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Bike riders do more harm than good

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Bike riders do more harm than good

Old 08-15-06, 11:27 AM
  #26  
AlmostTrick
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Originally Posted by banerjek
There's no point in worrying about it. It's a waste of time to reason with dogs that don't like cyclists. Same goes for idiots.

Save your energy for reasonable people.
Arguing with this writer may be a waste of time, but sending letters to the editor is not. The papers routinely print a few of the best counter responses to almost all letters. Certainly we will see some published response to this. Some who read these responses will be "reasonable people" who may have a change of attitude, or at least have a better understanding of the issue at hand. (Oh! I didn't know bikes on the road was legal! I thought they belonged on the sidewalk.)
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Old 08-15-06, 11:58 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by randya
Albany Park is undoubtedly in the suburbs, correct? Would Mr. Green have the option of taking the train into the city from Albany Park?
Albany Park is in the city. Look up his address on Switchboard.com (it's there). This guy is about three blocks away from the Brown Line El, and he's got an express bus to downtown that stops at his doorstep about a hundred times a day. I'd like to hear his rant against public transportation.

To the Critical Mass guy - he's at Mozart and Montrose. See you there!
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Old 08-15-06, 12:06 PM
  #28  
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I heard a similar spout of illogic on KNBR's call-in sports show a few weeks back. The caller was peeved because every morning he drives to work he has to pass at least eight (!) cyclists on his way to work. What really got him mad was that road is just so peaceful and tranquil in the early morning and these jerks in spandex so rudely snap him out of his reverie and make him have to pay attention to the road to pass them!
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Old 08-15-06, 12:22 PM
  #29  
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It's not so much the letter-writer that a response to the paper will influence. Clearly, people like him are so narrow-minded and insulated against opposing points of view that their own illogical and irrational sense of self-righteousness seems perfectly acceptable. It is those who will be influenced by people like him that a response is intended to target, so that they can appreciate that there are conflicting opinions with facts to back them up.
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Old 08-15-06, 12:46 PM
  #30  
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The stupidity and ignorance of some people just continues to amaze me.
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Old 08-15-06, 12:54 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by ctyler
The stupidity and ignorance of some people just continues to amaze me.
Welcome to the US of A in the 21st century.

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Old 08-15-06, 12:58 PM
  #32  
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Secretly written by one of the big three CEOs.
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Old 08-15-06, 01:25 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by fordfasterr
This guy is a big fat lazy ******.

I bet he gets mad when there is a car ahead of him when pulling into the Mc****** drive-through because it'll take an extra 2 minutes to get his McBurger...
LOL!
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Old 08-15-06, 01:32 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by dead_canary
Albany Park is in the city. Look up his address on Switchboard.com (it's there). This guy is about three blocks away from the Brown Line El, and he's got an express bus to downtown that stops at his doorstep about a hundred times a day. I'd like to hear his rant against public transportation.

To the Critical Mass guy - he's at Mozart and Montrose. See you there!
I'd like to visit my sister in Naperville, just so I could participate. I'd like to block this guy for about 2 hours!
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Old 08-15-06, 01:57 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by EnigManiac
It's not so much the letter-writer that a response to the paper will influence. Clearly, people like him are so narrow-minded and insulated against opposing points of view that their own illogical and irrational sense of self-righteousness seems perfectly acceptable. It is those who will be influenced by people like him that a response is intended to target, so that they can appreciate that there are conflicting opinions with facts to back them up.
Bingo!

Any responce needs to be very aware that you are playing to an audience. Being extreem in the opposite direction will make it look like two jerks arguing. Stay rational and there is only one jerk and you win. Simply pointing out that each bike that it is perhaps difficult to pass means one less car which it would be impossible to pass can be enough to win. Or that even if a bike is a nusance while you are both on hte road once you get there the bike (that replaces a car) means one more space for you, the driver.
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Old 08-15-06, 02:26 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
It is simply not practical to flood our streets with bicycles while it remains vital to society that people and goods get where they're going with the speed, efficiency and comparative safety that motor vehicles provide.
This is my favorite part. Evidently increasing traffic by some number of cars will make his travel more efficient than increasing it by the same number of bicycles.
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Old 08-15-06, 02:39 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by tomcryar
Absolutely!!!! Flood their butts with letters from all over--overwhelm them--and the letter writer....But like with most papers, you probably have to give your address and daytime phone numer. I don't know that for sure, though, their website doesn't say..........show them how many people think they are wrong! Remember, the paper isn't the BF, they will most likely discard any profanity or defamation.
My paper, and I have to think most, will call you to confirm that you sent the letter, and that you've only sent it to them (to discourage people spamming multiple newspapers). I'll also bet they would be very unlikely to print a letter from someone outside their local area. Surely this will get plenty of responses from Chicago cyclists.
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Old 08-15-06, 03:51 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by EnigManiac
This is a copy of the letter I have submitted to the Chicago Sun Times in response:

