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Fewer kids riding bicycles worries industry

Old 06-12-19, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
I grew up in the early and late 70s, and I agree - it is a different world today. The crime rate is much lower now than it was back then.
Generally, yeah, though some areas have gotten worse as others have gotten better. Hell, the early 70s through the early 80s was the hay-day of the high profile serial killer, even.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:50 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm going out on a limb here, but does anyone else think that some of this relates to the campaigns of so-called "safety advocates" hyping up the riskiness of cycling?

If I was a parent with low information about cycling, I don't know that I'd encourage my kid to go riding in the face of ghost bikes and people incessantly talking about cell phone distracted drivers running rampant. If you keep sending out bicycling=death messages, you discourage riding more than you encourage safe driving.
Sure, some of this could be due to the hype of cycling being a risk is embedded in the minds of even cycling supporters. Even if some of this is due to that, it would be completely absurd to dismiss the reality that drivers are more distracted now than 15 years ago or 30 years ago. I have seen people watching video(tv/movie/whatever) on their phones while in moving traffic. And that isnt isolated- i have seen it around me and when visiting family elsewhere. This doesnt even begin to address texting/googling/emailing while driving.

I am on the leadership board of a youth cycling program that mentors at risk teens 3x/week for 5 months while training to ride across the state. We are constantly looking at ride routes thru the year due to closures(flooding), avoiding local event congestion, and creating variety for enjoyment. This region is fortunate to have hundreds of miles of paved paths so we can create safe routes until the kids are ready to ride out on county highways. Even still, we have permanently altered a couple routes to take out roads that we used to view as safe. I am not going to wait until a kid is hit before adjusting a route because that would simply be dumb, so there is no actual proof of it being more dangerous, yet I fully accept that those routes are more dangerous and hence the switch.

I work with both my kids to ride in the street when I think it is safe. Its always on side roads and even still, I dont fight it if they perceive the situation to be safer if they ride on the sidewalk.
Cycling in the city/suburbs is simply not as safe as walking or running in the same locations. It isnt as safe as playing tag with friends in a park. It isnt as safe as playing organized sports like tennis, soccer, golf, volleyball, etc. The point I am making with listing what is safer than cycling is that safety absolutely is something parents consider and instead of little Timmy ride freely around his city for hours on end, if they put him in an organized sport, Timmy will get the exercise while not being at risk to be hit by a car. When viewed how I phrased it, thats a pretty easy decision for many to make.

I am clearly all for kids riding- i help run a program for kids to ride. But even I am aware the risk is higher than what I remember as a kid when riding in populated areas. Little secret- solo rides for me are almost always gravel for a few reasons...one being safety.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:55 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
BTW, skiing has also declined in popularity among young folks. 6 years ago I went to the local hill with some friends & their kids...the kids really enjoyed it despite the cold windy weather. But now, pointless to even ask the kids if they want to go skiing. Thanks to Phones, they've quit all sports/outdoor activities & their bikes have long since rusted away.
If the kids have quit all their sports and outdoor activities, then I would first question if the kids liked those activities to begin with(many kids simply arent outdoor kids). Then I would question why the parents dont set parameters to create a healthy balance between leisure(iphone/video games) and activity(sports, painting, crafts, etc).

...or i guess we can blame phones instead.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:03 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Sure, some of this could be due to the hype of cycling being a risk is embedded in the minds of even cycling supporters...
Hyped especially in the minds and posts of some cycling "supporters"; see the rest of referenced post for an example.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Especially in the minds and posts of some cycling "supporters"; see the rest of referenced post.
Good job reading words and correctly interpreting them.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:37 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
It sounds like your neighborhood is unusual in not having any back roads around the shopping centers.


What got me into biking at a young age was precisely that I could ride around without my parents on city streets and go out on my own, which I was doing plenty of by the time I was 11.


I really don't buy any arguments that drivers were safer then, I think it's nonsense. There's a helicopter parenting ethos that's in place now that is driving kids towards electronics their parents can't really monitor to get any sense of independence.


I've never been to your neighborhood--I won't second-guess you on whether you would do better by teaching your kid how to deal with the inattentive drivers herself--given the layout you describe, that might be an impossible task at her age. She will, however, need to learn it eventually.

