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Natural Awakenings

Gas Savings: Six Tips to Going Car-Free

Aug 31, 2011 10:09AM

September 22 is World Carfree Day, and people all over the world are pledging to ditch their cars and travel by bikes or mass transit or walk. It’s not always easy to go without a car. Some places have better options than others, and some allow more access for cyclers. Here are some tips to get started.

Piggyback. Combine biking and another form of transit, like a bus or train. Many systems let bicyclists take a bike on board.

Freshen up. If walking or biking is sweaty going, pack another shirt and some deodorant before leaving home. Just allow for a few extra minutes in the restroom upon arrival at work or another destination.

Buddy up. Riding with a carfree companion can help keep kindred spirits consistently on mission.

Plan the day’s route. Online, Google Transit covers close to 55 cities nationwide and can aid in locating the most direct bus and train routes in a given area. Yahoo Maps, Google Earth and others also are available on most smart phones.

Map it out. Use local or online maps to find the safest, most comfortable roads for walking or biking. There may be neighborhood roads with a lot less traffic that run parallel to major roads.

Watch the weather. If rain is in the forecast, grab a slicker or umbrella and choose water-resistant boots before departing; roll up and tuck in long pants.

Source: Adapted from, at

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