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  1. #126
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Back when I first mentioned the Harvest Trail, and he asked a bunch of questions about it, I told him to look it up ... and tried to explain what it was. Evidently he wasn't paying any attention.

    But my point is ... we've got an 'Advocacy and Safety' forum here ... let's use it for Advocacy topics instead of trying to turn this forum into the little sister of 'Advocacy and Safety'. We don't need two of those forums!
    Talk about not paying attention!
    I tell you again, discussion of carfree topics is forbidden on A&S.

    And for somebody who doesn't want there to be advocacy threads here, you have nevertheless posted on this one a great many times. Your words and your actions are incongruent. If you don't like talking about advocacy, then don't talk about advocacy! What is hard about that? Do you have some psychological issue that compels you to comment on every thread, whether you're interested or not?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  2. #127
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    So, this thread is titled, "Understanding Backlash Against Car-Free Advocacy", but I think it should be titled, "Giving Backlash to People who Explain the Backlash Against Car-Free Advocacy". Whatever. Stay in your echo-chamber and preach to each other.

  3. #128
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    "Did you give up your car for good? Is your bike and public transportation the only way you travel from point A to point B? If your only mode of transportation is your bike, discuss your car-free lifestyle here."
    Just to expand on this a bit further:

    It’s true that that brief forum description doesn’t capture the breadth of threads that forum members seem to enjoy participating in (including you, since you said the current thread, which also deviates from that description, is acceptable and you haven’t been shy about jumping in to any other thread and opining on why other people’s arguments are faulty), but so what? Discussions of anything car-related, that may have influenced people to aspire to or adopt a car-free life, or else interferes with their ability to realize that goal, are certainly relevant to the topic of car-free living, despite your false analogies regarding "race relations, or *** control or abortion".

  4. #129
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    So, this thread is titled, "Understanding Backlash Against Car-Free Advocacy", but I think it should be titled, "Giving Backlash to People who Explain the Backlash Against Car-Free Advocacy". Whatever. Stay in your echo-chamber and preach to each other.
    The first response post in the thread didn't explicitly address the backlash issue, but I suppose the subtext did. The poster jumped in to explain that we have to keep subsidizing roads and through them, suburban house prices, because that is just the way it is. Should we extract from that the lesson that people react badly to car-free advocacy because they believe it threatens the entitlements they have come to expect from the public purse? If so, perhaps it’s not surprising that there is then a counter-reaction as you claim above.
    Last edited by cooker; 01-15-14 at 09:03 AM.

  5. #130
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    Your first post in the thread didn't explicitly address the backlash issue, but I suppose the subtext did. You jumped in to explain that we have to keep subsidizing roads and through them, suburban house prices, because that is just the way it is. Should we extract from that the lesson that people react badly to car-free advocacy because they believe it threatens the entitlements they have come to expect from the public purse? If so, perhaps it’s not surprising that there is then a counter-reaction as you claim above.
    I said nothing of the sort.

  6. #131
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    I said nothing of the sort.
    Sorry, my mistake - I mixed up two posts. It wasn't you. I've corrected that in post 129 above.

    Your first post was to tell people to shut up about being TV free (or, presumably, car-free). Apparently simple statements of fact are annoying to you. I don't get annoyed when somebody tellls me they drove to work. Maybe I should tell them to stop being so in my face about it.
    Last edited by cooker; 01-15-14 at 09:02 AM.

  7. #132
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    The ankle-biting and bickering needs to stop. Now.

    The reason so many of these threads get closed is because they degenerate into personal attacks. Just because you don't like someone who posts here that doesn't mean all of their posts that disagree with you are an insult. Topics can be debated without resorting to name-calling and childish behavior.

    The moderation staff discusses whether or not a thread has become political. If you are really invested in the thread, please continue to post in it in the P&R forum instead of whining that it got moved. You won't get cooties if you go to the P&R forum, I promise.

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    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
    Forum Guidelines *click here*

  8. #133
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Well, sorry if was one of the ones who seemed to be anklebiting - I was trying to attack posts not people.

    I think there are some emerging themes in the thread about why there is a backlash against advocacy, and as I said there seem to be both overt and subliminal reasons. Overtly, people find advocates preachy, or trying to force their views on others, in some kind of smug, holier than thou way, or attacking other people for lifestyles they perceive as wrong. Subliminally, people may feel threatened by the proposed changes to the status quo, and (perhaps in some cases properly) guilty about their own behaviour, and angry at feeling that way.

