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Thread: What bikes can do for you

  1. #31
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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    I'm very glad that I don't have a car. Really. We may have reached Peak Oil in 2004 -- no one knows -- it's still too soon. With all the hype about new petroleum extraction technologies we have still not surpassed production numbers from 2004. World wide demand continues to rise each year and the price can top a hundred dollars a barrel, yet production remains essentially flat.

    If someone wants to add an hour or two to each workday to live in the x-burbs that's their business. But we are at summertime gas prices in the SPRING, this year. This summer will be interesting for gas prices. If this goes on real estate prices will tend to fall even faster in the bedroom communities where commuters sleep.

    I firmly believe we are far closer to the beginning of our energy/economy problems than we are to the end of them.

    I also think that those who curtail their energy use voluntarily will fare far better psychologically (and perhaps physically as well) than those who fail to see the changes going on in the world around them and act accordingly to make more realistic plans before being overwhelmed by inflation and scarcity.

    YMMV

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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    Interestingly, the automobile has only been around for about 100 years. I wonder how people got anything done for the first 5900 yrs of human existence without them. . . .

    . . . Monocrom: I know you love your Mazda6, but ease up on these folks. It's not a bad thing that some people have cut out cars from their lives. In the long run, they are almost assuredly better off.
    People compensated. Until the Ford Model T came along, the average person never traveled more than 30 miles from where they were born. Your town or village had a local market that was either within walking distance of your home, or close enough to reach by horse & buggy. If you lived in the city, you made sure your job was within walking distance of your apartment. Your co-workers were generally your neighbors too. And if a few weren't, then that just meant that they lived within walking distance of the factory or office but in the opposite direction from your commute to work.

    Sticking to small towns, if you were elderly or became handicapped; you relied on family or close friends to help you. If you had neither, hopefully you could rely on your neighbors to help you out. Back when the town market wasn't too far away, and the elderly were treated with respect, the lack of a car wasn't a big issue as it is today. If you were on the farm when a bad storm came up, no one expected you to tend the fields. You waited out the storm, either inside the house or in the root cellar. Once again, if you lived in the city back then it meant you were walking distance from your job. You grabbed an umbrella, put on some extra clothes, braved the weather; and soon enough you were at your job. The average person nowadays doesn't limit their job search to places located on streets and avenues within walking distance from their home. Back then they did.

    There were other ways to compensate, which no longer exist today. No malls back then. They didn't have a bunch of stores or shops located in one place and waited for customers to show up. If you wanted to sell your product throughout the nation, you hired a small army of traveling salesmen. Each went to different parts of the nation. Each one went from town to town in his district, and sold as much as he could before moving on to the next town. Cars pretty much put an end to that. Door-to-door doctors is another example. Nowadays unless you are rich as Hell, you don't expect doctors to come to you. If the town you lived in had a doctor, well; that's who you called when you got sick. He came over, and treated you. No cars, no ambulances back then. Hopefully there was a doctor living close to you. If the doctor was too far away to reach you by horse & buggy in a timely manner . . . You died. That's it. Just an unfortunate thing that the nearest doctor couldn't reach you in time. Motorized transportation changed all that.

    Non-motorized transportation isn't a viable solution for many. Once again, it's perfectly fine for those who rarely travel outside of their neighborhood. In my original post in this topic, I listed several pragmatic reasons why a bike is not a good replacement for a car. If it honestly was, would so many working-class folks put up with high gas prices, monthly payments, insurance payments, registration fees, time and money spent on maintenance? Absolutely not! If you plan on keeping a car for an average of 8 years, the total cost (with everything above factored in) will be about double the sticker price at the end of those 8 years. That's what a person can realistically expect. And, that's not factoring in traffic tickets or huge repair costs if someone hits your car and damages it.

    Considering ALL of that, if a bike was indeed a pragmatic substitute for a car; I guarantee you that the highways would be clogged with bicycles during the morning commute. Every car brand would go out of business, except the ones making Uber high-end luxury cars. There would be special lanes just for the very rich who want to drive around in their Aston Martins, their Bently, or their Lambo. They would also be the only ones able to afford car insurance because rates would sky-rocket. Insurance companies would no longer be able to make a profit based on a volume of customers. (Most folks would be pedaling around on bikes.) Emergency service vehicles would be the only other ones allowed to use those special lanes.

