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  1. #1
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Basic Old Fashioned City Bicycles Is Still The Best In Most Urban Situations

    http://www.cyclingforclimate.nl/

    This English spoken Website (in spite of being a Netherlands based one) chronicles 2 young men who used their “Omafiets” that were not new when they received them (like many of your bikes used here), have limited gearing (if at all like these particular bikes seem to have only one), and very heavy compared to most modern bikes nowadays. And they rode them all the way to Copenhagen from Amsterdam! As they stated in their Website: "....Why did we decide to bring our “Omafiets” (Granny bikes)? Any bike can bring you from point A to point B; as such, ours will bring us from Amsterdam right to Copenhagen. There is no need to spend excess amounts of money on a fancy bike or using another mode of transport, to be able to reduce one’s carbon footprint! Just get the old bike out of the shed and off you go...."

    Video Documentation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-WGYMxGo9I&feature=player_embedded


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6NPW0jreCY&feature=player_embedded


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-AEU7hnLGk&feature=player_embedded


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_ZervTg9KI&feature=player_embedded


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy_zH9xVZ_g&feature=player_embedded


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfn5p3y7nc8&feature=player_embedded


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYyrbZs2_Y4&feature=player_embedded


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTMKmnr9o-U&feature=player_embedded


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNapS_oQcqo&feature=player_embedded

    So....I find these bikes to be the best ever for Living Car Free in most urban riding (and even expedition long distance riding) as these two young men have done.

    More On This Topic:
    http://rideplanetearth.org/
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-29-10 at 12:16 AM.

  2. #2
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post

    So....I find these bikes to be the best ever for Living Car Free in most urban riding (and even expedition long distance riding) as these two young men have done.
    duh.

  3. #3
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Sounds like it was a fun trip despite the cooler weather. Great to see people who have an interest in climate change and also having fun.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    While I think the world would be greatly improved if everyone switched to bikes instead of cars, it isn't true that bicycles are carbon neutral or sustainable. The mining of materials and the manufacture and transport of bikes and bike parts to bike stores creates pollution and has an environmental impact. I guess what they mean is that they did not directly produce any additional carbon gases during their trip.

    Given the high cost of gasoline and car ownership in Europe, the fact that so many people still drive cars is pretty discouraging. I think the collapsing economy will make a lot more people ride bikes than these guys could convince in their lifetimes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    While I think the world would be greatly improved if everyone switched to bikes instead of cars, it isn't true that bicycles are carbon neutral or sustainable. The mining of materials and the manufacture and transport of bikes and bike parts to bike stores creates pollution and has an environmental impact. I guess what they mean is that they did not directly produce any additional carbon gases during their trip.

    Given the high cost of gasoline and car ownership in Europe, the fact that so many people still drive cars is pretty discouraging. I think the collapsing economy will make a lot more people ride bikes than these guys could convince in their lifetimes.
    You don't think bicycles are sustainable?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    You don't think bicycles are sustainable?
    Technically not, but we can get away with making them for thousands more years than we can get away with making cars. Norse history in Greenland proves this; fearsome Vikings stopped being able to smelt iron, and were reduced to using bone tools and weapons. Modern bikes use lots of metal and plastic, which isn't great for the planet. It might take an air-conditioner days to do the same kind of damage!
    Don't believe everything you think.

  7. #7
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    "Sustainable" is one of the most misused words I can think of.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  8. #8
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Technically not, but we can get away with making them for thousands more years than we can get away with making cars.
    We can *probably* get away with making them for 1000s more years.

    Some components on the bike are clearly less "sustainable" than others. I quite often see tubes tossed on the trail. So I can easily picture the number of tubes that are sitting in landfills right now and then picture what that would be like if the cycling population doubled or tripled.

    Still, steel bicycle frames can be recycled intact for a number of generations. You can still ride steel frames from the 30s,40,50s... no problem.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    Old fashioned bicycles really do a good job. I'd like to build a simple bicycle with a NuVinci hub. That way I'd have an unlimited gear ratio selection within a 360% range. I'd put drum brakes on it so that they would work well in the rain. Having no derailleurs would make maintenance simple. It would have fenders and a front basket. The saddle would be springy or I'd have my Thudbuster suspension seat post on it.

