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Old Feb 1, 2013, 10:18 AM   #26
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The reason in the UK and USA that you don't have good cycle paths is simple you are not the Netherlands.
Hit up the Guardian cycling Blog. Every other comment is a Brit pining to live in the Netherlands (I'm one of them)


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I would take public transport, but a bike is not feasible for me. I'd like to get to work, in a timely manner, not sweaty, and not freezing my ass off.
Merino wool baselayers sorts the sweat and associated smell out. With a good cycling network, you're more likely to arrive on time on a bike than in a car. I say that with experience as someone who's commuted for years in busy cities like London by both car and bike.

A morning ride feels great too, it's a fun way to start any day. Winter cycling wouldn't be an issue with a proper cycling network. A lot of Winter cyclists complain of being too hot ironically.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 10:36 AM   #27
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I agree - though, in my experience it's been the opposite. The cars have been more of a hazard to me than I've been to myself - but I've been riding for a long time, and I understand what I have to do to ensure I'm as safe as possible.
I'm not surprised. In California some of the suburban area have nice bike lanes. In the larger cities it's not really safe. Many roads accommodate two to three lanes of traffic in either direction with the lanes closest to the sidewalks used for metered parking outside of peak hours. The only place to bike through them would be in the same lanes as traffic, which isn't really a great situation. I'd just like to see more reasonable alternatives to driving everywhere, and I think it would help with the issue of aging drivers with failing reflexes and vision. Not feeling like you can leave your house seems like it would be horrible.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:04 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Happybunny View Post
The reason in the UK and USA that you don't have good cycle paths is simple you are not the Netherlands.
Thanks for the great summary of Netherlands bicycling. I would have tried to move there 30 years ago but I just can't hack the weather. Which just goes to show what can be done if people want to.

I have no doubt whatever that today's suburbia/exurbia in the U.S. will wither, but, it is going to be hard. Places like Phoenix, Arizona and the entire state of Florida are laid out in such a way that everybody has to drive a POV everywhere. What will happen in Florida when gas goes to $10-$15-$20/gallon, as it eventually will? Gas riots I imagine.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:35 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by AlphaDogg View Post
It's illegal in most places to cycle on the sidewalk.
Not here, it's completely legal. We do also have a good number of miles of bike lanes and I fully support that.

Bikes are fine for tiny little countries where nothing is more than a few miles from anywhere else, but that just doesn't work here.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:35 AM   #30
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My current city is very bike friendly in terms of paths and dedicated lanes...

Lots of cyclists still get ran over by car drivers.

I can take it or leave it. I rode a bike in NYC often, and also road the subway.

However I can't stand elitist cyclist holier than thou types that think riding a bike makes them Ghandi. Only slightly more irritating is hybrid drivers with the same attitude.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:37 AM   #31
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Increased cycling infrastructure and an increase in mass transit are going to be the reality of 21st century America. Single occupant motor vehicle reliance will go the way of the stagecoach for the majority of private citizens.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:41 AM   #32
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Increased cycling infrastructure and an increase in mass transit are going to be the reality of 21st century America. Single occupant motor vehicle reliance will go the way of the stagecoach for the majority of private citizens.
The USA is not Europe. We are far too big as a nation, and we tend to live incredibly far from our jobs. It's the same reason why all these ballyhooed commuter rail systems end up going nowhere as well.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:46 AM   #33
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Not here, it's completely legal. We do also have a good number of miles of bike lanes and I fully support that.

Bikes are fine for tiny little countries where nothing is more than a few miles from anywhere else, but that just doesn't work here.
In the state of CO, it's legal, but it's left up to city jurisdictions to decide. In the city of Denver, as well as most other cities here, it's illegal and I can be fined for riding on the sidewalk at a speed of greater than 6mph. I ride on the road everywhere I can. In traffic, I can maintain a speed of 30mph for a couple miles at a time. With normal effort, I can maintain a speed of 22mph for up to 25 miles. People vastly underestimate the ability of cyclists and without paying attention to their speed, immediately jump to tell us to get off the road.

FWIW, I once road on CO-93, from Golden, CO to Boulder, CO. It was terrifying. The motor vehicles (namely the 18 wheel trucks) on the road didn't move over in their lane and pushed me right off the road. I'd never do that again, but I'm very confident on city streets.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:47 AM   #34
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Driving deaths are unacceptably high,
It can also helps with obesity and heart disease, the latter of which is the highest cause of death (in the UK at least).
Maybe we should just think about banning anything that even stands a remote chance of causing injury or death, shooty things, pointy things, speedy things, heavy things, ban them all...

after we get done with that maybe we can have the government make up a list of approved foods we can eat that wont cause food related illness...

hell, they could even come up with mandatory exercise for everyone also..but just the right amount of exercise, or else you might die from a pulled hamstring..
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:50 AM   #35
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The USA is not Europe. We are far too big as a nation, and we tend to live incredibly far from our jobs. It's the same reason why all these ballyhooed commuter rail systems end up going nowhere as well.
Cycling is becoming a more popular form of commute in the States, not less. Most people commute an average of 16miles, which is very reasonable on a bike, especially if you're on a cycle network. Over the past 10 years commuter distances have remained steady.