    However, none of that has happened. Why do many folks put up with the sometimes ridiculously huge expenses involved in owning a car? . . . It has become a genuine necessity for many.
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  3. #33
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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    Monocrom,

    Most of us here aren't denying the need for motorized transport, but rather personal motorized transport the size of a car. The vast majority of car trips are under 40 miles with the driver only (i.e. no heavy cargo). The fact that we're not doing these trips in velomobiles, either with or without small motors, or on other modes like light rail, subway, commuter rail, is largely a decision which was made for us back in the 1950s. The US actually had a great network of local and interurban rail which connected many small and large towns. It didn't go to every corner of the country, but it went to the majority of places anyone might wish to go to. The wholesale purchase and dismantling of this network by automobile and oil interests is what left us with the automobile as the only option in many parts of the country. The automobile also encouraged sprawl, which in turn has made going back to public transit much harder than it would have been if people remained in either large cities or small towns. Instead of having work, school, shopping, and residential fairly close, these are often now spread apart, with nothing but empty space in between, thanks to zoning rules which had to have been made solely to foster car dependency, because they don't make sense on any other level. In the long run, such sprawling places are dying because they're not economically viable due to high per capita infrastructure costs. We'll eventually go back to tighter communities because this is an arrangement which is healthier for people than living spread apart with no support system.

    This doesn't mean we can't change things now. The same roads which are used by autos can also be used for smaller motorized transport like electric motorcycles, motorized or pedal bicycles, velomobiles, any one of a number of other contrivances which offer essentially the same mobility as an automobile, but at a fraction of the cost. The highways aren't clogged with bicycles now because bicycles aren't allowed on them. Who knows, down the road as we see what a wonderful machine the velomobile is, you might have part of the highways reserved for velomobiles, complete with separate entrance/exit ramps so they don't mix with heavier traffic. And you'll certainly see more public transit, plus the gradual decline of sprawl. Even sooner than that, I suspect many more people will choose to rent automobiles only when they need them, as opposed to owning them outright. Automobiles are fading from prominence not only because they're too expensive, but also because fewer and fewer people going forward will be able to afford them. Even those who can are sometimes actively shunning them. The same way it took decades for the automobile to dominate, it will take decades for it to fade away. However, that movement is already starting. Ten years ago anyone who started a thread like this might have been seen as a laughingstock. Nowadays, such a thread will easily generate a lot of "me, too" responses.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    Of relevance, and interestingly enough, posted in Business Insider:

    If One-Third Of The US Biked A Mile Every Day, We Could Save $17 Billion

    "The most important socio-economic impact of cycling lies in the area of health care. When we cycle we save ourselves and society as a whole significant health care costs, including saved treatment expenses and increased tax revenues as result of fewer illnesses."

    john

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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by jch79 View Post
    Of relevance, and interestingly enough, posted in Business Insider:

    If One-Third Of The US Biked A Mile Every Day, We Could Save $17 Billion

    "The most important socio-economic impact of cycling lies in the area of health care. When we cycle we save ourselves and society as a whole significant health care costs, including saved treatment expenses and increased tax revenues as result of fewer illnesses."

    john
    And yet, nothing contained in that article that addresses the pragmatic reasons as to why bicycles themselves will never be a substitute for a car, for the vast majority of Americans.

    If it's an issue of exercise to improve one's heath, that's a different topic of discussion.
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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    And yet, nothing contained in that article that addresses the pragmatic reasons as to why bicycles themselves will never be a substitute for a car, for the vast majority of Americans.

    If it's an issue of exercise to improve one's heath, that's a different topic of discussion.
    Bicycles ARE NOT substitutes for cars -- bikes are as different from cars as they could be. While you are correct that "...bicycles themselves will never be a substitute for a car, for the vast majority of Americans," that's actually a pretty alarming statement when you think about it. I think you've inadvertently lurched into the truth...