    But actually, that's fine. I remember one time in an argument with my wife, she complained "you always think you're right!"

    Well, duh. Why would I argue if I thought I was wrong?

    If we're going to advocate for something, and especially for social change, it's because we think our way is better or that the status quo is unsatisfactory, and of course that's going to ruffle feathers and disturb people who think the status quo is fine, and especially people who think the status quo is giving them an unequal edge. So I think it's inevitable there will be strong feelings and resistance to any kind of activism. It's almost like the implied question in the OP ("why is there a backlash against advocacy") is redundant, because the obvious answer is

    "Well, duh."
    Last edited by cooker; 01-15-14 at 12:27 PM.

  9. #134
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    Well, sorry if was one of the ones who seemed to be anklebiting - I was trying to attack posts not people.

    I think there are some emerging themes in the thread about why there is a backlash against advocacy, and as I said there seem to be both overt and subliminal reasons. Overtly, people find advocates preachy, or trying to force their views on others, in some kind of smug, holier than thou way, or attacking other people for lifestyles they perceive as wrong. Subliminally, people may feel threatened by the proposed changes to the status quo, and (perhaps in some cases properly) guilty about their own behaviour, and angry at feeling that way.

    But actually, that's fine. I remember one time in an argument with my wife, she complained "you always think you're right!"

    Well, duh. Why would I argue if I thought I was wrong?

    If we're going to advocate for something, and especially for social change, it's because we think our way is better or that the status quo is unsatisfactory, and of course that's going to ruffle feathers and disturb people who think the status quo is fine, and especially people who think the status quo is giving them an unequal edge. So I think it's inevitable there will be strong feelings and resistance to any kind of activism. It's almost like the implied question in the OP ("why is there a backlash against advocacy") is redundant, because the obvious answer is

    "Well, duh."
    I think this is spot on, and is what I was implying with my original post. That may have been lost on some since everyone in this thread seems to be aggressively defensive.

    It's kind of like religion.

    "Religion is like a [omitted]. It's fine to have one and it's fine to be proud of it, but please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around... and PLEASE don't try to shove it down my child's throat."

  10. #135
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Funny you should mention religion, as the ones with the holier-than-thou attitude is on the advocacy side.

    Living car free to me, is what works best for the individual, and not what may be done in 40-80 years time. I have to live in the meantime, doing everyday stuff, dealing with reality and not castles in the sky in some possible future I'd like to see. Small things making it easier, safer or better for cyclists (or for people choosing public transport solely) I am for, more than I am against cars. I don't think that attempting to shame people into the lifestyle of your choosing is the way forward. If you can tempt them with actual alternatives, educate them on actual alternatives, they might consider it.

    Preaching to them how they are so wrong with what they do and not offering up practical suggestions as to how they can incorporate cycling/public transport/walking into their lives, without having to let it rule their lives as a purpose in and of itself, then maybe they will listen to you.

    Until you do that, you're merely trying to dictate how others should not live their life, without offering actual alternatives.

  11. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post


    Ummmm .... the Harvest Trail isn't a bike trail ... it isn't even a trail.
    Whatever. The point is that you were effectively advertising and promoting it. I'll give you that were doing so in a non-aggressive way, but of course non-aggressive advertising is the most effective for many people. I just don't think you should denigrate advocacy as if it were something completely alien to you. Everyone is ultimately advocating the things they talk about positively whether intentionally or not, no?

  12. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    Well, sorry if was one of the ones who seemed to be anklebiting - I was trying to attack posts not people.

    I think there are some emerging themes in the thread about why there is a backlash against advocacy, and as I said there seem to be both overt and subliminal reasons. Overtly, people find advocates preachy, or trying to force their views on others, in some kind of smug, holier than thou way, or attacking other people for lifestyles they perceive as wrong. Subliminally, people may feel threatened by the proposed changes to the status quo, and (perhaps in some cases properly) guilty about their own behaviour, and angry at feeling that way.

    But actually, that's fine. I remember one time in an argument with my wife, she complained "you always think you're right!"

    Well, duh. Why would I argue if I thought I was wrong?

