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The helmet thread

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View Poll Results: Helmet wearing habits?
I've never worn a bike helmet
178
10.66%
I used to wear a helmet, but have stopped
94
5.63%
I've always worn a helmet
648
38.80%
I didn't wear a helmet, but now do
408
24.43%
I sometimes wear a helmet depending on the conditions
342
20.48%
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The helmet thread

Old 05-18-14, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
That's fine, but the issue is that so many who wear helmets yet, like you, are opposed to helmet laws (for whatever reason) do all they can to stifle debate on the issue. In the absence of reasonable, open debate, helmet laws get proposed and sometimes passed because somebody thought it was a good idea and nobody said (or could) say otherwise.
Helmet wearer here. I have publicly opposed MHLs at the state level, bicycle and motorcycle. I pay attention to pending legislation, and if MHL bills come up, I will show up -- with my helmet -- and staunchly oppose them. Usually by pointing out that motorists are the largest segment of head injury recipients and suggesting that MHL bills be amended to include all motor vehicle users...
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Old 05-18-14, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent
FB

Yes I think intelligent people wear a helmet when biking. No I dont think cycling is particuarly dangerous if you obey the rules of the road, and be vigilant. And yes I am against MHLs. Like another person posted it is mainly on political grounds. It is suposed to be a free country but some people seem to want to control others by rules, regulations and laws. We already have far to many law, rules and regulations. If some want to ride without a helmet its fine by me, I just dont think they should crusade against helmets. I feel crusading against helmets is a disservice to the young and new cyclist that probably need helmets the most.
In essence you state here that people who don't wear helmets when biking are not intelligent. That is an ignorant statement as there are plenty of people even in this thread who appear intelligent yet don't wear helmets while cycling.

I have not met and do not know of any who "crusade against helmets."

I have yet to come across anyone who admonishes me to not wear a helmet while I am cycling, in stark contrast to those who admonish bare-headers to wear a helmet, unsolicited.
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Old 05-18-14, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
In essence you state here that people who don't wear helmets when biking are not intelligent. That is an ignorant statement as there are plenty of people even in this thread who appear intelligent yet don't wear helmets while cycling.

I have not met and do not know of any who "crusade against helmets."

I have yet to come across anyone who admonishes me to not wear a helmet while I am cycling, in stark contrast to those who admonish bare-headers to wear a helmet, unsolicited.
Thank you for recognizing and posting this dichotomy.
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Old 05-18-14, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JosephG
And in the US you are on the road, in the Netherlands you ride alongside pedestrians.
Congratulations, this is equal parts "gross generalization" and equal parts "utter nonsense" with maybe a little bit of "actual reality". It's a lot safer in NL, but not because we ride on the side-walk.

What makes you think helmets seem to be the issue here?
Also try to read: let me quote, well, me: "correlation doesn't mean causation", so I'm not really saying helmets are the issue after. But a pretty convincing case about helmets giving cycling a negative image and thus discouraging cycling, can be made.

And where are you getting this 70% number from?
IIRC Richard Masoner, but I couldn't find it, so I'll ask around

Last edited by CarinusMalmari; 05-18-14 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 05-18-14, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
Congratulations, this is equal parts "gross generalization" and equal parts "utter nonsense" with maybe a little bit of "actual reality".
Congratulations! You're being a pretentious ass, disagreeing with your fellow dutch in this very thread, and then, of course, there is this:

Cycling in the Netherlands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We don't have that kind of bicycle dedicated infrastructure in the US.

Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
Also try to read: let me quote, well, me: "correlation doesn't mean causation", so I'm not really saying helmets are the issue after. But a pretty convincing case about helmets giving cycling a negative image and thus discouraging cycling, can be made.
Try to read; I said "What makes you think helmets are the issue here?" when you clearly, again, state that helmets give a negative image. Please, tell me how helmets give a negative image. I'd love to hear this. This seems to be repeated a lot by Europeans in this thread, but I'm just not seeing it here in the US.


Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
IIRC Richard Masoner, but I couldn't find it, so I'll ask around
Where he got his number from would be helpful.
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Old 05-18-14, 01:36 PM
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I called a pile of BS a pile of BS, is all, nothing really pretentious about that. What would be pretentious is (for example) thinking that I'm in the position to explain to you how cycling in your part of the world works, while I never cycled there and you do it (presumably) regularly. Yes, cycling in NL is much saver than in Murica, no one really disputes that, but your statement was ignorant and nonsensical. And I'm being friendly here. We (also) do ride on the road, dedicated bicycle infrastructure is far from omnipresent and while there's often shared bicycle-pedestrian spaces in town centers, it's over all fairly uncommon.

but I'm just not seeing it here in the US.
But then again, next to no one rides a bicycle in the USA, and the ones who do seem to don helmets. This pattern (and of course its opposite, many cyclists with less helmets) is similar in other places. Then there's the sharp decline in cycling in Australia at the same time the MHL came into effect. That's two examples of why I think bicycle helmets are suspicious,

Where he got his number from would be helpful.
I can't just summon him, But as I said Ill ask around.

Last edited by CarinusMalmari; 05-18-14 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 05-18-14, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit
That might explain why most of the cops I see are not wearing a vest. Just like not wearing a helmet unless the specific activity is more risky than normal.
Every cop in my city wears them, including the Sheriffs.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio
again talking about things you know nothing about I see. Bulletproof vests have other benefits than just being bulletproof. The whole bulletproofiness is really just a last resort. It also helps you in a fight as it protects from knife/needle stabs, hits, kicks and is a great cushion if you have to actually throw someone down and wrestle. Having worked in a profession where wearing a vest was mandatory I have some experience on the matter.

And again with the car safety devices! Do you not understand minor accidents with cars are actually surprisingly common? Airbags and seatbelts help so much that a person might walk off an accident at 40km/h. If you didn't have any of the stuff you would most likely be pretty badly hurt. Car safety devices are very, very effective at a wide range of accidents (people should still wear helmets while driving though)

to bind that to bike helmets. bike helmets are not very effective for a wide range of accidents. tgey are low to moderately effective in one type of accident and that is the linear head strike. Not that common.
I'm the one who doesn't know what I'm talking about? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA, you're so ignorant it's funny, and your paragraph is full of ignorance. This is why I left this post for so long because of ignorance like yours.
If a cop wears a vest to stop the things you listed, assuming their using the steel trauma plate in the vest, still the chances of a knife fight are as slim (IE not that common) as a gunshot (also not that common), and cars have safety devices to prevent injury in case of a 1.7 accidents the average person which are mostly minor has (again major accidents not that common), vs a fragment of 1% of cops that used the vest, should mean that even if a cyclist has 2 accidents in their life and a helmet protects them like seat belts and airbags, and like vest then you supposedly in the profession (which I doubt you are or you would be promoting helmets), than helmets have a purpose, that you as a supposedly law enforcement person would recognize.

https://www.cyclehelmets.org/1139.html

And here is a site with a bunch of studies, which this site was given before here: Bicycle Helmet Laws

Anyway I'm done here, you can respond with more of your ignorance but I get tired of the stupidity on display here.
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Old 05-18-14, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
I called a pile of BS a pile of BS, is all, nothing really pretentious about that. What would be pretentious is (for example) thinking that I'm in the position to explain to you how cycling in your part of the world works, while I never cycled there and you do it (presumably) regularly. Yes, cycling in NL is much saver than in Murica, no one really disputes that, but your statement was ignorant and nonsensical. And I'm being friendly here. We (also) do ride on the road, dedicated bicycle infrastructure is far from omnipresent and while there's often shared bicycle-pedestrian spaces in town centers, it's over all fairly uncommon.
You weren't being friendly, and you still aren't, but no worries. I'll gloss over those bits.

