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Old 07-04-13, 08:04 AM   #126
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As if people only commute... Wonder how they get groceries, see friends, run errands... you know all those things that folks in the US jump in the car for.

Stats for America list 40% of all errands at only about 2 miles and commutes at around 14 miles... yet we "need" a car for those?
Life in the US moves at a faster pace, and time is money to some. My next door neighbors are in that realm, especially in watching them drive 3 blocks to the gym in their Truckzilla pickup.
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Old 07-04-13, 08:15 AM   #127
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Life in the US moves at a faster pace, and time is money to some. My next door neighbors are in that realm, especially in watching them drive 3 blocks to the gym in their Truckzilla pickup.
I wonder how much "precious time" driving that 3 blocks saves them... especially considering that the walk/ride/run could be part of their workout.

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?
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Old 07-04-13, 08:50 AM   #128
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I wonder how much "precious time" driving that 3 blocks saves them... especially considering that the walk/ride/run could be part of their workout.

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.
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Old 07-04-13, 09:03 AM   #129
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Well, I have a clearer picture of what you must be calling >12% grade hills. Sorry, but the parking structure ramps of 10 yards length at 13% is not what I would call a hill.
That's pretty funny coming from someone who has to wear tights to ride 16 miles with a long midway break.
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Old 07-04-13, 09:04 AM   #130
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Please do show your proof of the Higgs Boson Field and it's relation to gravitational forces.

Do you also still believe that gravity is a pulling force rather than a pushing force?
Now you just look foolish. Do you even understand what is meant by gravity being a conservative force?
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Old 07-04-13, 09:10 AM   #131
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Think about the "if" in this statement:

"This has an important implication: It means that if the athlete had enough power to climb the hill at the same speed as descending it, then, a hilly time trial would have consumed exactly the same energy as a flat one of the same length and finishing time."
The if isn't the important part of that statement. What is important is understanding that is the deviation from average speed, not climbing, that requires more energy. There are a number of ways that can be accomplished, of which climbing is but one.
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Old 07-04-13, 09:16 AM   #132
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That's pretty funny coming from someone who has to wear tights to ride 16 miles with a long midway break.
Riding a fair distance with street clothes in hot humid weather on a near daily basis can literally be a pain in the ass.
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Old 07-04-13, 09:22 AM   #133
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Riding a fair distance with street clothes in hot humid weather on a near daily basis can literally be a pain in the ass.
Right, but sixteen miles is a short distance, and Oahu has some damn fine weather.

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Old 07-04-13, 09:29 AM   #134
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Right, but sixteen miles isn't a fair distance, and Oahu has some damn fine weather.
Take it from me, one can develop some considerable saddle sores in a shorter distance, when commuting on a near daily basis. Now add hot humid weather, and mounting and dismounting a bike with street clothes, when not using a step through design, can be a challenge at times.
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Old 07-04-13, 09:43 AM   #135
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Take it from me, one can develop some considerable saddle sores in a shorter distance, when commuting on a near daily basis. Now add hot humid weather, and mounting and dismounting a bike with street clothes, when not using a step through design, can be a challenge at times.
I'm sure the propensity to get saddle sores varies from person to person. I have a hard time believing that street clothes make mounting a dismounting a bike difficult.

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.
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Old 07-04-13, 10:03 AM   #136
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I'm sure the propensity to get saddle sores varies from person to person. I have a hard time believing that street clothes make mounting a dismounting a bike difficult.
16 miles as more to do with the frequency rather than the distance by itself, 5 days a week, 48 to 50 weeks a year, and at a non leisure pace will most definitely be a PITA if the proper precautions are not taken. Full length sticky/wet street clothes do make for a challenge in mounting and dismounting a non step through design bike.
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Old 07-04-13, 10:23 AM   #137
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16 miles as more to do with the frequency rather than the distance by itself, 5 days a week, 48 to 50 weeks a year, and at a non leisure pace will most definitely be a PITA if the proper precautions are not taken.


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.

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Full length sticky/wet street clothes do make for a challenge in mounting and dismounting a non step through design bike.
I just don't see it. I've lived a lot of places with hot, sticky weather, and I've never had, nor heard of anyone else having IRL, the least bit of difficulty mounting my non-step through bicycle in ordinary clothes.
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Old 07-04-13, 10:30 AM   #138
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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!

