Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-09-04, 02:34 PM   #1
JMPetersen
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
JMPetersen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ames, IA
Bikes: 2005 Marin Muirwoods, 2002 Raleigh R400
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can't wait until SUVs go out of style.

I'm assuming they're talking about high-speed accidents, but still... a 21-23% chance of rolling over is still unacceptable.

http://www.theiowachannel.com/automo...41/detail.html
JMPetersen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 04:34 PM   #2
Tom Pedale
Senior Member
 
Tom Pedale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Issaquah, WA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Tarmac Expert, 1990 Specialized Allez Epic, Specialized RockCombo (winter), 70's Motobecane Team Champion,
Posts: 537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In a way, I really wish you hadn't started this thread, because it forces me to come out of the closet for what I really am, a sworn enemy of SUV's.

There are things that make America great, but SUV's are not one of them.

Let's start with the idea that because they're larger, they're somehow safer. Last year, only two categories of motor vehicles showed increases in vehicular deaths (according to NHTSA statistics). As your post noted, SUV's are prone to rollover. And last year, the death rate for this type of vehicle increased about 10% as a result of more people dying in rollover accidents. The other category of vehicle where the death rate increased was motorcycles, possibly as the result of too many middle-aged riders living a latent "Easy Rider" fantasy without the requisite skills needed to operate a piece of machinery that inflicts very serious road rash if not handled with care. Or perhaps, there were a number of collisions with SUV's...

But I digress...other than the increased ability to rollover, SUV's generally don't stop as well as most cars,
and of course, there's the less than admirable gas mileage as well as the diminished pollution requirements these vehicles are required to meet since they are classified as a truck. And upon buying one, you'll be paying increased insurance rates due to your ability to inflict more damage upon whatever unfortunate vehicle and its occupants you happen to collide with.

I do not have qualms about someone owning one of these vehicles who actually needs the size and off-road capabilities that these vehicles have. But, why does the average housewife need something the size of a small schoolbus to ferry back and forth a few bags of groceries and several small children? Interestingly enough, many of these suburban survival kits sport accoutrements like heavy duty mesh guards for the head and tailights as if wife and hubby might encounter some unpenetrable wilderness on their way to the sports bar. The TV and magazine ads present a fantasy of Joe Couch Potato being able to navigate the wilderness while still keeping his generally wide posterior planted in the lap of luxury. Yes, the American dream, Marlboro man re-dux without the cigarette riding the range, climbing impossible gradients without even breaking a sweat. Hey guys, think about getting a road or mountain bike and doing your waistline some good while communing with mother nature! For most of these people, that's simply too much effort. Much better to let 300 horses under the hood do it for you, regardless of the cost to the planet.

And then there's the Hummer. The avatar of SUV's, the creme de la creme of conspicuous consumption with a designed disregard for anything but whatever pathetic image the driver is attempting to project.

For what could be more machismo than driving a vehicle whose lineage was ordained by war. Around my area, a number of these humorless machines are driven by techie types who cruise around the Costco parking lot several times looking for the proper parking space to display their rig and to keep the driver from walking more than 10 feet to the door. When these pilots finally emerge from their command posts, they generally sport the physique of someone who would wheeze after pulling the trash to the curb on Sunday.


Thankfully, there is brewing a backlash to all of this nonsense. Increasingly, these behemouths are sitting on the lots....at least until their next incarnation as hybrids. I'm hopeful that many of us will have learned something before that happens, knowing that there will always be the obnoxious few that will want to display their greed for the whole world to see....because they can.

Like I said...I'm almost sorry you started this thread...but I admit..I'm glad you did..
Tom Pedale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 05:26 PM   #3
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 390 Post(s)
Thank you Tom!

The safety arguement really bothers me - I've even/often seen it repeated in the news with no research done (which would have shown the opposite) for example: "SUV sales are up in spite of gas prices, driven by the need for safer cars" or some such nonsense.

I do own a 4WD 2-dr Ford Explorer, (by todays standards a 'small' SUV). I do use it regulary (about 1/mo. or more) for driving on official 4WD access to hiking trailheads, etc. (But not off-road, I never want to damage untouched land). I need 4WD about 1 in 10 times for steep loose sections or river crossings.

