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Old 10-18-04, 04:45 AM   #1
bikejunkie
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But she has to ride a mile to school

At the shop where I work I have noticed an increasing number of people asking about motorized scooters. One woman in particular was looking for a way for her daughter to get bak and forth to school and volleyball practice. When I told her we don't sell scooters and that maybe she should consider a bicycle, her response was " But she has to ride a mile to school ". Does anyone else think this is crazy. Maybe attitudes like this are why our kids are fat.
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Old 10-18-04, 05:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by bikejunkie
At the shop where I work I have noticed an increasing number of people asking about motorized scooters. One woman in particular was looking for a way for her daughter to get bak and forth to school and volleyball practice. When I told her we don't sell scooters and that maybe she should consider a bicycle, her response was " But she has to ride a mile to school ". Does anyone else think this is crazy. Maybe attitudes like this are why our kids are fat.
Did you mention it takes less than 5 minutes to ride a mile? Less than 2 if you're fit.
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Old 10-18-04, 05:41 AM   #3
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No, I guess her statement caught me so much by surprise, I was at a loss for words.
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Old 10-18-04, 05:59 AM   #4
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A mile of steep uphill sounds more reasonable, but scooters don't climb very well anyway. I've seen people riding $1000+ electric bikes that go at 18 mph max, and always wondered why they wouldn't buy a good road bike that goes much faster.
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Old 10-18-04, 06:10 AM   #5
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A mile of steep uphill sounds more reasonable, but scooters don't climb very well anyway. I've seen people riding $1000+ electric bikes that go at 18 mph max, and always wondered why they wouldn't buy a good road bike that goes much faster.
$1000USD road bike *drool*.

I think the reason is that parents don't want their kids to do any work at all to get to school, lest their performance at school drops. This includes driving kids to the bus stop 100m away from the house and waiting there. Sigh.
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Old 10-18-04, 06:18 AM   #6
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In NYC I saw a strange dude riding a beat-up bike. He had rigged a small gasoline motor to the bicycle. It was all homemade. The proud grin on his face was priceless.
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Old 10-18-04, 06:44 AM   #7
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At the shop where I work I have noticed an increasing number of people asking about motorized scooters. One woman in particular was looking for a way for her daughter to get bak and forth to school and volleyball practice. When I told her we don't sell scooters and that maybe she should consider a bicycle, her response was " But she has to ride a mile to school ". Does anyone else think this is crazy. Maybe attitudes like this are why our kids are fat.
What about walking? It's only a mile.
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Old 10-18-04, 07:03 AM   #8
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Unfortunately, it today’s society there are a lot of places where it would be inappropriate to let you child ride to school for fear of what’s lurking in the shadows. That being said, in this case the mother has already decided it would be safe for her child to ride a scooter to school… Give me a break!

I coached my son’s little league, 4th-5th graders. The circumstances don’t really matter. Bottom line after only 3 laps around the bases I had one of the kids crying and 2 more walking… and then came protective mamma bear!!! I wasn’t getting paid enough for that $#!t. I lived 8 miles from school and finally convinced my mother to LET me ride to school. (Good ole Huffy Sante Fe 10sp with the seat post cut and a piece of solid bar stock welded in the middle to lengthen it! And an analog speedometer run by a deliewop on the front axle and rotating cable!!!)

I have a feeling the schools will start restricting those scooters soon. As it is, my kid’s school when we were in Washington, wouldn’t allow the kids to ride their bikes on school property. They had to get off a walk down the 500’ driveway. In Minnesota the restriction is on the use/parking of snowmobiles!
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Old 10-18-04, 07:37 AM   #9
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I bet that mother just had no idea how short a mile is. The US has even less of a pedestrian culture than a bike culture in some areas. I am often flummoxed by people who are impressed that I walk a mile to work every day; some of these people go to the gym three times a week and can certainly walk a lot further than a mile. They just don't know how long a mile is, not in walking terms.

They are the same people who are floored by my boyfriend's two and a half mile bike commute, when of course the reality is that his entire commute time is spent at traffic lights, since the distance is nothing at all.
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Old 10-18-04, 07:48 AM   #10
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Wasn't there a time not too long ago when kids walked or biked to school and only those that were 5 miles or farther were bussed in? And your father would tell you he walked 5 miles to school, in 4 feet of snow, uphill both ways without a jacket if you ever complained about walking to school?

I distinctly remember walking to school when it was close or biking if I had a bike. I suspect it's really a combination of things: ease and convenience of using a car/scooter (kids lead incredibly busy lives and are getting stressed at earlier ages); fear of child attackers (this is an issue that either is increasing or getting more press); lots of traffic to deal with (reality is with so many people turning to cars because of convenience it's harder for kids to ride to school); potential for theft of bikes (kids ain't cheap!); kids having too many places to go to after school (soccer for Janey is 10 miles away and she has 30 min to get to it while Joey is going to hockey practise in the other direction by 20 miles and has 45 minutes to get to it).

