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Fewer kids riding bicycles worries industry

Old 06-13-19, 10:19 AM
  #76  
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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 fairly 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.)
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Old 06-15-19, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by pickettt View Post
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.
That's pretty cool, but what do they do in their free time? For instance my first passion was soccer. We played in the streets, we played in the alleys, we played in various city parks nearby; which we got to by bike We also played in leagues 'in season'. Today soccer seems to as big or bigger than it ever was, but you'll never see kids playing without a parent, a coach, or a ref. It's all scheduled 'achievement time', and there is no 'season'. There are school leagues followed by endless select leagues, so everything is scheduled 24/7 365.
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Old 06-16-19, 06:47 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I can believe this for the following reason:

Almost all of the bike riding I did as a kid was completely "unscripted" by my parents. It is what we did to entertain ourselves. Whether it was building jumps of questionable integrity or just riding around the neighborhood, we were just doing oru own thing.

When I look at most parents I know today, their kids' free time is almost completely scheduled, planned and scripted. Little to no "free" time.

So unless there is some organized biking class for them to be signed up for, they often just don't have any time for it. I don't think the issue is that kids are less active, it is that their activities are highly scheduled.
When I and my two younger sisters were young we'd often take our bicycles and go exploring. We'd drop into the Don Valley (Toronto, Canada) and ride for hours and many miles. We didn't have cell phones then either.

I think a big reason kids today don't ride as much is that there is this climate of fear surrounding the use of a bicycle especially on the road. Some schools will NOT allow children to ride a bicycle to school. Amny people simple believe that bicycling is a VERY DANGEROUS activity for an adult let alone a child.

Cheers
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Old 06-16-19, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas View Post
Fewer kids are playing outside or exercising in general, which worries healthcare professionals everywhere.
This has been the case for some time now. Which is why our kids have gotten fat and lazy before their time. I was on the elevator the other day with twenty-somethings that waited for the elevator to go down one floor.

Parents think its cool to buy their kids electric devices completely ignoring the importance of their developing muscles and bone structure. If they never develop during the formative year, they will suffer for the rest of their lives. Way to go parents.
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Old 06-17-19, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
This has been the case for some time now. Which is why our kids have gotten fat and lazy before their time. I was on the elevator the other day with twenty-somethings that waited for the elevator to go down one floor.

Parents think its cool to buy their kids electric devices completely ignoring the importance of their developing muscles and bone structure. If they never develop during the formative year, they will suffer for the rest of their lives. Way to go parents.
The balance is a lot tougher than that for parents. If kids aren't electronically literate, they are going to be at a personal and professional disadvantage growing up. And parents these days get shamed regularly if they can't account for their kids whereabouts at any given moment.

I agree things are out of balance in terms of getting kids to stay physically active, but I can understand the pressures they are facing that would lead them to think it's better to have their kids staring at a screen than having their kids out roaming around.
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Old 06-17-19, 02:54 PM
  #81  
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I am early 40s, and at the cusp in terms of childhood experience. We had video games and still played outside in an unstructured way. I also had a computer with internet in my teen years. The internet for me was a way to wreck havoc in chat rooms. No friends to IM till college.

I lived in a classic California suburb as a kid, my neighborhood wasn't too busy. We biked on the sidewalk, in the neighboring culdesac, and of course on our driveways. No street riding, but we had contiguous sidewalks. When I moved as a preteen to South Carolina, we didn't have sidewalks in our subdivision neighborhood. All bike riding was in the street. There wasn't much traffic and most streets had speed bumps. We spent our time biking to the pool, and also biking on the unpaved sections of the neighborhood that hadn't been built-up yet. We played inside and did video games too. The split was essentially at dark or when it was hot we played inside. When it cooled down we played outside. A neighbor had badminton and a trampoline, so that was common play.

