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View Poll Results: Do you think that bicycles are the future of short-distance transportation?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Paranoid.Guy's Avatar
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    Are bicycles the future of short-distance transportation?

    When the petroleum reserves deplete, we will all probably switch to animal-powered transportation and, of course, human-powered(I am a fanatic of the latter). However, a horse needs to be fed and taken care of(not to mention its environmental footprint), while a bicycle(being an inanimate object) only requires some maintenance. Yes, I think the bikes are the future of short-distance transportation. There really isn't a better solution.
    Long-distance transport will be problematic though

  2. #2
    RIP Sonny RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Assuming the highway system stays the same, why wouldn't bikes be the transportation of choice for long distances for able bodied people? Could you imagine taking 66 with no cars on your bike!
    "Seriously is what I want to be, so I put on spandex and show off my gear, my junk, my thing, yes my ding-a-ling."

  3. #3
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paranoid.Guy View Post
    When the petroleum reserves deplete...
    Not gonna happen in the lifetime of anyone I'm acquainted with.


    I walk to the store (~0.9 miles one way) unless I'm buying tons of food. Then I take the car because it has a big trunk.
    Nothing else is within a reasonable cycling distance. So I just ride for exercise and fitness and sometimes camaraderie.
    Last edited by RonH; 09-06-11 at 04:03 PM.
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    Walking is the future of short distance transportation. Why just now I walked to the bathroom to go pee. Riding my bike would have been a major inconvenience as there is no bike rack outside the bathroom.

  5. #5
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    I figure people will have an attention span of about 10 seconds by the time oil runs out.So people will forget to eat and die.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Oil based fuels may be/Are Running out but alternatives will be found to replace the stuff. Alternative fuels already exist but are either not readily available or are expensive. Don't worry- fuels will be available to keep your vehicle moving but it may cost a new car- or be very expensive to run---Or both.

    I already use the bike for shorter journeys and the car is only used for major shopping trips. And the shorter journeys are up to 20 miles each way. All I have to work out is how to get 200lbs of timber that is 12ft long back from the yard on a bike-- Cars will still be necessary at times.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stone.
    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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member vision646's Avatar
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    If we run out of oil (before finding a replacement), nobody will care about the environmental footprint of a horse.
    I'm gonna throw in my 2 cents. Not because I'm an expert but because I have a keyboard. -canam73

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    I vote no. Humans as a race are by and large just too lazy. The electric motor will replace the petro engines in use today for basic transportation, how else can one ride in effortless air conditioned comfort and remain dry in a thunderstorm for those in the 'burbs commuting to the city.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    I'm seeing more and more folks using a bike as practical transpo. Not because they love bikes and want to do their bit for the environment, but because they have to.

  11. #11
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    This question assumes a one-size fits all solution similar to our current use of the automobile. The bicycle is a great means of short distance transportation, but I hope that we see multi-modal transportation as the future. Walking, busing, biking.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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  12. #12
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    In time, we will become more versatile in travel options, as the traditional automobile as we know it today gradually disappears.

    Eventually the e-bike will become more popular and take over due to lighter batteries (that last much longer) and are more eco-friendly.

    Until then, we'll see more cycle and mass transportation usage. Of course eventually, the bicycle will become the standard mode of travel.

    PS.

    Now let's look into my crystal ball to see what I'm preparing for dinner...
    Last edited by SlimRider; 09-06-11 at 09:44 PM.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    This question assumes a one-size fits all solution similar to our current use of the automobile. The bicycle is a great means of short distance transportation, but I hope that we see multi-modal transportation as the future. Walking, busing, biking.
    And trains.

  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I have my doubts in much of America...I hope that I am wrong.

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  15. #15
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Um, no petroleum, no bikes either. Water bottles are essentially plastic, which is petro-based. Tires are the same. Cyclocomputers, the bodies of lights, reflectors, probably quite a few lubes, the outer covering (shell?) of helmets... bunch of cycling specific swag is tied to Texas Tea.

    It's kinda ironic how America is starting to get a fuzzy vision that bikes can be more than toys or recreation, that they are in fact a mode of transportation at the same time that the Chinese are becoming more affluent and reaching for the car keys...
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  16. #16
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    In 20 years everyone will be driving electric cars. Then they'll panic whenever there's a power outage.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member jputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Um, no petroleum, no bikes either. Water bottles are essentially plastic, which is petro-based. Tires are the same. Cyclocomputers, the bodies of lights, reflectors, probably quite a few lubes, the outer covering (shell?) of helmets... bunch of cycling specific swag is tied to Texas Tea.
    Just because those are currently made from petro-plastics doesn't mean they have to be -- there are plenty of other plastics out there that become economically viable when oil prices climb. You can make excellent plastics from plants, you can make excellent tires from natural rubber, you can make water bottles from aluminum, the best saddles are already made of leather, rapeseed oil makes great chain lube...

    Take a look at a bike from WWII or before and you'll see plenty of viable alternatives to petroleum. Cheap oil just pushed them off the market for now.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member jputnam's Avatar
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    Bikes are one of many solutions to last-mile transportation. So is walking, solar/electric or plug-in electric, bio-fuels, etc.

    The end of cheap oil will mean the end of popular gas-guzzling car designs, it won't mean the end of personal motor vehicles, and it won't solve many of the issues that keep some people from cycling.