    If we're going to advocate for something, and especially for social change, it's because we think our way is better or that the status quo is unsatisfactory, and of course that's going to ruffle feathers and disturb people who think the status quo is fine, and especially people who think the status quo is giving them an unequal edge. So I think it's inevitable there will be strong feelings and resistance to any kind of activism. It's almost like the implied question in the OP ("why is there a backlash against advocacy") is redundant, because the obvious answer is

    "Well, duh."
    Interesting and valid points but I think you're missing one crucial strawman in the whole basis for 'backlash against change,' which is that advocating one thing doesn't necessarily mean wanting to eliminate its rival completely. E.g. if you advocate that people should drink more pepsi, that doesn't translate into wanting to put Coca Cola out of business. Even if you argue that drinking too much soda is bad for health, it doesn't necessarily mean you want the soda industry out of business.

    The same is true of car-free reforms. You can say that car-free living needs to be growing to make room for sustainable population growth and that doesn't mean all driving has to be prohibited tomorrow or even ever, necessarily. You could even say that motor-traffic needs to stop growing to protect what natural lands aren't already wasted and not be advocating the elimination of all motor-traffic. This is where I think the anti-car-free backlash is misguided, i.e. because people often imply that if incentives or reforms are suggested to facilitate car-free living for a growing population, that automatically translates into an assault against people who drive or urban planning that includes the possibility of many people continuing to drive.

  13. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    I don't think that attempting to shame people into the lifestyle of your choosing is the way forward. If you can tempt them with actual alternatives, educate them on actual alternatives, they might consider it.
    First of all, 'tempting' people is immoral for some people so suggesting that is the correct route is a form of moral advocacy. Second, people can turn things into shame that aren't meant to shame. E.g. if you note how many animals are killed by motor-traffic, some people will feel shamed because they drive. That doesn't mean the purpose of noting the road-kill effect of driving was meant to shame drivers.

  14. #139
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
    First of all, 'tempting' people is immoral for some people so suggesting that is the correct route is a form of moral advocacy. Second, people can turn things into shame that aren't meant to shame. E.g. if you note how many animals are killed by motor-traffic, some people will feel shamed because they drive. That doesn't mean the purpose of noting the road-kill effect of driving was meant to shame drivers.
    How true! You might have used how many human beings (especially children and the elderly) are killed by motor traffic as an example, but that would have enraged the car lovers even more.

    In the United States about 115 people die every day on our roads, about one death every 13 minutes.

    Worldwide Road Deaths- A Major Epidemic

    Very few people realize that traffic deaths are one of the leading causes of death in the world and the number one cause of death for young people. This is because they happen one by one, here and there, and not in mass events, so they get less attention. (1)
    Here’s one way to get attention: traffic deaths worldwide kill the equivalent number of people as would perish in 9 jumbo jet crashes every day. Think of the headlines for 9 jet crashes every day of the year.
    World traffic injuries are taking the lives of 145 people every hour of every day (totaling 3500 per day). This is more than two a minute and adds up to something like 1.3 million people dying on the world’s roads each year and a further 20 to 30 million people suffering injuries, often debilitating ones. As Mike Bloomberg says, “Make no mistake about it: this is a problem that affects us all—especially the world’s poorest. Ninety percent of these fatalities occur in the world’s rapidly urbanizing low-and middle-income nations.” (2)
    For comparison purposes, in the United States about 115 people die every day on our roads, about one death every 13 minutes. (3)

    (...)

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index...5#.UtfTIdJ5PW8
    Last edited by Ekdog; 01-16-14 at 05:42 AM.
    Gimme that car-free living!

  15. #140
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    Funny you should mention religion, as the ones with the holier-than-thou attitude is on the advocacy side.
    Everybody thinks it's the other guy who is "holier than thou".

  16. #141
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
    First of all, 'tempting' people is immoral for some people so suggesting that is the correct route is a form of moral advocacy.
    Uh, barring some very fringe religions, it is only immoral to tempt someone to sin. Tempting someone to exercise and care about the environment is only a sin to the Koch brothers.

  17. #142
    Senior Member SmallFront's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
    First of all, 'tempting' people is immoral for some people so suggesting that is the correct route is a form of moral advocacy.
    Okay, you have shown yourself to be arguing for argument's sake. When I say "tempt" I am not talking morals and other biblical idiocy, I am talking about showing them how nice it can be to use a bike rather than sit in car. If you think that is "moral advocacy" and that that to some will be "immoral" you have gone over the edge and lost any credibility you may have had.