Folks buy these a lot out here (news article a few weeks ago was that sales are up in AZ vs. rest of country, in spite of gas prices). There is a lot in regard to image, then folks think they need to prove the image and go tearing around off road, once.

Before I stopped driving agressively I got 18mph average in city. Now I drive it gently and don't speed, I get 22mph average.

It is not a safe car for handling/accident avoidance. Two times I've needed emergency stop/maneuver and control was lost very readliy vs. a nice sedan. Very scary.

My next car (already on order/waitlist) is a Toyota Prius. I'll keep the Explorer for when I need to pick up large goods or drive on rough dirt roads.

Al
noisebeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 05:30 PM   #4
PaulH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes:
Posts: 3,336
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I was raised on British sports cars. Low = good, light = good, roll-up windows = bad, syncromesh 1st = bad.

I'm not really anti-SUV, but the whole thing just seems very alien.

Paul
PaulH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 05:34 PM   #5
khuon
DEADBEEF
 
khuon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Catching his breath alongside a road near Seattle, WA USA
Bikes: 1999 K2 OzM, 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
Posts: 12,242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Every few weeks, we have a return of one of these threads. I should just gather up all the links to my previous posts and just post a list of links.

At anyrate, let's address some points here...
  1. Rollovers - Yes SUVs are more prone to rollovers due to their higher CG. This needs to be taken into account by the driver. The majority of rollover accidents are due to the driver outdriving the limitations of the vehicles. So now I can see the next argument: "SUVs have low safety limits." This is simply untrue. SUVs are designed with a margin of safety far exceeding recommended general safe driving conditions as are other automobiles. If an SUV "departs from controlled flight" it is typically because the driver pushed the vehicle beyond its performance envelope. Maybe it's because of my pilotting background but I believe that the only real safety device is the operator. Know your skills, know your limits, know your environmental conditions and know your vehicle. Driver education is the primary problem here. Most people don't know how to drive an SUV. It's like sticking a newbie rider onto a racing bike set up with a 6" saddle to bar drop and telling them to go out for back to back centuries that including having to take on high speed mountain descents at 50+ MPH.
  2. Size - SUVs come in all sizes. A Jeep TJ (Wrangler for those in the US and/or are Jeep-term challenged) has around a 94" wheelbase. The overall length is around 155" and overall width is 67". In comparison, a Honda Civic Coupe has a 103" wheelbase with an overall length and width of 175" and 67" respectively. By all rights, a TJ is a subcompact. My Jeep ZJ (1998 model year Grand Cherokee) has a wheelbase of 106" with an overall length of 177" and 71" respectively. The Honda Accord Sedan has a wheelbase of 108" and an overall length and width of 190" and 72" respectively. Looks can be deceiving and not all SUVs are huge behemoths people try to make them out to be.
  3. Usage - We can't and usually don't monitor our fellow humans on a daily basis. The guy in the 3-piece Armani climbing out of the Hummer H1 today might be locking differentials and rock crawling the same rig in shorts and a lumberjack shirt on the weekends. Let's not presume to know what people actually use their vehicles for and let's be more careful not to cast judgement based on incomplete knowledge. Yes, it's a good bet that the spotless Chevy Suburban with the running boards that wouldn't last 5 minutes on a class 2 ORV trail cruising through the Target parking lot replete with "Go Skyline Soccer!" scrawled all over in wash-away window chalk doesn't see any offroad unless the owner forget to sweep some beauty bark, that the kids tracked onto the driveway, back along the edge of the lawn but can you say for certain that the family doesn't spend its weekends camping up in the Snoqualmie-Baker National Forest and wants to get to spots only accessable via 4WD?
  4. Image - Yes, there's an image problem. BTW, those who do use their SUVs offroad do tend to look down with a certain degree of contempt on those that purchase SUVs just for the image. However, I think that this holds true for any enthusiast group. Hype and image is what promotes and gives rise to poseurs and elitists. But just as in cycling, there are many who just couldn't care less what others own.

My pet-peeve with all this vehicle-type hate is that it detracts from the real problem: poor driver education and standards.
__________________
1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
"Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122
khuon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 06:00 PM   #6
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 390 Post(s)
1. The environment is city streets and highway driving with the majority of folks speeding ~10mph over limit. There are safer vehicles than SUVs for this environment. Driving training is severely lacking for all types of vehicles. Accident rates could go down significantly if standards for learning safe driving were higher.

