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  1. #1
    Senior Member undisputed83's Avatar
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    As a cyclist... Do you mind seeing higher gas prices?

    I honestly don't. I don't own a car, and ultimately at the end of the day, I think higher gas prices is good for cycling.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    I've been extremly car-light for almost 4 years now, I don't drive a lot. I never drive to work I always cycle...but higher gas prices bother me alot. The reason it bothers me is because I have family members and relatives that drive and I hate to see them spend so much extra money on gas. You need to understand that a lot of people have no choice and they have to drive. Driving is not "evil"... it's the greedy, selfish oil companies that are screwing around with people and raising prices. Higher gas prices are not better for cycling, higher gas prices will not make millions of people give up their cars...hell, most people would take out a second mortage to finance their driving habbits, then give up their cars.

  3. #3
    Stealing Spokes since 82' Fizzaly's Avatar
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    I personally dont mind, as i also dont own a car.

  4. #4
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Various members of my family rely on utility trucks an vans for their work, including my dad, and I don't want to see them hurt :/
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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I don't mind seeing higher gas prices, and I own a car. I choose not to use it very often, though; it's really a luxury being able to drive somewhere. I can get to work by bike, but I can't get to a hiking trail 50 miles away in the mountains and then hike it, on my bike. People pay a lot of money for movie tickets or to go skiing or the like, and I don't think I'm entitled to drive for next to nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    You need to understand that a lot of people have no choice and they have to drive.
    Considering that up until about a century ago, no human had ever driven a car ... I don't buy this.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    Driving is not "evil"... it's the greedy, selfish oil companies that are screwing around with people and raising prices.
    I don't know about this, either. We all accept that bikes and houses and cars sell for what the market will bear, but people expect that gas should sell for whatever they want to pay for it. People are addicted to gasoline; they feel like they need it. I'm sure people with drug addictions think the price of their drug should be next to nothing, and I'm sure they think they can't live without it, too. But the price of milk and eggs are going up, too, and nobody ever says "it's the greedy, selfish farmers who are evil." At the end of the day, gasoline is a business, not a charity.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  6. #6
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    I do not, for a lot of reasons:

    I think a lot of people who "have no choice" to use a car will find many more choices in using bikes for short errands, commuting etc. I understand that there are times when there is absolutely no option (taking a child to a doctors a hundred miles away in 20 below weather), but my observation, especially in nice weather area like San jose, that as much as 50 percent of driving could be replaced with cycling. I see tons of people drive a mile or two to do errands that could be done biking or even walking

    iMHO The bottom line is that until there is a financial incentive that is easily visible and painful, ie 5 dollar or more gas, people are not going to change their behavior.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member undisputed83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post


    iMHO The bottom line is that until there is a financial incentive that is easily visible and painful, ie 5 dollar or more gas, people are not going to change their behavior.
    It's gonna happen.
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  8. #8
    One Man Fast Brick hubcap's Avatar
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    Gasoline is a very heavily subsidised consumer product that I am sick and tired of subsidising for others. It should cost a lot more than it does and I would not complain one bit.

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    Don't mind it so much. It usually means less cars on the road. I drive more than I bike, but I have the option of owning a fuel efficient vehicle. If the gas prices get too high, I live next to a bus station, and am no further than 11km from work. My wife's work is even closer.

  10. #10
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Since worldwide demand for oil keeps going up and supplies are dwindling, price increases are inevitable. Better for all (even the car free) if this increase could stay gradual as we adjust to life with less oil. Unfortunately, I fear we will not be prepared for the coming peak, prices at some point will skyrocket and our oil based economies will collapse, hurting all.
    Last edited by AlmostTrick; 10-08-10 at 11:18 AM.
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    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    In the short term gas should be high to deter driving and delay the onset of shortages and out of control price increases. However, it is dangerously foolish to assume that gas prices only effect the cost of driving. Serious gas price increases due to diminishing supplies are inevitable and will cause the prices of everything (such as food) to escalate out of control. This will seriously threaten our national security and eventually, permanently alter our way of life. Its very scary stuff that will happen in our lifetimes or our children's.

