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Bike Commuting Trend Showing Decline - USA Today

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Bike Commuting Trend Showing Decline - USA Today

Old 01-02-19, 07:21 PM
  #26  
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I have a large middle school on the next block. Years ago, kids would walk or bike to school. Now nobody does, they even removed the 'unsightly' bike racks. All the kids today get driven to school. It's like the Indy 500 twice a day around here. When I was in school, I'd be mortified to be seen with my parents driving me to school.

As for commuting, it's incredibly situational, distance, weather, infrastructure, rider age/health, etc. The average person in a suit isn't going to commute by bicycle for twenty miles in city traffic. I used to work ten miles away; it was a 10-20 minute car ride or a 30-45 minute bike ride, so I rode the bike usually. When I got transferred to another location that was 30 miles away (by car) and had a complicated route for biking, I drove. When I got transferred again, twenty miles door to door, with ridiculous bike routing, but near mass transit, I took the train.
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Old 01-02-19, 07:45 PM
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You're never going to have a LEO when you need one. We have a huge problem with mental drivers. The law RARELY enforces nor even if a violator is caught, the penalty is miniscule. Rolling coal is one example.

The only way is to have higher quality front and rear cameras and record - then report both to the police and further post who the violator is online. Notify your state EPA (the Sec. of State and DOT is useless).




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Old 01-02-19, 07:53 PM
  #28  
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This conversation is all ass backwards. Without state, county and city planning designed around bicycles and mass transit, they won't be used. Trying to retro-fit and design bike lanes and trains into city designs after the fact leads to failure.

The American consumer has spoken. We don't even want cars, we want trucks and suv's and crossovers. Best for hauling 200 lbs of cat litter and 400 rolls of toilet paper from Costco. Can't do that on public transportation.

The bicycle doesn't speak to the ethos or the zeitgeist or soul of this country. This country is about massive consumption, huge beer guts and 120,000 seat football stadiums. Even vegans and tree-hugging eco-warrior communists don't wanna ride bikes, so why would the average schmuck in his lazy chair contemplating a run for beer and nachos 15 minutes before Monday Night Football kickoff?
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Old 01-02-19, 08:17 PM
  #29  
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Still biking 15 mi each way through the hills a few days a week to both of my jobs. Bike shop day it's only fitting, plus the end game is 3 miles of city traffic and 25mph speed limit. Due to the hills, it is hard to exceed 3 days a week and recover though. Unless the boss reserves to send my somewhere with tools or cargo, I reserve the right to ride to work. The super skinny kid that works with me thinks its crazy. I laugh. 10deg F and counting. It is often frustrating how drivers interact but that only boldens my reaction between video and law enforcement activism. At least in this area they are supportive. Seems to be on the rise in a couple routes other than winter.
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Old 01-02-19, 09:12 PM
  #30  
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I don't ride to work as often as I used to- for a variety of reasons- but even in the best of situations, I'd have to leave the house around 4AM to get to work in time to clean up for work. That's too much like work.

If I lived much closer, it would be much easier- and if I started later it would be easier- all things considered, most of my 18 mile commute is segregated bike trail. (an old rail line)
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Old 01-02-19, 09:27 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
This conversation is all ass backwards.
I'm in agreement with my esteem colleague, Mr. Rad, here. The whole thought culture would have to change, the whole physical road systems would have to change, the laws of the land would have to change... all three, to really truly see substantial bicycle commuter numbers. Most car drivers around here are not benevolent towards sharing a roadway with bicyclists; a vast majority are indifferent at best on any given day, and a few whacks jobs are down right spiteful. I'm just not hardcore enough of a bicycle believer-ist to sacrifice my limbs and life to the noble cause.
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Old 01-02-19, 09:44 PM
  #32  
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No bike commuting here. 16 miles (6 on paved trail) isnít bad, but my issue is needing a vehicle at work. I frequently have to drive to other facilities. May do some riding home/back in the morning in the spring.
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Old 01-02-19, 10:12 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
Vancouver bike commuting was feasible. Toronto bike commuting is a blood sport.
One I enjoyed for over 2 decades. More bike lanes and paths than most urban areas.
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Old 01-02-19, 10:24 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Not where I live. DUI fuels the commonality of bicycle commuting here. Not to mention legalization of marijuana which will predictably increase losses of driving privileges.
Tis the season for Bombadiers and dogsleds?
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Old 01-02-19, 10:53 PM
  #35  
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I am going to be a skeptic and contrarian.
i had a big challenge finding the methodology, survey size and process behind these numbers.
it could be that the prior numbers were inflated, and the numbers had to retreat to be treated seriously when others were compiling statistics.
i would also like to know what season(s) the data was obtained.
as anadoteally mentioned in this thread, bike commuting can well be effected by weather, daylight savings time and traffic.
doing a survey in the middle of Winter in a “temperate” zone that gets heavy rain or snow... not encouraging numbers!
how would the statisticians count a 9 month per year bike rider?

