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Why doesn't America bike commute more often?

Old 09-22-05, 10:53 AM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by aadhils
The word you want is sarcastic, not bluffing...

Looks like this thread has become a "My country is better than yours" thread...

I think that started with post #1

By the way what is wrong with the formatting of post #93?
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Old 09-22-05, 11:14 AM
  #102  
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Many of you don't know what you are talking about. Big surprise. You don't know how cities, counties and states are planned in the U.S. You don't know how big money gets to make these decisions. You don't know why the media keeps quiet about these issues. Consequently, many of you are blathering about things you don't understand.
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Old 09-22-05, 11:54 AM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by rjkresse
I honestly don't understand where this attitude comes from. I love my country, served in the military, and I am patriotic. Yay for me. I was also fortunate enough to travel a bit when I was younger. Other people in other countries are free. People are free to do what they want in a lot of places in the world. I have absolutely no idea what a Canadian citizen, or a Swiss citizen, or a Geman citizen, or a New Zealander can't do that I can.

There are scary, opressive places in this world. No doubt about it. But Toronto ain't one of 'em.
I don't know either, but I have always had a passport, travel lots and lots, and then there's the fact that I graduated during "that 70s era" so I also backpacked and hitchhiked coast to coast and all over Europe--numerous times.

And I DO know what a Swiss citizen can't do that I can do! What they can't do is find out what ever happened to the guy who the police decided to drag out of the turkish tearoom he was sitting in with me, and beat the living hell out of on the streets, before hauling away, never to be seen or heard from again.

Neither could the American embassy I visited or Amnesty International who I contacted either. Apparently the police in Zurich do not have to account for their actions to anyone.

As far as the contention that there is no crime in London? Gee, I have clients I've been working with in London, and all we've been talking about lately are those subway bombings (which don't phase them one bit--they're used to being bombed!) and some doctor who apparently killed hundreds of his patients.

At this point, all cities look about the same to me--except Frankfort and Pittsburgh, which I find somehow depressing.

Last edited by Ineedhelp; 09-22-05 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 09-22-05, 11:58 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by trayer350
Many of you don't know what you are talking about. Big surprise. You don't know how cities, counties and states are planned in the U.S. You don't know how big money gets to make these decisions. You don't know why the media keeps quiet about these issues. Consequently, many of you are blathering about things you don't understand.
And your post has done what, exactly, to improve this situation?
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Old 09-22-05, 12:04 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by trayer350
Many of you don't know what you are talking about. Big surprise. You don't know how cities, counties and states are planned in the U.S. You don't know how big money gets to make these decisions. You don't know why the media keeps quiet about these issues. Consequently, many of you are blathering about things you don't understand.
We're waiting for your enlightenment...
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Old 09-22-05, 12:44 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by DocRay
...Burger King introduced a sandwhich with half a kilogram of fat per serving for breakfast (US only).

Why do people eat this stuff?
Burger King has a breakfast sandwich that weighs more than 1 lb.? And it's all fat? What's it called, the Bacon grease croissanwich?
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Old 09-22-05, 01:36 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by Tequila Joe
To far? fear of crime? no motivation and just too damn lazy?

I'm over in Sweden on business this week. It just amazes me how many people commute by bike here. Civic studies in Linkoping, Sweden indicate that about 60% of all trips are made by bike. (With fuel prices around $5 /gallon, no wonder.)

Here are a couple pics from outside of my hotel. These are definatly not OCP bikes but, the folks here all love thier bikes and commuting all the same. I was by the train station today and unfortunatly I didn't have my camera with me becausee there were at least 300 bikes in the parking lot. It was certainly a sight to see.

I wish North Americans would commute just as much as these folks. Our green house gasses would be much less and the average American would weigh at least 20 lbs less!

T.J.

Don't blame Americans for not commuting by bike. They are outwitted and lied to.

