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  1. #1
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Forget the price of gasoline and diesel - tune up the bikes!

    We are all watching the Middle East spiral down into chaos and anarchy. Now, the price of oil and all it's refined products start to bump up daily...

    Now's the time to really be proud of our bikes and affordable way of getting from Point-A to Point-B, and back again.

    Have you started thinking about ways of promoting our bicycle lifestyles? What have you been thinking - Showing leadership in fuel conservation - or gloating?


    Who is John Galt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
    Have you started thinking about ways of promoting our bicycle lifestyles? What have you been thinking - Showing leadership in fuel conservation - or gloating?
    Why, gloating, of course!

    I rebuilt my wheels and re-lubed chain, cables, and derailers with petroleum products bought last fall!

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    We can gloat and pat ouselves on the back as much as we like, but what about all of those who are too physically challanged to cycle? What are they supposed to do? If they can afford gasoline they are fine, if they are already financially depleted due to health care costs associated with their disabilities they are only further screwed.

    Maybe we could ask ourselves how some of the moneys we're saving by increasing our personal oil independence could be used to assist those unfortunate folks.

    Just a thought.

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    And when the economy goes south because the cost of fuel skyrockets and unemployment rates rise, we'll all have more time to bike. So what's there to gloat about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    We can gloat and pat ouselves on the back as much as we like, but what about all of those who are too physically challanged to cycle? What are they supposed to do? If they can afford gasoline they are fine, if they are already financially depleted due to health care costs associated with their disabilities they are only further screwed.

    Maybe we could ask ourselves how some of the moneys we're saving by increasing our personal oil independence could be used to assist those unfortunate folks.

    Just a thought.
    This is precisely why I have long expressed my opinion that non-disabled people are just being selfish by driving everywhere they go. There is a limited, finite amount of cheap fuel available, and it is running out quickly. Using that fuel to go on joyrides when it is needed to grow and transport our food and for the mobility of disabled people is inappropriate, in my opinion. Obviously, the majority of Americans disagrees with me.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I'm not quite ready to commute 15 miles each way in the snow. Maybe in a few months when the snow is gone, though...

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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    This is precisely why I have long expressed my opinion that non-disabled people are just being selfish by driving everywhere they go. There is a limited, finite amount of cheap fuel available, and it is running out quickly. Using that fuel to go on joyrides when it is needed to grow and transport our food and for the mobility of disabled people is inappropriate, in my opinion. Obviously, the majority of Americans disagrees with me.
    Myopic post.

    For better or worse the fact is that most people live where to work and shop they have no choice but to drive. Plus, many of us live where there is winter. I mean real winter like the other day here when it was -35F with 35mph winds.

    Nope, the decision on how we in America were going to get around was pretty well cast in concrete when GM bought out the public transportation systems and closed them and was finished when the interstate system was built. Now it is a matter of how we are going to do what we do most efficiently. Most of the time that does not include bicycles.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
    Myopic post.

    For better or worse the fact is that most people live where to work and shop they have no choice but to drive. Plus, many of us live where there is winter. I mean real winter like the other day here when it was -35F with 35mph winds.

    Nope, the decision on how we in America were going to get around was pretty well cast in concrete when GM bought out the public transportation systems and closed them and was finished when the interstate system was built. Now it is a matter of how we are going to do what we do most efficiently. Most of the time that does not include bicycles.
    I suspect that you would have a rough time convincing the throngs of folks that are moving back into the cities of that.

    All three of our daughters moved into cities from the Suburbia they had been accustomed to. One drives (a motorcycle) and the other two prefer mass transit and choose not to own motor vehicles. My wife's niece, a real estate agent, owns a motor vehicle only to transport clients around on business with and prefers mass transit for all her personal travel. She grew up on a farm!! They all shop local shops either near their work or their homes, by foot. Their need to drive is extremely minimal and certainly not daily, if at all.

    Not everyone can or wants to move back into our cities, but there definately is a migration taking place. It started slowly several years back and is starting to gain momentum. Every one person who chooses transportation other than a personal motor vehicle leaves just a bit more fuel for those who don't or can't.

    Barrels are made up of gallons which in turn consist of pints which are made up of cups that are made up of ounces that are made up of drops. Every little bit helps. Three season commuting, car pooling, consolidating trips....it all counts, it all helps, it all matters.

    I don't believe that our fate is sealed because everything is too far away. However our fate will be sealed if we choose to believe that we can not adapt.

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    World wide there is increased urbanization. Just makes for big cities with long transport as job locations change with career changes.

    You phrase your argument by creating the horns of a dilemma when, in fact, adaptation is not by abandoning our current transportatiion system. Rather by making it more efficent. We can do that if we stop looking for what isn't and start using what is.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  10. #10
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    I guess I better stock up on tires and chains...

    $5-a-Gallon Gas? Where Are Airfare Prices Headed?
    By Kate Rogers
    Published February 24, 2011
    | FOXBusiness


    Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-...#ixzz1EwLeoDgW
    Who is John Galt?