i look back at my old commutes that I did in high school, I would not ride that route today, capable to ride the topography but not willing to brave the crazy drivers, or as they say now, “ cagers “.

reason for all the above is the same basic trouble I have with a long term now “ red cap “ blinded friend, he tries to take the short cut on news consuming, I cite original documents, court briefs and such... he at every conversation is always left with, “ I did not hear that” - indeed.

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Old 01-03-19, 06:29 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post


Tis the season for Bombadiers and dogsleds?
Yah, you betcha eh. Fresh snow and ready to go. Snowbiking is in season. I just hope we dont get -40 again.
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Old 01-03-19, 07:13 AM
  #37  
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Here in Gainesville Florida the majority of commuters are those who have no choice-minimum wage workers. They are mostly swerving around going the wrong way with no lights at night on a WalMart mountain bike. On the UF campus are plenty of students on bike. Elsewhere, not a lot of people as myself who choose to primarily travel and exercise by bike.
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Old 01-03-19, 10:28 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by FlMTNdude View Post
They are mostly swerving around going the wrong way with no lights at night on a WalMart mountain bike.
I see a lot of this activity on a daily basis and not just on wal mart bikes . Right before Christmas I witnessed two millennials blast up the street in the wrong direction into the face of traffic on their carbon framed road bikes like a pair of bike messengers in NYC .

This type of activity is not exclusively the domain of transients, the homeless and those without a drivers license. Honestly it bothers me simply because I find it hard to champion cycling when people who are driving regularly see jerks behaving in such a fashion. For what itís worth someone else in this thread said thereís rarely a cop when you need one. That includes cyclists behaving badly .
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Old 01-03-19, 11:06 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
The bicycle doesn't speak to the ethos or the zeitgeist or soul of this country. This country is about massive consumption, huge beer guts and 120,000 seat football stadiums. Even vegans and tree-hugging eco-warrior communists don't wanna ride bikes, so why would the average schmuck in his lazy chair contemplating a run for beer and nachos 15 minutes before Monday Night Football kickoff?
Nailed it...
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Old 01-03-19, 11:18 AM
  #40  
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I see the opposite trend when looking out my office window in Baltimore, which overlooks a recently installed (~2 years) cycle track. Every month there are more and more commuters on bikes and scooters. And even though my commute distance prevents me from biking, the traffic on Liberty street is no worse, despite one less lane for cars.

So it does come down to planning and installing infrastructure that supports/allows it. Build it and they will come.
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Old 01-03-19, 11:20 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
As for commuting, it's incredibly situational, distance, weather, infrastructure, rider age/health, etc. The average person in a suit isn't going to commute by bicycle for twenty miles in city traffic.
I just changed clothes when I got to work. My job as a hospital-based RN providing direct patient care meant I needed to be presentable at work, but commuting by bicycle to work for 30 years wasn't a problem for this. And I found the ride to be therapeutic. Rather than fighting through traffic, I had pre-dawn rides along the lake shore at 5AM on my way into work, and good stress relief riding home after work.
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Old 01-03-19, 11:38 AM
  #42  
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Give me a path physically isolated from motorized traffic, and a bike would be my major mode of transportation, weather permitting. However, I kind of enjoy my existence on this planet, and thus will not share a highway, or any major thoughfare, with the majority of inattentive louts driving pickups, suvs, and yes even priuses. As much as I enjoy biking, its not worth it. Lots of other ways to stay fit.
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Old 01-03-19, 12:50 PM
  #43  
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I'm going to give some credit to the under $1000.00 Chinese 49cc scooters (legally, mopeds, no license required). They're all over the Richmond area, and, let's be honest, the vast majority of people who, by choice or necessity, do not have or use a driver's license in their daily commute would prefer not to use their own muscles to get around. Now, how they work in the long run (I've run across very good, reliable Chinese scooters, and then there's the rest) is going to be another matter.

