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View Full Version : What made the last big bike boom? The next?


Jeff Potter
September 17th 03, 06:44 PM
I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
of:

*cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
*US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
*high gas prices
*low-traffic backroads
*plentiful public culture: living downtowns, nonlitigious property
owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites

What will inspire the next boom?

*I don't know!

--

Jeff Potter
****
*Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com
publisher of outdoor/indoor do-it-yourself culture...
...offering "small world" views on bikes, bows, books, movies...
...rare books on ski, bike, boat culture, plus a Gulf Coast thriller
about smalltown smuggling ... more radical novels coming up!
...original downloadable music ... and articles galore!
plus national "Off the Beaten Path" travel forums! HOLY SMOKES!

David L. Johnson
September 17th 03, 09:09 PM
On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 13:44:20 +0000, Jeff Potter wrote:

> *cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time

Actually much of that boom -- depending on how you define it -- was
populated by people riding Schwinn Continentals.

> *US bicentennial, with
> its urge to 'ride across the country'

I was there during the bicentennial, and do not recall such an urge being
suggested.

> *high gas prices

That was the big difference. This happened in 1973-74, and probably had a
huge impact.

> *low-traffic backroads

Not really. Most riding, then or now, is on city streets.

> *plentiful public culture: living downtowns, nonlitigious property owners,
> generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites

What country are you talking about? Downtowns NOW are much more vibrant
than they were in the '70s in the US. Look at Boston. In the '70s it was a pit.
Same for Philadelphia (still....) and Baltimore. Many cities have made
huge progress in terms of livability and ridability. Property owners were
just as litigious then as now; the acronym NIMBY came from the '70s.
There were no multi-use paths then. I also question your idealized
version of campsites and campgrounds from that time, but that really isn't
anything beyond the noise in terms of general riding popularlty.

> What will inspire the next boom?

$4/gallon gas would go a long way. That would quickly empty the streets
of all the big ego-boosting trucks, making it easier to ride -- and would
give people an incentive. But if our general health, pollution, and the
sheer hassle of trying to park downtown is not enough to get people to
ride more and drive less, I have no real idea what _would_ be enough.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | The lottery is a tax on those who fail to understand
_`\(,_ | mathematics.
(_)/ (_) |

Michael Dart
September 17th 03, 09:28 PM
"Jeff Potter" > wrote in message
.. .
> I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
> of:
>
> *cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
> *US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
> *high gas prices
> *low-traffic backroads
> *plentiful public culture: living downtowns, nonlitigious property
> owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites
>
> What will inspire the next boom?
>

When gas goes to 4 dollars a gallon.

Mike

Mark Weaver
September 17th 03, 09:30 PM
"Jeff Potter" > wrote in message
.. .
> I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's.

Ten-speeds in the mid-70's? I'd say the last spike in interest was when
MTBs came into vogue.

Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles
September 17th 03, 10:00 PM
> When gas goes to 4 dollars a gallon.

I doubt it. The pricing of gas is not nearly as important as its
availability. It's possible that $4/gallon gas might bring on much greater
demand for fuel-efficient cars (which would be a good thing!) but until
people have to wait in long lines, they'll still drive.

The love affair with the auto is all about convenience, not expense. When
it becomes less convenient to drive than to ride (as happens when gas is
rationed), then they'll look to alternatives.

--Mike--
Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReaction.com

"Michael Dart" > wrote in message
...
>
> "Jeff Potter" > wrote in message
> .. .
> > I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
> > of:
> >
> > *cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
> > *US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
> > *high gas prices
> > *low-traffic backroads
> > *plentiful public culture: living downtowns, nonlitigious property
> > owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites
> >
> > What will inspire the next boom?
> >
>
> When gas goes to 4 dollars a gallon.
>
> Mike
>
>

Tanya Quinn
September 17th 03, 11:26 PM
Ken Kifer's website has an excellent article on cycling in the 70's:
http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/lifestyle/70s.htm

Its sad we won't get to read more of his thoughts.

Jeff Potter > wrote in message >...
> I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
> of:
>
> *cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
> *US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
> *high gas prices
> *low-traffic backroads
> *plentiful public culture: living downtowns, nonlitigious property
> owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites
>
> What will inspire the next boom?
>
> *I don't know!
>
> --
>
> Jeff Potter
> ****
> *Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com
> publisher of outdoor/indoor do-it-yourself culture...
> ...offering "small world" views on bikes, bows, books, movies...
> ...rare books on ski, bike, boat culture, plus a Gulf Coast thriller
> about smalltown smuggling ... more radical novels coming up!
> ...original downloadable music ... and articles galore!
> plus national "Off the Beaten Path" travel forums! HOLY SMOKES!

David Damerell
September 18th 03, 12:08 AM
David L. Johnson > wrote:
>On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 13:44:20 +0000, Jeff Potter wrote:
>>What will inspire the next boom?
>$4/gallon gas would go a long way. That would quickly empty the streets
>of all the big ego-boosting trucks, making it easier to ride -- and would
>give people an incentive.

Petrol is about $4 a gallon here and we have an ever-increasing number of
land barges. Admittedly, they're not as silly as American ones, but
they're still a lot sillier than cars.
--
David Damerell > flcl?

Slider2699
September 18th 03, 12:16 AM
"Jeff Potter" > wrote in message
.. .
> I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
> of:
>
> *cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
> *US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
> *high gas prices
>

That will do it, if anything will. If we ever see European style gas prices,
people will seek alternatives. Now, most people won't ride 20 miles one way,
but plenty of people in small towns and cities can surely ride to work.
Wishful thinking, I know...

Don DeMair
September 18th 03, 01:15 AM
"Tanya Quinn" > wrote in message
om...
> Ken Kifer's website has an excellent article on cycling in the 70's:
> http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/lifestyle/70s.htm
>
> Its sad we won't get to read more of his thoughts.

Why not?

rosco
September 18th 03, 01:25 AM
"David Damerell" > wrote in message
...
> David L. Johnson > wrote:
> >On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 13:44:20 +0000, Jeff Potter wrote:
> >>What will inspire the next boom?
> >$4/gallon gas would go a long way. That would quickly empty the streets
> >of all the big ego-boosting trucks, making it easier to ride -- and would
> >give people an incentive.
>
> Petrol is about $4 a gallon here and we have an ever-increasing number of
> land barges. Admittedly, they're not as silly as American ones, but
> they're still a lot sillier than cars.
> --
> David Damerell > flcl?


Based on the commonality of BIG SUVs here in the suburbs you would think we
had no paved roads. Without going down the anti-SUV rathole, I don't think
$4/gallon gas would be the end of this SUV/truck silliness. Lexus is
planning to release a hybrid SUV in a year that will probably get between 30
to 40 mpg. This show what can be done if a manufacturer applies some
relatively simple technology. The auto industry won't let high gas prices
get in the way of selling these very high profit margin vehicles.

In my mind, a better bicycle riding infrastructure could lead to the next
boom, or atleast keep the sport from dying. In our small town this summer
an elderly bicycle enthusiast was mowed over and killed on our narrow roads
where motor vehicles travel MUCH too fast. We have had a couple of fatal
car/SUV crashes on these back roads, and a pedestrian was also killed by a
car. Frankly, I'm afraid to ride a bicycle on many of our roads, and choose
my routes carefully (after the events of this summer, I decided to always
wear a high visibility night-time vest when riding on the roads regardless
of time of day). In my opinion, more bike lanes and trails would have a
huge impact on the popularity of the sport.

(Pete Cresswell)
September 18th 03, 02:02 AM
RE/
>$4/gallon gas would go a long way.

Gas was what, about .25/gallon back in 1958? I think I was paying .27 at the
Hickam AFB BX station in 1962.

My dad paid $4,800 for his fully-loaded Ford Galaxy - and the consensus at the
time was that he got hosed pretty badly.

In 1958 I peeked over a guidance counselor's shoulder and saw that in a survey,
my parents had allowed that if their son made $6,000 per year (at some
undetermined period after graduating... I forget...) they'd consider him a
success.

In 1963 in Hawaii I bought a top-of-the-line two-cycle power mower for $27.00 at
Sears and was clearing $97 per week - union wages - working as a baggage masher
at the Honolulu airport.

