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Article on cycling in Miami

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Article on cycling in Miami

Old 02-08-08, 07:29 PM
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San Rensho 
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Article on cycling in Miami

Heres an article on cycling in Miami. Pretty accurate, although I do take issue with the claim that things are getting better. The streets are more crowded every day and the drivers are ruder and ruder. Its a shame, because Miami does have very good quality roads and a perfect climate for cycling.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2008-01...-death-daily/1
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Old 02-08-08, 07:57 PM
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Thanks for posting that, San Rensho.
Id agree with most of it too. Its gotten so
bad now that the sno-birds are here Ive slipped into
a state of paranoia I cant seem to get out of.
I recently wrote a letter to Crist asking for some help in
public awareness on this but it was probably deleted after
the reading the header.
Peoples attitudes toward cycling are just a byproduct of the
personalities Ive become familiar with here. This to me is
the meanest, nastiest place Ive ever lived. Only stands to
reason we would be an outlet for all that anger and aggression.
Counting the seconds until our lease is up.
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Old 02-08-08, 08:58 PM
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It seems like the majority of the cyclists are the poor. Therefore, very little is done since they have no voice. In a car town like Miami, only the poor use the bicycle for transportation. I've said it before but the bicycle is the poor man's motorcar.
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Old 02-08-08, 09:18 PM
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I've read before how florida is the worst state in the union to cycle in because the drivers are so bad

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Old 02-08-08, 09:34 PM
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Why are the drivers so bad?
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Old 02-08-08, 09:36 PM
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age and/or attitude?
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Old 02-09-08, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
Why are the drivers so bad?
Some people say its the high concentration of old people and the immigrants that are the worst drivers but I beg to differ.

Miami is the most plastic, materialistic, ostentatious place I have ever encountered. Its all about showing off your material possessions so everyone has to have a cool car to show off. If you don't have a $30k+ car in Miami, you are no one.

Hand in hand with materialism goes self-centeredness and aggression, everyone thinks that they are the only person entitled to everything, so they drive like they are the only ones who have a right to be on the road.

I don't have problems with the elderly or the poor or the (poor) immigrants driving. I ride through a lower middle class black neighborhood (that white people tell me I'm crazy to do because of all the "crime") all the time and the drivers are wonderful, Sometimes I wonder if I am still in Miami because they often yield to me or wave to me as I ride by.

By far the biggest problems with cars that I have are the arrogant @ssholes in $50k+ cars, who buzz, yell and tailgate me.

There seems to be a direct relationship between the price of cars and how big a dick the driver is in Miami.
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Old 02-09-08, 11:28 AM
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^^^^ Exactly, exactly exactly perfect observation !
I think the only thing that stops them from hitting us intentionally
is that the mark we leave on the car might take more than a
250.00 mobile detailing job to buff out. So the arrogant, angry
Me- people do everything up until actually hitting you to show their
displeasure that you had the audacity to be born.
Because spending money on lifestyle accessories is pretty much all they
are wired for, bicyclists (peds too) suffer the miscalculations of their
Anger Display Management functions regularly.
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Old 02-09-08, 12:19 PM
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Come across the state.....SW FL certainly has problem drivers, but generally, I have no problems commuting 25 mi r/t every day for 2 1/2 years now.....many streets have bike lanes and Lee County has a pdf map file of every bike lane/bike route in the county.....
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Old 02-09-08, 01:46 PM
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I traveled to Florida a lot when I was in the Air Force. Mostly to Panama City. I never drove there, but I recall not liking the place very much. In fact, I even grew to hate Hawaii (another place we flew to a lot) because it sort of reminded me of Florida.
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Old 02-09-08, 06:41 PM
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Link to single-page article...

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2008-01...th-daily/print

I like the part about not "riding a bicycle without having thereon a bell, gong, or whistle with which to warn pedestrians or driver of [horse-powered] vehicles at street crossings."

I need a gong on my bike...
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Old 02-10-08, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
Why are the drivers so bad?
Because, from what I saw on a tv programme about a UK citizen emigrating to Florida, the driving test is a farce, a tragic joke. It consisted of a multi-choice questionaire (which he passed without doing any real study) and a practical, which involved driving round a traffic-free area with some road signs on it.

As far as I could tell, it tested his ability to recognise, read and react to those road signs, not to traffic.

How on earth can any government test your ability to drive in traffic without watching you do so? Certainly, no European country would regard anything remotely like that as a test on how competently manouevre a vehicle in normal, or even abnormal road conditions.

I don't claim that UK drivers are perfect, but I've never experienced any driver telling me to "get on the pavement" (sidewalk to you former colonials), since they do, at least, know that we are allowed on the road, even those who think we shouldn't be.

at the end of the day, any society which regards one class of human beings (drivers) as being inherently superior to another (cyclists) is less civilised than one which doesn't do so. Ask yourself which society has a greater regard for human rights, one in which children are expected and are entitled to be able to ride to school safely and one which regards any such right as an infringement on the rights of drivers.
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Old 02-10-08, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by atbman View Post
at the end of the day, any society which regards one class of human beings (drivers) as being inherently superior to another (cyclists) is less civilized than one which doesn't do so. Ask yourself which society has a greater regard for human rights, one in which children are expected and are entitled to be able to ride to school safely and one which regards any such right as an infringement on the rights of drivers.
This is one of the points I try to make to the Pols I write to here.....
Being patient with bicyclists/peds imparts a whole lot of positivity upon a
society in places that might seem unlikely at first. What people do when
afforded the luxury of anonymity says a lot about that society. People here
choose to use it by doing mean stuff to other people because they know they
will get away with it.
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Old 02-10-08, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by atbman View Post
at the end of the day, any society which regards one class of human beings (drivers) as being inherently superior to another (cyclists) is less civilised than one which doesn't do so. Ask yourself which society has a greater regard for human rights, one in which children are expected and are entitled to be able to ride to school safely and one which regards any such right as an infringement on the rights of drivers.
That's one of the coolest things I've read all month. If Bono were a cyclist, he might say something like this on Oprah.

Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
What people do when afforded the luxury of anonymity says a lot about that society. People here choose to use it by doing mean stuff to other people because they know they will get away with it.
Also very cool, but in a Henry Rollins sort of way.
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Old 02-10-08, 05:35 PM
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Ah very cool to find this forum seems there are a few Miami commuters here. Many thanks Sidewalk Samurai for the link to this post, very cool. Yes I read the article in the times and at least it got people talking. I'm glad for that, because in the comments section I saw there were a lot of people talking but no organization. To that end I started a forum to unite everyone in Miami in a virtual place since transportation is such an issue. I'm glad I did this since there seem to be some real interested people in making a difference. I plan to eventually extend this to a critical mass (or an amalgamation of the few critical masses already present?) and eventually to a protest in city hall. I hope this will help. Also in my website I listed some tips on complaining to the government (it's as easy as writing an email). I figured as soon as enough people get on the Director of the Public Works dept's case then he or she is going to do something about it. Let's see what happens, and if you're interested in joining us, like all critical masses, all we need are people with bikes, so come on over! Check out my signature for the website.

Cheers,
Richard (South Miami commuter)
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Old 02-10-08, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by s0crates View Post
Check out my signature for the website.

Cheers,
Richard (South Miami commuter)
Hey Richard...
I just signed up as junocommuter .
Great site ! I will be assaulting it regularly
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Old 02-10-08, 09:03 PM
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Wow I feel downright lucky. In Jacksonville, almost every road being rebuilt or repaved is getting bike lanes. It's pretty nice on my side of town.
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Old 02-11-08, 04:46 PM
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I want an 1890s bicycle -- pennyfarthing? -- with a gong. I will use it to warn pedestrians and horse-buggies.

EDIT: I missed Hairyman's post ... damn. I thought I was the first person to write a reference to the gong.
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Old 02-11-08, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Some people say its the high concentration of old people and the immigrants that are the worst drivers but I beg to differ.

Miami is the most plastic, materialistic, ostentatious place I have ever encountered. Its all about showing off your material possessions so everyone has to have a cool car to show off. If you don't have a $30k+ car in Miami, you are no one.

Hand in hand with materialism goes self-centeredness and aggression, everyone thinks that they are the only person entitled to everything, so they drive like they are the only ones who have a right to be on the road.

I don't have problems with the elderly or the poor or the (poor) immigrants driving. I ride through a lower middle class black neighborhood (that white people tell me I'm crazy to do because of all the "crime") all the time and the drivers are wonderful, Sometimes I wonder if I am still in Miami because they often yield to me or wave to me as I ride by.

By far the biggest problems with cars that I have are the arrogant @ssholes in $50k+ cars, who buzz, yell and tailgate me.

There seems to be a direct relationship between the price of cars and how big a dick the driver is in Miami.
So true, as a visitor to Miami a couple of years ago, I was struck by all the materialism and the fact that the richer/flashy a person was the more likely to be a grade a donkeyhole they were.
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Old 02-11-08, 06:55 PM
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As much as it's been brought up I'm not so satisfied with the explanations given here.. I don't know.. I think about it sometimes and it must just be a MULTITUDE of things.. I don't know. You know one thing I definitely noticed is that people are more jerks when they are in hurries. It's usually in rush hours. I was just thinking, imagine that the reason people are such dicks in the morning is because they are running late for work. It would be a crazy reason, I think, for bicycling to be unsafe solely based on the fact that people were irresponsible and woke up late.. lol
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Old 06-08-08, 06:41 PM
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Agree

With you 100%
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Old 06-08-08, 07:52 PM
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I am reminded of the Florida chapters in the bike-touring book: Miles From Nowhere. After travelling through much of the US (starting in California) the couple reaches the deep south and find that 'Southern Hospitality' is a bit of a joke. But when they reach Florida they find the most arrogant, condescending, murderous driving population in the entire US. This was in the 70's, mind you. Some of the events and actions they describe left me absolutely flabbergasted that such a thing could happen...even in the age before bike touring was very common. They had more trouble in Florida than they did in potentially hostile countries.

Nothing has changed.
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Old 06-08-08, 09:17 PM
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Neil Peart (drummer for Rush) recently wrote a book about touring the US by motorcycle (in fact it was during their concert tour, he simply rode from venue to venue and has done a lot of other US riding). FWIW, he said that Florida drivers were the worst in the US. Colorado was second worst, I believe.
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Old 06-08-08, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by hairyman View Post
I like the part about not "riding a bicycle without having thereon a bell, gong, or whistle with which to warn pedestrians or driver of [horse-powered] vehicles at street crossings."


Couldn't resist.

-Kurt
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Old 06-09-08, 06:41 AM
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I'm surprised no one mentioned this line from the article:

Clad head to toe in thousands of dollars' worth of Lycra, they glide along in tight, silent packs, their wheels producing a collective whirring like a hive of wasps set loose.

Thousands of dollars' worth of lycra? That's a lot of lycra!
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