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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 01-23-14, 07:18 AM   #26
GodsBassist
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Also, I just realized that this site now recognizes hashtags. Do you have any idea what this means!? #yolo #gamechanger #thuglife #putdownthehaterade
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Old 01-23-14, 07:37 AM   #27
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I like bike lanes-ridden on them in flagstaff az-love them. it is a college and tourist town-folks are soooo polite.

But segregated lanes-pretty expensive-
The Transportation Bike lobby must be pretty effective to have sold cash strapped cities on expensive bike infrastructure.
Not sure HOW they managed that.
The main attraction of VC to non riders-is it is cheap-all but free.
And my guess is as a percentage of total people miles traveled-bike riding-will never reach 1%-
Is it 3% in ANY city in the USA?? 2% ?

Adults don't like to ride bikes for transportation-the "IT IS DANGEROUS" is just PART of it-
Look at CHINA- dumped bikes by the 1,000,000s- as soon as ANY powered transportation option was available.
They weren't tricked by advertisers-they flat chose NOT TO RIDE.

Europe has HIGH FUEL PRICES-HIGH VEHICLE OWNERSHIP COSTS DIFFICULT PARKING
The only thing that increases transportation riding in the USA is FUEL COST and POOR ECONOMY-and crummy public transportation(cut backs in bus routes)
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Old 01-23-14, 12:00 PM   #28
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I think part of the problem is we aren't all seeing the cycling information in the same light. Some are more cheer leaders and other are more informational. The Cheer leaders see small increases in isolated or specific areas as great signs of the unstoppable rise of the bicycle. Informational seekers and cyclists see that Nationally we are still at about 1 percent of the national share in transportation and we have been there for about as long as many of us have been alive. But yes there are cities that have seen increases. Still if you have this almost doubling, as some have mentioned, then it should reflect nationally and it hasn't. It reminds me of a Soccer game where a team makes it down the field time after time only to have their scoring attempt repulsed.

As it was mentioned the unstoppable rise of the bike was stopped in a Nation that was the very heart of the Bicycle transportation and the cheerleaders try to avoid eye contact with that piece of information. In this regard Elly is part of the cheer leading squad. Nothing wrong with cheer leading if it is remembered the informational people can still see the score of the game and realize we have the same number of points on the board as we did in the 70s. Cheer leading works best on people that don't know the score. And we have yet to get the percentage of adults on bikes in the US as we have in the 1973-75 time period. In that regard Roody is correct, Cyclists have not been able to interest non cyclists in joining the team in more than 40 years.

Just my opinion only but I believe Elly is more like an advertising agency trying to sell a product they don't necessarily use as much as others. That doesn't make their message worthless but it doesn't impress those cyclists that have been in the trenches for as long as she has been alive. But I believe she and many cheer leaders may be dealing with a false assumption. The assumption is that the majority of people in the US want to Bicycle. That they want to use their human power to get from point A to point B. That assumption should be looked at in the light of how quickly China moved into the Automotive age. Not using that as an absolute but as an example of how people think and what they really want.

Just as an example go to any major shopping mall in the US and sit down to watch people using the escalator. There may be a stairway halfway between two escalators but I suggest 90+ percent of the people will walk past the stairway and get on the escalator. Not because the stairway isn't available and not because it isn't convenient or easy to use to go one floor up. But because people would rather not walk up a stairway when they and ride an escalator. Cycling in the US will always face the challenge of people that make excuses for why they can't ride a bike to work. And I believe even if you gave them a bike way as smooth as a pool table and a separate as a side walk within a year most of them would give up riding. They would simply find another excuse not to ride.

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Old 01-23-14, 03:36 PM   #29
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Most adults DON'T LIKE riding bikes for fun or transportation-this is the WHY-of WHY so few transportation riders.
Why else would the Chinese have DUMPED their bikes by the MILLIONS?
Adults don't LIKE riding a bike-in the rain- snow-bitter cold-extreme heat-in traffic- early in the am- have a flat when rushing to work-?
If you have good public transportation- and good sidewalks-why ride?
Now great segregated bike lanes would partially negate the "I don't want to ride in traffic" but it won't do anything for the
RAIN SNOW HEAT COLD FLATS SWEAT GREASY CLOTHING BIKE THEFT HUGE BIKE LOCK CAN'T FIND ANYTHING TO LOCK TO I'M TIRED IT IS 5:30AM I HAVE A BAD HEART BAD KNEE WEIGH 280LB AGING POPULATION BUS IS JUST FINE I LIKE TO WALK I LOVE MY CAR

Add them all up-and 1-2% is about it-no matter what.
That's pretty much nailed it in one post, and as a life-long cyclist, I think it's great. The last thing I want is to see a heap of people on bikes who don't really want to be there, interfering with my ride to work and making my cycling more time consuming and expensive. If they want to drive or catch the bus, I'm only too happy to see them doing it.
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Old 01-23-14, 05:14 PM   #30
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I'm having trouble keeping track of what marginalizing metaphor we're using for people who are disagreeing with us. Is it religious zealots who refuse to listen, inexperienced riders who yell over other people, or inept cheerleaders at a soccer game?