Based on those anecdotes I'd guess there's been 600% inflation - absolute
minimum - maybe 800% since 1958.

So, bottom line, gas right now (I think I paid $1.72 last weekend) is dirt
cheap. $.25 * 6 = $1.50. Certainly less than bottled water last time I
priced it at the same Seven-Eleven that I bought my gas at.

Maybe 4 bucks a gallon would do something....but I'd think it would have to be
more like six or eight...
-----------------------
PeteCresswell

Don DeMair
September 18th 03, 02:54 AM
"Don DeMair" > wrote in message
...
>
> "Tanya Quinn" > wrote in message
> om...
> > Ken Kifer's website has an excellent article on cycling in the 70's:
> > http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/lifestyle/70s.htm
> >
> > Its sad we won't get to read more of his thoughts.
>
> Why not?
>
never mind. I just read the post with "Ken Kifer" as the subject line.
Very sad indeed.

bb
September 18th 03, 03:09 AM
Nothing. It will never happen. A Lance Armstrong here or a Greg Lamonde
there may pump up recreational sales, but no "bike boom" ever. As
prosperity arrives, every country abandons bicycles as transportation.
Motor vehicles appeal to our sloth and the greed of the sellers and makers
of the beasts. Nothing can beat sloth and greed.

Be happy you ride. Be happy you will continue to ride while motorists will
be slurping oatmeal after a plaque encrusted artery popped in their brain.

It doesn't matter who you think you are. If you own a bicycle which you
actually ride, you are counter-culture.

bb

"Jeff Potter" > wrote in message
.. .
> I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It > What will inspire
the next boom?
>
> *I don't know!
>
> Jeff Potter

Mike DeMicco
September 18th 03, 03:18 AM
Jeff Potter > wrote in
:

> I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's.

You're forgetting about the mountain bike boom.

bfd
September 18th 03, 03:20 AM
"bb" > wrote in message
ink.net...
> Nothing. It will never happen. A Lance Armstrong here or a Greg Lamonde
> there may pump up recreational sales, but no "bike boom" ever. As
> prosperity arrives, every country abandons bicycles as transportation.

This is so true! When I was in mainland China in 1997, I saw thousands, no
make that hundred of thousands of people riding bicycles as transportation.
However, I also noticed that there were alot of cars too. When I asked our
tour guide about this, he said that people are starting to earn enough from
their ownership of restaurants and stores to be able to afford cars. (Yes,
"communist" china is slowly transitioning into capitalism, they just don't
want to rush things like Russia did). The problem is when these people get
cars, they drive like they're riding their bikes, look out!

However, I don't think its so much sloth and greed, but convienence that
gets people off their bikes and into cars. People just want to get to places
now. A car helps you do that, a bicycle doesn't. If you think China's
pollution is bad now with all its coal burning stoves and fireplaces, just
wait 10-20 years when their billion people population has a "car in every
garage".....

Matt O'Toole
September 18th 03, 04:09 AM
"Mike DeMicco" > wrote in message
.4...

> Jeff Potter > wrote in
> :
>
> > I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's.
>
> You're forgetting about the mountain bike boom.

There seemed to be a roadie boomlet in the 80s, at least in southern CA. All of
a sudden, there were fancy road bikes everywhere, and boutiquey little bike
shops in wealthy neighborhoods. All gone in a few years, until MTBs came along.

Matt O.

Buck
September 18th 03, 04:23 AM
"Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles" > wrote
in message news:KX3ab.1535

> I doubt it. The pricing of gas is not nearly as important as its
> availability. It's possible that $4/gallon gas might bring on much
greater
> demand for fuel-efficient cars (which would be a good thing!) but until
> people have to wait in long lines, they'll still drive.
>
> The love affair with the auto is all about convenience, not expense. When
> it becomes less convenient to drive than to ride (as happens when gas is
> rationed), then they'll look to alternatives.

I think for much of the U.S. it is already too late. The location of
suburbia, especially in sprawling cities, will keep people driving no matter
what. Jobs are now scattered across the city, so the old notion of going
downtown to work is largely lost (I've seen figures that place less than 30%
of the total workforce in downtown on average). Because of the distances,
people aren't likely to seek out bicycles as a viable form of transport.
Perhaps hybids or other high fuel efficiency vehicles, but not bicycles. A
study in Kentucky found average daily driving distances to be 27 miles.
(check with www.dot.gov to find it). This is much farther than most people
would even consider riding. Heck, many people consider a ride around the
block a major trip by bike!

I think the auto is here to stay. Our cities have been designed around them.
No form of public tranpsortation will ever be enough to cover every place
and human-powered transportation is just not going to happen. We will always
have the auto in one form or another.

-Buck

Andreas Oehler
September 18th 03, 07:32 AM
Thu, 18 Sep 2003 02:09:29 GMT, bb:

>As
>prosperity arrives, every country abandons bicycles as transportation.

This seems to be not the case in the Netherlands: A rich country (at least
compared to the UK) but lots of bicycle use (at least compared to the UK).
Most people there own a car and also drive too much. But using a bicycle
is an obvious alternative to car-use.

In Germany there are also some medium-size towns with nearly the same
modal split bike and car. It has to do with tradition, geography (no too
steep hills) and town design (good tight mixture of living and working
instead of business areas and suburbs separated). I have the pleasure to
live in a town, where new quarters with "short ways" as the most important
design rule are planned.

Andreas

trg
September 18th 03, 10:44 AM
"Andreas Oehler" > a écrit dans le message
news: ...
> Thu, 18 Sep 2003 02:09:29 GMT, bb:
>
> >As
> >prosperity arrives, every country abandons bicycles as transportation.
>
> This seems to be not the case in the Netherlands: A rich country (at least
> compared to the UK) but lots of bicycle use (at least compared to the UK).
> Most people there own a car and also drive too much. But using a bicycle
> is an obvious alternative to car-use.
>
> In Germany there are also some medium-size towns with nearly the same
> modal split bike and car. It has to do with tradition, geography (no too
> steep hills) and town design (good tight mixture of living and working
> instead of business areas and suburbs separated). I have the pleasure to
> live in a town, where new quarters with "short ways" as the most important
> design rule are planned.
>
> Andreas

Not true in Denmark either. Attitude, ecological concerns and programs help
a lot. In addition to insisting that there is a proper network of bike paths
(when a road gets built, a bike path gets built next to it), they put about
200% tax on cars. Many people have cars (especially for work), but just
about EVERYONE has a bike, and uses it.

Plus they elected a politician who promised that cyclists will always have a
tailwind!

David Damerell
September 18th 03, 01:37 PM
bb > wrote:
>Nothing. It will never happen. A Lance Armstrong here or a Greg Lamonde
>there may pump up recreational sales, but no "bike boom" ever. As
>prosperity arrives, every country abandons bicycles as transportation.

Actually, many Continental countries have seen a significant increase in
bicycle use over the last decade.
--
David Damerell > flcl?

Art Harris
September 18th 03, 02:10 PM
Jeff Potter wrote:

> I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
> of:
>
> *cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
> *US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
> *high gas prices
> *low-traffic backroads
> *plentiful public culture: living downtowns, nonlitigious property
> owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites

The 70s bike boom was fueled mainly by teenagers and twenty somethings
buying inexpensive ten speeds. You could jump on your ten speed
wearing sneakers and cut-off jeans and ride. People liked the sporty
look and feel of those bikes, but most ended up sitting in garages.

In the '80s, mountain bikes became more popular because they were more
comfortable and easier to ride. And they made more sense for the
majority of casual riders. By then, road bikes were getting more
expensive, and only the real enthusiasts were buying them.

I think the drop bar road bike will remain a specialty item for
enthusiasts. I hope that the overwhelming emphasis on speed, racing,
and stupid-light everything will moderate, and people will get back
buying stable, durable "sport touring" bikes. But I don't yearn for
the days of toe clips and friction shifting.

Will there be another bike boom? Not likely. I suspect that most
people under 35 grew up not using bikes for getting around. They were
driven or bused to school and other activities. If they rode a bike at
all, it was probably to go a few blocks to a friends house, or to hang
out at the local convenience store. They can't conceive of riding a
bike even 5-10 miles. And they're probably not comfortable with riding
in traffic.

