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Front page news in the Detroit Free Press!

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Front page news in the Detroit Free Press!

Old 02-17-09, 06:16 AM
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DavidW56
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Front page news in the Detroit Free Press!

http://www.freep.com/article/2009021...+during+winter

Another indication that commuting by bicycle is growing, especially commuting by bicycle during winter, right here in the Motor City. It also mentions the two bicyclists killed by hit-and-run motorists in the Detroit area late last year, as the drivers are coming up for trial soon.
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Old 02-17-09, 06:26 AM
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Visiting the Detroit area, it's all to obvious there are more cyclists. One problem with my old home town.. The city is so broke, they can't afford snow removal.. Streets, bike paths. You name it. And this year the snow is deep.
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Old 02-17-09, 09:23 AM
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All the folks in the article well all but 1 are in the burbs NOT right in Detroit . I live here just south of Detroit . This has to be the worst place to bike on the planet or at atleast the USA. MOST of the new riders you see are stealth riders and breaking the trafic laws . This reporter had to dig to find the riders he interviewed IMHO and I have lived here my entire 54 yrs.

We have NO useful mass transit here to speak of we have empty buses to no were and a bike lane is so uncommon NO one but a very small few would even know what one is . Take the goofie FREEP article with a grain a salt IMHO anyway thou bike sales are up a LOT at my local LBS there are still not many riders here .Detroit and its BURBS except maybe Ann Arbor is just NOT a bike friendly place and it will take 25+ yrs if ever to become bike friendly IMHO .

That was a nice warm and fuzzy article but not much in reality ... My 2 cents but I have lived here my whole life !
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Old 02-17-09, 10:08 AM
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It's probably true that any publicity is good, and that's not a bad article really.

It's interesting that they profiled two cyclists, and then mentioned two cyclists that have been killed. They're making a valid point, but I doubt that an article about driving cars to work would even mention that people sometimes got killed while driving their cars.

And "the roads were made for cars, not bikes" may be true, but that means the people who designed the roads need to try again because they are not meeting the needs that roads are supposed to meet, not that bikes should stay off them.
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Old 02-17-09, 11:30 AM
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wow, i cant believe I *actually* just read a whole article on freep.

Usually I just jump right to the bat$h1t comments:

"WHY do we need to give $20 per month to someone who is already realizing a HUGE savings by forgoing transportation by car? This is just another liberal, do-good, feel good money shift that we do not need added on top of the DO NOTHING stimulus package that the pigs in DC passed."


AH FREEDOM!
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Old 02-17-09, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
It's interesting that they profiled two cyclists, and then mentioned two cyclists that have been killed. They're making a valid point, but I doubt that an article about driving cars to work would even mention that people sometimes got killed while driving their cars.

And "the roads were made for cars, not bikes" may be true, but that means the people who designed the roads need to try again because they are not meeting the needs that roads are supposed to meet, not that bikes should stay off them.
Yes, there were definitely mixed messages there, but I consider the source. The Freep in former times had to have been a bastion of support for the Detroit motor industry. Its surprising that there was anything at all.

The comments were almost more interesting though, One man said "Makin he shortie ride in winta be criminal". And they got into a quarrel on whether a stop sign with a white border around it means that it's a "rolling stop" sign.
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Old 02-17-09, 01:01 PM
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Old 02-17-09, 02:16 PM
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This is my favorite comment...posted in response to a comment stating that motorists fail to "look" for cyclists...

"Not always. I heard a loud scraping sound one night recently and the first thing I looked for under my car was a bike. Unfortunately, it was my muffler. 20 more dollars down the drain."

Man, that is sick...but it makes me LOL for some reason. I bet the guy was dead seriously defending his practices of "looking" for cyclists.
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Old 02-17-09, 07:55 PM
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I use to deliver the Free Press by bike and sled LOL
Knowing that Detroit's favorite pass time is Alcoholism. I know because all my out of work relatives that still live there are Alcoholics. I'm not sure I would ride the streets there and that say a lot considering Georgia where I now live and ride daily is considered 48 on the worst states to ride list.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:03 PM
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Wow, I guess I'll have to read the online version of the article to see the readers' comments. I read the story on newsprint -- yeah, I'm a walking anachronism.

Anyway -- I disagree about there being no cyclists in Detroit. Darn few compared to all those bike-friendly places we keep hearing about, I'll admit. As for worst place to cycle, well, yes and no. There are wide avenues to bike. And then there are the routes where you take your life in your hands avoiding the potholes. Agree on the utter lack of bike lanes -- I didn't know we had any at all.

