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COVID-19 Pushing Copenhagen-style shift in U.S.?

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COVID-19 Pushing Copenhagen-style shift in U.S.?

Old 07-01-20, 08:51 AM
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eyemkeith
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COVID-19 Pushing Copenhagen-style shift in U.S.?

It's doubtful, but this article from The Detroit News explores this question and covers the recent bike boom better than most I've seen in months. I thought it worth a share.
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/bu...el/3285026001/
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Old 07-01-20, 12:20 PM
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Been there, seen it before. Middle 70s, when gas went up to $1/gallon; 2010, when it hit $5/gallon. In those cases, gas prices eased, and almost everybody got back in their cars (and F150 pickup trucks).

With Covid, we all want to drive our own cars and close the streets so we can ride our bikes. Until the first cold, windy, rainy day, at least. When the traffic takes twice as long to get through as it did in January 2019, well, I expect putting a mask on to take a bus or the subway won't be so bad after all.
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Old 07-01-20, 12:31 PM
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Quoted from the article - "Others, however, are more circumspect. “I worry that the momentum we saw was short-lived,” said David Snyder, the executive director of the California Bicycle Assn., a bicycle advocacy organization in Sacramento. “The cars are already back.”

Which is the same here in Texas. The cars are already back.

Plus California is much like it is here regarding urban sprawl and a low population density. Which means that travel distances are not necessarily within a half hour's reach by bicycle. Not counting gentrified urban areas with nice MUPs in close range of work place office buildings, of course.

Personally, my work has picked up throughout June which means I got less time to be on a bicycle than I did in April and May. Due to my line of work, I'll never be a candidate as a commuter.

Last edited by FiftySix; 07-01-20 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 07-01-20, 12:35 PM
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You can take the person out of the car but you can't take the car out of the person. ONCE A DRIVER = almost ALWAYS A DRIVER
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Old 07-01-20, 06:05 PM
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So many bike shops are out of stock now on so many things lol, everyone wants to cycle now. If I go in my local town to the Walmart, Miejer, Target bike section I am looking at empty racks except for maybe like 1 or 2 bikes left thats it. I recently was just able to purchase a few items I needed from a Trek store, I checked a few weeks ago ..."sorry we are all out of stock check back in a few weeks!"

Even if I wanted a road bike the chance that the one I wanted and in the size I wanted would be out of stock. I have already looked on 3 different websites and on Amazon .... sorry out of stock !
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Old 07-02-20, 07:21 AM
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Yep. Same all over.

My local bike shop is barren, and the masked employees are frazzled with mountains of repairs of nearly forgotten old bikes dug out by people driven mad by quarantine. A couple of weeks ago I was at another bike shop to get a small part. There was a line around the block. People were buying whatever bikes the shop could wheel out.
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Old 07-02-20, 08:19 AM
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Copenhagen is light-years ahead of most cities in the World where cycling is concerned - the entire city is a cyclists dream for infrastructure and the cyclists largely obedient of local laws. I love cycling there. I spend more time in Amsterdam which is a close second but the locals are cycling terrorists in comparison; totally unruly. Still, fantastic to cycle in a city where bicycles are more welcome than motor vehicles.

While COVID-related issues can show some the benefits of cycling, it won't be adopted mainstream until the expense of investing in proper infrastructure is made. Multi-story bike carparks. Dedicated lanes to everywhere. Separate traffic lights etc.
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Old 07-02-20, 11:02 AM
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True. Copenhagen is light years ahead. But they started somewhere, right? I think that was all the article was trying to hint at. Perhaps it was hyperbole to shoot that far.

I think if nothing else it shows the optimism that the bike riding community has that something, anything, good could come from this most recent boom, which, as even the outgoing CEO of PeopleForBikes has said, just might be best quarter for the bike industry "in the past 50 years."
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Old 07-02-20, 07:14 PM
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No Copenhagen here, just panic buying a bike for better dust collection in their basement. Ride it a couple times and as soon as COVID is over toss it down the stairs and forget about it. The amount of dusty crusty hunks of heaps being brought in some bought during the last bike boom of the 70s shows it is not a Copenhagen. I would love to see some positive effect from all of this, I really would but I can't imagine things will change a whole lot.

We are certainly doing well business wise, mentally we are all burned out and tired. Too many angry customers not because we did wrong just because. We have certainly made some minor mistakes, we are all humans but getting completely enraged over minor trivial things we are happy to take care of is just silly.
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Old 07-02-20, 08:59 PM
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I'll continue to do my exercise thing riding the bicycle. To think of leaving the bicycle unattended to go into a store, nope never going to be that stupid. If they can't take the bicycle from you, they'll vandalize it so you can't ride it. Then if you're stuck walking it back, you'll just be another target for being robbed.
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Old 07-03-20, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by eyemkeith View Post
True. Copenhagen is light years ahead. But they started somewhere, right? I think that was all the article was trying to hint at. Perhaps it was hyperbole to shoot that far.