I am hardly the helicopter parent type... She is able to walk to the library, ice cream shop or any of the stores in our area...


You don't buy it... If you think that cell phone usage has had no impact on local driving, you're not paying attention. I was taken down (only) twice by cars over many thousands of miles during the 1970s. Now, older, slower and wiser, I have had extremely close calls in a crazy per mile ratio, since starting to ride again in 2015.


Need to learn it eventually? Americans need to learn to ride bikes in urban sprawl? Bikes are mostly recreational in the US. Unless we do something constructive to make kid/commuter local type riding safer, more kids will have to be chauffeured around, even more than they are currently. Perhaps it is to big an undertaking for the perceived benefit. That ship may have already sailed...

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Old 06-12-19, 09:49 AM
  #57  
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Here is my two cents. One there are simply too many cars on the road and not that much development in paved bike paths, so people shy away from the roads, thus we have seen niche bikes like gravel bikes appear or people forgo cycling in general. Number two kids are simply have no need for bikes like before. With electric scooters, ride sharing, and smart devices in general why go outside and manually do anything? Thirdly cost, raising a child today is simply more expensive than it has ever been and there are a lot of first world things kids rather have: iPad, iPhone, laptop, video games, ect over a bike. Plus like cars the quality of bikes has dramatically risen over the past 20 years but also the price has dramatically shot up as well and you could argue you could find a "decent" starter bike for a kid in a big box store. Parents have this huge fear of their teen outgrowing their $500 to multi thousand dollar toy. My mom used to by my shoes a size too big when I was a teen so imagine a bike.



Everyone on this forum loves bikes in some form or fashion so some of what I am saying is simply unthinkable. How could anyone raise their child without sharing the joys they experienced? Well more and more millennials are moving to cities and there simply aren't room for bikes. I used to bike everywhere from middle school to Sophomore year of college until I moved to NYC. I only re-picked up biking 3 years ago but I mainly only bike on paved paths, but at least where I live there are a good deal of paved ones


Which leaves me to my conclusion, bikes will be around forever but we have already have seen the bike industry try and adapt to modern times by selling directly to customers, more cyclists buying parts and even bikes site unseen online, direct wholesaling, a lot of closings of bike shops, eBikes, or bike companies becoming very niche. My last 3 bikes I have bought without visiting a dealer and I went through a wholesaler. I am sure some people will hate on me for this but with all the info and reviews you can find on bikes there is really no need IMO to test ride a bike considering most shops just left you do a lap around the parking lot anyways. Also while I never mind supporting a small business, if I can get a bike 40%-60% MSRP through buying wholesale I am going to do that. Simply these high end carbon bikes aren't worth $2-6K+ grand really. Hey if you want to pay that be my guest and I do agree bike companies do need Halo type bikes to have your weekend warrior to aspire to.


I believe bikes are a lot like alcohol or any mass marketed item, a lot of it is hype and like alcohol if you actually blind tested a $1000 bike to a $3000+ bike very few people would notice the difference, just hard to blind test a bike lol When Nashbar had their branded bikes it was essentially a Fuji frame in most cases but at hundreds if not thousands less than a LBS. A place like BikesDirect gets a lot of hate for non modern geometry, odd mix of parts, or it devaluing LBS but frankly their bikes are 90% of what you would get with any other bike but again at hundreds if not thousands off. My point is lower prices on bikes will not fix the issues but my guess is that it will help. I am a retail buyer, albeit for something totally different than bikes but consumer IMO have a set value on what they think an item is worth and willing to pay. In my mind $500, $1000, maybe $1500 is the max 75% of the people are willing to pay since in a lot of cases your not buying just a bike but a helmet, pedals, fenders, racks, shoes, clothes, bags, water bottles, ect ect.

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Old 06-12-19, 10:04 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
It sounds like your neighborhood is unusual in not having any back roads around the shopping centers.


What got me into biking at a young age was precisely that I could ride around without my parents on city streets and go out on my own, which I was doing plenty of by the time I was 11.


I really don't buy any arguments that drivers were safer then, I think it's nonsense. There's a helicopter parenting ethos that's in place now that is driving kids towards electronics their parents can't really monitor to get any sense of independence.


I've never been to your neighborhood--I won't second-guess you on whether you would do better by teaching your kid how to deal with the inattentive drivers herself--given the layout you describe, that might be an impossible task at her age. She will, however, need to learn it eventually.

I am hardly the helicopter parent type... She is able to walk to the library, ice cream shop or any of the stores in our area...


You don't buy it... If you think that cell phone usage has had no impact on local driving, you're not paying attention. I was taken down twice by cars in my riding career. Older, slower and wiser, I have had extremely close calls in a crazy per mile ratio, since starting to ride again.


Need to learn it eventually? Americans need to learn to ride bikes in urban sprawl? Bikes are mostly recreational in the US. Unless we do something constructive to make kid/commuter local type riding safer, more kids will have to be chauffeured around, even more than they are currently. Perhaps it is to big an undertaking for the perceived benefit. That ship has probably sailed...
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Old 06-12-19, 11:18 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
I am hardly the helicopter parent type... She is able to walk to the library, ice cream shop or any of the stores in our area...


You don't buy it... If you think that cell phone usage has had no impact on local driving, you're not paying attention. I was taken down (only) twice by cars over many thousands of miles during the 1970s. Now, older, slower and wiser, I have had extremely close calls in a crazy per mile ratio, since starting to ride again in 2015.


Need to learn it eventually? Americans need to learn to ride bikes in urban sprawl? Bikes are mostly recreational in the US. Unless we do something constructive to make kid/commuter local type riding safer, more kids will have to be chauffeured around, even more than they are currently. Perhaps it is to big an undertaking for the perceived benefit. That ship may have already sailed...
By "it" I meant dealing with navigating through heavy distracted drivers generally, whether on bike, on foot and eventually driving. My kids are in their 20s now, your kid isn't going to be a kid forever.

Sorry, I'm old enough to have done a vast amount of riding in the pre-cell phone era, and drivers have always been prone to distraction, outright hostility, and general carelessness. Most drivers are actually pretty good and considerate, it's always been a matter of a small minority acting like jackasses.

If you're relying on anecdote, so can I. I do tons of riding on rural and urban streets of all kinds, as well as MUP riding, and long rural rail trails. Drivers are about the same as when I was a kid back in the stone age. There were always drivers futzing around with lipstick, fumbling for cassette tapes, fiddling with the radio dials, spilling coffee on themselves, or whatever distraction was being used at the time. Trust me, I'm paying attention, I always have been.

If you haven't noticed that parents freak out a lot quicker because they don't know exactly where Suzy is for an hour or two, you are the one not paying attention.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:27 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Sure, some of this could be due to the hype of cycling being a risk is embedded in the minds of even cycling supporters. Even if some of this is due to that, it would be completely absurd to dismiss the reality that drivers are more distracted now than 15 years ago or 30 years ago. I have seen people watching video(tv/movie/whatever) on their phones while in moving traffic. And that isnt isolated- i have seen it around me and when visiting family elsewhere. This doesnt even begin to address texting/googling/emailing while driving.

I am on the leadership board of a youth cycling program that mentors at risk teens 3x/week for 5 months while training to ride across the state. We are constantly looking at ride routes thru the year due to closures(flooding), avoiding local event congestion, and creating variety for enjoyment. This region is fortunate to have hundreds of miles of paved paths so we can create safe routes until the kids are ready to ride out on county highways. Even still, we have permanently altered a couple routes to take out roads that we used to view as safe. I am not going to wait until a kid is hit before adjusting a route because that would simply be dumb, so there is no actual proof of it being more dangerous, yet I fully accept that those routes are more dangerous and hence the switch.

I work with both my kids to ride in the street when I think it is safe. Its always on side roads and even still, I dont fight it if they perceive the situation to be safer if they ride on the sidewalk.
Cycling in the city/suburbs is simply not as safe as walking or running in the same locations. It isnt as safe as playing tag with friends in a park. It isnt as safe as playing organized sports like tennis, soccer, golf, volleyball, etc. The point I am making with listing what is safer than cycling is that safety absolutely is something parents consider and instead of little Timmy ride freely around his city for hours on end, if they put him in an organized sport, Timmy will get the exercise while not being at risk to be hit by a car. When viewed how I phrased it, thats a pretty easy decision for many to make.

I am clearly all for kids riding- i help run a program for kids to ride. But even I am aware the risk is higher than what I remember as a kid when riding in populated areas. Little secret- solo rides for me are almost always gravel for a few reasons...one being safety.
You're making my point for me--it's now normal to organize a kid's time for them to an extent unheard of a generation or two ago. You have the alternatives as riding around vs. organized sport. Kids used to organize their own games with the neighborhood kids, adults not invited. The notion of adults telling us where it was safe to ride would have been laughable.

It's no wonder that kids are retreating into a world of electronics--it's the one place they can go without adults telling them constantly what to do. The consequence of this is that there's an even bigger divide between physically active kids who are really into sports enough to put up with the regimentation and the very inactive everybody else.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:55 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You're making my point for me--it's now normal to organize a kid's time for them to an extent unheard of a generation or two ago. You have the alternatives as riding around vs. organized sport. Kids used to organize their own games with the neighborhood kids, adults not invited. The notion of adults telling us where it was safe to ride would have been laughable.

It's no wonder that kids are retreating into a world of electronics--it's the one place they can go without adults telling them constantly what to do. The consequence of this is that there's an even bigger divide between physically active kids who are really into sports enough to put up with the regimentation and the very inactive everybody else.
Your point was that a decline in sale is at least partly related to safety advocates claiming cycling is risky.
I respond to that point, and now your point apparently is that its normal to have parents organize a kid's time and kids dont like that so they turn to electronics.
I really didnt pick up your new point in your prior post since you werent making that point in that post. Moving uprights right there.

Ill respond to your new point(s).
- a generation of kids cant seriously be reduced to a simple trend as is claimed here. I see kids playing outside all the time across my metro and in other locations too. Heck, my kids play outside all the time. They are in our yard, in a neighbor's yard, across the street at some open land, and at the barn where they ride. Its a constant stream of free play.
- I dont disagree that kids are scheduled more now than when i grew up(80s and 90s). At the same time, I played year round travel soccer(indoor for winter), basketball, and travel baseball. I often times went from one sport to another while changing in the car. I still had gobs of free time to play with neighborhood and school friends. We played video games(since they existed way back when too) and outside. I see a lot of kids doing the same now.
- I get that the 60s/70s consisted of a mom staying home and kicking her kids out of the house for the day, but that too is a popular narrative with limited truth(similar to claiming kids just want to stay in and play on phones).
- The claim that electronics is the one place where kids can go and adults dont tell them what to do is laughable. And when it is true, thats a shame because the adult/child interaction and dynamic could be improved.
- Your view that there are either active kids in regimented sports or inactive kids glued to electronics is yet another completely inaccurate narrative. Reality is very much right between the two. Active kids in sports still often like electronics. And kids who arent in traditional sports still often enjoy activity(hiking, cycling, climbing, playing at a park, etc).


My kids are in activities because they choose to be. They would be in more if we let them, but we limit what they have at any given time of year to ensure the family has some sanity and to ensure they give effort to whatever they happen to be involved in at the time.
This is a common theme and view among parents of their friends too- the kids ask to be in activities. Perhaps some of the organized activities taking time away from neighborhood free play is due to kids being listened to more and parents deciding to spend more time and money on activities than in decades past.
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Old 06-12-19, 12:24 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You're making my point for me--it's now normal to organize a kid's time for them to an extent unheard of a generation or two ago. You have the alternatives as riding around vs. organized sport. Kids used to organize their own games with the neighborhood kids, adults not invited. The notion of adults telling us where it was safe to ride would have been laughable.
I think we have a winner!

Back in the day it was normal to go run around the neighborhood and do what we wanted, within reason, until it got dark. Sometimes we did things that were dangerous, and everybody and their brother broke their arm at some point. One day, everyone in the neighborhood got bike helmets. We put them on to appease our parents, then left them on the sidewalk and proceeded to rip down the hill at 25MPH without them.

My generation had a bit of an attitude. We figured out what we needed to do in order to be reasonably safe, and if adults made arbitrary rules, we figured out how to break them. I recall telling our parents we were going to the "candy store" but really riding around places we weren't supposed to be, or "playing in my friend's yard" turning into walking around the woods looking for abandoned crap.

Bikes were a big part of that. They were an easy way to escape adult supervision - once you're down the block, nobody knows where you are! Kids now do not have that freedom; some of my college students are still GPS tracked by their parents.

It seems to me that kids now - and that extends into college-aged young adults - do not possess the aptitude, not to mention the motivation, to schedule their own activities, or exist unscheduled, or generally do things on their own. Bikes provide freedom (even for me, as an adult!), but if nobody is seeking freedom from supervision, the only kids on bikes will be those whose parents are determined to get their kids on bikes.
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Old 06-12-19, 01:26 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Your point was that a decline in sale is at least partly related to safety advocates claiming cycling is risky.

I respond to that point, and now your point apparently is that its normal to have parents organize a kid's time and kids dont like that so they turn to electronics.

I really didnt pick up your new point in your prior post since you werent making that point in that post. Moving uprights right there.


Ill respond to your new point(s).

- a generation of kids cant seriously be reduced to a simple trend as is claimed here. I see kids playing outside all the time across my metro and in other locations too. Heck, my kids play outside all the time. They are in our yard, in a neighbor's yard, across the street at some open land, and at the barn where they ride. Its a constant stream of free play.

- I dont disagree that kids are scheduled more now than when i grew up(80s and 90s). At the same time, I played year round travel soccer(indoor for winter), basketball, and travel baseball. I often times went from one sport to another while changing in the car. I still had gobs of free time to play with neighborhood and school friends. We played video games(since they existed way back when too) and outside. I see a lot of kids doing the same now.

- I get that the 60s/70s consisted of a mom staying home and kicking her kids out of the house for the day, but that too is a popular narrative with limited truth(similar to claiming kids just want to stay in and play on phones).

- The claim that electronics is the one place where kids can go and adults dont tell them what to do is laughable. And when it is true, thats a shame because the adult/child interaction and dynamic could be improved.

- Your view that there are either active kids in regimented sports or inactive kids glued to electronics is yet another completely inaccurate narrative. Reality is very much right between the two. Active kids in sports still often like electronics. And kids who arent in traditional sports still often enjoy activity(hiking, cycling, climbing, playing at a park, etc).



My kids are in activities because they choose to be. They would be in more if we let them, but we limit what they have at any given time of year to ensure the family has some sanity and to ensure they give effort to whatever they happen to be involved in at the time.

This is a common theme and view among parents of their friends too- the kids ask to be in activities. Perhaps some of the organized activities taking time away from neighborhood free play is due to kids being listened to more and parents deciding to spend more time and money on activities than in decades past.

Actually wasn't making new points, I was making them back in post 18. I wasn't paying attention to the fact that you were responding to one of my posts while I had already moved onto the other points which I do think are part of the same broad picture.


Sorry, but the really obvious trend towards childhood obesity is directly related to a general decline in physical activity among kids. I don't doubt there are kids who want to be involved full time in adult-organized activities, but there are plenty who do not, and the alternative physical activities for them are shrinking.


We can generalize wildly from anecdotes all day, but I really don't think it's arguable that after-school soccer leagues and Little League baseball and the like have supplanted the traditional kids playing some sort of game in the park by themselves. The latter is just an alien concept to today's kids. I think it may have already been one by the time you were a kid.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:43 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
If the kids have quit all their sports and outdoor activities, then I would first question if the kids liked those activities to begin with(many kids simply arent outdoor kids). Then I would question why the parents dont set parameters to create a healthy balance between leisure(iphone/video games) and activity(sports, painting, crafts, etc).

...or i guess we can blame phones instead.
Those kids I mentioned liked biking, hiking, skiing etc before but their parents didn't really encourage it & it was never self-directed. The helicopter parents encouraged organized activities like music/dance/football/scouting etc but the kids have lost interest in those whether indoor or outdoor. Sure, parents should set a balance but now it seems they're satisfied if the kid just keeps up with homework. Media (incl WaPo) says that if kids don't have Phones they'll be ostracized.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:05 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
- a generation of kids cant seriously be reduced to a simple trend as is claimed here. I see kids playing outside all the time across my metro and in other locations too. Heck, my kids play outside all the time. They are in our yard, in a neighbor's yard, across the street at some open land, and at the barn where they ride. Its a constant stream of free play.