Now I live in a denser urban neighborhood - it has a mix of single family homes and 20 unit apartment/condo buildings. There are not a lot of young kids on my street and I live on a busy one. Not sure where kids play, but I see families with toddlers in the nearby parks. And there is a big soccer field that is popular as well in a neighboring town a couple of blocks away. Families with young kids tend to move to the other side of the neighborhood where there are more yards. And I assume play there. I see kids using the school playgrounds in the more single family areas nearby and on the quieter streets. I also see kids on bikes in the commercial areas - with and without parent supervision.
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Old 06-17-19, 05:35 PM
  #82  
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When i was 10-16 years old, (1970s) bikes were simple, cheap, and lasted forever with some chain lube and air in the tires. Now bikes are so freaking complicated and expensive I don't even want one anymore. Parents haven't gotten a meaningful pay raise in 20 years and "necessities" like portable phones for the entire family, and cable TV costs $300-$1000 each month. Maybe more. Throw in all the team sports like soccer and little league baseball, which costs money and daylight hours after school or during summer, and there is just no time or money for kids to take up cycling.

Times change folks. Everything is motorized. Pedaling a bike is for old people and the poor.
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Old 06-17-19, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
When i was 10-16 years old, (1970s) bikes were simple, cheap, and lasted forever with some chain lube and air in the tires. Now bikes are so freaking complicated and expensive I don't even want one anymore. Parents haven't gotten a meaningful pay raise in 20 years and "necessities" like portable phones for the entire family, and cable TV costs $300-$1000 each month. Maybe more. Throw in all the team sports like soccer and little league baseball, which costs money and daylight hours after school or during summer, and there is just no time or money for kids to take up cycling.

Times change folks. Everything is motorized. Pedaling a bike is for old people and the poor.
This entire post is pretty worthless, but the last comment is flat out absurd.

I was walking in a local creek tonight with one of my kids, and a local trail goes over and along the creek. Late evening on a random Monday and i saw probably 40 cyclists in less than an hour.
Maybe 4 were commuting(based on buke style and bags), and the others were out for exercise or fun.

Teens, 20somethings, middle agers- all riding in a socioeconomically stable area and mostly on nice bikes.
I doubt most were neither poor nor old.
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Old 06-17-19, 07:47 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
This has been the case for some time now. Which is why our kids have gotten fat and lazy before their time. I was on the elevator the other day with twenty-somethings that waited for the elevator to go down one floor.

Parents think its cool to buy their kids electric devices completely ignoring the importance of their developing muscles and bone structure. If they never develop during the formative year, they will suffer for the rest of their lives. Way to go parents.
A few young adults took an elevator so obviously the youth in this country are fat and lazy.

I held off on electronics for my kids for a long time. We dont have a game console and they barely use a traditional computer. But they do play on apps. Lots of world building and whatnot.
I fail to find fault with them playing those games for an 30min to an hour each day. They actually play together on separate devices so its social. Creative and social? Oh the horror!

Like most everything, it's all about the details. Some video games may not be good, but others can be great. Some time spent playing video games may be fine while a lot of time spent may be bad.
Etc etc etc.
I am typing this on a phone and posting to a virtual conversation board...i can hardly fault kids for doing similar.
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Old 06-17-19, 08:04 PM
  #85  
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Actually, Joeybike's post make considerable sense. The reality is that bikes have gotten absurdly expensive, fragile, and complicated, and times have changed. When i was a kid in the late 60-early 70's, the basic bike from Sears or Western auto that nearly everyone rode, weighed about as much as a refrigerator, but they ran and ran and ran and ran, and became hand-me-downs. We didn't know anything about servicing hubs and headsets, replacing chains, etc. We built bigger and bigger ramps to jump, pounding the shinola out of those things, and I never saw a frame crack, and handlebar snap or a wheel shatter. Our bicycle multi-tool was called a Crescent wrench !
We pulled the tires off the rims with a big flat-head screwdriver, and patched the tubes ourselves.
Now, a new bike under $500 is right at the edge of being junk., you need multiple Allen wrenches and tiny screwdrivers to adjust anything, and God help you if you over-torque something a little !
His point about times changing was also valid (and I think, misunderstood). Kids these days want instant, painless, easy, gratification, and modern technology is giving it to them.
The same concerns the OP mentions the bike industry having, is also affecting the guitar makers. It takes patience and dedication to master a musical instrument, and kids these days have less and less of those qualities, especially when modern "music" can be created on a lap top.
Sure, you can find places where there are young people riding bikes around, but that's more the exception than the rule. I've noticed for years that neighborhoods that once would've been filled with kids on bikes, skateboards, tossing footballs, etc. are now virtually ghost towns, because the kids are inside in the air conditioning playing video games and stuffing their faces !!!!

