Go CarFree outside of work – Go By Bike Episode 38

More from How to Live Well Without a Car

Whether you want to just drive less or completely get rid of your car, here are 5 quick tips to think about when making the jump. It’s not just about getting to work and back. What about the non-work trips? Can you reduce your car use on non-wok trips? Check the video for some suggestions.

Have you tried some of these tips? What has worked or has NOT worked for you? Leave a comment below.


Go By Bike is a video series that talks about how to be green by riding more and using your car less, including electric bikes, electric kits, cargo bikes, bike safety, and getting motivated to bike.

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6 thoughts

  1. I have been driving an Ebike for five years now, but I cannot rely on it for longer trips. The range is just not there. I am purchasing a gas motor kit. It gets 225 mpg, low emissions (4 stroke motor) and has much longer range. I will eventually add an Xtracycle kit, and live nearly car-free.

  2. Great to hear you found a solution that works for you! Gas has an incredible energy density, so for longer trips (over 30-40 miles a day) it is much easier to use gas than electricity. Electric cars have the same issue. I love the electric for the quiet operation over a gas motor – fits with the bicycle idea – and for the majority of trips, I don’t need the extra long range. So far I still keep the car around for weekend trips and bigger trips, but happy to use the bike all other times.

  3. Great tips. Planning ahead can save a significant amount of energy. Also, just thinking for a minute if a trip is really necessary can help, and as you mentioned, consider paying a little more but shopping local cuts down on distance traveled. Since I’ve gotten a cargo bike, I tend to go to Ace Hardware first (which I can bike to) instead of to a big box home improvement warehouse. Being aware of the stores within driving distance is key. Also, if your city publishes a bike route map, you can get to places you would never think of biking to via the typical more dangerous “car route”, but if you take a more bike-friendly route, more places are do-able. Surprisingly, I just learned this “trick” and it has really changed what places I consider bike-able.

    Also, to Tom, my Xtracycle/Stokemonkey does about 2.3 miles/A-hr battery (uses a 36 V bat). I have a 15 A-hr battery and can do about 30 miles. If you have further to go, you could carry two for long trips. A small gas engine is going to be loud; there is no way around it (much better on gas than a car though, no doubt). With two 15 Ah batteries, that’s 60 miles. If you have further to go than that on a regular basis, you might try changing your living situation. I am thinking of moving to where I can take a bike trail all the way to work and my kids could bike to school on the bike trail. It would also shorten the commute by about 30% and put us closer to the essential stores. It might be considered pretty extreme to move to reduce a commute from 13 miles round trip to around 7.5 but it will virtually eliminate the need to drive for our family. Just an idea.

  4. Paul, I am in a bit of a pickle with battery swapping. Mine is an old Charger bionic Ebike from Electroportal, and the batteries are sealed in a unit with the controller. Great idea to carry extra batteries. I will ask Sam at Electroportal if there is a way to maybe add an external jack, and switch to an external pack as needed. Might be possible!

    I have the bike maps, love them. I am only one mile from a Home Depot, so it’s an obvious choice to bike. I also have a huge mall only 4 miles away, and visit that a lot, mainly for the half-price book store and REI. I already live quite close to work, about 4 hilly miles, and have (mostly) nice quiet streets to take there. I just want to use a bike for much more, like zipping 8-10 miles downtown to socialize with friends, see plays etc.

    The other issue is the heat here — currently 115ΒΊF and humid. It is no fun to pedal in! (I live in Phoenix.)

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