- The claim that electronics is the one place where kids can go and adults dont tell them what to do is laughable. And when it is true, thats a shame because the adult/child interaction and dynamic could be improved.
I see you're posting from Des Moines Iowa...in some ways the Midwest is a reservoir of sanity IMO. In my DC suburb area there's very few kids playing outside, in my neighborhood about 1 traditional family where the kids spend outdoor time playing basketball/baseball etc. A handful of little kids occasionally ride their bikes...short times & not allowed to even go around the whole cul-de-sac.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:47 PM
  #66  
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For what it's worth, I'm a 30-something now but when I was a middle-school and high-school kids, cell phones weren't really something most of us had. We still didn't bike much - I'm an outlier for familial reasons but my peers as well. We still found other things to do inside - video games for instance - but Instant Messaging was already starting to replace "face time" among my friend circles by the time we were 8th graders or so. Probably earlier now that I think of it. If anything, having a cell would potentially make us more willing to go out and do things, since I don't need to be glued to my computer to interact - can shoot texts around readily enough regardless of where I am.

I think I had maybe two friends in that era in bike-able range. The rest lived easily 13 or so miles off - physically possible but frankly I don't think I ever thought to even try and bike there. Would have taken ages anyways.
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Old 06-13-19, 04:38 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Ha ha huh??

Big box stores selling bikes is fine, i am not going to focus on that.

Claiming quality bikes are too expensive is complete garbage.
It's simply priority and preference as to how money is spent.

Instead of an iPhone that costs $900, spend $550 on a very capable hybrid and spend the rest on a less expensive but still very capable smart phone.

Instead of a car with $350/month payments, buy a level down and spend $300/month. Use that $600 saved in a year for a very capable hybrid.

Etc
Etc
Etc

How everyone spends their money is completely up to them and I am not suggesting anyone is spending their money wrong.
But I do see opportunity after opportunity for someone to spend a bit less in one area to get something else in another area, if they chose to. It must be important enough for them to want to do that though.
Money on bicycles is expendable cash.

A 550 Ike is a big box store bike
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Old 06-13-19, 05:18 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Money on bicycles is expendable cash.

A 550 Ike is a big box store bike
It appears you are just saying stuff without meaning it or caring if it makes sense.
That's too bad.

Last edited by mstateglfr; 06-13-19 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 06-13-19, 05:28 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Ha ha huh??

Big box stores selling bikes is fine, i am not going to focus on that.

Claiming quality bikes are too expensive is complete garbage.
It's simply priority and preference as to how money is spent.

Instead of an iPhone that costs $900, spend $550 on a very capable hybrid and spend the rest on a less expensive but still very capable smart phone.

Instead of a car with $350/month payments, buy a level down and spend $300/month. Use that $600 saved in a year for a very capable hybrid.

Etc
Etc
Etc

How everyone spends their money is completely up to them and I am not suggesting anyone is spending their money wrong.
But I do see opportunity after opportunity for someone to spend a bit less in one area to get something else in another area, if they chose to. It must be important enough for them to want to do that though.
I think this misses a huge point -- spending $600 on a bike that the kid is going to outgrow in a year or two is a tough sell when a $150 or less bike is available. One of the things that have changed in the past few decades is the declining number of children per household. It was easier to convince parents to spend a bit more when they knew that the bike would be a hand-me-down to the next kid. That's a lot less likely to be a factor in a one or two kid family, especially if you differentiate between girls and boys bikes.

Schwinn's strategy for kids bikes during the baby boom was to put a great emphasis on durability to justify the higher price. Because of the above, that just can't work anymore, one kid will get enough use of a less durable bike.
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Old 06-13-19, 05:29 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
When I was a kid (70's - 80's) I rode my bike to elementary school, friends' house, work, etc. It was my form of transportation and very important if I wanted to get anywhere. I would have never thought to ask my parents to drive me some place unless it was really out of my "bike range". Granted the area I lived in was fairly self contained and most things could be reached easily and safely by cycling.

