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  1. #1
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    the case for having a car

    i was talking to a neighbor and he raised some good points about the need always for automobiles
    the elderly and infirm are not in shape to use bikes so they will always need cars to get around. also if you have to travel to work and the distance is more than 30 or so miles a bike is not practical assuming you average 15 mph on a bike.
    a bike is a five fold increase in speed over walking assuming you travel at 2.5 mph walking and 12 mph riding a bike, so a bike is just a bit better than walking really.
    just some food for thought.

  2. #2
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    Yes there will always be a need for tools powered by motors. Drills, cars, blenders. So what?

    A better question is the individual ownership of cars. In many countries where auto ownership is rare there are extensive private taxi, bus and van services. Even in New York City there are semi legal van services. These are opposed by governments that like their monopolies. One problem with bicycle activists is they like "mass transportation", which usually means infrequent service along a small number of routes by people who are paid way better than the people in the back of the bus who work for a government monopoly.

    As far as the distances you site, people would live nearer to where they regularly need to go, if they were not restricted from doing so by especially laws including zoning laws.
    Last edited by geo8rge; 08-29-09 at 09:41 AM.
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  3. #3
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acorn
    if you have to travel to work and the distance is more than 30 or so miles a bike is not practical assuming you average 15 mph on a bike.
    I am a little surprised that it took a conversation with your neighbour to figure out that riding a bike long distances every day might be a bit impractical for anyone (and certainly for people with physical limitations). Um, yes, we're aware of this. One can make arguments for living closer to work, and for extending public transportation network to allow easier travel to further locations, but a car remains a useful transporational tool, and sometimes the best tool for the job. It's just a very overused tool in North America, employed unnecessarily often and with altogether too much sense of entitlement.

    Quote Originally Posted by acorn54 View Post
    the elderly and infirm are not in shape to use bikes
    "The elderly and infirm" are also often frighteningly unable to safely drive a car... yet continue to do so. It's somewhat understandable, given the unfortunate car-centric design of most North American communities, but not a particularly comforting thought to those of us sharing the road with them.
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  4. #4
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post

    A better question is the individual ownership of cars.
    Good point. I have problems with some of the older people around here who drive. I think there should be a better way of dealing with this problem, it would be too easy to have some bureaucratic nightmare over it, but at the moment, there is no really simple way of taking the license of those that should not drive.

  5. #5
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Opt-in Member GreenGrasshoppr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chephy View Post
    "The elderly and infirm" are also often frighteningly unable to safely drive a car... yet continue to do so. It's somewhat understandable, given the unfortunate car-centric design of most North American communities, but not a particularly comforting thought to those of us sharing the road with them.
    not only do they have the right to drive, society even provides them special parking spaces for their exclusive use!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Timber_8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr View Post
    not only do they have the right to drive, society even provides them special parking spaces for their exclusive use!
    I hope you get to die before you get old
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  8. #8
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr View Post
    not only do they have the right to drive, society even provides them special parking spaces for their exclusive use!
    Quote Originally Posted by Timber_8 View Post
    I hope you get to die before you get old
    Yeah, and whatz up wid dis giving up our seats on the bus to fat assed pregnant women, and lame old handicapped loozers,eh?

    For once, I am on the same wavelength as Timber.

  9. #9
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr View Post
    not only do they have the right to drive, society even provides them special parking spaces for their exclusive use!
    I have no problem with disabled or physically challenged people driving, well, no more than anyone else. It's those that have lost sufficient physical or mental abilities that it impacts their ability to drive safely. Of course there are a lot who haven't lost any of their ability, they never had it in the first place!

  10. #10
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
    I have no problem with disabled or physically challenged people driving, well, no more than anyone else.
    In general, I have less problem with their driving, since many other transportational options may be unavailable or drastically inconvenient to them. But if their handicap impairs their ability to safely operate a vehicle, they shouldn't be driving. Anybody want to see legally blind behind the wheel?
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  11. #11
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    A week or so ago an elderly lady ran into a bunch of cars killing several people, she died at the hospital after suffering a heart attack (reportedly from the crash, not the cause of the crash - she was the cause of it). Face it getting old sucks, but at some point you have to admit you're too damn old to be driving and are a danger to those around you.

    For those who can still handle riding a bike, there's always assist engines - electric, motor, etc. and at ~30MPH it makes any distance tolerable. Those who drive long hours to or from work need to move closer into work or find a job near them. It's the motorist in a rush that's a nuisance to cyclists.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bluegoatwoods's Avatar
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    Motor assisted bicycles are great, but they beat the crap out of you. Not really a very good alternative for the elderly.

    It does point toward another "reduce auto usage" argument; let's leave the cars and the roads to our mothers, fathers, grandparents, etc. Reduced road congestion will give them more breathing space and ease up on the safety issue.

    Now it's obvious that the blind or those with disabilities severe enough to make them unable to operate a car must be prohibited from driving. There's no need to take up space with that.

    We're talking about people who are still capable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acorn54 View Post
    the elderly and infirm are not in shape to use bikes so they will always need cars to get around.
    The question is not if the elderly and infim will always need cars, but whether they will be able to afford motor transport once gas hits $4.00 dollars a gallon again! The economy is getting ready to make a recovery so expect the price of gas to start climbing again.