    If bikes will never be substitutes for cars for the vast majority of Americans, what will happen to them when they may no longer afford them? How many will reality eventually drag kicking and screaming from their beloved cars -- and even their homes in the x-burbs? Arguably, it would appear to this observer that it's been going on at least to some extent for years already.

    It's not like mankind has formed his opinions about cars over millions of years. What we would identify as the first production oil well only came online in 1859. Since then our population has increased ninefold.

    So if bikes will never be a substitute for cars for the vast majority of Americans, what will they do? Sadly, most are so tightly bound to the last 150 years that they cannot see outside of it. They are in denial. Tonight they will set their alarms and go to bed convinced that everything that went on today will just carry on into tomorrow. Though the fall of Rome lasted well over 500 years, even 200 years into it few, if any involved saw the great changes that were coming.

    There are many Cornicopians in our society today who are sure some new technology will save their industrial way of life, but history has other important reminders for us even though we may not see them through our denial.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 04-08-2012 at 12:49 PM. Reason: typos

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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    +

    The point here is to bike relatively short distances>>> healthier people, less gas burned.


    Get kids into bicycling more & even racing,, like in Europe (kids could cycle to their races..)
    How many millions of miles are driven by soccer moms in their big suv's?

    Also, if roads had much more dedicated cycling lanes, people would cycle more///although there is little economic incentive.

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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    Bicycles ARE NOT substitutes for cars -- bikes are as different from cars as they could be. While you are correct that "...bicycles themselves will never be a substitute for a car, for the vast majority of Americans," that's actually a pretty alarming statement when you think about it. I think you've inadvertently lurched into the truth...
    Not inadvertently. I've been saying that from the start. Unfortunately, there are those who believe that a bicycle is a good substitute for a car. And, they try to promote that idea. It just doesn't stand up. (At least in the vast majority of lives.)

    There are folks right now who can't afford their cars. No one is dragging them out kicking and screaming from them. I've known folks who were horribly in debt. Had to constantly juggle their bills. Both current ones, and those that were past due. But, their cars were too important and useful to them. So, the car note got paid every month. I had a very good friend who right until the week he filed for bankruptcy, he kept sending in his car payment. Even for those who get their cars repossessed, they can often get them back by calling the finance company and working out a new payment plan. Banks and finance companies don't want to sell the vehicles at auction. They'll get a fraction of what they're worth. Sure, the debtor is still responsible for the balance. Good luck getting him to pay every month for a vehicle now owned by someone else. The debtor wants his car back. Finance company wants him to have it back. But forget financing. You can get a decent used car for very little money. I know one young guy who bought a Ford Ranger truck for only $1,000. Far from perfect. But it reliably got him from work and back, and allowed him to run other errands that a bicycle simply cannot do.

    Forget millions of year, or even a little over 100. I had younger classmates at the medical school I attended skip lunch several times due to having paid off their cellphone bill recently, and not having enough money for food; a basic necessity of Life. I've had individuals tell me that their entire Life is on their phone, and if they lost it; they'd be completely lost. Want to make a modern-day horror movie? Have it feature some young hipster who losses their cellphone, then spends the next 90 minutes desperately trying to find it. You think Jason in a hockey mask holding a machete is scary? He's nothing compared to a snotty, red-shirted, Verizon guy telling the hipster that his beloved phone is water-logged and likely won't work properly ever again. Oh, the horror . . .

    Cars have nothing on cellphones as far as addiction goes. And in a much shorter time-span since they came to exist.

    Americans will do what they've always done since Henry Ford made cars affordable . . . They'll keep using their cars for heading to work and back, for running errands, for transporting themselves and their friends to clubs or lounges. No denial. They'll keep driving. Even as insurance rates go up, as gas prices go up . . . Not as though anyone has come up with a real alternative for replacing the car. Not even electric cars are an alternative. Americans are used to driving, filling up, and then driving some more. They're not used to plugging in their cars. They're not used to having to do addition and subtraction and planning before heading out. With an electric, better take the time to do that because you don't have the option of just fueling up and continuing. Make sure that charge is good enough to get you home before it runs out. Hell, I stopped using rechargeable flashlights at my last job because they couldn't hold a charge long enough. Patrolling a pitch black tank-farm after the Sun goes down becomes dangerous when your light dies on you. I started using primaries. Not very enviornmentally friendly, but the only way I could get that task accomplished without putting myself in harm's way.