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=2008187
http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary...own+Gazette%29

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Maybe we should just think about banning anything that even stands a remote chance of causing injury or death, shooty things, pointy things, speedy things, heavy things, ban them all...

after we get done with that maybe we can have the government make up a list of approved foods we can eat that wont cause food related illness...

hell, they could even come up with mandatory exercise for everyone also..but just the right amount of exercise, or else you might die from a pulled hamstring..
Boring..
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:55 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
Maybe we should just think about banning anything that even stands a remote chance of causing injury or death, shooty things, pointy things, speedy things, heavy things, ban them all...

after we get done with that maybe we can have the government make up a list of approved foods we can eat that wont cause food related illness...

hell, they could even come up with mandatory exercise for everyone also..but just the right amount of exercise, or else you might die from a pulled hamstring..
Responses like these are a perfect example of what's broken in our country.

Instead of trying to have any type of meaningful conversation, we revert to acting like 5 year olds. Our politicians have been doing it for years, so I'm not surprised it's trickled down.

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Originally Posted by macquariumguy View Post
Not here, it's completely legal. We do also have a good number of miles of bike lanes and I fully support that.

Bikes are fine for tiny little countries where nothing is more than a few miles from anywhere else, but that just doesn't work here.
Well, that depends. It could work in a lot more places than you think - or in a lot more places if there were better infrastructures in place to make it happen. And of course, more education on both sides.

I live in Houston and I've actually commuted to work more than a few times - about 20 miles each way. If the drivers in their 8 ton Ford F-450's would pay better attention to the world around them, I'd probably do it a lot more often.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:02 PM   #37
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Responses like these are a perfect example of what's broken in our country.

Instead of trying to have any type of meaningful conversation, we revert to acting like 5 year olds. Our politicians have been doing it for years, so I'm not surprised it's trickled down.
My non 5 year old response...

I would actually be all for any kind of change that would move people towards using biking as a means of commuting.

Sadly, here in the US that is easier said than done..Distances are too great, people are living further away from work, and our roads are not built with biking in mind (not unless you have a death wish anyway).
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:05 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by niuniu View Post
To push people towards cycling we could be increasing tax on cars and making congestion charges in cities more widespread.
I personally object to financial penalties being used to force people to change their lifestyle - if you want people to cycle more, then make it more attractive, not make the alternatives less so
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:08 PM   #39
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I personally object to financial penalties being used to force people to change their lifestyle - if you want people to cycle more, then make it more attractive, not make the alternatives less so
I also agree. Life is expensive enough. We need a cultural shift and infrastructure to support it. I used the tax earlier as a conversational catalyst (ineffectual here it seems, but on a Brit forum it would have kicked off nicely!)
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:13 PM   #40
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My non 5 year old response...

I would actually be all for any kind of change that would move people towards using biking as a means of commuting.

Sadly, here in the US that is easier said than done..Distances are too great, people are living further away from work, and our roads are not built with biking in mind (not unless you have a death wish anyway).


I agree. In the places where it would be most helpful, it just isn't possible without a complete overhaul and redesign of the roads. And we know who long that would take. I would definitely be a proponent of, though, adding education to new drivers about coexisting on the roads with bikes.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:32 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
Maybe we should just think about banning anything that even stands a remote chance of causing injury or death, shooty things, pointy things, speedy things, heavy things, ban them all...

after we get done with that maybe we can have the government make up a list of approved foods we can eat that wont cause food related illness...

hell, they could even come up with mandatory exercise for everyone also..but just the right amount of exercise, or else you might die from a pulled hamstring..
I don't think it should be necessary to force people. Education and good food labeling can go a long way. In terms of exercise, education is important there too. Go into any gym and see how many people lift arguably heavy weights with poor form or a weird range of motion or ignore proper stretching after exercise. Injuries can easily turn people off to these things, yet many of them can be prevented by availability of information rather than bans.

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Originally Posted by glocke12 View Post
My non 5 year old response...

I would actually be all for any kind of change that would move people towards using biking as a means of commuting.

Sadly, here in the US that is easier said than done..Distances are too great, people are living further away from work, and our roads are not built with biking in mind (not unless you have a death wish anyway).
It's not always an issue of distance. Everything in Los Angeles is built up. It has a small subway system that goes between downtown and the edge of the Valley, which is slow and not that convenient. Downtown traffic is terrible though. Brisbane (Australia) would be a nice example of a functional bus system. They're in good condition and bus lanes make it faster than traveling by car at peak hours. Also parking in that city can be more than $30/day due.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:39 PM   #42
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It's not always an issue of distance. Everything in Los Angeles is built up. It has a small subway system that goes between downtown and the edge of the Valley, which is slow and not that convenient. Downtown traffic is terrible though. Brisbane (Australia) would be a nice example of a functional bus system. They're in good condition and bus lanes make it faster than traveling by car at peak hours. Also parking in that city can be more than $30/day due.
Not all of America, not even a large percentage is a major metropolitan area or within a convenient distance to one.

