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Old 10-12-04, 01:45 PM   #1
2mtr
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so many bikes, but none in america

My Girlfreind went to China a few weeks back, and she took pictures. In just about every frame, there are chinese folks biking. Just everywhere. Even at the Great Wall there were bicyclists, she said. And when ever I go overseas, I see bikes everywhere. And the bikes I see aren't these 300 dollar mountain bikes. They're these really cool bikes with character. You know, fenders, racks, nifty seats, moustache handlebars and the rest. So we have to get really abjectly poor before bikes become common place, or what?
In my area, you can stand on a street corner for an hour and see maybe 20 bikes. And this is Hawaii, where biking is so easy it's not funny.
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Old 10-12-04, 02:25 PM   #2
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We're a car culture. Plain and simple.
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Old 10-12-04, 06:52 PM   #3
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I went to Japan a few months ago and noticed the same thing especially in Kyoto which is relatively flat. They even had secure "car" parks for bikes. I also saw one bike in Tokyo with a parking ticket.

Even though I saw thousands of bikes none of them were top-end and a lot of them were folding bikes.
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Old 10-12-04, 08:14 PM   #4
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Well, I just came back from a trip to Montreal, Quebec City and surroundings, boy! canadians ride their bikes almost everywhere, even saw more bike activity around New Hampshire and Vermont than in this part of the tri-state area. I was impressed, next time I travel up there I'll take my bike with me.
The tri-state area sucks!
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Old 10-12-04, 09:02 PM   #5
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To an American, only a fool would walk or bike when he could drive.
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Old 10-12-04, 09:03 PM   #6
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I work with a Dutch guy who lives in the Netherlands. I asked him if he rides a bike and he said "Of course" like I asked him if he drinks a beer at the end of a long hard day.

The Dutch have cute bikes, too.
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Old 10-12-04, 09:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2mtr
And this is Hawaii, where biking is so easy it's not funny.

There is a guy from there over on the About.com bike forum. He rides at 3 am to avoid traffic, he says it's bad there. I can't remember what island he is on though.
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Old 10-12-04, 10:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunkologist
To an American, only a fool would walk or bike when he could drive.
Word.
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Old 10-12-04, 10:54 PM   #9
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In Victoria B.C Canada, I see a 50- 100 bikes a day commute daily, I am not riding rush hour..

B.maybe...70.
lots, bikers are very present.

Last edited by jeff williams; 10-12-04 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 10-12-04, 11:09 PM   #10
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yep, we as a culture are not very bike receptive. It starts with how we get around. We grow up with parents driving us cause "its not safe to ride your bike to timmys house", and teh school bus picks up up every morning...then it's we get a ride ro school in roy's msutang in exchange for cigarette money, and we borrow the parents car to go shopping and such.

It's just so common it grows onto us. now, if the parents tuaght us safe biking, and biked over to pick us up...that could have instilled a healthier lifestyle. Also if the parents viewed the car as a tool and not a way of life, that would help as well.

Givendriving is fun, but we all have some degree of sense in us

Now, I would love to see more commuter syle bikes. See dyno and speed hubs become common, fenders, decent racks, and so on. Bikes here are more about sport than anyhing else, and that's slightly sad.

My Trek is on it's way to being a commuter. I might place fenders on it, but I dunno, however it is going to get a nice rack, and a nice extension cord for the headlamp battery to place it in a bag on the rack as well (i hate frame mount components). I'm also thinking of going to a 10sp rear and single ring front so i can use a chainguard. Could be an interesting project if it all fits my old frame that is. Moustache bars are also on my consideration list, but i',m starting to love dropbars.
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Old 10-12-04, 11:35 PM   #11
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@ rear T2 is= 4T front chainring, 1 tooth rear is 2 front.
I'm gonna go 38F- 10-30*rear.

Last edited by jeff williams; 10-12-04 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 10-12-04, 11:39 PM   #12
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I keep wondering... what the hell are fenders for?
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Old 10-12-04, 11:44 PM   #13
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? I keep wondering... what the hell are fenders for?

Weight?....go ride to GF house in the rain. you gotta strip down right?

Get wet...or moist @ least.
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Old 10-13-04, 12:22 AM   #14
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fenders are great when you dont have to worry about road grime as much.

It's not rain as much as the crap that your tires will kick up.
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Old 10-13-04, 12:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff williams
In Victoria B.C Canada, I see a 50- 100 bikes a day commute daily, I am not riding rush hour..

B.maybe...70.
lots, bikers are very present.
I think the PNW is fairly cycling-rich compared to the rest of the country. If I were to stand on a street corner in Seattle for an hour, I'll bet you I could easily count several hundred cyclists/commuters go by.
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Old 10-13-04, 12:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I keep wondering... what the hell are fenders for?
both times i've seen you ask this question i've thought about the old joke, "what's a butfor?"
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Old 10-13-04, 03:52 AM   #17
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both times i've seen you ask this question i've thought about the old joke, "what's a butfor?"
Excretion.
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Old 10-13-04, 06:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by catatonic
We grow up with parents driving us cause "its not safe to ride your bike to timmys house", and teh school bus picks up up every morning...
It's worse than that. Around here (SE MI) anyway, the schools will not allow children to walk or cycle to school if it means crossing a street that doesn't have a light. A friend of mine made her son (age 12) walk to school (about 3/4 mile) when he missed the bus due to his throwing a tantrum over something. She got calls from the teacher, principal, and superintendant of schools (three separate calls) informing her that she was NOT to do that again, or they'd call the county.