    You use the best option to get the job done. And, for many, that option is a car.

    No one knows what the future holds. As long as there are individuals putting forth real effort to change things, to find a real substitute for cars (instead of pretending that one based on outdated technology already exists, and that it can be applied to the lives of most people) then the future looks hopeful.
    Last edited by Monocrom; 04-08-2012 at 07:26 PM. Reason: Typo.
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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    +

    The point here is to bike relatively short distances>>> healthier people, less gas burned.


    Get kids into bicycling more & even racing,, like in Europe (kids could cycle to their races..)
    How many millions of miles are driven by soccer moms in their big suv's?
    You expect a mom, any mom, to let her most precious of things bike ride to soccer and other sporting events??

    A handful of children going through an intersection, each on a bicycle, as a car's brakes lock up and is headed towards them . . .

    For a mom, losing just one of her off-spring isn't acceptable. Ironically, you just brought up another point why cars are better than bikes. A safe way for parents to transport their children.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    For a mom, losing just one of her off-spring isn't acceptable. Ironically, you just brought up another point why cars are better than bikes. A safe way for parents to transport their children.
    Yep, cars are really a safe way to transport children.

    Each year in the United States, an estimated 16,375 children between the ages of 12 and 19 die. Nearly 50 percent die in accidents, with car crashes accounting for more than one-third of all deaths.

    The only reason it's not safe for people of all ages to bike is because we have too many cars on the road, and also allow cars to go at unsafe speeds (i.e. > 20 mph) on roads where bicycles and pedestrians are.

    I've read things which suggest in a decade or so the US will have trouble securing enough oil for the military and basic necessities like fertilizers and plastics. Where will that leave the average person who now drives? I'd say stranded. You mention not even electric cars are an alternative. Well, they're the best alternative I'm seeing on the horizon if cars as we know them are to continue to exist but even EVs won't save the day. You're neglecting the single biggest thing which has enabled Americans to drive-namely massive road subsidies. We're broke and getting broker. The only money we'll have for roads might be roads which go through areas with a fairly large tax base (i.e. densely populated areas). Ironically, those are the places it's easiest to find viable substitutes for the car. In the future I'm seeing now, the only motor vehicles on the roads will be emergency and delivery vehicles, perhaps also buses (although maybe not because public transit uses money we just won't have), with a handful of cars owned by the few who can still afford them. I'll bet good money nearly 100% of these vehicles will be electric for simple lack of any other viable way to power them. The need for cars will fade as we lose the ability to pay for roads to sparsely populated places. Truth is these places were never self-sustaining to start with. These bedroom communities largely fed off the commerce of the big cities where many of their inhabitants worked. We can no longer afford this largess, nor can we afford to have large areas of cities rendered nearly unliveable because of the hordes taking cars to work from these bedroom communities. I feel we're in for a difficult time in the next 10-20 years but if we get through it, we'll all be much better off. The average person will spend far less on transportation than today simply because they will need to get around less. With far fewer motor vehicles on the roads, it will be much safer to walk or bike than it is now. And with air pollution more or less eliminated, far less will be spent on health care at the same time longevity will greatly increase.

    You yourself admitted cars are taking a large and increasing chunk of what people make. Every forecast shows them only getting more expensive as salaries continue to stagnate. What happens when the average person just can't afford a car at all, regardless of how many other things they cut? What happens when you can't readily get fuel for cars, no matter how much you make? What happens when we run out of money to keep public transit going? These are all likely scenarios within the next decade or two. The only answer is self-powered transportation. This in turn basically means most people will rarely venture further than they can pedal in an hour or so. In the end, it's not going to be the desire to be environmentally friendly which gets a majority of the population into velomobiles or bicycles. It's going to be because there just aren't any alternatives.