I don't have the stats and don't have time to look them up, but if I were to guess Id say most people live at least 20 miles, if not further from their place of employment.

I live 32 miles. No way I could bike that distance as part of my commute. First its too far, second it is on roadways that would be suicide for bike riders.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:41 PM   #43
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Not all of America, not even a large percentage is a major metropolitan area or within a convenient distance to one.

I don't have the stats and don't have time to look them up, but if I were to guess Id say most people live at least 20 miles, if not further from their place of employment.

I live 32 miles. No way I could bike that distance as part of my commute. First its too far, second it is on roadways that would be suicide for bike riders.
It's 16 miles on average in the US. Already covered earlier in the thread.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:46 PM   #44
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I hope biking takes off to the point where it starves cities of tax revenue from fuel sales, transit system fares and tolls.

Then we can see a bike lane tax for $100 a month and 30% excise tax on new bike sales with a registration when transferring to a new owner.

Gotta love politicians...
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:46 PM   #45
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It's 16 miles on average in the US. Already covered earlier in the thread.
still borderline on being far...I know Id be hard pressed to bike 16 miles one way twice a day...under ten sure.

Also, don't forget alot of people in their 50s and above are part of the work force.....not many of those folks would be inclined to bike Id bet.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 12:53 PM   #46
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I hope biking takes off to the point where it starves cities of tax revenue from fuel sales, transit system fares and tolls.

Then we can see a bike lane tax for $100 a month and 30% excise tax on new bike sales with a registration when transferring to a new owner.

Gotta love politicians...
Less cars is less roadwork repairs. More cycling is less healthcare costs. The world isn't going to implode if more people start cycling. Though you could get work reporting for Fox News with lines like that

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still borderline on being far...I know Id be hard pressed to bike 16 miles one way twice a day...under ten sure.

Also, don't forget alot of people in their 50s and above are part of the work force.....not many of those folks would be inclined to bike Id bet.
Starting to cycle, 16 miles twice a day isn't easy. I agree.

Experienced cyclists don't even notice a 16 mile commute, and if the culture shifts and people cycle from a young age, like the Netherlands for example, then those people would benefit. It'll be their world after all when we're gone.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 01:07 PM   #47
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I wonder what's the percentage of MR users who use a bike..

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Old Feb 1, 2013, 01:27 PM   #48
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FWIW, for a cyclist who rides often, 16 miles is nothing. I can ride 16 flat or slightly graded miles in about 40 minutes.

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That's nonsense! One of the points of having a car is showing your social status (or often pretending to have a higher social status than your actual one). How could that work with a bike? Even expensive bikes are still inconspicuous, and large bikes are too cumbersome to ride....
Expensive bikes are huge status symbols. Maybe your version of expensive is different than my version of expensive (speaking solely about bikes), but still. Any bike over $1500 is easily identifiable to be a status symbol. Maybe most laymen can't see this, but the laymen are not the people who cyclists want to impress. It's other cyclists who are on cheap bikes that we want to pass going 10mph faster. It's basically just like saying "I have more money than you and I'm faster than you. Eat my dust!"

Hardcore cyclists are judgmental, deal with it.

Conversely, cyclists who are on cheap bikes and are able to go fast LOVE to pass spandex clad cyclists on expensive bikes just to say "**** you, money can't buy strength!"
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 01:28 PM   #49
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That's nonsense! One of the points of having a car is showing your social status (or often pretending to have a higher social status than your actual one). How could that work with a bike? Even expensive bikes are still inconspicuous, and large bikes are too cumbersome to ride....
As an ex-BMW owner (I've had several nice ones, pics of both on the forum), I know it's like to go from having road presence to be being the poor-looking cretin dodging potholes Feel what you're saying here

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Originally Posted by AlphaDogg View Post
FWIW, for a cyclist who rides often, 16 miles is nothing. I can ride 16 flat or slightly graded miles in about 45 minutes.
Yeah, bikes are no.1 for energy efficiency. With experience you can cover great distances, in nice times, with little effort.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle...rgy_efficiency
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 01:30 PM   #50
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As an ex-BMW owner (I've had several nice ones, pics of both on the forum), I know it's like to go from having road presence to be being the poor-looking cretin dodging potholes Feel what you're saying here



Yeah, bikes are no.1 for energy efficiency. With experience you can cover great distances, in nice times, with little effort.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle...rgy_efficiency
one thing you are all ignoring is inclement weather...

explain to me what your plans are for riding in snow, sleet, sub-zero temps, excessive heat and excessive humidity.
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