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Just because it went over so well the last time.  I don't know if I can subjugate my bile and bad attitude and make it friendlier -- but I can at least address the best of your comments individually.  I've taken the liberty to combine some that were similar.

1. You're too mean and insulting.  The reasons given for not bike commuting are valid.
Perhaps they are valid.  The problem is, everyone talks about driving as if it is a foregone conclusion, and will always be a good option.  Those days are done.  The price of gas is back up again, despite flagging demand.  If we're to the point where we're taking over countries and killing millions to ensure a continuing supply [for a few more years only], we should be aggressively pursuing alternatives.  
2. I have a service vehicle and am hauling heavy equipment and tools.
Not much to say there, except that's a small minority of the vehicles that are clogging our roads on a daily basis.  Stand at a corner during morning rush hour for a while and make notes on the vehicles passing -- you'll agree.
3. Bike-car conflicts concern me.  I have been in an accident with a bike or know someone who has.
The fear of traffic is worse than the traffic itself.  A little know-how and experience goes a long ways.  There will be more and more bikes mixing with cars in the future.  More than anything else, this gets better the longer you're out there and get accustomed to timing, technique; and build confidence.
4. Existing transportation and land use patterns where I live don't support bikeways.  The only route is an interstate.
Obama's Transportation Secretary Roy LaHood is the first person in that position in a long time [or maybe forever] that is saying we need to build our transit corridors for ALL USERS.  It is a sea change -- but a limited window to build advocacy.  If we're going to allocate money for 'complete streets' and forge real improvements, we're going to need a groundswell of demand.  Just saying 'screw it, it will never work' isn't helpful, at all.
5. Any commute longer than five minutes isn't reasonable for bicycling.  It's easy for you because you have ideal conditions.
A distance of three to five miles can be easily biked in most US locations in about the same time it takes to drive, with minimal exertion.  Five to ten miles, it will take slightly longer than driving.  Up to fifteen miles is still quite feasible, with a little contingency planning.  I don't have ideal conditions, but I did find that everything I thought would be problematic didn't amount to anything significant.
6. I sweat too much.
By week three, you will be in much better shape.  If you need to, carry a change of clothes and deodorant in a pannier or pack.  You will cool off soon after your arrival and can clean up in a bathroom.  A shower is overkill in most circumstances.
7. I'd telecommute before I bike commute.
If you can, great.  If not, there are other reasons to ride and other places besides work to go.
8. A motorcycle or hybrid car saves a lot of gas.
Yes, but I am talking about a way to use none at all.  Or use it for vacations and out of town trips only.
9. Driving a car is a lot safer.  When biking, your fate is dependent on the kindness of strangers.
The analysis doesn't consider the cost of driving wholistically.  Where the oil comes from, the consequences of air pollution and carbon buildup, the various toxic legacies -- lead, MTBE, spills, etc.
10. If you were more positive and uplifting, you'd make us WANT to try it.
Bike commuting will change a person forever.  You'll become acutely aware of the ridiculousness of automobile hegemony.  You will be treated to a daily sensation of sights, sounds and smells you somehow missed.  You'll know your town, its topography, people, traffic and daily routines intimately, as never before.  If you like where you live, you'll like it a lot more.  If you race to the car, go straight home and draw the blinds and turn on the TV, maybe you'd just find it extra annoying to be right out there in the streets?
11. I'm afraid I'd become a self-righteous prick in a funny-looking spandex costume.
Not any more than you're a road rager with a booming system and a blaring exhaust pipe, just because you have a car.  The gear fetish seems to be a peculiarly American phenomenon.  In a lot of other places in the world people ride in their normal clothing [that's what I do, too].  You can deal with light to moderate rain with a rain cape, that fits loosely over the top and keeps everything but the shoes and bottom of the pants from getting wet, and doesn't cause extra perspiration like full raingear does.
12. I won't take the extra time [30 minutes more that would be needed for a 12-mile commute].  
You can cancel the gym membership [and the time to drive to the gym and back] that you will no longer need.
13. I would be exposed to muggers and serial killers.
But no longer vulnerable to carjackers.  If we all try to take back our towns, and get out there on the streets and sidewalks, we will never lack assistance when we really need it.

The best bike commuting tips on the web, by Paul Dorn.
Dorn's Bike Commute Tips blog.

Originally posted to Dear Friends on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 02:24 AM PDT.


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Comment Preferences

  •  hi (9+ / 0-)

    My name's Miep; I'm 51 years old, and I've never learned to drive a car or had a driver's license.

    I learned to bicycle when I was about seven years old. I seriously encourage everyone to teach their kids to bicycle; like all skills, it sets best when you learn young.

    I am safer on a bicycle than I am walking down the street - walking, I run a very small chance of tripping and falling, but my bicycle is like an extension of my body.

    Thanks for posting, Greenomanic!

    "You will not become a saint through other people's sins." - Chekhov

    by mieprowan on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 02:35:23 AM PDT

  •  I've been bike commuting for years. (9+ / 0-)

    A lot of people have valid reasons for not doing so, but it's true that, when it comes down to it, for most people it should simply be a re-organization of personal priorities and time planning.

    And where I live now, with hellacious traffic, the only faster way to work than my bike is via tram. Though even when I was in the Twin Cities (far better trails there than here in Paris by the way, and plowed in winter as well), it would take me 45 minutes to do the 15 miles each way on a bike, while in the car, with traffic, easily 30 minutes, sometimes more. So, biking is cheaper, not too much more time-consuming, and makes you feel a lot better too.

    •  My brother used to live near Minneapolis (5+ / 0-)

      and I remember him telling me about some discussion that came up about how to rework a local highway, and turning it into a bike route was on the list. This in a place where it gets well down into sub-zero temps...that was not considered problematic. I admired the hell out of the people in that region for that.

      "You will not become a saint through other people's sins." - Chekhov

      by mieprowan on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 02:54:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And because there is such a good trail system (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pHunbalanced, letsgetreal, mieprowan

        which is decently maintained and, importantly; plowed, many people bike to work throughout the year there. We used to say there is no such thing is too cold, only too poorly dressed.

        Off road trails are especially important in winter, since automobilists don't tend to be very respectful of cyclists that time of the year, as cyclists tend to need more road (example, biking in the tire tracks after a new snow) and necessarily hinder automobilists because of it. And, of course, in these cases, the typical automobilist assumes the road is meant for him or her, not to be shared.

  •  a few more thoughts (5+ / 0-)
    1. There are bicycle trailers available. I've heard you can buy one for about $400.
    1. It's true that lots of road systems aren't designed with bicycles in mind. That doesn't mean bicycling is a bad thing.
    1. When I was in my 20's, I used to commute from Redondo Beach to Santa Monica to work, five days a week, sometimes in the the rain. There was a bike path on the beach. It was neat. It took me over an hour, going pretty fast, but what a great ride, in the early morning especially.
    1. I've been the victim of attempted assault a few times in my life, but never when bicycling. Such predators look for more stationary targets.
    1. Did you put the "self-righteous jerk" tag on your diary yourself? Why so negative?

    "You will not become a saint through other people's sins." - Chekhov

    by mieprowan on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 02:52:01 AM PDT

  •  I think bicycle commuting is an excellent idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I also think. (And I get that you recognize this in your headline, I was just immediately reminded of that article that gave me a good laugh, as I've often been
    "that guy."

    (-8.38, -8.00) "If Republicans will quit telling lies about Democrats then we'll quit telling the truth about Republicans." --Adlai Stevenson

    by hyperstation on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 03:12:54 AM PDT

    •  that's funny because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pHunbalanced, hyperstation

      i just got a TV, after not having one for 15 yrs.  i couldn't even figure out how to hook the f-ing thing up to the cable.  
      i watched a little msnbc, a little c-span, the daily show... but i suspect, that like the cars that just sit in the driveway, i'm going to find less use for it all the time.

  •  Point 3 is an inadequate response (8+ / 0-)

    Look I really appreciate that you are very supportive of this and believe it or not I do like cycling. But saying:

    The fear of traffic is worse than the traffic itself.  A little know-how and experience goes a long ways.

    is in itself an inadequate response. All the many people I know who've been injured in accidents have been experienced road cyclists and had ridden on roads for years. It doesn't stop the drunk-drivers, the micro-sleepers or the plain agressive idiots who can't wait to overtake a cyclist. Or the drivers who just don't see you because they don't expect to see you. Or the thoughtless ones who open their car doors without checking if a cyclist is coming by. I know people who've experienced all of these and have seen them myself on the road as a cyclist and a driver. Living in a city with impatient, uncaring drivers means that dedicated bike lanes are where I want to be.

    Don't worry, I'm lobbying my local government for them.

    •  let's parse just part of that (4+ / 0-)

      the car doors.  most experts agree that if you're riding alongside rows of parked cars you have to be a minimum of two and a half to three feet away.  this will often put you in the traffic lane rather than trying to find space between the lane and the cars [where there really isn't any safe space, as you correctly point out].  if the traffic is moving less than ~25 mph, the cyclist can keep up with traffic, and take their place in the lane.  if it's moving slightly faster, the cyclist can pull off where there are breaks between rows of cars [fire lanes, bus stops, intersections, etc.] and let some cars pass.  but the best idea is to get off that road and find another way.  often times there is a perfectly rideable side street paralleling the arterial, a block to either or both sides.  finding an ideal route is part of the art of the cycling game, and it is wide open, compared to the limitations of driving a car.

      •  I'm not talking about new riders (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        myrealname, slowheels2, miss SPED

        I'm talking about experiences road cyclists who know the road and have been doing this for years. Most of the people I know wake up at 5am to get their ride in before the traffic gets bad, even on their 90 mile rides on the weekend. None of them commute on their bikes to their downtown jobs because they value their lives - most of them use public transport.

        I find your refusal to acknowledge the real limitations of commuting in the city to be a denial of reality. Until we get town planning that is focused to various modes of transport including bikes, cycling in the city is not something I would recommend to my loved ones. And neither do the experienced cyclists I know.

        •  You should come to Paris. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chidmf, myrealname, Independant Man

          It's full of bikers commuting to and from work, like the mayor himself.

          And traffic can be quite daunting here too.

          Ditto other major traffic-intensive cities over here, Amsterdam coming immediately to mind.

          One thing in the US that would be a big help: enforecement. In the US, it's too easy to just say you didn't see the biker you killed or almost. Happens quite a lot, as you intimate. Here, it is vehicular homicide, period.

          The problems wuth cycling in the US are more attitudinal than anything else.

        •  it isn't one size fits all (0+ / 0-)

          if you have decent public transit, that might well be the best way.  the conservative blowhards that run my town would like to cut off bus service altogether.  the buses run more than an hour apart and not at all on evenings and sundays.  all transfers are downtown even though most destinations are not.
          one of my least favorite expressions the last few years is people who punctuate their expressions with, "the reality is...".  "that's all well and good, but THE REALITY IS, blah blah..."  most of the time, the reality they're talking about is not the same as my reality.  I guess there is reality, and there is THE REALITY.

        •  THIS is the straight truth. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          myrealname, miss SPED

          The reality of an longtime cyclist ?

          It is VERY dangerous,
          and getting worse,
          maybe it doesn't seem that way to you in Anchorage,
          but traffic pressure in most American cities in increasing.

          In my own city, sympathetic local planners have their hands tied by state and federal authorities who control the most heavily traveled roads.

          problems with cycling in the US are more attitudinal than anything else.

          All but one: a car screws up, the bike dies.

          •  i have been other places, too (0+ / 0-)

            traffic pressure is increasing.  to be expected, i suppose... more population, congestion.  it's all in how we choose to deal with it.  around here we are still trying to build more roads, widen roads, increase the distances between places by a non-compact development pattern.  all of which makes it more difficult, not less to get around any way except in a car.

          •  I cycle commuted for 2 years... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            from the Allston/Brighton area of Boston to Everett MA,  and I was a bicycle courier in Providence for a couple of years.

            Is it dangerous? Yes.

            Is it life threatening all the time? Not by a long shot.

            You have to be alert. You have to watch drivers' heads & body language in the cars around you. You  have to be able to assess the situation quickly and act decisively. It certainly isn't for everyone.

            It is however a viable alternative for anyone with a commute of 10 miles or less, so long as you are healthy and capable of both the exertion and the attention requirements.