Comparing the US to China is kind of apples and oranges. Not to mention the cycling modality there is still over %20. I think if you were to really make a fair comparison it should be to other developed countries, but there just aren't any that have a nationwide modality rate higher than %5 unless you count Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Slovenia, Romania, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, or Italy. Basically half of the EU. Of course the argument could be made that this is only because space requirements in those countries have so severely limited automobile usage… in the same way that every major metropolitan area in the US has hit space (and economic) limits for automobile usage and are now trying to come up with creative healthy solutions. Let's not forget that licensure rates in this country are the lowest they've been pretty much ever or that miles driven have steadily decreased or remained constant for almost a decade straight.


#butimjustacheerleaderidontunderstandstatistics #testicularlyspeakinglancearmstrongisanaverageamerican
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Old 01-23-14, 05:52 PM   #31
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I'm having trouble keeping track of what marginalizing metaphor we're using for people who are disagreeing with us. Is it religious zealots who refuse to listen, inexperienced riders who yell over other people, or inept cheerleaders at a soccer game?

Comparing the US to China is kind of apples and oranges. Not to mention the cycling modality there is still over %20. I think if you were to really make a fair comparison it should be to other developed countries, but there just aren't any that have a nationwide modality rate higher than %5 unless you count Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Slovenia, Romania, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, or Italy. Basically half of the EU. Of course the argument could be made that this is only because space requirements in those countries have so severely limited automobile usage… in the same way that every major metropolitan area in the US has hit space (and economic) limits for automobile usage and are now trying to come up with creative healthy solutions. Let's not forget that licensure rates in this country are the lowest they've been pretty much ever or that miles driven have steadily decreased or remained constant for almost a decade straight.


#butimjustacheerleaderidontunderstandstatistics #testicularlyspeakinglancearmstrongisanaverageamerican

How long has the condition in China been going on. More or less than the the last big boom of Bicycles in the US. Lets say 1974. Here is a article from someone who has been there. http://mantlethought.org/content/death-bicycle-china

Do you view China as third world? Do you still see masses of bikes on the streets of major Chinese cities or is this what you see? https://www.google.com/search?q=Traffic+pictures+of+China+Cities&client=firefox-a&hs=IWV&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&tbm=isch&source=iu&imgil=VJLh72RSq5V7uM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcQRBqoMNYk3tS7tWG1RVn7mZrHpFJBsJei8ex5vLhAzAVB6RO Ju%253B500%253B333%253BwBjBUjwQ3C3gdM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.chinawhisper.com%25252Fchina-cities-embrace-car-free-day-with-massive-traffic-jam%25252F&sa=X&ei=XqjhUpbIDo7xoASYr4GADg&ved=0CFQQ9QEwBQ&biw=1366&bih=571#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=VJ Lh72RSq5V7uM%253A%3BwBjBUjwQ3C3gdM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.chinawhisper.com%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2011%252F09%252Ftraffic-jam-in-china-car-free-day-11092301.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.chinawhisper.com%252Fchina-cities-embrace-car-free-day-with-massive-traffic-jam%252F%3B500%3B333


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Old 01-23-14, 06:21 PM   #32
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How long has the condition in China been going on. More or less than the the last big boom of Bicycles in the US. Lets say 1974. Here is a article from someone who has been there. http://mantlethought.org/content/death-bicycle-china

Do you view China as third world? Do you still see masses of bikes on the streets of major Chinese cities or is this what you see? https://www.google.com/search?q=Traffic+pictures+of+China+Cities&client=firefox-a&hs=IWV&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&tbm=isch&source=iu&imgil=VJLh72RSq5V7uM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcQRBqoMNYk3tS7tWG1RVn7mZrHpFJBsJei8ex5vLhAzAVB6RO Ju%253B500%253B333%253BwBjBUjwQ3C3gdM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.chinawhisper.com%25252Fchina-cities-embrace-car-free-day-with-massive-traffic-jam%25252F&sa=X&ei=XqjhUpbIDo7xoASYr4GADg&ved=0CFQQ9QEwBQ&biw=1366&bih=571#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=VJ Lh72RSq5V7uM%253A%3BwBjBUjwQ3C3gdM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.chinawhisper.com%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2011%252F09%252Ftraffic-jam-in-china-car-free-day-11092301.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.chinawhisper.com%252Fchina-cities-embrace-car-free-day-with-massive-traffic-jam%252F%3B500%3B333

I don't view it as third world. I view it as a rapidly developing country, which means that comparing trends there with trends here is meaningless.

