I suspect that often people are deceived by what they feel are time saving "gains" made by driving, over other forms of transit. I know that on local streets the stop and go of traffic quite dramatically lowers the actual average speed... and then there is the inevitable "hunt" for parking.
Perhaps there is time saving when all the days trips are well planned... but how often is that done?
According to a recent article in one of our local newspapers, our locale has some of the fastest commute times in the state, our mass transit is mediocre at best, and the only challenge to parking is to find a spot closest to the entrance of the place that one is going to.
I've calculated travel times to certain key destinations in our locale, generally the trips by car are measured in minutes and mass transit in hours. Locally, we haven't reached the tipping point where other forms of transportation are considered viable unless one cannot afford a motor vehicle in the first place.
I wouldn't consider Oahu's weather as hot and humid. It isn't like early summer in Alaska, but it's not like summer in Florida or Missouri, either.
The trip in question is not a daily commute. Still, it's a short enough distance that most bicycle commuters should be able to easily pedal it daily without any special precautions. I've known (middle-aged) people who regularly commuted such a distance in jeans. Around here, among bicycle commuters, Lycra is the rare exception.
I love that this thread has degenerated into arguments about wearing Lycra and who can ride up a 10-12% grade with 30lbs. on their back. Pretty much confirms for me everything the guy in the video said about bike riding in America.
HAPPY FOURTH! http://youtu.be/2yrT0DpvfVI
The biggest difference between the two countries that I see is that most people in the Netherlands ride a bike fairly regularly and don't consider bike riding an extreme sport that requires special equipment. To them, a bike is just a practical tool of transport.
If American motorists had the same perception of driving that many American cyclists have of riding a bike, everyone would find it necessary to have cars with full roll cages and wear full face helmets and fireproof Nomex suits just to get to the grocery store. Instead, most people select more practical cars and operate them in normal clothes, understanding that there is a HUGE difference between driving for sport and driving for transportation.
The Dutch understand that the same difference applies to bikes. Some Americans get that, too.
As for roll cages, helmets and fire suits, have you ever dissected one of today's US motor vehicles? There are a number of cars being sold around the world that cannot be sold in America since they cannot meet current US crash standards.
I've watched several Dutch cycling videos, and I've observed how differently Dutch motorists react to vulnerable road users than US motorists do. Riding at a lollygagging pace is seldom tolerated on US roadways.
As long as US motorist have a greater chance of not facing harsh consequences/penalties in their poor or aggressive driving habits, and motor vehicle transportation given higher attention, the cycling modal share in the US will remain low.Quote:
They expect to see people on bikes, since bikes have a large modal share and most Dutch motorists also ride bikes frequently. If we increase the modal share of bikes in the US, we would expect to see similar increases in motorists' awareness of the presence of bikes.
Change to motorist behavior will come with increased bicycle modal share.
It's not about energy; it's about effort. The minor deviation in average speed is negligible compared to the physiological effects of dealing with hills.
All that is to say: if your goal is to get more people cycling, a physics lecture that contradicts their observations isn't going to do it. Explaining to them how they can deal with hills in 90 degree heat is much more useful.
It's interesting to me how defensive and intolerant so many posters are to any suggestion that someone from another country might have some useful observations. As if cycling in the US was the best of all possible worlds.