The Chainlink

Some one in the "Awesome Cyclists" discussion mentioned wanting to sell their car, but that it wasn't germane to the thread. I have been on the verge of selling mine for a long time. I'd be interested in hearing stories of others who finally took the plunge and sold their car. Any thoughts or advice?

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i let go of my vw turbo bug earlier this year. i've found that being a member of zipcar is great because sometimes you will find yourself wanting to move or pick something up that is too large and cumbersome for a bike. but the little stuff- like groceries and laundry, become much more of an adventure. there's a strange feeling of total self reliance and independence when you let go of the machinery. and insurance payments. and groaning at the pump. and sitting in traffic.

besides, two wheels are so much better than four!
I sold my car in April....it will be 6 months in two days! I joined zip and igo (need a car for work frequently) and they are great.

It's been super fun. I feel some weight lifted off my shoulders and never need to remember where I parked my car or put money in the meter, (although once I borrowed a friend's car, double parked it on my street, ran in to drop off groceries, and almost left the car outside for the night! I forgot I had a car in my possession.....)

Now the question is getting through the winter, but I pretty much did a test run last winter and survived!
YEAH! !! pull that trigger! !! You can do it!!!! :-)
Yeah, like Brian said, if you can try not using our car for a couple months (winter is a good time to test it) that will help with the decision. I needed to see for myself if I could do it.

I also forgot to mention I use CTA and the Metra a lot. Cabs are also nice if you are in a pinch
I'm at 3 months of being car free and care free. Seriously, I feel like I have a burden off my shoulders. I hardly used it. It's really nice not to have to worry about it. I haven't run into a spot where I needed a car yet, but I've been told zipcar is easy just as so many others have said.
Carfree for about 5 years, now. I find that I need a motor vehicle 5-10 days a year, and on those days, I rent one.

Look Ma, no parking tickets!
You can do it! Easy for me to say, as I have never owned a car. About 10 years ago, I considered buying a car because I was tired of being transit dependent, but I bought a bike instead. I am constantly amazed by what I can haul by bike with the help of panniers, trailers and some patience. People will say that living w/o a car limits your mobility, but with our bikes, feet, transit and cabs, my family (two adults and a 3 year old) has tons of getting around options.

OK, full disclosure: this summer, we bought a 1988 GMC camper van for the occasional weekend trip and for a longer adventure next summer. But it's parked a few blocks away and I don't really know how to drive (need to relearn), so I am not tempted to use it.

Good luck with your decision making.
Thanks for all the insight and support, everyone.

I guess I am 90% there already. This will be my 3rd bike winter, and I already annoy my friends and coworkers with the typical car-free smugness (what parking meter fiasco?). I guess the only thing I have left to do is ditch the car insurance payments.
J.G. MC said:
The key to it working is positioning your living space close to public transportation routes -- I have two el lines within walking distance and a bus outside my door -- and simply refusing to take a job in the suburbs.


I leave my car out the in the suburbs at the metra station. I never bring it home. I take the metra out and then get in my car and drive a few miles to work. I really wish my hours were more flexible, so that I could get rid of my car. I just really don't have time after work to catch my train home if I were to ride. If I miss it, I'd have to wait another hour before the next one comes. It sucks. I've been looking for a job closer to a metra line or something with more flexible hours, but no luck yet. Anyone know of anyone looking to hire a Chemist? :)
I sold my car in January, and never miss it. I joined iGo but haven't used it yet. Now we save not only on payments, insurance, and gas, but make $100 a month renting our garage space to a neighbor. Finding a buyer took a couple of months in this economy, so be prepared to wait. Good luck!
My husband and I ditched our car during my second year of medical residency. I had thought I'd really need the car to get back and forth to the hospital, but it turned out that driving wasn't that much faster than biking--certainly not during rush hour--and getting home after a sleepless overnight call was no more exhausting than driving, and undoubtedly much safer for those around me if not myself.

We rely on iGo occasionally, but it really is quite seldom. We do most of our grocery shopping in small bits on the way home from work. We lucked into a used bakfiets last year and use that for big grocery trips and other hauling errands, and our 60-pound dog actually will ride in it as well, so we can take him to the groomer or the vet (or just for ice cream). The bakfiets is not a great solution for everyone given its prohibitive cost; we couldn't have bought one new. For trips to visit the family in far-flung places, we rent a car. What we've saved in car payments and insurance way offsets the expense of occasional rentals and iGo (and I've been able to justify two new bikes!).

We've both ridden year-round for the past three years. It's pretty easy once it becomes automatic. Only a couple of times a year do I say, "I think I'll take the el today."
That's pretty much exactly what I want to do. I occasionally have to travel for work, but I already confirmed with my boss that renting cars for those trips will be fine. I think I am going to get a nice heavy-duty city bike, I just wish I had a place to park it. I know they are built to withstand the elements all the time, but our salty winters are pretty harsh on any machine. (This is Boulevard Bike's cue to sell me a Pashley)

Natalie said:
We rely on iGo occasionally, but it really is quite seldom. We do most of our grocery shopping in small bits on the way home from work. We lucked into a used bakfiets last year and use that for big grocery trips and other hauling errands, and our 60-pound dog actually will ride in it as well, so we can take him to the groomer or the vet (or just for ice cream). The bakfiets is not a great solution for everyone given its prohibitive cost; we couldn't have bought one new. For trips to visit the family in far-flung places, we rent a car. What we've saved in car payments and insurance way offsets the expense of occasional rentals and iGo (and I've been able to justify two new bikes!)."

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