If there is to be another bike boom among the general public, it will
likely be driven by some sort of hybrid bike that's easy to ride,
comfortable, inexpensive, and can be ridden in ordinary clothes.

Art Harris

Jeff Potter
September 18th 03, 03:59 PM
I'm not sure it has to happen at the expense of cars. They appear to be here
to stay. Why can't bikes be ADDED to them?

People getting out in the fresh air and exploring around could become
popular---as long as some open roads remain.

But maybe things are getting too built-in. I think that bikes work for fun
and transit as long as there are options to the 'ring of death' that the car
creates (especially in suburbs). But the last time I drove (a car) in the
eastern part of the US, I was just SHOCKED at how hellish the traffic was
everywhere including the countryside. I got immediately and intolerably
claustrophobic. Yet it's where the people are. We in Michigan seem to have
it about 5 TIMES EASIER in terms of car traffic congestion.

Art Harris wrote:

> If there is to be another bike boom among the general public, it will
> likely be driven by some sort of hybrid bike that's easy to ride,
> comfortable, inexpensive, and can be ridden in ordinary clothes.

--

Jeff Potter
****
*Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com
publisher of outdoor/indoor do-it-yourself culture...
...offering "small world" views on bikes, bows, books, movies...
...rare books on ski, bike, boat culture, plus a Gulf Coast thriller
about smalltown smuggling ... more radical novels coming up!
...original downloadable music ... and articles galore!
plus national "Off the Beaten Path" travel forums! HOLY SMOKES!

David Kerber
September 18th 03, 04:01 PM
In article >,
says...
> I'm not sure it has to happen at the expense of cars. They appear to be here
> to stay. Why can't bikes be ADDED to them?
>
> People getting out in the fresh air and exploring around could become
> popular---as long as some open roads remain.
>
> But maybe things are getting too built-in. I think that bikes work for fun
> and transit as long as there are options to the 'ring of death' that the car
> creates (especially in suburbs). But the last time I drove (a car) in the
> eastern part of the US, I was just SHOCKED at how hellish the traffic was
> everywhere including the countryside. I got immediately and intolerably
> claustrophobic. Yet it's where the people are.

Most of the people who live there don't like it either, but that's
where the jobs are...

....

--
Dave Kerber
Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.

Jeff Potter
September 18th 03, 04:05 PM
"David L. Johnson" wrote:

> On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 13:44:20 +0000, Jeff Potter wrote:
>
> > *cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
>
> Actually much of that boom -- depending on how you define it -- was
> populated by people riding Schwinn Continentals.

Which were light compared to what was before. Contis started the boom but cheap
Flandrias really set it off (maybe).

> > *US bicentennial, with
> > its urge to 'ride across the country'
>
> I was there during the bicentennial, and do not recall such an urge being
> suggested.

The bicentennial created its own urge for people to get out and look around their
land. I definitely remember the public being in an expansive outdoorsy mood then.

> > *high gas prices
>
> That was the big difference. This happened in 1973-74, and probably had a
> huge impact.

Outdoorsiness in general was HUGE then, even faddish. Not necessarily at the expense
of the car but I guess in general people were going nuts over the idea of the
ecology. They wanted to stop pollution BUT ALSO to get outside themselves. These are
somewhat separate issues. Today people probably are aware of distastrous
contamination and would stop it if it was found...yet they don't go outside.

> > *low-traffic backroads
>
> Not really. Most riding, then or now, is on city streets.

Backpacking and bike touring were perhaps 10X what it is today. Hitchhiking was
maybe 100X what it is today.

> > *plentiful public culture: living downtowns, nonlitigious property owners,
> > generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites
>
> What country are you talking about? Downtowns NOW are much more vibrant

I don't mean urban areas. Bike touring brought people into small towns not big ones.
Today the small town is dead.

> than they were in the '70s in the US. Look at Boston. In the '70s it was a pit.
> Same for Philadelphia (still....) and Baltimore. Many cities have made
> huge progress in terms of livability and ridability. Property owners were
> just as litigious then as now; the acronym NIMBY came from the '70s.
> There were no multi-use paths then. I also question your idealized
> version of campsites and campgrounds from that time, but that really isn't
> anything beyond the noise in terms of general riding popularlty.

You could readily ask people/farmers if you could camp on their land and they'd say
Yes, today they say No. Big difference! The difference supported many more thousands
of tourists, travelers on the road back then compared to today.

--

Jeff Potter
****
*Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com
publisher of outdoor/indoor do-it-yourself culture...
...offering "small world" views on bikes, bows, books, movies...
...rare books on ski, bike, boat culture, plus a Gulf Coast thriller
about smalltown smuggling ... more radical novels coming up!
...original downloadable music ... and articles galore!
plus national "Off the Beaten Path" travel forums! HOLY SMOKES!

Simon Brooke
September 18th 03, 05:35 PM
"rosco" > writes:

> "David Damerell" > wrote in message
> ...
> > David L. Johnson > wrote:
> > >On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 13:44:20 +0000, Jeff Potter wrote:
> > >>What will inspire the next boom?
> > >$4/gallon gas would go a long way. That would quickly empty the streets
> > >of all the big ego-boosting trucks, making it easier to ride -- and would
> > >give people an incentive.
> >
> > Petrol is about $4 a gallon here and we have an ever-increasing number of
> > land barges. Admittedly, they're not as silly as American ones, but
> > they're still a lot sillier than cars.
>
> Based on the commonality of BIG SUVs here in the suburbs you would think we
> had no paved roads. Without going down the anti-SUV rathole, I don't think
> $4/gallon gas would be the end of this SUV/truck silliness. Lexus is
> planning to release a hybrid SUV in a year that will probably get between 30
> to 40 mpg. This show what can be done if a manufacturer applies some
> relatively simple technology. The auto industry won't let high gas prices
> get in the way of selling these very high profit margin vehicles.

Well, I drive what gets sold in the US as an Isuzu Amigo. I don't know
whether you would count it as an SUV, although it is by UK
standards. I drive it mainly for pulling large boats around and for
forestry work. It has a two litre four cylinder petrol engine and does
better than 35 MPG on road. Living where I live (remote rural area) and
doing what I do (among other things, secretary of a forestry charity)
it seems a reasonable choice of vehicle, and I don't see it as 'silly'
at all.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

;; my other religion is Emacs

Donald Gillies
September 18th 03, 05:35 PM
Jeff Potter > writes:

>I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
>of:

>*cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
>*US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
>*high gas prices
>*low-traffic backroads
>*plentiful public culture: living downtowns, nonlitigious property
>owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites

>What will inspire the next boom?

Wrong, wrong, wrong. In the late 1960's and early 1970's we had a
bike boom because :

* The average Baby boomer (born 1945-1960) was 10-30 years old.

Therefore, the "echo boom" from the baby boomers, which will take
roughly 37 years to occur (25 for baby boomers to reproduce, 12 for
the average echo boomer to reach the midpoint of bicycling childhood)
has already occured. It happened in :

1952 + 37 = 1989.

America has always been founded on the following idea : goose this
pyramid-scheme of a country by allowing smart, hard-working immigrants
into the country with nothing, nil, nada, in order to compete for all
the existing capital and land owned by the existing fatcat citizens.

Because of this principle, in the 1990's we more or less smoothed over
the population bulge (and subsequent population vacuum) that came from
the baby boom generation. In the 1990's we had more immigrants as a %
of population than in any decade of the 20th century. These
immigrants were allowed into the country specifically to screw the
Gen-X'ers, who were moaning about being poor because all the boomers
had houses and wouldn't sell. The huge mass of immigrants in their
20's and 30's was very effective at drowning out those moans.

Ergo, the next bike boom will appear 20 years after world-war III.

- Don Gillies
San Diego, CA

Steven Scharf
September 18th 03, 07:54 PM
Jeff Potter > wrote in message >...
> I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
> of:
>
> *cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time
> *US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
> *high gas prices
> *low-traffic backroads
> *plentiful public culture: living downtowns, nonlitigious property
> owners, generous campsite finding, cheap tentsites
>
> What will inspire the next boom?
>
> *I don't know!