  11. #11
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
    We are all watching the Middle East spiral down into chaos and anarchy. Now, the price of oil and all it's refined products start to bump up daily...
    I kind of interpreted it as the Middle East emerging into democracy. But because we are now paying for our continued support of the dictator Kaddafi, and that it turns out that our close buddies the Saudis have been cooking the books, the rise shouldn't be too surprising. What goes around comes around, it happened in Iraq and it's happening in Libya and Saudi Arabia.

    But it makes me proud to be a bicyclist.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 02-24-11 at 09:50 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  12. #12
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    We can gloat and pat ouselves on the back as much as we like, but what about all of those who are too physically challanged to cycle? What are they supposed to do? If they can afford gasoline they are fine, if they are already financially depleted due to health care costs associated with their disabilities they are only further screwed.
    Well, I'm guessing that if everyone who wasn't physically disabled took up cycling, that the price of gas would drop enough that it wouldn't be a problem.

    The hard part is that so many people have put themselves in situations that are untenable without dependency on a car. But it's not like they didn't get warned, and given time to do something about it. The Arab Oil Embargo was what, 35 years ago. Surely that's time enough to make a few changes.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
    Myopic post.

    For better or worse the fact is that most people live where to work and shop they have no choice but to drive. Plus, many of us live where there is winter. I mean real winter like the other day here when it was -35F with 35mph winds.

    Nope, the decision on how we in America were going to get around was pretty well cast in concrete when GM bought out the public transportation systems and closed them and was finished when the interstate system was built. Now it is a matter of how we are going to do what we do most efficiently. Most of the time that does not include bicycles.
    Working on the extremes will take a while. However, since over half of all car trips made in this country are less than five miles (I have seen estimates as low as one mile) I daresay that most of those are not going to compare in long-term importance to providing food for all of us and basic transportation for those who are not capable of walking, cycling or using other less fuel-intensive means. It is my opinion that the people who do this, and that is the majority of us, are either ignorant of the amount of cheap fuel left on the planet, or are being selfish and short-sighted.

    As to weather, winter doesn't last all year. Snow isn't impossible to cycle in. Buses still run in many regions, albeit with a time penalty. If Americans only drove when the elements were too harsh for their constitution, we would not be the number one user of oil in the world (we also wouldn't have obesity and type II diabetes epidemics). I would be pretty pleased to wake up tomorrow and find the obviously unnecessary driving had ceased to take place.

    Let's check back in on this in 2015. I pick that year because the U.S. military issued a report last year wherein they stated that the cheap oil will cease to be available sometime between 2012 and 2015. I expect that our use will be dramatically curtailed by gasoline prices in excess of $10/gal. Just like miles driven dropped in 2008/2009 in response to a small price spike, I expect we will see a lot of what was considered absolutely necessary driving with cheap fuel is not so necessary with expensive fuel. As Cranky Old Dude said, this will put transportation (and perhaps food) beyond the reach of many of our most vulnerable fellow citizens. I would consider that behavior to be immoral. As I said, most Americans disagree with me.

  14. #14
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    What are you paying for gas? I filled up the Miata today for $3.29 Diesel was $3.79.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

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    Probably the biggest challenge is to recognize what is reality and differentiate it from our personal lifestyle and political positions that probably don't suit the needs of many others.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  16. #16
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    "Have you started thinking about ways of promoting our bicycle lifestyles? What have you been thinking - Showing leadership in fuel conservation - or gloating?"

    One of the things I've been doing is getting involved in promoting Bike to Work week. A small group of us started this in our community two years ago and it is gaining traction. We have a booth at a business expo this weekend where we will have several bikes on display, show photos of previous BTW weeks and invite participants to sign up for 2011. Registration makes them eligible for prizes ranging from a commuting bicycle to pizzas. Join the fun!

  17. #17
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Working on the extremes will take a while. However, since over half of all car trips made in this country are less than five miles (I have seen estimates as low as one mile) I daresay that most of those are not going to compare in long-term importance to providing food for all of us and basic transportation for those who are not capable of walking, cycling or using other less fuel-intensive means. It is my opinion that the people who do this, and that is the majority of us, are either ignorant of the amount of cheap fuel left on the planet, or are being selfish and short-sighted.
    I think you've got an important point. For most people it should not be an exclusive car or bike situation. Most people do need their cars.

    But they don't need cars for every trip they make, and often, feet or bike are quite adequate. The short trips are bad on the car as well. The motor is not completely warmed up so that carbon tends to build up more.

    People should think of the transportation pyramid, with planes on the top, cars and trucks below that, then public transit, and bikes and walking on the bottom.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 02-25-11 at 06:57 AM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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    I would ride to shop if there was something near the store to lock the bike too.

    I once road it to the Dentist figuring that the waiting room would be empty at that time and it was chock full. The poor ladies in the cramped office space let me keep it in there, but it really put them out.

    Al

  19. #19
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that our destinations need to provide secure places to park our bikes. Whether it's your place of work, a store, a restaurant, a place of recreation or just the public library - they really do need to prepare for the onslaught of workers and patrons on their bikes. For one, I would suggest small cubicles that can be locked with our bikes inside, out of the weather and out of sight.
    Who is John Galt?

