The Chainlink

Looking for some tips regarding the transition to a carfree lifestyle. I am considering selling the big hunker (its a tiny Toyota Scion actually but still) and would like to hear about your experiences. Do you use IGO or Zip? What do you think of them? Any regrets?

I need some support right now, I'm on the fence, and its cold snowy out.

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I might consider buying it cause I now am not in the city and I don't like asking my dad to use his, even it is very minimal. As far as car free goes, I did it for a 3 year stint when I lived in Bridgeport and for the last 5 month before I moved from Ukrainian Village. Take note of the photos on my page of me hauling my ladders and moving over 300 lbs of my boxes from Chicago Ave and Western to Foster and Broadway. And from that point I transported them with the station wagon. I must admit it was an interesting adventure for me but really not too difficult overall. I mean as long as your not getting tickets, paying big repair bills or worried about parking or Insurance, I'd keep it. As much as everyone cries foul about cars and as much as traffic does suck during the rush hours, it can come in handy. You can always opt to drive the minimum or give it to someone who can use it. I can't stand the extremists in any situation. Do what is most practical for you. Don't let any tree huggers or bike freaks have to much influence. I most likely ride more miles a week then they do and live more green anyway. That's what I think. - Marty
If you have a car such as a small Scion and you're doing well on the payments and can handle the cost, then there's no point in switching to co-op car sharing. You've already produced a vehicle and you have money invested in it that provides you decent collateral. I've seen many people driving those damn iGo cars for pointless 1-mile trips.

Just be smart and only use it when you have to. If you make it through the winter and still want to get rid of your car, that's the time to do it (not before winter starts when you haven't "practiced" going through the winter w/o one).

There's nothing wrong with owning a car or driving. It's more about responsible use....but that could be said about nearly anything.
I've been carfree for 3 years. Its much easier when you are semi-ascetic like I am.
I agree that its more about responsible use. I never drove much, but when I broke my leg this summer and couldn't walk for 11 weeks, my little mazda became very handy.

If you do plan to go car-free though, let me know ASAP so I can start planning the "Julie goes car-free" party.
So Julie, when you do become car(e)free you can join the ranks of the truely bikerighteous! That in itself may be worth going car(e)free.

;-) lots and lots of ;-)

Oh, I'll pitch in for the party as well eventhough you'll have all sorts of extra cash. Maybe you'll take me with you on the European vacation you'll be able to afford.
Don't worry, you and the rest of the world will be invited to my carfree party (if i get there). Not sure if I will be able to buy everyone a drink, but I can offer dessert (which some of you lucky folks got at the last weeks mass).

Alex, what cruise line are we taking?

Bikefreeek said:
So Julie, when you do become car(e)free you can join the ranks of the truely bikerighteous! That in itself may be worth going car(e)free.

;-) lots and lots of ;-)

Oh, I'll pitch in for the party as well eventhough you'll have all sorts of extra cash. Maybe you'll take me with you on the European vacation you'll be able to afford.
I'm ABOUT to go car-free. I finally have a buyer for my 2000 Civic. But I've been dealt a handful of ironic twists. First: I've managed to lose my only car key. Second: I notice today as I'm riding to work that the car has been towed! AND...I think my registration may actually be in the car...the very car I CAN'T GET IN TO in order to show the uncaring boobs at the tow lot that the damn thing is actually MINE. Fun times ahead.

Sorry to threadjack your thread, Julie. But DAMN I wanted to rant!!!!
Jason - You can threadjack my threads anytime you want (although you didn't in this situation)! I'm sorry to hear about it. Did you sell the hunk of steel on craigslist? I have AAA so if you need help with this ordeal let me know (or just to rant some more). Maybe we can do a joint CAR(E)FREE party? I'm going to an IGO customer appreciation party next week. And met an IGO employee who was running the the IRO race last night. These all seem to be signs pointing me in the right direction... just need to take the plunge.