While the Schwinn Varsity may have contributed to a boom
in the 1970's, it wasn't the last boom. The last boom was
mountain bikes, used as street bikes, because they weren't
as prone to breaking down as "racing bikes," and the riding
position was more comfortable. Everyone just had to have a
mountain bike. Then people who didn't go off-road decided
to go to "hybrids," though this was more of a shift in sales,
not new sales.

A gasoline shortage will inspire more riding, simply a price
increase will not. I probably save $1.75 in gas every day
that I bike to work, but I don't notice my net worth going
up. I do it because I enjoy it, not to save money. I think
the next boom or boomlet will occur when the manufacturers
take steps to make bicycles that are more practical
as an occasional substitute for a vehicle, while also
being usable for recreational rides.

Hence, the next boomlet may be in what are called
"Trekking" Bikes in Europe, which are like a fully
equipped city bike or commute bike. Trek has
introduced them to the U.S. for 2004, though almost
no dealers are even willing to take a chance in trying
to sell them yet, especially since Trek has priced them
extremely high (I found one dealer in the Bay area who
had one in stock, but it was already sold, and they
weren't ordering more).

Fuji is thinking of also selling their trekking bikes
in the U.S., and hopefully Trek's move will spur them
into action. If Giant would also do so, it would drive
prices to more reasonable levels. Kettler sells them
as well. These are good bikes for college students,
suburbanites, and city dwellers, who want to reduce their
car usage. Chainguards, lights, racks, kickstand,
sometimes even locks, are all standard (no skirt guards
yet). Thing is, these should sell for $150 more than an
equivalent quality hybrid, not $400-500 more.

Bicycle manufacturers should learn from car makers on
how to create new markets. You don't introduce a new
product category at high prices and then give up because
you think there is no market for the product. You seed
the market with products at attractive prices, create the
market, then upscale.

Rick Onanian
September 18th 03, 08:33 PM
On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 02:09:29 GMT, bb > wrote:
> of the beasts. Nothing can beat sloth and greed.

That's why sloth and greed are my lord and saviour. <G>

> It doesn't matter who you think you are. If you own a bicycle which you
> actually ride, you are counter-culture.

Aw, crud. I gotta get rid of my bike now.

Wait, if you don't drive, and only ride a bike, you
are pro-culture in two ways:
1. You need to live in a dense city to survive
2. You need to buy bicycle, supplies, parts from
greedy evil corporations (and you need
money with which to do it, so you have a
job working for a company too).

Hmm...maybe a bicycle isn't a political statement,
but rather, just a fun way to excersize, get around,
and enjoy life.

Hey, I thought I promised myself I wouldn't get into
these discussions anymore. *slaps self upside the head*

> bb
--
Rick "Greedy Capitalist Pig Pop-Culture Whore" Onanian

Art Harris
September 18th 03, 09:42 PM
Jeff Potter wrote:
> I'm not sure it has to happen at the expense of cars. They appear to be here
> to stay. Why can't bikes be ADDED to them?

I agree; hope I didn't imply anything to the contrary.

> People getting out in the fresh air and exploring around could become
> popular---as long as some open roads remain.

I agree with that too. But I think it has to start with kids riding
bikes. Most kids don't seem too interested. I have to wonder whether I
would have taken up cycling as an adult if I hadn't learned to enjoy
it as a kid.

Art Harris

Paul Floyd
September 18th 03, 10:36 PM
On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 11:44:18 +0200, trg > wrote:
>
> Plus they elected a politician who promised that cyclists will always have a
> tailwind!
>

I don't remember where it was (I might even have read it in a local
paper), but covered cycle paths with air blown through them with fans
do/have existed.

A bientot
Paul
--
Paul Floyd http://paulf.free.fr (for what it's worth)
Surgery: ennobled Gerald.

Paul Floyd
September 18th 03, 10:44 PM
On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 16:35:16 GMT, Simon Brooke > wrote:
>
> Well, I drive what gets sold in the US as an Isuzu Amigo. I don't know
> whether you would count it as an SUV, although it is by UK
> standards. I drive it mainly for pulling large boats around and for
> forestry work. It has a two litre four cylinder petrol engine and does
> better than 35 MPG on road. Living where I live (remote rural area) and
> doing what I do (among other things, secretary of a forestry charity)
> it seems a reasonable choice of vehicle, and I don't see it as 'silly'
> at all.

The 'silly' users are the ones that live somewhere like Reading, and use
them for taking the kids to school (1 mile) and shopping at Tescos - we
all know you need to engage 4 wheel drive to get into a car park.

A bientot
Paul
--
Paul Floyd http://paulf.free.fr (for what it's worth)
Surgery: ennobled Gerald.

(Pete Cresswell)
September 18th 03, 11:00 PM
RE/
>I don't think its so much sloth and greed, but convienence that
>gets people off their bikes and into cars. People just want to get to places
>now. A car helps you do that

Somebody I know was in a high-level urban planning session in Shanghai about 12
years back.

A group of Australians were presenting and one guy was going on and on about how
fortunate Chinese cities were to have all these bikes and so few cars...and how
they should try to build something into the plans to try to keep it that way.

As he was going on-and-on in English and somebody was translating, this one
career civil engineer in his fifties started muttering to himself in Mandarin
and finally sort of burst out with something.

The Australian guy asked the translator what he was saying, but the translator
danced around it - giving a more-or-less evasive rendering.

What the guy actually said was "You are sooooo full of ****! Have you *ever*
tried living where you always have to go everywhere by bicycle or bus?"
-----------------------
PeteCresswell

Mitch Haley
September 18th 03, 11:03 PM
Art Harris wrote:
> I agree with that too. But I think it has to start with kids riding
> bikes. Most kids don't seem too interested. I have to wonder whether I
> would have taken up cycling as an adult if I hadn't learned to enjoy
> it as a kid.

Me too. When I was a kid, everybody rode a bike, and nobody tried to
tell us it was more dangerous than kids running around on our feet.
There were no "safety equipment" makers trying to scare the @^%*@
out of our parents in an effort to sell crap to them either.

The current issue of Good Housekeeping has an article on the
best states to raise children in. I opened it up and the first
thing I saw was high praise for Florida having one of the most
restrictive bike helmet laws in the country. Yep, keep them inside
playing video games, that's the way to help them live long healthy
lives. Then when they are 16 you can let them ride a bike without a hat.
(fat chance, when they are 16 they want a car)
Mitch

(Pete Cresswell)
September 18th 03, 11:05 PM
RE/
>I think for much of the U.S. it is already too late. The location of
>suburbia, especially in sprawling cities, will keep people driving no matter
>what. Jobs are now scattered across the city, so the old notion of going
>downtown to work is largely lost (I've seen figures that place less than 30%
>of the total workforce in downtown on average). Because of the distances,
>people aren't likely to seek out bicycles as a viable form of transport.

Plus, there's the condition of the roads/behavior of drivers.

I'm in a suburb of Philadelphia where I could ride a bike to work in 15 minutes
max (I can walk it in 38 minutes).....but if somebody rode that route every day
they wouldn't last a year: areas with no shoulder, cars doing 50-60 in 25mph
zones while the drivers talk on cell phones, people careening around blind
corners with one wheel a foot over the double line....and so-on and so-forth...

I think cell phones have had a major deliterous effect. People talking on them
is bad news...but I'm seeing people writing things down while they talk....dunno
how they're able to *do* that....I don't think I could...
-----------------------
PeteCresswell

Ray Heindl
September 18th 03, 11:32 PM
"(Pete Cresswell)" > wrote:

> Based on those anecdotes I'd guess there's been 600% inflation -
> absolute minimum - maybe 800% since 1958.

Good guess -- it's 634%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

--
Ray Heindl
(remove the X to reply)

David Kerber
September 19th 03, 01:10 AM
In article >, says...
> Art Harris wrote:
> > I agree with that too. But I think it has to start with kids riding
> > bikes. Most kids don't seem too interested. I have to wonder whether I
> > would have taken up cycling as an adult if I hadn't learned to enjoy
> > it as a kid.
>
> Me too. When I was a kid, everybody rode a bike, and nobody tried to
> tell us it was more dangerous than kids running around on our feet.
> There were no "safety equipment" makers trying to scare the @^%*@
> out of our parents in an effort to sell crap to them either.
>
> The current issue of Good Housekeeping has an article on the
> best states to raise children in. I opened it up and the first
> thing I saw was high praise for Florida having one of the most
> restrictive bike helmet laws in the country. Yep, keep them inside
> playing video games, that's the way to help them live long healthy
> lives. Then when they are 16 you can let them ride a bike without a hat.