Mr. Green's perception of cyclists is, unfortunately, rather standard
for motorists entrenched in a car-culture with a misguided sense of
entitlement and elitism. Mr. Green should be reminded that bicycles
are legal status vehicles that must operate on the road. They are an
equally viable, vital, convenient and efficient form of transportation
as a motor vehicle, particularly in urban areas. They are subject to
most of the same rules and regulations a motor vehicle must abide by
and while there are many cyclists who fail to observe the rules of the
road, there are also an equivalent percentage of motorists who operate
similarly, but with far deadlier consequences. Bicycles may not
prevent or reverse global warming, as Mr. Green suggests, but they do
not contribute to it either. Even the most efficient engines found in
the finest cars continually add to smog and poor air quality. Mr.
Green is quite correct in observing that motor vehicles are necessary
and will not go away, however, most motorists rely upon their vehicle
for all their transportation needs including short commutes and
errands, never considering a more environmentally responsible
alternative when approriate.

Roads are public spaces, free to pedestrians, cyclists,
roller-bladers, etc. and there are some who believe that because a
motorist, whether in a slow or fast-moving motor vehicle, requires a
license, they are, in fact, a GUEST, upon public roads and must earn
the privelege to share that road with all other users who have the
inherent right to be there. Any experienced and skilled motorist
should pay attention and be alert to all traffic, regardless of its'
form: it is, in fact, their responsibility to drive safely,
predictably and responsibly, putting no other operator at risk and if
Mr. Green is becoming frustrated by the fact he must, by law, share
the road fairly, he has other options available to him including
public transportation and a bicycle.
Great rebuttal!

Hey, maybe that guy would like to set his bike up on rollers in the garage, close the door, hook up a hose from the rear end of his bike and try to commit suicide with it. Oh wait. That won't work.
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Old 08-15-06, 04:18 PM
  #39  
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Excellent letter, EnigManiac.
The chowderhead should live in Europe for a year. He'd find out just how necessary a car is in Copenhagen (not at all, everyone rides a bike) or Berlin (four kinds of public transport AND bicycle paths) or Paris (terrific walking, and commute by boat as well as by public transport!)
Cars are only indispensible if you don't consider any of the alternatives.

and for the record I have lived in all of the above cities and find them a lot easier to get around than all American cities save New York.
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Old 08-15-06, 04:52 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
It is simply not practical to flood our streets with bicycles while it remains vital to society that people and goods get where they're going with the speed, efficiency and comparative safety that motor vehicles provide.

C.R. Green, Albany Park
Efficiency? Efficiency?

Too bad any give newspaper wouldn't take the time to publish the math, but here's a bit of math on efficiency.

Lets say C.R. Green's car gets 20mpg city, a generous notch above the national average.
87 octane (what most people put in the tank) is 31 thousand kilocalories.

that works out to 1550 kilocalories per mile. that means to go 2 miles, CR has to burn enough energy to feed a very athletic person for a day.

for a 160-170lb person, cycling ranges from 7.8 to 15.6 kilocalories a minute depending on speed and hills.
lets say they do 15 miles of a commute, twice a day at about 15mph, burning about 12 kcals a minute.

30miles/15mph = 2 hours = 120 minutes = 1440 kcals round trip

1440kcals/30miles = 48 kcals per mile.

That works out to CR using something like 32 times as much energy to go a given mile.

Others have discussed the increased temporal efficiency. as for safety, I believe Effective Cycling outlines city-cyclocommuters as the safest bunch in the cycling community. (when you ride through the gauntlet every day, you sorta get used to it)

now I do think I spend more time working on my bike per mile than I would on a car, but what's a few hours of wrenching per week among friends?
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Old 08-15-06, 05:36 PM
  #41  
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I've seen so many of these over the years, that I wish I had a dollar for every one. I could retire right now. The funny thing is that they all sound alike. Oh sure, some words and catch-phrases change, but basically, they're all the same. It's interesting how the "they should have to pay insurance" bit always comes up. The only thing interesting here is that he states that "the proliferation of bicycles on public roads is damaging the quality of life.." Well Mr. Green, that is one hell of a coincidence. I've that same exact thought about motor vehicles. With the pollution, noise, endless congestion, endless accidents, and all the rest, I'd call that a pretty damaged quality of life. Everything else aside, it sounds like Mr. Green feels threatened somehow.

Hey Mr. Green, guess what? I'm not going to give up my bicycle. This evening, I used it to get home from my job, and do some errands along the way. Do you understand?

Yes, the purpose of the "letters to the editors" section of major market newspapers are for people to express opinions. Most newpapers will publish opposing viewpoints. So, as others have mentioned already, take advantage of this.

Mc******...
Excellent!!! Can I use that?

If you really want cheese off one of this species, just say that the bicycle was here way before the automobile, and it will still be here after the last SUV has been hauled off to the junkyard, crushed, shredded, and shipped off to Japan, where they'll turn it into consumer electronics.

