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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 05-07-08, 04:19 PM   #1
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The Changing Pace Of Cycling

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bike7-2008may07,0,3555170.story

People gravitating toward more cycling for alternative to using a car. Please hurry to be able to read this article. I don't know how long you will be able to read it.
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Old 05-07-08, 04:19 PM   #2
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This has already been posted.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:33 PM   #3
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This has already been posted.

Not on this particular forum. Perhaps you were confused by this similar one posted on 2 different forums-seen also on the Folding Bike forum:

http://wwww.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=415242
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Old 05-09-08, 06:51 PM   #4
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I liked the quote at the start of the article "A commuter on his way home carries his bike as he approaches the Brooklyn Bridge. The number of bicyclists in New York City has grown by 75% during the last seven years."

I wonder if this is the case in North America? I see more cyclists in my town... but I'm not sure if they are just joy-riding or what.
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Old 05-09-08, 10:51 PM   #5
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I liked the quote at the start of the article "A commuter on his way home carries his bike as he approaches the Brooklyn Bridge. The number of bicyclists in New York City has grown by 75% during the last seven years."

I wonder if this is the case in North America? I see more cyclists in my town... but I'm not sure if they are just joy-riding or what.
The number of bicyclists in Seattle has increased dramatically in the last year or so. It used to be that I could ride to work and be the only cyclist I saw the entire way. Now I literally can't ride anywhere without seeing cyclists everywhere. On my way to work today, I saw at least 10 other riders, and it's only a two-mile ride. In some areas, the number of cyclists is so great that it's almost a pain in the *ss. (Hard to find a free bike rack, hard to pass people in the bike lane on busy arterials, etc.) I'm also not sure if they're just joy-riding or not, but I suspect that they are not. Most of them have a load of some sort, and some of them are carrying big loads. In general, I view this as a positive development, but, in addition to bike parking hassles, there has been a downside: motorists have become a bit more hostile. Not all; not even most. But more than before. My guess is that it's because they're frustrated with the huge increase in cyclists, and because many of these cyclists don't realize that traffic laws apply to them, too.
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Old 05-10-08, 02:11 AM   #6
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In some areas, the number of cyclists is so great that it's almost a pain in the *ss. (Hard to find a free bike rack, hard to pass people in the bike lane on busy arterials, etc.) I'm also not sure if they're just joy-riding or not, but I suspect that they are not. Most of them have a load of some sort, and some of them are carrying big loads. In general, I view this as a positive development, but, in addition to bike parking hassles, there has been a downside: motorists have become a bit more hostile.
I have similar concerns about suddenly increasing the number of cyclists on the roads with many of them lacking training, experience, or even a clue in a lot of cases. There is the issue of bike parking as discussed, I have already seen instances of "cycle rage" (which looks a lot like road rage), then there is the issue of cycle gridlock, which looks a lot like conventional gridlock, except that it's likely to be impregnable even to a cyclist. There is the possibility of being made to pay a registration fee if the number of cyclists increases to a point that it might actually be profitable. Then there is the danger of getting into a Netherlands-style situation where cyclists are banned from many roads, which ultimately makes it harder to get around on a bike.

Be very careful what you wish for.
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Old 05-10-08, 08:29 AM   #7
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But with rising oil prices and heightened concern about carbon emissions, riding a bicycle no longer seems quite so silly.
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Old 05-10-08, 09:13 AM   #8
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I to have noticed an increase in number of cyclist in the past couple of years, it used to be I would see only one other rider maybe once a week when I got off at midnight. Now I usually see at least 2 a night. I canít believe that they are doing 20mph on the sidewalks, in Houston, you will go airborne with our uneven sidewalks if you arenít killed by a car turning right first.
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Old 05-10-08, 11:51 AM   #9
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I have similar concerns about suddenly increasing the number of cyclists on the roads with many of them lacking training, experience, or even a clue in a lot of cases. There is the issue of bike parking as discussed, I have already seen instances of "cycle rage" (which looks a lot like road rage), then there is the issue of cycle gridlock, which looks a lot like conventional gridlock, except that it's likely to be impregnable even to a cyclist. There is the possibility of being made to pay a registration fee if the number of cyclists increases to a point that it might actually be profitable. Then there is the danger of getting into a Netherlands-style situation where cyclists are banned from many roads, which ultimately makes it harder to get around on a bike.