2. I don't think anyone considers wrangler an SUV. Its the large and super large new (and old like suburban) SUVs that cause most concern. My Explorer (a true SUV) has a tighter turning radius than an Accord and is quite narrow also. But its not the wheelbase, turning radius, etc. - its the gross weight, bulk, poor handling and low MPG that are the issue.

3/4. This is a personal judgement, but I would give far more respect to a person doing rock crawling with a 'hand crafted' (meaning learning the mechanics, selecting components, etc.) Chevy Bronco than an H1. An as to image, why does the rock crawler need to wear shorts and a lumberjack shirt? Except for getting out of the vehicle to check the trail ahead where one may get dirty, one can rock crawl in a suit. OK, more seriously, I very very rarely see Hummers out on 4WD roads and my friends 4WD club has no Hummers in it. Sure some folks use them as intended, but lets face it that the vast majority are driven as city vehicles, as are most SUVs.

Please, this is not arguement, just comment that it is more complex issue:
SUVs have not made cities and highways safer
SUVs have not helped reduce oil consumption
SUVs have helped the auto industry
SUVs do provide a hobby for enthusiasts
SUVs are purchased for greedy reasons and image
SUVs are purchased for the utility they provide
etc.

Al
noisebeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 06:04 PM   #7
Poguemahone
Vello Kombi, baby
 
Poguemahone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Je suis ici
Bikes:
Posts: 5,057
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Actually, I just hate the advertisements for them. One more ad with some model fool tearing up nature in a car designed largely to ferry kids to and from private school and I think I'm going to drive a stake thru the TV screen. Good God, these suburban kid-haulers are advertised as some sort of cure for impotence or something. Look, you're probably not impotent if you have kids, so what do you need an SUV for your machismo? I half expect to see Bob Dole endorsing them soon.
__________________
"It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

Waste your money! Buy my comic book!
Poguemahone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 06:08 PM   #8
Stor Mand
Senior Member
 
Stor Mand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I always hear whining and moaning (not trolling but take it as you may) about SUVs and pickups in this forum but what about vans? There must be the same complaint about them.
I've seen Hummer clubs and they take them on some pretty sick terrain.
Stor Mand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 06:48 PM   #9
Tom Pedale
Senior Member
 
Tom Pedale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Issaquah, WA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Tarmac Expert, 1990 Specialized Allez Epic, Specialized RockCombo (winter), 70's Motobecane Team Champion,
Posts: 537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do not have qualms about someone owning one of these vehicles who actually needs the size and off-road capabilities that these vehicles have.

As I said in the above quote from my post there are legitimate uses for SUV's, but the large majority of these cars are being used exclusively on marble smooth macadam. Several manufacturers have recognized this and have designed vehicles such as the Nissan Murano with a lower center of gravity since it is recognized that the average suburbanite does not need road to chassis clearances that will clear stumps or small logs.

Although I failed to define SUV precisely in my post, I think from my rant you can see that I'm talking about the "living large" species of vehicle that is overkill unless you need a regular land schooner to transport the cub den to Mount Baker. I would not classify the Jeep Wrangler as a SUV. It is perhaps SUV larva, an immature and undersized form of the final metamorphosis. In this vein, you have perhaps noticed that no matter what you do, more metal hangars accumulate in your closet. This mystery was solved when years ago one of my earliest cycling buddies explained to me that metal hangars are actually bicycle larvae.

But to get back to business...given the pristine condition of Hummers in the area where I live and the drivers who populate them, I doubt very much that we are looking at closet Sierra Club members who magically transform themselves into high country backpackers on the weekend. Not unless there's a big screen and plenty of beer and buffalo wings waiting at the summit. While we're at it, I mentioned in my last post that many Hummers are often owned by "techies" in the area I live in (Microsoftie land). I am in no way impugning "techies" on the whole, it just so happens that many individuals who enjoy a surplus of discretionary income where I live work for a technology company. I would hazard to guess that given enough money to squander, a mixed cross section of Americana would be able to effectively gross out many of us with the types of primitive spending habits I've seen so far in the Seattle area.

