Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 68
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    36
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Why is biking not as popular in US as in other countries?

    Living in NYC i always wondered why biking doesnt seem as poplular here in the US as in other cities outside the country.

    I travel alot, and in some of the big cities ive been to outside the US, it seems as if everybody rides around in bikes, or scooters.

    Some of these cities arent even half as crowded as NYC is, and everybody comes and goes on there bike.

    Whats some of your opinions on this??

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    My Bikes
    Giant Cypress SX
    Posts
    1,877
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've often speculated on that. I do notice that cycling is an everyday thing in Denmark and the Netherlands than the US, so I suspect that more people ride when there are fewer hills. It's certainly more popular in Albuquerque, than here, which is about 180 miles NW of Alb. On the other hand, UNM is located in Albuquerque, so there may be a college/young people of dubious prosperity thing going on.

    Maybe other countries grew up with the idea of dense population, prompting more crowded cities and less populated farming areas. That would put people closer to jobs and shopping than the US. On similar lines, most of Europe has much better public transportation. This too, might be due to having more destinations per mile, so to speak.

    In other words, I don't know, but it is an interesting subject.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    547
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Simple. North Americans are in love with the automobile.

  4. #4
    Dead Men Assume...
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    My Bikes
    Bike Friday NWT
    Posts
    852
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What cities are you talking about? Every city/nation/culture has a different view of the bicycle.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Gig Harbor, WA
    My Bikes
    Surly Long Haul Trucker, Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, Dahon Mu P 24 , Bacchetta Strada, Rodriguez Tandem, Wheeler MTB
    Posts
    2,153
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Infrastructure is part of the problem here. Amsterdam is incredible, paths, lanes, and motorists that respect cyclists as well as cyclists that respect motorists. I've ridden in Paris,surprisingly I do not find it particularly bicycle friendly, however I believe the French countryside to be great, but I can not say so first hand. One additional factor is that even now the price of gas is still a fraction of what it is in Europe.

  6. #6
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Penniless Park, Fla.
    My Bikes
    Merlin Fortius, Specialized Crossroads & Rockhopper, Serotta Fierte, Pedal Force RS2
    Posts
    2,760
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    depends where you live in the U.S.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    56
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I live in LA and the average commute to and from work sometimes spans 30+ miles one way for many. Add in lazy people, hectic schedules, things to do and finish with every minute, and that the roads and the need to go places with dates and show off to the ladies, cars are favored around here =P

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,938
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by WCoastPeddler View Post
    Simple. North Americans are in love with the automobile.
    Yeah. Don't know so much about NYC but here in the midwest the cities have been designed around auto use. Everything is relatively spread out and connected by high speed, high traffic roads. Travel anyway but by automobile is so rare that the infrastructure isn't designed for it. Just crossing those roads anyway but in an automobile can be intimidating.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Billy Bones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Shanghai, West Virginia
    Posts
    488
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    >>> Why is biking not as popular in US as in other countries?

    Longer average distances to destinations. . .automobile-centric culture. . .insufficient infrastructure support. . .driver antagonism. . .legal ambivalence.
    AUDENTIS FORTUNA IUUAT
    - Virgil, Aeneid (Book 10, Line 284)

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,279
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Difference in culture and choices made on a national level 50 years ago.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,132
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cheap gas

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    My Bikes
    80's Marin, 90's Dawes, ALAN & various unicycles.
    Posts
    123
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just out of curiosity asking as a European, is there or has there been any campaigns to get people on bikes in the U.S.A or individual states?

    I know of campaigns in the UK & Spain to encourage people to ride bikes, in the UK you can even get a discounted bike if you use it to ride to work.

    One thing for sure, the big global companys are not going to encourage folks to ride bikes, no mega money in that.


    edit - Unashamedly copied this line from the bottom of one of "seagulplayer's" posts, "Working to dispel the common myth that all grown men that ride a bicycle are just drunks that can’t afford a moped…" maybe this is an attitude we don't see much in Europe?
    Last edited by Freewheeler; 08-19-09 at 07:39 AM.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    36
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Freewheeler View Post
    Just out of curiosity asking as a European, is there or has there been any campaigns to get people on bikes in the U.S.A or individual states?

    I know of campaigns in the UK & Spain to encourage people to ride bikes, in the UK you can even get a discounted bike if you use it to ride to work.

    One thing for sure, the big global companys are not going to encourage folks to ride bikes, no mega money in that.


    edit - Unashamedly copied this line from the bottom of one of "seagulplayer's" posts, "Working to dispel the common myth that all grown men that ride a bicycle are just drunks that can’t afford a moped…" maybe this is an attitude we don't see much in Europe?
    What city am i talking about? I would say just about every civilized city out there, seems to be more on bikes than the U.S.
    I think one of the reasons for this, as one of u said, is in the way the countries took shape.

    Sometimes i feel as if there isnt any push in attempting to get more on bikes. And some of the laws passed at times, makes me feel as if they dont want u to ride your bike.

    Another great example is also the scooter, which seems like in some countries, there are more roaming the streets than actual cars!!!!

    Weird, but it seems as though the almighty oil companies mite have something to do with this as well!!

