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  1. #1
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    Misperceptions About Bicyclists

    I've read of many misperceptions about bicyclists. (i.e. the ultra-athlete, being poor, being homeless, etc.). I have one more. Please follow.

    I've seen durable metal baskets that are made to hold just about anything. Like paniers, they are mounted on the back of cruisers, mountain bikes, and other such bicycles. Many years ago, my parents aquired one of these and had it mounted on the back of the Schwinn 5-speed cruiser that I was riding back then.

    The baskets definitely proved useful in many ways. For instance, they gave me a good place to put books while riding back and forth to school. When the returnable bottle bill laws were enacted, I had fun making quick cash by riding around and picking up empty bottles that other people had discarded on the side of the road. But one day I found the baskets were dismantled and lying on the floor of the place where trash was picked up. When I asked my parents (back then) why this had been done, I was told that despite the usefullness of the baskets, they (the baskets) would only make people think that I have a visual disability and encourage other misperceptions about myself and bicyclists in general.

    Today I ride a Trek 21-speed with a rack trunk. While I don't need to carry items of the same size and weight as the ones I needed the basket for, I wonder if the metal baskets are still used, and if so, do they create misperceptions of cyclists using them and bicycling in general?

  2. #2
    Senior Member slorollin's Avatar
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    Wow! Your parents are kind of sensitive. Metal baskets are fine as long as they're not made from shopping carts. If I wanted them I'd get them without worrying about it.
    Cops however, regard people on mo-peds as drunks that have had too many DUIs to drive a car.
    Last edited by slorollin; 10-16-10 at 04:49 PM.
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  3. #3
    I Biked Today Crazyed..27's Avatar
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    My observations from my city is that the people who ride bikes to work and for general transportation own cars too....they seem to be proud of the fact that could be driving, but are biking instead....so they seem to splurge on things like panniers, high quality messenger bags...ect

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Screw what other people think...I ride what I want, when I want. If I want to ride a bike with baskets I will and do. It goes the other way too, just because some putz is riding around in a Hummer or an Escalade doesn't mean they can afford it. And no that is not my only bike or form of transportation.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    biggest misconception i seem to encounter is that all people who ride bikes are tree huggers. Not the case here, if anything quite the opposite...

  6. #6
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Yes, people have misconceptions about some kinds of cyclists. Mostly in the US, but other places get some of this too. Should this bother you? IMO no. In your shoes, I would build the rattiest looking cargo bike possible, ( good mechanicals though ) and go pay them a visit.

  7. #7
    STFD mcgreivey's Avatar
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    Don't worry about others' perceptions.

    I don't know your parents, so I would have no right to call then wackadoos. But if my parents said that, I'd tell them they were crazy.

  8. #8
    Stealing Spokes since 82' Fizzaly's Avatar
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    Why are there always so many threads about this, who cares what others think, do what ya want on or in what ever you want.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post
    But one day I found the baskets were dismantled and lying on the floor of the place where trash was picked up. When I asked my parents (back then) why this had been done, I was told that despite the usefullness of the baskets, they (the baskets) would only make people think that I have a visual disability and encourage other misperceptions about myself and bicyclists in general.


    OK, that's one I've never heard!!

    So you had a good laugh, and put them back on your bicycle???

  10. #10
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    So you had a good laugh, and put them back on your bicycle???
    +1

    I just put a front basket on my wife's bike because she asked for one. except for occasionally wishing it had a cover or lid to keep things from bouncing out of it over big bumps (like RR tracks), i think it's the cat's meow, and quite pretty as well as very very useful.
    No slogans, just 14 facts.

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwdeegan View Post
    +1

    I just put a front basket on my wife's bike because she asked for one. except for occasionally wishing it had a cover or lid to keep things from bouncing out of it over big bumps (like RR tracks), i think it's the cat's meow, and quite pretty as well as very very useful.
    Rowan is building up a town bicycle for me (a step-through) and I want a basket on it. I'm not sure if it will be metal or wicker yet.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwdeegan View Post
    +1

    I just put a front basket on my wife's bike because she asked for one. except for occasionally wishing it had a cover or lid to keep things from bouncing out of it over big bumps (like RR tracks), i think it's the cat's meow, and quite pretty as well as very very useful.
    Get a cargo net to put over it. FWIW there is one on the bike in my picture above.
    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. :(

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    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  13. #13
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    With the tights and spandex and all, many people view cyclists as a little light in the loafers.

  14. #14
    I Biked Today Crazyed..27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
    With the tights and spandex and all, many people view cyclists as a little light in the loafers.

    Or a little heavy in the crotch...lol

  15. #15
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    A. Who cares what other people think.

    B. I'm over protective of my own girls. How old were you at the time? If somebody made an off comment about your setup, I can see your folks being over protective about it. Me, I would had solve the issue with a **** you, but I can empathize with somebody else desire to remove something that somebody else may use to cause grief to their child.

  16. #16
    I Biked Today Crazyed..27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abdon View Post
    A. Who cares what other people think.

    B. I'm over protective of my own girls. How old were you at the time? If somebody made an off comment about your setup, I can see your folks being over protective about it. Me, I would had solve the issue with a **** you, but I can empathize with somebody else desire to remove something that somebody else may use to cause grief to their child.

    Exactly who you are commenting too?

  17. #17
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    When I was growing up the impression was wire baskets meant you delivered newspapers.

    The only other one we formed opinions about was the old guy who lashed a pair of metal 32 gallon trash cans on to use as baskets.
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

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  18. #18
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    How do baskets imply a visual disability? I don't get it.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    How do baskets imply a visual disability? I don't get it.
    I don't get it either. What about baskets means that you can't see? were you carrying a white cane in the basket?
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    How do baskets imply a visual disability? I don't get it.
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    I don't get it either. What about baskets means that you can't see? were you carrying a white cane in the basket?
    Precisely why I figure it was his parents having him on ... it was some sort of joke. But the OP hasn't shared the punchline with us yet.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Misconceptions about any group of people reveal more about the stupidity of the holder than about the group.

    There's a lot of people who ride bicycles. We're not all the same. Whatever you're thinking about bicyclists, there are riders who fit that pattern and lots of riders who don't. The same thing is true of Muslems, Mexicans and Republicans.

  22. #22
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    Apparently young confused male motorists think I fancy them due to the clothing I wear on a bike. This has decreased drastically due to my iPod.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    I don't get it either. What about baskets means that you can't see? were you carrying a white cane in the basket?
    Maybe the bike was so ugly with the basket only a blind person would use it?

    I had a great wicker basket on the front of my old city bike - there was a chinese import shop in Ottawa that had them for cheap with the mounting wires already installed. Anyhoo, I came out of class one day and noticed someone had put a piece of tape on the front of it with the words "bike basket" written on it... I guessed it was somebody practicing English. Anyhoo, I rode that bike with that basket with that "bike basket" label on it for about two years.

  24. #24
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    I would assume that the parents thinking is:
    If you ride a utility cycle, then your eyesight must be too poor to get a drivers license.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  25. #25
    I Biked Today Crazyed..27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    I would assume that the parents thinking is:
    If you ride a utility cycle, then your eyesight must be too poor to get a drivers license.

    The concern is how many people really drive without a DL...and insurance?

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