And finally, although there may have been beaucoup posts in the past on the SUV topic, I certainly never had my god-given opportunity to adequately vent my spleen on the subject, being relatively new to this forum...just don't get me started on why Paris Hilton is famous for being able to dress her dog well or why you need a 50 caliber machine gun for plinking targets in the woods...
Tom Pedale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 06:54 PM   #10
Tom Pedale
Senior Member
 
Tom Pedale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Issaquah, WA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Tarmac Expert, 1990 Specialized Allez Epic, Specialized RockCombo (winter), 70's Motobecane Team Champion,
Posts: 537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do not have qualms about someone owning one of these vehicles who actually needs the size and off-road capabilities that these vehicles have.

As I said in the above quote from my post there are legitimate uses for SUV's, but the large majority of these cars are being used exclusively on marble smooth macadam. Several manufacturers have recognized this and have designed vehicles such as the Nissan Murano with a lower center of gravity since it is recognized that the average suburbanite does not need road to chassis clearances that will clear stumps or small logs.

Although I failed to define SUV precisely in my post, I think from my rant you can see that I'm talking about the "living large" species of vehicle that is overkill unless you need a regular land schooner to transport the cub den to Mount Baker. I would not classify the Jeep Wrangler as a SUV. It is perhaps SUV larva, an immature and undersized form of the final metamorphosis. In this vein, you have perhaps noticed that no matter what you do, more metal hangars accumulate in your closet. This mystery was solved when years ago one of my earliest cycling buddies explained to me that metal hangars are actually bicycle larvae.

But to get back to business...given the pristine condition of Hummers in the area where I live and the drivers who populate them, I doubt very much that we are looking at closet Sierra Club members who magically transform themselves into high country backpackers on the weekend. Not unless there's a big screen and plenty of beer and buffalo wings waiting at the summit. While we're at it, I mentioned in my last post that many Hummers are often owned by "techies" in the area I live in (Microsoftie land). I am in no way impugning "techies" on the whole, it just so happens that many individuals who enjoy a surplus of discretionary income where I live work for a technology company. I would hazard to guess that given enough money to squander, a mixed cross section of Americana would be able to effectively gross out many of us with the types of primitive spending habits I've seen so far in the Seattle area.

And finally, although there may have been beaucoup posts in the past on the SUV topic, I certainly never had my god-given opportunity to adequately vent my spleen on the subject, being relatively new to this forum...just don't get me started on why Paris Hilton is famous for being able to dress her dog well or why you need a 50 caliber machine gun for plinking targets in the woods...
Tom Pedale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 06:56 PM   #11
Tom Pedale
Senior Member
 
Tom Pedale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Issaquah, WA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Tarmac Expert, 1990 Specialized Allez Epic, Specialized RockCombo (winter), 70's Motobecane Team Champion,
Posts: 537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Apologize for the deja vu post...
Tom Pedale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 07:04 PM   #12
Tom Pedale
Senior Member
 
Tom Pedale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Issaquah, WA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Tarmac Expert, 1990 Specialized Allez Epic, Specialized RockCombo (winter), 70's Motobecane Team Champion,
Posts: 537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poguemahone
Actually, I just hate the advertisements for them. One more ad with some model fool tearing up nature in a car designed largely to ferry kids to and from private school and I think I'm going to drive a stake thru the TV screen. Good God, these suburban kid-haulers are advertised as some sort of cure for impotence or something. Look, you're probably not impotent if you have kids, so what do you need an SUV for your machismo? I half expect to see Bob Dole endorsing them soon.

My favorite ad regarding this type of insipidness is the Hummer ad showing a group of parents and kids around a campfire toasting marshmallows & weinies under a full moon. The camera then pulls back to show a circle of Hummers parked around the fire in a sort of SUV nirvana where membership privileges for weinie roasting are only granted to worthy disciples who arrive in the proper 4-wheeled temple.
Tom Pedale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 07:26 PM   #13
Dchiefransom
Senior Member
 
Dchiefransom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes:
Posts: 6,205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Ah yes, let's jump on the politcally correct hate the SUV bandwagon.
According to an article last year in my paper, the Insurance Institute still lists the most dangerous vehicle in single vehicle accidents as the sub-compact cars. You know, those ones that get excellent gas mileage. All the insurance agents interviewed for the article wanted to buy their children very old giant sedans for driving around.
I've noticed that people always quote the government research, and very rarely use the insurance industry's stats. I beleive the goverment test comes out the way the goverment wants it to. Could it be that they wouldn't be able to make the same point with different results?
I saw an accident where a small Honda rear ended a Chevy Suburban with a trailer hitch. No damage to the Suburban, but the Honda looked like it was totalled. Maybe the Honda driver should have learned to drive better.
Dchiefransom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 07:38 PM   #14
Tom Pedale
Senior Member
 