Lets back up for a second though. You mentioned (and I agree) that cycling in NL is safer. To my understanding, thats because you have:

* Dedicated bicycling pathways (not everywhere, but a decent chunk)
* Shared pedestrian pathways
* Limited time on the same road as motor vehicles running at lower speeds than in the US. A smaller regional road is what, 35mph by you? 60kmph-ish? Residential areas about half that?

To me, that says a lot.


Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
But then again, next to no one rides a bicycle in the USA, and the ones who do seem to don helmets. This pattern (and of course its opposite, many cyclists with less helmets) is similar in other places. Then there's the sharp decline in cycling in Australia at the same time the MHL came into effect. That's two examples of why I think bicycle helmets are suspicious,
Remember that the US is *huge*. It just isn't feasible in many areas to ride a bike, you just can't get around reasonably. I certainly couldn't ride to go get groceries, as an example, its enough of a hike that by the time I got there after work, it would be closing.

Also, I think Australia speaks more to the problem with legislating helmets than anything else. The moment you try and force someone to do something, they get annoyed. It also seems to come with more and more legislation, making it even more irritating. So is it really that helmets make cycling appear unsafe, or could it be that overzealous politicians annoy the **** out of people?


Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
I can't just summon him, But as I said Ill ask around.
I just don't like numbers being thrown out there, with no basis or reference. Otherwise I could just say 95% of people in the US wear helmets while watching TV.
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Old 05-18-14, 09:55 PM
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Has this video been linked in this juggernaut thread?
Pretty interesting
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Old 05-19-14, 02:05 AM
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Bicycle safety in NL is due to a variety of reasons:
-Many cyclists means safety in numbers, because cyclists are so common taking them in account is second nature
-The great majority of motorist is, or was at some point in their live also a cyclist, so they have a keen understanding of cyclist behavior, and can anticipate better.
-For the same reason drivers will sympathize more with cyclists
-I strongly suspect that the fact Dutchies are generally in regular clothes helps too
-Motorists are rigorously trained, and there's a lot of attention given at the art of not killing cyclists.
-Car mirrors are actively used.
-Cyclists are informally trained.
-The legal system places responsibility by default on motorists in case of motorist-bicycle accident.
-This is also somewhat reflected by society where the crude idea prevails that the ones with the most potential for danger should take the most responsibility.
-There's usually separation of different modes of traffic where needed (mind you that pedestrian are usually also separated from both motorist and cyclists, and have their own dedicated infrastructure.
-Overall excellent road design, traffic planning and maintenance helps a lot.
There's probably more, but this is about it. Dedicated infrastructure is only a part of the equation. Especially if you consider that a good lot of it is just colored tarmac and paint. But it mostly comes down to behavior, attitude and training IMO. Cyclists often share the road with traffic moving of speed up to 60 and occasionally 80 km/h, but I personally wouldn't even underestimate the effects of a car crashing into you with "just" 30km/h.

The fact that the USA is huge is no good explanation as to why hardly anyone cycles, since people in huge places still make a lot of not-so-huge trips. It also doesn't explain the vast regional differences.

Last edited by CarinusMalmari; 05-19-14 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 05-19-14, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
I'm the one who doesn't know what I'm talking about? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA, you're so ignorant it's funny, and your paragraph is full of ignorance. This is why I left this post for so long because of ignorance like yours.
If a cop wears a vest to stop the things you listed, assuming their using the steel trauma plate in the vest, still the chances of a knife fight are as slim (IE not that common) as a gunshot (also not that common), and cars have safety devices to prevent injury in case of a 1.7 accidents the average person which are mostly minor has (again major accidents not that common), vs a fragment of 1% of cops that used the vest, should mean that even if a cyclist has 2 accidents in their life and a helmet protects them like seat belts and airbags, and like vest then you supposedly in the profession (which I doubt you are or you would be promoting helmets), than helmets have a purpose, that you as a supposedly law enforcement person would recognize.

Cycle helmets - an overview

And here is a site with a bunch of studies, which this site was given before here: Bicycle Helmet Laws

Anyway I'm done here, you can respond with more of your ignorance but I get tired of the stupidity on display here.
firstly. I could not understand that four line sentence you wrote. I'm sorry, I tried, but I just... It's just so long and incomprehensible. Maybe if you tried writing when you are not angry and less frothing from the mouth it would help? I mean, it's easier to respond when you can actually understand what the other person is trying to say.

