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Old 08-15-02, 06:57 PM   #1
LittleBigMan
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Taxpayers

Cyclists are often characterized as:

1) Lycra-clad elitists who are obessively focused on their own training, eyes straight forward, head down, pedaling furiously. On the fringe, to say the least. We can tolerate their presence occasionally.

2) Sidewalk-riding strangers who would love to be driving, if they could only get their car, or their license, back.

3) Greenie, tree-hugging, whale-loving vegetarians who love to walk barefoot and eat bean sprouts for breakfast while reading "The Secret Life of Plants." Tofu, anyone?

4) Psychotic, trash-collecting homeless persons who can't differentiate between a shopping cart and a bike.

5) "Car-free," critical mass, car-hating types that we'd all love to
ship to Iraq on a one-way ticket (and then bomb the daylights out of them.)

6) Bike commuters--the wierdest of all, since they really could be driving but actually choose to ride their bikes instead...could anything be more insane?

In reality (what a concept!) we cyclists are taxpayers who contribute to the maintenance of roads, as much as any other taxpayer. Most of us also drive cars (Wow! That makes us somewhat normal!) We may even belong to the same political party or religious group as others who don't ride a bike.

We cyclists should expect nothing less than equal treatment with motorists on the road. Second-class treatment is never good enough.
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Old 08-16-02, 03:25 PM   #2
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Agreed.

20 years ago it was blacks who were stereotyped. 10 years ago it was homosexuals. Now it seems to be cyclists. I wonder who'll be next?
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Old 08-16-02, 05:31 PM   #3
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Originally posted by Chris L
Agreed.

20 years ago it was blacks who were stereotyped. 10 years ago it was homosexuals. Now it seems to be cyclists. I wonder who'll be next?
Elvis impersonators.
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Old 08-16-02, 06:49 PM   #4
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I"m a welfare bum--that is, I live in the US and have a car. What is subsidized by other taxpayers? Road space for one--the Interstate system gets some general fund dollars, so do state roads--remember, I pay a pussified little tiny US gas tax, so the rest of the costs of driving have to come from somewhere else.
General federal revenues pay for the state department to kiss the asses of Saudis and Kuwaitis to keep the oil taps on--never mind that Saudis also are truly our political enemies in keeping Al Quaida etc. well fed and funded. So, I'm not only a welfare bum by driving, I'm a traitor and since I'm Jewish a racial traitor as well as a political one. Thanks to all the non-drivers on this group who support my addiction. My home business and the autocentric design of my town allows me to keep up the delusion that a car is necessary--oh, sure, I ride a bike when I can but it's 50 pedalled miles a week vs. 150 driven. Thanks again, non-car owners, we gas burners appreciate the nearly free ride.
The stereotype of a non-driver should include the sucker who's taxes subsidize us bums who drive!
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Old 08-17-02, 06:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L
20 years ago it was blacks who were stereotyped. 10 years ago it was homosexuals. Now it seems to be cyclists. I wonder who'll be next?
I don't quite think these belong in the same category. Unless you are joking, then it is pretty funny.
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Old 08-17-02, 02:57 PM   #6
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Originally posted by Stor Mand
I don't quite think these belong in the same category. ...
I understand your comment, Stor Mand, but I do see some discriminatory parallels. In particular, the American legal system is biased to favor motorists over other road users. In addition, driving is subsidized far more than any other form of transportation.

I believe civilized countries need to recognize a fundamental right to mobility, meaning that any citizen should be able to get from Point A to Point B efficiently and safely, without necessarily using a car to do so. The implications are that road design, traffic laws, and licensing standards need to accommodate bicyclists far better than many currently do.
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Old 08-17-02, 06:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stor Mand
I don't quite think these belong in the same category. Unless you are joking, then it is pretty funny.
I wasn't joking, I was talking about bigotry, which still goes on.
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Old 08-17-02, 08:03 PM   #8
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The main difference is, we choose to be cyclists...and when we go home we can take our lycra off and nobody knows the difference...or cares much.
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Old 08-17-02, 10:02 PM   #9
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Originally posted by Inkwolf
The main difference is, we choose to be cyclists...and when we go home we can take our lycra off and nobody knows the difference...or cares much.
I wish I could say that!

When I take my lycra off, I make sure no one else is in the room!

When I come home, I go to hug my 7 year-old. SHE HIDES FROM ME!!!

"Daddy, are you, sweaty?"



"Well, yes...er, no, not really...HEY!! Don't run away!"

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Old 08-17-02, 10:52 PM   #10
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Originally posted by Inkwolf
The main difference is, we choose to be cyclists...
I don't think this matters. It's not as though we're choosing to do anything illegal. I thought freedom of choice was one of the benefits of living in a democratic country.
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Old 08-18-02, 12:25 AM   #11
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It is ironic we are the ones so hated, yet we ARE the solution (or at least part of it) add this one a TV commentary called us "Granola swilling hippies" Hmmm I don't really like granola that much

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Old 08-18-02, 03:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L


I don't think this matters. It's not as though we're choosing to do anything illegal. I thought freedom of choice was one of the benefits of living in a democratic country.
Yes, and whatever choices we make, there will always be a flock of Dursleys out there, who feel personally offended if our choices are different from those of the majority. That's one of the disadvantages of living with human nature.