Sometimes I think all these things that make our lives more convenient actually make things worse. An interesting book I'm reading called The Obesity Myth does point out something: we are more sedentary than we were about 50 years ago (this is more likely the cause of many diseases/conditions that have been associated with obesity).

North America is a car culture and it will take gas prices that are double what they are now and no government intervention before there are changes done, IMO.
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Old 10-18-04, 07:55 AM   #11
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What you have to really ask is, what are americans willing to sacrafice in their daily lives if it really came down to it? Because a car is a necessity. I meant to say, people seem to think a car is a necessity.
If you take everything that's not an absolute necessity, then sumed it up, divided it by the amount of gas one uses, that is the cost of gas that's necessary to cause the public to give up the automobile.
I'm willing to bet people would give up cable tv, go to generic everything, wear clothes with holes in them, buy single ply, skip a meal a day, before giving up their cars.

Last edited by slvoid; 10-18-04 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 10-18-04, 08:29 AM   #12
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what she really needs is one of these:
mini motorcycle

do you work at a LBS?
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Old 10-18-04, 08:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by slvoid
What you have to really ask is, what are americans willing to sacrafice in their daily lives if it really came down to it? Because a car is a necessity. I meant to say, people seem to think a car is a necessity.
If you take everything that's not an absolute necessity, then sumed it up, divided it by the amount of gas one uses, that is the cost of gas that's necessary to cause the public to give up the automobile.
I'm willing to bet people would give up cable tv, go to generic everything, wear clothes with holes in them, buy single ply, skip a meal a day, before giving up their cars.

I don't know. I wouldn't switch to single ply for anything.
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Old 10-18-04, 09:00 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Turbonium
what she really needs is one of these:
mini motorcycle

do you work at a LBS?

argh,
I can't stand those things and related internal combustion engine toys. Seems every kid has one these days. Horribly loud too.

Hopefully, they are prone to quick mechanical failure-- at the prices these things are selling at, they can't last too long under the abuse of a child.
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Old 10-18-04, 09:48 AM   #15
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Why are we assuming this is limited to the US? Every western country is as messed up as America (well, almost, at least nowhere else has to have GWB as it's leader).

But it is a big problem; when I was over in Seattle last month, I was staying with my sister who lives at the north end of town, at least 30 minutes by car via I5. My girlfriend and I bused it downtown a lot, and the number of people that got on, rode three blocks and got off (at $1.25 every time), it's unbelievable. We walked further than that to get to the bus every morning. We thought nothing of walking 15 or 20 blocks to get some lunch or do some shopping. Could've walked 8 and got the bus, but there's no point.

The only reason I don't walk or bike much at home is because I live in the sticks and it's too dark/cold/wet/foggy to ride to work (not too far though, come summer I'll do it every day). But if I get the train up to Norwich (the nearest big city) I walk everywhere (they have a free bus service for train passengers to the main bus station, but I've never used it, even when I bought a new stereo in a big heavy box).

Of course as with most problems with kids these days, it's all down to the parents (and the schools to some extent). They're not neccessarily bad parents, they just need to teach their kids (and themselves) that getting in the car is not always the answer.
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Old 10-18-04, 09:52 AM   #16
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A guy I know is trying to get a program together to publicize safe bike and pedestrian routes to elementary schools. He said the schools nixed the bike part. They said something about "liability." In America, "liability" is the excuse you make up if you don't want to do something.

As to child-snatching fears, it would be interesting to see statistics about how many kids suffer debilitating obesity-related diseases compared to how many kids get kidnapped on the way to school. My guess is that the number of kidnappings is (thankfully) tiny when compared to, say, the juvenile diabetes rate. Anybody got some hard numbers?

P.S. I walked and biked two miles each way to middle school. My guess is that I walked and bike about a mile to elementary school, but my sense of distance from that age may be a little off.
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Old 10-18-04, 10:04 AM   #17
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...as compared to how many kids get kidnapped on the way to school. My guess is that the number of kidnappings is (thankfully) tiny when compared to, say, the juvenile diabetes rate.
And of those kidnappings, how many are by a complete stranger as opposed to an estranged parent. I wouldn't be surprised if most child kidnappings are done by a relative.

If people are concerned for the safety of their children, why not organize a group of families so their children could walk to school together with a parent as chaperone? That would mean a parent could structure their schedule to participate 1-2 days a week. I wouldn't think it would be that difficult.