But maybe I can get some pointers such as you ignoring all the other benefits of BPvests other than knives. I recall there were several others.
And I just didn't get the connection you were trying to make with statistics and all that... Maybe someone could help me with the interpretation?

And thirdly, I never claimed to have been a law enforcement officer. There are other professions where a bulletproof vest is mandatory. Also, at least where I live the coppers have a duty to uphold the law and don't really need to have professional opinions outside of that. I think it's actually forbidden for cops to go out rambling about random stuff like "bike helmets will save your life" if it's not an actual mandated public announcement. And I just don't see why a law enforcement officer would be required to promote helmets as here it's not the law to wear one. There is the recommendation of course but it's just that, a recommendation.

And as a final point about the seat belts and airbags etc. Minor crashes are minor these days due to the safety equipment. But still even a slow speed in a car is a very fast speed indeed with a bicycle. This af course relates to inertia. If you drive against a wall at 30km/h with a seatbelt and an airbag you will walk it off. If you do it without anything you probably won't walk it off. But 30km/h starts to be a pretty decent speed with a bicycle. It's not a speed you would be regularly riding with a dutch commuter bike or I would be riding with my MTB when going shopping. And most cyclists are such that they ride slowly. Many here have trouble perceiving that as this is a hobby forum but you only need to go to amsterdam to see how things work.
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Old 05-19-14, 07:00 AM
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May I again remind the people here that do not wear helmets, they make great organ donors?
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Old 05-19-14, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
The fact that the USA is huge is no good explanation as to why hardly anyone cycles, since people in huge places still make a lot of not-so-huge trips. It also doesn't explain the vast regional differences.
Sure it does. Some areas of the US are so sparse, the only way you'd end up cycling is for recreation, and not for commuting, grocery shopping, so on.

Also, the 'occasionally 80 km/h', thats not occasionally here. For me to leave town, its on a road thats closer to 100km/h. The slowest road, a residential road, is going to be about 4km/h. You don't think thats relevant, at all? Really?
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Old 05-19-14, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead
Has this video been linked in this juggernaut thread?
Pretty interesting
Great video!
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Old 05-19-14, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by JosephG
Sure it does. Some areas of the US are so sparse, the only way you'd end up cycling is for recreation, and not for commuting, grocery shopping, so on.
That would be a good explanation as to why less people cycle, but it's not a good explanation as to why hardly anyone cycles.

Also, the 'occasionally 80 km/h', thats not occasionally here. For me to leave town, its on a road thats closer to 100km/h. The slowest road, a residential road, is going to be about 4km/h. You don't think thats relevant, at all? Really?
I don't know whether you suck at reading, or whether you are purposely putting words in my mouth, but in either case I don't feel the need to bother with replying to this nonsense.

Last edited by CarinusMalmari; 05-19-14 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 05-19-14, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead
Has this video been linked in this juggernaut thread? Pretty interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2THe_10dYs
That was really good.

In past years New Orleans fell into that category of being a race against traffic. But uniquely, at the same time, we have so many cyclists on the road and all dressed in casual clothes using their bikes to actually get somewhere (Mon-Friday) with very few just out for a casual ride. Weekends bring out casual cyclists but they generally haul bikes on cars to get to parks or rural areas. It's hard to pick out recreational cyclists in the city itself because literally no one wears cycling specific clothing apart for a few "safety vests" here and there.

Over the past five years we have seen a remarkable number of bike lanes, sharrows, and racks being installed and cyclists have responded in greater numbers, both utilitarian riders and rec riders. It can't be a bad thing that motorists see hundreds of images of bicycles stenciled on roadways every day either, even if some of the sharrows are misplaced and seem virtually useless otherwise. It has reduced the number of calls to "get on the sidewalk" by motorists who now all know bikes belong on the street.

