as i'm looking for a bike and reading about using it as a commuter, general transportation, or to haul groceries, i'm noticing that it's a little difficult to accept these things right away.
i grew up on Long Island, which ranges from NYC suburbs to completely rural areas. EVERYBODY drives - even down the block. You ride your bike until you're 17, then you get a car and you cruise the roosevelt field mall or, if you're a suffolk county kid, Deer Park Ave. as a broad generalization, bikes are regarded as toys - kids have mountain bikes and some dads have bikes to ride with their kids. many people regard biking as very dangerous, an unnecessarily expensive hobby, or even childish. nobody wears helmets; when i was 14, i ditched my helmet forever, because it wasn't cool. I've never seen someone commuting by bike in a suit, and certainly never seen anyone haul groceries. I think if I did see one, I would think they were crazy.
Since i've moved to NYC, lots of people from back on LI have voiced their opinions that it's too dangerous, and that i should avoid it at all costs. I realize now, of course, that these are the crazy people.
I'm glad, at the very least, that the research i'm doing has helped me break free of the Long Island driver mentality. I'm psyched to get started.