Tom Pedale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Issaquah, WA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Tarmac Expert, 1990 Specialized Allez Epic, Specialized RockCombo (winter), 70's Motobecane Team Champion,
Posts: 537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
Ah yes, let's jump on the politcally correct hate the SUV bandwagon.
According to an article last year in my paper, the Insurance Institute still lists the most dangerous vehicle in single vehicle accidents as the sub-compact cars. You know, those ones that get excellent gas mileage. All the insurance agents interviewed for the article wanted to buy their children very old giant sedans for driving around.
I've noticed that people always quote the government research, and very rarely use the insurance industry's stats. I beleive the goverment test comes out the way the goverment wants it to. Could it be that they wouldn't be able to make the same point with different results?
I saw an accident where a small Honda rear ended a Chevy Suburban with a trailer hitch. No damage to the Suburban, but the Honda looked like it was totalled. Maybe the Honda driver should have learned to drive better.
You are absolutely right in saying that a driver and/or passenger in a sub-compact is more likely to be injured than a driver/passenger in a larger vehicle. And it is also true that some drivers of sub-compact cars could improve their driving skills. But in any group of drivers, regardless of the size of car they drive you will find folks who could use a refresher course in driving skills.

As for the politically correct SUV bandwagon, I was on that wagon long before it was politically correct. Come to think about it, I builtthat wagon, made the wheels, painted it, put a nice top on it to keep people out of the sun, found a local grunge band to provide loud, raucous music, distributed flyers, got the permits......
Tom Pedale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 07:39 PM   #15
samundsen
Alien lifeform
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Houston, TX
Bikes: 2002 Specialized Expedition Elite, 2005 Jamis Aurora
Posts: 263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'll probably be flamed to death for this, but I personally cheer when oil and gas prices increase. The higher the better. I want it to hurt every time these SUV driving soccer moms fill up their huge, gas-guzzling monsters at the pump.

Sverre
samundsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 07:44 PM   #16
slvoid
2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM
 
slvoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: NYC
Bikes: 04' Specialized Hardrock Sport, 03' Giant OCR2 (SOLD!), 04' Litespeed Firenze, 04' Giant OCR Touring, 07' Specialized Langster Comp
Posts: 15,762
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Not gonna happen when the majority of the population can't fit into anything but SUV's...
slvoid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 09:07 PM   #17
Chris L
Every lane is a bike lane
 
Chris L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
Bikes:
Posts: 9,626
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by samundsen
I'll probably be flamed to death for this, but I personally cheer when oil and gas prices increase. The higher the better. I want it to hurt every time these SUV driving soccer moms fill up their huge, gas-guzzling monsters at the pump.
I've been cheering it for the last four years I've been on this forum. However, I don't realistically think it will make a lot of difference. People will moan and whinge about high fuel prices for eternity, but they'll never do anything to actually reduce their fuel consumption. I think the most likely outcome of higher fuel prices is people selling their own children into slavery to pay for them.
__________________
"I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
"We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
My blog.
My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.
Chris L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 09:42 PM   #18
TandemGeek
hors category
 
TandemGeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 7,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by samundsen
I'll probably be flamed to death for this, but I personally cheer when oil and gas prices increase. The higher the better. I want it to hurt every time these SUV driving soccer moms fill up their huge, gas-guzzling monsters at the pump.
Assuming two soccer moms are driving their kids around to the tune of 15,000 miles a year and the only difference is that:

Soccer Mom #1 drives a Suburban w/annual fuel cost of $1551
Soccer Mom #2 drives a Honda Odessey w/annual fuel cost of $1107

Do you really think that the extra $454 per year in gasoline costs is keeping them awake at night, even if it goes up by 50% ($225)? People with vices like smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or eating junk food piss away a heck of a lot more $$ a year than that. And, if the SUV owner or their spouse invest in the stock market (and who doesn't these days via 401K plans, Mutual Funds, or outright stock ownership), you get numb to smaller numbers as you watch $10k - $100k swings in your net worth on a daily basis when the market is as unpredictable as it has been for the past 4 years. Therefore, so long as the smaller numbers don't blow through the domestic budget (which can also be pretty big for a family these days), it's just a blip on the radar screen. Moreover, if you're smart you can pretty much break even or perhaps even come out ahead by investing in Valero or other energy stocks and then those fuel price hikes might even bring a smile to your face.... it's a sick world, but that's the way it sometimes works.

