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May 10, 2008

A New BikeBlogger Joins Me in the OC

I recently received an e-mail:

My name is Erick Cave and about 1 year ago in March my wife and I got the crazy idea to give up our cars, and switch to using bicycles and public transportation. 6 months into our experiment the Orange County Register asked to do an article on us. The article was on the front page of the Sunday paper. You can read the entire thing for yourself here...

Now, after a year, I've enjoyed my bicycling so much that I'm constantly trying to advocate bicycles and public transportation to people I know all over O.C. . In this attempt, I've created my own blog with the goal to "provide information and education to the people of the O.C. about alternative forms of transportation with a focus on bicycles, public transportation, and pedestrian access."

The blog is new, so not much there yet, but more will be added as time goes by. Not only will I continue to add videos and articles about cycling from around the web, but my own original articles and videos as well. I want to show people how great their lives can be if they just stopped seeing the car as a necessity and started seeing it as I do, an occasional tool that can be rented as needed.

My approach to advocacy isn't a political one, but a social one. It's my hopes that by introducing more people to bicycling as an alternative form of transportation that political change will come easier. I want to create a desire in people to ride. I want to educate drivers on how to look out for cyclists. I want to help make the O.C. a safe place to ride.

Ugh, I don't want to ramble on about myself, my main reason for emailing you is because, well you're the first blogger/commuter in Santa Ana that I've heard of.

When I read your blog I was excited to see that you live in Orange County !

I'm currently trying to get involved with different social bike rides like Critical Mass but am having some difficulty figuring out which ones are still active. Most of the information on the net is out of date. I have found one ride in Costa Mesa, but I'd like to find more. I'm hoping that maybe you can direct me to the right path? I've even been thinking of starting my own ride! lol!

Anyway, I'm sure there's more of us out there, and I hope to get to know as many as I can. :) Once again, thanks for having a great blog, and if you'd ever like to get together for a nice social ride, just let me know. :D

Erick Cave

Well, How do ya like them apples? I ain't alone anymore. ;-D

I've been corresponding with him, and reading his blog, and I have 10 reasons you might find him worth keeping an eye on:

1. Erick began his blog, CycleDriven, in June 2007, with this post:

Nine weeks ago my family and I started on an amazing adventure.

Two months before that we had been having problems with our car. It was sucking up money like it was hair in a vacuum cleaner. If it wasn’t the gas we were paying, it was the constant repairs. In the last year we had already put about $3000 into it for engine, brakes, rewiring, etc. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another, and we were constantly waiting for it to break down again.

One day, while driving the wife to work, I asked an off handed question. Just a stray thought that had popped into my mind. I asked her, ” What would happen if we got rid of the car, and bought bicycles and started using public transportation ? “.

How it all started.

2. Encounter with clueless bus drivers are not new to many of us who Bike Commute, and Erick had an interesting experience of his own.

Mr. Bitter.

3. He has some interesting thoughts on common misconceptions about why people decide to go with public transportation and bicycling over the car.

Going green and money.

4. After a month he was of the opinion that "Life without owning a car has been great. In ways that I never even imagined."

What an adventure !

5. In an interesting post he admits that he still relys on a car 3 times a month, though he no longer owns one, and goes on to address several issues from not wearing a helmet, commute distance, and more.

Questions and statements.

6. In March Erick revealed his families "Plan" in a new category of posts he calls "How?":

What I plan on doing in this category is show you what we did and what strategies we used to get what we need done.

Every city is different. This plan goes on the assumption that you have a fairly descent public transportation where you live. If you don’t, then alternate strategies will have to be conceived by you to fit your location...

Every problem has an answer. In the year we’ve been doing this we have yet to find one transportation problem that couldn’t be solved with either a bicycle, bus, taxi, or car rental. As long as we plan out trips ahead of time, and don’t allow ourselves to be in a rush, we can get anywhere that we need to go. Each mode of transportation has it’s own intricacies, but after a few weeks, you and your family will be in the swing of things and you’ll wonder why you ever thought that you needed to own a car.

A very cool, and interesting post.

Part 1, the plan.

7. The family that rides together...

This is one very cool video of Erick, and his daughter, as filmed by his wife. ;-D


8. In this post Erick answers a question he thought he'd never be able to answer:

Why bicycle in O.C. ?

9. Last week Erick made a conquest, and a friend has joined him as Co-Blogger!

Meet Ray:

When my buddy Erick first told me that he had decided to get rid of his cars, my first thought was…”Are you kidding me”! After all we live in Orange County California, you NEED a car, or so I thought. We discussed it for several hours and he gave me lots of information, which I needed to process. Once I had the chance to think about why or how someone could use a bicycle vs. a car, it made perfect sense.

I never thought that I would contemplate trading in my cool gas guzzling muscle car for a bicycle that cost less than a month’s supply of high octane fuel. Okay, so I haven’t yet, but I will. I have a meeting with a friend of mine, who is one of the owners of Rock N' Road Cyclery, here in Orange County. He is going to help me find the perfect bike to fit my needs. I am not going as far as Erick and his family did. I will keep my car a bit longer; however I am going to park it for the most part and drive it as little as possible.

That is my dilemma and one Tough Choice to make.

10. In addition to the F.A.Q. Page, which introduces you, a bit more, to Erick and Ray, there is a Law Page that covers California Vehicle Code Division 11 - Rules of the Road.

I am so glad to add CycleDriven to the Blogroll, and encourage you to check him out.

May 10, 2008 in Riding Orange County | Permalink


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I'm glad you're enjoying the blog ! :D Hope to catch you cycling soon !

Posted by: Erick | May 10, 2008 11:44:38 PM

A note about the car rentals from March of last year. As time went on, I used car rentals less and less. So far this year I've only rented a car once. The majority of the times I have rented a car it's because I needed to transport multiple dogs to either the grooming shop or to a competition. ( My wife is a pet groomer. )

Posted by: erick | May 11, 2008 11:14:33 AM

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