a few grand that I put towards overseas holidays every year, feel good about myself, love getting out and going for a ride, seeing sites and getting exercise.
Check out my practical cycling and cycle touring website: VELOPHILE AUSTRALIA
I have been commuting for 4 months/16 weeks, due to a loss of licence, crashed a car and it was deemed dangerous driving. TBH not missed it apart from the odd day when it has rained. I can blag a lift to work if I make the call early enough in the morning.
It's about 17K each way on a normal day and 40 each way if I have to go up North to Tafe for exams. Everyone is stunned when I rock up and tell them it has taken me an hour and 10 minutes of riding to get there, an hour and 20 altogether. I never did it in less than an hour in the car, so nothing lost there. Most tell me to get the train but that's just far too hard. 5 ks to the station at my end for starters.
Usually there's a killer wind in your face in one direction. This used to tick me off big time but now it's extra resistance for free
Even with 8 months to go, I am already considering not using a car to get to work. Work have been good and have re-arranged things so I don't have to travel all over Adelaide. I might get one and leave it at work and still ride in.
Still have a couple of cars, one needs some work to get rid of it and the other is in daily use. Can't see us getting rid of them all.
My wife and I have only ever had one car (12 years) - Since changing jobs (6 years ago) I have riden every day to work except for late last year when I broke my arm and had it in a full arm cast.
With one income in the house and three kids - they would miss out on swimming lessons, Netball for the girls (2), little "a's", and Cricket for the boy (only five but loves milo into cricket).
I would also miss out on my 10km commute each way. We estimate that we save $4000 - $5000 per year by me riding ($3000 - $4000 in car costs and the rest in Gym / medical costs to keep me fit and well).
All those things aside it works so great fo me - I arrive ready for work most days, and arrive home ready to be a good husband and Dad regardless of how my day has been. Bad day ride further and faster and get rid of the fustration.
Not fast, no style, but still get there.
My car broke down last week for the first time ever and I haven't even thought about getting it fixed yet. I have been bussing and training in to work since it broke but I would like to start cycle commuting tomorrow.
I suppose I will get it fixed eventually but in the meantime I am happy enough without it.
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Well done Rhubarb! We are detailing the 2nd car and advertising it this week. I've been riding to work most of this year and can't see a reason to stop now (rain hail or shine).
I calculated that with rego, insurance, servicing, parts, depreciation and interest saved (putting the capital on the mortgage) I will be about $4500 -$5000 pa better off, not including petrol! $100 per week or $10 a trip to work (with petrol) saving. If I had to pull $10 out of my wallet each time I got in the car, I wouldn't do it - so I won't!
It helps that I have a great route to work and we have a family car for weekends. Very exciting!
Once sold, I have a healthy budget for the perfect commuter bike to replace my cheap MTB. Unfortunately, I spend hours deciding on which gloves I should get, deciding on a bike might take me months!
2nd car was sold last year because it was going to be repossesed otherwise. Since then have only taken the other car to work twice. Learning to live with one car with 5 kids and a week full of after school and weekend sport and me working 2 days and then 2 nights is challenging but worth it. So far its working and its makes us think about what we do and when we do it.
I say go for it
Haha! I love riding my MTB to work. I think it's a lot of fun! FWIW it probably took me about 8 months to find my perfect bike. I couldn't find what I wanted in Perth so I mail ordered mine from Sydney. It was worth every cent and more.
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I did the opposite 3 weeks ago. Been without a car for 2 1/2 years, but bought one last month. Being single I didn't have a wife or even girlfriend's car to fall back on and it got a bit much for me.
I think 1 car in a family will be enough, but none is terribly inconvenient. Geez, and I got the car just in time. With my recent health issues I've been going to sit and read at the hospital's ER waiting room at night just so that I wouldn't be alone in case something went wrong and driving home again at 3 or 4am plus loads of doctor's appointments and whatnot. Would have been a pain not having a car during this time. Worth considering.
Wife and I have had 1 car since 2001. I used to PT to work daily. I've been commuting by bike for two years. I did it over 100 days last year. The plan is for 120 this year. The days I'm not on the bike, I'm on the bus (which takes longer than the bike). Daily commute is just over 42kms return.
