The last two were for kicks. My friend is 5'9" and was able to fit inside it
The last two were for kicks. My friend is 5'9" and was able to fit inside it
I am not sure why this topic struck a chord -- perhaps because I was a car-free teen all through high school (SF Bay Area) and used my Coast-to-Coast ( a hardware store when I was a kid ) three-speed with wire-rack panniers to get around. That bike never had an ounce of panache or sex appeal: it was a butt-ugly work dog. I hated it. But it got me around, and some surprisingly large distances at that.
If I were a teenager today (I am fifty-three) I would try to stay car free as long as possible. Cycle, ride the bus, bum rides, be creative. But **save** all the money you would have spent on gas and insurance and maybe the cost of the car itself or the payments, and maybe a few extra hundred a year on top of that for maintenance, and the price of new tabs every year too. The money is staggering. If you save it, you can use it for college, or to cycle through Europe or Canada or the USA or whatever.
FWIW. I wish I had.
Where am I going? And why am I in this hand-basket?
After reading the "The car-free teenager" thread I wondered if abstaining from getting a driver's license and an automobile is becoming a rare thing for teenagers today?
When I was a teen it was a typical thing to have get a driver's license and getting a rusty, used car when you were sixteen.
However, I'm now starting to see that the automobile was just a fad.
Also, it used to be a cool thing to own a car... I wonder, is owning a car still thought of as "cool"?
Yes owning a car is still "cool". Now, "cool" might refer to stupid things, like owning a car. Did you know that wearing your pants low enough that it exposes your underwear is "cool" too?
I used to think bicycles might have a chance against cars, but lately I've concluded that you will have to pull cars from this generation's cold, dead hands.
i think if you compare two kids and assume everything else is equal, the one with the car would be cooler.
I don't think teenagers today can afford cars like when i was a teenager back in the late '70's early '80's.
We all had cars, fixed them up & showed them off. Gas was cheap, insurance was cheap and pretty much free or cheap parking everywhere. Is that true today? I don't think so. Teenagers today probably make the same money in 2008 dollars as I did back then and there's no way I could run a car today on that money. I do see teenagers driving but it looks like it's in mom or dads car.. I see more older people on the roads today compared to back in the 'good ole days'
I work with kids just a bit too young to drive -13 & 14 year olds- and the very suggestion that they not drive cars is ridiculous to them. Adults who ride bikes, such as myself, are hopeless dorks in their eyes. Of course, you have to consider the source; this group also thinks "American Idol" and the Jonas Brothers are the coolest things ever.
Driving cars, however, is not their highest priority any more. I recently polled my students, asking them if they could have a cell phone, an ipod, or a car, but only one of these, which would they choose, and the cell phone and ipod beat the car by a very large margin. (Mobile phones won out over ipods, too, BTW)
The kids are also aware of gas prices, and the fact that they may not be able to afford to drive a car when they get older. They seem pretty optimistic about scooters, though. Bicycles are NOT on most kids' radar at all; dressing in those dorky, stinky old-man clothes and wearing those stupid-looking helmets (their words, not mine) is social suicide in their eyes. For most of the under-16 kids that I work with, bicycling has a serious image problem. (There are some kids who ride bikes, but they tend to be the rare ones who don't give a rat's a** about what the popular kids think of them. I have a soft spot in my heart for them.)
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
If anyone thinks kids can't afford a car they haven't been to a Highschool parking lot. Kids today may not build their cars like we used to. Wrenching on your own car has given away to using plastic to buy what you need. Trucks are lifted and cars are slammed and everyone has an exhaust system. I don't know what will happen now that fuel is more than 4 bucks a gallon but from what I see kids are still getting cars and supporting the aftermarket wheel market.
I turn 16 at the end of August, and I haven't thought much about a drivers liscense. About the only time I'd actually need a car is when I want to go airsofting, (If it takes 45 min. by car to get to the closest place, I don't think biking is that great of an option...) and I can usually have my dad give me a ride for that, as it gives him an excuse to go diving.
Bragi, do you work in King County?
"Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."
I personally don't see vehicles ever going away especially when Hybrids, Electrics, and other alternative power sources become mainstream.
