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Old 05-19-01, 04:58 AM   #1
thbirks
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You've probably heard H.G. Wells quote before:

When I see an adult on a bike, I do not despair for the future of the human race.


I like the quote, but in my mind it works better if you replace adult with kid. Most of the people i see cycling are adults and most of the time they are just riding for recreation. When i see a kid on a bike they are going someplace; to a friend's house, maybe school, to the basketball courts.

The problem is I don't see many kids riding. Where I currently live, I call it Cartopia but you may be more familiar with New Jersey, things are spread out. It's hard to get places without a car. Housing is in one area, stores in another, and places of business in still another place. Everything is surrounded by a sea of parking lots, which are never filled to capacity. Is that the open spaces you were talking about preserving, Christie Whitman?

Another problem is the amount of traffic and lack of suitable places to ride on the road. Many roads around here have greatly increased numbers of cars using them and every inch of road space is utilized in order to accomodate the increase. This means that in some cases there isn't any shoulder at all.

Anyway, when i see a kid on a bike it makes me feel good. I wish i saw more of them. It even makes me feel good just to see kids playing outside in their yards, instead of hiding inside playing nintendo and surfing the web.
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Old 05-19-01, 08:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by thbirks
When i see a kid on a bike they are going someplace; to a friend's house, maybe school, to the basketball courts.

The problem is I don't see many kids riding. Anyway, when i see a kid on a bike it makes me feel good. I wish i saw more of them. It even makes me feel good just to see kids playing outside in their yards, instead of hiding inside playing nintendo and surfing the web.
When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to learn to ride a bike.
I remember when I first finally balanced one on my own. It was magical and I was hooked after that.

I rode to my friends houses (on the street,) the store, school, even downtown Washington, DC. So did my friends. Bikes were our cars and we even compared each other's bikes the way adults compare cars.

When a child learns to ride a bike, they are more likely to do so again as an adult. A child or adolescent who
learns proper traffic cycling skills will make a safer driver as an adult. When a child does not learn to ride a bike,
and there is no other way to get around except walking,
they are trapped into a sedentary lifestyle, unless they pick up tennis or some other lifelong sport. Youth is the great opportunity to make future cyclists.

As an adult who came back to cycling in my mid 30's (now 41,) I cycle to work 30 miles round trip, and walk
about 6 or 7 miles on "cycling off" days, and I think it's perfectly natural. Since I did it so much growing up, I am
not swayed by the opinions of my friends who are car-addicts who can't understand what I'm doing. That' ok,
I don't understand driving everyplace, either.
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Old 05-19-01, 02:17 PM   #3
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Originally posted by thbirks
The problem is I don't see many kids riding. Where I currently live, I call it Cartopia but you may be more familiar with New Jersey, things are spread out. It's hard to get places without a car. Housing is in one area, stores in another, and places of business in still another place.

Another problem is the amount of traffic and lack of suitable places to ride on the road.
I agree that this form of "low density" development is flawed and overly dependent on cars.

On the other hand, though it seems there is no place to ride, "short hops" of 5 or 10 miles are perfect for cycling. A commute of 15 miles is only about an hour.

"Cartopias" make it seem like the only option is driving. But they offer many alternate routes through residential districts where speeds are slower, traffic is light and surroundings are pleasant. Also, arteries are never as difficult to cycle on as it first seems.

We need to reclaim our "Cartopias" for bikes. No one else will do it for us. Government can help, but unless they get on their bikes and ride, we are still the only true line of defense. We must learn how to cycle anywhere, anytime, for any reason.

In short, we cyclists must learn to use our bikes as cars and do the work.

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Old 05-19-01, 11:18 PM   #4
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Originally posted by thbirks
Anyway, when i see a kid on a bike it makes me feel good. I wish i saw more of them. It even makes me feel good just to see kids playing outside in their yards, instead of hiding inside playing nintendo and surfing the web.
I don't own a nintendo and my dad doesn't like computer games, so I am not much of a gamer. I used to babysit for my buddy next door. one time while were waiting for his wife to finish getting ready he showed me the new nintendo games he got for his son, he was shocked when his son kicked my butt and I told him I didn't have a nintendo.
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