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Banned from cycling

Old 12-06-08, 02:56 PM
  #26  
degnaw
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Originally Posted by StrangeWill View Post
Aren't two laned rural roads like huge killers due to head ons?

I'd figure you'd be actually safer on the shoulder on a bike strangely enough.
What is this "shoulder" you speak of?

Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Going outside the family with your problem prolly isn't a good idea either.
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Old 12-06-08, 03:16 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
I'm a high school senior, and a week ago, my dad randomly told me I couldn't ride anymore because its too dangerous. Its only been a week since, but bumming rides/walking 4 miles has gotten quite repetitive already. My parents say I should start driving, but I think I'd fall asleep driving at 6:30am.

This
is most of my route, which I admit is a bit questionable (35mph rural roads, real speed is around 45), but I feel safe with a superflash, 4 feet of reflective tape, a fluorescent hoodie, and a 606a q5 helmet light. In the three months I've been riding, I've only had one close call (which in retrospect wasn't really that close at all).

What would any of you do in a situation like this? Apparently my dad knows someone who was killed on a bike (and no one in a car crash), and he always emphasizes how a car provides a 3000lb shield in the event of an accident.

You need to have a good long discussion with your parents and maybe somebody who is outside of your group, like a safety officer or something.

Your folks love you and are scared. That's their job. Well, you get the point.

Cars are not safe either. The average 3,000 lb car needs 12 airbags to be somewhat protective, costs 30,000+ and can't compensate for a drunk guy flying over a crest with limited forward visbility with a Mazda Miata and into a willow tree (which more or less happened around Boise in the last year).

It's also not safe to live in a house around here (drunks seem to hate houses).

What I'm telling you is that safety is only as safe as you practice and then too as others do. Is it possible your folks trust the drivers more than they do you?

Your parents may have doubts about how you protect yourself based on the risks you take. They have figured you'd be safer in a car, but HEY!

Do you take similar risks in a car?

Whether they can tell you directly or not and even if they are a bit protective "by your story" I have to figure you are like many who are scared to lose something and search for support when that support should be from those that raised you.

Go prove yourself trustworthy to them by showing them you can change what bothers them and it will be strength out of conflict. Not only cool but it works when you are 102 too.

Anything can kill you by surprise. Anything not a surprise can kill you too. Just show them you know how to avoid getting killed. They want you to succeed. I agree with that strategy.

Take care!

[Edit] PS It's not actually a hard deal. Maybe you should also get them involved in an advocacy situation to their drastic feelings can become those of participation and helping, which might lead to resolving fears and finding things that help them feel comfortable and trusting. They don't know enough to trust your cycling or your route and your judgements and caring are going to be the answer.

After all, it's not a BB gun but it is the operator.

Last edited by Rollfast; 12-06-08 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 12-06-08, 03:22 PM
  #28  
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It sounds like you are a very down to earth guy I feel for you I would hate to have to give up my bike. And you have definantly taken plenty of safety percautions that are tailored to your normal riding route. Definantly try to get Dad to foot the bill for the car upgrade (downgrade). I dont know actual statistics but here are some of my own. I have been riding a bike since I was a kid (17 years) and have had only one incursion with a vehicle, A truck clipped me with their mirror while I was riding down a fast 2 lane country road. I have been driving for 8 years and have had one fender bender and one major wreck neither of which were my fault.
Good luck!
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Old 12-06-08, 03:40 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
If your parents are telling you to drive a car and you are saying, "well, I would rather ride a bicycle", then you are one VERY unique and cool cat. It is usually in reverse.

I would abide by your parents request, but make express your desire to ride a bicycle at the same time.
+1 I would also take this as an opportunity to open a dialogue between you and your parents. You may not get to ride your bike to school, but hopefully you can come to an understanding of each other, as long as everyone comes into the discussion with an open mind.

Oh, and props to you for wanting to ride rather than drive, even if you can't do what you'd prefer.
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Old 12-06-08, 03:45 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by mandovoodoo View Post
And to teenagers. You're immature hormonally challenged beginners underestimating the real challenges of everything and overestimating your limited abilities in generally handling life. Exceptions exist, but that's the general rule.
That's true. In fact, if a teenage boy does not overestimate his abilities and view himself as invincible, you'd better take him to the doctor because there is something wrong with him hormonally.

Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
Fact of the matter is that cycling is safer per hour riding than driving...
I suspect this is only true because high speed highway miles are factored in. If we limited the comparison to the low speed roads the OP will be traveling to his high school, I suspect being in a car is indeed much safer. It's very rare to have an auto fatality at around town speeds.

Originally Posted by soze View Post
Does he have any idea what car insurance costs for an under 18 driver?
I'm sure he's well aware and already paying it: we dads have to pay insurance for any licensed driver in our house. We can't get out of paying for one of the kids by saying he rides a bike instead of driving.
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Old 12-06-08, 03:58 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
What would any of you do in a situation like this?
Obey the person who is feeding/clothing/housing me.

My dad was "unreasonable" on more than one subject - all in the interest of my safety and future. You will be responsible for your own actions soon enough.
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Old 12-06-08, 04:20 PM
  #32  
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As a kid who ran into his first car at 14 and lived to tell about it, I'd be very wary of letting my kid ride to school.

There are a few reasons you should heed Dad's wish. First is even though you're unique in that you're a person who prefers to ride, you show even greater character by giving up something you prefer to do when you feel it isn't correct.

Next is you don't have the right to worry your Dad sick everytime you head out the door. You can't just say "don't worry Dad" and expect him to not worry. Don't inflict anymore stress on your Dad. We Dads have enough as it is already.
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Old 12-06-08, 04:45 PM
  #33  
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Riding to school against your parent's orders is going to cause more trouble than it's worth. If your choices are a 50 minute walk instead of a 30 minute drive/walk, I would walk whenever possible or practical, much better for you in every way. That will give you a little more credibility when you talk to your Dad about the bad accident statistics for drivers your age, the high cost of insurance for teenage male drivers, the long term health hazards of a sedentary life style, global warming, resource depletion and whatever else you can think of. If nothing else, maybe your Dad will see that you're a happier person who is easier to be around when you get your exercise fix.

The worst case scenario is that you'll have to walk and/or drive to school until you start college, which won't be long. At that point you will be able to bicycle wherever you want, whenever you want.
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Old 12-06-08, 05:46 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
Really? And just where are you getting your statistics? Assumptions?

Fact of the matter is that cycling is safer per hour riding than driving...

'facts' like these are why people are afraid to ride a bike... You're on a cycling forum... the least you could do is check the facts before spouting off nonsense about cars being safer than bikes.

Yes... in the event of an actual, high-speed accident... you may very well be safer in a car than on a bike... but the fact of the matter is that you're much more likely to be involved in a high-speed accident IN a car than outside of it... and MANY, MANY more people die inside cars every year than die on bikes.
Cycling is more dangerous per mile and transit is about distance not time. Cycling is more dangerous. If it makes you feel better it's more dangerous because of the cars.

It may be that highway driving is more dangerous than cycling. I've never seen statistics that break driving up into different types.

It should also make you feel better to know that cycling is safer than swimming which most folks consider to be safe. That makes bicycling "safe" in my opinion.
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Old 12-06-08, 05:53 PM
  #35  
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I've taken this quote from the website of the cyclist your father knew who was killed on a bike:

Originally Posted by David T. Ryan Memorial Site
...His life was abruptly and tragically ended at age 32 while he was doing what he loved best...A fine and giving (albeit short) life such as Davidís should never be forgotten, but rather meaningfully honored. As friends who shared some of our very best moments of the young millennium with him, we hope that Davidís legacy will inspire others in varied ways, and that some general good might continue to come from his senseless loss.(italics mine)

I'm in agreement with those who have suggested that this is an opportunity to have real heart to heart with your father about a real life lesson. My question for your father is what is the lesson he is teaching his son? and how is his barring you from cycling honoring the loss of this person he knew? David Ryan died doing what he loved best. He cycled over 100,000 miles on his bike. He was living a life well lived and his life story is, indeed, inspiring- how is David Ryan's life honored by stopping some other young man from living his dream, from riding a bike like David did.