Chuckled at the comment regarding the newly born by virtue of a DUI cyclists. Here at the motorcycle shop, there was a time when we called Honda Metropolitans "DUI Cadillacs". Of course, that's back before scooters became hip, and the only people riding them were drunks and those mentally incapable of getting a driver's license.
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Old 01-03-19, 08:42 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
Chuckled at the comment regarding the newly born by virtue of a DUI cyclists. Here at the motorcycle shop, there was a time when we called Honda Metropolitans "DUI Cadillacs". Of course, that's back before scooters became hip, and the only people riding them were drunks and those mentally incapable of getting a driver's license.
The tougher DUI laws drastically changed drivers mindset and although not completely eliminated, its far less of a problem today.

Moving forward to today's era, the most troubling by far, are those manual texting, distracted AND malicious intent drivers.

Until respective State laws change to SEVERE as the DUI penalties, only then will peoples attitude change toward the above mentioned.

Cyclist need to ramp up the fight to survive. Hopefully cam technology will improve and become affordable as the LED lights. The best scenario if the law would be so severe, any evidence video of those malicious intent drivers would prosecute as attempted murder.

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Old 01-03-19, 09:02 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
the most troubling by far, are those manual texting, distracted AND malicious intent drivers.

Until respective State laws change to SEVERE as the DUI penalties, only then will peoples attitude change toward the above mentioned.
Ontario (Canada) just started slamming texting drivers with $1K 1st offense, $2K 2nd, $3K 3rd offense etc. National radio interviewed a cop who just handed out his 5000th 'distracted driving'' charge. Stats are suggesting deaths are way up in this category. Not surprised. BTW the criteria demands one hand onthe wheel and nothing in the other. No coffee, no smokes,
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Old 01-03-19, 11:26 PM
  #46  
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These statistics on the US are just one more reminder of how far we are from living up to our potential as a nation that truly values liberty: Most people I know are essentially enslaved to their cars, they're not free to choose any other alternative and are required to devote a large part of the fruits of their labor to pay for fuel, maintenance, and insurance, plus car payment in many cases - and what else is slavery than being forced to work in perpetuity for someone else's benefit?
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Old 01-04-19, 10:55 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Nailed it...
yup. Thatís the heart of it all. The Netherlands is literally the perfect example of the fact that itís not just about infrastructure, itís about culture and geography. The US is too big, too spread out, too fat, too lazy, too entitled and too privileged. And the US likes it that way. You can introduce all the bike lanes and trails you want. You can improve and expand public transportation options. You can talk about health, economy, environment. You can do it all. But youíre up against 250 years of chest pounding exceptionalist attitude, 80 years or more of rampant consumerism, 60 years of urban sprawl and the massive infrastructure to make it work.

you know how people living in McMansions in gated private communities near me get to local places like the supermarket? (the ones that donít use home delivery of course) they ride pimped out extra wide electric golf carts. They literally recognise that the use of a car isnít ideal, but they still wouldnít belittle themselves to ride a bike. Itís a pretty revealing picture if Iím being brutally honest. And there are entire businesses now for selling golf carts with polished rims and off-road tires for every use other than golf.

so in truth, it comes down to one simple notion: most Americans donít want to ride a bicycle and nothing is going to ever change that atttitude.

Any slight ups and downs in terms of ridership are nothing more than meaningless blips, from hyper-local factors. You arenít going to change a long set national culture. When the Netherlands made such a drastic change, it didnít take well in the beginning, but Cycling didnít have to contend with really any of the things it has to in the US. Most notebly, that the car hadnít yet developed a deep cultural attachment. Iím not angry about any of this, I just think itís important to recognise reality. And if youíre a cyclist, you will always be at the bottom of the transportation totem pole.

