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Feb. 22nd, 2004 | 01:31 pm

I keep wanting to avoid driving a car. Unfortunately every alternative that involves living in LA seems rather slow and inconvenient. However ever increasing dire warnings of imminent doom keeps motivating me to look for solutions that would give me a large cruising range.

One interesting idea might be to add an electric assist to a recumbent. Like this example.

The page suggests their recumbent using a fairing, pedaling and electric motor, can go over 30 mph and more than 100 miles per day. That's fast enough to handle most city streets, and you might still be able to take it on a train.

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from: lawnchair
date: Feb. 22nd, 2004 04:37 pm (UTC)

Is this range a consideration for a "gas hits $5, grumbly grumbly" or a major SHTF? In the latter case, I'm not sure I give much cred to any ability to get much of anywhere on anything but foot and backpack. I'm thinking of millions of very freaked out people looking to get the hell out. I don't think a U lock will keep a cool bike yours for too long.

For more pedestrian matters, yes car-free is rather slow and inconvenient. The only really effective thing is to turn your corner of LA into a reasonably smaller town by largely ignoring that the rest of the city is there. I don't know your story, but it often involves moving and cutting ties in farther places to build them close to home.

But the costs one saves by not driving are impressive... the sanity one gains is more astounding.

Once every two or three months, you'll need to do something pretty car-dependent. Rent one. It's really cheaper than owning one, and you won't have the already-paid-for incentive to drive most days. Plus, every-so-rarely, you need to haul stuff? Rent a pickup. You need to get somewhere boondocks? Rent a ultra-efficient subcompact. It's gorgeous? Rent the ragtop.

I will say the modified EZ-1 recumbents look pretty nifty. But, the faster one rides, the more car psychology is weird. I can be cruising (with a slight downhill) at nearly 50 km/h, which is the speed limit. But, because I'm on a bicycle... *they have to pass*... no matter what... Admiral Farragut drivers. Grr.

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Diane Trout


from: alienghic
date: Feb. 22nd, 2004 09:58 pm (UTC)

I'm dividing the potential catastrophes into three classes. While there's still hope to avert disaster, teetering on the edge, and the fall. I keep hoping that showing that a life that is comfortable can be sustainable, and is far preferable to some of the alternatives.

Having a bike that can do distances both helps show that practical alternatives could exist, and also makes me feel better in that even if we do crash, I did everything I could to prevent it.

Also the particular thing that motivated me to look now was that I started seeing someone who unfortunately lives about 30 miles away. We're both well situated for our daily life but rather inconveniently for dating.

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