Here is an example of how the game is played. The mayor of a city X owns several apartment buildings and other real estate interests in his own city. The property he owns could be worth more if run down parts of the city were rebuilt. The mayor, and other businessmen on the council, need development money. XYZ Corp. develops retail centers. XYZ Corp. says it will put up the development money if City X reduces taxes to insure the financial return for XYZ Corp. The City X council appoints stooges to the planning commission. The council then says publicly that it will do whatever the planning commission recommends after careful study. The planning commission members secretly do what council members say or they are removed from the commission. The commission says M land will be set aside as a redevelopment center with lower taxes for 30 years. The city council says the planning commission studied it and they will adopt it because the planning commission is unbiased. XYZ Corp. announces it will build a beautiful retail center. Local restaurants and theater owners say they will now put up money to build in the redevelopment center, too. XYZ Corp. goes to the county and state level politicians, sometimes federal, to whom they made campaign donations, to put in public improvements at no expense to the city or XYZ Corp. Business interests in the city and the council are on the inside track and are given inside information, or are given special agreements, in the development of the retail/revelopment center. When the redevelopment center is built, business interests continue to fund the campaigns of the council members. The mayor benefits from the redevelopment center because his apartment and real estate interests are worth more. Other council members, benefit too, because they give information to the companies they work for, and the redevelopment center is used in various ways to benefit them. Then the mayor and council announce they are rebuilding the city, with supposedly no benefit to themselves. The council might have one or two members who are interested in biking lanes. They are thrown some scraps in the way of small extensions of bike lanes that are almost meaningless, because business interests want business as usual. XYZ Corp. has parking garages and wants cars, not bikes.

These same methods are used at the county, state and federal levels. Average Americans are hoodwinked. They are told everybody did what they could to ease traffic and congestion. They are told that these new traffic congesting centers will reduce their local taxes. Actually, the new centers make things worse. The reason little is reported in the news media is because television doesn't care about most local stories, they cover murder, hurricanes and fires, and stuff like that. The newspapers don't say much because they are looking for additional local advertisers and the pubisher is typically for business as usual. There are exceptions to all of this, but few and far between.
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Old 09-22-05, 03:11 PM
  #108  
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The people on BikeForums.net probably bike much more than 99% of the general population. If there was to be a group that would commute by bike, they would be on this forum - yet many here still find it difficult to commute by bike. This tells me we won't see more Americans bike commuting until some bio-engineered bug eats all the world's crude oil supplies - and then we'll probably still be using coal for steam powered cars.

I just count myself very fortunate I live in a bike friendly area, and that I bike commute 3 miles to work in an area with mild weather year round.

Last edited by 7rider; 09-22-05 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 09-22-05, 03:49 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by trayer350
D Here is an example of how the game is played. The mayor of a city X owns several apartment buildings and other real estate interests in his own city. The property he owns could be worth more if run down parts of the city were rebuilt. The mayor, and other businessmen on the council, need development money. XYZ Corp. develops retail centers. XYZ Corp. says it will put up the development money if City X reduces taxes to insure the financial return for XYZ Corp. The City X council appoints stooges to the planning commission. The council then says publicly that it will do whatever the planning commission recommends after careful study. The planning commission members secretly do what council members say or they are removed from the commission. The commission says M land will be set aside as a redevelopment center with lower taxes for 30 years. The city council says the planning commission studied it and they will adopt it because the planning commission is unbiased. XYZ Corp. announces it will build a beautiful retail center. Local restaurants and theater owners say they will now put up money to build in the redevelopment center, too. XYZ Corp. goes to the county and state level politicians, sometimes federal, to whom they made campaign donations, to put in public improvements at no expense to the city or XYZ Corp. Business interests in the city and the council are on the inside track and are given inside information, or are given special agreements, in the development of the retail/revelopment center. When the redevelopment center is built, business interests continue to fund the campaigns of the council members. The mayor benefits from the redevelopment center because his apartment and real estate interests are worth more. Other council members, benefit too, because they give information to the companies they work for, and the redevelopment center is used in various ways to benefit them. Then the mayor and council announce they are rebuilding the city, with supposedly no benefit to themselves. The council might have one or two members who are interested in biking lanes. They are thrown some scraps in the way of small extensions of bike lanes that are almost meaningless, because business interests want business as usual. XYZ Corp. has parking garages and wants cars, not bikes.
sorry but you're going to have to pay me to read that
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Old 09-22-05, 04:00 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by trayer350
Don't blame Americans for not commuting by bike. They are outwitted and lied to.

