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Old 07-19-05, 08:48 AM   #1
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Why isn’t biking seen as patriotic?

It seems to me that bicycling should be seen as patriotic. There are just too many good things that come from cycling: If more people biked I think that could affect demand and push down fuel prices in the US. If more folks biked and we bought less gas, the US’ trade deficit could shrink because of how much we spend on gas. If more people biked we could be a more fit country. Since, “the President is an avid mountain biker”, why doesn’t he invite Lance to the Whitehouse. At this point Lance is probably the country’s number one good-will ambassador. If more people biked our beloved country would have far less pollution and road deaths. Americans would be less dependant on Saudi Arabian oil. If more people biked we could spend less on roads. Now I know that there are downsides to moving away from cars like, less money for a few big manufacturers and oil companies. Not only that but at least 9/10ths of voters, regardless of age, sex or economic position are members of the “right foot club”.

During wwII the media was intimately involved with supporting the war effort and pushed things like military super heros in comic books, catroons with war themes, not to mention movies and newsreels.

Rather than that we get NYC freekin out over Critical Mass, even though the taxpayers said let them ride. We get radio talk show idiots complaining about bikes, then resending because they did not know better. We get ill informed newspaper writers complaining about elite cyclist “road hogs”. We get teenagers complaining about irritating bicyclists that make driving momy’s car difficult. We often get lack of support from the police when a car hits someone. We get mega tax breaks for gas guzzling trucks and nothing for bikes, save a few paths that often lack significant planning. And who can forget the good ol boy who yells out the window of his friend’s pickup truck—that person should be praising the cyclists for helping to bring down the price of gas and helping to preserve his favorite hunting ground.

With all of the good things that come from cycling, and all the bad that seems to arise from oil and cars it almost seems like a conflict of (the county’s) interest to not actively support cycling. Sure things are not the same as back in the 40s but still there are overwhelming, benefits to the country to support cycling it is strange that these don’t seem to be perused. Why do you think this is and what can we do to change that?
----
How it was. This is from:
http://www.60wwii.mil/Presentation/E..._homefront.cfm
In spite of increased production, many items became scarce as the war effort tapped America's resources. For example, canned goods were rationed throughout the war because steel was essential in the production of planes, ships, tanks and other military equipment. The same priorities forced consumers to forgo the purchase of refrigerators, washing machines, alarm clocks, bed springs, hair pins, metal office furniture, lawnmowers and residential oil burners. Consumers had to apply to their local rationing boards for the special certificates necessary to purchase typewriters or bicycles. Scrap drives for tin, iron, rubber and newspapers linked local neighborhoods to the boys on the front lines. Even used cooking fat was "recycled" into glycerine for explosives. Gas and food were rationed and walking or riding a bike became commonplace.

http://www.gettysburg.edu/~mbirkner/fys120/ads.html
"Three cheers for you, Mrs. America, and all the things you're doing at home to help win the war. Without bugle or roll of drums you're in stride with the march to victory--you're setting the thermostat at 65 degrees, saving money to buy bonds, serving less meat, keeping the children well, turning off lights and radios, defrosting the refrigerator, doing Red Cross work, saving metal, rubber, tin cans, taking First Aid, sharing cars, writing letters--anything to win."
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Old 07-19-05, 08:53 AM   #2
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I thought patriotism came from within the soul, not from the things you use?

As for the complaining, they need something to whine about... Cycling seems like an easy hit since it's "not a tough sport" (or so I'm told )
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Old 07-19-05, 09:08 AM   #3
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Look at obesity rates. People are lazy, generally speaking, and they tend to prefer doing things the easy way.*

*Not all of us are this way, obviously.
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Old 07-19-05, 09:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMittens
I thought patriotism came from within the soul, not from the things you use?

As for the complaining, they need something to whine about... Cycling seems like an easy hit since it's "not a tough sport" (or so I'm told )
I think that Patriotism comes from the things you do and say. Bicycling could be portrayed as a positive thing that helps to defend the US from economic dependance on oil for example. The government has some control over this in terms of support for a particular production company or lack of support. The US has a media zar that could say, "You can use the aircraft carrier in your movie, if you also show biking in a positive light."

patriot
n : one who loves and defends his or her country [syn: nationalist]
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Old 07-19-05, 09:17 AM   #5
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Simple reason:

US population is for the most part uninteligent and uneducated. People here buy all the BS the government feeds them. And with the government being run by and for the rich and the powerfull, who have a vested interest in continued oil consumtion what would you expect?