Be very careful what you wish for.
Lack of training: You're going to get just what you've predicted - if you want to see an exact parallel, just look at motorcycles over the last 15-20 years. I work in a motorcycle shop, have gone through that whole mess, and now that motorcycle registrations are leveling out, I'm watching an even worse repeat of the situation with 50cc scooters. Which, in most states are as easy to get on the street as a bicycle, needing only a legal motorcycle helmet (in some states).

One of the things we're all forgetting is that, at the moment, we are a very small, odd, quirky minority that barely matters to the general public. As our numbers increase, so does our profitability; and governmental entities are going to be quick to notice.

You want bicycles to be as ubiquitous as cars? Terrific. Expect the charges, enforcements, taxes and other annoying factors to become equally ubiquitous.

Right now we get a free ride because we're too small to matter.
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Old 05-10-08, 12:52 PM   #10
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The number of bicyclists in Seattle has increased dramatically in the last year or so. It used to be that I could ride to work and be the only cyclist I saw the entire way. Now I literally can't ride anywhere without seeing cyclists everywhere. On my way to work today, I saw at least 10 other riders, and it's only a two-mile ride. In some areas, the number of cyclists is so great that it's almost a pain in the *ss. (Hard to find a free bike rack, hard to pass people in the bike lane on busy arterials, etc.) I'm also not sure if they're just joy-riding or not, but I suspect that they are not. Most of them have a load of some sort, and some of them are carrying big loads. In general, I view this as a positive development, but, in addition to bike parking hassles, there has been a downside: motorists have become a bit more hostile. Not all; not even most. But more than before. My guess is that it's because they're frustrated with the huge increase in cyclists, and because many of these cyclists don't realize that traffic laws apply to them, too.
Where I work, the bike racks are almost always full.... at least in May, June, July. Last year, I saw a good drop-off in the Fall. And -- of course -- when the weather gets really bad, they all disappear. They tend to be young and somewhat ecologically motivated. However, I did run into a teenager (at the same bike rack) complaining about the high cost of maintaining and insuring a car... just so he could get to work.

So I guess there are really many factors converging here. Maybe the price of gas is just one trigger.
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Old 05-10-08, 01:37 PM   #11
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Then there is the danger of getting into a Netherlands-style situation where cyclists are banned from many roads, which ultimately makes it harder to get around on a bike.
Please expound on your experience or knowledge about any area of The Netherlands where a cyclist finds it "hard" to get around.
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Old 05-11-08, 05:07 PM   #12
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I have similar concerns about suddenly increasing the number of cyclists on the roads with many of them lacking training, experience, or even a clue in a lot of cases. There is the issue of bike parking as discussed, I have already seen instances of "cycle rage" (which looks a lot like road rage), then there is the issue of cycle gridlock, which looks a lot like conventional gridlock, except that it's likely to be impregnable even to a cyclist. There is the possibility of being made to pay a registration fee if the number of cyclists increases to a point that it might actually be profitable. Then there is the danger of getting into a Netherlands-style situation where cyclists are banned from many roads, which ultimately makes it harder to get around on a bike.

Be very careful what you wish for.
In our cities there is probably an optimal mix of transportation mode percentages. In one extreme imaginary situation, if I'm the only cyclist and everyone else is in a car, I'll get bullied. In another extreme where everyone bikes it might be more annoying than having some people in cars. I think in my town we're still on the too few bikes side. So if we cross over to the too many bikes mix, I'm looking forward to the interval of time when we have the best mix of bikes and cars. It might not last long, and we might not recognize it when it occurs.