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Old 01-04-19, 12:04 PM
  #48  
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^^Well I'm with you, seamuis but I have to try and bow, show respect to others ways.

To those cupcake champions, all I ask in return is the same.

Please allow me to ride my lowly bikey and don't be a belligerent, reckless, careless driver.

Personally, I should quit road bike riding on roads. Paths are golden. I don't commute but the 'law' of averages is way against me and apparently the LAW.

Though in 1992 and when I had a beautiful 50 mile or so round trip 'bike' commute, it was wonderful.

Until a belligerent school bus driver -waiting in a long line of vehicles at a 4 way stop- intentionally and fully merged into the official bike route / shoulder way and blocked me and another fellow cyclist. The SCHOOL bus driver opened the door and yelled out some mental rabid jibberish. Makes one wonder what the heck is wrong with people? Let alone a SCHOOL bus driver?! Jeezo

Later years on the same commute, I was intentional hit off the road by a maniac. The driver even turned around and revved high speed for a second attempt. Fortunately there was a nearby business park to ditch into. The following day, a county police officer was a few miles from where my incident happened. I stopped and told him about it. Really not much he could do but told me I should have immediately reported it. This was the days when no small mobile phones were convenient.

This past Sept 2018 I had another crazy play their psycho game. I was within a mile from my residence, on a very clear marked bike route, super wide berth, State signage including one about the 3 foot distance law. Absolute beautiful clear weather, no other traffic around. Driver merged over the line, skimmed inches from hitting me.

... fast forward but I was able to catch up to the driver. The story gets nutz as I thought my luck changed. There was a local police officer lady simply parked in the same neighborhood. As I caught up to this driver, at the same place as the police officer who was somewhat understandable and explaining she sees stuff like this all the time********** But I was the one reprimanded by the cop to not be confrontational! Just incredible that adult pedestrians and cyclists are tested by those so called 'entitlement' drivers.

And one more observation in the USA. Drivers have a high tendancy to brake, stop or widely drive around a squirrel in the road but NOT for a cyclist or pedestrian. Another is they tend to slow and carefully merge past a child on bike lane, but not an adult cyclist. How thoughtful :-)
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Old 01-04-19, 05:47 PM
  #49  
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By an odd combination of where I live, where I work, and the transit options between here and there, bike+train+bike really is the best way for me to get to work. Cheaper, faster, and (environmentally) more responsible. For me it's a no-brainer. Even so, I drove to the station for a year or two before it occurred to me to ride my bike to the station. I can't say why it just never occurred to me for so long.

That said, I never liked driving, and as soon as I realized I didn't have to drive, I decided to become a bike commuter. Not everyone has that attitude, and who am I to question that.

But the point I'd like to make is that, disregarding the economics and the logistics and the physical fitness that make bike commuting my best option, bike commuting is an inherently political activity. When you see someone riding a bike to work, you make certain assumptions about the rider. I am comfortable with you making those assumptions about me, rightly or wrongly; others are not.

Whatever. Urban sprawl, fossil fuel powered private vehicles, and the attitudes we're lamenting, all these things cannot last forever. Change is a gonna come.

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Old 01-04-19, 06:34 PM
  #50  
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Commuting is not in the cards for me. I work in one suburb and need to cross a heavily travelled bridge to get to my office. That bridge does have a nice bike lane on it that is separated from the 8 lanes of traffic by a concrete wall. Unfortunately, in Minnesota, most of these bike lanes over bridges have a nice safe entrance on one side, and a roulette wheel of semi's and minivans on the other. Waste of money to only build a safe approach only on one side of a bridge. Other than that, there are narrow shoulders and a myriad of distracted drivers. My car was totaled last spring by a person who texted through a red light. Not worth the risk.

The issue of drivers (usually pickups) rolling up on bikers and other legal road users is getting completely out of control. I usually try to get the driver to turn around to "discuss the situation", they rarely do. Just this fall we had a driver run an olympic gold medalist off the road when she was training.

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