We now have a second car in the garage (wife's grandfathers). It's used when relatives need a car. In the last 12 months we've probably put less than 500km on that car. And about 10000km on our car.
I went all in at the start of the year after ramping up the ammount of cycling I did since mid last year. Given I'm finishing my degree (and being a nurse that involves long periods of unpaid wor.. ahem, clinical practice rotations) and that parking at uni and any major hospital is frustrating and expensive, I decided if I was more organised I could get away without having a car and get more cycling into my week.
So I built myself a dedicated commuting bike with a rack and mudguards and got rid of my car. In 4 months there's only been a couple of days I haven't been able to ride due to having a nasty cold. Uni is a 50km round trip and the hospital I'm working at is about 25-30km depending on the route, so it's been pretty easy and I haven't had to give up too much sleep.
I've even got my fiance riding into work most days of the week now
Got rid of my car 2 years ago, it use to just sit there.
Occasionally I borrow one from family members if I need one to go surfing.
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
This is the only reason I get the occasional longing for a car. An 80km round trip with all my gear (board, wettie, fins etc) at 7am isn't really possible on a bike. Thankfully the trip is possible by PT within an hour, or when the GF is avaliable we take her car which is the easiest option.. it's pretty much all we use the car for actually. rest of the week it sits in the driveway at her house as she takes PT to TAFE.
Check out my practical cycling and cycle touring website: VELOPHILE AUSTRALIA
So its over a year since I sold my car and went back to 1 car family with my commuting on bike every day whatever the weather.
I think I've probably only had to use the bus less than 5 times in the year and hated every trip.
You just can't beat the bike for commuting.
its been nine months since I dumped the car (glorified shopping trolley). since the accident though I have given up cycle commuting (which I did in all weather conditions) and now moto commute. don't miss the car at all. do all the shopping using a bicycle with a big box trailer (see the shopping trailer thread for pics). only time I needed the car was when my daughter was sick at school, so I rode there on the moto, called for a taxi and escorted them home. savings on public transport for one week paid for the taxi, so I figure I'm still in front. I'd own the moto even if I didn't moto commute as it would be a weekender fun thing anyway.
Life is not about waiting for the rain to pass.....it's about learning to dance (or ride) in the rain.
It's been two years since we moved to the country, changing jobs in the process and giving back the company car.
I do have and will keep the second car, but we've found a loophole so it only gets registered for three months at a time, when I need it. Unfortunately, having changed jobs again, I've needed it everyday for the last six weeks. And just like Martin and Mugglechops, PT is non-exsistant.
Besides, it's a 1978 Kingswood, and will be restored (of sorts) when the cash becomes available. It's also the car I learnt to drive in. The Old Girl ain't going anywhere!
Fondreist R10, Dura-Ace, Cosmic SL's
Specialized Hardrock, Spinergy Xyclones
And the occasional trailer full of kids......
I've been without a car for two and half years now (the car died and instead of throwing more money into the pit, I bought a bike). I either ride to work or take the train, and occasionally get taxis home with the shopping, or hire a car for lengthier trips into the country.
I live in suburban Melbourne, and am single with no kids, so I can get away with it. I do occasionally miss it though when a taxi takes an hour to arrive (it happens) or if I need to do something weird like take my cats to the vet (you can do that in a taxi, but you get some pretty weird looks, and the timing can be tricky). I don't miss the money pit though. I remember what maintaining a car cost every time I upgrade something on my bike - I'm still ahead even with my current bout of upgrade fever.
We have 2 cars, but only one ever gets used at a time (falcon used by lazy wife to get to work and to go feed/tow her horse, and my forby a fun toy that sits in the driveway with a broken gearbox atm), as soon as we can afford to sell both and buy a car that will cover both jobs, family and forby, basically waiting till we have enough capital on the mortgage to buy one. We could get away with selling the falcon now (afer fixing the forby) but seeing as it is a 15 yearold ute my wife gets a bit funny about the serious lack of saftey features for daily driving and our small kids in the back.
We will always have a car, I love going 4wding we love touring outback Australia, my wife needs to tow her horse and our closest family is 200km away, so we need a car to go visit.
Actually scratch that, We will always have 2 cars, one will hardly get driven but as soon as I get my 51 Ford up and running I'll be paying for that too.
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