Since when does requiring helmets equate to "keep them inside playing
video games"? Requiring some protection for their heads while they're
still learning to handle their bikes and ride on busy roads is fine by
me. I require my kids to wear a helmet any time they're on human-
powered wheels in the road, whether it's on a bike, scooter or roller
blades. They whined at first, but now it's a habit and they grab their
helmets automatically when they go out, and it doesn't seem to have any
effect on their desire to go out and roll around.

--
Dave Kerber
Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.

Mitch Haley
September 19th 03, 02:57 AM
David Kerber wrote:
> I require my kids to wear a helmet any time they're on human-
> powered wheels in the road, whether it's on a bike, scooter or roller
> blades.

That may be fine for you, but how many parents believe the scare-mongering
sales tactics and decide the safest thing for their kids is to not get
them a bike?
Mitch.

Tim Jones
September 19th 03, 05:36 AM
"Mitch Haley" > wrote in message
...
> David Kerber wrote:
> > I require my kids to wear a helmet any time they're on human-
> > powered wheels in the road, whether it's on a bike, scooter or roller
> > blades.
>
> That may be fine for you, but how many parents believe the scare-mongering
> sales tactics and decide the safest thing for their kids is to not get
> them a bike?
>

I'm a parent and a keen cyclist. Here in Australia it has been about 20
years since mandatory helmets were introduced.

As a kid, I didn't like the idea too much, but got used to it soon enough.
When everyone else is wearing a helmet, they no longer look all that dorky
(relitively speaking).

Just because helmets are mandated, does not make scare-mongering more
prevalent - probably less so. We have no adverts to promote the use of
helmets here, no posters in shops, no attempts to sway parents that their
kids need helmets. When a kid gets a bike, they just end up with a helmet as
well. Simple as that.

And growing up always wearing helmets means that they do not question them -
they are just part of their cycling gear - like wheels or lights etc.

You can argue easily that they may not protect you from certain injuries. It
is much harder to argue that they provide no additional safety. I can feel
more comfortable as a parent that in making sure my son has a helmet on, I
am doing what I can to protect him as far as equipment goes. Of course
education and instruction will always have more impact than just wearing a
helmet.

Cheers,

Tim

Mark Hickey
September 19th 03, 06:36 AM
"(Pete Cresswell)" > wrote:

>Somebody I know was in a high-level urban planning session in Shanghai about 12
>years back.
>
>A group of Australians were presenting and one guy was going on and on about how
>fortunate Chinese cities were to have all these bikes and so few cars...and how
>they should try to build something into the plans to try to keep it that way.
>
>As he was going on-and-on in English and somebody was translating, this one
>career civil engineer in his fifties started muttering to himself in Mandarin
>and finally sort of burst out with something.
>
>The Australian guy asked the translator what he was saying, but the translator
>danced around it - giving a more-or-less evasive rendering.
>
>What the guy actually said was "You are sooooo full of ****! Have you *ever*
>tried living where you always have to go everywhere by bicycle or bus?"

Back then, some of the city governments in China were pushing for
everyone to get off their bikes and into cars. It seems they decided
that a major indicator of a modern society was that no one rides
bikes, but drives instead. Sigh...

When I moved to Beijing in the early 90's, there weren't all that many
cars, and cycling was quick and easy (in a relative way that would
take far too long to explain...). Last time I was there, there were
so many cars clogging up the (too few) roads that they were spilling
over onto the bike roads (separate facilities). End result, no one
could go anywhere very fast, but the bikes were still considerably
quicker than the cars (there is some justice).

There's a lot more fat Chinese people in Beijing than there used to
be, too...

Mark Hickey
Habanero Cycles
http://www.habcycles.com
Home of the $695 ti frame

Bernie
September 19th 03, 08:29 AM
Art Harris wrote:

> Jeff Potter wrote:
> > I'm not sure it has to happen at the expense of cars. They appear to be here
> > to stay. Why can't bikes be ADDED to them?
>
> I agree; hope I didn't imply anything to the contrary.
>
> > People getting out in the fresh air and exploring around could become
> > popular---as long as some open roads remain.
>
> I agree with that too. But I think it has to start with kids riding
> bikes. Most kids don't seem too interested. I have to wonder whether I
> would have taken up cycling as an adult if I hadn't learned to enjoy
> it as a kid.
>
> Art Harris

I rode as a kid, and I hear you loud and clear. Young adults and kids today are
in the majority not into bicycling like kids were 40 or 50 years ago.
Nonetheless, bicycyling is too valuable a resource for the common person to let it
go. I am optimistic that human powered transport eg: bicycles will exist for a
long time.
The pluses are too great and simple:
human powered
simple maintenance
low tech parts
light for a person to pick up and store
Bicycles are powerful tools, a true extension of the human operator. Don't secon
guess them. They are useful and valuable today, and will be for decades to come.
Kind regards, Bernie

Eric S. Sande
September 19th 03, 08:49 AM
Bernie wrote:

>Bicycles are powerful tools, a true extension of the human operator.

If you don't mind I am going to steal that quote.

--

_______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________
------------------"Buddy Holly, the Texas Elvis"------------------

Mitch Haley
September 19th 03, 12:21 PM
Tim Jones wrote:
> Of course education and instruction will always have more impact
> than just wearing a helmet.

'tis far better to prevent a crash than to try to reduce it's effects.
I just can't figure out why Good Housekeeping magazine thinks the
children of safety conscious parents will somehow become more
safe if they move to a state which mandates helmets when the
parents can already mandate the things wherever they live.
Parenting begins in the home, not the legislature.
Mitch

David Kerber
September 19th 03, 12:29 PM
In article >, says...
> David Kerber wrote:
> > I require my kids to wear a helmet any time they're on human-
> > powered wheels in the road, whether it's on a bike, scooter or roller
> > blades.
>
> That may be fine for you, but how many parents believe the scare-mongering
> sales tactics and decide the safest thing for their kids is to not get
> them a bike?
> Mitch.

What do you mean by "scare-mongering sales tactics"? I haven't seen
anything like that around here, though the fact that helmets are
required for kids may be part of the reason. What have you seen in
your area?



--
Dave Kerber
Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

REAL programmers write self-modifying code.

David Damerell
September 19th 03, 01:08 PM
(Pete Cresswell) > wrote:
>What the guy actually said was "You are sooooo full of ****! Have you *ever*
>tried living where you always have to go everywhere by bicycle or bus?"

Like Amsterdam? Copenhagen? Zurich? Any one of a number of other
marvellous Continental cities, all of which are so much nicer than
American cities it's not even funny?

Yes, please!
--
David Damerell > Distortion Field!

David Damerell
September 19th 03, 01:09 PM
Rick Onanian > wrote:
>Wait, if you don't drive, and only ride a bike, you
>are pro-culture in two ways:
> 1. You need to live in a dense city to survive

Bunk. I live in a medium-sized town.
--
David Damerell > Distortion Field!

David Damerell
September 19th 03, 01:11 PM
Donald Gillies > wrote:
>Ergo, the next bike boom will appear 20 years after world-war III.

With all those legs, the roaches are going to need tandem-style
drivetrains, poor things.
--
David Damerell > Distortion Field!

Tim Jones
September 19th 03, 01:30 PM
"Mitch Haley" > wrote in message
...
> Tim Jones wrote:
> > Of course education and instruction will always have more impact
> > than just wearing a helmet.
>
> 'tis far better to prevent a crash than to try to reduce it's effects.
> I just can't figure out why Good Housekeeping magazine thinks the
> children of safety conscious parents will somehow become more
> safe if they move to a state which mandates helmets when the
> parents can already mandate the things wherever they live.
> Parenting begins in the home, not the legislature.
> Mitch

While it is true that parenting begins in the home, how likely is a 12 year
old kid going to be to wear a helmet when he goes riding with his buddies
that don't wear helmets. They still may not do it if mandated, but at least
there is a good chance that kids will do what their parents tell them to in
this case.

Tim

Buck
September 19th 03, 03:14 PM
"David Damerell" > wrote in message
...
> (Pete Cresswell) > wrote:
> >What the guy actually said was "You are sooooo full of ****! Have you
*ever*
> >tried living where you always have to go everywhere by bicycle or bus?"
>
> Like Amsterdam? Copenhagen? Zurich? Any one of a number of other
> marvellous Continental cities, all of which are so much nicer than
> American cities it's not even funny?
>
> Yes, please!

It's all about perception. They are the "have-nots" and want the freedom and
mobility offered by automobiles. Being able to travel great distances in
relative comfort without having to share the space with other people (and in
many cases, livestock too) is a sign of success. I can't say that I blame
them for wanting what they perceive as a major advantage.

They either don't realize the negative aspects or think that the advantages
outweigh the disadvantages.

And I can agree with them somewhat. I personally hate living in the city.
Being stacked on top of one-another, having to listen to the neighbors
arguing or playing the stereo too loud, having to be extra conscientious
about the noise I am producing, having to deal with other people every time
I step outside of my door, not being able to grow my own flowers and
vegetables, not being able to look out my window and watch the squirrels run
along the fence or the birds flying between the trees, not being able to
watch the trees sway in the wind or the leaves change colors in the fall,
having miles and miles of roads that are pleasant to ride on because they
are lined with trees (think shade) and have low speed limits.... There is a
lot to be said about the advantages of suburbia over the city. Too often we
focus on the problems of suburbia and forget why people want to live there
in the first place.

-Buck

Matt O'Toole
September 19th 03, 04:14 PM
"Bernie" > wrote in message
...

> I rode as a kid, and I hear you loud and clear. Young adults and kids today
are
> in the majority not into bicycling like kids were 40 or 50 years ago.

....or even 25 years ago. We all rode bikes when I was a kid, and I'm not *that*
old.

At least in the town where I'm from, the death knell came some time in the
mid-80s. At some point, kids decided riding to school just wasn't "cool," and
they didn't want to be seen doing it anymore.

Matt O.

Matt O'Toole
September 19th 03, 04:18 PM
"Mitch Haley" > wrote in message
...

> Tim Jones wrote:

> > Of course education and instruction will always have more impact
> > than just wearing a helmet.
>
> 'tis far better to prevent a crash than to try to reduce it's effects.
> I just can't figure out why Good Housekeeping magazine thinks the
> children of safety conscious parents will somehow become more
> safe if they move to a state which mandates helmets when the
> parents can already mandate the things wherever they live.
> Parenting begins in the home, not the legislature.

Good Housekeeping ought to look at which states implement bike safety programs
schools, like we used to have.

I've never seen a study on this, but I bet it helps make these kids better
drivers too.

Matt O.

Steven M. Scharf
September 19th 03, 04:33 PM
"Art Harris" > wrote in message
om...

>If there is to be another bike boom among the general public, it will
>likely be driven by some sort of hybrid bike that's easy to ride,
>comfortable, inexpensive, and can be ridden in ordinary clothes.

Wow, like an old Columbia three speed?

I think that you are correct. Those bikes are imported to the U.S. now,
but are very expensive considering the componentry.

It'll take a brave manufacturer, and brave dealers to offer the lower end
European style roadsters and "trekking" bikes in the U.S.. Trek, Fuji,
and Giant all have these models, but haven't wanted to try selling
them in the U.S.. Trek is trying with their higher end models for
2004, but almost no dealers are carrying them, so they're are likely
to fail and conclude that there is no market.

Until they become mainstream, they'll command very high prices
and won't be adopted.

Andreas Oehler
September 19th 03, 07:03 PM
Fri, 19 Sep 2003 14:14:59 GMT, Buck:
>I personally hate living in the city.

There are other options than the classis "city" (with very high concrete
buildings, no trees, wide streets) or boring standard amercan "suburbs".
New quarters here in southern germany are often planned to have buidings
with 3 to 5 floors, narrow roads, lots of shops, restaurants and small
business on the ground floor, trees along the road, nice designed open
courtyards maintained by the occupants but open to the public. Car parking
is not allowed on the roadside but only in central parking garages. This
makes shure, that the way to your bike (every building has to have a big
bike shed/room) or the bus stop is always nearer than the way to your car.

>Being stacked on top of one-another, having to listen to the neighbors
>arguing or playing the stereo too loud, having to be extra conscientious
>about the noise I am producing, having to deal with other people every time

This IS a problem.

>I step outside of my door, not being able to grow my own flowers and
>vegetables, not being able to look out my window and watch the squirrels run
>along the fence or the birds flying between the trees, not being able to
>watch the trees sway in the wind or the leaves change colors in the fall,

This is possible here.

>having miles and miles of roads that are pleasant to ride on because they
>are lined with trees (think shade)

It is not neccessary to ride "miles and miles" because the city is
designed to have (nearly) everything available in a short distance.

> and have low speed limits....

30km/h is the speed limit in the quarter here - but you often have to be
slower.

> There is a
>lot to be said about the advantages of suburbia over the city. Too often we
>focus on the problems of suburbia and forget why people want to live there
>in the first place.

There might be alternatives which could also appeal to people in the US.

Andreas

Buck
September 19th 03, 08:05 PM
"Andreas Oehler" > wrote in message
...
> Fri, 19 Sep 2003 14:14:59 GMT, Buck:
> >I personally hate living in the city.
>
> There are other options than the classis "city" (with very high concrete
> buildings, no trees, wide streets) or boring standard amercan "suburbs".
> New quarters here in southern germany are often planned to have buidings
> with 3 to 5 floors, narrow roads, lots of shops, restaurants and small
> business on the ground floor, trees along the road, nice designed open
> courtyards maintained by the occupants but open to the public. Car parking
> is not allowed on the roadside but only in central parking garages. This
> makes shure, that the way to your bike (every building has to have a big
> bike shed/room) or the bus stop is always nearer than the way to your car.

Which places people back in the situation that I noted before - stacked
together and unable to walk outside without having to deal with other
people.

> >I step outside of my door, not being able to grow my own flowers and
> >vegetables, not being able to look out my window and watch the squirrels
run
> >along the fence or the birds flying between the trees, not being able to
> >watch the trees sway in the wind or the leaves change colors in the fall,
>
> This is possible here.

Ah, the classic "community garden." I'd like to be able to grow my own
veggies without having to deal with other people taking them.

> >having miles and miles of roads that are pleasant to ride on because they
> >are lined with trees (think shade)
>
> It is not neccessary to ride "miles and miles" because the city is
> designed to have (nearly) everything available in a short distance.

You missed the point. Part of being an avid cyclist is the desire to ride
miles and miles and having nice roads upon which to ride. Riding in the city
is a much different, and unpleasant, experience.

> > and have low speed limits....
>
> 30km/h is the speed limit in the quarter here - but you often have to be
> slower.

Again, part of the problem. I don't want to be stuck on crowded city
streets. I want traffic moving about the same speed I can move. It's safer
overall. And a bonus in suburbia is the lack of pedestrians (yes, it is sad
that people aren't outside). I have had more close calls with wandering
pedestrians than I have had with cars. Take a ride on the streets of your
local university campus to get a taste of the problem.

> There might be alternatives which could also appeal to people in the US.

I think that much of the world recognizes the advantages of suburban life,
thus their desire to emulate it. Even in places where public transportation
is well entrenched, the people are using the commuter trains to move away
from the city and into smaller suburban towns. There is less dependence on
private automobiles, but the sprawling condition is much the same.

-Buck

(Pete Cresswell)
September 20th 03, 12:22 AM
RE/
>At least in the town where I'm from, the death knell came some time in the
>mid-80s. At some point, kids decided riding to school just wasn't "cool," and
>they didn't want to be seen doing it anymore.

I grew up in a town near Philadelpha, PA called West Chester.

Rode to school every day. Rode just about all day every day in the summer
trying to keep up with a pack of my buds - one of town to the other - we were
*everywhere*.

Now I live near that town and have occasion to go there from time-to-time.

