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Old 09-21-12, 03:33 PM   #1
Jan Feetz
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Would you like the SART to be like this?


Do we have the skills or the manners?

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Old 09-21-12, 05:17 PM   #2
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Pretty cool but impossibly crowded. It's obvious this is from a country that actually uses and endorses bike travel. Instead of the SART how about every city center? I work 2 miles from home and NEVER bike commute, I nearly get nailed everyday in a CAR let alone biking the unfriendly streets I would have to traverse.
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Old 09-21-12, 06:17 PM   #3
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I want the street in front of my house to be like that!!
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Old 09-21-12, 06:23 PM   #4
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How interesting! Our culture is so much more individualistic and competitive than that of the Netherlands. Also, I didn't see any lycra nor helmets!
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Old 09-21-12, 06:25 PM   #5
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The street in front of my house is like that on some weekends and it's a PITA.
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Old 09-21-12, 06:35 PM   #6
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How interesting! Our culture is so much more individualistic and competitive than that of the Netherlands. Also, I didn't see any lycra nor helmets!
Why would anyone wear lycra for the short trips the Dutch make on their bikes? That would be akin to wearing a fire-proof suit like a motorcar racer for one of those short trips Americans make in their cars. Back when the bike modal share in Davis, CA was near 90% (three times that of Amsterdam) no one wore lycra there either, likely because most trips in that town were also quite short. Also, helmets have never been associated with high levels of bike use. If you see bikes being used for transportation, you will likely not see many helmets.

Now, I would appreciate it if you would please explain where your claim that American culture is much more individualistic and competitive than The Netherlands comes from and how that would relate to our ridiculous tendency to sit inside a motorized padded cell in order to meet our transportation desires. I seem to be missing something here.
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Old 09-21-12, 07:05 PM   #7
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^^^^^
I am making an observation, not an editorial. So, why are you being so competitive in your statements? Yes, you are missing something.

"Now, I would appreciate it if you would please explain where your claim that American culture is much more individualistic and competitive than The Netherlands comes from and how that would relate to our ridiculous tendency to sit inside a motorized padded cell in order to meet our transportation desires."

I see what you did there. Thank you for seeing my point. You do know that many riders on the SART wear lycra and helmets not to mention a penchant to be a bit aggressive at times.

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Old 09-21-12, 07:21 PM   #8
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Do we have the skills or the manners?
Well, no, I wouldn't. But if there were one of those along all the main streets in LA I think we'd be ahead of the game. Sprawl really kills our ability to cycle commute. I lived in Denmark when I was younger (HS Age) and there was a separate bike path on nearly every major road. There was nowhere NEAR that much cycle traffic though. I could go as fast as my 15 year old legs could carry me. I rode all over the place on that island.
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Old 09-21-12, 08:26 PM   #9
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Also, I didn't see any lycra nor helmets!
When I visited the Netherlands, I did see a couple wearing lycra and helmets amidst the sea of bicycles. They stuck out like a sore thumb. It was pretty obvious they were tourists.

You would not believe some of things being carried on their bicycles. One young man wearing a shirt and tie had a huge musical instrument strapped on his back while he rode. I thought he was going to topple over, but he managed to ride just fine.
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Old 09-22-12, 01:38 AM   #10
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We can criticize our fellow Americans for being selfish/lazy, but our infrastructure was built after the advent of the automobile, and it was designed specifically for cars.
The Dutch infrastructure was established back in the days of oxcarts, and much of it even a few centuries before the invention of the bicycle. The bicycle just happens to work well on narrow, winding paths that are basically the same palimpsest that was used to herd goats & sheep from one village to another back when Holland was considered the outer frontier of the Roman Empire. It's charming, it's quaint, it works well with the bicycle, but not so well with the car.
I lived there for 3 years, and back in 88-91 when I lived there, they were paying roughly what we now pay for gasoline.
Also, it's a smaller country, easier to maintain its roads, and not subject to earthquakes, frost, mountains and landslides that our roads here are subject to.
Holland is a wonderful, WONDERFUL place to visit if you like cycling. It's been nearly 20 years since I left, but the idyllic roads and scenery still return to my dreams once in a while.



