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Old 09-20-05, 11:44 AM   #1
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why do so few find biking a pleasure?

i would like to hear theories on why so few people find bicycle riding a pleasure. i'm surprised by the scarcity of bike riders in my suburban neighborhood. one can ride the streets with little fear of cars, but still very few people around here ride ( long island)
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Old 09-20-05, 11:48 AM   #2
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Cars/Trucks/SUV's take less effort to move their fat a$$es.
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Old 09-20-05, 11:48 AM   #3
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- "Bikes are for kids".
- Cars are a status symbol.
- People are lazy.
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Old 09-20-05, 11:58 AM   #4
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Most adults don't like to exercise at all. Many who do prefer team games - baseball/softball where there is a minimal amount of work and perhaps some beer in the dugout.

My wife will only swim with me because she doesn't like to sweat.
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Old 09-20-05, 12:02 PM   #5
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I would guess habit and hectic life styles are a big part along with lazyness and a tendency to think that it's not socially cool to get sweaty except in a gym where you can get cleaned up right away.

Personaly, I think the relaxation and stress releaving part of cycling is the best part.
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Old 09-20-05, 12:45 PM   #6
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In addition to the reasons already stated, many people don't ride bikes because they've had bad experiences. They buy cheap, poorly constructed bikes that don't work properly and they get frustrated. They have no idea how easy and fun it is to ride a decent bike. I've let a few neophytes ride my mountain bike (which has very good components and is properly lubed and adjusted). Usually, the first thing they say when they get off is, "Wow, this bike is really easy to ride."
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Old 09-20-05, 12:51 PM   #7
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So few find life a pleasure. Go figure.
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Old 09-20-05, 01:19 PM   #8
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Beats me.

I think you might be asking the wrong people. But you knew that.
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Old 09-20-05, 01:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragracer
Cars/Trucks/SUV's take less effort to move their fat asses.
Do you really wonder why not too many want to join this type of "friendly" attitude? Not everyone who drives car is a "fat ass", and too many serious bicyclists are condescending snobs, unwelcoming to beginners!
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Old 09-20-05, 01:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket Man
In addition to the reasons already stated, many people don't ride bikes because they've had bad experiences. They buy cheap, poorly constructed bikes that don't work properly and they get frustrated. They have no idea how easy and fun it is to ride a decent bike. I've let a few neophytes ride my mountain bike (which has very good components and is properly lubed and adjusted). Usually, the first thing they say when they get off is, "Wow, this bike is really easy to ride."
Add in that to avoid this you have to spend close to a thousand dollars to try something you might not like and it is easy to see why there are not so many bikers.

Compare to hiking. What cost to try it? 10 bucks for a book on local trails. Maybe 20 more for a cheap daypack. And this is assuming that you don't start with a hike of a couple of miles where you need nothing at all.
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Old 09-20-05, 02:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acorn54
why so few people find bicycle riding a pleasure.
In my experience, most people do find bike riding to be a pleasure.
They just don't want to do it very often for very long up very steep hills in the very rain.
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Old 09-20-05, 02:53 PM   #12
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I love it and do it daily. Yet, I find it to be an expensive habit because I tend to buy stuff to support my cycling habit. I find it physically taxing. I find that it takes up a good deal of time. I appreciate that there is some risk in my choice of cycling as an exercise.

It doesn't surprise me at all that many folks find this sport off-putting. I, on the other hand need to do it for health maintenance and physical development reasons.

I find it less off-putting than gliding, skiing, running, swimming or a host of other activities which might replace cycling as an activity were it not available to me. I think it's great that there are folks with hobbies like surfing, caving, rappeling or skating. I don't mind at all that they have chosen one or another of those lifestyles and are not involved in cycling. Indeed, I don't particularly mind that there are those who choose no activity at all.

Are there hang-glinding internet forums where members look down on those of us who have chosen something different?
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Old 09-20-05, 03:03 PM   #13
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I believe that what you're really asking is, "Why don't we see more people riding?"

After all how many of us love riding, but are unable to get out there for one reason or another. Maybe you think of it in terms of "Why did I have that period in my life where I didn't ride?"

I know for me it was a series of overwhelming life happenings that took every waking moment, and still wasn't enough time such as... Creating a business, planning a wedding, having children (usually overlapping). But now, with those events in the past I am very aware that the only reason I ride as much as I do, is because I have access to safe trails (I ride with the kids on the back).

So maybe a better question is, "Why don't we have more trails available to us, and how do we get our local government to take the initiative?"
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Old 09-20-05, 03:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redrom

So maybe a better question is, "Why don't we have more trails available to us, and how do we get our local government to take the initiative?"
Maybe an even better question is "Why isn't there a Federal requirement that all county/state routes that are being built, or repaired, have a 3' lane for bicycles?"

The biggest objection I hear from non riders, is there are too many narrow roads that you'ld have to be crazy to ride a bike on. Give us safe roads first, and then expand trails. The environmental impact deals with impact on non-humans. How about a cyclist impact requirement for major city/county/state routes?
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Old 09-20-05, 03:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redrom
I believe that what you're really asking is, "Why don't we see more people riding?"

After all how many of us love riding, but are unable to get out there for one reason or another. Maybe you think of it in terms of "Why did I have that period in my life where I didn't ride?"

