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accepting risks of car-free life

Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

accepting risks of car-free life

Old 12-25-05, 10:36 AM
  #26  
ViciousCycle
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Statistically, suburbs are more dangerous than cities because of the increased risk of dying in car crashes in the suburbs. In The Car and The City, a report by the Northwest Environment Watch, Alan Durning writes that "people often flee... cities for the perceived safety of the suburbs -- only to increase the risks they expose themselves to. " The studied said that the risk of injury in a car crash quadruples for suburb residents over what it is for city dwellers -- mainly because the suburbanites have to drive more and drive faster The report says that traffic crashes kill more people each year than gunshot wounds or drug abuse do.

Some people like to use the word "unsafe" as a synonym for "city" but this can often be an unfair use of the term.
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Old 12-25-05, 10:46 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by some_guy282
I'm curious to know as well, but would guess the biker was either clotheslined off the bike as he rode by, or was stopped at a light when somone pulled him off the bike or threatened with a weapon.
In DC they work in teams. I've seen them come at me in two different ways:

Technique 1: A watcher stands on the sidewalk acting all casual. The jumper is hidden between two parked cars. As you are pedaling past the watcher gives a signal and the jumper comes out from behind
the car and tries to push you off the bike.

Technique 2: Two or more guys are hanging on the side of the street. If there are no other people on the street one crosses the street in front of you walking slowly like nothing is going on but pounces just before your closest point of approach.

Technique 1 is more scarey but there is no plausable denial to any witnesses in nearby houses. In Technique 2 you have some warning in that the guy crossing the street has no reason to be there. A non violent defense for both types is a quick steer behind the jumper. Its hard not to reflexively steer in the same direction as the jump but the jumper will be moving in an extrapolation of your current motion so a brake and quick steer throws him off.

some_guy282: Don't people get pushed off their bikes in the Bronx? Ask an experienced policeman about it I'm sure a cop can describe the common ways it happens in your city.

On the other hand, I also feel much safer on a bike than walking.
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Old 12-25-05, 10:48 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by krispistoferson
Biking at night is fine, if you're lit up.
Yeah, a few shots and a few beers always make the night ride go by a bit quicker.
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Old 12-25-05, 12:58 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by MERTON
were you lit up? if not, i agree with your parents.
I'm always lit up at night (electrical not alcohol) and I ride somewhere almost every night.

Originally Posted by rwwff
Something that may work better than you'd expect... Just do it a few times, unannouced. Don't give them the advanced warning to overreact.
That's what I do, and it usually works. This time it made them even more angry that I hadn't told them. Oops...
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Old 12-25-05, 03:53 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by gwd
some_guy282: Don't people get pushed off their bikes in the Bronx? Ask an experienced policeman about it I'm sure a cop can describe the common ways it happens in your city.

On the other hand, I also feel much safer on a bike than walking.

Not that I know of. I havn't heard any stories.

I also feel safer riding a bike. My girlfriend's neighborhood isn't that great, and I often stay there late. Before I started riding I had to walk from her house to the nearest train station. One night I was almost mugged. A guy standing in front of a building I passed a few moments earlier started running after me to catch up. I heard his footsteps and looked over my shoulder. The idiot stops running about 15 feet behind me to start acting casual, like I'm not going to think anything is up. This was around 1AM. It was a small one way street. I started walking in the middle of the street to stop the oncoming cars. I was hoping to get a ride from one of them, but that didn't happen. The mugger stopped, and pretended he was tying his shoe laces. Oldest trick in the book. Stopping the cars served to bring attention to myself, and I was able to run after that to a street that is more busy. He turned around after that.

Now I just ride my bike and breeze past the bad sections. I feel safer when it's later because there is little or no traffic to slow me down.
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Old 12-25-05, 05:17 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by the homealien
I just had a frustrating experience that I want to share. I live about 30 miles outside of Chicago and I had planned on visiting a friend in the city tonight. I'm 20 years old, attending university and home for the holidays. I have never owned a car and probably never will, so I try to avoid using my parents' cars as much as I can. My plan was to take the train into the city and bike the rest of the way, but when my parents found that out they were very upset and insisted on driving to bring me home right away. My mother, who rides 8 miles to work most days and is vehemently anti-car and anti-sprawl, told me that what I was trying to do was childish, irresponsible and wrong. I had a long argument with her and my dad, and they insisted that biking at night is a wrong choice and that I am a disrespectful child for choosing that. My stance is that biking at night is my choice and it is very important.

What do you think, about the parent-child dynamic but also more importantly about the risks of living car-free?
What, do they think that if you had a car and a bike, you'd somehow be less likely to get hit as opposed to having only a bike and no car?

Where is it you're trying to get to anyway? Perhaps we can suggest a good alternative, bike friendly way to get there.

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Old 12-28-05, 10:09 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by the homealien
I just had a frustrating experience that I want to share. I live about 30 miles outside of Chicago and I had planned on visiting a friend in the city tonight. I'm 20 years old, attending university and home for the holidays. I have never owned a car and probably never will, so I try to avoid using my parents' cars as much as I can. My plan was to take the train into the city and bike the rest of the way, but when my parents found that out they were very upset and insisted on driving to bring me home right away. My mother, who rides 8 miles to work most days and is vehemently anti-car and anti-sprawl, told me that what I was trying to do was childish, irresponsible and wrong. I had a long argument with her and my dad, and they insisted that biking at night is a wrong choice and that I am a disrespectful child for choosing that. My stance is that biking at night is my choice and it is very important.

What do you think, about the parent-child dynamic but also more importantly about the risks of living car-free?
I am of the belief that the most important thing in life is to be true to the self, at least on issues of seminal importance. There is a lot to be said for respect and presentation. The best you could probably do is politely explain your views and take a firm, but understanding, stance.

Blowing off loved ones is an easy, but ill advised, thing to do. They are concerned only because they have a vested interest in you.

Perhaps try to educate them, and explain a bit about the details of night riding.
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Old 01-12-06, 05:07 PM
  #33  
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parents. gotta love 'em. i'm nearing 36 and my parents will still 'parent' me when they can. i guess its out of love!
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Old 01-14-06, 12:46 PM
  #34  
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My parents are the same way when I bike at night. I just showed them how visible and safe I am. I even had them follow me one-time to note by behavior. (I actually forgot about them until they rode up and said, "How long are you going to do this for? We get your point." As was said earlier it is easy to think I am 20 years old now and I can do whatever I want, but it adviseable to get the approval of your parents. They could have a lot of insight that your 20 years of life could have seen yet.

Oh and in case you are wondering, I am 22 and I still approve thigns with my parents. It done because I have to, but its just done out of respect for them, and they can have the peace of mind to know that I will not make any major decision without them. In fact, they do not baby me at all. They treat me as a fellow adult in the "adult club" just have a junior member access pass through.
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Old 01-14-06, 01:33 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by budster
How does that work?
When my bike was forcibly removed from my possession, there was one gang following me on bicycles and another gang saw them trailing me, so the 2nd gang pulled me to the curb with their '64 Impala, trapping me. I tried to run away with my bike and get back to some open street where I could escape, but outnumbered 7 to 1 I didn't manage to get away with my bike.

I imagine there are a lot of ways.
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