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Old 09-22-12, 02:30 PM   #11
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very informative review of how the dutch got their cyclepaths. would be nice if some of the larger cycling communities here took at least an ounce of note.
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Old 09-22-12, 06:51 PM   #12
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Dit is Den Haag, Meneer Chris?
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Old 09-22-12, 08:30 PM   #13
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Dit is Den Haag, Meneer Chris?
Nee, jongen! Deze zijn de lieflijk stadts van Maastricht en Valkenburg, de mooiste plaats voor fietsen van het wereld!

Bent u een Nederlander?
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Old 09-23-12, 01:39 PM   #14
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With gas prices and the way the economy it is, you are looking at a video from a near future.
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Old 09-24-12, 08:51 AM   #15
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Nee, jongen! Deze zijn de lieflijk stadts van Maastricht en Valkenburg, de mooiste plaats voor fietsen van het wereld!

Bent u een Nederlander?
Natuurlijk! De Oranje!
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Old 09-24-12, 09:22 AM   #16
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Natuurlijk! De Oranje!
That's awesome. Where do you live now?
I was stationed there while I was in the Army and too young to appreciate how good I had it. While there, I bought my Pa an opafiets, which he eventually gave back to me. Frame-lock, drum brakes, internet gear hub, and I'm pretty sure the frame tubes are not hollow like most of the bikes we ride--thing weighs 50-60 pounds!

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Old 09-24-12, 12:17 PM   #17
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Born in De Nederlands, Childhood in San Gabriel Valley, now reside in Costa Mesa. Plenty of family across the pond. Those bikes are the best! Robust and charmingly cool! Perfect just to cruise around. My Seattle inlaws have a white OmaFiets from the fatherland that I am trying to steal from them for my wife.
BTW, while in Holland, did you visit De Walletjes? Ahh, the smokey sweet fragrance's coming from the Bruinjes.....uhh so they say...
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Old 09-24-12, 01:51 PM   #18
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For commuting it would be great thats for sure.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:08 PM   #19
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We can criticize our fellow Americans for being selfish/lazy, but our infrastructure was built after the advent of the automobile, and it was designed specifically for cars.
The Dutch infrastructure was established back in the days of oxcarts, and much of it even a few centuries before the invention of the bicycle. The bicycle just happens to work well on narrow, winding paths that are basically the same palimpsest that was used to herd goats & sheep from one village to another back when
Spot on.

I spent about 3 weeks in Europe last year, and came to precisely the same conclusion. For better or worse, bicycle commuting in the US is regarded as an alternative to driving, while bicycle commuting in Europe is regarded as an alternative to walking or an adjunct to public transportation, and done at much lower speeds for lower distances. It's reflected in their choice of bicycle (steel frame, upright, fairly heavy, nearly all with generator lights and fenders), their choice of what they wear (essentially, the same thing they intend to wear when they arrive ... did you see the girl in the high heels? oy).

And it's not because they're smart and we're dumb. It's for all the reasons you mention. Our streets were layed out after the advent of the automobile, and much better designed to accommodate them. The nasty consequence is that they don't accommodate bicycles as well.
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Old 09-24-12, 04:25 PM   #20
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Thanks for the kind compliment, Biker. They do some things better than we do, and we do some things better than they do. We're lucky we've been able to travel and see different cultures. I feel a little sorry for people who've never left the country, because living outside the US really makes you appreciate living here more.

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Born in De Nederlands, Childhood in San Gabriel Valley, now reside in Costa Mesa. Plenty of family across the pond. Those bikes are the best! Robust and charmingly cool! Perfect just to cruise around. My Seattle inlaws have a white OmaFiets from the fatherland that I am trying to steal from them for my wife.
BTW, while in Holland, did you visit De Walletjes? Ahh, the smokey sweet fragrance's coming from the Bruinjes.....uhh so they say...
Never did. I remained a virgin who never tried pot when I PCSed from NL to Colorado and came back to the States. I drove plenty of carloads of my fellow GIs up to partake though, and spent plenty of time waiting out in the rain for them. I lived down in Brunssum (scroll out to see location) in these now-abandoned barracks. And I didn't try pot until I was well into my 30's. Just because it was legal in NL, didn't mean we were allowed! We had unannounced urinalysis tests nearly once a month and we used to joke that our unit motto was "Pee all that you can pee."
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Old 09-24-12, 04:37 PM   #21
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And it's not because they're smart and we're dumb. It's for all the reasons you mention. Our streets were layed out after the advent of the automobile, and much better designed to accommodate them. The nasty consequence is that they don't accommodate bicycles as well.[/QUOTE]