I think if nothing else it shows the optimism that the bike riding community has that something, anything, good could come from this most recent boom, which, as even the outgoing CEO of PeopleForBikes has said, just might be best quarter for the bike industry "in the past 50 years."
Yes, they had to start somewhere but that is where the difference lies - they didn't start because more people bought bikes due to a pandemic that will one day end, they rather encouraged it by providing World-leading infrastructure first and thereby making it easier to cycle around the city. In conjunction with that they restricted motor vehicle access which is more appealing to cycling - less vehicle traffic, less fumes, less danger. The combination worked and people bought bikes and the common census is that they prefer it. Many cities and towns in Europe have followed suit.

Still it's great that the cycling industry is benefitting from the current situation and wonderful to see more folks giving cycling a go. To keep them, we need to make it easier and more appealing for them however otherwise they will just revert to cars and if that kickstart results from seeing how willing more people might be, then fantastic.
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Old 07-03-20, 04:00 AM
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As someone who grew up during the bike boom of the 70's, I can say this is different this time. The buying is more panicked and less selective.
Back then, bikes were the new 'IN' thing, driven by various forces, some were buying because of the cost of gas, some were doing it because of the huge push for clean transportation that started back then, and others were driven by various movies they watched which made bicycles seem cool again.

For me, I've always enjoyed getting around on a bike. The problem is I've no always lived in areas that were bike friendly, and working 15 miles or more from home sort of eliminated bicycle commuting.
There were times in my life where I lived in places where bicycles were the way to go, but still kept a car for the bad weather days.
Now that I'm retired, I live in an area that's completely unfriendly toward bicycles. There are no safe roads to ride on, stores and places I frequent have no place to park a bike, vandalism or theft of a bike is almost a guarantee. The few places with bike parking areas put them out of the way in some dark corner of the lot or in some completely unprotected spot where you would never leave a bike you care to return to or rely on to get back home on.

There are no 'real' bike shops either these day here, the nearest is 40 minutes away, and caters only to 'high end' road bikes. Another is strictly BMX only. Anything in between, you have to resort to either used or a department store bike. Luckily I do my own work, so I really don't 'need' a bike shop for service and likely would never buy a 'new' bike. I'm perfectly happy with the new bike I bought back in 1978.

Most roads here have no shoulders to ride on, and most traffic seems to ignore or hate bicycles. Its the norm to be run off the road at least once a week if you travel any semi major road here. I've even been stopped by police and told I shouldn't ride a bicycle, "It makes one look suspicious". There are no bike lanes that actually go anywhere, they put in a few bike lanes at a few major intersections but they're in the middle of major intersections and they start and end only at the intersection. Riding on those roads would be almost certain death.

I get out for a ride a few times a week now at my age, I rarely ever seen another bike on the road.
Bikes are suddenly gone from all the department stores, and Craigslist and Facebook pages have exploded with bikes lately, but I'm not seeing them on the road.

30 years ago you would see kids and the occasional adult out riding around on their bikes, but today, you don't see that, kids don't ride bikes, if they go anywhere they get driven by their parents. Parent either don't ride or consider bikes too dangerous for their kids. When I was a kid, if you didn't own or ride a bike, you got left out, you were the odd one. I suppose the mandatory helmet rule now has a lot to do with the lack of kids on bikes, when I was that age we never heard of bike helmets and I don't recall any of us ever getting hurt on a bike, and that was during the 'Evel Knieval era'.
Back then, there were a dozen or more bike shops selling new bikes and as many that sold only used bikes, today that's all gone. The bikes most people seem to be buying up are department store models, not first rate shop grade bikes, which will no doubt lead to a less than pleasant bike experience.
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Old 07-04-20, 05:52 AM
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It always make me chuckle when anyone makes a comparison of any type between the U.S. and any Nordic country or city.
The entire country of Denmark has a population of 6 million people.
California alone has well over 6x its population at 40 million people.
But yeah, there is no reason in the world we shouldn’t share the exact same types of infrastructure and commuting philosophies
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Old 07-04-20, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
It always make me chuckle when anyone makes a comparison of any type between the U.S. and any Nordic country or city.
The entire country of Denmark has a population of 6 million people.
California alone has well over 6x its population at 40 million people.
But yeah, there is no reason in the world we shouldn’t share the exact same types of infrastructure and commuting philosophies
No need for it to be exactly the same, just observe that there are lessons to be learned in looking at the example of foreign cities, including in Europe.
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