Then watch for the characteristic bulging eyes, red face, pulsating forehead veins, foaming at the mouth,, Hey! I think I just came up with an ad campaign for a blood pressure medication!
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Old 08-15-06, 05:53 PM
  #42  
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Unlike some here I drive most of the time. Cycling is a recreation, not a need or basic means of transport. So I started trying to think of the last time a cyclist held me up when driving in any way that mattered. Now since I am a cyclist too I often am 'held up' when other driver would not be. There is a nasty dip into a creek (think two hills, this is the part right between and no flat at all). Just as I got to the top I came upon a cyclist. I decided to hang back and let him decent and at least carry some speed back up in peace. I then passed cleanly and safely when we both started back up. By the top of the hill I was right behind the car ahead of me. There is another section where I had to wait for a cyclist. About 1/2 mile next to the freeway. This time the cyclist was a jerk, he blew the stopsign at the start of this. A 4 way stop with cars lined up all 4 ways. Still By hte end of that section I had to wait behind cars already lined up at the next stop sign.

Oh wait I finally thought of one. On the last street before I turn on to my street one time a cyclist was in just the wrong place. He was getting to my street and going straight just as I would have gotten there. I had to wait 4 or 5 whole car lengths and then actually make the turn at a speed that was a bit slower than required to be safe.
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Old 08-15-06, 11:45 PM
  #43  
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Make yourselves known.........don't waste your time posting here--send a letter to the editor.
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Old 08-16-06, 05:36 AM
  #44  
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Keith99: Better rephrase that. "Cycling is a recreation, not a need or basic means of transportation, for you."
It certainly is necessary for me. It's my main transportation. It also helps me repair a heavily damaged skeleton (smashed up in a car wreck.) And I can get down to one of the colleges faster than the bus or a car. If the roads were safer I'd ride all the way to work.
It's basic and necessary for millions of people.

I've never seen a bicycle inconvenience or delay a car. That is simply ridiculous. Might as well say pedestirans also are an inconvenience.
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Old 08-16-06, 06:28 AM
  #45  
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If it wasn't for my bicycle, I would still be 35 lb overweight, have 75 + points of cholesterol higher, have high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, acid reflux disease ... etc... etc...

Now I am perfectly normal, healthy weight, low cholesterol, normal bp, no stomach or acid problems... in super shape... better off than I ever was before I started using my BIKE to get to work and back every day.

=)

C.R. Green can S.M.D.
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Old 08-16-06, 06:56 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Letters to the Editor: Chicago Sun Times
The proliferation of bicycles on public roads is damaging the quality of life, and it's time we all faced some realities on the subject.
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Old 08-16-06, 06:57 AM
  #47  
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1) I absolutely detest exercising indoors.
2) Due to a busy schedule I also have limited time for gyms. Also, see #1.
3) I will not be limited to trails.
4) I replaced one of our 2 cars with a bike
5) My main form of transportation is said bike
6) I lost 42 lbs over the last 14 months
7) I freaking love my commute (or at least like it). How many motorists can actually state that their favorite part of the day is the commute to and from work?
8) i am not an evironmentalist and do not care much about that aspect of cycling. It's the fitness for me.
However, it is a nice side affect.
9) I cost motorists all of a second or two in travel time. I feel so sad for them <-- sarcasm. Perhaps they should complain more about the traffic lights and their timing.
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Old 08-16-06, 07:49 AM
  #48  
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Letters to the Editor: Atlanta Sun Times

August 14, 2006

The proliferation of automobiles on public roads is damaging the quality of life, and it's time we all faced some realities on the subject.

First, people need their bicycles and aren't going to give them up. It is simply not practical to flood our streets with automobiles while it remains vital to society that people and goods get where they're going with the efficiency and comparative safety that bicycles provide.

Second, automobiles are not going to help global warming. What today's cars have in common is that they are outmoded technologies. Part of the answer to global warming is clean human powered technology, which saves an average of 1.5 tons per year, per automobile, of pollution added to our already smog-laden cities.

It is true that cycling is good exercise. So are walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, working out at the health club and any number of sports activities. Given the options, bicycling is one of the best choices possible.

Driving a motor vehicle requires maximum attention at all times. The more bikes are on the street that motorists have to defer to, the more traffic is calmed, avoiding the crashes they so often cause. Each year, motorists are involved in crashes killing 40,000 Americans, which is almost as many Americans that were killed in the entire decade of the Vietnam War.

The amount of unnecessary stress this causes all of us, who more often than not are just trying to get to or from work or get their errands done, is unconscionable. But if cyclists must put up with automobiles on the road, would it be too much to ask that motorists take some responsibility for their everyones safety? Requiring motorists to carry insurance is a direct result of the damage and carnage they are responsible for.

Ultimately, there is not one valid argument in favor of increased motorist activity, and plenty of arguments against it. Please leave the automobiles at home. They are doing more harm than good.

Callmee Green, Atlanta Park
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Last edited by LittleBigMan; 08-16-06 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 08-16-06, 09:03 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
........
You rock !!!
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Old 08-16-06, 09:19 AM
  #50  
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The proliferation of bicycles on public roads is damaging the quality of life, and it's time we all faced some realities on the subject.
Ahhh... when?
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