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Old 06-17-19, 09:06 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
A few young adults took an elevator so obviously the youth in this country are fat and lazy.

I held off on electronics for my kids for a long time. We dont have a game console and they barely use a traditional computer. But they do play on apps. Lots of world building and whatnot.
I fail to find fault with them playing those games for an 30min to an hour each day. They actually play together on separate devices so its social. Creative and social? Oh the horror!

Like most everything, it's all about the details. Some video games may not be good, but others can be great. Some time spent playing video games may be fine while a lot of time spent may be bad.
Etc etc etc.
I am typing this on a phone and posting to a virtual conversation board...i can hardly fault kids for doing similar.
Thing is, most of us grew up in a time when exercise was a requirement so today it is a choice. For them, lethargy and stagnation is all they know. The world have become soft and convenient. If you ever use the subway, just watch the number of people that choose the escalator/elevators rather than the stairs -- even going down.

Some kids are inherently energetic, but parent tend to squash that energy with mind-numbing electronic toys to keep them quiet, rather than taking their kids out for some good old-fashioned exercise.Just take them to the park and let them run around, swing, etc. until they're exhausted.

Fact is, kids need exercise. Especially during the time their muscles and bones are growing and developing. If they don't get it when they're young, they grow fat, lazy and often remain that way for life. The worst thing a parent can do is buy their kid an electric powered car or scooter. Resist that temptation at all costs. You're doing more irreparable harm to your child, then good.

The first thing my PE teacher used to do with the class is to release us to run around the field a time or two. Not only was that healthy, it had a secondary function in making us all a lot more easy to manage. No ADHD drugs necessary.
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Old 06-17-19, 11:03 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
Actually, Joeybike's post make considerable sense. The reality is that bikes have gotten absurdly expensive, fragile, and complicated, and times have changed. When i was a kid in the late 60-early 70's, the basic bike from Sears or Western auto that nearly everyone rode, weighed about as much as a refrigerator, but they ran and ran and ran and ran, and became hand-me-downs. We didn't know anything about servicing hubs and headsets, replacing chains, etc. We built bigger and bigger ramps to jump, pounding the shinola out of those things, and I never saw a frame crack, and handlebar snap or a wheel shatter. Our bicycle multi-tool was called a Crescent wrench !
We pulled the tires off the rims with a big flat-head screwdriver, and patched the tubes ourselves.
Now, a new bike under $500 is right at the edge of being junk., you need multiple Allen wrenches and tiny screwdrivers to adjust anything, and God help you if you over-torque something a little
It's as if you haven't heard of bmx bikes. They are tanks that are literally flung off ramps and land all sorts of ways while still riding fine once picked up.
You can get a competent one for kids at less than $500, they arent fragile, and you can torque til the wrench leaves a mark on your palm.

If a kid is into a specific style of riding, then sure a bike will be expensive for them- same as for adults. A road bike or a mountain bike will be on the higher side of things.
But $250-400 buys a really nice kids bike for commuting and recreational riding. They don't need to be babied, wrenches still work since many come with nutted wheels, and no torque wrench is needed.
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Old 06-18-19, 06:05 AM
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Old 06-18-19, 06:39 AM
  #89  
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I grew up with 3 brothers, so over the years there were a lot of bicycles in the household. I think the Raleigh I bought when I was 15 or so was the first one any of us had that was purchased new. Everything else came through garage sales and kid to kid transactions. But every family had multiple kids it seemed, so there were a lot of used bikes available. I'm not sure that market exists in the same way.

