Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
Everywhere I turn at the moment there is someone talking about how much their car is costing them etc etc and I am in the same boat. Top coat as come off my Corolla and it looks shyte house. Runs well but only a matter of time before rust sets in.
I am a school teacher with pretty decent working hours (8:15-2:35 but I get to work at 7:45 to prep stuff) I have a shower at work and a place to store all my stuff. It's a 50km round trip commute.
Who has made the big jump of getting rid of their car (2nd car for me) and just had a bike to commute on? Would love to hear stories!
We've never had a second car ... cycle and public transport instead (we are a family of 4)....
Never had a car since getting married over 20 years ago. Went all in 5 years ago when some bastard stole my motorcycle. Used the insurance payout to buy a road bike, which I do commute on.
However, my fallback is decent public transport. Now have train station 1.8km from my house, train takes 30 minutes for 40km trip (+ 5 minute ride or 10 minute bus trip and 5 minutes waiting for train), or 90 minutes for the cycle commute to work (which I do 2 to 4 times a week). I use to schedule at least 60 minutes for the drive to work, which I have not done for 2 years.
Note return trip usually involves catching the train at some point, as there is usually a 20 to 40kmh headwind.
Sold my last car almost 5 years ago. Sold my motorbike 11 weeks ago.
I don't miss them. I have so much extra cash in my pocket and am fitter in every way.
My GF has another POV on the matter, but that pov revolves around her needs alone.
Sold the 2nd car a couple of months ago after not having driven it for a few months before that. Now the car sits at home mostly not costing anything to run as the wife usually walks to the local shops, etc. I ride 50km to and from work 5 days a week.
Avanti Quantum, Salsa Casseroll, Specialized Tricross
Went 'all in' early last year. Fixed up my old Mongoose hybrid and started riding to work. Didn't need the second car any more so decided to sell it off and buy myself a decent bike. Enter a Thorn Raven Nomad with Rohloff hub Still have some cash left over from the car sale and bike purchase, some of which has gone toward touring gear, the rest is sitting in the bank for use on maintenance etc. on the bike. With rego, insurance and fuel savings I'm up somewhere between $2000-$3000 per year.
The only time I drive the main car now is if we are travelling to see relatives etc. when my wife comes too - she's not much of a cyclist .
My wife and I had 5 cars and 5 motorcycles in the US, we've moved to Australia in the last year and now have just 1 car and 1 motorcycle. I do the daily 60km (return) commute without even thinking about it any more. And as I see people sitting in traffic I'm thankful that I've committed to riding the bike only.
Pretty hard to get rid of all cars in the sticks, no public transport for a start.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity!
I've been carless for a month and a half, going alright so far. My commute's only ~30k round trip though - some of you guys have got pretty solid commutes. Do most of my shopping in a 1km radius (or on the net) so no dramas there either.
Thanks for all the responses! Seems as though most hard core commuters are either in a major city where one would have to pay for car parking at work (I have a car space of my own, free) and it seems as though most have access to decent public transport.
I would happily catch a bus to work if it were raining so hard I couldn't ride or I had to take something to work that doesnt fit into a backpack. But when I went onto the bus company site last night the 25km trip from my place to work would take at LEAST 1hr13min!!! I can run 21km in 1hr40... Oh add the fact I would have a 15-20 min walk to the bus stop because the bus I need to catch doesn't stop anywhere near my house. Yay for PT!!!
Recon I might just keep the Corolla and use it as a sometimes thing when riding can't be done.
Challenging thread !!!!
As of 5 weeks ago, I finally have decent lock up and shower facilities at my new work location, and I have good bike track access so have been commuting 19kms each way, every day (weather permitting).
So the weather is part of my problem. I actually have a great bus service running every 10 or 15 minutes, but its about 3 km walk up hill. In Qld, even in winter, that makes you sweat, which I simply cannot tolerate in long shirt, pants & tie. So when it rains, I drive to the bus station.
In 5 weeks, I've done this about 4 or 5 times, twice this week due to sickness.
So for 5 weeks I've been dreaming about selling my car, but the issues above, combined with the fact that my contract runs out in 8 months, and I don't know where I'll be working then, makes me hold on to my car for now.
I congratulate and envy you all though. Well indeed !!!
We've been a single car couple since mid 2008, though I wasn't really commuting on the bike seriously until this year. With the arrival of our new family member its been looking more and more tempting to go buy a second car, but I've thus far resisted.