            "I teach Sunday School Mutherf&@#er!"-S.Colbert

            by Independant Man on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 01:05:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It is delusional to think biking is not dangerous (7+ / 0-)

      in certain common situations. My husband stopped commuting by bike when a woman in a brand new car turned right in front of him blocking his path. He went straight into her hood with his helmet.

      His advice to you is to:

      Make sure your will is updated.

      Make sure you have good life/health insurance.

      Sign your organ donation card.

      •  That happened to my cousin, too. (4+ / 0-)

        He didn't make it.

      •  oh and cars are safe? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        no one gets killed in a car accident?

        The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. Thomas Jefferson

        by Thea VA on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 05:09:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is delusional to think driving is not dangerou (0+ / 0-)

        Check the stats.

        Freakonomics rules.

        •  Please reread. (0+ / 0-)

          I did not say driving was not dangerous.  

          •  Then your initial statement is ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenomanic, redstar

            just inflammatory. You imply - in the context of this article that people should not bike to work because that is a poor decision for their personal safety. Then you say "No, I was saying that cycling is dangerous", but that isn't the context.

            If someone has to get to work, cycling will frequently be the best choice - even your link shows that. This does assume you don't ride like an idiot of course. If you ride with a modicum of care, you will breakeven with driving at the worse, then come out way ahead due to health benefits from exercise and from having more money in your pocket.

            Among other things, I consider cycling to work to be part of my daily entertainment. Other people entertain themselves by skiing, surfing, skydiving, drinking, drugs, casual sex, paintball, and any number of other activities that are far more dangerous than a casual bike to work, yet they don't receive this same level of crazy judgement.

            •  What I said: (0+ / 0-)

              It is delusional to think biking is not dangerous in certain common situations.

              I did not say it was always dangerous.

              Some places have been designed to be bike friendly. Other places may be not only hazardous, but downright treacherous. Two lane roads with high traffic going at fast speeds, with uneven surfaces, no shoulders with steep drop-offs etc. are places it would be advisable to avoid.

              I never said you should not bike to work; You are putting words in my mouth I did not say.

              I would never tell someone not to do something they love. I would tell a person to know the risks before accepting them and to do everything possible to lower the risks. I would also tell them to recognize the possibility (not probability) that they might be unlucky and plan accordingly.

              You say that I said:

              Then you say "No, I was saying that cycling is dangerous",

              You misquote me. I said:

              I did not say driving was not dangerous.  

              You say:

              This does assume you don't ride like an idiot of course.

              The problem is that there are lots folks driving (cars and trucks) like idiots and they are bigger than you.

              My husband was riding safely and sanely when the woman in a new Cadillac turned square in front of him. He threw the bike aside and went headfirst into her hood with his helmet leaving a gigantic dent.

              She was furious  at what he had done to her new car. She told him she was going to sue him for damaging her car. Folks at the scene shut her up. She could have killed a cyclist, but all she could think about was the dent in her car.


              That was the point he decided there were too many crazy folks out there and that he was very very lucky to be alive. If he were a cat, he would have used up one of his nine lives. Since he wasn't a cat, he felt he had gotten his warning that the next time he might not be as lucky .

              He now swims everyday at the nearby  natatorium.  It is healthy, isn't dangerous and he doesn't eat car exhaust.

              Other people entertain themselves by skiing, surfing, skydiving, drinking, drugs, casual sex, paintball, and any number of other activities that are far more dangerous than a casual bike to work, yet they don't receive this same level of crazy judgement.

              This diary was not about these things. If it had been I might have commented on them. For the record since you brought them up, I  judge that they are dangerous.

    •  the biggest cause of accidents (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      myrealname, slowheels2

      is when the car turns in front of you and cuts you off.

      have your hands on the brakes and be prepared to stop for the cars.

      The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. Thomas Jefferson

      by Thea VA on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 05:08:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't bike cause I don't want to die (7+ / 0-)

    in traffic, and, with my eyesight (I'm blind in one eye) and visual perceptual difficulties (lots) and NYC traffic, that's a definite possibility.

    OTOH, I don't know how to drive.

    Mass transit (buses and subways), walking (good old feet), and the occasional cab ride do it for me.

    NYC meetup, Monday, 6 PM, NY Milkshake Company, near the UN. If raining: Keats, 842 2nd Ave. 45th St It'll be fun!

    by plf515 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 03:38:47 AM PDT

  •  A 12 mile commute in 30 minutes? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenomanic, irate, miss SPED

    Damn!  I really have to bust my ass to average 15 mph.

    It's been a thought of mine that every new office facility built should have shower facilities for employees who walk or bike to work.  I like riding, but spending the whole day in my own sweat isn't really that nice.

    They only call it class warfare when we fight back.

    by rb608 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 03:41:43 AM PDT

  •  I have been using a bike for commuting (5+ / 0-)

    Initially I used it for a 9 mile trek to work. When I changed jobs, the commuting was too long (~30 miles), so I take the train and then use the bike from train station to work and back.

    I have had many close calls, so I would not call the fear of being hit to be unrealistic. I learned to avoid streets even with bike lanes with schools on them during drop-off or pick-up times because there were too many times when someone was trying to pull away or pull in and did not see me (I wear a bright colored jacket and pack). However, some of my closest calls has come close to home.

    I do not use the bike during heavy rain or snow.

    Biking is good for your health. It would be nice if there were more companies and communities that facilitated it. For example, I have to carry my seat and helmet. Locking up is often challenging because the number of bike racks is very limited.

    Conservative dyslexia: underserved = undeserved

    by DWG on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 03:51:27 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for trying again (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross, letsgetreal, bamabikeguy

    This is much better.  I went away from the last diary thinking that if you had any intention of actually addressing solutions to many of the valid concerns about bicycle commuting, the diary would have been helpful.  So how about it?  Why not let's brainstorm and come up with ways to make bicycle commuting more feasible.  We need safe bike paths, not necessarily lanes, but actual dedicated bike paths.  When communities put in bike paths, far more people bike.  We need secure storage at work places, libraries, stores - theft is a real problem.  If a workplace is committed to going green, a shower facility would certainly encourage people to bike to work.  We need driver education.  My biggest concern when biking, and I do bike a lot, is the belligerence and ignorance of drivers.  I can cite real instances of drivers blasting their horns as they speed past me as close as they can get, and I do ride on the shoulder and follow all traffic rules.  So, how do we accomplish these goals?  Anyone?

    •  The prob is they are multi-pathing..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You oughta see what a hubbub they are having in Ontario, reg. bikers versus motor assisted bikes, then it was e-bikers vs. petro-bikers, and now the pedestrians have sharp sticks out for the e-bikers.


      E-bike issue making noise
      Posted By BRENDAN WEDLEY/Examiner Municipal Writer
      Posted 21 hours ago

      Silent-running e-bikes are making noise with a proposed prohibition of the electricity-assisted bicycles on city trails that returns to city council on Monday.

      Council endorsed the proposed bylaw at the committee of the whole meeting on June 8. The bylaw would add electric bicycles and Segways to the existing ban of motorized vehicles on city trails and parks.

      The city would review the issue when the province releases its report following a three-year pilot program on e-bikes that ends in October.

      Coun. Doug Peacock said he’d like to look at potential solutions, considering aspects such as the type of e-bike and the weight of the electricity-assisted bicycles.

      He said he’s heard numerous complaints from residents north of Parkhill Rd. who live next to the Rotary Trail system.

      Some of those complaints are about noise, but the e-bikes are silent, the Otonabee Ward councillor said.

      An electricity-assisted bicycle, as defined by the province, has a top speed of 32 km/h. It’s a bicycle with an added battery-powered electric motor that can assist the cyclist. It can also be driven like a bicycle — pedal powered — without using the motor.

      Riders don’t need a driver’s licence or insurance to drive an electric bicycle.

      Some types of e-bikes look like regular bicycles but have a small electric motor. Other types are larger than a bicycle and look more like a scooter.

      City police Sgt. John Ogrodnik told council last week that most of the complaints about electric bicycles on trails come from seniors who are concerned about the noise or the perceived speed of motorized vehicles.

    •  my city [anchorage] did a bike plan this year (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      redstar, myrealname, slowheels2

      and found that separated bikeways are more dangerous than lanes.  because anything running through the urban fabric, the driver has a limited scope of attention.  we have a lot of separated bikeways here, where the bike path is ten or fifteen feet off the road.  all of the accidents occur when the path crosses a driveway.  if the bikes are right next to the cars, the drivers see them.  it's counterintuitive, i realize.

      •  That is interesting (0+ / 0-)

        and I can see how it would be a problem.  There's a rail-trail that we sometimes ride and many of the driveways are "blind".  I get nervous when I approach them so I slow down and pay extra attention, but it's a rural area and there aren't that many.  In a more populated area, it could develop into a real hazard.  The problem with bike lanes is the same as I mentioned above - drivers.   They use them to pass on the right or turn right in front of bikers (that happened to me, too on a steep downhill - I thought I was going to die).

      •  Separate bikeways more dangerous (4+ / 0-)

        You're correct. Cyclists have KNOWN this for years. On a pathway, bikes have to share with walkers, runners, rollerbladers, and rottweilers on 10 foot leads..... Kids on miniscooters, and casual oncoming cyclists riding four abreast. Insane. Ride in the road, in the direction of traffic.

        Even MORE dangerous ?  SIDEWALKS !

        Children are most likely to die in their own neighborhood,
        riding off the curb to cross the road. Cars turning right that are simply not watching where they are going are a tremendous danger... almost as bad as getting crushed by a car charging out of a driveway. The road itself is much safer than your pretty little sidewalk.

        (and Mom and Dad worry about wearing a helmet !)

        Bicycle rights for the road are older than automobiles,
        but there is no way to argue your rights with a moron in an SUV who is talking on the phone, looking to the left while turning right, about to kill you forever.

        If somebody wants to ride to work, or ride anywhere,
        scope out a safe and pleasant route.

        disclosure: ancient, lifetime cyclist, bike advocate

      •  Depends on the bikeway (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but in Minneapolis, most of the off-road bike paths almost never cross traffic in any way.

        That's the way to do it.

    •  Your comment is much better, myrealname. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am interested in this topic. Arguments about this topic, not so much.

  •  I am all for bike commuting. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pHunbalanced, greenomanic, myrealname

    It's a good thing I work from home, though!  Where I live (in rural NH), it is awfully pretty, but many (hilly, curvy) miles to the nearest store or library.  When I do drive (and as a slight agoraphobic, it isn't any more often than necessary), I do the grocery store run and chauffeur my kids to sports/friends.  I'm glad my car gets relatively good mileage (although we did get a "wagon" type so the 14-year old mutt could have his own space).

    I applaud you for pushing people's buttons (and butts).  Last summer I got my bike cleaned so I could ride around with my seven-year old (along the winding, hilly roads).  It's challenging, but fun!

    "Most fools don't understand my worldview." - Ignatius J. Reilly

    by impygirl on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 04:12:49 AM PDT

  •  I am physically unable to ride a bike (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross, myrealname

    or even use inline skates like my wife does (she prefers these to her bike.  Fortunately we live right on a major bus route between 2 subway lines (NS and EW) so I get around that way, or taxi when I'm really in serious pain.  Ambulance won't give you pain meds, but at least if the ER is crowded you have a gurney to lie on. :-/

    My chronic pain condition doesn't show, so I just look like a fat lazy woman,even though the fat is caused directly by my disorder.

    A man cannot lift himself by his bootstraps if he is barefoot. We must provide the basic footwear.--- Teacher Ken at Dkos

    by snakelass on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 04:14:49 AM PDT

  •  I use my ebil SUV... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross, myrealname, golconda2 haul eggs to the local farmer's market (and help them stay cool in their coolers, something that an SUV is better for than a truck). Every farmer there used a truck of some sort to get the food to the market.

    I'm sorry, but bikes just aren't practical for everyone. I used to ride a bike, many years ago and in another city, but never to work. The only time I ever lived within 5 miles of my job, I walked to work. Now I live 6 very hilly miles from my job, and it's just not feasible to ride a bike there.

    Nor can I do what my redneck nephew-in-law seemed to think I could do - when gas prices hit $4 / gallon, he said, "At least you have horses." So... where am I going to hitch them when I get to work? In the bathroom?

    "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order." --- Ed Howdershelt (Author)

    by SciMathGuy on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 04:28:20 AM PDT

    •  Blah blah blahblah (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      redstar, SciMathGuy

      It's pretty obvious that bikes don't work in most situations where the vehicle is used for hauling. The problem is the folks who think that it's just fine for our planet if they drive 10 miles a day, alone, hauling nothing larger than a briefcase or purse or manbag. Those are the lion's share of motor vehicles on the road. No rational person has a problem with you using a motor vehicle to haul eggs.

  •  I have to drive about 500 miles a week (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When I can find a fabulous job withing biking distance, I'll take it.

    Must be nice to have a great job one can bike to, stay at all day and bike home, not having to commute all over the goddamned place seeing people and wasting one's life in traffic where no productivity is to be had.

    Every time I see one of these holier than thou bike screeds I wonder what realty they live in. I assume you must live in the heart of a large city where everything is within  5-10 miles.

    Torture good, Marijuana bad.
    Doc in the Twitterverse

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 04:30:05 AM PDT

  •  convert the interstates (4+ / 0-)

    wouldn't it be great if one lane on all interstates were for non motorized vehicles???  You could go flying across town on a fast bike while all the cars were choked up in a traffic jam.

    I rode my bike yesterday about 20 miles and still haven't taken a shower, just changed clothes.  And no...I don't stink.

    The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. Thomas Jefferson

    by Thea VA on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 05:03:24 AM PDT

    •  sometimes i ride along (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thea VA

      a few blocks of the main highway into town.  there's 20,000 or so commuters coming in from the mat-su valley 50 miles away each day.  and they stack up at lights, three lanes at a crawl and i rocket past them on a bike.
      sounds self-righteous but it's really just fun.

  •  Sorry, I walk and I hate the bikers in my city (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myrealname, golconda2, slowheels2

    As a pedestrian I assume that cars are going to run redlights.  And they do, but generally if they are slowing down they stop and once the first car stops in a lane you know you are safe to walk.

    Not the cyclists.  They dart out from between cars after stopping but before the light turns green.  And they are all completely delusional about how wide their bicycles are as they try to weave between pedestrians crossing the street.

    Fuck it.  I have been hit twice by cyclists while crossing in a crosswalk with a walk signal.  I hate the bicyclists in my city.  With a passion.  If the rest of the bicyclists in this city weren't morons out to injure people I might consider getting a bike to cut down on my half hour commute but no way now.

    If you are going to bike you should follow the laws and not go around injuring people because you can't wait thirty seconds until the light changes.  And I don't use any gasoline either.

    •  Cyclist running lights... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pHunbalanced, myrealname, letsgetreal

      Yep, wrong, and bad. The only justification for it is to clear the intersection to avoid getting hit by a car from behind.

      If you are commuting in a city, you HAVE to take a commuter's attitude. Cars are dangerous, and PEDESTRIANS are dangerous.

      Be prepare for a walker to step off the curb into your path. The same person who would never  walk into the path of a truck will usually ignore that YOU are going 12 miles per hour, and will likely be hurt trying to avoid the precious pedestrian.

      So, put the road bike and lycra away. Don't use cleats. Get a bell, and lights, and slow down.

      •  If you've got a bike commute of 15 miles or more (0+ / 0-)

        your advice is simply silly. Put away the road bike? And turn a 45 minute 15 mile commute into a 1:15 commute? That's just stupid.

        Don't properly dress for cycling? What is it about lycra you don't like? Is it because "it looks gay"? (the usual rejoinder...)

        How very tolerant of you.

    •  Those are valid complaints (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pHunbalanced, dotalbon, miss SPED

      I hate seeing bikers ignore traffic rules.  When you are on the road on a bike, you should follow the same traffic rules as a car.  In many places, bikers are not allowed to ride on sidewalks for the reasons you list.

      •  I'll second that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The more bikes I see on our local streets, the more flagrant violations of driving rules.  Cyclists only sometimes stop for a traffic light, almost never for a stop sign.  They rarely give pedestrians the right-of-way, don't use hand signals, and weave in and out of traffic even when there's a dedicated bike lane.  

        Sorry, but in my mind the majority of bicyclists are not competent or careful enough to share the road with cars or anyone else.  

        Randall Terry is an accomplice to murder.

        by dotalbon on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:29:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i read someplace (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that in five states [and it's being considered in a few others] they've made it legal for bikes to do a 'rolling stop' at a stop sign.
          that's one of those items where your perspective as a rider is a lot different.

        •  Forme, your bs is just another form of (0+ / 0-)

          hating on people different than you.