As far as the "race against traffic" goes, not much has changed EXCEPT when I am cycling in an actual bike lane where I have some place to be when I catch a red light, and some place to go when the light turns green, I tend to actually stop at a few reds now. It's just pure laziness actually. I roll up to a red light and there is so much traffic that I have to stop and put my foot down. Since there is no need to create a gap behind me, and no need to blast off like a AA Fuel dragster at the green light to keep up with motor vehicles, I tend to just wait for the green and enjoy a more casual lift-off. I also feel a little more obligated to wait for the green due to the fact that local taxpayer's money (and matching funds from out of state tax payers) has actually been spent to make my cycling life easier, and those tax payers are right next to me at the light, many of whom don't even ride bikes.

The one thing I disagreed with in the vid is that sharrows are "just paint". The narrator obviously lives where it goes without saying that bicycles belong on the street. In the USA, this is not a luxury we have. So I feel that sticking sharrows all over the place is cheaper and more effective than billboards or TV commercials at educating the non-cycling public regarding our street presence. In fact, there are now so many sharrows in New Orleans that I could easily point at one every 30 seconds if a motorist wanted to contest my right to the road. So I have found sharrows to be extremely effective at motorist education as well as cyclist confidence on the streets. We even have a few 4-lane highways with sharrows in the right lane AND a roadside sign that reads "CYCLISTS MAY USE ENTIRE LANE" at the entrance to these roads.

Thanks for posting that video [MENTION=108453]cruiserhead[/MENTION]. It does tell the story of cycling in the USofA in a concise and educational format without too much of a judgmental tone.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 05-19-14 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 05-19-14, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
That would be a good explanation as to why less people cycle, but it's not a good explanation as to why hardly anyone cycles.
One word answer: WalMart

Sam Walton understood Americans. In general terms, Americans are overweight, lazy, dumb, and car-centric. Let me expound.

Overweight: Unless you live in S. CA or Boulder, CO, just look around you. 'Nuff said.

Lazy: Proof in one word: Television. Any Google search will reveal how much television and video games Americans watch. Very few of those hours are spent on a treadmill with a TV attached to it. Here is another word: Fast-foods. We are too lazy to cook for ourselves...wait...we are too lazy to go to the grocery to buy food to cook for ourselves and when we do the vast majority of foods are "instant" foods that we eat sitting in front of the television.

Dumb: The average American can't see that driving thirty miles to WalMart (cheap rent structure built in a cow pasture is how Wally got started) instead of shopping locally to save a few bucks is silly. Fuel, wear and tear, and TIME SPENT vs. alleged savings vs. undermining local retailers is just short sighted and dumb. Now that many small town centers have folded up, Wally is the only game in town and prices can creep up. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Car-centric: American travel infrastructure was not only built for automobiles and trucks, it was purposefully (and sometimes illegally) constructed to discourage any other form of transportation outside of personal vehicles. We built high speed arterial roads with lanes just wide enough for motor vehicle and intersections nearly impossible for even foot traffic to negotiate. This was not dumb. It was self-serving greed by certain industries and politicians.

For many smart, energetic, car-loathing, soon to be thinner citizens who would gladly cycle for fun, fitness, or utility - the odds stacked against them are just too formidable. I visit the commuting thread and find commuters cycling some fairly extraordinary miles under less than ideal conditions. I can only assume that more would try commuting if it were at least safe to do so. And as I type this my city is undergoing a cycling Renaissance of it's own which has noticeably increased the number of cyclists buzzing around town day and night.

Thankfully, not every American has a WalMart mentality. As fuel and motor vehicles become unaffordable to the average American things will certainly change for the better of cycling. But we ALL have to stop being so dumb first.
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Old 05-19-14, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
That would be a good explanation as to why less people cycle, but it's not a good explanation as to why hardly anyone cycles.
What a very scientific definition.


Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
I don't know whether you suck at reading, or whether you are purposely putting words in my mouth, but in either case I don't feel the need to bother with replying to this nonsense.
Or you could have, you know, commented that perhaps it was a typo and 40km/h is what I was referring to.