If Pipes lives just south of Detroit, that puts you in one of the following -- River Rouge, Ecorse, Melvindale, Lincoln Park -- I can understand that riding the major roads in these cities would be difficult, due to the truck traffic, and winter road salt pulverizing the pavement, and little money for street repairs. I'm from Lincoln Park myself.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Yes, there were definitely mixed messages there, but I consider the source. The Freep in former times had to have been a bastion of support for the Detroit motor industry. Its surprising that there was anything at all.

The comments were almost more interesting though, One man said "Makin he shortie ride in winta be criminal". And they got into a quarrel on whether a stop sign with a white border around it means that it's a "rolling stop" sign.
The "rolling stop" poster was being facetious, he said in a later post.
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Old 02-18-09, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidW56 View Post
Wow, I guess I'll have to read the online version of the article to see the readers' comments. I read the story on newsprint -- yeah, I'm a walking anachronism.

Anyway -- I disagree about there being no cyclists in Detroit. Darn few compared to all those bike-friendly places we keep hearing about, I'll admit. As for worst place to cycle, well, yes and no. There are wide avenues to bike. And then there are the routes where you take your life in your hands avoiding the potholes. Agree on the utter lack of bike lanes -- I didn't know we had any at all.

If Pipes lives just south of Detroit, that puts you in one of the following -- River Rouge, Ecorse, Melvindale, Lincoln Park -- I can understand that riding the major roads in these cities would be difficult, due to the truck traffic, and winter road salt pulverizing the pavement, and little money for street repairs. I'm from Lincoln Park myself.
Close and yes we got pot holes here you can get lost in . Did you see the semi that fail in one last week And ya we got a bike path at some of our Metro Parks its 20 miles to the one or 2 bike paths at those parks . And there is talk to hook all the Metro Parks together by bike path someday Most of up north has NO rideable shoulders and 0 bike lanes . And Ol Jenifier is doing NOTHING for cyclist I can't honestly think of a bike friendly city in the Detroit area except like I said MAYBE Ann Arbor .I got hit and the guy took off last summer in Wyandotte ! Got the guys license # he turned himself in and never even got a ticket. I did see a LOT a stealth bikers the last few days thats NORMAL .

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Old 02-19-09, 06:52 AM
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Pretty sad, from what pipes says, sounds like Detroit is even sh*ttier place to ride than Atlanta. The snow and the resulting wear and tear on the roads probably makes it a lot worse than it would be otherwise... and like you said, Motor City. Local gov't has little incentive to encourage alternatives to motor vehicles
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Old 02-19-09, 12:22 PM
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The fact that it's front page news is a real plus no matter what. When urban areas begin to recognize the movement needs of their 'people' instead of being slaves to the 'king auto' then we'll see REAL changes. It's all about attitude. Cycle-commuting has always been the province of the eccentric few. As the economic realities continue to deteriorate 'bicycling' will move from it's current status as 'toy' or 'recreation' or 'loser' and move to the utilitarian use we all know and love.

Everyday I field questions at work about my commute. People really are re-evaluating their life choices...at least it seems so to me if my co-workers' continual questions are any indication. And I work at a GM facility here in Spring Hill, TN where the Traverse is made. These are all 'hardcore UAW' guys, too. There's SOMETHING in the air that's for sure. Whether it's permanent or not remains to be seen...
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Old 02-19-09, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
The fact that it's front page news is a real plus no matter what. When urban areas begin to recognize the movement needs of their 'people' instead of being slaves to the 'king auto' then we'll see REAL changes. It's all about attitude. Cycle-commuting has always been the province of the eccentric few. As the economic realities continue to deteriorate 'bicycling' will move from it's current status as 'toy' or 'recreation' or 'loser' and move to the utilitarian use we all know and love.

Everyday I field questions at work about my commute. People really are re-evaluating their life choices...at least it seems so to me if my co-workers' continual questions are any indication. And I work at a GM facility here in Spring Hill, TN where the Traverse is made. These are all 'hardcore UAW' guys, too. There's SOMETHING in the air that's for sure. Whether it's permanent or not remains to be seen...
Hey I know your area well my Mother and father inlaw lived in Hohenwal Nice area after they retired now both have passed away Nothing like Detroit
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Old 02-20-09, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
The fact that it's front page news is a real plus no matter what. When urban areas begin to recognize the movement needs of their 'people' instead of being slaves to the 'king auto' then we'll see REAL changes. It's all about attitude. Cycle-commuting has always been the province of the eccentric few. As the economic realities continue to deteriorate 'bicycling' will move from it's current status as 'toy' or 'recreation' or 'loser' and move to the utilitarian use we all know and love.