    I think here in the U.S., 95% of people that own a bike, own them for exercising, and recreational use.
    Now outside of the U.S., to many, its their main means of transportation. Its like their car.
    Last edited by chomish; 08-19-09 at 08:04 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    My Bikes
    80's Marin, 90's Dawes, ALAN & various unicycles.
    Posts
    123
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chomish View Post
    I think here in the U.S., 95% of people that own a bike, own them for exercising, and recreational use.
    Now outside of the U.S., to many, its their main means of transportation. Its like their car.
    It's a bit general for me to talk about "Europe", as it has such different cultures in each country, but I'd guess you'll find a small percentage of people who's only transport is a bicycle, but I'd guess more who's only transport is a scooter or motorbike.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    36
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    LOL. Didnt mean it in that way, and a bit stupid in just throwing out random numbers.

    Just trying to point out the importance of the bicycle in some countries outside the U.S.

  16. #16
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Papa Smurf's Lair
    My Bikes
    in my sig line
    Posts
    1,543
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Two words: Urban Sprawl.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
    '07 Giant Cypress WSD "Radagast the Beige-and-Black" * '97 (?) Bianchi Premio "Orion" * '09 Trek Allant "The Black Pearl"

  17. #17
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA
    My Bikes
    Cervelo Prodigy
    Posts
    5,198
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chomish View Post
    Living in NYC i always wondered why biking doesnt seem as poplular here in the US as in other cities outside the country.

    I travel alot, and in some of the big cities ive been to outside the US, it seems as if everybody rides around in bikes, or scooters.

    Some of these cities arent even half as crowded as NYC is, and everybody comes and goes on there bike.

    Whats some of your opinions on this??
    Your question is best answered not by opinions, but by city to city comparisons. Name the cities and go from there.

  18. #18
    the dream shall never die galyons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pleasant Hill, San Francisco East Bay
    My Bikes
    Cannondale R900 CAAD 8 Campy
    Posts
    131
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    General Motors was allowed to kill public transit and the railroads. We have been "willingly" forced to become an automobile addicted culture by those who profit from same.

    Geary

  19. #19
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Camp Hill, PA
    My Bikes
    Too many to list here check my signature.
    Posts
    20,492
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I agree with westcoast peddler and retro grouch. thanks to Henry Ford we americans love our autos. and since WW2 and the devleopment of 'surban communities' ie Levittown things are too spread out to run mutiple errands on bike.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo SOLd, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis SOLD, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti SOLD, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe SOLD, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  20. #20
    Gear Hub fan
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV
    My Bikes
    Civia Hyland Rohloff, Swobo Dixon, Colnago, Univega
    Posts
    2,830
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Combination of reasons IMO, most mentioned already.

    Urban sprawl
    Cheap gas
    The Model T
    Lousy support infrastructure
    Climate and terrain in many cities
    General American dislike of exercise

    BTW wahoonc I think that the culture and national decisions go back more than 50 years. Bikes in America have been considered kids toys by most since at least WW1.

    From then until after WW2 there were few adult bikes even available to the consumer who might have wanted one. The Brits started exporting bikes to the U.S. after WW2 in quantity and then Schwinn introduced the Varsity. Schwinn's earlier atempts at adult bikes with derailleurs, including the early Paramounts, were all money losers from what I have read.

    In Europe incomes averaged lower, cars and gas were more expensive and cities were more compact. The bike became the working peoples transport by default. That or public transportation.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

    Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared_hub_bikes/

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2,014
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A bicycle is a tool, as is the automobile. For most people a bicycle is only useful if they need to transport themselves somewhere within 3 mi. If you want people to use a bicycle high density living is the only way. Zoning laws in the US prevent high density living. Education and even police policy also discourage bicycles.

    There are actually wussy-fied public schools in the US that forbid use of anything except the yellow school bus as transportation. There is a good target for bicycle activists.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  22. #22
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    6,373
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    I agree with westcoast peddler and retro grouch. thanks to Henry Ford we americans love our autos. and since WW2 and the devleopment of 'surban communities' ie Levittown things are too spread out to run mutiple errands on bike.
    The earliest of these "Levittowns", including Levittown itself were built on the assumption that dad took the one family car to work and left mom and the kids at home to walk and/or bike to the store, etc. The earliest versions of these types of communities were actually quite bikeable. Subsequent development has largely killed such conveniences, however. For instance, I live in an older (pre-Levit) community on Long Island. The more recently built supermarkets and shopping centers are within a few miles of me and concentrated into one area, which would seemingly make biking or walking errands very easy. However the roads needed to access these places are now so car-packed and extremely hostile that its difficult and dangerous to access these places without a car, so as a result, no one bikes there and the local businesses have no motivation to set up bike parking, etc. This negative feedback process, initiated by cheap cars and gas, has exterminated the concept of utilitarian biking to all but the poorest.
    Last edited by mihlbach; 08-19-09 at 01:30 PM.

  23. #23
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Appleton WI
    My Bikes
    Several, mostly not name brands.
    Posts
    12,983
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    After WWII there was a determined (and successful) effort in the United States to redefine personal transportation as primarily automobile transportation. Immense amounts of money were spent on developing the infrastructure to support this effort, and now many people literally cannot think of personal transportation in any other way.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2,014
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Real estate development patterns in the US are determined by laws and bureaucrative imperatives not consumer preferences. Levittown was as much a product of NYC real estate and other policies as the evil auto industry. Please read the Power Broker by Carro.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Boise, ID.
    Posts
    1,253
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Its America - you put away the toys when you get your drivers license.
    1993 Cannondale T700 - 1994 Specialized Rockhopper - Actionbent T1 (Electrification in progress!)

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •