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Would you really like it if cycling was more popular?

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Would you really like it if cycling was more popular?

Old 09-08-04, 08:42 PM
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LittleBigMan
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Would you really like it if cycling was more popular?

I'm ambivalent.

On the one hand, I want cycling to be more popular, roads designed with cyclists more in mind, traffic calmed and educated, more cyclists on the roads going to work and play, etc.

On the other hand, I like being different.

Whatever shall I do? (Don't call Dr. Phil, please.)
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Old 09-08-04, 08:45 PM
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Old 09-08-04, 08:52 PM
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For the planet, yes.
For me, no! I have enough trouble as it is, not getting run over by or running into those unpredictable sidewalk cyclists that seem to pop up everywhere and dart all over the place.
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Old 09-08-04, 09:18 PM
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Chris L
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I'm not really concerned either way. It may or may not improve our treatment on the roads (somehow I doubt that it would. I've been to places where cycling is considerably less popular than here on the Gold Coast, and encountered better treatment from the general population while I was there). It may improve the number of "facilities" we get, but that may or may not be a good thing.

I'm never driven by the popularity of anything I do, and I don't see the need to start now.
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Old 09-08-04, 11:36 PM
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I'd like it if cycling (and walking) was more more popular.

It would encourage:
  • alternative planning strategies for the suburbs and outlying towns to allow access to basic services (bank, post office, corner store/baker/grocer/butcher, bookshop, etc) other than with a dino-burner.
  • development of a community - normal human interaction; an opportunity for children to play cricket/football in their street; ability to see something other than the tailend of the neibours car going into the garage;
  • safer driving - through awarness of what it means to be a vulnerable road user
  • better health awareness - carbs are good, not evil!
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Old 09-08-04, 11:53 PM
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While the benefits (as listed above) look nice on paper, I'm skeptical about future implementation going forward in a postive manner - in the cyclists favor. I do hope so, only for the ecological impact, if nothing else.

I remember mountain biking in the early 90's. Sure there were not as many 'official trails' and things were not so ready made for mountain biking, and in a way, I miss that. Many of the places I was able to ride at then, I am not able to now. I expect a paralell with cycling in general as it grows. Again, not a bad thing really, but sometimes I just don't like or agree with the change.

However, like it or not, it is growing in popularity, so we all we can do is live an adapt, right?
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Old 09-09-04, 03:54 AM
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I gotta say that when you go someplace where cycling is very popular like Holland where they have their own lanes and drivers KNOW that if they get tangled up with a cyclist they are in for some hurtin' with the law, things are a lot nicer for the cyclists.

On the bright side with gas prices going the way they are we can claim to be the pioneers of bike commuting and regal the newbies with tales of road rage, narrow streets full of death cages and how we used to ride our bikes hundreds of miles in 40 mph head winds uphill both ways.
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Old 09-09-04, 03:57 AM
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My company lets me put my bike in a closet. If more than a few of us biked, that would never happen.
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Old 09-09-04, 05:22 AM
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Great question.

I keep my bike in my small office. Even though there's a bike rack behind our building. Our building is next door to a community college, football stadium, and major college campus. Lots of thieves roaming around I tell myself. Got a U-lock though so I'm going to start locking up on the rack. Too nice of a gesture by my company to not take advantage.

Ultimately, yeah it would be much better if cycling were more popular. Low/no insurance rates. Improved air quality. Cheap. In a lot of cases, faster. Seriously upgraded fitness.

But most of all, when you separate yourself from the machine, you become a plain dealer. I'm as guilty as anybody when it comes to automotive fascism. But when I'm on my bike, I just feel like a fresher, more open-minded human being. I feel free, and I wouldn't deny anybody else that feeling because I wanted it for myself.
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Old 09-09-04, 07:38 AM
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I thought about this a while back when I did the Ride for Heart a few years back. Its when they shut down a major artery in T.O. and allow cyclists to ride on it for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Anyways. It was so quiet and peaceful. All you could hear was the hum of tires on pavement, gears shifting and people talking to one another. I'm all for it.
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Old 09-09-04, 11:52 AM
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I am all for increased cycling.

If cycling were more popular, cyclists would be more visible, and less marginalized. We would be harder to ignore, by both drivers and planners. And with more cyclists, there would be fewer drivers. Drivers who constantly complain about "all those damned cyclists" would be more likely to know one and be more sympathetic to us.

With more demand for road space, bike routes, racks, and better planning there would be better conditions for all of us.

