The Kid’s New Wheels

The Kid’s Wheels – A Breezer Uptown 7

I’m surprised by the number of young people who are not getting their driver’s licenses as soon as they turn 16. Our kids are waiting, and a number of their friends seem to be in no hurry either. Our son, who is 19 and attending college, is not driving yet and he appears to be in no hurry to take on the responsibilities and expenses that come along with car ownership. He’s been getting to-and-from school using a mix of walking and transit, and now that he has a new bike, he’ll be working it into his multi-modal mix. We’re proud that he recognizes car ownership would mean taking on a full-time job, resulting in less time and energy for school and other activities.

We’ll have more on his commuting adventures in future posts.

17 Responses to “The Kid’s New Wheels”

  • Ian says:

    I got my license at 18 but I still don’t own a car now that I’m 25. Buses, feet, and my bicycle are sufficient for everything I do, and even though I could afford a car, the amount of money not owning one frees up is just staggering.

  • Karen says:

    Our youngest is also 19 and in no hurry to drive. She goes to Davis and gets by on bus, friends and longboard. She’s never liked riding bikes, sad to say :(

  • Andrew says:

    I’m in the same camp as Ian. I was probably 21 by the time I got my fully graduated license (the process takes a few years in Ontario), but I don’t think I’ve actually got behind the wheel of a car since I got it. Having a car downtown is more of a liability than anything else, really…

  • DerrickP says:

    I was just talking about this the other day! My kids are 4, 3 and 7 months and I was discussing whether the entire movement to “go green” and leave less of a “footprint” will mean that they’re less likely to seek out a car when they turn 16. It seems that if your kids are doing it now, maybe my kids stand a chance! I know it’s a little bit trendy now. But I hope the trend turns into a full on consciousness of the impact. This post is great news!

  • john in nh says:

    I got a breezer uptown 8 back in January, still have yet to take it out of its packing box while it was transported to school but am excited to get it out soon!! I got my license at 17, well completed the pitiful drivers ed and then waited a bit. The car I had been driving was sold and thus I have the bike. I have no intention of getting another car any time soon, and if I do it will have a plug, nothing less.

    the independence of a bike is really nice actually, and perfect for people in my age range (18-25) especially!

  • Brian says:

    I go to college in my home town so I started commuting by bike full time at the beginning of this school year. Since then, I got a dynamo headlight (I don’t know how I lived without it) and a nice riding jacket and I ride my bike everywhere. Sadly, I have to student teach next semester and the schools I am at are 25 miles away. I just don’t know if I could commit the necessary time to biking there every day, especially with the 7:45 start time and the dubious fall and winter weather in N. Illinois. My parents think I will need a car, and like others here have mentioned, cars are expensive. My goal is to replace the car with some useful bikes as soon as I can.

  • sygyzy says:

    I think you give young people too much credit. Kids aren’t getting their licenses right away because they don’t need to. They have parents who will drive them around, or friend’s who have cars. I have friends that are 25 and don’t have their license. Luckily their husbands are there to drive them.

  • John Nelson says:

    That’s great to hear. I wish I had picked a bike instead of a car to use while in college. The expense of the car itself and what it costs to operate and maintain affected my life for years after graduating. The parking lots were always full and I had to hike to campus from the lot anyway.

  • Eddie says:

    It’s a pipe dream, I know, but wouldn’t it be great if teens were encouraged to consider alternatives to the huge costs, financially and otherwise, of a driver’s license instead of being focused on lessons and tests to get one? I’m guessing the smart kids already get it, though. Your kid is in that small group. Let’s hope it grows.

  • Erik Sandblom says:

    An exciting topic! I think there are several forces at work against car dominance, besides environmental consciousness. One of them is that flying has become cheaper than driving long distances. Another is that people can keep in touch over the internet. Public transportation is becoming more accepted, with 127 km of metro and light rail being built in Los Angeles since 1990.

  • eddie f says:

    wow i thought the slows was due to my computer and my connection, but the whole time it was YOU. Cool, thanks for the upgrade.

  • patrick says:

    hey, that sounds great and all, but a cyclist doesn’t know about 99% of the vehicles out there until he gets a license. what if a bunch of pals are drunk with cars and you’re the only sober person? what if you happen to be hitching a ride home and far far away you’re pulled over, the driver’s license is revoked, and the only way the police doesn’t impound the car is if you can drive (happened to me once)? personally, I’ve had a license since 1992 and have never owned a car. it’s a handy thing to have and the process for getting a license is a valuable education for a life on pedal.

  • David says:

    I think kids are also deferring driving because many states have cracked down considerably on how teens can drive using provisional licenses, curfews, limits on friends in the car, etc. A driver’s license is no longer the “get out of jail free” card it used to be. More to the good, as far as I’m concerned. Frankly, I’m amazed I survived my early driving years.

  • Charles says:

    Breezers rock as a commuting/everything bike. I have an ’08 Uptown 8 with panniers and the front basket that I’ll put on as needed, and it’s the best money I ever spent on transportation. Commuting to and from work, grocery shopping, yard sales, leisure rides…does it all very well. I hope “the kid” enjoys the Breezer!

  • David says:

    What I have seen and heard from the kids who did not want to get a license is that they have perfectly good chauffeurs (mom and dad) to drive them around. Sweet deal. Of course here in Los Angeles its not super bike friendly.

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » Creative Solutions says:

    […] they’re pretty well-indoctrinated. Our now 19-year-old son is a serious transpo bicyclist who routinely rides his Breezer to college and other events 10-20 miles away at all hours of the day and night. Our youngest, who has not quite made the […]

  • Gee says:

    I’m 28 and I don’t have a license. I work as an executive at a successful company. Some people do think I’m crazy but that’s their problem :)

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