Need proof? Check this out:

http://www.cbc.ca/cp/business/050630/b0630102.html
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Old 07-19-05, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMittens
I thought patriotism came from within the soul, not from the things you use?

As for the complaining, they need something to whine about... Cycling seems like an easy hit since it's "not a tough sport" (or so I'm told )
Down in the sticks, where my parents live, it seems that the most patriotic display one can do is drive around in a star-spangled H2. That is, show support for our troops who are dying for our oil companies by burning as much fuel as you possibly can. At 8-10mpg, the H2 does a good job at that. (It also helps to deck your H2 out with flags.)

Unless if you have plumes of patriotic soot emanating from your bicycle, you’re probably not doing enough!

http://www.fuh2.com/
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Old 07-19-05, 09:28 AM   #7
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Yeah for some odd reason, huge trucks made in Detroit are seen as the most patriotic... Especially in places like Texas.
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Old 07-19-05, 09:38 AM   #8
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Because there are very few places to comfortably mount a gun rack on your bike. Because cycling is for espresso-sucking Euro-weenies. Because Jesus didn't wear lycra.

For me, riding a bike is a great amount of fun, not a political statment.
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Old 07-19-05, 09:44 AM   #9
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Bikers are environmentalists to a large degree.
Bikers wear spandex, and no underwear. They look like girly men.
Bikers challenge authority in events like CM.
Bikers are probably more likely to vote Democrat.
Patriotism is about what you say and how you look, not the deep message behind what you do.

therefore bikers are not patriotic.












and yes, that was supposed to be tongue in cheek
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Old 07-19-05, 09:47 AM   #10
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How about a jersey with an American flag on the back that says "No Saudi oil in here!"

Think that would go over well?
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Old 07-19-05, 09:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
Yeah for some odd reason, huge trucks made in Detroit are seen as the most patriotic... Especially in places like Texas.
And Georgia. A driver's level of patriotism increases in direct proportion to the number of (Chinese-made) pro-USA magnets displayed on the tailgate.

Large vehicle + many magnets = more patriotic.

Riding a bike, on the other hand, is just one step away from windsurfing, isn't it?. Engaging in un-American activities like those can ruin your chances of being elected president.
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Old 07-19-05, 09:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by moxfyre
How about a jersey with an American flag on the back that says "No Saudi oil in here!"

Think that would go over well?
I like it.
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Old 07-19-05, 10:09 AM   #13
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Look, we are spending so much time, energy, money and life trying to get fuel for our cars, we may as well use it, right? Right!?!
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Old 07-19-05, 10:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by moxfyre
How about a jersey with an American flag on the back that says "No Saudi oil in here!"

Think that would go over well?
Or even, "How much money do I have to send to Bin Ladin before I have the same right to the road as you?"

Paul
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Old 07-19-05, 11:03 AM   #15
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You're confusing patriotism with your national civic duty
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Old 07-19-05, 11:05 AM   #16
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Or maybe patriotism with jingoism... IE flag waving.
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Old 07-19-05, 11:21 AM   #17
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Exactly. When most people use the word "patriotism," at least in the modern American flag sticker on your Chevy Tahoe sense of the word, what they really mean is jingoism or chauvinism.

As to the original post, maybe you'd enjoy a sticker like this:

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Old 07-19-05, 11:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
How about a jersey with an American flag on the back that says "No Saudi oil in here!"

Think that would go over well?

Awesome. Might even get me to wear a jersey instead of a T-shirt!!
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Old 07-19-05, 11:51 AM   #19
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The car I drive is powered by biodiesel, a renewable fuel made from recycled vegetable oil, and I'm pretty active in the area promoting its use.

I've got many many reasons why it is a good thing for people to use, and the reason I pick to discuss when talking with someone stems from what I think they'll respond best to. The restaraunt manager hears about how it turns their waste into a commodity, the hippie hears about how it has a neutral carbon cycle, the urbanite hears about decreased particulate output, and the red-blooded god fearing 'Merican hears about how it supports US industry, and keeps money out of the hands of countries that condone or support terrorism. My stickers say, "Clean, Renewable, Domestic", since many people will care about one or two, but not all three, I can catch just about everyone with one sticker.

That same tactic can be used for cycling. If a red blooded 'merican asks you about biking, don't tell them about how nice it makes your calves look, tell them that you are able to prevent your money from going to violent middle eastern regimes, and you can spend more of your money here in the US, which is the best way to support an economy. You are just a good citizen, doing your part to support your nation. You are indeed a patriot!

