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Old 05-06-08, 01:43 PM   #1
EvilV
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BBC Website article on folding bikes and conflict on trains

Trust the media to look for a conflict in bothering to write an article on cycling - there always has to be a derogatory angle, 'Hooligan cyclist kills granny on pavement,' 'Cyclist killed running red light,' and now this - some tw*t (it's an 'a') locks his bike to the folding seats on a crowded commuter train preventing their use and then we can have an article about folding bikes....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7372956.stm
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Old 05-06-08, 03:30 PM   #2
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I was reading a NYTimes article (about bikes and bike lanes, not specific to folders) and thought the same thing. Why can't we all just get along?!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/04/ny...ll&oref=slogin
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Old 05-06-08, 03:59 PM   #3
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I look at the crowding of our public transportation as the problem, not what you choose to bring aboard with you. Where I live (Southern California) any type of bikes-especially folding ones-are still not as popular or used as a communitng vehicle. Cars are still king here. Perhaps this might change as bikes especially folding ones, are adopted as a partial commuting option. I hope for my sake this does not happen. Then I will be forced to return to driving/owning a car to get away from all that conflict and craziness.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:54 AM   #4
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I use the Mersey trains for my commute in to Liverpool, UK. These trains have a double bike rack with folding seats. There are very clear signs to show that this is a bike storage area and as a cyclist I see the uncomfortable folding seats as of secondary importance….

I try to be kind and courteous to other people but there is a limit, otherwise you will be left standing on the platform with your bike.

On the way home I’ve got it down to a fine art, I know exactly where to stand near the edge of the platform so that when the carriage doors open I can push my bike into the rack while pulling my rucksack from left shoulder ready to throw on a seat opposite.

Occasionally things don’t go to plan and one or both seats my be occupied… this is fair enough if it is a mother with a pram or some elderly person, but when some young able bodied person takes them while there are still normal seats available, well that just annoys me! Happened a few weeks ago, jumped on the train and there was this young woman sat on one of these folding seats even though there where still plenty of normal seats…. so I just folded the bike and put it in the space available next to her. After I sat down she said “for a moment there I thought you where going to ask me to move” to which I said “no, your fine where you are” …… what I didn’t tell her was the reason I didn’t scowl or complain was because she was so good looking.

I’m just waiting for the day when someone has a go over using the bike rack…..
Then I can tell them how I don’t need to use the train but I do so for the sake of the planet (and of course my wallet) rather than use my gas guzzling 16 mpg 4x4!
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Old 05-07-08, 08:33 AM   #5
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Good story PDR. Thankfully I don't need to take my bike on commuter trains in England but even at other times there are obvious signs of resentment.

However, I am not sure how much of it is to do with bike versus peoples need to complain about something.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:38 AM   #6
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In these circumstances people get frustrated. Frustration causes anger, and they take out their irritation on anyone who gets in their way. The aggro isn't about bikes, cyclists or lycra; it's about cramming too many people into a small space and frustrating them with late trains, no seats, high prices and unpredictable arrival times. Any one of these things could cause ill temper; put them all together and you have a recipe for trouble.

The real marvel isn't that people feel these negative emotions, but that they don't explode into open hostility more often than they do.

Last edited by EvilV; 05-07-08 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 05-07-08, 01:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
In these circumstances people get frustrated. Frustration causes anger, and they take out their irritation on anyone who gets in their way. The aggro isn't about bikes, cyclists or lycra; it's about cramming too many people into a small space and frustrating them with late trains, o seats, high prices and unpredictable arrival times. Any one of these things could cause ill temper; put them all together and you have a recipe for trouble.

The real marvel isn't that people feel these negative emotions, but that they don't explode into open hostility more often than they do.
Spot On EvilV ......
As a frequent 'cattle-truck into London' user, I find 99.9% of people are amazingly tolerant, its all about give and take, courtesy and empathy ..... It is satisfying to exchange knowing nod's with fellow passengers ... in shared knowledge that the problem is the train company [great late western]... As you say, trust the media to make it into a conflict situation ...even the BBC seems to be populated by folk pushing the latest 'gosh' 'shock' horror-stories - to get more viewers, listeners .... truth and balance .. nah, thats for wimps ....

Last edited by Simple Simon; 05-07-08 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 05-07-08, 01:41 PM   #8
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Spot On EvilV ......
As a frequent 'cattle-truck into London' user, I find 99.9% of people are amazingly tolerant, its all about give and take, courtesy and empathy ..... It is satisfying to exchange knowing nod's with fellow passengers ... in shared knowledge that the problem is the train company [great late western]... As you say, trust the media to make it into a conflict situation ...even the BBC seems to be populated by folk pushing the latest 'gosh' 'shock' horror-stories - to get more viewers, listeners .... truth and balance .. nah, thats for wimps ....
One of my sons has just started a job in London. He works for Cap Gemini in Woking and his current assignment means that he travels from Woking to Croydon by train every day to do Technology Consulting for the local authority. He came up to visit us the other day on the Bank Holiday weekend and when I asked him if he can work on the train on his laptop (the journey takes about an hour) he said there isn't even a seat in either direction. Considering that his company pays hundreds of pounds a month in fares, this is disgusting service.

We Brits still act like we were in the midst of WW2 - keep quiet, stiffen your back and put up with the privations because the nation is in dire peril. The reality is that inept and greedy companies, charge a fortune for disgusting service. I flew from Newcastle to Barcelona in April for 50 ( about 900 miles). A return rail ticket from Newcastle to London (275 miles each way) would cost about 140 - and It is quite possible that there would be no seat and I'd have to stand all the way. How can it be that an economy airline company can fly me about 900 miles in two hours and charge a lot less than a national rail carrier can trundle me by rail for 275?
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