Here is an example of how the game is played.

The mayor of a city X owns several apartment buildings and other real estate interests in his own city. The property he owns could be worth more if run down parts of the city were rebuilt. The mayor, and other businessmen on the council, need development money. XYZ Corp. develops retail centers. XYZ Corp. says it will put up the development money if City X reduces taxes to insure the financial return for XYZ Corp.

The City X council appoints stooges to the planning commission. The council then says publicly that it will do whatever the planning commission recommends after careful study. The planning commission members secretly do what council members say or they are removed from the commission. The commission says M land will be set aside as a redevelopment center with lower taxes for 30 years. The city council says the planning commission studied it and they will adopt it because the planning commission is unbiased.

Then XYZ Corp. announces it will build a beautiful retail center. Local restaurants and theater owners say they will now put up money to build in the redevelopment center, too. XYZ Corp. goes to the county and state level politicians, sometimes federal, to whom they made campaign donations, to put in public improvements at no expense to the city or XYZ Corp. Business interests in the city and the council are on the inside track and are given inside information, or are given special agreements, in the development of the retail/revelopment center.

When the redevelopment center is built, business interests continue to fund the campaigns of the council members. The mayor benefits from the redevelopment center because his apartment and real estate interests are worth more. Other council members, benefit too, because they give information to the companies they work for, and the redevelopment center is used in various ways to benefit them.

Then the mayor and council announce they are rebuilding the city, with supposedly no benefit to themselves.

The council might have one or two members who are interested in biking lanes.

Those council members are thrown some scraps in the way of small extensions of bike lanes that are almost meaningless, because business interests want business as usual. XYZ Corp. has parking garages and wants cars, not bikes.

These same methods are used at the county, state and federal levels. Average Americans are hoodwinked. They are told everybody did what they could to ease traffic and congestion. They are told that these new traffic congesting centers will reduce their local taxes. Actually, the new centers make things worse.

The reason little is reported in the news media is because television doesn't care about most local stories, they cover murder, hurricanes and fires, and stuff like that. The newspapers don't say much because they are looking for additional local advertisers and the pubisher is typically for business as usual. There are exceptions to all of this, but few and far between.
Most people in power just give lip service to the idea of biking lanes.
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Old 09-22-05, 04:03 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by 7rider
This tells me we won't see more Americans bike commuting until some bio-engineered bug eats all the world's crude oil supplies.
And wouldn't you liberals be happy... Why don't you try to develop some bio-engineered bug to kill humans. You can restore ecological balance to the world.
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Old 09-22-05, 05:01 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by shimanopower
sorry but you're going to have to pay me to read that
Originally Posted by shimanopower
And wouldn't you liberals be happy... Why don't you try to develop some bio-engineered bug to kill humans. You can restore ecological balance to the world.
Nuggetts of simple truth.
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Old 09-22-05, 05:08 PM
  #113  
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If you check out the book, Divorce Your Car by Katie Alvord (sp?) she gives a lot of great reasons why American do not use public transportation and bike to places as much. It's one of the reasons why I started biking to work. I loved seeing all the bikes in Sweden. It doesn't look like they even lock up their bikes.
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Old 09-22-05, 07:03 PM
  #114  
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Isn't that neat! I love traveling to Europe and Asia and see bicycles used so much. If you like Sweden, you should have been in China before 1990. It was ALL bicycles. There were very few other ways to get around.