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Old 01-23-14, 06:28 PM   #33
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A couple of years ago, Elly wrote up an article for Grist about her first attempt to ride 100 km. I find it odd for someone who has never attempted to ride even 100 km to be considered an experienced cyclist. One really can't get very far if one restricts one's riding to distances shorter than that. Little wonder the trip around the country she refers to in the OP is by motor vehicle. Her only riding experience is short trips around town, mostly in one city. That is not the pedigree of an experienced cyclist.
You do realize that the vast majority of cyclists in the world have never ridden 100km in one ride, right?
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Old 01-23-14, 06:34 PM   #34
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I've ventured to a few different countries on various continents in recent years, and have seen it from both sides. In the real world, people who really want to ride a bike will find a way, regardless of whatever infrastructure is put there. People who don't want to ride will find a reason not to, again, regardless of whatever infrastructure is put there (or not put there). In the real world, we aren't as hide-bound as we appear on this forum. I've ridden on bike paths before -- I did it on occasion in Europe last year. The issue here for me is simply one of time. Last year in Europe I was on holiday, and had time to do it. When I'm riding to work, or riding to a doctor's appointment, or to an airport, I don't have time to do it. It's that simple. If I lived in the Netherlands or somewhere like that, I'd probably just buy a car for those trips, and save the bike for recreation. Now I don't particularly care if the segregationists get their facilities. Hey, let them be the judge of how dangerous the situation is, and we'll see who's still riding in 10 years' time. What does irritate me, is when these segregationists try to legislate the rest of us off the roads because they perceive a danger in some place they've never ridden before.
Like many, you grossly exaggerate the "inconvenience" of European bikeways. You should also talk to more expats -- I know dozens who never rode a bike in the US, became regular riders in Europe, and gave it up when the moved back to the US.
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Old 01-23-14, 07:00 PM   #35
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Not just space-
Europeans-in those densely packed cities-can't afford cars.
It probably costs 3x as much to own operate park a car in the "1st world" euro countries you mentioned-

If operating costs become that high here-bike riding will become more common-
Want more folks riding to work-pray for $8 gas.Or a depression..
Bet the more affluent a European is the fewer transportation miles he rides-
just like the chinese-just like US- USA
Adults -most adults-don't want to ride a bike to work-
that is the simple WHY of WHY so few riders-
It sucks-rain cold dangerous flats sweaty dirty theft
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Old 01-23-14, 07:09 PM   #36
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I have a few bones to pick with some of Elly Blue's views and past articles, but they're not entirely relelvant to the interview at the fore of this thread. The bottom line is, the bulk of Elly Blue's work is not intended for the ppl on this forum (although she does have some fans here nonetheless); hers is a mission to non-cyclists and occasional cyclists. Her goal is to convince ppl to ride for transportation more, or to ride at all! So, of course, she's going to have to be optimistic, and keep a lot of the rhetoric a bit on the simplistic side. If she went the pessimistic/convoluted route, she wouldn't win over a lot of potential new cyclists, now would she?