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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by jch79 View Post
    "The most important socio-economic impact of cycling lies in the area of health care. When we cycle we save ourselves and society as a whole significant health care costs, including saved treatment expenses and increased tax revenues as result of fewer illnesses."

    john
    I think go by bike is a good way to exercise. Most of our time are pend on work and study. We have less time on exercise. If we have a bike and our workplace is not far from home( that's difficult to all of us), we can commute by bike. It is a good way of exercise. Also a good way to lose weight. Many people's work maybe like me, office worker( sitting in the office all the day), facing the computer. After a long day work, i feel the body stiffed. Riding bike a good choice. Just as a way of relaxing.
    Save money. You don't need to pay for oil fee, insurance fee and kinds of fee.

  12. #42

    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    What's a bike without a motor? In the CPF tradition, add a battery to it and measure the amperage. lol

    Ebikes are the way to go.

  13. #43

    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    With current levels of traffic, and the plague of drivers talking on phones and texting while driving, you're taking your life in your own hands any time you ride your bike, at least in my city.

    Think I'm paranoid? My brother was in a bad accident when a lady in a sedan pulled out in front of him at an intersection because she misjudged his speed, or just didn't notice him (he had right-of-way, not that it mattered). Result: Broken leg, broken shoulder, broken wrist, two surgeries, but no head injury luckily. The helmet did it's job for once.

    And just recently, a local high school teacher was riding his bike to work in the morning on a quiet neighborhood street, coming down a hill (probably at apx. 20 - 25 mph or so) when a minivan driver (who claimed he didn't see the rider) pulled out in front of him. The teacher went face first into the side of the van, had major face injuries (lost teeth, etc.) collapsed/punctured lungs, etc etc. Again, he had the right of way too, not that it mattered.

    A couple of years ago, a local university student was riding to class on a 4 lane divided road (2 lanes each way) where the speed limit is about 35mph. She was run over from behind by a car and killed by a driver who never saw her (I think that was a cell phone / distracted driver incident). I could go on...



    I don't mean to discourage anyone from riding, I just want to add a little dose of reality. If the only reason you ride your bike to work is to save a few bucks, is it worth your life? Or your mobility? (you could be maimed or crippled). Sorry for the rant but this topic hits close to home for me due to the people I know personally who have been smashed up by careless drivers when riding their bikes. The drivers around here scare me enough as it is, so I think I'll stick with my 3500 lb vehicle, thanks.

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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    Just a thought that I have relative to the last post. I sometimes find myself in a community about 10+ miles from my home. That town is a University town and there are many bicyclists out there. My town has very few bicyclists about, so I have had to be very aware in that University town. This has been very difficult, in that I can have problems noticing bicycles, particularly when the bicyclists are not obeying the rules of the road, going through stop signs, driving on the wrong side of the road, often very oblivious to their surroundings, and even texting while they are riding. It scares the **** out of me. As a disclaimer, I can say that not all bicyclists in that town do what I have mentioned, I am sure, and are no doubt good riders. As a driver of an automobile, I think that we must also be aware of surroundings, and watching out for our fellow automobile drives, can alone, be a challange.

    Bill
    Last edited by Bullzeyebill; 05-26-2012 at 10:10 PM.

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    Default Re: What bike's can do for you?

    I agree, Bill... everyone who shares the road has an equal responsibility to be aware of all others using it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom

    You expect a mom, any mom, to let her most precious of things bike ride to soccer and other sporting events??

    A handful of children going through an intersection, each on a bicycle, as a car's brakes lock up and is headed towards them . . .