    What did the elderly and the infirm do in 1909 since there were very few driving cars? I went to the library to find out how peope were living in my town 100 years ago. What amazed me was the fact that people were doing the same things back then as they do today. Men, women and children were getting married, shopping, going to school and work all without the need of a car. Pictures showed very few horse and buggys on the street and we had only three train stops in town! You would figure that life must have been horrible but I noticed no suffering at all! There were no articles saying, "I couldn't find work or go shopping because I can't afford a car" anywhere in the papers.

    Once all gas, oil and coal are all used up, we'll be right back to life in 1909. Civilization will recover and everything will be just fine.

  14. #14
    Senior Member DX Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr View Post
    not only do they have the right to drive, society even provides them special parking spaces for their exclusive use!
    No one has has a "right" to drive, it is not constitutionally protected as a right would be. Driving is a privilege and trust me, given the number of serious accidents that have occurred just this summer in Massachusetts involving elderly drivers, that privilege needs to be reviewed more thoroughly.

    The thing that really chaps my hide is that very, very, very few elderly drivers are actually remorseful of their actions. They're more upset that they're being impositioned. One woman killed a young girl, I believe she was seven, and when she was asked if she had anything to say to the girls family, she made one of the nastiest self serving comments that I've ever heard.
    Quote Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
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  15. #15
    Senior Member larue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acorn54 View Post
    i was talking to a neighbor and he raised some good points about the need always for automobiles
    the elderly and infirm are not in shape to use bikes so they will always need cars to get around. also if you have to travel to work and the distance is more than 30 or so miles a bike is not practical assuming you average 15 mph on a bike.
    a bike is a five fold increase in speed over walking assuming you travel at 2.5 mph walking and 12 mph riding a bike, so a bike is just a bit better than walking really.
    just some food for thought.
    There are a lot of stupid comments in this thread already so I'm just going to reply to the original post and ignore everything else.
    First off "the elderly" are not all unfit. Just because you are a senior does not mean you are not fit to ride a bike, if more of the elderly actually took part in day to day fitness they wouldn't have many of the issues they have. Also if certain people just can't get on a bike then public transportation is the better answer and not more cars.
    As far as mileage goes why exactly is biking 30 miles impractical? Because at 15 mph that would take two hours? Two hours on my bike is not a big loss to me. And how in the world do you come to the conclusion that at a minimal five fold increase biking is only slightly better than walking, did you actually do the math? At 2.5 mph covering 30 miles would take 12 hours and at 12.5 mph (which is a very slow average speed) it would only take 2.4 hours! That is cutting 10 hours out of the trip, how is that marginal?
    There is no case for having a car unless you are just lazy or your area has no public transport. There is honestly no reason why you or anybody else (that is not disabled) CAN'T do a 30 mile commute by bike it always comes down to you the fact that you WON'T do it.
    Leave your treadmill power trip behind.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DX Rider's Avatar
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    FWIW, my mother is elderly and infirm. She also lives in a rural area and has never driven or had a drivers license. She gets around by public transportation, the local bus company operates a door to door, state subsidized van service just for the seniors and handicapped riders.

    Quote Originally Posted by larue View Post
    There is no case for having a car unless you are just lazy or your area has no public transport. There is honestly no reason why you or anybody else (that is not disabled) CAN'T do a 30 mile commute by bike it always comes down to you the fact that you WON'T do it.

    I can give you one reason without trying too hard. Parents with mulitple young children and a hospital that is remotely located. No ambulances are not the answer, insurance companies normally don't cover none emergency calls.
    Last edited by DX Rider; 09-01-09 at 11:15 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
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  17. #17
    Increasingly Marginalized seawind161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acorn54 View Post
    <Snip>a bike is a five fold increase in speed over walking assuming you travel at 2.5 mph walking and 12 mph riding a bike, so a bike is just a bit better than walking really.
    just some food for thought.
    True, and a car at 60 mph is "a five fold increase in speed " over a bike at 12 mph.
    So a car "is just a bit better than" cycling, really.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by seawind161 View Post
    True, and a car at 60 mph is "a five fold increase in speed " over a bike at 12 mph.
    So a car "is just a bit better than" cycling, really.
    And I was talking to my neighbor and since a plane is 5 times faster than a car he agreed everyone should have a plane

  19. #19
    Senior Member DX Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocycling View Post
    And I was talking to my neighbor and since a plane is 5 times faster than a car he agreed everyone should have a plane
    I live 37 miles from Boston, there used to be a guy in the town that I live in who commuted to Boston every weekday by plane. He lived on a lake in town and the plane was equipped with floats so he could park it at the dock in his backyard.
    Quote Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
    There is just no cure for stupid.
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  20. #20
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Yeah, and whatz up wid dis giving up our seats on the bus to fat assed pregnant women, and lame old handicapped loozers,eh?

    For once, I am on the same wavelength as Timber.
    I think this thread belongs in the "Living Car-Free" Forum, where posters yak all day about cars and oil.

  21. #21
    Senior Member donhaller's Avatar
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    (zip up flame suit)

    I love my bike... I love my car, actually most cars.
    So much anomosity about cars here.

    I'm the president of a large Corvette Club in the Washington D.C. area and we love our cars, always will. I know this will offend a lot of cyclist and I'll get flamed, but that's life in my dual love relationship with bicycles and cars.

    There are a lot of dumb butt drivers, driving crazy and running us cyclists off the roads everywhere. Since I'm involved in automobile related relationships I try to promote responsible driving and share the road philosophy among our members.

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