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Old 07-04-13, 10:57 AM   #139
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Pretty much confirms for me everything the guy in the video said about bike riding in America.
Flat commutes, average trip being less than 4 miles before taking far better alternate transportation, having better dedicated cycling infrastructure and being able to ride in a situation where the responsibility of a collision defaults to the larger, heavier vehicle, I wouldn't take the guy in the video's opinion for any value when comparing cycling in the two countries of today.
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Old 07-04-13, 11:07 AM   #140
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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 just don't see it. I've lived a lot of places with hot, sticky weather, and I've never had, nor heard of anyone else having IRL, the least bit of difficulty mounting my non-step through bicycle in ordinary clothes.
I had to resort to wearing sports undergarments under my street clothes, change to a slick leather saddle to lessen my saddle sore issues, and I've personally experienced the very issues of mounting and dismounting non step through bicycles in sticky/wet street clothes, jeans especially.
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Old 07-04-13, 11:12 AM   #141
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Flat commutes, average trip being less than 4 miles before taking far better alternate transportation, having better dedicated cycling infrastructure and being able to ride in a situation where the responsibility of a collision defaults to the larger, heavier vehicle, I wouldn't take the guy in the video's opinion for any value when comparing cycling in the two countries of today.
And yet you just made comparisons in the above quoted post. My impression is he was doing just the same. I have no problem with his comparisons just as I have no problem with yours. I'm assuming you've ridden in the Netherlands- what didn't you like about it? And did you think there was anything we might learn from it despite the obvious differences in diversity of terrain in the US. I felt their system of bike infrastructure was well adapted to their environment. In comparison it feels like most areas in the US have made barely an attempt at integrating bikes into our transportation landscape with little or no adaptation to specific environs in the US.
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Old 07-04-13, 11:16 AM   #142
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Flat commutes, average trip being less than 4 miles before taking far better alternate transportation, having better dedicated cycling infrastructure and being able to ride in a situation where the responsibility of a collision defaults to the larger, heavier vehicle, I wouldn't take the guy in the video's opinion for any value when comparing cycling in the two countries of today.
The Netherlands do have hilly areas with high bicycle modal share. In the flatter areas, they have strong winds. In the USA, our average trip lengths are quite short, too.

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.
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Old 07-04-13, 11:35 AM   #143
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The Netherlands do have hilly areas with high bicycle modal share. In the flatter areas, they have strong winds. In the USA, our average trip lengths are quite short, too.

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.
With the highest elevation in the Netherlands at just over 1000 ft, the definition of "hilly" probably doesn't translate very well in many parts of America, and the Netherlands do not have a monopoly on strong winds either.

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.

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Old 07-04-13, 11:35 AM   #144
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I had to resort to wearing sports undergarments under my street clothes, change to a slick leather saddle to lessen my saddle sore issues, and I've personally experienced the very issues of mounting and dismounting non step through bicycles in sticky/wet street clothes, jeans especially.
Finding a comfortable saddle is important, much like finding good shoes for people who spend lots of time on their feet.

To say that I'm incredulous of claims that street clothes make mounting a bike difficult would be an understatement.
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Old 07-04-13, 11:46 AM   #145
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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.
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.
What does that have to do with people recognizing that there is a difference between auto racing and driving a car as a means of transport?

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I've watched several Dutch cycling videos, and I've observed how differently Dutch motorists react to vulnerable road users than US motorists do.
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.
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Old 07-04-13, 12:06 PM   #146
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What does that have to do with people recognizing that there is a difference between auto racing and driving a car as a means of transport?
It has more to do with how motorist use their motorized form of transport between the two countries, and the consequences of their actions if they are inattentive, negligent, or aggressive in their actions when behind the wheel.

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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.
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.
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Old 07-04-13, 12:26 PM   #147
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It has more to do with how motorist use their motorized form of transport between the two countries, and the consequences of their actions if they are inattentive, negligent, or aggressive in their actions when behind the wheel.
In other words, it's a red herring, irrelevant to the topic.

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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.
As long as Americans perceive riding a bike to be more dangerous than it actually is, i.e., as long as cycling's perceived risk is greater than its objective risk, modal share of the bicycle will remain low. As long as modal share of non-motor vehicles remains low, motorists will receive greater latitude by the police and the courts.

Change to motorist behavior will come with increased bicycle modal share.
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Old 07-04-13, 01:37 PM   #148
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The if isn't the important part of that statement. What is important is understanding that is the deviation from average speed, not climbing, that requires more energy. There are a number of ways that can be accomplished, of which climbing is but one.
The "if" is what makes the statement ludicrous, because it's a labratory analysis of a real world problem (I teach fluid mechanics; I know how to ignore reality). It is so detached from practical riding that it makes the statement -- which is theoretically true -- worthless for discussing if riding hills are harder.

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.
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Old 07-04-13, 01:41 PM   #149
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The minor deviation in average speed is negligible compared to the physiological effects of dealing with hills.
Absolutely incorrect, as the science demonstrates. The deviation from average speed is all that matters. It doesn't matter whether that deviation was caused by climbing a hill, doing interval training, riding on varied surfaces, or riding into a strong headwind.
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Old 07-04-13, 02:18 PM   #150
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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.
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