I don't always commute in every day, sometimes I'll borrow the car for a day if circumstances require it.
my partner and i only have one small car between us. living in Brunswick, Melb., that is almost too much. i ride to work and increasingly take public transport elsewhere. i can't bring myself to shed the car though (actually, it's hers anyway) - i still feel like i need the freedom to take off somewhere on the weekend without having to organise a hire car or something.
We dumped our big 4WD about 10 years ago after the wife and I did the big trip around oz. We still have a commodore wagon as we have 3 kids (3, 5 & 7 yrs old) and we live in south-west Sydney, so its impossible to safely transport the kids any other way, plus I use it for towing my boat and carrying my kayak.
I've been a full time commuter for 10 years, and I make good use of public transport when I have to. We all ride as a family as much as possible, and we have a trailer that we can haul behind our bikes to do grocery shopping, ect. so the car gets very little use - about 5,000km per year which is bugger all, really. We have the bus t-way and lots of decent bike paths around here that link up with all the shops and train station, but unfortunately not to/from the kid's schools.
We (family of 4) have only had one car for about 2 years now. I get a lift in to work with a colleague once a week to bring in shirts etc.
Not having a car also makes it easier to ride, as you don't have a choice. If you have a car and it's cold, or looks a bit wet etc, you won't ride. People are always asking me, "how do you get up and ride in the winter (Canberra)?" It's easy. How else will I get to work and keep the money coming in to feed the family?
I'll admit to failure and still owning a car. But cycling to work does mean two things.
1. I am perfectly happy with a 19 year old very small car (a Mazda 121 bubble car). Most of the money in a car is tied up in depreciation (the loss of value of your new car). There is no notable depreciation happening here anymore.
2. That car barely goes anywhere. Which is how it got to be 19 years old and still going strong in the first place.
I am paying about $2,000pa for a car I barely use. In theory I could sell the car and use taxis, but the car still wins on convenience. The crunch will come one day when I become afraid of the 121's sheer lack of safety features beyond seat belts.
Depreciation-wise, I think I am about $45,000 ahead across 20 years. Not a huge sum, but that also reflects my modest taste in cars (a 4WD owner could expect $150K). Cash-flow wise, cycling makes a huge difference, it is $50 I keep rather than sending it to an oil company.
Other than the $2,000 this is pretty much my experience too. In a normal fortnight my car gets used just over one weekend when I play Dad. The rest of the time it sits in the carport. The spiders are very happy given the number of spider webs
With the arrival of LittleFriendlyVegan 4, I can no longer fit in the station wagon. We were going to get a van, but didn't have the finances to do it at the time. Fortunately I ride everywhere and my wife taxis the kids as needed. I use the wagon to go to the fruit and veg markets and for big grocery hauls. Wifey uses it to take the kids to dance class and to go to work. Other than that, it sits at home. I do far more ks on the bike than I do in the car and don't miss it at all. Riding is so much part of the norm now that it is automatically factored into all travel plans. I don't think we'll be getting a van anytime soon.
My mother, on the other hand, has no idea why I would ride a 75km round trip to visit her.
I've got a car which I barely use, but I know if I ditch it I will probably want it back!
I live with my GF however and she has a car, so we will survive. I'd rather us have one nice, decent and practical car and a couple of pushies, than 2 average cars that spend most of the time in a driveway.
So very so we will give it a crack and see how it goes.
I have a car. It gets driven once a week when I take my two big dogs out for their weekly outing, or more often if I have to pick up something big from far away.... I have the xtracycle for shopping and sometimes carrying a passenger. My car is also at the bottom of the depreciation spectrum. It is probably not actually worth the trouble of selling it.
Xtracycle, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Bike Friday New World Tourist, Giant TCR, 9:zero:7
Another one with spider webs on the car. It sat for a few weeks with a broken brake caliper, by the time I got down the scrap yard and fixed that, the starter motor was refusing to fire. So now it's sitting there until it gets fixed and sold. We've got two kids but we're doing alright with just my wife's car. Don't miss it at all.
Anyone want to buy a 1991 Toyota Cressida ?
Long day's journey into alt-bars
Don't own a car, despite several opportunities to buy them ridiculously cheap. Only borrow Mum's car for some trips. Otherwise it's bicycle and public transport for me.
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