My take is that on the roads in that town (and, in fact, on the roads around
where I now live) the kind of riding we did as kids would be an order of several
magnitudes more dangerous...to the point where my guess would be that at least
one of us would've been killed doing the same stuff we did then today.

Traffic is just not the same now....and getting worse by the year as far as I
can see.
-----------------------
PeteCresswell

Rick
September 20th 03, 01:33 AM
Yes, for example, my completely unscientific observations are that Volvo
drivers to be amongst the worst on record. My reasoning is that those who
drive well, prefer to drive a car that handles well. Those who don't, prefer
a car that does well in crash tests.

Says pretty much all I have to say on the subject.

Rick

"Mitch Haley" > wrote in message
...
> Tim Jones wrote:
> > Of course education and instruction will always have more impact
> > than just wearing a helmet.
>
> 'tis far better to prevent a crash than to try to reduce it's effects.
> I just can't figure out why Good Housekeeping magazine thinks the
> children of safety conscious parents will somehow become more
> safe if they move to a state which mandates helmets when the
> parents can already mandate the things wherever they live.
> Parenting begins in the home, not the legislature.
> Mitch

Al Frost
September 20th 03, 03:50 AM
"David L. Johnson" > wrote in
:

> On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 13:44:20 +0000, Jeff Potter wrote:
>
>> *US bicentennial, with
>> its urge to 'ride across the country'
>
> I was there during the bicentennial, and do not recall such an urge
> being suggested.
>
I guess I must be the only other one on this newsgroup that remembers the
Bikecentenial Trail. From http://www.yale.edu/habitat/info/96/96.htm

"It was 1976 when the trans-continental Bikecentenial Trail was
established to help celebrate the States' 200th anniversarial gala.
Thousands of cyclists made the trek that year from sea to shining sea."

This Trail is etched in my mind because it runs past Blacksburg VA and
while attending VA Tech I trained many miles on that part of it.

ALF

Kerry Nikolaisen
September 20th 03, 04:20 AM
Rick wrote:

> Yes, for example, my completely unscientific observations are that Volvo
> drivers to be amongst the worst on record. My reasoning is that those who
> drive well, prefer to drive a car that handles well. Those who don't, prefer
> a car that does well in crash tests.
>
> Says pretty much all I have to say on the subject.
>
> Rick
>
> "Mitch Haley" > wrote in message
> ...
>
>>Tim Jones wrote:
>>
>>> Of course education and instruction will always have more impact
>>>than just wearing a helmet.
>>
>>'tis far better to prevent a crash than to try to reduce it's effects.
>>I just can't figure out why Good Housekeeping magazine thinks the
>>children of safety conscious parents will somehow become more
>>safe if they move to a state which mandates helmets when the
>>parents can already mandate the things wherever they live.
>>Parenting begins in the home, not the legislature.
>>Mitch
>
>
The drivers of Ford Crown Victorias and the Mercury equivelants are the
worst> Those are huge, long and wide vehicles that are commonly driven
by the blue hair set. Their sole purpose is to be able to withstand
crashes and impacts from careless driving performed by those who
shouldn't be on the road. The funny thing is, these are the drivers who
never seem to want to cross the center lane (when coast is clear) when
passing cyclists.

Kerry "the hasty generalizer" Nikolaisen

Bernie
September 20th 03, 09:54 AM
Eric S. Sande wrote:

>Bernie wrote:
>
>>Bicycles are powerful tools, a true extension of the human operator.
>>
>
>If you don't mind I am going to steal that quote.
>
I'm flattered!

Marian Rosenberg
September 20th 03, 01:22 PM
(Pete Cresswell) wrote:

> What the guy actually said was "You are sooooo full of ****! Have you *ever*
> tried living where you always have to go everywhere by bicycle or bus?"

Yes.

I have local acquaintances who don't even bother to own bicycles because
they can get everything they need within a kilometer of home.

Oh, and while it is a pain to often not have a seat because there aren't
really enough busses or trains in Beijing ... I can get across town
quicker in a bus than I can in a private vehicle because of the
dedicated bus lanes. AND THAT IS WITH THE BUS STOPPING EVERY FIVE MINUTES!!

-M

(Shijiazhuang, Hebei, People's Republic of China)

Luigi de Guzman
September 20th 03, 04:50 PM
On Sat, 20 Sep 2003 03:20:51 GMT, Kerry Nikolaisen
> wrote:

>The drivers of Ford Crown Victorias and the Mercury equivelants are the
>worst> Those are huge, long and wide vehicles that are commonly driven
>by the blue hair set. Their sole purpose is to be able to withstand
>crashes and impacts from careless driving performed by those who
>shouldn't be on the road. The funny thing is, these are the drivers who
> never seem to want to cross the center lane (when coast is clear) when
>passing cyclists.
>
>Kerry "the hasty generalizer" Nikolaisen

The only Crown Vics I ever see 'round where i am are police cruisers
(which always amused me; hardly anyone but police forces buys them
anymore, so 'unmarked' crown vics are always easily spotted as cops)

The cops are always extremely nice to me when I'm on a bike.

Most harley riders I see 'round here are police, too. and they're
really polite.

-Luigi

(Pete Cresswell)
September 20th 03, 05:26 PM
RE/
>my completely unscientific observations are that Volvo
>drivers to be amongst the worst on record.

You're cruising down the right lane of the AC Expressway at 70, closing on a
line of cars, you dab the cruise up to left lane speed, flip on the turn signal,
ease out into the left lane and.....OOPS!...somebody lurches out of the right
lane at 67 mph.....you decellerate, they keep going 67, left lane traffic piles
up behind you, and now they're towing their own little traffic jam behind them..

My experience: Volvos are involved at a higher percentage than one would
otherwise expect.
-----------------------
PeteCresswell

Mitch Haley
September 20th 03, 05:52 PM
"(Pete Cresswell)" wrote:
> You're cruising down the right lane of the AC Expressway at 70, closing on a
> line of cars, you dab the cruise up to left lane speed, flip on the turn signal,
> ease out into the left lane and.....OOPS!...somebody lurches out of the right
> lane at 67 mph.....you decellerate, they keep going 67, left lane traffic piles
> up behind you, and now they're towing their own little traffic jam behind them..

My favorite (can be seen five mornings a week on I-496) is when people merge
at substandard speed, everybody in the right lane piles up tight, causing
the next merger to stop before merging. Then the stopped cars pull into
the right lane, some idiot in the right lane slows to ten mph and then
merges left, and you have every lane in the expressway traveling below
biking speed.
Mitch

Dan Barch
September 21st 03, 04:15 AM
Mitch Haley > wrote in message >...
> "(Pete Cresswell)" wrote:
> > You're cruising down the right lane of the AC Expressway at 70, closing on a
> > line of cars, you dab the cruise up to left lane speed, flip on the turn signal,
> > ease out into the left lane and.....OOPS!...somebody lurches out of the right
> > lane at 67 mph.....you decellerate, they keep going 67, left lane traffic piles
> > up behind you, and now they're towing their own little traffic jam behind them..
>
> My favorite (can be seen five mornings a week on I-496) is when people merge
> at substandard speed, everybody in the right lane piles up tight, causing
> the next merger to stop before merging. Then the stopped cars pull into
> the right lane, some idiot in the right lane slows to ten mph and then
> merges left, and you have every lane in the expressway traveling below
> biking speed.
> Mitch

You just need to shift your travel time to avoid the 15 minute "rush
hour" of Lansing, Michigan.

Art Harris
September 22nd 03, 02:51 PM
Steven M. Scharf wrote:
> "Art Harris" wrote:
> >If there is to be another bike boom among the general public, it will
> >likely be driven by some sort of hybrid bike that's easy to ride,
> >comfortable, inexpensive, and can be ridden in ordinary clothes.
>
> Wow, like an old Columbia three speed?
>
> I think that you are correct. Those bikes are imported to the U.S. now,
> but are very expensive considering the componentry.
>
> It'll take a brave manufacturer, and brave dealers to offer the lower end
> European style roadsters and "trekking" bikes in the U.S.. Trek, Fuji,
> and Giant all have these models, but haven't wanted to try selling
> them in the U.S.. Trek is trying with their higher end models for
> 2004, but almost no dealers are carrying them, so they're are likely
> to fail and conclude that there is no market.
>
> Until they become mainstream, they'll command very high prices
> and won't be adopted.