And, speaking of energy consumption what's worse? A soccer mom who uses her SUV to haul the kids around town to the tune of 10,000 miles a year OR the the little economy car driver who is so darn happy that they get such great fuel mileage that they drive 25,000+ miles a year because it's so cheap to operate? Or worse yet, how about all those folks driving around in 6 cyclinder mini-vans, mini-pick up trucks, and full-size pick-up trucks that don't actually "need" vans or pick-ups that get marginally better fuel mileage than an SUV (but without any headlines to that effect)? Where's the out cry about how much fuel is being consumed by those particular vehicles or high-mileage drivers?

SUV bashing is easy, but it's not going to solve any problems. And, yes, as a matter of fact I do own and drive a big old honkin' 4WD Suburban Z71. Of course, the only time my Suburban is out of the garage is when it's below 25 degrees or raining at 6am when I leave for work, on the weekends when we use it to haul our 8' long road or off-road tandems, or for hauling stuff that I can't haul on my primary means of transporation. Nope, as much as I wish it was a bicycle, during the week and for most errands I ride a motorcycle that gets nearly 40 mpg. So, on average, I probably consume about the same amount of fuel each year that most folks do who drive what they consider fuel efficient vehicles, if only when compared to an SUV. Of course, that doesn't spare me scorn from some when they see me driving my SUV. Funny thing though... I've never had anyone who drove a two-wheel drive into an off-road trail head or some other naturally occuring adverse obstacle and who got stuck complain about my 4WD vehicles when I hauled their butts out of a soggy field, a snow-bank, or off a sandy beach.

Bottom Line: It's not all cut and dry... and banning SUVs isn't the solution either. In fact, if you really want to slow fuel consumption stop urban sprawl. After all, when everyone lived close-in to the cities families didn't even need two cars or have to drive so friggin' far to get anywhere.

Just a different perspective to consider in this all-too-tired debate....
TandemGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 11:02 PM   #19
Paul L.
Senior Member
 
Paul L.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Arizona, USA
Bikes: Mercier Corvus (commuter), Fila Taos (MTB), Trek 660(Got frame for free and put my LeMans Centurian components on it)
Posts: 2,601
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stor Mand
I always hear whining and moaning (not trolling but take it as you may) about SUVs and pickups in this forum but what about vans? There must be the same complaint about them.
I've seen Hummer clubs and they take them on some pretty sick terrain.
My minivan gets between 22 and 29 mpg and seats 8. I would like to see an SUV that can match that. Part of the reason is the 1950s technology used in the frame of the SUV which is based on a truck chassis that has changed very little over the years and is still a very heavy alternative for a vehicle that spends all it's time on the road (I am not talking about real SUV users here, merely the people who drive 2wd SUVs strictly on the pavement. Most SUV owners I know will not take their vehicles off of roads that are easily traversed by just about any car). One alarming trend is the total lack of actually useful SUVs coming to the market. It is getting harder for a person who actually wants a good machine to find one these days.
__________________
Sunrise saturday,
I was biking the backroads,
lost in the moment.
Paul L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-04, 11:34 PM   #20
Tom Pedale
Senior Member
 
Tom Pedale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Issaquah, WA
Bikes: 2006 Specialized Tarmac Expert, 1990 Specialized Allez Epic, Specialized RockCombo (winter), 70's Motobecane Team Champion,
Posts: 537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Not gonna happen when the majority of the population can't fit into anything but SUV's...

