Commuting - Do you ride or drive your bike?
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10-20-05, 10:36 AM
I was just thinking about how I refer to what I do on my bike...sometimes, when I talk about it, I refer to it as driving (not actively saying this, it just comes out in conversation), rather than riding. I am driving the bike, as I would drive a car or a team of horses, not riding, as in riding the bus or the train. ;)
10-20-05, 10:42 AM
I would -ride- a single horse astride a saddle.
10-20-05, 11:34 AM
You drive a car, if you're the driver. You ride in a car if you're not. You can ride the bus, or you can take the bus. 'Take' doesn't make much literal sense, because it's not like you pick the bus up and put it in your pocket.
You can take your bike to work (I happen to say this a lot), and I actually do take the bike up the stairs and place it in my office. But when I say, "I took my bike to work this morning," I mean that I rode it to work. I don't mean that I brought it with me.
You ride a bike, even though it's more active than riding in a car. Unless you're a very lucky member of a tandem team, you are the engine. And as the OP said, you ride a horse, but you drive a team of horses. You ride a motorcycle, but drive the minivan. You ride or take the train. Very few of us ever get to drive the train.
You sail a boat. You can steer a boat, too, but that's not quite the same thing. You can steer a car, and that's not the same as driving a car. No one says, "I'm going to steer the car downtown." You can even steer a horse, which again is not the same as riding a horse. Can you drive a boat? Yes, I suppose you can.
So why do we ride our bikes, but drive our cars? Is it a lingustic convenience/cliche, or is there something more to it? Hm...
10-20-05, 12:01 PM
I 'fly' my bike...
10-20-05, 12:13 PM
One can also 'take' the car, although I am not sure one can 'fly' the car (maybe someday, as my dad just told me about some new vehicle invention that has vertical take-off, although he may have been pulling my leg).
10-20-05, 12:33 PM
I thought this was going to be another lame VC vs. anti-VC thread. :D
10-20-05, 12:37 PM
I think the term, "driving," as in, "I drive my car," comes from the horse-and-buggy days. "Car" comes from "carriage," and "driving" might come from "driving a team of horses," or "driving cattle."
But since horses are gone now, I don't think we "drive" our cars anymore, we ride in them. In that respect, "drive" better describes what I do on my bicycle, since I am the power behind it.
All this is only a guess, however. :)
10-20-05, 01:06 PM
Motorcycles are ridden. Bikes are ridden. I guess if you're on it you ride, if you're in it you drive.
There are some exceptions, you don't ride a tractor (I'm talking about the old fashioned open air tractors, not today's enclosed cab, AC, super stereo), but you ride a lawn tractor.
10-20-05, 01:19 PM
If it fits between your legs, you're riding it. ;)
I say ride but i dont think that is the best verb. however, i am not sure what is.
the Online Etymology Dictionary says this about drive, "Original sense of "pushing from behind," altered in Mod.Eng. by application to automobiles." I think it makes sense that this was derived from the horse and buggy use that was referred to by a previous poster. I would guess ride derives from the use of ride a horse. you straddle a horse like you do a bike and you put your butt on a saddle...
I dont like the word ride for a bicycle because to me there is an implication of passivity. For example to go along for the ride, or to ride a wave, or ride in a car.
there is a brief rant about the drive/ride thing here:
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