    Second, people can turn things into shame that aren't meant to shame. E.g. if you note how many animals are killed by motor-traffic, some people will feel shamed because they drive. That doesn't mean the purpose of noting the road-kill effect of driving was meant to shame drivers.
    And again you're missing the point. But that's okay, I now know you're doing it on purpose: Find a word which is also used with a slightly different connotation, and then run with that different connotation to make it seem you're addressing something I said. Just like you did with the word "tempt".



    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    Everybody thinks it's the other guy who is "holier than thou".
    No, you obviously don't understand what "holier-than-thou" means.

  18. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    Uh, barring some very fringe religions, it is only immoral to tempt someone to sin. Tempting someone to exercise and care about the environment is only a sin to the Koch brothers.
    Probably better not to engage in a religious discussion in this thread but if you want to start another thread in politics and religion, I think this would be an interesting discussion since I believe there is some moral logic that would regard temptation as a generally problematic form of communication, regardless of whether people were being seduced into sin or virtue. Like I said, though, let's not derail this thread by getting into a discussion of it here. I appreciate the point that you're making as well, let me add.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFront View Post
    Okay, you have shown yourself to be arguing for argument's sake. When I say "tempt" I am not talking morals and other biblical idiocy, I am talking about showing them how nice it can be to use a bike rather than sit in car. If you think that is "moral advocacy" and that that to some will be "immoral" you have gone over the edge and lost any credibility you may have had.
    No, better to avoid arguing for argument's sake. I apologize for reacting to the word 'tempt.' There is, however, nonetheless clearly some tension between the strategy of leading by silent example vs. explicitly explaining things. Some people dislike explicit explanation and criticize others for doing so (on what basis if not moral? aesthetic?). Others believe that explicitly communicating is better than silent demonstration or other less direct communicative style. I don't think it's fair to use explicit communication to criticize explicit communication, though, regardless of what your moral belief about it is.

    And again you're missing the point. But that's okay, I now know you're doing it on purpose: Find a word which is also used with a slightly different connotation, and then run with that different connotation to make it seem you're addressing something I said. Just like you did with the word "tempt".
    Again, I am sorry you are reacting with such strong emotion to my response to the word, 'tempt.' This is all diversion from the subject-matter of the thread, don't you think?

    No, you obviously don't understand what "holier-than-thou" means.
    I do, though I find it a loaded term. It implies that people who try to improve themselves and become 'holier' are doing something wrong by not keeping themselves at some low level in order to not risk making other people feel one-upped. I think people should just stick with making their own points and listen to what others have to say without calling them 'holier than thou.' If someone is using criticism purely for the sake of flaunting status above someone else, that's a different story. But calling someone 'holier than thou' implies "shut up and conform to others lest you be seen as trying to improve yourself."

  19. #144
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
    I do, though I find it a loaded term. It implies that people who try to improve themselves and become 'holier' are doing something wrong by not keeping themselves at some low level in order to not risk making other people feel one-upped. I think people should just stick with making their own points and listen to what others have to say without calling them 'holier than thou.' If someone is using criticism purely for the sake of flaunting status above someone else, that's a different story. But calling someone 'holier than thou' implies "shut up and conform to others lest you be seen as trying to improve yourself."
    Holier-than-thou implies a lack of humility.

  20. #145
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
    Interesting and valid points but I think you're missing one crucial strawman in the whole basis for 'backlash against change,' which is that advocating one thing doesn't necessarily mean wanting to eliminate its rival completely. E.g. if you advocate that people should drink more pepsi, that doesn't translate into wanting to put Coca Cola out of business. Even if you argue that drinking too much soda is bad for health, it doesn't necessarily mean you want the soda industry out of business.

    The same is true of car-free reforms. You can say that car-free living needs to be growing to make room for sustainable population growth and that doesn't mean all driving has to be prohibited tomorrow or even ever, necessarily. You could even say that motor-traffic needs to stop growing to protect what natural lands aren't already wasted and not be advocating the elimination of all motor-traffic. This is where I think the anti-car-free backlash is misguided, i.e. because people often imply that if incentives or reforms are suggested to facilitate car-free living for a growing population, that automatically translates into an assault against people who drive or urban planning that includes the possibility of many people continuing to drive.
    Yes, this is what happens all the time. If you say you like Santa Claus, people assume you want to kill the Easter Bunny. I'm here to tell you there's room in this world for more than one beloved mythical character--and room for more than one transportation mode.