Either way, your responses have been less than valuable, so don't worry. I'll ignore you in this thread.
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Old 05-19-14, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
...It does tell the story of cycling in the USofA in a concise and educational format without too much of a judgmental tone.
It sounds kind of judgmental to me.
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Old 05-19-14, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by JosephG
What a very scientific definition.
Unless you claim Muhrica is so huge that trips up to a couple of miles form only a small minority of trips, it's a completely logical conclusion.


Or you could have, you know, commented that perhaps it was a typo and 40km/h is what I was referring to.
I wasn't referring the typo, I was referring to this:
You don't think thats relevant, at all? Really?
something I never said or implied. I just corrected your nonsensical statement that Dutchies don't cycle on the road, I didn't say it was comparable, I even implied the opposite of that.

Either way, your responses have been less than valuable, so don't worry. I'll ignore you in this thread.
Oh, the humanity....
yawn
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Old 05-19-14, 12:27 PM
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@JoeyBike Well, You're being a bit too hard on your own people. I think it has also a lot to do with Americans having a head-start with the complete motorization of society, a direction all Western nations were going, and for examle NL was going slower than most. But even then, in the sixties there where serious plans for inner-city highways in Amsterdam, and not of the bicycle kind, mind you. But then there was a renewed interest in cycling, that coincided with the oil crisis, with their famous auto-free Sundays, so the whole nation had a collective vision of what could be. And since cycling was still big at the time, it wasn't that hard to reverse the decline. It's easier to bounce back from a all-time low of 20% than an all-time low of whatever the US of A experienced in IIRC the nineties. And now we aren't necessarily lean, diligent and smart, we just don't know better. It was a lot of things, but IMO also a lot of lucky circumstances and coincidences.

Also, at first glance cycling does seem unconformable, inconvenient, inefficient and slow. It's far from the obvious choice for transport unless you think a bit about it. Or experience it of course. And I'll admit I would go to Walmart as a safari of sorts. There are all kinds of mythical creatures roaming around there, or so I heard.

Last edited by CarinusMalmari; 05-19-14 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 05-19-14, 12:38 PM
  #7698  
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Bikes: Surly LHT, Surly Lowside, a folding bike, and a beater.

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Originally Posted by CarinusMalmari
@JoeyBike Well, You're being a bit too hard on your own people. I think it has also a lot to do with Americans having a head-start with the complete motorization of society, a direction all Western nations were going, and for examle NL was going slower than most. But even then, in the sixties there where serious plans for inner-city highways in Amsterdam, and not of the bicycle kind, mind you. But then there was a renewed interest in cycling, that coincided with the oil crisis, with their famous auto-free Sundays, so the whole nation had a collective vision of what could be. And since cycling was still big at the time, it wasn't that hard to reverse the decline. It's easier to bounce back from a all-time low of 20% than an all-time low of whatever the US of A experienced in IIRC the nineties. And now we aren't necessarily lean, diligent and smart, we just don't know better. It was a lot of things, but IMO also a lot of lucky circumstances and coincidences.
We need more cycling visionaries in the US for sure.

And I'll admit I would go to Walmart as a safari of sorts. There are all kinds of mythical creatures roaming around there, or so I heard.
Web search for "WalMart Bingo" and you will believe.
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Old 05-19-14, 02:53 PM
  #7699  
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related, though not helmet specific. It points to factors being discussed...
15 of World's Best Urban Bike Infrastructures

btw, I'm of the belief of "if you build it, they will come". It has been proven over and over again.

People will fight tooth and nail against public works, until it's done and then they will shut up and enjoy the higher quality of living, pride in the community and boom to the economy and social interaction.
It's an uphill battle against ignorance, until it happens and significantly improves quality of life. I've seen it many times.
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Old 05-20-14, 08:02 AM
  #7700  
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Originally Posted by rydabent
May I again remind the people here that do not wear helmets, they make great organ donors?
Are you registered as an organ donor?
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