  12. #12
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    i don't own a car, so i don't really care on a personal level. but i do some times worry about a a huge price spike on a global level crippling economies around the world (what AlmostTick was talking about).

    i like that higher prices might cause a revolution to make people think more critically about how and how often they use their cars, but as AlmostTrick said, it's gotta be gradual so that everything doesn't come crashing down.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Brian Sharpe's Avatar
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    I drive & cycle so higher gas prices motivate me to ride even on days that are not picture perfect.

    Having said that, higher fuel prices affect us all - it costs farmers more to produce the food, transportation costs go up; there's more than just what we do as individuals at the pump. What's worse is that there's no reason for us to be paying "world" energy costs in North America (especially here in Canada where we are next exporters of oil), we're just getting ripped off by big oil companies that use "world" pricing to justify gouging.
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  14. #14
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I have a car and drive it to work, more than I ride (didn't used to be the case before my commute increased, but whatever). Still, no... higher gas prices don't bother me that much. I know it affects some business owners and things get more expensive, but geez, Europe pays twice what the U.S. does for gas and they do okay. I think the Rock & Roll Lifestyle of the U.S. is not sustainable. Sooner or later the nation will figure that out.
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  15. #15
    Surf Bum
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    Saying you're happy when gas prices go up is pretty much like saying you're happy that some people won't be able to afford to heat their homes this winter.

    Higher gas prices mean higher profits for oil companies and a further escalation of the redistribution of wealth away from poor and middle class to the elites. Not something to cheer.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
    i don't own a car, so i don't really care on a personal level. but i do some times worry about a a huge price spike on a global level crippling economies around the world (what AlmostTick was talking about).

    i like that higher prices might cause a revolution to make people think more critically about how and how often they use their cars, but as AlmostTrick said, it's gotta be gradual so that everything doesn't come crashing down.
    We are at the peak or very near it....the governments of the world are doing basically nothing to prepare for it. Washington it too busy worrying about jobs and gay teachers, and clearly isn't thinking about the big picture. I blame it on ignorant and underinformed voters.
    Diminishing fuel supplies will be gradual but the effect on the global economies will not be. Catastrophic economic collapses, resource wars, and mass starvation in many third world countries, are likely to occur before this century is half over, possibly in the next decade. I hope it doesn't turn out this way, but based on every bit of information I have, it is probable. Rising gas prices are something we should all fear.

  17. #17
    One Man Fast Brick hubcap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
    In the short term gas should be high to deter driving and delay the onset of shortages and out of control price increases. However, it is dangerously foolish to assume that gas prices only effect the cost of driving. Serious gas price increases due to diminishing supplies are inevitable and will cause the prices of everything (such as food) to escalate out of control. This will seriously threaten our national security and eventually, permanently alter our way of life. Its very scary stuff that will happen in our lifetimes or our children's.
    There will be a power down. Hopefully it is slow. Big fuel price increases now will only make the slide easier though. Who wants a precipitous fall post-peak?

  18. #18
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
    In the short term gas should be high to deter driving and delay the onset of shortages and out of control price increases.
    I agree. The problem is we are doing everything we can to keep prices as low as possible for as long as possible, almost guaranteeing an eventual big crash.
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  19. #19
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I do own a car. I think higher gas prices will help cycling, but it will take much higher prices than we've seen so far. The $4/gal a few years ago wasn't enough ($5 for those CA folks). If we start seeing $10 or $20 per gallon, then we'll see real change. Will I mind? Maybe. I think it will have a dramatic effect on the economy. If I lose my job, then yes, I'd mind.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubcap View Post
    There will be a power down. Hopefully it is slow. Big fuel price increases now will only make the slide easier though. Who wants a precipitous fall post-peak?
    Agreed, but the vast majority of people don't see it that way when it comes to their own pocketbooks. Most people will choose cheap fuel over sustainability every time. Nobody wants a precipitous fall, but thats probably how its going to go down. In the big picture, it will be gradual, but taking a closer look at it, it will be a serious of catastrophic falls with minor recoveries, with the size of the recovery diminishing with each cycle.