    For a mom, losing just one of her off-spring isn't acceptable. Ironically, you just brought up another point why cars are better than bikes. A safe way for parents to transport their children.
    Monocrom, pay my country a visit (the Netherlands) and you will likely be surprised how many kids ride their bikes to school, soccer and other sporting events. It's grown into our society. Bikes here (adults and/or kids) are a very common streetview.
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    Default Re: What bikes can do for you

    Quote Originally Posted by iapyx View Post
    Monocrom, pay my country a visit (the Netherlands) and you will likely be surprised how many kids ride their bikes to school, soccer and other sporting events. It's grown into our society. Bikes here (adults and/or kids) are a very common streetview.
    I can't comment about what takes place in other nations that I haven't visited. I can say that other than drunk drivers, moms have to worry about young and extremely stupid drivers who think that texting on a cellphone is perfectly okay while driving. No mom in America, not a responsible one anyway, is going to let her young children bike to sporting events. Not in the age of cellphones.
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    Default Re: What bikes can do for you

    Monocrom
    not everyone lives in big cities & bikes are far less evil than you think.
    Quite frankly, its the damn cars that are the problem. Less cars, less overall problems.

    Where I grew up & went to school, everyone biked. There were both bike paths & dedicated bike lanes.
    There are smaller cites that not only encurage cycling, it's the norm... like Portland, OR & Madison WI

    >anyway, I was able to put in a solid 35 mile ride on my road bike first thing this morning {climbing & descending hills the entire time}

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    Default Re: What bikes can do for you

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    Monocrom
    not everyone lives in big cities & bikes are far less evil than you think.
    Quite frankly, its the damn cars that are the problem. Less cars, less overall problems.

    Where I grew up & went to school, everyone biked. There were both bike paths & dedicated bike lanes.
    There are smaller cites that not only encurage cycling, it's the norm... like Portland, OR & Madison WI

    >anyway, I was able to put in a solid 35 mile ride on my road bike first thing this morning {climbing & descending hills the entire time}
    A good point. However, I don't think bikes are evil. Cyclists can be. We have a group of them called "Critical Mass" here in NYC. Violent, obnoxious, cowardly . . . Did I mention violent? But that's mainly in NYC.

    Still, while cars have become a necessity for many, bikes are mostly a fun thing to have around. Also, what's going to hurt more; a driver in a car getting hit by a cyclist or a cyclist getting hit by a driver? Drunk drivers are everywhere. So are dumb-ass teens with cellphones. When you bike on city streets, even in a small city, it's not as though the danger of drunks and dumb-asses goes away. Cyclists suffer far worse consequences by not watching out for obnoxious drivers than drivers do when they don't watch out for oblivious cyclists. Not saying it's fair at all. Just saying it's a fact of reality. I'm sure Michigan has its fair share of Soccor Moms in SUVs and minivans on the road.
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    Default Re: What bikes can do for you

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    No mom in America, not a responsible one anyway, is going to let her young children bike to sporting events. Not in the age of cellphones.
    You're going outside the scope of this thread with this presumptive thinking into how people should or should not be raising their kids. In any age the kids should be getting the input from their parents to better prepare them for a dangerous world, rather than putting them in danger by keeping them in an artificial cocoon which leaves them too much at risk when they finally do meet the real world.

    Bikes can do a lot for people and that's what this thread was supposed to be about until for some reason you decided to take it upon yourself to convince others that they'd be better off without them.
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    Default Re: What bikes can do for you

    Quote Originally Posted by kaichu dento View Post
    You're going outside the scope of this thread with this presumptive thinking into how people should or should not be raising their kids. In any age the kids should be getting the input from their parents to better prepare them for a dangerous world, rather than putting them in danger by keeping them in an artificial cocoon which leaves them too much at risk when they finally do meet the real world.

    Bikes can do a lot for people and that's what this thread was supposed to be about until for some reason you decided to take it upon yourself to convince others that they'd be better off without them.
    I actually took it upon myself to point out some much needed reality that this topic was sorely lacking, since the discussion was headed over towards the fantasy that somehow bikes are a perfect replacement for cars in all situations. They're not. That's what I pointed out. If certain members are upset with me over that, then they should ask themselves why it upsets them so much.

    As far as cocoon's go, I never said that parents should seal away their children in one. However, there is such a thing as reasonable risks vs. higher risks. I'll give you an example of one right now. True story. Young mother who wanted to get some exercise. However, she was usually inside taking care of her baby. How to exercise and keep an eye on her little one? Answer = A jogging stroller. However, this mom decided to get a bicycle with the most ridiculous attachment I had ever seen. Small, thing, flexible poll about 8 feet long leading from the back of the bicycle to a tiny tent designed to hold a baby's car carrier. Two small wheels on the bottom of the tent.