Fast forward...I tried to get my own daughter interested in cycling, but it never stuck. She would go out occasionally with me for short neighborhood rides, but other than that she did not have that much incentive. In a role reversal I can see why parents, having been a parent of a youngster, would be reluctant to let there children ride around in today's environment. Things are much more spread out, roads are busier and drivers seem more distracted.
Same here. Although I don't know I would consider my environment self contained. The distances we went at the age we went would be considered insanity today. Further, at a pretty young age I knew how to read bus routes and schedules, exploring quite a bit that way as well.
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Old 06-13-19, 06:42 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I think this misses a huge point -- spending $600 on a bike that the kid is going to outgrow in a year or two is a tough sell when a $150 or less bike is available. One of the things that have changed in the past few decades is the declining number of children per household. It was easier to convince parents to spend a bit more when they knew that the bike would be a hand-me-down to the next kid. That's a lot less likely to be a factor in a one or two kid family, especially if you differentiate between girls and boys bikes.

Schwinn's strategy for kids bikes during the baby boom was to put a great emphasis on durability to justify the higher price. Because of the above, that just can't work anymore, one kid will get enough use of a less durable bike.
Agreed, that is a tough sell for many when it comes to kids. When I typed $600, I had adults in mind since they are the ones typically buying the bikes and also since the example I responded to had an adult(someone's co-worker) as the person who didnt feel comfortable at a shop due to the add-ons.
With kids, there are tons of bike shop bikes for sale that are less than $600 and better in overall quality than big box bikes. It depends on age, obviously, and the smaller bikes typically cost less. I just sold a 20" Giant MTX that both my kids used for a combined 6 years, and it sold for $170 less than retail. 6 years of extensive use basically cost $130.
Haro Fliteline bikes cost $350 in 20" and $370 in 24". Use either for 3 years and sell for $150. 3 years of use then costs $200. Again, if its a priority, then that cost isnt significant as such an amount can absolutely be cut out of a lot of household budgets.
The Bianchi Duel costs $280 in 20" and $330 in 24". Same as above- it wojuld be quite reasonable to sell a good condition one for $150 around me. So thats a cost of $130 to 180 in the end.


This is compared to buying a $150 big box bike and selling it in a few years for $40. I simply dont find the net difference to be a huge obstacle for many families that have luxury expenditures regardless of socioeconomic status(this is a huge % of families, really).

Its all just about priorities. And if the family's priorities dont include buying bike shop bikes for their kids, then thats totally cool and understandable. We all have finite resources and if they choose to spend what they have elsewhere, then thats quite reasonable. I am simply saying that if there is a desire, bike shop bikes can be bought for kids and it needn't be some huge purchase that will put people on the edge of bankruptcy.
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Old 06-13-19, 07:00 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Agreed, that is a tough sell for many when it comes to kids. When I typed $600, I had adults in mind since they are the ones typically buying the bikes and also since the example I responded to had an adult(someone's co-worker) as the person who didnt feel comfortable at a shop due to the add-ons.
With kids, there are tons of bike shop bikes for sale that are less than $600 and better in overall quality than big box bikes. It depends on age, obviously, and the smaller bikes typically cost less. I just sold a 20" Giant MTX that both my kids used for a combined 6 years, and it sold for $170 less than retail. 6 years of extensive use basically cost $130.
Haro Fliteline bikes cost $350 in 20" and $370 in 24". Use either for 3 years and sell for $150. 3 years of use then costs $200. Again, if its a priority, then that cost isnt significant as such an amount can absolutely be cut out of a lot of household budgets.
The Bianchi Duel costs $280 in 20" and $330 in 24". Same as above- it wojuld be quite reasonable to sell a good condition one for $150 around me. So thats a cost of $130 to 180 in the end.


This is compared to buying a $150 big box bike and selling it in a few years for $40. I simply dont find the net difference to be a huge obstacle for many families that have luxury expenditures regardless of socioeconomic status(this is a huge % of families, really).

Its all just about priorities. And if the family's priorities dont include buying bike shop bikes for their kids, then thats totally cool and understandable. We all have finite resources and if they choose to spend what they have elsewhere, then thats quite reasonable. I am simply saying that if there is a desire, bike shop bikes can be bought for kids and it needn't be some huge purchase that will put people on the edge of bankruptcy.
I don't think we're disagreeing about anything here (for a change), but we do have to keep in mind that we're not typical consumers--most people would have no idea how to calculate the likely resale value, and probably would figure they would rather buy a bike that was cheap enough that they wouldn't feel a need to do more than slap a $15 price tag and put it out in a garage sale. Finding a buyer for a $150 used kid's bike takes some effort and/or knowledge.
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Old 06-13-19, 08:39 AM
  #73  
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Blame city planners in the pockets of developers who in a way are doing what taxpayers want.........cheaper everything.