Patriotism is defined by your actions. It doesn't matter how hard you slap your forehead when you salute the flag, if you knowingly do things that undermine your nation's prosperity and safety, you are no patriot.

I think some people do understand that. Yes, there are some people who think that patriotism = republican voting, but I think there are a lot of people who understand that it goes beyond that. I've worked with some folks on biodiesel projects that I would normally NEVER associate with. Hardcore republican flag waving god-fearers, but on the subject of protecting our country by conserving resources and keeping our money local, we could agree. We had different ideas about other things, and sometimes our methods are different, but among those folks, we could agree enough to put our energy toward a common goal. Seeing a Berkeley anarchist/punk, a rural midwestern truck driver, and a hippie from NORML all working together to build a biodiesel processor from recycled materials gave me at least a little faith that people of different backgrounds can come to agreement on some issues, and pool their efforts. Patriotism is a word that has been largely co-opted by a negative group of people, but I do believe in the idea, and I consider myself a patriot. My country has problems, but I want to protect it in the best ways I know how.

Sorry for the fuel tangents, but I find that my experiences in that environmental field help me frame my efforts in other environmental fields, like cycling, and perhaps they may do the same for others.

peace,
sam
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Old 07-19-05, 12:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehammarlund
Bikers wear spandex, and no underwear. They look like girly men.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! They still think we have undies on under the "f@g"* shorts.

Why is bike riding instead of driving not considered a patriotic act? Because as someone put it above, quite perferctly I'd like to add, people are stupid (the explanation for almost everything wrong in the world, BTW).


* Not my sentiment -- merely quoting (when will people get over their homophobia and spandex being anything other than utilitarian?).
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Old 07-19-05, 12:38 PM   #21
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Because alot of us are riding bikes made in China?

America has a huge car culture that's not going to change any time soon. Americans have also been getting increasingly lazy. We ride elevators one floor down,need remote controls for everything so we can stay on the couch,and even need wheels to carry a small backpack. They even have big ads in the Metro stations here for bikes with electric motors so you won't have to exert yourself to go up a hill. Finally,our culture has a sense of entitlement. In WW2 we were told to do without for the war effort,and people did. Now,you can't get them to hang up the cell phone while driving.

Blame the govt and rich people and big corps all you want. The fact is that we need cultural change. The Ugly American comes in many flavors;Red and Blue,liberal and conservative,rich and poor.
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Old 07-19-05, 12:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phidauex
The car I drive is powered by biodiesel, a renewable fuel made from recycled vegetable oil, and I'm pretty active in the area promoting its use.
I don't know much about biodisel. How is it both renewable and recycled? I can understand using non-recycled plant oil, which could be considered renewable, or cooking oil which is recycled, but both?

Also if new plant oil is used (I understand focus is on recycled cook oil,not new) then that plant oil relies on agriculture industry which uses lots of fossil oil (and water) for production (fertilizer, transport, etc.)

I just want to learn more so send me an IM if you don't want to derail thread.

Al
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Old 07-19-05, 01:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phidauex
The car I drive is powered by biodiesel, a renewable fuel made from recycled vegetable oil, and I'm pretty active in the area promoting its use.
I use biodiesel too...I eat the vegtables and I use the energy to power my legs which in turn power my bike!

Using the "biodiese"l reason to feel like your doing your part in oil conservation is like saying you went with a large fry instead of an extra large fry an McDonalds because your watching your weight. The car might not burn fossile fuel oil but it sure the heck took a lot of fossil fuel oil to manufacture that car! Just about every part on the vehicle is oil based or used oil to manufacture.

The same is true with bicycles, however the 1900 lbs of oil invested in the car are far greater than the say 10 or 15lbs required to make the bike. (numbers may vary but the ratio of oil to make car/oil and bike/oil are pretty close)

Back on the topic. If bicycling makes a person feel patriotic then walking ought to make the person feel like Uncle Sam. I think patriotism is a function of how person feels and acts towards their country and if cycling makes you feel that way...then my friends I salute your patriotism!
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Old 07-19-05, 01:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulH
Or even, "How much money do I have to send to Bin Ladin before I have the same right to the road as you?"

Paul
That's an intriguing idea you've got there. Performance make jerseys that can be silk screened.
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Old 07-19-05, 02:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynaryder
Because alot of us are riding bikes made in China?
My litespeed says "made in usa" right there.
Don't be surprised if most of the parts in your average "american made" car are made in china.
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