One thing is for sure and that is in old cities like most of Europe and Asia, the streets are narrow. Bicycling is a LOT more convenient in most European cities than going it by car.

Another thing is that bicycling seems to be more accepted as a form of transportation in Europe than it is in the States. In the USA, bicycles still have mostly a recreational image rather than an image of practical transportation.
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Old 09-22-05, 07:37 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by New2Cycling
I loved seeing all the bikes in Sweden. It doesn't look like they even lock up their bikes.
Actually, most bike are locked by a steel shaft connected between the seat stays. The shaft runs through the rear wheel/spokes by the rim locking the back tire. It is very difficult to see it in the pics but they are there. The folks here do not lock the bike TO anything, so a thief can simply pick up the bike and walk away with it. I 'm told that there have been a lot of thefts of the brand new bikes latley because they are being resold after the locking shaft is re-keyed.

T.J.

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Old 09-22-05, 07:44 PM
  #116  
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After reading through this thread I am thinking about not commuting by bike. The mistaken liberal zealotry is thick here.


Why don't Americans commute by bike? The same reason many of you would never consider commuting by foot or even a wal-mart special bike. I have been to several countries where a bicycle was a grand luxury. So I ask the high and mighty here to get off their horse.

Americans move at a different pace than most of Europe. It is much faster.

Americans have a huge sense of independence. Driving a cage gives a feeling of power and control.

Americans are silly spoiled due to hard work and blessings of God. GNP per capita is only now being rivaled by a few Asian countries.

America is a capitalist society. When the economic need arises change will happen. Just take a look at all the new commuters comming to the board.

Urban sprawl and bike unfriendly roads. There is no doubt that this is ture, but why do we have urban sprawl?

In summary I think the second post to this thread is spot on.
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Old 09-22-05, 07:57 PM
  #117  
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working hours might have something to do with it too - i'm not 100% sure how this compares with sweden.

in my country/city/industry, you are lucky to get away with an 9-hour workday. two weeks' vacation a year - and many of them either forfeit the time or spend it working. i dunno how many - 5? days sick time per year, which i gather includes everything from dental appointments to actual illness. furthermore, i'm under a certain amount of subliminal pressure for slacking because i don't take work home with me or maintain my worklife once i'm at home. i am, um, 'not dedicated', see.

very very typically around here, my son plays baseball for entire seasons with kids whose parents i wouldn't know if they fell over me - they're always too busy doing 'errands' to be at the park. these aren't frivolous or selfish errands; they're things like gathering enough groceries to see the family through the upcoming week. very very typically on mondays i talk to colleagues who say they spent the first day and a half of their weekend just catching up on all the home-infrastructure stuff (cleaning, laundry, groceries, etc) that has been neglected all week because of the hours they spend at work. perhaps they spent sunday afternoon doing something that they found 'fun'.

none of this is frivolous or trivial, and snickering or sneering at it if you happen to be engaged in a luckier culture is missing the point. it goes so unchallenged that people who don't or can't play by it are more likely to find themselves unemployed. people who are unemployed occupy a pretty low and endangered place on this area's food chain, and once someone is unemployed, the 'cure' is considered to be to work even harder and become even more slavishly available. i think it's sick, but it's also sick to own a kid and not be able to feed him; a bind a lot of people have found themselves in.

the fact is, i would never ever have started commuting by bike if i hadn't fluked into a contract a couple of years ago where it took longer for me to drive OR take transit than it took for me to ride a mile and a half to a different bus-stop and get on a different bus. i did it even when i didn't feel like it because it felt like a crack in the trap and because i needed that tiny bit of reclaimed time so badly. i do it now to a different location because now that i'm in it, it seems fairly important to me and it's a form of freedom i can relate to. but i'm taking a huge time-bite in order to do it, and i'm not ready yet to say if it's sustainable. for a lot of people who are unwilling or unable to show a bit of defiance to the consuming workplace culture, it just plain isn't.

end diatribe.
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Old 09-22-05, 08:00 PM
  #118  
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As our cities become more gridlocked and it becomes harder to find parking at any price, I think you will see more bike commuting. I don't think anything else will do it.



