World car-free day

Hey everyone! It's World Car-Free Day! I know it's probably too late for most of you to make alternate arrangements, but if you can avoid getting into your car, you can help celebrate this special day!

More links:

Hey, it was also walk-to-work day for me.
Almost every day is car-free day for me.

I made a lifestyle choice 13 years ago to live in town where the taxes are higher and property is more expensive, but I would be able to ride my bike and walk downtown.

I certainly am not regretting that decision now.  I've used two to three gallons of gasoline in my car since I fueled up prior to Katrina (which was when I switched to my bike for work).  Just cutting back enough to save ONE fill-up each month (at $3/gal) saves me $45/month (15 gal tank).  That's $540/year.  I'm not giving up on my car -- I'm just not using it as much.  It's still a huge difference.  It also means I'm using about 180 gal/yr less gasoline.

I also find that by biking to work I don't run as many frivolous errands (like a mid-morning run to Open Eye Cafe for a mocha or lunch out from the office).  That saves me another $30-$50 each week.  Suddenly, I feel flush with cash!

Open Eye.  Carrborro?
Yep!  The "Paris of the Piedmont"!!!
I took the bus - does that count? :)
Yes, I think that counts...Mass transportation is good, even if electrically-powered mass transportation is better.
Wow, that seems like a failure that today is car free day in Canada as well.  As this was the only open day in our schedule for quite some time I had to take the car in for maintenance today.  The lady at the counter where I paid said she had a friend in a 60 km away city who said that gas was over $2 a litre there and was wondering if gas had gone up locally yet.  I said that it hadn't, and I thought that her friend was lying with $2 a liter.  Well, I went and filled up (I had been planning on it regardless of hurricanes; I'd actually meant to last night, but I was coming back from work and just too tired/itching to be home) for $1.03 per litre (and had to wait in a line for 10 minutes) and told me wife what the lady said.  She emailed some of her friends and found some of them had had to fill up to prices between $1.80 and $2.10 .  All in locations 20-60 km away.  Now I feel really lucky to have gotten in so low.  At other stations on my way home I noticed lines, and one place at 0.999 per liter had a line backing well into the street to the annoyance of people trying to get through.

The biggest thing that strikes me is the response.  Gas doubles over night, so people run out to buy.  After all, it could double (or worse) again.  Post Katrina there was a 40% increase over night, and I thought that was big.  So here's a great reminder that yes, in the short term gas price is very inelastic.  Very.  With all the people in lines to get a fill up, I wonder 1) how long the prices stay low locally, and 2) just how much of a failure is car-free day?  Well, I'm going to be biking to the library to get some books on hold, however the books were delivered from a different library, and I'd wager not by bike, but there's little one can get/do which doesn't involve fossils of some sort.

What a great excuse for me not to go to the gym today!
My old road bike wasn't built for riding sidewalks in the dark, so now I walk to the gym, swim, shower, then walk a few blocks to work, then home, stopping at the market on the way.  

Cool idea.  Wish I had known about it beforehand, but it is too late now.
Well, if you believe this poll, higher gas prices in Canada are starting to actually change the way people drive, what they drive, and if they drive.  Last I checked, Ottawa gas prices were running about CAN$1.05/litre, and diesel was CAN$0.95/litre...
I'm feeling in the festive mood for this today -- this week we got rid of our second car, and now only have VW turbo diesel golf.  As my wife takes the car to work, I now have no choice but biking or walking . . . .  
Good move! Have you thought about biodiesel?
I have, and there are one or two places in Ottawa that sell biodiesel blend.  I checked out going to 100% vegatable oil, but I don't think that would be too good on the warantee.  Last I checked, Grease Car didn't recommend it for the new pump deuse engine. I coulda switched over my old 1982 Mercedes 300D, but the fuel efficiency was so crappy on those old diesels (10 L/100km)compared to the new ones (5-6 L/100km) that is wasn't worth keeping anymore.  Well, that and the rust problem that was starting to develop . . .
You're in Ottawa? Me too! (well, close to it, but I study at Ottawa University). Have you seen this: (I write for, btw, though I did not write that post)
I'll do a car free day, but it's not so hard when you're retired.  I rode a bike to breakfast, I'll go for a walk to get out of the house again later.

BTW, those of you who missed today could do tomorrow as an alternate ;-)

I wonder if it makes marketing sense to have a single "car free day" or "bike to work week" or whatever.  Today, we had thunderstorms.  I'm a pretty big nut, but I'm not eager to ride my bicycle 15 km through a thunderstorm to work when I can take my car.  Yesterday was nice, and I rode the bike to work, then after work took the bus downtown to the library, stopped by Starbucks, took the bus back to work, changed clothes and rode the bike back home, in the dark making use of my very expensive and very nice metal halide arc lamp. Very nice. But that wasn't "world car free day."  I can imagine, possibly, Americans driving less often, but you'll know peak oil is serious when Americans bike to work during thunderstorms as a matter of routine.  

It is early fall in the northern hemisphere, but already the days are getting short and the temperatures often cool.  Isn't the USA bike to work week in early spring, when it's rainy and cool?  Even if you pick a better season, you can't predict the weather more than a day in advance.  "Hey eveybody, today's the day!  Today is....well, if it wasn't for the storms it would be a good day to leave the car at home...."  Or do the people who organize these things live in places like Phoenix, Arizona, where in fall the temperatures finally drop into the lower 30s C and it never rains?  

What do European or Chinese cycle commuters do when it rains?  Do they all just cram onto trolleys?
I've see photos of them wearing ponchos while riding in the rain. Did that myself a few times when I didn't have a car.
I commuted for five years by bike, rain or shine. All you need is good rain gear.
You find people who get put off by rain are not very commited to biking in the first place, and as a result haven't brought waterproof gear.

I bike->train->bike to work each morning insted of buying a car are doing a 42 mile round trip. When i have gotten lifts from work mates ive always felt like i have not properly woken up.

I agree with Beige about peak oil being serious when people have to bike in to work be good fun to have more people joining me in the morning :) assuming they still have a job :(

I've never minded getting rained on, what bothers me is that wet brakes can get you killed in a hurry.  So I'll bike home in the rain, but if it is raining when I wake up, I'll walk or take the car.
I've seen a very noticeable increase in people asking me about my bicycle and my commute, but no signs of any more people actually joining me in cycling.  Now that the cold, dark season is about to begin, I'm not expecting much.

Rain on a hot summer day can be nice.  On a cold, dark, fall night, not as much fun, but, yes, certainly doable.  Chance of light rain or even actual drizzle don't deter me, but I'm not motivated enough yet to set out into a downpour with continued rain and storms forecast.  And yet people here think I'm some sort of cycling nut.  (I see studded tires in the bike shop, so there is plenty of room for me to became a real nut someday.)

I do combine the rainy day drives with running the errands that are far easier to do with the car.  Most of the places I want to go to are much closer to work than home, most of them in between work and home, so it's a reasonable trip combination.

If only I'd have known.  Instead I tried to drive with my family from Houston to San Antonio, and decided to turn around after 2 and a half hours of going nowhere, and seeing nothing but empty gas stations.  Only took 20 mins to get home.
This has really made me think a little about just in time delveries and our reliance on petrol for transport, oh, and also that hybrids are probably really good for stop start traffic in first gear.