Many of us choose to do things that involve risk. Young men and women serve in our armed forces every day in a volunteer military. Many die serving their country. Firefighters take life and death risks with great regularity as do police officers, EMT's go into dangerous places to save lives, as do doctors and other medical personnel. Riding a bike has some inherent risks but an overwhelming number of benefits. It's an opportunity for you, as a young man, to learn to be responsible, to accept risk, to be physically fit and consider your life choices with maturity.

If you're the kind of kid that wants to ride a bike instead of the much easier and more conventional choice of driving a car and your father is the kind of dad who loves you so much he's concerned for your safety you're probably a pretty cool pair of people. Find a quiet time when you can have talk without a lot of heat around it and come to a mutually satisfying resolution, which, hopefully, will allow you to ride your bike.
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Old 12-06-08, 05:54 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by crhilton
It should also make you feel better to know that cycling is safer than swimming which most folks consider to be safe.
^ Swimming is quite dangerous. Add the fact that few receive proper swim training in this country, and it amounts to far, far more drownings than necessary.
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Old 12-06-08, 06:15 PM
  #37  
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hmmmm, one more note. Ironically, it was an 18 year old high school student recklessly driving at 83 mph who killed the cyclist your father knew. Why he thinks you'll be better off behind the wheel of a car rather than riding a bike is still a bit of a conundrum for me.
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Old 12-06-08, 06:23 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by degnaw View Post

This
is most of my route, which I admit is a bit questionable
It looks to me like you could make some alternate routes through the suburban neighborhoods between your house and the school. It would be a bit farther (maybe another mile or so), but looks to me like you could cut out at least some of the distance you spend on the "big" roads by threading through some of the subdivisions shown on the map.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 12-06-08 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 12-06-08, 11:58 PM
  #39  
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IF, you only use the car to travel that route to school, you may be safer in a car, I don't know because I am not there. However, once you have a car, it will be used for other trips and then you will be far less safe in a car than a bicycle. Look into outrageous lights for the back of the bike, like Down Low Glow but put them on the back instead of aiming them down. You are much less likely to hit from behind than from the side (at intersections, driveways, etc.) If you check out driving statistics from insurance companies for your age group, they may change their minds.
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Old 12-07-08, 08:20 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
Thanks for the replies;

Firstly, there's no safer route - the "4-lane" arterial is actually a 55mph 2-lane rural route. I don't really see anything I can do to change my dad's mind - he hasn't ridden in decades and I don't see him riding on a rural road. And its kind of hard to convince a rational person that riding 15mph on a bike is safer on an unlit rural road than 45mph (traffic speed) in a car. I'm not going to disobey him, though I did ride around my neighborhood this morning. I'm just waiting for college right now, which fortunately is less than a year away-They've already told me that they don't have a problem with me riding when the speed differential is 15mph or less.

As for the car driving thing, my parents would, at least initially, subsidize most of the costs. I just don't see the point - the only currently available parking lot is a 15-minute walk from the front of the school (with a 15-minute drive assuming traffic), at which point I might as well have made the 50-minute walk home (riding took about 15-20 minutes, and I could park adjacent to the school doorway).
I find some of this confusing. It takes you a max of 20 minutes to ride your bike, but all of 15 minutes to drive this distance in a car, and another 15 minutes to walk from the closest parking lot to the front door. That just doesn't make any sense to me.

Where did you get your bike? You bought it, your parents bought it for you, you brought it from some previous home where, apparently, they thought it ok for you to ride? Your parents don't want you riding at all, or their concern is specifically related to your riding back and forth from school?

Which part of the driving expense are they unwilling to support? I'm guessing the car is provided, the insurance, also. Even when gasoline is high, it sounds as though fuel would not be a major expense. Do they buy the gas?

For me, the bottom line is that, until you reach the age of majority, it's your duty to obey your parents, but it also seems as though this is an issue that you ought to be able to discuss with them. We aren't talking high level issues--whether you should be able to stay out late, smoke, run with this crowd or that, bring up your grades, and on and on. Your approach seems balanced to me, even if some of what you've related here doesn't really add up for me.

Is this a public school? If so, is there not a bus service provided?

In any event, it sounds like this situation is short term for you, so, in the over all scheme of things, it should not be such a major event. . . certainly not major enough that you should allow it to interfere with the relationship you have with your dad. Whatever your feelings on this issue, he and your mother have seen you through this far in your life. You'll have the rest of it to work with in whatever way you choose, and, someday, your perspective may change and you'll have a better understanding of your dad's motivation for this request. Even if you never come to agree with this decision, I bet with time (and the arrival of your own children), you will come to appreciate that his motivation for not letting you ride your bike was based upon his genuine concern for your safety.

