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Old 02-17-05, 12:23 PM   #1
lala
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My buddy Aaron was featured in a local rag: the Cleveland Free Times.

This is a nice write up regarding a voluntary car-free lifestyle.

edit: added aaron and his steed: xtracycle w/o the freeloader and snapdeck
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Last edited by lala; 02-17-05 at 12:40 PM. Reason: added aaron and his steed: xtracycle w/o the freeloader and snapdeck
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Old 02-17-05, 12:30 PM   #2
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That's neat
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Old 02-17-05, 12:31 PM   #3
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that's a great article. glad to see him get some recognition. i'd imagine he's in fantastic shape too.
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Old 02-17-05, 01:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting this. I used to live in Cleveland, but (sadly) wasn't a cyclist then, although I was a passing aquaintence with a few of them. It would have been harder for me to bike-commute for a while there, living on the west side and working on the east side, up to an hour by car sometimes. But then, that often involved slow traffic...

The numbers were interesting to see. Cleveland Heights is about the most liberal middle-class suburb, and Oberlin (my undergrad alma mater!) is a small college town 40 miles out, filled with ultra-liberal students and mostly liberal staff. Of course, it's also a really tiny town, you can bike from one end to the other in 10 minutes, so there's really not that much excuse not to bike-commute if you both live and work in town.
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Old 02-17-05, 01:35 PM   #5
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For me, this line in the article sticks out: "He's never been intimidated by traffic.".

Why are some cyclists with 1000s of miles and decades of experience still intimidated by traffic and advocate for cycling facilities like bike lanes, paths and signs, while other have never been intimidated by traffic?

(I don't mean to highjack this thread and make it into another VC/bike lane thread - the focus here is on differences in personalities between the type this guy exudes and the type that is intimidated by traffic).
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Old 02-17-05, 01:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serge *******
the focus here is on differences in personalities between the type this guy exudes and the type that is intimidated by traffic.
I think that's just it- differences in personalities. What bothers some people doesn't bother others. In some cases perception's the cause, in others it may be psychological reasons.

Some auto drivers are intimidated in traffic, others aren't.
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Old 02-17-05, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serge *******
For me, this line in the article sticks out: "He's never been intimidated by traffic.".

Why are some cyclists with 1000s of miles and decades of experience still intimidated by traffic and advocate for cycling facilities like bike lanes, paths and signs, while other have never been intimidated by traffic?

(I don't mean to highjack this thread and make it into another VC/bike lane thread - the focus here is on differences in personalities between the type this guy exudes and the type that is intimidated by traffic).

Well, knowing the guy, I can comment a bit. He's a big guy, has been in the military and probably isn't intimidated by much. He believes that drivers do not want to hit him. Perhaps he hasn't had too many bad experiences.

Everyone is different, dude.
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Old 02-17-05, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lala
My buddy Aaron was featured in a local rag: the Cleveland Free Times.

This is a nice write up regarding a voluntary car-free lifestyle.

edit: added aaron and his steed: xtracycle w/o the freeloader and snapdeck

What are the reason for that type of modification to the bike? Is it just for extra cargo capicity?
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Old 02-17-05, 02:29 PM   #9
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The modifications are the xtracycle minus the rack and deck. www.xtracycle.com
edit: oops, i misread the question. Yeah, the Xtracycle is a cargo extension for your bike.

As to Serge's observation, I suspect it's a complex answer that has to do with how you were conditioned to assess risk. In this particular case, I would argue that it has to do with getting used to it at a young age when such things are less concerning combined with an after-the-fact analysis of why that has seemed to work well to this point.
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Old 02-17-05, 03:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bostontrevor
The modifications are the xtracycle minus the rack and deck. www.xtracycle.com
edit: oops, i misread the question. Yeah, the Xtracycle is a cargo extension for your bike.
One of my bike-culture goal in life is to build up an Xtracycle and eliminate another of my car-routine tasks: shopping.
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Old 02-17-05, 05:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lala
He believes that drivers do not want to hit him.
I think that's a key component to not feeling intimidated by traffic.

Speaking for myself, I really believe that not only do drivers not want to hit me, they want to NOT hit me. Even if they don't care a toot about me, htting me could damage their car, and might end up complicating their day. I believe they want to avoid the hassle of hitting me. Is that a personality thing, or a belief thing?

Can someone who is intimidated by traffic learn to be comfortable in traffic by thinking about and accepting the notion that drivers want to avoid hitting him?

Once you're past that hurdle, all that is left is those who hit cyclists because they didn't see the cyclist in time to avoid the collision. And the solution to that is to ride (drum roll...) visibly and predictably... to ride vehicularly. Oops, I managed to segway into the VC topic after all. Sorry. Back to the first hurdle. Maybe this will require another poll...
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Old 02-17-05, 07:04 PM   #12
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Personally, I have a huge fear of cars right now-- I got hit a little over a year ago and it still freaks me out to ride in traffic. I'm still riding and it's getting better and over time I may get back to the little fear zone I used to ride in.

But then again I've always been a little car shy.

I know other guys who have been hit several times and it doesn't seem to faze them, or even make them ride in a sane manner.

It's always nice to see the mainsteam media report something positive about cycling that doesn't start with the name Lance.
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Old 02-18-05, 10:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnbacon
One of my bike-culture goal in life is to build up an Xtracycle and eliminate another of my car-routine tasks: shopping.

I have one and they rock! It's great because it really cuts down on the lugging of graceries/car parking bs of shopping. And, if you have gears, the extra weight/mass is no prob. I highly recommend them. Good company too.
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Old 02-18-05, 10:02 PM   #14
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It makes sense that most people in cars don't want to hit you if not for the selfish reasons of damaging their cars and messing up their day. It's good to not go out into traffic thinking everyone wants to hit you- that could be a bad self-fulfilling prophecy.

But aside from that is the fact that so many car drivers are also yapping on cell phones, and not completely with it. That leaves bicycle riders, and others including pedestrians, and motorcyclists at particular risk, because some people aren't looking for us. It's liket the car door thing. You still have to stay alert and look for those clues that someone is not participating mutually in the transit system.

Personally, I've always held the belief that the day I think accidents won't happen to me, is the day I give up my guard and they will. huh.
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Old 02-18-05, 10:13 PM   #15
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Good article! I do find it a little hard to believe that only 380 people in Cleveland commute by bike, though. Anybody from Cleveland or that knows how to work with the 2000 census data care to comment? Even the numbers for Oberlin, a college town, seem real low to me.

"For most Americans, the bicycle these days is a toy or a tool of fitness. Census data provided by NOACA bicycle coordinator Sally Hanley says there are 380 people in Cleveland who commute by bicycle, 195 in Cleveland Heights. Tiny Oberlin counted 265. These numbers probably include occasional or seasonal commuters who sometimes use buses and cars. It's an even smaller crew that sticks to two-wheeled travel year-round."
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Old 02-19-05, 05:58 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by jnbacon
One of my bike-culture goal in life is to build up an Xtracycle and eliminate another of my car-routine tasks: shopping.
Perhaps use a trailer in the meantime?
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Old 02-19-05, 06:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serge *******
For me, this line in the article sticks out: "He's never been intimidated by traffic.".

Why are some cyclists with 1000s of miles and decades of experience still intimidated by traffic and advocate for cycling facilities like bike lanes, paths and signs, while other have never been intimidated by traffic?

(I don't mean to highjack this thread and make it into another VC/bike lane thread - the focus here is on differences in personalities between the type this guy exudes and the type that is intimidated by traffic).

Given that cars are the #1 cause of death for adults(18-49 I think it is) maybe EVERYONE needs to be a little more intimidated.
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