Everyday I field questions at work about my commute. People really are re-evaluating their life choices...at least it seems so to me if my co-workers' continual questions are any indication. And I work at a GM facility here in Spring Hill, TN where the Traverse is made. These are all 'hardcore UAW' guys, too. There's SOMETHING in the air that's for sure. Whether it's permanent or not remains to be seen...
I like your thinking. Here are some pics to assist your arguments.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/xtracycle/pool/
http://www.flickr.com/groups/cargobike/pool/

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Old 02-20-09, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by pipes View Post
Hey I know your area well my Mother and father inlaw lived in Hohenwal Nice area after they retired now both have passed away Nothing like Detroit
Hohenwald is about 40 miles from my front porch. My wife and I make frequent 'weekend' excursions there. There's an elephant sanctuary in Hohenwald somewhere, but the location is kept under wraps by the locals who don't particularly WANT tourism. They like the town the way it is at present. We live .5 mi off the Natchez Trace Parkway and 90% of the ride is via the NTP.

Originally Posted by Silverexpress View Post
I like your thinking. Here are some pics to assist your arguements.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/xtracycle/pool/
http://www.flickr.com/groups/cargobike/pool/
Thank you. Those are great shots. I suggested to my 'shift' union rep' about making a UAW commuter bike w/all US manufactured components, assembly and design. W/t UAW logo on the head tube. He loved the idea. He's going to bring it up at the next Union meeting. Maybe do a tie-in w/ Harley-Davidson, GM, Chrysler...somebody. Not a cheap 'denali like' rb, but a solid, utilitarian igh bike similar to the old Raleighs, but hipper. It's green, and would put people to work in a much needed 'niche' industry. Federal funding may be available.

In a plant of over 4500 people I'm the lone cycle commuter on the premises...most think I'm crazy, but held in high regard. Especially when there was rainstorm the other night and I rode 20 miles in a downpour.

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Old 02-21-09, 08:52 AM
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Your welcome. Here is a program to download those images into a folder. You can then burn them to DVDs and pass them out. The name of the program is

Bulk Image Downloader from
http://antibody-software.com

I think you've got a great idea there. Much of the growing cargo/utility bike scene is happening on the west coast (as usual!). We in the middle (USA) are as always slow to realize and to follow.

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Old 02-22-09, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
Thank you. Those are great shots. I suggested to my 'shift' union rep' about making a UAW commuter bike w/all US manufactured components, assembly and design. W/t UAW logo on the head tube. He loved the idea. He's going to bring it up at the next Union meeting. Maybe do a tie-in w/ Harley-Davidson, GM, Chrysler...somebody. Not a cheap 'denali like' rb, but a solid, utilitarian igh bike similar to the old Raleighs, but hipper. It's green, and would put people to work in a much needed 'niche' industry. Federal funding may be available.
Keep us posted--I'm a UAW member and might be interested if this idea gets off the ground. I wish they'd put a big bike assembly plant where one of the car plants used to be and staff it with union workers.

I've seen a big increase in bike traffic here in Lansing over the last 5 years, especially in midwinter. Unlike Detroit, we have a decent public transit system.
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Old 02-22-09, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Keep us posted--I'm a UAW member and might be interested if this idea gets off the ground. I wish they'd put a big bike assembly plant where one of the car plants used to be and staff it with union workers.

I've seen a big increase in bike traffic here in Lansing over the last 5 years, especially in midwinter. Unlike Detroit, we have a decent public transit system.
Just checked this thread...it's been a few days. Yes, definately will keep you posted. In fact I'll post here and PM you. My local's #3130...Penske Logistics has the contract w/this GM facility to 'warehouse' all the components. The local for the line, etc. is #1853.

When we talked I explained to Sully(the shift rep) about cycle-commuting and how it annoyed me that I was commuting to a UAW job on a Taiwanese built, French named bicycle w/all Japanese componentry. One could see the fire in his eyes as he said, 'eff that! We could build one cheaper, better and all UAW made." He's VERY committed to the brotherhood...passes out badges, tries to get the rank and file to attend the meetings, etc. So, this is right in his wheelhouse. It's anti-establishment, green, irreverent and audacious...a UAW BICYCLE manufacturing faciliity!