How the HELL are we supposed to teach our kids to be environmentally responsible, and also to get exercise and not be the nation of couch potatoes, when we're being forced to drive them anywhere over 100 feet? Pretty soon you'll be required to provide a motorized cart to get to the bathroom, and elevators to go upstairs. "Upstairs" itself will probably become an unused term.
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Old 10-13-04, 06:52 AM   #19
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"Now, I would love to see more commuter syle bikes. See dyno and speed hubs become common, fenders, decent racks, and so on. Bikes here are more about sport than anyhing else, and that's slightly sad."

The type of bike you describe are in a few shops, and more are on the way. I agree with your viewpoint that sport takes precedence over practicality.
Here in Grand Rapids, there's almost a sense of pity for people who choose not drive. The prevailing prejudices are:
1. Bikes are children's toys.
2. Only poor people take the bus!
This city is immersed in an "I got mine, now you get yours" mentality.
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Old 10-13-04, 07:03 AM   #20
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At least once a week, I hear someone yell "Get on the sidewalk" - how self absorbed is it that!! Hate to slow up someone for the thirty seconds while they pass me up.
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Old 10-13-04, 07:29 AM   #21
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I feel I have to add my 2Ę to this thread. In many cities that developed/grew after WWII, the sprawl has reached so far out that it would not be practical for most people to bike. A culture has evolved around having personal transportation capable of traveling 50 to 70 miles in less than an hour (I know that doesn't happen often in rush hour). People make choices (conscious or not) about where they live and the type of transportation they have to use. In this suburban wilderness, I do not see an easy solution to reducing the dependence on powered vehicles. The density is too low to support public transportation.

In older cities, where the density is higher and the distances needed to travel are shorter, bicycles are an excellent transportation solution. That is one reason (among many) why European, Asian, and older N. American cities have higher bicycle use.

As fuel costs continue to rise, maybe more people will make an informed choice to live where cycling to work/school/errands is practical. Until then, I donít see many people changing their mode of travel.
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Old 10-13-04, 07:11 PM   #22
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It's so sad what we're doing to kids these days by driving them around, or not even letting them get to school independently. I heard that this college freshman class is more obedient than ever before, having had their entire lives planned and managed for them.

When I was a little girl of 5 years old I remember roaming the neighborhood, playing in the streets and parks with no adult supervision. I walked or rode a bike to school all the years I went. Riding a bike was freedom. I went everywhere.

No wonder so many little kids are huge. When I was a kid we had one fat kid in school who was teased mercilessly. Now at least a quarter of the kids I see are fatter than that poor kid. Heck, I was teased for being fat, too, but I'm skinnier than most American women these days.

Cars are killing our planet and killing us. I understand it is not possible for everyone to avoid driving to work, but we gotta do something to allow our kids to grow up independently mobile.
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Old 10-13-04, 08:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Cars are killing our planet and killing us.
Let's not get carried away. It sucks that many Americans don't share the bliss and freedom that bikes afford us, but that doesn't mean the sun is going to explode tomorrow.
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Old 10-13-04, 08:38 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by John Ridley
It's worse than that. Around here (SE MI) anyway, the schools will not allow children to walk or cycle to school if it means crossing a street that doesn't have a light. A friend of mine made her son (age 12) walk to school (about 3/4 mile) when he missed the bus due to his throwing a tantrum over something. She got calls from the teacher, principal, and superintendant of schools (three separate calls) informing her that she was NOT to do that again, or they'd call the county.

How the HELL are we supposed to teach our kids to be environmentally responsible, and also to get exercise and not be the nation of couch potatoes, when we're being forced to drive them anywhere over 100 feet? Pretty soon you'll be required to provide a motorized cart to get to the bathroom, and elevators to go upstairs. "Upstairs" itself will probably become an unused term.

Simple, raise a massive stink over the schools trying to butt into things that arent their matter. Schools have no right to dictate how the kid gets there, so long as it's within the law (sorry no tieing the kid up to the back bumper and dragging him the whole 5 miles...I know it's tempting... ).

I was making my way to school on my own since I was 6. No problems whatsoever, except the nuns scared me....evil evil old ruler-wielding habit-wearing hellspawn they are
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Old 10-14-04, 08:41 AM   #25
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The lack of more use of bicycles in America is due to........

A nation used to cheap gasoline to fuel oversized cars.

A decided lack of any nationwide mass transit system.

A lack of any state or national road plans that are bike friendly.

A move of the workforce to suburbia away from central farm & city work.

A culture that thinks of bikes as "toys' for children and not
as a useful means of individual transportation.

In general the rest of the world can't afford ,nor do they
need, cars in the numbers that Americans are now forced to
buy by the changes in our country since WWII that saw our
rail and cities decline.
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