          Please see kos himself on the subject, scroll down to the bottom and you'll see that what you consider incompetent or careless cycling is simply proper cycling, if you've ever used a bike for transportation you'd understand, but you haven't so you don't. What you call "flagrant violations" are increasingly being legalised by places which understand cycling far better than you do.

          And yes, we weave in and out of traffic to turn left, or in a traffic jam, and so forth. That's also our right.

          Your post isn't a whole lot better than a right-wing anti-gay screed, also hating on people different than them.  

      •  In many places, the rules of the road (0+ / 0-)

        are explicitly more tolerant of bicycles running stop signs and, in certain conditions, red lights.

        Kos himself has blogged on this (scroll to the bottom).

        Educate yourself, and put yourself in a cyclist's shoes if you expect a cyclist to put himself in yours.

    •  As a cyclist, I also know that (0+ / 0-)

      jaywalkers are among the more dangerous hazards there are out there, but I don't make it a point of teeing of on all pedestrians because a significant majority of them also break the law.

      •  the way it is here (0+ / 0-)

        you'd never get anyplace on foot without jaywalking.  lights six blocks apart?  so if i'm going across the street i'm supposed to walk three blocks down, and three blocks back just so i can walk across the road between two painted lines, after waiting awhile?  and regardless of whether the car traffic is heavy, or if there are no cars in sight?  if you're not in a car, none of it makes any sense.

        •  Oh, I know. But again, none of us (0+ / 0-)

          ever complains about pedestrians technically breaking the law even when there are good reasons for doing so.

          On the other hand, in the US, once you start talking about those gay-looking cyclists on the road, the haters come out, with the usual stuff, like these pedestrian complaints. There's truth to them, but in general it's just another excuse to hate on people that are different than they are.

      •  I was in a cross walk with a walk signal (0+ / 0-)

        both times.

        How exactly are pedestrians a danger to cyclists?  Cyclists have the big metal things... not pedestrians.  Neither cyclist that hit me had any injury at all.

        Most pedestrians are made up of nice soft flesh without any metal reinforcement or padding or a helmet.  I am confused as to how exactly a pedestrian is a danger to a cyclist in a way that a pedestrian isn't a danger to other pedestrians.

        •  Well, you were clearly in the presence of an ass. (0+ / 0-)

          And I've seen what you are saying and agree, they were asses.

          I've also see pedestrians who are complete asses on the road with respect to cyclists, in fact one which made a point of hurling himself and his large dog into a crosswalk in front of a friend of mine, who was going in excess of 25 mph (training on a parkway on his time trial bike in the early morning, before traffic) and had no time to stop. Not at a stop sign, but one of those mid-block crosswalks which some pedestrians expect the world to stop on a dime while they cross. Problem is, a bike traveling 25 mph can't stop on a dime. My friend broke his hip when he hit the pavement, went to the hospital, had to have screws inserted and missed a whole racing season. And that's just the most egregious story

          A pedestrian is a danger to a cyclist a little more than the contrary because when you are clipped in, you go down and you are basically falling 4-6 feet (with forward motion) onto the very hard surface that pavement tends to be, and a lot faster, generally, than the pedestrian.

          Of course, you'll never hear me complain about jaywalking pedestrians whenever there is a discussion of walking. And yet, when there is a discussion of cycling, you know, your story (and others) thend to come out of the woodwork as if they were rules from on high. And, frankly, it gets tiresome.

          •  I never said all cyclists were asses. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Just the ones in the city where I currently live.  I tried calling police on one of them and they just laughed at me.  Nobody seems to care what the bicyclists do but you do get ticketed for jaywalking where I am.  Probably because it can easily be fatal.  

            I have lived other places where they actually stopped at stoplights and stuff but not here.  I've never seen a mid-block cross walk and frankly they would scare me to death since cross walks at stoplights here aren't safe until about 15 seconds after the light turns red (from both cars and bikes, but those bikes don't bother me since they are going with the traffic).

  •  better then the last one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myrealname, Santa Susanna Kid

    but I still can't bike to work.

    (+0.12, -3.33) I didn't vote for the Unitary Exec. Not sure what some of you folks voted for!

    by terrypinder on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 05:38:06 AM PDT

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