BTW, 'silver express' thanks again for the program 'heads-up' Asa I get time I'll do up a DVD to solidify my presentation should there be one. Yeah, all the guys at the lunch table think the time and circumstance in this country is right for something like this. It would take start-up capital, for sure w/an established 'name'. I thought of HD, because of the name recognition and one wouldn't have to re-aquire the 'brand' name like one would if one used 'Schwinn', for example. I think any one of the 'big 3' could finance something like this with what is sent through the waste system. Have one of the 'big boys' snap off a little of that 'executive bonus money' and get this thing started.
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Old 02-22-09, 08:33 PM
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Here is more info on this growing cycling culture....

http://www.thelazyrandonneur.com/
http://thehubofdetroit.org/

and a hopefully a pertinent thread....

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=485469

Another thing to share....

www.bikely.com

Xtracycle videos on youtube.com

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=...nc&view=videos

You can download these using a beta video downloader from www.veoh.com - works great.

Don't forget to check out the utility forum. Lot's of great ideas from people who make their own cargo bikes.

Last edited by Silverexpress; 02-22-09 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 02-22-09, 11:44 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Silverexpress View Post
Here is more info on this growing cycling culture....

http://www.thelazyrandonneur.com/
http://thehubofdetroit.org/

and a hopefully a pertinent thread....

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=485469

Another thing to share....

www.bikely.com

Xtracycle videos on youtube.com

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=...nc&view=videos

You can download these using a beta video downloader from www.veoh.com - works great.

Don't forget to check out the utility forum. Lot's of great ideas from people who make their own cargo bikes.
Again, thanks very much. This is all very 'rich' in info and innovation. The idea is to have a complete 'in-house' facility similar to the Raleigh model of the 20th century. Everything except for the saddles was made 'on-site', I believe. Yeah, the utility forum is on my hit list as well as the A&S, SS/FX, Winter, etc. Another site is www.icebike.com which has great articles on clothing options...mostly recreational, but good options for commuting, too. www.bikewebsite.com www.commutebybike.com etc.

There's SO much info out there it'll take a while just to go thru the options. If this thing catches fire there's no telling where it will lead. The thing I'm most impressed with in my union brothers and sisters is their willingness to think and consider the unorthodox in a very conservative 'auto-centric' culture. There is a phenomenal amount of pride in the American worker even on the subject of building a 'Union made' bike. Everything you've posted has been duly noted, gratefully received and will be utilized that's for sure.
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Old 02-24-09, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
Again, thanks very much. This is all very 'rich' in info and innovation. The idea is to have a complete 'in-house' facility similar to the Raleigh model of the 20th century. Everything except for the saddles was made 'on-site', I believe. Yeah, the utility forum is on my hit list as well as the A&S, SS/FX, Winter, etc. Another site is www.icebike.com which has great articles on clothing options...mostly recreational, but good options for commuting, too. www.bikewebsite.com www.commutebybike.com etc.

There's SO much info out there it'll take a while just to go thru the options. If this thing catches fire there's no telling where it will lead. The thing I'm most impressed with in my union brothers and sisters is their willingness to think and consider the unorthodox in a very conservative 'auto-centric' culture. There is a phenomenal amount of pride in the American worker even on the subject of building a 'Union made' bike. Everything you've posted has been duly noted, gratefully received and will be utilized that's for sure.
Did you see the President's address to Congress tonight? Your plan is exactly the kind of thing he was talking about to get the economy going. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to look into one of those entrepeneur start-up loans to get this thing going?

Off topic--Obama seemed to make a big commitment in the speech to not let the US auto industry die. I say, don't let it die--let it make bikes!
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Old 02-25-09, 07:11 AM
  #24  
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Yeah...move to Detroit and buy one of those $1-2000.00 homes that I've heard about...
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Old 02-25-09, 09:20 AM
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thdave
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Originally Posted by alicestrong View Post
Yeah...move to Detroit and buy one of those $1-2000.00 homes that I've heard about...
You'd be surprised to know that those houses, if fixed up, are nice. They are homes made in the early part of the last century--that vintage house is well made.

It's the neighborhoods that are bad. It's tough to live in an area where 3 of 4 house are boarded up and if you leave anything outside, it will be stolen or broken by morning. Vandals love vandalizing.

Obviously, the auto workers moved out of those neighborhoods long ago. The Detroit suburbs are where the middle class live.
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