    Long-distance transportation is different, but for most land journeys, fuel-efficient rail is entirely plausible without petroleum.
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  19. #19
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    It's not so much that oil becomes more scarce, more the number of people who want it increases to include Chinese and Indians. The price goes up so driving reverts to being a high-cost activity. Some people eg in rural area will have to pay the price. In urban areas, the alternatives will become more attractive. The biggest problem will be in the 'burbs where car-based developments will be housing car-lite families.
    We will see the end of hyper-mobility, where it is "sensible" to travel 100miles+ to work. We will see the end of mass transportation of non-essential goods and generally use less stuff, more of it made locally.
    Bicycles and electric bicycles will become more significant, they already have in the UK.
    Rail networks will have to expand and maybe we will see roads-to-rails conversions.
    We will see more hyper-efficient, lightweight vehicles for local delivery and transportation, using electric drive with battery or diesel-electric or fuel-cell power units. Everyday vehicles with race-car performance will become a thing of the past.
    Some quaint old gas stations will be turned into restaurants, much as the coaching inns were in the UK after trains made them obscelete.

  20. #20
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    Not gonna happen in the lifetime of anyone I'm acquainted with.


    so you're not aquainted with anyone under the age of 90 or in the final stages of a terminal disease?
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Um, no petroleum, no bikes either. Water bottles are essentially plastic, which is petro-based. Tires are the same. Cyclocomputers, the bodies of lights, reflectors, probably quite a few lubes, the outer covering (shell?) of helmets... bunch of cycling specific swag is tied to Texas Tea.

    It's kinda ironic how America is starting to get a fuzzy vision that bikes can be more than toys or recreation, that they are in fact a mode of transportation at the same time that the Chinese are becoming more affluent and reaching for the car keys...
    It will get to the point where petro-based procucts will be extremely expensive, and the notion of burning petrols will seem insane.

    So, yes, PVC, and other plastics will all be 95% recycled products, tires will be repaired much more often, and then recycled into new tires, or will be made from vulcanized rubber again.

    Gasoline WILL hit $10/gallon. Then it WILL hit $100/gallon. It's just a matter of time. The earth took a couple billion years to make the oil, and we are burning it at a much faster rate than replacement.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    Not gonna happen in the lifetime of anyone I'm acquainted with.


    I walk to the store (~0.9 miles one way) unless I'm buying tons of food. Then I take the car because it has a big trunk.
    Nothing else is within a reasonable cycling distance. So I just ride for exercise and fitness and sometimes camaraderie.
    It's going to happen quite soon. OPEC estimates 40 years of reserves. That's why we're looking at oil shale now. And, there's not too much of that either. Not to mention, it's VERY expensive to extract from shale.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    From official US army energy review Sept 2005:



    Energy consumption is indispensable to our standard of living, and necessary for the Army to carry out its mission. However, current trends are not sustainable. The impact of excessive, unsustainable energy consumption may undermine the very culture and activities it supports. There is no perfect energy source; all are used at a cost...


    The days of inexpensive, convenient, abundant energy sources are quickly drawing to a close. Domestic natural gas production peaked in 1973. The proved domestic reserve lifetime for natural gas at current consumption rates is about 8.4 yrs. The proved world reserve lifetime for natural gas is about 40 years, but will follow a traditional rise to a peak and then a rapid decline. Domestic oil production peaked in 1970 and continues to decline. Proved domestic reserve lifetime for oil is about 3.4 yrs.


    World oil production is at or near its peak and current world demand exceeds the supply. Saudi Arabia is considered the bellwether nation for oil production and has not increased production since April 2003. After peak production, supply no longer meets demand, and prices and competition increase. The proved reserve lifetime for world oil is about 41 years, most of this at a declining availability. Our current throw-away nuclear cycle will consume the world reserve of low-cost uranium in about 20 years. Unless we dramatically change our consumption practices, the Earth’s finite resources of petroleum and natural gas will become depleted in this century. Coal supplies may last into the next century depending on technology and consumption trends as it starts to replace oil and natural gas
    .

    Not an overly pretty picture, even for electric vehicles, considering how much energy is consumed minus personal vehicles and how little energy is derived from renewables (notice inclusion of coal and nuclear energy reserves).
    You can bet your bottom, that in a world with lessening fuel, ordinary people will be bottom of the foodchain.

    As far as I can see, no one knows if Hydrogen is truly feasible. It seems likely that it could be possible, but not so to readily (and in such a short time frame), replace petrol cars as the everyday item we know today. Those who believe it is possible seem to rely too much IMHO on a lot of breakthroughs in technology.

    Interesting debate showing the possibilities/impossibilities of hydrogen vehicles:

    http://debatepedia.idebate.org/en/in...re_possible.3F

    In the interim between a swapover from petrol to hydrogen (if at all possible), I imagine a lot of people will take to the bicycle. Don't forget, mass petrol transportation is only a recent phenomenon in most of the west (post war), and still doesn't exist in a lot of the developing world. in the UK, even in the 1950s, the bicycle was a major part of local transportation.

    Of course, we live in a world which has been decentred by the petrol engine. We no longer live and work locally, and most of our food production and supply is petrol dependent. We have unfortunately designed, in the west, at least, a world which is almost entirely dependent on petrol for its everyday functioning. How we can change that in an equally short time during petrol's decline is the more interesting question.
    You only had to look at the effects of a fuel crisis on a fuel dependent infrastructure by remembering how long it took for the supermarket shelves to empty in the UK during the fuel strikes of 2000. They were rationing bread at out local supermarket after about four days.
    Last edited by Gotte; 09-07-11 at 08:10 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    When the petroleum reserves deplete in a thousand years...maybe. DRILL NOW!

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  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadwullf View Post
    When the petroleum reserves deplete in a thousand years...maybe. DRILL NOW!
    We're looking at closer 70 years, instead of a thousand, before depletion. Drill where?

    How about we do this instead: Take the money we are using to bankroll oil companies, and develop sustainable energy sources?

    Since a single oil company, even after repaying for part of a cleanup, makes $5 billion a year, I'm sure we can cut the $200 billion we give them annually.

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