Good luck.

Caruso

Last edited by Carusoswi; 12-07-08 at 08:26 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-07-08, 01:46 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Carusoswi View Post
I find some of this confusing. It takes you a max of 20 minutes to ride your bike, but all of 15 minutes to drive this distance in a car, and another 15 minutes to walk from the closest parking lot to the front door. That just doesn't make any sense to me.

Where did you get your bike? You bought it, your parents bought it for you, you brought it from some previous home where, apparently, they thought it ok for you to ride? Your parents don't want you riding at all, or their concern is specifically related to your riding back and forth from school?

Which part of the driving expense are they unwilling to support? I'm guessing the car is provided, the insurance, also. Even when gasoline is high, it sounds as though fuel would not be a major expense. Do they buy the gas?

For me, the bottom line is that, until you reach the age of majority, it's your duty to obey your parents, but it also seems as though this is an issue that you ought to be able to discuss with them. We aren't talking high level issues--whether you should be able to stay out late, smoke, run with this crowd or that, bring up your grades, and on and on. Your approach seems balanced to me, even if some of what you've related here doesn't really add up for me.

Is this a public school? If so, is there not a bus service provided?

In any event, it sounds like this situation is short term for you, so, in the over all scheme of things, it should not be such a major event. . . certainly not major enough that you should allow it to interfere with the relationship you have with your dad. Whatever your feelings on this issue, he and your mother have seen you through this far in your life. You'll have the rest of it to work with in whatever way you choose, and, someday, your perspective may change and you'll have a better understanding of your dad's motivation for this request. Even if you never come to agree with this decision, I bet with time (and the arrival of your own children), you will come to appreciate that his motivation for not letting you ride your bike was based upon his genuine concern for your safety.

Good luck.

Caruso
If I had applied for a parking pass last school year, I could have gotten a spot in a lot adjacent to the school, but that lot filled up months ago.

My parents bought the bike in New York, where I just rode around our neighborhood for fun.

The car would be my mom's, and insurance is already being paid. I would have to pay for gas, but at current prices it isn't really an issue - I'm just paranoid of falling asleep (since I always sleep through the bus ride) and don't really see the point when it's barely faster than walking.

There is a bus, that I always take in the morning, but I have after school activities 4-5 days a week that preclude me from taking it home on a regular basis.

I agree with your conclusion 100% - I understand his motivations and haven't even brought up the issue this week because I know there's not much I can do until college.
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Old 12-07-08, 02:43 PM
  #42  
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Make them drive you everywhere. Parents need to learn their place sometimes. If they are going to treat you as if you are unable to make your own decisions (like a young child), they should be trucking you around (like a young child)
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Old 12-07-08, 06:27 PM
  #43  
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degnaw, yours is a story I've heard more than few times from young riders. A parent, or some other authority figure, knows of someone who was badly injured or killed while riding. The result is that they "lay down the law" and order their kids to stop riding. Interestingly enough, dads today are displaying the attitude that moms have shown for generations, when a teenaged son would announce his intentions to buy a motorcycle. ("You're not getting one, and that's final!!!" Shrill, eardrum shattering voice that only moms seem to possess.)

I have to agree with others, who have noted that until you are over 18, and away at college, the best policy is to just go with it. If you produce figures that show that cycling is not that dangerous, I would predict that the reaction will be "I don't care what it says there!" That will only throw gasoline on the fire, and you really don't want that.
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Old 12-07-08, 06:34 PM
  #44  
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Try getting your dad along for the route maybe? Spend some time searching the forum and other resources and give a presentation to your dad about safety principles (VC, etc.) and see if he wants to come along for the ride under your guidance... Yes, it's his job to worry about you, but parents also love seeing their kids take responsibility and show that they are mature enough to make their own decisions.
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Old 12-07-08, 06:44 PM
  #45  
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I was in my twenties and long gone from the family home when I got my first motorcycle, and still my parents worried about me riding it. That is just what parents do. I never told them about the wrecks I had with them. Now, I worry about my 44 year old son on his motorcycle.
You'll be on your own before long, be patient and wait it out. I wish you well.
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Old 12-08-08, 07:46 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
Statistically, a high school senior is most likely to die in an automobile accident than anything else.
True, but misleading in this case.