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Old 09-22-05, 08:03 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by SDRider
I wonder if I could put coffee in a water bottle...
I used to commute with a travel coffee cup in one of my bottle cages.
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Old 09-23-05, 11:06 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by mike
Isn't that neat! I love traveling to Europe and Asia and see bicycles used so much. If you like Sweden, you should have been in China before 1990. It was ALL bicycles. There were very few other ways to get around.
.

Pre 1990 China...oh yeah, that was Utopia...LOL
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Old 09-23-05, 11:26 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by FXjohn
oh please. For starters, go to snopes.com to debunk GM taking away mass transit.

Comparing the US to old, crowded, socialized, declining birth rate, Western Europe is intellectually dishonest.

Face it, some people have homes worth driving to. Although in my opinion, suburbs suck.
But I don't HAVE to live there, so I don't.
Got two children? Become a French citizen and the government will pay you to have another one.
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Old 09-23-05, 11:29 AM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by DocRay
We can't get drafted to fight a war.
Checked out the rules in Switzerland lately?
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Old 09-23-05, 11:43 AM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
Got two children? Become a French citizen and the government will pay you to have another one.

Evidently the French Govt is smarter than BenCousins.
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Old 09-23-05, 12:28 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by DocRay
I don't blame McDonald's. I don't eat there. No one has to eat that crap. It is very difficult to get real information in the US, most if it is filtered by commerce. Too many people believe that what they see on TV news is really verified, and now people are quoting bad resources on the internet. With Atkins, fast food convinced everyone that eating 1/2 pound beef burgers was healthy. And now post Altkins fad, Burger King introduced a sandwhich with half a kilogram of fat per serving for breakfast (US only).

Why do people eat this stuff?

I'm with you, I can resist the temptation.......but judging from their financial success in spite of alarmingly high rates of juvenile diabetes and pediatric obesity, many people - especially young people, can't.

I do believe it's up to adults to protect themselves and their children by making prudent choices in nutrition; on the other hand, when makers of products laden with sugar and corn syrups - ie, empty worthless and potentially habit forming caloric intake which does no good with the exception of raising profit margins - get away with advertising in school text books, something is clearly in need of balancing out......again, not suggesting all fat & sugar be outlawed, but a parent shouldn't have to worry about their child being bombarded with ads in school of all places - plenty of that everywhere else.

It's more a mindset that exists - I'm not blaming any one person in particular (I'm sure if you interviewed each executive of McDonald's they wouldn't feel perosnally responsible), but collectively, corporations are pretty insulated. And this is just the junk food argument. (Don't get me started on healthcare or pollution, let alone tobacco)

And the reason you won't see the news report more than they already do on this and other issues is because they are absolutely controlled by those corporations.........sorry, I mean 'sponsors'.
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.
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Old 09-23-05, 12:38 PM
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boredo
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Only two posters have mentioned the status issue, but I'll give it another go-round. Of all our many status symbols here in the US (and we work with a lot), cars are one of the very biggest and most universal; this is true across nearly all US social groups, in terms of class, race, ethnicity, etc.

The use of cars as status symbols is often important at work, too, whether it's for impressing co-workers, clients, or just yourself while on your commute.

Sure, many people here in bikeforums are predisposed to already think highly of riding bikes for transportation or utility, but we're a small minority in the larger USA that respect. And even among this crowd, there are probably many who mostly think of cycling in terms of fitness, (competitive) recreation, and so on, but not for basic transportation or utility. That perception of cycling is simply not a strong, positive association in our culture.

(Also, these issues extend to the use [or not] of public transportation in many cities, as well as cycling.)
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