I know for me it was a series of overwhelming life happenings that took every waking moment, and still wasn't enough time such as... Creating a business, planning a wedding, having children (usually overlapping). But now, with those events in the past I am very aware that the only reason I ride as much as I do, is because I have access to safe trails (I ride with the kids on the back).

So maybe a better question is, "Why don't we have more trails available to us, and how do we get our local government to take the initiative?"
Agreed. My kids now have kids and are pressed for time. They'll get back on the bike in due course though.

As to: "....how do we get our local government to take the initiative?

Initiative is a form of election wherein the question is posed by voters who have taken the initiative to gather sufficient signatures to have a question placed on the ballot. "Initiative" belongs to the people - not the government.
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Old 09-20-05, 03:29 PM   #16
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-"too hard"
-"too dangerous"
-"I dont have a bike"
-"I don't want people to see me struggling when I start off and suck"

Alot of people don't try because they know they will suck at first. They can never see themselves in the elite cyclist body. It's sad but most of the time people make excuses just to ignore the idea. "Its too dangerous", I hear that one almost everyday. THe chances of getting in a car accident are much higher(guesstimate).

That and people are getting fatter and its harder to get back into excercize.

IMHO
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Old 09-20-05, 03:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acorn54
i would like to hear theories on why so few people find bicycle riding a pleasure. i'm surprised by the scarcity of bike riders in my suburban neighborhood. one can ride the streets with little fear of cars, but still very few people around here ride ( long island)
acorn
Fear of exercise.
Fear of hard work.
Fear of cars/stupid drivers.
Fear of lycra.
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Old 09-20-05, 03:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by SaddleBags
Fear of lycra.
Alot of people talk crap about lycra or as they call it, "spandex", but they wouldn't have the balls to wear it themselves. People like to trash something that they cannot do.
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Old 09-20-05, 03:40 PM   #19
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A lot of people can never get comfortable on a bike seat and give up
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Old 09-20-05, 03:50 PM   #20
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People are terrified of sweating.

People have the impression that riding a bike even a few miles is a really hard thing to do.

People think bicycling is extremely dangerous.

Some people think bicycling is something you outgrow; once you mature to driving age, it's all about cars.

A suprising number of adults have told me that they never learned how to ride a bike. I've offered to teach one or two, and the response has been a fear that they'll break something. (Bones)

One co-worker I've been gently encouraging to use the bike she admitted she has sitting in her garage (after listening to her complain that she needed exercise and wanted to lose some weight) told me that she finally got it out and put air in the tires, and said she was planning to take it around the block soon. "I'm not going to wear a helmet, though," she told me.

"Why not?" I asked.

"I'm not a hat person," she replied.

I think most people who enjoy cycling as adults had positive bicycling experiences as children, and unfortunately a lot of people didn't get that. I started riding my bike to school in first grade, and there is no toy or other childhood experience I remember with more joy than tooling around the neighborhood on my bike.

I still think it's about the most fun you can have with clothes on.
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Old 09-20-05, 03:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComPH
...too many serious bicyclists are condescending snobs, unwelcoming to beginners!
As a cyclist, I would imagine a person would be turned off from cycling not because of other cyclists but because too many serious motorists are condescending snobs, unwelcoming to cyclists!

d.tipton
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Old 09-20-05, 05:00 PM   #22
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There are other reasons as well. Many don't know anyone who rides, and few people enjoy hobbies by themselves. You and I might enjoy the exciting world of knitting if we had friends who did it. But we don't - or at least I don't
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Old 09-20-05, 05:01 PM   #23
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I think one of the biggest reasons people don't try a lot of things is lack of self-confidence. There are a lot of bikes to choose from... which one do I get? They are complicated --27 speeds!?-- I wouldn't know how to ride it... I don't know anyone that rides; who would ride with me?... etc., etc..

Good riding,
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Old 09-20-05, 05:32 PM   #24
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Duh, how about the obvious:

-- too slow on flats [ need to be to sustain 25-30 to change that ]
-- too slow on hills [7mph up hill into wind, even I say, too slow]
-- takes too long to get in shape to do it well
-- not in one of the 2 groups that rides regularly: kids in school, and retirement/near retirement age folks.
-- will look bad cause can't do easily
-- don't want to dress like a clown
-- no experience with a good bike
-- bikes are toys and not really transportation options
-- none of my peer group rides

and mostly

-- time: there is so much else to do I just don't have time. Besides I'd rather get a root canal than jump on a bike.
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Old 09-20-05, 05:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desmobob
I think one of the biggest reasons people don't try a lot of things is lack of self-confidence. There are a lot of bikes to choose from... which one do I get? They are complicated --27 speeds!?-- I wouldn't know how to ride it... I don't know anyone that rides; who would ride with me?... etc., etc..

Good riding,
desmobob
I had no one to ride with or was planning to ride with anyone, I didn't know anything about it either. Just started looking for a road bike and found one. Didn't know what half the components meant but I researched it.

Its sad that people won't try something that they dont know. I don't know how to do alot of things but I will never say, "No i dont know how to do that". My friend asked me to go surfing with him, I didn't cry and say, "Oh I dont know how to surf", I just said, "sure, got a board?"

With a little research, anything is possible. You dont have to have 10,000 cycling friends to get into it, you do have to have some common sense and willpower
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