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How to Live Without a Car

How to Live Without a Car

Biking for SuccessDownload Article

1
Choose a bike. There are many different types of bikes to choose. It’s important to pick the one that will best serve your needs. Consider your travelling distance, the terrain, and the grade you’ll be riding when you choose your model.[1]Visit a bike show and talk to the employees. Check out what they have to offer. Take the models you like out for a test spin around the block.

Consider how you’ll be using the bike. If you’re using the bike to go back and forth to work, to the grocery store, and to run other errands on pavement, consider a road bike, which is quick, efficient, and light.

Determine if a mountain bike is a sound investment. They are durable and can jump easily from pavement to mud and sand. They are built to take a thrashing. They’re just not that great for endurance rides.[2]

Consider the weight of the bike. It might not seem very heavy going for a spin around the block. It will be much heavier as you pedal it through miles on your way home from work. Buying a lighter frame will make the ride home much more manageable.

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Buy a bike. Keep your budget in mind. Classifieds and online sources are a great place to begin. Also, ask a friend if they have a bike they’d be willing to sell.Get a bike multi-tool, tire patches, a spare tire, lube, and a flashlight. Keep them in your riding bag in case of emergency.[3]

Buy a bike lock and use it. Talk to someone at a bike store to find out what will work best for you. Always use multiple locking mechanisms. Although not foolproof, a kryptonite U-lock with a four foot long cable is a good way to prevent bike thieves.

Get bad weather gear. You’ve gotten rid of your car, so you’ll be exposed to the elements on your rides home. Being prepared means a smooth ride.

Buying a waterproof bag to keep your equipment in will help you out. Check for used ones online for the best deal.

Take care of your bike. Bikes, like cars, need proper maintenance. A small amount of care can make

Find a safe place to park your bike. If you can, take it inside with you and find a safe place to store it while you’re away. Make sure to lock it when you are not around, even if it’s just for a short time.

Use a small U-lock if you lock your bike to a parking meter, never just a cable. A small U-lock makes it impossible to lift the bike over the top.

Look for immovable bike racks installed outside of buildings. Check to make sure it’s bolted down and solid. Never lock your bike to something flimsy, like a chain-link fence which can be easily snipped open.

Look for parking garages and parking lots that are bike-friendly. While some ask for a minimal fee, it’s worth the cost for peace of mind.

Bring your bike inside when you return home if you can. If you can’t, secure your bike with as much precaution as you would when you take it out. Even if you’re tired, taking these extra steps will help insure you have a ride tomorrow.

Bring any accessories with you after parking your bike: lights, water bottles, seat, etc.

Take care of yourself, too. A soggy-wet, cold bike ride is miserable. Dress to stay dry. Buy a waterproof vest or jacket with a hood. Rain pants are always a great investment.

Make your way to the boarding area. If you’re not sure where the boarding area is, look at a map or follow the signs.

Once you arrive at your platform, wait a safe distance from the tracks. Pay attention to where you are walking and where the train will arrive. Keep your head up and stay alert.

When the train arrives, allow other passengers to disembark before you get on. Don’t stand in front of the door and expect them to walk around you; stand to the side and give them proper room to leave the train.

Get on board. Get all the way on; don’t let any part of you (including the straps of your bag) dangle outside of the do]

Make sure you are on the correct train by listening to the destination and route. If you’re not, get off at the next stop and reevaluate.

Entertain yourself. There’s no reason to go the same way every day. Change up your route and what you’re doing as you walk.

Take side streets when you can (never compromise your safety) to see other neighborhoods. Talk to people you see outside. Saying hello is a great way to begin to build community.

Change up your entertainment. Listening to music, books, or radio shows can make a long walk go by in a snap.

Use your walk to think about your goals and ambitions. What do you want for yourself? What do you want for your family? What’s going on at work? Exercise clears your head and you’ll see and feel the results in a matter of weeks.

Carry a small bag with essentials you might need. Planning ahead makes small problems a snap to deal with!

Put moleskin, bandaids, and antiseptic salve in it.

Carry a small water bottle. Hydration is important!

Keep a couple bucks of extra cash on you in case you need some water or to make a phone call.

Keep a spare shirt at work in case of inclement weather.

Walking is immeasurably better than driving. It saves you money on gas, parking, and insurance. It’s great for the planet and even better for you. Walking might even be quicker than driving as some people overestimate the time they spend driving

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  • Consider moving closer to your work. The money you save by not having a car can help with the possible increase in rent.
  • Enjoy the ride! Bring a book, download music, or play games on your phone.
    • Always be respectful of the people around you by using headphones and keeping your music or radio show to a respectable level.

Be polite and courteous to your neighbors. Offer older people or otherwise infirm people your seat.

 

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