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Is it possible to only own a bike and not a car?

By Bikerchiq • 10th August 2011 • 996 views

Ever since I could afford one I have always had a car as well as a bike. However just recently I sold my Suzuki Vitara as it was too big. I also need to economise due to my impending redundancy I have been left with only the bike. This has been interesting. I had forgotten what fun it is (not) to have to ride in the rain (rather than chosing to ride in the rain). I got wet on the way in to work last week in this typical British summer we are having – ahem. I had to sit in a freezing cold office all day. The office air-con has broken again – either full on or full off. As soon as you get used to one extreme they change it so you either suffer with heat exhaustion or freeze to death. So this particular day it was full on and due to the weather i arrived somewhat damp. I had to sit there all day with damp bits in all the wrong places. Yes of course I am aware there are waterproofs available but the journey is a short one and it wasn’t raining when I left the house.

Having just a bike is also advantageous in that not ONE of my friends have EVER expressed an interest in going on the back of the bike. Perhaps this in itself is a good thing – I will never be asked to give anyone a lift.

I have a box on the back which is big enough to put a full face lid in when I go shopping and then replace the lid with the shopping when I come home. It also stops me going overboard as us girls are not unknown for on the shopping front. If I can’t fit it in the bike box then I can’t buy it.

If I need to take the kids out then I use the blokes’ car. No more sticky fingers to clean off the seats and he gets the petrol.

I can park almost anywhere too – no parking charges for me. I have a space right next to the door in the works car park – right next to all the bosses’ Mercedes and BMWs.

Yes I think having only a bike is a good plan – for the summer at least.



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  1. Avatar Image

    said: On August 12, 2011

    Hi Bikerchiq, great post – sounds like having just a bike is working out great for you (unseasonable summer aside!)

  2. Avatar Image

    figaro said: On August 13, 2011

    Back in the olden days (I’m only 7 in dog years…) bikes were transport, nothing more. If you couldn’t afford a car you got a bike. They were the cheaper alternative, and served many thousands of people very well.

    Guess what…they still are. And with the advent of proper technical clothing and superb tyre technology, they are even more valid as everyday transport than they were before. It’s a shame, then, that they are only seen as a hobby these days.

    Let’s take an average bike, such as a Suzuki Gladius. Sensible riding position, agile handling, strong engine, budget price. £5465 on the road, cheap insurance, 50+mpg, cheap road tax. Of course, back in the day the Mini was blamed for the downfall of motorcycling, being close in price meant the option between getting wet and staying dry was a no-brainer. Nowadays we have cars capable of terrific economy figures, but how do the purchase prices compare?

    The cheapest Ford KA is £8499. Okay, it’ll probably be better on fuel, but in terms of purchase price you’re in superbike territory there. Our Suzuki, plus all the clobber you’ll ever need, insurance, breakdown cover, maybe even a foreign bike trip, all for the price of a very basic car, makes the bike look very attractive indeed. So why are the punters staying away in droves?

    I don’t know. All I can tell you is this:
    I’ve spent 30 years on bikes, some of that as a professional rider, and I’ve ridden in every kind of traffic, every kind of weather, and on every kind of bike you can imagine. Would I ride all year round again?

    No. It spoils the fun.

  3. Avatar Image

    toerag900 said: On August 30, 2011

    I have recently bought a cheap little 1lt Fiesta for those short journeys we all have to take from time to time because these old bones I`ve inherited by virtue of getting older can`t take the wet and cold as much as they used to.

    My trusted Bandit is still my main mode transport,She gives me the thrill and adrenalin kick like no car ever can,I have not owned a car for nearly 2 years and the first thought I had while stuck in traffic was that I would be home now if I was on my bike,the urge to filter in the car gripped me like a bear hug.

    I hate to say it but the practicality of a car is unavoidable but the thrill of a bike is unparalleled.

    Ride Safe.