    Yeah . . . Mom thought that was perfectly fine. Helmet for her, small helmet for the baby. And right out into a busy city street. They got hit by a car. Mom made it. Baby almost didn't. Reasonable risk = Jogging stroller. Higher risk = Whatever the Hell that ridiculous contraption was. And yes, it was designed for active moms to take their babies with them. Safety device? A little red pennant on a short poll that extended up from the baby tent. Now something like that, some would consider it perfectly acceptable. That's their opinion and they're entitled to it. I'll disagree and point out why. Just as I have in this topic with regards to bicycles being a perfect alternative to cars. Once again, they're not. I've already pointed out why. If that bothers some folks, it shouldn't. I'm open to anyone who can actually illustrate why they believe cars are obsolete as the most pragmatic form of transportation under the vast majority of situations.

    If I'm honest, I'd love to save $2400 a year by not having to rely on a car. Part of that is my fault. But I do love it when my sports sedan turns me on when I turn her "on."
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

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    Once again 'Crom...RELAX!! Did your mom get slapped by a bicycle or something?

    It was mean to be a light hearted thread encouraging people to ride their bikes more to save money and likely their health too. People are aware of the pros and cons of both cars and bikes, and you have made anyone who was previously ill-informed well aware of them by now.

    Let people enjoy talking about their bikes without all the Debbie Downer drama and horror stories. I knew a fella who died while eating pizza too but I don't tell the story to everyone I know who likes pizza. There's inherent risk in every move you make every minute of the day. I could slip and die getting in the shower tomorrow morning but I'm gonna do it anyways. Let people make their own decisions and deal with whatever it brings. You've made your point and it has been duly noted.

    Carry on.

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    Default Re: What bikes can do for you

    Ya got to be kidding me- womenfolk can't survive without cars? How did women/children ever survive before cars? By the way, just for the record, they did survive before cars.

    ...I actually took it upon myself to point out some much needed reality that this topic was sorely lacking, since the discussion was headed over towards the fantasy that somehow bikes are a perfect replacement for cars in all situations...
    I'm glad you brought up reality because I'd like to remind you that you live in a world of Neo-Classical economics which is based upon the insane notion of infinite growth on a planet with finite resources. Neo-Classical economics states that energy is just a function of applied capitol, which, by the way, has failed to increase world petroleum production since 2004 in spite of prices often being higher than than $100 per bbl. I am amazed that there are still those hauling water for the 'infinite growth' camp.

    My injection of reality to this thread would be to state that humans have been here for millions of years and obviously some of us have become very confused about a historically small event that happened in 1859 -- that was when the first production oil well went online. Since that well went online the Earth's population has increased ninefold.

    What we are seeing here is not something that has been with humans for hundreds of thousands of years, or even just thousands of years -- but more like a notion that has formed in just the last hundred and fifty years. As attached to the cars as many are, there is nothing that ties us to these devices beyond our very recent history.

    Many are fond of talking about how we can't live without them, but that is total bull- I've lived without them for decades. By the way, all of your great grandfathers did well enough without cars to not only survive, but to reproduce... Get real...

    I said in an earlier post on this thread that people's preconceived notions would stop many from taking any positive action. There are a great many who will not stop at the cliff, but will be compelled to ride their cars all the way to the bottom of the canyon...

    GERONIMO!
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 06-06-2012 at 11:46 PM.

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    Default Re: What bikes can do for you

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    You've made your point and it has been duly noted.
    You're right. And . . . That was all I was trying to do. Just wanted folks making an informed decision. Thanks.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

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    Default Re: What bikes can do for you

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    . . . By the way, all of your great grandfathers did well enough without cars to not only survive, but to reproduce... Get real...

    I said in an earlier post on this thread that people's preconceived notions would stop many from taking any positive action. There are a great many who will not stop at the cliff, but will be compelled to ride their cars all the way to the bottom of the canyon...

