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  1. #1
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    Off-Topic TdF sighting

    At the end of today's stage (11) the EuroVision webcast was showing some of the sights. A modern building caught my eye, but not just because it was unusual. The building itself was curved, about one-fifth of a circle. If you started walking along the roof in a clockwise direction you would descend from a height of about eight stories to two stories and your path would widen substantially. As much as I was intrigued by that shape, what really stood out was the fact that this large building wasn't surrounded by a parking lot. In fact, there did not appear to be anyplace to put a car; the entire area around the structure was a garden. It really reminded me of Isaac Asimov's planet Aurora.

    Unless there is some hidden underground car storage, the people who work there are arriving without cars. Since it is well away from any other structures (IIRC, there was at least a quarter mile of clear space, likely more), it is unlikely to have much public transit service. I have worked in buildings where very few of my colleagues drive in, but that was decades ago and the buildings still had massive parking lots (that are now all full). To tie this back to cycling, do you suppose the reason so many of the strong riders in the Tour are French is because they value a garden more than a parking lot while Americans cannot conceive of a destination without car storage?

  2. #2
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    I am watching the Tour on TSN from a Versus feed. I think that it was Phil that said that this building was owned by a cosmetics company. I didn't notice the lack of parking. My immediate thought was "I wonder if they are using animals to test their products?". An unusual building it is. I just hope that nothing unusual is taking place inside. And yes, I am an animal lover.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I wondered about that building and the lack of parking. A bit of modern architecture that really looked good. Eurosport has an annoying habit of showing the local Chateauxs from the helicopter. Some of which are just ruins but others the Postcard "Fairy Castle" with well maintained grounds and Lawns. Just makes we want to go back and live the Life I love-- Not the Castle bit- but the French way of life.
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  4. #4
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    To tie this back to cycling, do you suppose the reason so many of the strong riders in the Tour are French is because they value a garden more than a parking lot while Americans cannot conceive of a destination without car storage?
    Interesting question, but I think you'll find at least as many of the strong riders in the tour are Americans as French.
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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post

    Unless there is some hidden underground car storage, the people who work there are arriving without cars. Since it is well away from any other structures (IIRC, there was at least a quarter mile of clear space, likely more), it is unlikely to have much public transit service.
    Don't assume either that there is no underground car park, or that there is no public transport. The European and North American attitudes are very different. In Europe they are much more likely to spend the money necessary to put the car park underground in such a setting, and also much more likely to put on a bus service for the staff.

    To tie this back to cycling, do you suppose the reason so many of the strong riders in the Tour are French is because they value a garden more than a parking lot while Americans cannot conceive of a destination without car storage?
    Nice idea, but not really. Traditionally in Europe lots of people have used bicycles as their principal mode of transport, which has never really been the case in the States. But from a sporting point of view, cycling in France and Belgium occupies something closer to the niche that belongs to boxing in the States. It was the route through which kids from poorer backgrounds got away from a life as a peasant or a factory worker.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    Cool aid.
    Yeah it LOOKS all nice a sweet. But...

    There are reasons they live in old homes. Taxes, taxes and more taxes. They can't afford to build anything new. The cost of living is too high to be able to afford anything else. They are stuck in no-man's land. They do with what they have.
    Looking at if from a different perspective. Americans live in NEW cost and energy-efficient homes. We have kept up with advancing technologies. Not all European stuff is the greatest because it is "cute European stuff". Cool aid.
    Sure it is beautiful but under the surface of all that is stuff YOU DON'T WANT!

    I went back home to upstate New York after not being there for 30 years. Nothing much had changed. The stupid NY State thruway is still collecting tolls for a road that was started to 'pay for itself'. Well, it's more than paid for itself. the only reason they collect the toll is to pay for union jobs...those people collecting the tolls. Yes there is maintenance to be done because of horrible winter damage but if you look closely you can see there is also no economic development going on because of the toll road. If you get off an exit, what do you see.............NOTHING. Get off an exit at any other interstate road in America and there is a cottage industry......gas stations, convenience stores, video rental, you name it. The other states create jobs(and taxes) thru cottage industry and NOT blatant taxation that creates nothing but over-paid workers that sit on their ass and do nothing but collect $$$. This is how I see Europe(not people sitting on their ass) but a stifled economy because of taxation that creates nothing. Maybe I'm wrong but I'm certainly not far off

    Sorry but I had to go there. Tired of seeing and hearing 'how great Europe is". Well, it ain't so great.
    Last edited by bigbadwullf; 07-14-11 at 08:07 AM.

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  7. #7
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Wow!
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadwullf View Post
    This is how I see Europe(not people sitting on their ass) but a stifled economy because of taxation that creates nothing. Maybe I'm wrong but I'm certainly not far off

    .
    LOL. Actually you are a long, long way off. Even if we leave out Luxembourg, which for special reasons is the richest of all, the Norwegians, Swiss, Danes and Swedes all have higher GDPs per capita than the US. And the Scandinavian countries are among the most highly taxed in the world. Moreover, the German economy is growing faster than yours and its wealth is distributed more equally among its population so that poverty is much less and its infant mortality is among the lowest on earth, while that of the USA is worse than Cuba. And if you really believe that US life in general is more technologically advanced than that in any of the countries mentioned, you have clearly never visited them.

    There's quite a lot to be said for preserving things because they make for a beautiful environment. The unregulated development around most American towns makes them look pretty much like a used car lot. And doesn't seem to be generating much in terms of economic activity. Just sayin'...
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Here in the UK we do have taxes- High taxes in comparison to the US. We also have lower wages so we should be worse off--------But we have a free National Health Service and we have a Pension when you retire and 65 (And rising) We have unemployment pay for those that are not fortunate to have kept their jobs in the breakdown of the economy.

    Lots of things that we should regard as a benefit and we probably don't appreciate them as much as we ought to. But at the same time there are always greener pastures. I love France and the French way of life but that was as a part-timer when I lived and worked there. If I were to live there permanently I would probably find out the disadvantages of what I look at as an ideal way of life.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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