  4. Avatar Image

    k12pfc said: On September 27, 2011

    I have been riding for 29 years, the first 12 of those I only had a bike if I couldn’t go by bike I never went, the weekly shopping was fun, though you’ll be amazed what you can get in 2 panniers, I never wanted a car and didn’t need one, then the kids started arriving, now I have both, the car is for transport the bike purely for pleasure, I have tried, twice to stop riding, for financial reasons, but failed both times, I was like a caged Lion, so yes it is possible to live with just a bike, but it’s nice to have both.

  5. Avatar Image

    trampus said: On September 30, 2011

    I rode bikes for quite few years when i was younger, in all types of weather with very little protective clothing then just a helmet and jacket really. Then family took away the bike and replaced it with a car. We are now a two car family like most people, but, and a big but, just under 10 years ago I bought a new bike, big, comfy and very shiny. It was meant for the sunshine only but you know what, it’s out 2 or 3 times a week and the only time it isn’t is when when it’s really bad out there. i had forgotten the fun of a bike and the freedom it brought. A plus factor is the wife is now also an avid fan and so we can enjoy our old age cruising days together. A bike doesn’t have to be big and super fast to enjoy, just good to ride. Mind you being an Honda VTX 1800 does help.

  6. Avatar Image

    said: On November 18, 2011

    I commute to work by bike all year round – 170 miles. The reduction in cost for me (incluuding parking) is around £50 per DAY – so a no brainer. The only thing that keeps me off the bike is snow and ice. I could use the train on those days but use the car instead because I don’t like railways. After 5 years of this commute I still enjoy it. I love the freedom you have with a bike. Proper clothing and planning pay off. When you ride a bike in the rain, if it gets in anywhere (usually at the neck) it will settle at the lowest point (usually the crotch). I always have spare undies in my bag. If you start your day in the rain it’s nice to have pare gloves too. If it’s raining at the end of the day it isn’t so important because you’ll arrive home and sort things out.

  7. Avatar Image

    willow12345 said: On November 28, 2011

    you don’t need an excuse to get out on the bike just the thought of the freedom of the bike and the the way you can cut through traffic and not be sat in traffic is enough. cars are all well and good but they don’t give the thrill and freedom a bike doe’s. when i used to do my shopping for the family i used to have my miss’s on the back with a rucksack and a set of panniers also we used to have some fun loading up the bike and each other and riding home. now my son rides a bike and i’m at a age now being divorced and being able to afford both bike and car. but i no which one i would pick every time. keep enjoying biking because if the eu gets hold of our fun it won’t be fun anymore, adorning your pride and joy with those little extra’s.

  8. Avatar Image

    easyrider50 said: On January 4, 2012

    2 words, heated handgrips or heated vest, heatedd seat etc.
    All of this is availvable to the modern biker and is not that expensive when compared to the running cost of even a smallcar.
    Another must is breathable wet weather gear that you wear all the time, which makes UK riding all the more enjoyable.
    I like to use a set of cragghopper wets that zip 3/4 the way up the leg, making them much easier to get on and off.

    Also for winter riding consider some muffs that go over the handle bars to stop the windchill on your hands. All couriers swear by these and i do too :)
    Make sure that they can fit your bike first. Many sportsbikes and sport tourers arn’t suitable for these as the fairing will make contact with the muffs and possible engage the front brake/clutch when cornering heavily.

    fog masks are also a must, not only do they help you see where you are going but they also help keep your face warm.

    I think the biggest hurdle in winter riding is feeling safe on the road. Knowing how to ride in the wet and knowing how to emegency brake or swerve for hazards is a big issue for many winter riders.

  9. Avatar Image

    pastie said: On January 7, 2012

    i went for the cheap option, cbr125, no cars, still on L plates 7000 miles later getting 100+ mpg £200 insurance per year £450 a year in petrol if even that to get to work then go out for the weekend nice 45mile trip to see me old man occasionly, free parking :D what more could a biker ask for

  10. Avatar Image

    pastie said: On January 7, 2012

    i always wear next to full waterproof textiles biker gear (frank thomas) most of the time i wear my trainers when i go out on the bike. can never predict whether a taxi is at the next t-junction notorius for pulling out on bikers i find – gear can be replaced,but we arn’t cats we only have 1 life and that cant be replaced:)

  11. Avatar Image

    Zundapp Bella said: On January 19, 2012

    I have been carless for about 18 months after my car was written off in an accident – the other driver
    fell asleep at the wheel, drifted across the road and hit my car almost head on.