justJason said:
I'm ABOUT to go car-free. I finally have a buyer for my 2000 Civic. But I've been dealt a handful of ironic twists. First: I've managed to lose my only car key. Second: I notice today as I'm riding to work that the car has been towed! AND...I think my registration may actually be in the car...the very car I CAN'T GET IN TO in order to show the uncaring boobs at the tow lot that the damn thing is actually MINE. Fun times ahead.
Sorry to threadjack your thread, Julie. But DAMN I wanted to rant!!!!
Hey Julie et. al.!
First off, Hi everyone. I'm done with finals, and now I can be an activist for a month. Yipee! But I digress... Has anyone thought about renting their car out as part of a car share in the process of becoming carless, or sharing with other folks who want to use their cars less and are in the neighborhood. There are issues with this of course - such as insurance, and what happens to it if there's an accident - but on the other hand, it makes it available for people who wouldn't own one regularly if they need it in a certain circumstance, or if one needs to get out of the city for a weekend or if they want to carpool with some friends somewhere... I have dreamed of such an arrangement for a long time, but I don't know how I would work out the kinks - car insurance makes it quite difficult to share responsibility of an injured vehicle. Sorry, it's late, and I'm rambling.
Hannah Bass said:
Hey Julie et. al.!
First off, Hi everyone. I'm done with finals, and now I can be an activist for a month. Yipee! But I digress... Has anyone thought about renting their car out as part of a car share in the process of becoming carless, or sharing with other folks who want to use their cars less and are in the neighborhood. There are issues with this of course - such as insurance, and what happens to it if there's an accident - but on the other hand, it makes it available for people who wouldn't own one regularly if they need it in a certain circumstance, or if one needs to get out of the city for a weekend or if they want to carpool with some friends somewhere... I have dreamed of such an arrangement for a long time, but I don't know how I would work out the kinks - car insurance makes it quite difficult to share responsibility of an injured vehicle. Sorry, it's late, and I'm rambling.

I had loaned out my car a lot this past year to friends who didn't have cars and who needed them. I didn't charge them a fee other than a full tank of gas on return. I ended up not having to buy gas but once or twice all summer. I think that now I"m going to go ahead and sell my car to the friend that borrows it the most. She could actually use it for her job. However, there are some things that a car can come in handy for like weekend trips and trips to Costco and Ikea.

I looked at I-go and I don't know if it's really practical for me. If a trip is only going to take me 2 hours, it would probably be easier for me to do it on my bike. Anything more than 2 hours and I could likely rent a car for the whole day and not pay much more than I-Go and I could combine more trips with more time to do stuff.

So, Lincoln Square car share anyone? Here's some ideas that I found lookign for ideas on how to enact it: http://ask.metafilter.com/37739/Private-Car-Share-Contract
1. Panniers
2. Fenders
3. Patience
4. Panniers
5. Patience

I suggest doing a test run to see how long you can go without. I have never needed to use IGO or Zip, but if you do, then please use IGO - they are nonprofit and green. Zip isn't.

Really, it's never difficult. It just takes time and consideration about planning your day, what you must wear and carry, your route, etc. The rest is just pedaling - and we know you can do that part!

Wait - let me rephrase panniers... Carrying Capacity in any useful form. I use collapsible baskets and a front and rear rack.

Coats should have zipper pockets. Have tons of blinkies (it gets dark so early now!). Get the right gloves. Don't think about price here because nothing is more expensive than buying another pair of cheap gloves... again!

Having tools and a CTA card on you at all times really helps, too!

I have the utmost confidence that you can pull this off!
actually my roommie and I were discussing car sharing... I know my insurance covers other drivers the same as me as long as I have given them permission to drive the car. I have a friend in Hyde Park who car shares, it seems to work really well.

Hannah Bass said:
Hey Julie et. al.!
First off, Hi everyone. I'm done with finals, and now I can be an activist for a month. Yipee! But I digress... Has anyone thought about renting their car out as part of a car share in the process of becoming carless, or sharing with other folks who want to use their cars less and are in the neighborhood. There are issues with this of course - such as insurance, and what happens to it if there's an accident - but on the other hand, it makes it available for people who wouldn't own one regularly if they need it in a certain circumstance, or if one needs to get out of the city for a weekend or if they want to carpool with some friends somewhere... I have dreamed of such an arrangement for a long time, but I don't know how I would work out the kinks - car insurance makes it quite difficult to share responsibility of an injured vehicle. Sorry, it's late, and I'm rambling.

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