You wind up with cookie cutter neighborhoods with houses 3' apart and people having to street park due to short driveways and tiny garages that won't fit a Prius.

Then these packed neighborhoods are obviously busier, even ignoring that they are isolated from any trail or pedestrian/bike infrastructure.

I live in an older neighborhood, when people had some damn sense. We have lots of kids up and down the streets all the time.

People are so desperate in the US for their 1500 sqft house on 1/8th acre with a mule that they don't even bother to think how crappy of a deal they are getting. And how crappy that kind of development makes car traffic all over town.

But.....................all of that is a red herring...............it's actually all about parents being a bunch of lazy morons and allow kids to stare at a screen everywhere they go. On the way to dinner, at dinner, on the way home from dinner, once they get home, etc......... Screen zombies.

Solve that, you solve the bike and kids thing we're talking about.

You don't even get to the safety argument without addressing the crappy parenting part.

And I'm sorry, it is crappy parenting to pacify a child for their entire life to the tune of hours per day with a screen/device.

You seriously trust the freaking internet and entertainment industry to raise your child?
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Old 06-13-19, 09:22 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
When I was in high school in the '60s, not one kid road a bike to school. It was that "uncool."

Now HS mountain bike racing is has the most participants of any sport in the local league, and my alma mater is the NorCal MTB champion.
I own a company and a cycling friend of mine asked me to sponsor a local high school team. I went out to one of the hs MTB races and was astonished at the participation level. Itís like XC racingís heyday back in the 90s. An awesome sight.
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Old 06-13-19, 10:06 AM
  #75  
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chicken and egg.

Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Blame city planners in the pockets of developers who in a way are doing what taxpayers want.........cheaper everything.


You wind up with cookie cutter neighborhoods with houses 3' apart and people having to street park due to short driveways and tiny garages that won't fit a Prius.


Then these packed neighborhoods are obviously busier, even ignoring that they are isolated from any trail or pedestrian/bike infrastructure.


I live in an older neighborhood, when people had some damn sense. We have lots of kids up and down the streets all the time.


People are so desperate in the US for their 1500 sqft house on 1/8th acre with a mule that they don't even bother to think how crappy of a deal they are getting. And how crappy that kind of development makes car traffic all over town.


But.....................all of that is a red herring...............it's actually all about parents being a bunch of lazy morons and allow kids to stare at a screen everywhere they go. On the way to dinner, at dinner, on the way home from dinner, once they get home, etc......... Screen zombies.


Solve that, you solve the bike and kids thing we're talking about.


You don't even get to the safety argument without addressing the crappy parenting part.


And I'm sorry, it is crappy parenting to pacify a child for their entire life to the tune of hours per day with a screen/device.


You seriously trust the freaking internet and entertainment industry to raise your child?


You make excellent points. But I think the problem arose before screens became ubiquitous.

We have always limited my daughter's screen time, including in the car. Only on multi-hour trips, are screens allowed. Etc, Etc.


"Blame city planners in the pockets of developers who in a way are doing what taxpayers want.........cheaper everything.
You wind up with cookie cutter neighborhoods with houses 3' apart and people having to street park due to short driveways and tiny garages that won't fit a Prius...
...Then these packed neighborhoods are obviously busier, even ignoring that they are isolated from any trail or pedestrian/bike infrastructure.People are so desperate in the US for their 1500 sqft house on 1/8th acre with a mule that they don't even bother to think how crappy of a deal they are getting. And how crappy that kind of development makes car traffic all over town.​​​​​​"



That describes my NJ neighborhood pretty well. Even with a fair amount of newly added sidewalk there is still no contiguous pedestrian access for the length of our "main" street... and why my parent's old Massachusetts neighborhood is where she does most of her street riding.


Doh! (Not much to do with parenting, in this case.)

Then there is the national surrender of parental responsibility. The percentage of parents who went to Parent/Teacher night at my daughter's middle school was appalling, only one of her teachers had a wait of more than 5 minutes.

Last edited by Last ride 76; 06-13-19 at 10:19 AM.
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