actually if you watch that video that i posted, you'll see that a lot of the dutch pathways and infrastructure was created within the last 30 years, post oil crisis. the difference in mindset between americans and europeans concerning bicycles as a viable alternative transportation method is huge. and you can say americans are more individualistic compared to europeans... so the 'greater good' of more bicycle paths and infrastructure will never come about in the states because the majority of americans are just not willing to sacrifice [their] road space and effectively slow down or prolong their commutes so that biking could become more friendly. it would be a step back in eye of most americans. i suppose we could argue that our cities and urban areas are much more sprawling so we need our cars, but i say hogwash, if a bicycle commute takes 40 miles then so be it... at least it will solve the obesity issue for sure.
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Old 09-24-12, 04:46 PM   #22
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it would be a step back in eye of most americans. i suppose we could argue that our cities and urban areas are much more sprawling so we need our cars, but i say hogwash, if a bicycle commute takes 40 miles then so be it... at least it will solve the obesity issue for sure.
I must respectfully disagree. I love bicycling, but commuting 40 miles every day would not be workable for me. It's nice to envision a world where everyone lived as close to their workplace as I do (1.88 miles), but it's simply not feasible (or in many cases, possible) for everyone. It's not as though everyone in Holland is fit, green and happy--there are plenty of fat, lazy slobs there too who lay around eating McDonalds, watching hours & hours of cr@p TV, and not cleaning up after their dogs.
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Old 09-24-12, 05:14 PM   #23
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I must respectfully disagree. I love bicycling, but commuting 40 miles every day would not be workable for me. It's nice to envision a world where everyone lived as close to their workplace as I do (1.88 miles), but it's simply not feasible (or in many cases, possible) for everyone. It's not as though everyone in Holland is fit, green and happy--there are plenty of fat, lazy slobs there too who lay around eating McDonalds, watching hours & hours of cr@p TV, and not cleaning up after their dogs.
wait, not sure what you are disagreeing about, that more dedicated pathways would be step back in the eyes of most americans? or that sprawling cities in the US is a valid reason for having less pathways?

for me, if it meant that we had an awesome network of bikeways like in holland, i wouldn't mind commuting 20 miles each way to get to where i have to go, instead of using a car. for any reasonably fit person, 20 miles out is less than 1.5hrs. shoot, people get stuck on the 405 and 5 and 10 for that much time anyways. i agree that there are lots of fat lazy slobs everywhere in the world, but of course we are forced to speak in generalizations, and as such, that means pretty much every nation has a less percentage of fat lazy slobs than we do.

a bold statement... as it relates to cycling in pretty much every facet, i wish i was born a european. haha
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Old 09-24-12, 05:22 PM   #24
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--there are plenty of fat, lazy slobs there too who lay around eating McDonalds, watching hours & hours of cr@p TV, and not cleaning up after their dogs.
What, Chris? Did you call me?
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Old 09-24-12, 05:33 PM   #25
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wait, not sure what you are disagreeing about, that more dedicated pathways would be step back in the eyes of most americans? or that sprawling cities in the US is a valid reason for having less pathways?

for me, if it meant that we had an awesome network of bikeways like in holland, i wouldn't mind commuting 20 miles each way to get to where i have to go, instead of using a car. for any reasonably fit person, 20 miles out is less than 1.5hrs. shoot, people get stuck on the 405 and 5 and 10 for that much time anyways. i agree that there are lots of fat lazy slobs everywhere in the world, but of course we are forced to speak in generalizations, and as such, that means pretty much every nation has a less percentage of fat lazy slobs than we do.

a bold statement... as it relates to cycling in pretty much every facet, i wish i was born a european. haha
I don't think you'll find many Europeans commuting 20 miles each way to work. Look at the video. At the speeds those people are going and with all the stops they are making, that would take a looong time. Most of them are likely taking a very short ride because they live fairly close to where they work.

Personally, I commute 17.5 miles daily, 90% on a dedicated bike path with no stop signs at speeds way higher than those in the video, and it still takes well over an hour. It's in a busy commuting corridor, but most days, I have it almost to myself. To me, that is inexplicable.
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