    This left me with just my SH300i and so far I haven’t weakened and bought another car.

    I have always commuted year round on two and 3 wheels (MP3) until it gets icy and although I don’t love the rain can deal with it.

    But above all I always have a smile on my face especially when cutting through grid locked streets right to the centre of towns, knowing I have just got at least 75mpg and had a damn good ride – these SH300s do corner well and are reasonably quick off the mark.

  12. Avatar Image

    survivalskills said: On January 27, 2012

    I was 40 before I took a car test – up to that point, the bike took me everywhere.

  13. Avatar Image

    burti said: On March 5, 2012

    Ive had a car all my life then did my bike test in January and Im loving being on a bike and the cars there then for the mrs to use or if it raining to hard I can use the car then.

    Respects Carl

  14. Avatar Image

    knaggsie said: On March 12, 2012

    Luckily, I’ve got both too… but the bike wins hands down. I paid £1200 for the bike, it’ll out perform most of the other four wheeled plus road users. (apart from those that maybe have spent over £100K on a supercar!) The commute from work takes half the time with half the petrol. The road tax and isurance are way cheaper and if you get some decent togs you can keep warm too. And you are guaranteed to arrive at your destination with a big fat grin on your face! The only other ace that I have up my sleeve which I would pass on to you is have a spare set of dry clothes stashed at work so if you ever get a bit damp you can get all dry again!

  15. Avatar Image

    onlylexus said: On April 12, 2012

    Hi.

    To save a heap of cash I have recently bought an Avon tyre for my Rocket 3, but now I have to get it fitted. I approached my local Triumph dealer who want £90 just to fit the tyre, yes I know that they have to remove the rear wheel, but surely this is a rip off price to pay just to do that, and defeats the point of me trying to save the cash in the first place! I now have a far cheaper quote from someone else, but I have to remove the wheel my self and then drop it off to them to fit the tyre I bought. But here is the rub, I don’t have a bike stand! They are expensive to buy and again defeats the whole point in trying to save my cash. I have the knowhow to remove the rear wheel, but without a stand im worried. Does anyone know of a safe way to prop up the bike while I remove the rear wheel without using a bike stand? I would appreciate any help you can give me. I live in Sheffield, can anyone loan me one for a few days? Happy and safe biking to you all. Paul.

  16. Avatar Image

    witwoobexy said: On November 14, 2012

    I only have a bike as I can’t afford to run a car. I have to travel 19 miles to work everyday in every kind of weather, except when there is snow on the road. That’s not fun!

  17. Avatar Image

    dogbot said: On February 28, 2013

    Definitely.

    There are four bikes in my household (two per person) and no cars.

    I had a car up until this time last year. In the final year of my owning it, it did 700 miles. That’s including a house move in which it did most of the running. Hardly regular usage.

    I would have kept it, but it was German and needed suspension doing and I just couldn’t justify spending the money on something I wasn’t going to use. And honestly, I haven’t really missed it. Yes, it’s not much fun doing an alcohol run from Tesco’s with a rucksack on a bike, but there’s a Co-Op 2 minutes walk away, so I manage. :)

  18. Avatar Image

    iannigel said: On June 30, 2013

    if you don’t know what to wear gortex clothing is very good that`s bike clothing it`s water proof so you don’t have to carry water proofs just hang it up and it will drip dry by the time you have finished work it will be dry then it dosent matter what you wear under neath even a skirt just carry some sensible shoes to change in to.
    a good luck all the best Ian

  19. Avatar Image

    drmax said: On August 7, 2013

    I use mine all year round; give it a shot. No car for me!