  21. #21
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Interesting to get the Canadian perspective...

    To be honest, I'm mostly oblivious to gas prices. I do drive, just not very much and don't have to fill that often. I really only notice it when we're on a long road trip someplace.

    The economy is kind of scary right now and a significant spike in gas prices could slow the economy down further, which has all sorts of bad ramifications. However I would like gas prices to remain high enough for there to be an incentive to develop/promote alternatives.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
    Serious gas price increases due to diminishing supplies are inevitable and will cause the prices of everything (such as food) to escalate out of control. This will seriously threaten our national security and eventually, permanently alter our way of life. Its very scary stuff that will happen in our lifetimes or our children's.
    Well ... how painful the transition will be depends on how soon we begin transitioning. If we come up with a workable alternative before we need to, it isn't going to be anything like the collapse of the Anasazi. It's only a problem if we don't...
    Don't believe everything you think.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
    Catastrophic economic collapses, resource wars, and mass starvation in many third world countries, are likely to occur before this century is half over, possibly in the next decade.
    According to some ( Jared Diamond being one of them - the guy who won a Pulitzer for Guns, Germs, and Steel ) what happened in the mid 1990s in Rowanda was a resource war ... and had nothing to do with gasoline. The resource being fought over was available land for farming; many towns that had only one ethnic group saw very high rates of murder. Clean drinking water is going to be a source of more warfare than gasoline, I suspect.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  24. #24
    Collector of Useless Info
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    I think there should be about a $10 a gallon tax on gasoline (and diesel), rescinded for farm use. (Sure, there will be farmers driving on untaxed gas, but WTH- get rid of corn subsidies and it will equalize). The revenue should be used for effective mass transit and pedestrian/cycling infrastructure. It could be phased in over 10 years or so, but the roads will unclog, the air will be cleaner, "cap and trade" would be obviated and people will be healthier and happier.

    Kinda like Europe

  25. #25
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    What worries me about high gas prices is that so much of that money is flowing out of the U.S. and contributing to our already massive trade deficit. Every time we fill up our tanks we're helping to destroy American wealth relative to the rest of the world. But there really isn't a fix for that as long as we remain so dependent on it: we're basically at the mercy of world oil prices. In order to reduce this problem long term, we need to start trying to reduce our dependence on oil in the long term. A very effective way of doing that would be to put a large tax on gasoline so that people completely lose the "hope" that gasoline will eventually drop back down to ultracheap levels. That would be different from just waiting for the price to rise naturally, since the money would stay here in America and could be used to prepare for the day when we really can't afford to be dependent on oil anymore. Unfortunately this seems like a massively unpopular idea in America, because people don't want to hear the truth about what needs to be done.

    Another alternative is to put a lot of money into alternative means of performing a lot of the functions that cars now perform. That means non-gasoline car engines, trains, mass transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, etc. This is what many other places in the world are currently doing, moving ahead of America in yet another area. And even this is rather unpopular in the U.S., for no real reason I can see other than pure resistance to changes in lifestyle for its own sake. Basically, Americans have become so coddled and spoiled that they throw a temper tantrum at being asked to do anything different at all. And then they vote for the guy who promises that nothing will have to change, even if that's a totally unrealistic and unsustainable prospect, just because it's what they want to hear. And this is getting worse with all the calls for "austerity" and such: things like bike/ped are seen as optional spending and are the first to get cut during a recession. Roads, meanwhile, are always top priority. This is quite a problem, and I don't see how we will have much of a future as a nation if we can't make choices that are a little longer term than just the next year or so.

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