Only a tiny number of high school seniors die skydiving ... but it's still extremely dangerous (well, it is if you look at the time actually spent doing it (a few minutes at a time, perhaps 30 if you include the ride up), vs. the time a high school senior would spend driving.)

Similarly, only a small percentage of them are commuting by bicycle (and even if they ride the bicycle to school, are they riding it to parties too? To hang out with their friends? Considering the stigma against cycling, it seems unlikely once the kids can get licenses.)

It would be nice to believe that this would save them from most of the things that make them likely to die in an auto accident, but have any actual studies been done on this, or are we just hoping?
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Old 12-08-08, 08:02 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by crhilton View Post
Cycling is more dangerous per mile and transit is about distance not time. Cycling is more dangerous. If it makes you feel better it's more dangerous because of the cars.
Probably true.

Most of the time that somebody says that `cycling is safer per hour', they're being intentionally misleading. They almost always know that the same study said that cycling is more dangerous per mile than driving, but they don't say that, because it doesn't support their argument. It's a half truth.

And of course that study, like all the other studies out there, has it's share of flaws. Probably the biggest flaw is that it's hard to tell how many hours and miles somebody has cycled. For cars, there's an odometer that you can't mess with. But for bikes, you might have a cyclecomputer, but the less `serious' you are the less likely it is that you'll have one. And even if you do have one, it's easily reset, removed or just not working. When you ask a motorist how far they've driven, they can usually give you a pretty exact figure. If you ask a cyclist, most are just guessing, and while I can't prove it, I suspect that the figures they give tend to be too high, which would make cycling seem safer.

Cycling has many benefits, but `being safer' probably isn't one of them.
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Old 12-08-08, 08:27 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
As for the car driving thing, my parents would, at least initially, subsidize most of the costs. I just don't see the point - the only currently available parking lot is a 15-minute walk from the front of the school (with a 15-minute drive assuming traffic), at which point I might as well have made the 50-minute walk home (riding took about 15-20 minutes, and I could park adjacent to the school doorway).
I'm your dad. Well, not literally, but I'm in the same situation. There is this: Part of what I see as part of raising my sons is teaching them how to drive and making sure they get experience while they still have a safety net. My 21-year-old had three accidents early on, including two totals. My 18-year-old has wrecked, at least not yet. For both boys, though, I want them to be comfortable around a car- know how to drive in regular conditions, heavy traffic, bad weather. I feel much better knowing they're doing this locally so if they do have a mishap, help is nearby.

I would suggest that your dad has the same idea- he wants to make sure you have some driving experience under your belt before you go to college. If you go away, you will probably end up driving home for breaks and stuff. If you have virtually no experience behind the wheel, that becomes a far riskier proposition.

Have you asked him why the sudden change of heart? Did he hear of a bicycle accident? Is it more due to the reasons above (wanting you to learn how to drive)? Talk to him and try to understand why he changed his mind on this. You may not get him to change it back, but he can't begrudge you for trying to understand. If you act like a rebellious teen, his first instinct will be to show you who's boss. If you try to open a more mature dialog, you may earn some respect as an adult.
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Old 12-08-08, 08:33 AM
  #49  
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I was a weird kid. Before turning 16 I had little interest in driving.. My Dad bought me a Schwinn back then.. It saved him lots of money for a year or two... No questions asked.. Guess times were different. Considering driving patterns, its within car's cages I get all worried. Tell him you don't want a car and see how that plays..
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Old 12-08-08, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
I was a weird kid. Before turning 16 I had little interest in driving.. My Dad bought me a Schwinn back then.. It saved him lots of money for a year or two... No questions asked.. Guess times were different. Considering driving patterns, its within car's cages I get all worried. Tell him you don't want a car and see how that plays..

I had the same scenerio of having little interest in driving, when I did show interest in driving, it was to be riding a motorcycle. My idea of getting a motorcycle was so completely out with the parents that it came to the point of me coming home from school one day to see the used pickup they had bought for me in front of our house.
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