My memories of biking around Amsterdam and Haarlem don't include "harder to get around on a bike." I remember some places where bikes were banned and some places where I had to look for parking. I guess I never figured out how to cross the Amstel river, I think bikes were banned from the obvious car route. Judging by the ease of getting around I'm pretty confident if I really wanted to get across and I asked guy at the centraal station bike rental booth he could direct me. That was more than a decade ago maybe biking in Amsterdam is more of a hassle now?
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Old 05-12-08, 01:06 PM   #13
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I worry about all the new cyclists (and there are a lot of them!). They either ride on the sidewalk, where they present a danger to pedestrians and to themselves. Or they ride foolishly in the street--on the wrong side, or even worse, all over the place.

When I was a kid, we learned bicycle safety--including traffic riding--in grade school. Most people under 40 or so don't have a clue that it's even permitted for cyclists to ride as traffic in the streets.
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Old 05-12-08, 02:50 PM   #14
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When I was a kid, we learned bicycle safety--including traffic riding--in grade school.
So did I.
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Old 05-12-08, 03:47 PM   #15
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So did I.
Ditto and it is time to start again...ASAP! Also need to push for better driver training. IMHO 36 hours don't cut it...

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Old 05-12-08, 04:21 PM   #16
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I worry about all the new cyclists (and there are a lot of them!). They either ride on the sidewalk, where they present a danger to pedestrians and to themselves. Or they ride foolishly in the street--on the wrong side, or even worse, all over the place.

When I was a kid, we learned bicycle safety--including traffic riding--in grade school. Most people under 40 or so don't have a clue that it's even permitted for cyclists to ride as traffic in the streets.
Ah, just look at it as a market opportunity. Get your LCI license and put out ads in the local arts weekly and make money while helping the situation.
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Old 05-12-08, 05:29 PM   #17
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Ah, just look at it as a market opportunity. Get your LCI license and put out ads in the local arts weekly and make money while helping the situation.
Unfortunately I don't think that is going to reach the bulk of irregular cyclists that I see. I see multiple riders on the way into work before sunrise most mornings. They are quite often the non english speaking people that work in the restaurant kitchens and such. They almost all have one thing in common...they are riding against traffic, no lights, quite often no reflectors and moving at a sedate pace, wearing nothing reflective or even of a light colour.

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Old 05-12-08, 05:58 PM   #18
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Target was nearly wiped out of bikes today. They had some kids' bikes, two Schwinn "Jaguar"-branded cruisers, and one 700C flat-bar roadster (with plastic brake lever housings, no less ). Besides those, there were maybe 40 empty spaces on the sales racks, whereas two months ago they had plenty of bikes.

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Old 05-12-08, 06:39 PM   #19
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Target was nearly wiped out of bikes today. They had some kids' bikes, two Schwinn "Jaguar"-branded cruisers, and one 700C flat-bar roadster (with plastic brake lever housings, no less ). Besides those, there were maybe 40 empty spaces on the racks, whereas two months ago they had plenty of bikes.
Same thing around here at WM and KM. The bus racks in the morning are full of the low end bikes, with plenty more of the chained to trees, street sign posts and benches around the bus stops.

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Old 05-12-08, 06:51 PM   #20
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Same thing around here at WM and KM. The bus racks in the morning are full of the low end bikes, with plenty more of the chained to trees, street sign posts and benches around the bus stops.

Aaron
That's true at many Metro subway stops around here, too. Actually, there's one that I pass by on the way to work that has some bike lockers but NO bike racks -- but nearly every sign, tree, and post around the perimeter would have a bike locked up.
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Old 05-12-08, 07:25 PM   #21
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That's true at many Metro subway stops around here, too. Actually, there's one that I pass by on the way to work that has some bike lockers but NO bike racks -- but nearly every sign, tree, and post around the perimeter would have a bike locked up.
No bike lockers, bus shelters, or bike racks to be found ANYWHERE around here. I rode around the outside of the nearby mall tonight (just getting a bit of riding in) there are no facilities for bicyclists...period. Ditto on the two large strip malls immediately across the road. They don't have any bus shelters on any of the stops along the line I ride/drive. I guess people are just supposed to suck it up and stand out in the weather. I suspect they may have had a problem with vandalism, graffiti and the like, so of course the knee jerk reaction is to remove them. God forbid we ask the police and the courts to put a stop to it. CCTV would work wonders, but somehow it is not allowable.

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