That being said, a big part of me agrees with #Chris L above. The big-picture part of me would like to see folks quit their cars in droves, so we can cut down on pollution, inflation, congestion, and traffic fatalities. The selfish part of me, OTOH, would prefer to see cycling stay where it's at now in my area. I still harbor paranoid fears about helmet requirements, insurance/registration, regulation of specific equipment, horrid things like segregated bike lanes, and a dearth of bike parking as more folks begin to ride. I kind of like pedaling around without insurance/registration/armor. And, I rather like that most cops are oblivious towards traffic laws as they relate to cyclists; I can run my preferred kind of lighting, gears, brakes, etc. And, there's always ample parking for my bike in most places, except for Phila now that they've removed all the parking meters. =( I've been spoiled by a world where cycle-commuting is still a fairly "fringe" activity, so I'm a bit ambivalent about seeing its popularity change drastically.
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Old 01-23-14, 10:37 PM   #37
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The big-picture part of me would like to see folks quit their cars in droves, so we can cut down on pollution, inflation, congestion, and traffic fatalities. The selfish part of me, OTOH, would prefer to see cycling stay where it's at now in my area. I still harbor paranoid fears about helmet requirements, insurance/registration, regulation of specific equipment, horrid things like segregated bike lanes, and a dearth of bike parking as more folks begin to ride.
The big picture part of you is the only one that makes sense. An increase in bicycle modality would serve everyone well. Hell, it would even make the car drivers happier.
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Old 01-24-14, 12:07 AM   #38
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You do realize that the vast majority of cyclists in the world have never ridden 100km in one ride, right?
Obviously they don't have the same Real Deal Pedigree like some self described "experienced cyclists."
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Old 01-24-14, 12:46 AM   #39
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A couple of years ago, Elly wrote up an article for Grist about her first attempt to ride 100 km. I find it odd for someone who has never attempted to ride even 100 km to be considered an experienced cyclist. One really can't get very far if one restricts one's riding to distances shorter than that. Little wonder the trip around the country she refers to in the OP is by motor vehicle. Her only riding experience is short trips around town, mostly in one city. That is not the pedigree of an experienced cyclist.

If you would like to read some writings from the perspective of an experienced cyclist, try Jan Heine. http://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/1...-and-fearless/ Of course, as noted by others, people like Jan are routinely shouted down and marginalized by folks who just don't have the knowledge and experience to understand what works and what does not work. If you don't believe me, try attending a public meeting on a road project here in the PNW. It gets old to see things go in that are horrific, but resemble something someone saw in a video from a different culture and then to read about the first fatality that resulted from it.

To be honest, those of us from the old guard welcomed the new people who began cycling this past decade with open arms. We weren't surprised when many of them found great enthusiasm and wanted to make big changes; we even supported many of their proposals. However, as the focus, (mis)led by people like Elly and Mia Birk, has become one of an unrelenting quest to relegate cyclists to sidepaths (world-class sidewalks), we highly experienced riders are beginning to push back. One way we are doing this is by educating people on how to ride, as is done by these folks: http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/ Please don't confuse this education effort with an attempt to say there is only one way to ride; we're not saying that. If someone is not confident in his/her ability to competently make a "normal" left turn, we have no problem with such a person taking the turn in two steps. However, we do not want the roadway built in such a way as to preclude competent cyclists from making a normal left turn, which is what the side-path movement is trying to do to us.
You have it backwards. You don't need to have ridden 100 km in a day to be an experienced cyclist. Millions of Dutch, Danish and Chinese cyclists ride many thousands of km per year without ever having done a century. I've done a few very long (100-1200mi) rides myself, but I don't consider myself an experienced cyclist because of those few rides. Rather, it's the innumerable urban rides of 2-10 miles I've done a few times a day, every day, for over 15 years, that define me as a cyclist. If you do a century on a carbon bike every weekend, you're an enthusiast. If you live your work-a-day life on a bicycle, even over short distances, you're the real thing.

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Old 01-24-14, 01:20 AM   #40
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You have it backwards. You don't need to have ridden 100 km in a day to be an experienced cyclist. Millions of Dutch, Danish and Chinese cyclists ride many thousands of km per year without ever having done a century. I've done a few very long (100-1200mi) rides myself, but I don't consider myself an experienced cyclist because of those few rides. Rather, it's the innumerable urban rides of 2-10 miles I've done a few times a day, every day, for over 15 years, that define me as a cyclist. If you do a century on a carbon bike every weekend, you're an enthusiast. If you live your work-a-day life on a bicycle, even over short distances, you're the real thing.
Exactly right. I've ridden more than 5,000 miles a year for the last 12 years. I never did a club ride or a time trial, let alone a century. So I was a bit surprised to learn today that I'm not an experienced cyclist.
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Old 01-24-14, 01:32 AM   #41
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Like many, you grossly exaggerate the "inconvenience" of European bikeways. You should also talk to more expats -- I know dozens who never rode a bike in the US, became regular riders in Europe, and gave it up when the moved back to the US.
Pal, I was in Germany six months ago. I don't need to "exaggerate" anything, I saw it for myself. I could quite happily ride recreationally in Germany, but if I had to live there, I'd get a car for my transportation needs.
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Old 01-24-14, 08:25 AM   #42
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The big picture part of you is the only one that makes sense. An increase in bicycle modality would serve everyone well. Hell, it would even make the car drivers happier.
That seems overly optimistic, to me. Look at Amswerdam. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/wo...ling.html?_r=0
I can see the beauty in that, but also the inconvenience. My Id would long for the days when I could lock up at the parking meter closest to my destination. You can't do that in cities where cycling has saturated the infrastructure. And, while we may be a long way from that point, ppl are already talking about registration and insurance for bikes. That may be worthwhile, once you take the big picture into account, but on a personal level, it would be terrible.
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Old 01-24-14, 11:11 AM   #43
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Pal, I was in Germany six months ago. I don't need to "exaggerate" anything, I saw it for myself. I could quite happily ride recreationally in Germany, but if I had to live there, I'd get a car for my transportation needs.
I hope you were more observant when you were in Germany than you were when you passed through Seville. #107 #111
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Old 01-24-14, 12:21 PM   #44
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My Id would long for the days when I could lock up at the parking meter closest to my destination. You can't do that in cities where cycling has saturated the infrastructure. And, while we may be a long way from that point, ppl are already talking about registration and insurance for bikes. That may be worthwhile, once you take the big picture into account, but on a personal level, it would be terrible.
What cities are so saturated with "infrastructure" that bike parking is difficult close to the destination? Certainly none in the U.S. Have you been to Amsterdam and had difficulty parking? Maybe if you tried to park at the front door of the Centraal Station. If you can imagine biking popularity in any city in the U.S.approaching that of Amsterdam you can imagine anything and have the resulting bad dreams entailed by the horrors of numerous cyclists getting about their cities easily by bicycle.