Look at the Chevy Volt....I would love one. It's a hip looking concept car. Would you buy one if it came with a Bikefriday Tikit next to the spare tire?
We have a lot of brainy smart people in this world, and companies that have enourmous deep pockets. It'll only be a matter of time before a new power source is developed to power that Hummer H1. Believe me they are working 24/7 on this problem as we write, and with the advancements in manufacturing - after 6 months of the rev 1's you'll get rev 2's selling for half the cost...and so on.
Last edited by Silverexpress; 08-28-08 at 02:11 PM.
I grew up in rural Iowa and graduated High School in 2001. I believe that I was on the cusp of "cars being cool." My high school was in the country, and most students had anywhere from a 5 to 30 mile drive there. My drive was 10 miles. I never considered biking and likely wouldn't have. I know it's possible, but it isn't practical to carry 8 books, my trombone, football cleats, shoulderpads, helmet, toolbox, work clothes, workboots, and whatever else I had for the day.
In my school, few students bought their own car. Nearly everyone had a fairly nice car that mommy and daddy bought them. So the cool kids were the ones with the nice cars, or were cool for other reasons. My car was a 20 year old rusty k-car, and I wasn't cool for the other reasons, so I was SOL.
I'm a teenager (will be 18 in a few months) and have my license but only use when I drive my brother or the occasional friend somewhere and at night (there's a lot of drunk drivers around here and my parents don't like me out on my bike past dark).
Most teens I know drive or are going to be driving soon. I've tried to convince classmates to bike but they always have an excuse. I don't think it's the coolness factor, it's more of a laziness thing.
I don my best to inspire others though and I think I may have at least changed a few peoples outlooks on bikes. Classmates will tell me that I passed them the other day, or that even though they left about the same time as me, they didn't catch up for about 4km. All of this with me on my bike and them driving.
Just a side note, I have a sign on the back of my bike that says "Burn fat not oil bike to work". On my way home as I passed a class of elementary kids coming in the opposite direction I heard one say "hey it's that bike with the cool sign". So at least I know some younger kids recognize at least my bike and think that there's a little coolness involved.
However, I'm a little doubtful about what will happen when the weather turns cold. At that time, I usually just end up talking to myself when I'm locking my bike to the rack.
I was a teenager in the 70's & 80's. I guess cars were cool back then. But now, I think the cool teens and the college kids are the ones that ride those fixies and single speeds. And the real cool kids are the ones that tour on their bikes. But, what do I know... I wasn't cool then and I'm not so cool now.
When i was in high school (shy of two years ago) i swear there were only five kids that biked to school, that's the only number of bikes i would see parked in the rack. Everyone else had their Mustangs and old average beaters.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Going the distance, Mile By Mile
My son turned 16 years old last August and he said does not want a car yet. He has taken drivers ed and has license. He keeps looking at the price of gas and says he would rather ride his bike then basicly work for a gallon of gas an hour. His girlfreind also rides her bike everywhere they go. I have had to drive them to one date and that was the distance and I could not figure a safe way for them to get there.
I think that we should make a push to have an american race like the Tour DuPont again and better coverage of the Human Powered races.
For most of pop culture, determining what's "cool" is merely a matter of marketing.
I'm going to be a senior next year, so I know some things about teens. Most teens love their car more than anything else. Most parents assume that their kids need cars to get jobs, so it's the standard 16th birthday present, along with a contract to get employed and pay for car insurance and gas. It "teaches responsibility." In my state of Illinois, driver's ed is a required class, and it is an unwritten law that a car is needed to "keep up" with other kids. Another thing, teens are incredibly self-centered and competitive to get the best material goods, but that's another rant.
If you want to know how obscessed kids are with cars, some tool said I was wasting my money on an $800 bike when he just got new $800 rims for his gas-hog Camaro.
Starting the quest of being car-free has been enjoyable except for one thing, suburban bike shops. Today I went to my LBS to ask about Breezer bicycles [donnamb!] and the guy behind the counter looked at me like I was crazy. They cater to the bmx kids and the superheros, not someone like me unfortunately. Something new would be nice for my 16th birthday [better than a car!], but I need a car replacement and not something to ride around the block on. They think I'm crazy for that. It's pretty frustrating.