There is truth to this...when they built the new NFL stadium in Seattle, they installed seats that were much wider than those in the Kingdome to accomodate the new millenium derriere prevalent among the football faithful...
Tom Pedale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-04, 01:59 AM   #21
Trab
Senior Member
 
Trab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: In a van down by the river
Bikes:
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I visited the Grand Canyon for the first time last summer. I went to the north rim which has smaller crowds than the south rim, but there were still a lot of people there, and the SUVs were abundant. On my map, I found a 4x4 road that led to another spot on the rim. My Honda Civic sure couldn't get me out there, so I rode my mountain bike. Once I left the pavement, the SUVs just disappeared. In fact, everyone disappeared. It took me about 2.5 hours to ride one way, and I never saw another soul on the road. When I finally reached the overlook at the rim there were 2 SUVs there, and about 5 or 6 people. I just laughed at the notion that only 2 SUV owners took advantage of their vehicle's off-road capability to enjoy the solitude and the spectacular view from this spot (arguably the best overlook of the canyon, according to the literature). Across the canyon, there were probably hundreds of SUV owners crowded together looking at the view, while their SUVs sat in paved parking lots. Poseurs one and all.

Last edited by Trab; 08-10-04 at 02:04 AM.
Trab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-04, 02:38 AM   #22
khuon
DEADBEEF
 
khuon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Catching his breath alongside a road near Seattle, WA USA
Bikes: 1999 K2 OzM, 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
Posts: 12,242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trab
I just laughed at the notion that only 2 SUV owners took advantage of their vehicle's off-road capability to enjoy the solitude and the spectacular view from this spot (arguably the best overlook of the canyon, according to the literature). Across the canyon, there were probably hundreds of SUV owners crowded together looking at the view, while their SUVs sat in paved parking lots. Poseurs one and all.
It's amazing what people will spend money on but never use even when the opportunity presents itself. I really enjoy many of the places my 4x4 can take me. A 4WD vehicle is more expensive mainly because of the hype but a lot of it has to do with the extra mechanical complexity too. It's sad to see so many people not utilise what's available to them and what they've so eagerly paid for.

Slickrock Trail in Northern California...



__________________
1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
"Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122
khuon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-04, 05:36 AM   #23
Stor Mand
Senior Member
 
Stor Mand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Bikes:
Posts: 701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L.
My minivan gets between 22 and 29 mpg and seats 8. I would like to see an SUV that can match that. Part of the reason ... snipping ...
I should have been more specific. I was referencing the full-size vans (like those seen a lot in the 70's - some of you remember) that seem to be getting popular again.

Increasing fuel cost is not the answer to the problem. It will hit ALL goods and services with higher prices, from food and heating expenses to vacuum cleaners, which in the end will only affect the little guy (low and middle income).
Stor Mand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-04, 07:22 AM   #24
DanFromDetroit
Bike Happy
 
DanFromDetroit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Detroit, MI USA
Bikes:
Posts: 695
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Since getting rid of my car over a year ago, the distinction between SUVs and ordinary automobiles is getting a bit blurred for me. While it is fun to needle SUV owners, and all cliches begin with a grain of truth, the fact is that waste is waste and cars are more similar than they are different.

Bad drivers seem to be evenly spread across the spectrum of folks in cars. As a practical matter, does it really make a difference if you are run down by a soccer mom in an SUV, a teenager in a riced-out compact, or Bubba in a pickup (I really enjoy these stereotypes, sort of like cartoons, really)

A wasteful trip in a Prius is just as much a waste as one done in an Excursion.

Dan
DanFromDetroit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-04, 07:23 AM   #25
jfmckenna
Tiocfáidh ár Lá
 
jfmckenna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The edge of b#
Bikes: A whole bunch-a bikes.
Posts: 5,440
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Tom I like your style LOL

Agreed 100% it is the way it is around here on the right coast as well. What-a-ya gonna do? Obviously higher fuel costs are not going to work. As to the original question I don't think they will go out of style until perhaps there is no more gas to put in them.

Advertisements oh god they make my stomach wretch. My 'favorite' one is when a Jeep Cherokee tromps it's way to the foot of a beautiful waterfall and it's dead silent. He opens the window and you can hear the falls, wow what a great vehicle it shuts out nature until you want it. I guess the hikers that actually enjoyed the journey to the falls were mangled and crushed in the tire ruts behind the truck.

Having said that and in full agreement as to what Tom and others have said I have friends w/ SUV who actually use them like for example when we take extensive caving trips down in Mexico. I think the SUV bashing is directed only to those people who were duped into believing they need a behemoth 'Canyonaro' vehicle by clever high priced advertising for the safety of themselves and there families as well as to the corporate fat cats that love these very people.
jfmckenna is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:12 AM.