(And I LOVE granola. Does that make me a hippy? It tastes gooooood.....)
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Old 08-18-02, 07:23 AM   #13
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I just need to know ...
Do some of you really feel that we (bicyclists) are some radical, fringe element that the majority look down upon? I hate to clue you in but we're not and most don't. Almost everyone I know, not just close friends, rides ... some a little and some a lot & some that have a bike but just haven't in a long time.
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Old 08-18-02, 10:28 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Stor Mand
I just need to know ...
Do some of you really feel that we (bicyclists) are some radical, fringe element that the majority look down upon?
No I don't think I am part of a radical fringe. I don't ride my bike to make a point. Though it is a life style choice. But, and here is where the problem lies, most drivers (or at least a very large minority) do look down on us because of this life style choice. I commute not because of finacial reasons. The money I save for doing it is just icing on the cake. But there is the perception that we can not afford a vehiecle. I do think that a lot of drivers out there think of us as being on the radical fringe. And by the way I think you all should know that I think anyone who gives up their car (which I haven't done yet) should be regarded as a hero and treated with respect! And Inkwolf you are more than welcome to have all my share of the granola out there, just make sure you leave me some of the oatmeal yum" David- Ex hippie
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Old 08-18-02, 08:45 PM   #15
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Originally posted by Stor Mand
I just need to know ...
Do some of you really feel that we (bicyclists) are some radical, fringe element that the majority look down upon? I hate to clue you in but we're not and most don't. Almost everyone I know, not just close friends, rides ... some a little and some a lot & some that have a bike but just haven't in a long time.
I think cyclists are not considered to have an equal right to use the road with motorists.

Most people I know at work like me. I am their example of a commuting cyclist, face to face. I think I leave a good impression with most of them, by their responses. But I have also noticed over the years that most of them don't really think I belong on the road. In fact, I don't know any of them who think I belong on the road! Even my closest friends do not, though they like me personally. Even the people I know at work who ride a bike don't ride on the road, but on a recreational path.

That's been my experience over the last few years.
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Old 08-18-02, 08:52 PM   #16
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Originally posted by LittleBigMan

I think cyclists are not considered to have an equal right to use the road with motorists.

Most people I know at work like me. I am their example of a commuting cyclist, face to face. I think I leave a good impression with most of them, by their responses. But I have also noticed over the years that most of them don't really think I belong on the road. In fact, I don't know any of them who think I belong on the road! Even my closest friends do not, though they like me personally. Even the people I know at work who ride a bike don't ride on the road, but on a recreational path.

That's been my experience over the last few years.
I couldn't of said it better it is so true
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Old 08-19-02, 03:32 PM   #17
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I think I have reached the conclusion that most people, including motorists and even other bikers, don't really pay much attention to what I do. Frankly, I don't mind that at all.

I feel as though I am tolerated on the road. Most people react to the fact that I cycle as though it is a positive activity, but not one of much interest to them.

Frankly, being one myself, I dont really spend much time concerned with the activities and opinions of motorists either.

Curiously enough, when shopping I don't refer to people as shoppers. When driving, I don't refer to people as drivers. When walking, I don't refer to other pedestrians as walkers. When at the Doctor's office, I don't refer to other people there as patients.

They may be jerks or loudmouths. They may be cute or engaging. they may bo overweight or skinny. They may be rude or pleasant. They may be literate or otherwise. I just don't seem to consciously identify people by applying a noun to their activities.

It is my preference that folks think of me as a person. One that has a bike and a car and a weight machine and a job perhaps, but not as a cyclist, motorist, weight lifter, or employee.

Think about it. Are you a cyclist, period. Or, are you a cyclist only when cycling? Are we refering to motorists or drivers, period? Or might they be physicians, parents, teachers, mothers, daughters or cyclists too?

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Old 08-19-02, 04:05 PM   #18
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Not labeling people ... hmmm ... what a novel idea. :thumbup:
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Old 09-04-02, 05:21 PM   #19
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Labeling people is part of being human--at least that's this ****'s opinion.
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Old 09-04-02, 05:57 PM   #20
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Riiiiiiight...Well I have never experienced any biased comments by anyone. No rude drivers and I have no idea why everyone is so worked up over something that is quite minor. Taxes? OK? I don't really understand this argument. Anyways, don't worry about what anyone says to you about riding. Id doesn't matter what people think........REMEMBER? All said and done, It's all good .
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Old 09-04-02, 06:38 PM   #21
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... Anyways, don't worry about what anyone says to you about riding. It doesn't matter what people think........REMEMBER?
In general, I agree with you (and I really like your signature line!), but we do need to make motorists recognize that bikes belong.

-- Same Rights. Same Rules. Same Roads.
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Old 09-11-02, 05:26 PM   #22
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Originally posted by Chris L
Agreed.

20 years ago it was blacks who were stereotyped. 10 years ago it was homosexuals. Now it seems to be cyclists. I wonder who'll be next?
Aussies?
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Old 09-12-02, 01:06 PM   #23
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Since we still have to satisfy the government that cars are not necessary the only primary transportation option, we should have a court case. Maybe contend that, since women are discriminated against at the car lot and the garage, and if the car is the only primary transportation option, the government should be forced to provide an equal opportunity solution to all women government employees.

If they cannot contend that the car is the only primary transportation option, then they will have to admitt that there are options that are equal to the flexability and speed of the car, and those options should be provided for or deployed.

BR
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Old 09-12-02, 03:31 PM   #24
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Originally posted by Brian Ratliff
Since we still have to satisfy the government that cars are not necessary the only primary transportation option, we should have a court case. Maybe contend that, since women are discriminated against at the car lot and the garage, and if the car is the only primary transportation option, the government should be forced to provide an equal opportunity solution to all women government employees.

If they cannot contend that the car is the only primary transportation option, then they will have to admitt that there are options that are equal to the flexability and speed of the car, and those options should be provided for or deployed.

BR
Could you be a little less clear? :confused:
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Old 09-12-02, 03:46 PM   #25
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Certainly... How much less would you like.

Just trying to say that since not everyone can obtain cars with equal ability, getting the courts to admit this will help cyclists and mass transportation. Especially if someone can show that a car is effectively necessary to move around the city as it is now.

Any better?
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