We did occasionally break wheels or frames going over jumps or crashing into something, but by and large the bikes were pretty sturdy and took a lot of abuse.
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Old 06-18-19, 07:21 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
His point about times changing was also valid (and I think, misunderstood). Kids these days want instant, painless, easy, gratification, and modern technology is giving it to them.
Everyone wants that, and modern technology didn't just make it possible. It's the human condition - why do you think TV got so big? I definitely doubt "kids today" are what made cable TV so big in the 1980s/1990s/2000s. Fast food, too. Let's not get into drugs and alcohol.

Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
The same concerns the OP mentions the bike industry having, is also affecting the guitar makers. It takes patience and dedication to master a musical instrument, and kids these days have less and less of those qualities, especially when modern "music" can be created on a lap top.
I had been thinking about the guitar industry since hearing of struggles Gibson was going through. Part of it may just be fashion changing - definitely in my teenage years we had a combination of computers, video games, and the Internet - yet many of us played (even I did for a bit). If anything, the 'net made it easier, since I could order my guitar online and get lessons online.

Literally nowhere in my town growing up sold Guitars. Not even the one music shop we had. Don't remember seeing a place advertise lessons, either, until I was about 20 or so.

Sales are down because a lot of the mainline stand-bys have declined in product quality yet not price - you pay a premium for a not-so-great guitar. Older ones were good, and they stick around because the actual guitar itself doesn't take much damage in use (and pickups on electronic ones can be readily replaced). Kids wouldn't be buying those nicher ones directly anyways - that's for more established players. Mine was a Behringer, just about everyone else I knew had a variety of no-names or maybe a entry level model from some of the bigger ones.

If you swing by the pawn shop where I live now, they have an entire rack of guitars of varying makes and models. Were I to start playing again, I might check there for a good deal on a higher-end model maybe - or grab an inexpensive one online.

FWIW my toddler seems to like playing around with a busted up old one my wife has around, so once she's actually physically large enough to hold a child's guitar I plan on getting her one.

To bring this back around to bikes, a lot of the above about guitars parallels what others here have said about bikes - BSOs from Walmart (etc) do still sell (and the quality may have gotten better overtime - definitely better now than when I was a kid). It's the bigger name brands that seem to have issues - and kids likely wouldn't be buying them anyways.
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Old 06-18-19, 12:58 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by mpls85 View Post

"...kids and teens ages 8 to 18 averaged more than seven hours a day looking at screens."

What!? That's almost half of their waking hours, I can't even understand that much time spent in front of a screen.

I think these broad cultural trends are MUCH more concerning than the effect that tariffs have on bikes.
And we wonder why our adolescents have skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety! And self-medicate with vapes and marijuana (a lot of them do, anyway--source: I teach adolescents).

I find it interesting that our society's rich and elite now send their children to Waldorf and other private schools where screens are eschewed. It's almost as if they know how damaging all that screen time is to us!

And don't get me started on people texting while driving. From what I can find, in my state anyway, it's only illegal for MINORS to be texting while driving. How is that even possible? I bike commute, and I want my child to ride, but I'm petrified at the odds of getting mowed down by someone on their damn phone.
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Old 06-18-19, 01:36 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by kellichou View Post
And we wonder why our adolescents have skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety! And self-medicate with vapes and marijuana (a lot of them do, anyway--source: I teach adolescents)....
And don't get me started on people texting while driving. From what I can find, in my state anyway, it's only illegal for MINORS to be texting while driving. How is that even possible? I bike commute, and I want my child to ride, but I'm petrified at the odds of getting mowed down by someone on their damn phone.
You are already started on being petrified by your fears of getting mowed down by someone while you bike commute! Perhaps counseling, or vapes and marijuana may help.
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Old 06-18-19, 05:19 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
You are already started on being petrified by your fears of getting mowed down by someone while you bike commute! Perhaps counseling, or vapes and marijuana may help.
I have considered all of that! Truth be told, hanging up the bikes SAVES money. Counseling, vaping, and weed all seem like expensive ways to medicate a problem that you just need to quit and find a safer physical activity you may like as much, or nearly so. Kinda like getting a nasty saddle sore. You can hand money over to the dermatologist, druggist, saddle manufacturers, bike short designers, and bike-fit gurus if you want, but taking some time away from bikes would serve the same purpose and cost ZERO dollars.