    I could convert my Raleigh comfort bike to this but it would be cheaper to start from scratch with a suitable used frame. The Raleigh has a suspension fork that won't work with a front basket.

    I understand the intention of these guy's making that long trip, but; they used more greenhouse gasses eating all that extra food on their ten day trip than they would have taking a train in a few hours. Their trip was to prove a point and was probably worth the extra expense. Without them actually demonstrating the potential of bicycles they would not have as much impact on some people.

    I hate pedaling fifteen miles to work and fifteen miles home in strong cold winds.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    "Sustainable" is one of the most misused words I can think of.
    Especially when it is used by a Hummer or SUV driver to justify his wastefulness.

  11. #11
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

    I understand the intention of these guy's making that long trip, but; they used more greenhouse gasses eating all that extra food on their ten day trip than they would have taking a train in a few hours. Their trip was to prove a point and was probably worth the extra expense.

    This is silly. Its like saying that people who exercise use more green house gasses than people who don't because they eat more. So exercise = pollution. People who do not exercise cause a huge drain on the environment when they eventually require more medical intervention. Riding a bicycle is one of the best exercises anyone can do to help prevent this. Remember also that the average person is supposed to be eating 2,000 calories a day WITH moderate daily exercise and continues activity. The kind of work a hunter/gather might do in their daily life is a perfect example. Moderate/light exercise spread out over their entire day (walking, picking fruit, searching for meat, house chores, ect.) With an hour or so of something heavier (farming, heavy lifting, building) mixed in now and again. To me this sounds almost the same as a bicycle tour.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    While I think the world would be greatly improved if everyone switched to bikes instead of cars, it isn't true that bicycles are carbon neutral or sustainable. The mining of materials and the manufacture and transport of bikes and bike parts to bike stores creates pollution and has an environmental impact. I guess what they mean is that they did not directly produce any additional carbon gases during their trip.

    Given the high cost of gasoline and car ownership in Europe, the fact that so many people still drive cars is pretty discouraging. I think the collapsing economy will make a lot more people ride bikes than these guys could convince in their lifetimes.
    But I would be willing to wager that a single SUV in it's life span leaves a larger carbon foot print than a thousand bicycles...

    Aaron
    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. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Especially when it is used by a Hummer or SUV driver to justify his wastefulness.
    But "sustainable" is also misused by those on the other side, like radical environmentalists, like people who think eating food is "unsustainable" and comparable to driving a SUV.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  14. #14
    Banned.
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    Maybe moving back toward the topic just a smidge I have to wonder why use these type of bikes? Looking at the numbers it seems as if a good number of these bikes then young men were using weigh 40+ pounds. Compared to them my MTB is a sports car. It is easy to see that what they did can be done using the bikes they had but the question I would ask is why? I admit I am not a dedicated utility bike rider and that I use my MTB with a trailer to go to the grocery or DYI store. But I have quickly discovered that weight is not the cycling person’s friend. If you have hills close by weight is the enemy. I have seen one of the ones with the box in the front and thought they would be interesting but they would also be like pushing a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood in the wind.

    There may be a place for these Granny Bikes in some cities but I would think Seattle and San Francisco or down town San Diego wouldn’t be one of them. (just saying)

  15. #15
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Maybe moving back toward the topic just a smidge I have to wonder why use these type of bikes? Looking at the numbers it seems as if a good number of these bikes then young men were using weigh 40+ pounds. Compared to them my MTB is a sports car. It is easy to see that what they did can be done using the bikes they had but the question I would ask is why? I admit I am not a dedicated utility bike rider and that I use my MTB with a trailer to go to the grocery or DYI store. But I have quickly discovered that weight is not the cycling person’s friend. If you have hills close by weight is the enemy. I have seen one of the ones with the box in the front and thought they would be interesting but they would also be like pushing a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood in the wind.

    There may be a place for these Granny Bikes in some cities but I would think Seattle and San Francisco or down town San Diego wouldn’t be one of them. (just saying)
    I agree that it would depend a lot on the city unless there was some kind of bicycle escalator system like an old style ski lift. I lived in Hillcrest near downtown San Diego and thought it was quite bikable. The is a major hill going down into Mira Mesa and to get to the beaches but it can be ridden around if you know how.

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