What "ppl are already talking about registration and insurance for bikes"? Anybody important or influential, or is it just the usual electronic windbags on obscure blogs?

Is your bottom line to discourage bicycling for everyone but yourself?
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Old 01-24-14, 12:48 PM   #45
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What cities are so saturated with "infrastructure" that bike parking is difficult close to the destination? Certainly none in the U.S.
The bike shelter/racks in Corvallis, OR sure get crowded downtown. I'm glad I don't have to use them, as I don't work there. From a distance it looks as if the bikes are piled up. If I rode there I would park a couple of blocks away if I had to, to find a less-crowded place. It's a great sight to see though. It's about 35 miles from where I live. I don't know that it has anything to do with infrastructure though, more like bike culture. There are a lot of bike lanes in that town.
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Old 01-24-14, 01:23 PM   #46
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I hope you were more observant when you were in Germany than you were when you passed through Seville. #107 #111

Apparently more observant than you were reading my post in this thread. I never claimed the facilities in Germany didn't exist. I even admitted to using them. I simply pointed out that if I had to ride anywhere in those German cities with a deadline, I wouldn't have got there in time on the path. Incidentally, once I abandoned the path in Seville and just used the roads, I got in and out just fine. I know what I'd be doing there if I ever had a deadline.
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Old 01-24-14, 01:30 PM   #47
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What "ppl are already talking about registration and insurance for bikes"? Anybody important or influential, or is it just the usual electronic windbags on obscure blogs?
At least three Australian states have seriously discussed the issue at government level in the last 15 years. There was a big thread here about California discussing it several years ago, and I've been told it's also been officially discussed in parts of Canada. In each case, it was knocked on the head because it wasn't seen as economically viable -- largely because there are so few cyclists around that it wouldn't generate enough revenue to cover the costs involved. Another reason to be glad that we really are 1 per cent.
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Old 01-24-14, 01:38 PM   #48
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Another reason to be glad that we really are 1 per cent.
No further discussion on this point necessary; this says it all for one concept of bicycling advocacy.
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Old 01-24-14, 03:49 PM   #49
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That seems overly optimistic, to me. Look at Amswerdam. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/wo...ling.html?_r=0
I can see the beauty in that, but also the inconvenience. My Id would long for the days when I could lock up at the parking meter closest to my destination. You can't do that in cities where cycling has saturated the infrastructure. And, while we may be a long way from that point, ppl are already talking about registration and insurance for bikes. That may be worthwhile, once you take the big picture into account, but on a personal level, it would be terrible.
Each 10 sf bike spot eliminates the need for a 100 sf car spot.

What people are talking about registration and insurance for bikes? Are you aware of any places within 500 miles of where you live that have recently started requiring this?

Also locking to a parking meter is a good way to get your bike stolen, and is an inconvenience to people trying to put money in the meter. Street signs are a better option, and ask for bike racks in more locations. It seems like a lot of new bike racks are going in these days.
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Old 01-24-14, 05:17 PM   #50
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...if I had to ride anywhere in those German cities with a deadline, I wouldn't have got there in time on the path.
Apparently, you're bad at planning, too.

Having ridden in many European cities, large and small, I stand by my original statement.
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