    GERONIMO!
    Not sure how this became an economics discussion. But as for cars not being around thousands or even hundreds of years, and how previous generations got through Life before the invention of the automobile; I actually covered all of that in-dept in a previous post in this topic. Also pointed out in that post how things changed and how the car has indeed become a necessity for many, as well as changing how we do something as basic as buying food at the market. So, all of that has already been covered.

    As for that canyon . . . By the time we get near it's edge, we should have flying cars by then. No worries.
    Last edited by Monocrom; 06-06-2012 at 11:51 PM. Reason: Typo.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

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    Default Re: What bikes can do for you

    Regarding the danger motorists pose to bicycles by distracted and/or incompetent driving, this can easily be mitigated by proper laws and driver training, as well as infrastructure. It's a sad commentary on the US that in many places if you wish to travel under your own power, either on foot or by bike, facilities to make this safe are often absent. Quite a few places don't even have sidewalks.

    As for the danger posed by motor vehicles, this can be changed by changing driver attitudes. For starters, you need to have a vulnerable user law where a motor vehicle is automatically considered at fault if they hit either a pedestrian or a cyclist. Many countries in Europe have such a law. The theory is that if you are driving in a place where there are likely to be cyclists or pedestrians, you need to exercise due care, and drive in such a manner that you can avoid a collision should, for example, a child suddenly dart into your path. This usually means you drive no faster than 15-20 mph in places with cyclists or pedestrians. It also means you don't drive distracted. A simple vulnerable user law would greatly change the casual disregard drivers in places like NYC have for more vulnerable users. A secondary benefit of driving only 20 mph is that you can largely get rid of traffic signals because you'll be approaching intersections slow enough to see and avoid cross traffic. This can mean that trip times remain the same as they did with higher speed limits but frequent stops for traffic lights.

    Bottom line-the idea that cycling is impractical because of the danger posed by motor vehicles is a red herring. Motor traffic can be tamed with proper measures. If you want to drive fast, do so on limited access highways, not local streets shared with pedestrians or cyclists. There's just no reason people should be driving 30, 40, or 50 mph on local roads.

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    Default Re: What bikes can do for you

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    I actually took it upon myself to point out some much needed reality that this topic was sorely lacking, since the discussion was headed over towards the fantasy that somehow bikes are a perfect replacement for cars in all situations. They're not. That's what I pointed out. If certain members are upset with me over that, then they should ask themselves why it upsets them so much.
    A better question to ask is exactly what cars can do better compared to alternatives. My take on this is not much. For local travel of about 10 miles or less, public transit, walking, or biking are all often faster and cheaper than driving. Bikes can fill the gap where it's too far to walk and public transit is sparse. This covers a lot of the situation in the outer boroughs of NYC, for example.

    For medium distance transit, say 10 miles up to about 50 miles, commuter rail, perhaps combined with local public transit or even biking on either end, can often match or beat car travel times, especially if you count the time lost driving. In some cases a car might be faster or more convenient, but with proper design public transit can fulfill many medium distance trips. I've also been convinced in the last few years that with proper infrastructure, human-powered transit can play a much larger role over medium distances than previously imagined. With bike highways and aerodynamic velomobiles, some of which could potentially cruise at 40 to 50 mph, you can easily come close to matching even ideal automobile travel times.

    For long distance transit, such as greater than about 50 miles, the car is honestly a very poor fit. It's slow, cramped, and uncomfortable compared to something like high-speed rail. In many other countries with a proper rail system, people actually laugh at the notion of going any distance by car.

    What it comes down to is for most types of transit cars are a decidedly bad fit compared to other modes. In the rural USA they may make sense given the distances traveled plus the sparse population. In any place with a denser population, they really don't. The only real uses I personally see for motor vehicles in large cities are for deliveries, cargo, emergencies, and bus service. I'm not seeing that passenger cars can do things any better than alternatives.

    The point here isn't that bikes are a perfect replacement for cars, but rather that cars are a poor fit for the vast majority of transit situations despite spending vast sums trying to shoehorn them into every conceivable transportation role. The last 50 years show that hasn't worked out all that well. It's time to try something else.

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