I am not 100% car free (yet) but I bicycle commute to work and to clients 98% of the time. I do use the car with the family in the evenings or weekends to go to a social gathering.
The reaction from non bicycle riders who I meet while on my bicycle is either:
-" oh that is good exercise."
-"Isn't it dangerous riding on these roads in Arusha"
My reaction when I see someone I knowwhile on the bicycle is to try to avoid them or cover up that I ride a bicycle. It isn't a case of being ashamed but that I am unable to get them to understand why I ride a bicycle to work.
Here is my bicycle in the parking lot.
And here is the normal vehicle there.
I haven't convinced myself whether the main reason I bike commute is because it is faster and easier, or because it uses less fossil fuels than a motor vehicle. So it is both. For the past 6 month there is another reason and has it to do with feelings. (note: from a Norwegian protestant background feelings should not be talked about.) I just plain feel good commuting, being on a bicycle, being in a different crowd than the SUV crowd. And it isn't about oxygen high because of exercise, as when I go TO work I ride slow enough to not breath hard or sweat.
So my commuting has nothing to do with exercise. I probably get some exercise but it is minor now compared to a 75km Wednesday morning club ride.
Is it dangerous? It is funny that often i am riding along on the side of the road and I look at the vehicle traffic in the road and I say to myself " Wow that looks pretty scary". It probably has some risks but I try to be aware of everything going on and don't take chances. Someone wants to come out into the road, make sure i make eye contact, check behind me if i have to swerve into road, or stop. I use the bell allot for pedestrians and cars.
I don't know about you but this looks pretty scary out there in a car.