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    I'd be happy with an anchored steel bike rack. I've thought of mentioning the idea to Publix and a few others. I could promise to report their act to the local sports editor so they get some PR.

    Al

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    I suspect that you would have a rough time convincing the throngs of folks that are moving back into the cities of that.

    All three of our daughters moved into cities from the Suburbia they had been accustomed to. One drives (a motorcycle) and the other two prefer mass transit and choose not to own motor vehicles. My wife's niece, a real estate agent, owns a motor vehicle only to transport clients around on business with and prefers mass transit for all her personal travel. She grew up on a farm!! They all shop local shops either near their work or their homes, by foot. Their need to drive is extremely minimal and certainly not daily, if at all.
    I'd be interested in hearing the ages of the people you mention and whether they have children. Speaking purely anecdotely, the folks moving into the cities that I have spoken with seem to be unmarried, unattached, no kids. I've got no statistics, just people I've spoken with over the last year or two. They enjoy what the city has to offer - nightlife, restaurants, contact with other people like themselves. And they've got sufficient income to pay for it all.

    Once children enter the equation, it seems the suburbs start to regain attractiveness. Whether it's better schools, the desire to see green space, I cannot say. Again, just my (limited) observation.

    It will be interesting to see if market forces ultimately change the urban landscape in the US like some places in Europe. My observation is that in France (at least in the major cities), the poor / under-employed / minorites largely live farther out of the city core and face the long commutes for employment.

  22. #22
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    Just don't know, we don't have a car, we walk the 6 blocks to the bus stop, every morning, no matter the weather, sometimes looking like the "Michelin Man" and we just get "GAWKED" at by the "morning commuters". Most look at us like, boy I'm sure GLAD I'm not YOU!! I think they'd PAY whatever it took, price per gallon to BE IN A CAR, jmho. My wife commutes the 3 miles to work via bicycle when the temps are above 30F degrees and there's no ICE or snow, otherwise we take the bus or the last resort, a TAXI. So we still "USE OIL", even though "bicycles" are our main source of transportation. We picked the area we live in cause we can "WALK" to many restaurants, a shopping mall, etc. and if we tell folks we "walked" the 2 miles to say "Old Chicago's" for dinner, they damn near FAINT!

    It's gona take a LOT of Financial PAIN to get the majority of AMERICANS, to not take their cars to the corner 7-11, much less, ride a bus or a bicycle to work. There's been times that the weather or ICE is so bad the "City Buses" won't run, then we have to bundle up, put on the Yak Traks, (Traction on ice device for your FEET) and walk the 3 miles to her work and then I walk home, not much FUN at -40 F, with the windchill factored in. The folks that live around us in our apt. complex, call us the "Bicycle Weirdos", say were CRAZY, LOL, ya it's gona take a LOT more that a few bicyclists riding to work or $10.00 a gallon gasoline to convince them to "change their ways"!
    Last edited by bjjoondo; 02-25-11 at 11:55 AM.
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    2011 Jamis Allegro 1

  23. #23
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Our family of 4 has 5 bikes and 2 hybrid cars. We drive way too much, but at least we aren't burning fuel and spewing fumes while waiting at a light. Efficiency can help things, and not only with vehicles. If more stoplights were demand driven, and took traffic flow more into account, it would reduce the amount of fuel wasted while stopped waiting for nobody.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  24. #24
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    So many times in our desire to be good, concerned citizens we become too focused on marginal things and fail to support and advocate the big things that will make big differences. For example: Probably all the fuel saved if every person on the Bike Forums exclusively used bicycles for all transportation pales in comparison to what is used by trucks hauling freight between Indianapolis and Chicago. If that freight were hauled by train instead there would be huge fuel savings and environmental improvement.

    Another example is the person who is quite proud of and brags about their efforts to reduce their trash. They even go to the extreme of removing what packaging they consider to be excess and leaving it at the store. The motive is laudable. The action is, at best, self-deluding. The packaging is still there. It is just being disposed of at the store instead. If they were serious the person would work with the manufacturer and retailer to not have the excess packaging there in the first place.

    Yet a third example is the person not taking into consideration the total picture. Back when BART in the San Francisco area was being designed one of the benefits being touted was fuel savings by commuters. An analyst showed that BART would have to operate at full capacity for nearly a hundred years just to break even on the amount of fuel used in construction. There were and are benefits to BART but fuel savings were not one of them.

    I wonder how long a person would have to ride a bike in place of a car to offset the resources used manufacturing it and getting it to the end user?
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  25. #25
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
    I wonder how long a person would have to ride a bike in place of a car to offset the resources used manufacturing it and getting it to the end user?
    Pretty sure the cost of manufacturing the car is more significant than the cost of manufacturing the bike. You need to include both for a forward-looking comparison. You can say the car is already built, but if so, you can say the same thing for a bike - buy a used one.

    Reuse beats recycling every time, and is a great way to have impact. If you have something you aren't using, sell it, or give it to someone who needs it so they don't have to buy something that needs to be manufactured.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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