FWIW, My kids have been walking/biking to school since they were in 3 & 5 grade and still walk to high school.
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Old 10-18-04, 10:08 AM   #18
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In America, "liability" is the excuse you make up if you don't want to do something.
Dunno about that. The ability for some to sue on things at the drop of a hat (heck, that in itself might be reason enough; spill coffee? win $250,000) seems to drive this. I wouldn't be surprised if schools don't want to get involved because parents might look to them as being responsible for any potential accidents (weirder things have happened).
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Old 10-18-04, 10:13 AM   #19
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I can remember biking to school back when I was 11 with my friends to school about a couple miles away. There were no worries back then about crashing without a helmet cuz if you did fall off your bike it was because "you were doing something stupid and deserved it" as my mom and dad would say. There were monkey bars to play on at the playground cuz the city didn't need to worry about getting sued by little Johnny's mom cuz he fell off them while hanging upside down. Your little league coaches worked your butts off, not having to worry about getting sued cuz little Johnny couldn't run worth poop. My parents didn't have to worry about my being a latch-key kid and the child protection agencies (or whatever they are in Canada, I forget) taking me and my sister away because we were home alone for a few hours. What has this world come to?

This lady will give her daughter a motorized scooter so she can zoom off to school a mile away? She probably wont even make her wear a helmet either since it may muss up her daughter's hair and she may be ridiculed at school and then end up with low self esteem which the mother will blame the school for. What would happen if her daughter were mugged for her scooter? Would that become the LBS's fault since they didnt warn the mother that these things are coveted and cherished by other kids? Come on now! This society we live in has become so self-indulgent, sue happy, fast food eating, no excersizing fat bastards, it's ridiculous!

Sorry for venting a bit!
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Old 10-18-04, 10:15 AM   #20
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I need a car just in case my bike breaks and I need to drive to the LBS
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Old 10-18-04, 10:18 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by MsMittens
Dunno about that. The ability for some to sue on things at the drop of a hat (heck, that in itself might be reason enough; spill coffee? win $250,000) seems to drive this. I wouldn't be surprised if schools don't want to get involved because parents might look to them as being responsible for any potential accidents (weirder things have happened).
Of course, parents could also sue because the school's policy increased the amount of obesity-related diseases by discouraging biking and walking. School administrators need to show some common sense and stop letting "liability" be an excuse for not doing what they already don't want to do.
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Old 10-18-04, 10:22 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by MsMittens
Wasn't there a time not too long ago when kids walked or biked to school and only those that were 5 miles or farther were bussed in? And your father would tell you he walked 5 miles to school, in 4 feet of snow, uphill both ways without a jacket if you ever complained about walking to school?
I remember walking to school but I never had to go uphill because, back in those days, the earth was still flat.
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Old 10-18-04, 10:54 AM   #23
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..because the school's policy increased the amount of obesity-related diseases by discouraging biking and walking.
Don't give them any idears!!! I teach network and computer security. By default it seems that computer administrators will gain somewhere between 5-25lbs (assuming they eat and sit most of the time -- which seems to be the SOP) or alternatively lose 5-25lbs from lack of eating (just too busy -- being underweight and inactive can be as bad as overweight and inactive). Given that logic I wonder how long before someone sues me for encouraging individuals into an environment that may not be healthy for them? *GASP* I guess the idea of making choices that are smart for ourselves and our kids isn't a requirement any more and we'll leave all decisionmaking to someone else...
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Old 10-18-04, 11:31 AM   #24
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"There were no worries back then about crashing without a helmet cuz if you did fall off your bike it was because "you were doing something stupid and deserved it" as my mom and dad would say. There were monkey bars to play on at the playground cuz the city didn't need to worry about getting sued by little Johnny's mom cuz he fell off them while hanging upside down."

growing up my parents wouldn't let me have a bmx style bike, said i would out grow it. so i beat the heLL out of my old schwinn 10 speed. when the front wheel fell off and i landed on my chin, needed 15ish stiches, it was my fault, not schwinn's or the bike shop they bought it at.

another time, my elementary school playground had a dome jungle gym type thing. i was hanging upside down at the top and ended up falling (a couple of feet ?) on my head & shoulder. when i got up i couldn't straighten up my head, i looked like i was trying to touch my ear to my shoulder. ended up a the chiro's. once again, it was my fault, not the school.
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Old 10-18-04, 12:48 PM   #25
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I don't know. I wouldn't switch to single ply for anything.
Eh. You get used to it. After awhile the regular two-ply seems to soft to do the job.

Anyway, earlier this year I got behind some soft-fleshed h.s. kid on a gas-powered scooter. I drafted him for a bit, then swung around and pulled up even, and said "Is that as fast as that thing goes?" His eyes got really big and for a minute I thought he was going to swerve into me and crash.

Oops! That would have been embarrassing but I really wanted to challenge him to a race. The problem with racing a scooter is that you can't make them physically suffer before riding them off your wheel.

Last edited by caloso; 10-18-04 at 02:58 PM. Reason: grammar
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