Remember HeeHaw?

Patient: "Doc, it hurts when I do this"

Doctor: Then DON'T DO THAT!

Sometimes it is just that simple.
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Old 06-18-19, 05:29 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by kellichou View Post
And we wonder why our adolescents have skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety! And self-medicate with vapes and marijuana (a lot of them do, anyway--source: I teach adolescents).
Aside from the modern vape technology, we heard the same thing 45 years ago. Although not attributed to the same cause of course.

But we all rode bikes.
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Old 06-18-19, 08:03 PM
  #95  
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I typically ride 94 miles a week for my commute. Y'all can go ahead and trash your lungs and your motivation with vaping and marijuana, go right ahead.

I was expressing concern about the increasing numbers of people who don't ride--not saying I want to hang up the bike.
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Old 06-19-19, 04:52 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
You are already started on being petrified by your fears of getting mowed down by someone while you bike commute! Perhaps counseling, or vapes and marijuana may help.
It is actually legal to text while driving in Colorado. That's reason enough to be nervous about doing anything on the roads in the state including riding, driving, and walking across. I get you have a knee-jerk reaction when anyone mentions cell phones, but that's an extraordinarily weird law that was enacted in 2017.
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Old 06-19-19, 05:01 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
I have considered all of that! Truth be told, hanging up the bikes SAVES money. Counseling, vaping, and weed all seem like expensive ways to medicate a problem that you just need to quit and find a safer physical activity you may like as much, or nearly so. Kinda like getting a nasty saddle sore. You can hand money over to the dermatologist, druggist, saddle manufacturers, bike short designers, and bike-fit gurus if you want, but taking some time away from bikes would serve the same purpose and cost ZERO dollars.

Remember HeeHaw?

Patient: "Doc, it hurts when I do this"

Doctor: Then DON'T DO THAT!

Sometimes it is just that simple.
I'm just going to suggest that someone who posts so much rationalizing of not riding must actually have personal issues with that decision. Seriously, who are you trying to convince? And this time, you don't have the excuse that you are politely responding to someone who quoted you.
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Old 06-19-19, 06:36 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
I have considered all of that! Truth be told, hanging up the bikes SAVES money. Counseling, vaping, and weed all seem like expensive ways to medicate a problem that you just need to quit and find a safer physical activity you may like as much, or nearly so. Kinda like getting a nasty saddle sore. You can hand money over to the dermatologist, druggist, saddle manufacturers, bike short designers, and bike-fit gurus if you want, but taking some time away from bikes would serve the same purpose and cost ZERO dollars.
I genuinely dont understand the desire to post on a forum where the topic is something you chose to give up and stop. To each their own and whatnot, but it just seems odd, especially considering much of what I have read since you quit the hobby is that you dont miss it and there are benefits to not participating in the hobby everyone(else) here loves.
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Old 06-19-19, 07:14 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
This entire post is pretty worthless, but the last comment is flat out absurd.

I was walking in a local creek tonight with one of my kids, and a local trail goes over and along the creek. Late evening on a random Monday and i saw probably 40 cyclists in less than an hour.
Maybe 4 were commuting(based on buke style and bags), and the others were out for exercise or fun.

Teens, 20somethings, middle agers- all riding in a socioeconomically stable area and mostly on nice bikes.
I doubt most were neither poor nor old.
Perhaps that last comment seems to be true in New Orleans where people in the south would prefer air conditioning on their way to work?

I know that on a work day here in Southeast Texas most "commuters", that aren't in the downtown area, look like they can barely afford the hand me down department store bike they are riding. Anyone else will be in a car with AC if at all possible plying their way through this bike unfriendly sprawl.
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Old 06-19-19, 07:20 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
Everyone wants that, and modern technology didn't just make it possible. It's the human condition - why do you think TV got so big? I definitely doubt "kids today" are what made cable TV so big in the 1980s/1990s/2000s. Fast food, too. Let's not get into drugs and alcohol.
Indeed.

Automobiles. Washing machines. Central heat and AC. Refrigerators.

And for people that like to chop their own firewood for their old school stoves and fireplaces, chainsaws.
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