    I'm not trying to tell anybody how to live. I just want to give people the choice to live carfree if they want to. The way to do this is to improve infrastructure and land use. This is only what young urban planners agree is the next step in the evolution of cities--definitely not a radical or fringe idea. If anybody wants to own a car, that's fine by me. But I will respectfully demand that they share the road space (and government funding) with bikes, buses, and people on foot.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Holier-than-thou implies a lack of humility.
    Lack of humility might be a character trait worthy of criticism but it's not a basis for dismissing someone's reasoning. Using it to do so is ad hom. Many drivers lack humility but that's not a legitimate reason for people living car-free to resent motor-traffic, is it?

  22. #147
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
    Interesting and valid points but I think you're missing one crucial strawman in the whole basis for 'backlash against change,' which is that advocating one thing doesn't necessarily mean wanting to eliminate its rival completely. E.g. if you advocate that people should drink more pepsi, that doesn't translate into wanting to put Coca Cola out of business. Even if you argue that drinking too much soda is bad for health, it doesn't necessarily mean you want the soda industry out of business.

    The same is true of car-free reforms. You can say that car-free living needs to be growing to make room for sustainable population growth and that doesn't mean all driving has to be prohibited tomorrow or even ever, necessarily. You could even say that motor-traffic needs to stop growing to protect what natural lands aren't already wasted and not be advocating the elimination of all motor-traffic. This is where I think the anti-car-free backlash is misguided, i.e. because people often imply that if incentives or reforms are suggested to facilitate car-free living for a growing population, that automatically translates into an assault against people who drive or urban planning that includes the possibility of many people continuing to drive.
    This relates to how some people are "all-or-nothing" or "black and white" thinkers. Some people do that naturally, without realizing it, while others may exploit that type of thinking as a tactic, to stir up the first group.
    Last edited by cooker; 01-16-14 at 10:50 AM.

  23. #148
    Member rogertc1's Avatar
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    We should all raise chickens!!!

    670px-Chicken-coop-8780.jpg
    Last edited by rogertc1; 01-20-14 at 03:24 AM.

  24. #149
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Getting back to the original question, there is evidence that drivers tend to have a more negative outlook on the things than do cyclists, walkers or transit users. Perhaps this can explain, at least in part, why so many car advocates are drawn to this subforum and why they are fond of describing the carfree with negative terms like "holier-than-thou", "fundamentalist", "smug", and so on:

    Researchers at the University of Surrey found that drivers perceive exactly the same things more negatively than those who walk, bike, or take transit, confirming the anecdotal experience of literally every person that's ever tried to find parking in an urban downtown.

    Pacific Standard Magazine has a great write-up describing the results of the study, in which participants were asked to judge the traits of people they saw from a car, transit, bicyclist, or pedestrian perspective:

    The researchers found that participants who saw the video from the perspective of a car rated the actors higher on negative characteristics (threatening, unpleasant) than participants in the other three conditions. Participants who saw the video from the perspective of the pedestrian rated the actors higher on positive characteristics (considerate, well-educated) than those in the car condition.

    These findings have a few interesting implications. For example, they may help explain the "war on cars" furor of the past several years. It's easy to imagine how some individuals, so married to their windshield perspective, could see any attempt to improve active or public transportation as a direct attack on their person. Those people on the street are so threatening and unpleasant, after all. Why should the city cater to people like that? Transit and active transportation advocates, meanwhile, are baffled by the vitriol of the Dorothy Rabinowitzes of the world because the streetside perception of our changing cities has generally been positive. (...)

    http://www.planetizen.com/node/66686...ampaign=Buffer
    Last edited by Ekdog; 01-21-14 at 06:07 AM.
    Gimme that car-free living!

  25. #150
    Member rogertc1's Avatar
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    I'd like to see some one ride a bike to work this morning in my rural setting. -10 deg. and 30-40MPH winds. White out blowing snow. Hard to ride or walk 10 miles to work in the dark winter mornings. No public transportation, all those government funds go to the big population areas. I think inner city dwellers are ignorant of the world around them and are to focused in their bubble. Nothing wrong with cars or no cars. if you can do what you want and don't criticize others.
    I have a 7 bicycles and 4 autos. Even have a duck. I have a corn field in my back yard. Love it.
    sebastian jan 2014.jpg
    4 wds winter.jpg

    Peace Out
    Last edited by rogertc1; 01-27-14 at 05:48 AM.

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