Plus, more bikers means more biker chicks.
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Old 09-09-04, 12:02 PM
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I like your last line the best leftnotracks
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Old 09-09-04, 01:38 PM
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I'm ambivalent too. On the one hand, yes it'd be nice to have the greater 'voting power' that comes with greater numbers, but on the other hand I've seen the skill level of some people on bikes, and the idea of even more of them hitting the roads without any kind of training, or even a clue, worries me.
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Old 09-09-04, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Allister
I'm ambivalent too. On the one hand, yes it'd be nice to have the greater 'voting power' that comes with greater numbers, but on the other hand I've seen the skill level of some people on bikes, and the idea of even more of them hitting the roads without any kind of training, or even a clue, worries me.
Pfft, they're already out there - called the majority of motorists. It's incomprehnsible how some people got their licenses. At least with bikes they can't ram a 2 ton vehicle travelling at however many odd kph they are doing and kill you if they so wish.
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Old 09-09-04, 02:33 PM
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Every city should have a designated WIDE street turned into a greenway for walking/biking. I think 5th Ave in Manhattan would do nicely.

Walking lanes on the sides and biking in the middle:
-----------------------------------------------------
walking walking walking
---- ---- ---- ----- ---- ----- -------- ----- --
BIKES BIKES BIKES BIKES
BIKES BIKES BIKES BIKES
--- ------ ------ ------ ----- ------- ----------
walking walking walking
----------------------------------------------------

This is my vision of the world.
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Old 09-09-04, 02:41 PM
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Every major American city should have a Bike Lane or even better, a Bike path! Cycling is healthy, reduces traffic/polution, and hell it's fun! But then again, that may just make too much sence for America....bummer.

I think it would be great though.
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Old 09-09-04, 02:51 PM
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I think it would be great!

It would be better for the environment as it would help cut pollution and better for people's health, both due to the cut in pollution and by increasing their activity levels. This would be particulalry relevant in the UK where there has been a considerable increase in the number of obese people (especially kids) in recent years.

In the long term it would be better for us cyclists, drivers would become more use to seeing us and hopefully the number of facilities would increase.
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Old 09-09-04, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Lufty
Every major American city should have a Bike Lane or even better, a Bike path! Cycling is healthy, reduces traffic/polution, and hell it's fun! But then again, that may just make too much sence for America....bummer.

I think it would be great though.
Not trying to start another pointless vehicular-cycling v. bike-lanes debate, but I'd simply be happy with road shoulders wide enough for vehicles to pass safely. Preferably w/o cracked/broken pavement (Why is it when road repairs are done they always seem to stop 3 feet short of the edge?!) and glass shards everywhere.

As for cycling being more popular, hell yeah I'd like it. Especially if there were more basic-transportation riders. Anything to improve the cycling infrastructure (more cyclists means more demands to widen/fix those shoulders) would be seen as a good thing. There's no shortage of recreational/competitive cyclists, there's probably even been an increase in their numbers what with the "Lance effect". But I sure don't see commuter numbers growing, and I rarely, if ever, run into anyone else on a bicycle at the grocery store. Though this might be a side-effect of my location smack-dab in the middle of suburban-sprawl in car-centric SoCal...

I'm rarely ever at a loss for people to ride with if I want to go hit the trails off-road, or put in some road-miles on a Saturday or Sunday morning, but I rarely ever see those same riders just cruising around town, nor do I regularly encounter commuters in the morning. It would be kinda nice to see a few more people on two wheels during my morning commute.

-Trevor
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Old 09-09-04, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Lufty
Every major American city should have a Bike Lane or even better, a Bike path!
TrevorInSoCal is right, for a whole host of reasons, bike lanes usually make cycling more dangerous. But that's a debate for another thread. But I appreciate Lufty's goals.
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Old 09-09-04, 03:09 PM
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yep - i agree. i would love to see more people using bikes as legitimate transportation. we get pretty crowded with recreational riders in the parks and bike paths, but not too many people leave the car behind when it comes to commuting.
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Old 09-09-04, 05:10 PM
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I vote more bikes as vehicles.

I vote more bikes as recreation.
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Old 09-09-04, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MERTON
and bike crap woud be cheaper.
YESSS!!!!!!! cheaper bike stuff! yess! haha that would be the best part!
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Old 09-09-04, 05:54 PM
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My guess is that biking is becoming much more unpopular by the day, as India and China get more cars. The pollution is likely to kill us all.

Much of Europe is bike crazy-- it seems to work there.

The USA is too fat and lazy-- more cyclists would sure help turn that around. I fear that America has become rich and spoiled and is losing her greatness. I'm talking about the ost of the gumption, adventure and can-do spirit that build this nation. Bike riders are higher on the old gumption-o-meter than non-riders, that's for sure.
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Old 09-09-04, 05:59 PM
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You seem to be all forgetting that a LOT of freaking people ride bicycles in China. Many cannot afford a car.
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Old 09-09-04, 07:40 PM
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I'm all for it. More bikes, either for transport or recreation, would likely mean better bike facilities (racks, locks, lanes etc) and a larger market for bike stuff. Economists will remind us that a higher demand usually leads to lower prices... that I'm all for! (though my wife would probably hate the effect that would have on our garage space... )
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