Yep, it will be a hard sell. The folks that are willing to spend some
bucks for a bike are often overly influenced by the marketing hype for
racing bikes and MTB's. And beginners can't understand why they should
spend $300-$400 or more for a "plain old bike" when they can get dual
suspension "MTB" at X-Mart for under a hundred bucks.

The trick will be to make people *want* the kind of bikes they need.
If enough folks start riding those trekking bikes and extolling their
virtues, it could have a bandwagon effect.

Art "It's hip to be square" Harris

Mike S.
September 22nd 03, 04:55 PM
"(Pete Cresswell)" > wrote in message
...
> RE/
> >my completely unscientific observations are that Volvo
> >drivers to be amongst the worst on record.
>
> You're cruising down the right lane of the AC Expressway at 70, closing on
a
> line of cars, you dab the cruise up to left lane speed, flip on the turn
signal,
> ease out into the left lane and.....OOPS!...somebody lurches out of the
right
> lane at 67 mph.....you decellerate, they keep going 67, left lane traffic
piles
> up behind you, and now they're towing their own little traffic jam behind
them..
>
> My experience: Volvos are involved at a higher percentage than one would
> otherwise expect.
> -----------------------
> PeteCresswell

I can second this from my own (very) un-scientific observations.

Other things to watch out for:
Jesus fish on the rear of the car
People wearing hats
Medicare sleds: big ole Caddies, Lincolns, Mercury Grand Marquis, etc.
People talking on cell phones without a headset
Young females: they drive like maniacs!

Anyone else have any personal observations on what to look for?

Mike

Steven Scharf
September 22nd 03, 08:29 PM
(Art Harris) wrote in message >...

> Yep, it will be a hard sell. The folks that are willing to spend some
> bucks for a bike are often overly influenced by the marketing hype for
> racing bikes and MTB's. And beginners can't understand why they should
> spend $300-$400 or more for a "plain old bike" when they can get dual
> suspension "MTB" at X-Mart for under a hundred bucks.

The success of hybrid and comfort bikes seems to prove
that markets mature and people will eventually buy more
practical products.

> The trick will be to make people *want* the kind of bikes they need.
> If enough folks start riding those trekking bikes and extolling their
> virtues, it could have a bandwagon effect.

The virtues are obvious, but people will have sticker
shock at the prices that these bikes fetch in the U.S.
today.

There should be a $100-150 premium between a hybrid
and a "trekking" bike, not a $300-$500 premium. Women
are especially practical and would be more likely to
simply pay the extra money up front for the rack,
fenders, chainguard, lights, etc., all installed than
to have to deal with adding them on later.

A shop with a smart owner could even offer upgrade packs
from a hybrid bike to a trekking bike, and make still
good margins by selling the accessories as package. Some
of the stuff needs to be ordered directly from Taiwan,
but a quick trip to the Taipei Bike Show (puts Interbike
to shame!) would yield big returns, as accessories have
huge margins. Could even include skirt guards, an amazingly
practical accessory that is virtually impossible to buy
in the U.S..

B a r r y B u r k e J r .
September 22nd 03, 09:36 PM
On Mon, 22 Sep 2003 08:55:00 -0700, "Mike S." <[email protected]>
wrote:
>Anyone else have any personal observations on what to look for?


Motor vehicles, all of them. I treat them all as dangerous, which
seems to be working.

Barry

(Pete Cresswell)
September 22nd 03, 10:39 PM
RE/
>People wearing hats

Old men wearing hats - identifiable from the rear by ear size...
-----------------------
PeteCresswell

Stash
September 22nd 03, 10:57 PM
"Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

<snip>

> I can second this from my own (very) un-scientific observations.
>
> Other things to watch out for:
> Jesus fish on the rear of the car
> People wearing hats

> Medicare sleds: big ole Caddies, Lincolns, Mercury Grand Marquis, etc.

Esp those with USMC bb cap and Ohio State bobblehead collections
cluttering the rear deck.

> People talking on cell phones without a headset
> Young females: they drive like maniacs!
>
> Anyone else have any personal observations on what to look for?

Bumper stickers: deduct 1 to 2 driver IQ points for each, with extra
deductions for those stuck on painted surfaces (trunk lids, etc) and
"special bonuses" for those on rear windows.

Unrepaired damage accumulated from numerous past crashes.

Music played at such stupifyingly high decible levels that the rearview
mirror visibly shakes.

Drivers whose only visible features are one set of knuckles on the topmost
section of the steering wheel.

Pickup trucks and SUV's that require boarding ladders due to jacked up
suspensions.

---Stash

SPAM FILTER: For my correct email address delete one s.

Rick Onanian
September 22nd 03, 11:02 PM
On Mon, 22 Sep 2003 21:57:19 GMT, Stash > wrote:
>> Jesus fish on the rear of the car

BTW, a Darwin fish is sometimes a good thing.

> Bumper stickers: deduct 1 to 2 driver IQ points for each, with extra
> deductions for those stuck on painted surfaces (trunk lids, etc) and
> "special bonuses" for those on rear windows.

Er...where would a bumper sticker go in order to NOT
get extra deductions? Most modern vehicles only have
painted surfaces and glass.

No, I have no bumper stickers on my vehicle.

> Unrepaired damage accumulated from numerous past crashes.

Try to assess the damage. If it doesn't look like it
involved another vehicle, you probably don't have
anything to worry about.

> ---Stash
--
Rick Onanian

Stash
September 23rd 03, 12:27 AM
"Rick Onanian" > wrote in message
...

<snip>

> Er...where would a bumper sticker go in order to NOT
> get extra deductions?

The (plastic) bumper?

> Most modern vehicles only have painted surfaces and glass.

You're right; I forgot that they don't make cars with chrome plated
bumpers any more.

> Try to assess the damage. If it doesn't look like it
> involved another vehicle, you probably don't have
> anything to worry about.

Regardless of what else was involved, a "crashmobile" indicates a
substantial probability of a driver with a propensity for collisions.

---Stash

SPAM FILTER: For my correct email address delete one s.

(Pete Cresswell)
September 23rd 03, 12:36 AM
RE/
>> People talking on cell phones without a headset

People talking on a cell phone while taking notes.
Seen it.... more than once.

I have *no* idea how anybody does that...must be the same ability that allows
others to read a newspaper while driving - not furtive glances, they're
*reading* that suckah!
-----------------------
PeteCresswell

Mitch Haley
September 23rd 03, 01:25 AM
Stash wrote:
> Regardless of what else was involved, a "crashmobile" indicates a
> substantial probability of a driver with a propensity for collisions.

And if it one crash with another vehicle, it could be the exclusive
fault of the other driver.
The driver of the damaged vehicle gets full credit for hitting a fixed
object, with no reason to think he can't hit a moving object next time.
Mitch.

Pete
September 23rd 03, 01:39 AM
"(Pete Cresswell)" > wrote in message
...
> RE/
> >> People talking on cell phones without a headset
>
> People talking on a cell phone while taking notes.
> Seen it.... more than once.
>
> I have *no* idea how anybody does that...must be the same ability that
allows
> others to read a newspaper while driving - not furtive glances, they're
> *reading* that suckah!

The furtive glances are reserved for the road, not the more important
newspaper.

Pete

Goimir
September 23rd 03, 03:42 AM
"Mike S." wrote:
> I can second this from my own (very) un-scientific observations.
>
> Other things to watch out for:
> Jesus fish on the rear of the car
> People wearing hats
> Medicare sleds: big ole Caddies, Lincolns, Mercury Grand Marquis, etc.
> People talking on cell phones without a headset
> Young females: they drive like maniacs!
>
> Anyone else have any personal observations on what to look for?
>


Handicapped plates
People talking on cellphones to begin with
Women with multiple children in car

Stash
September 23rd 03, 04:10 AM
"Mitch Haley" > wrote in message
...
> Stash wrote:
> > Regardless of what else was involved, a "crashmobile" indicates a
> > substantial probability of a driver with a propensity for collisions.
>
> And if it one crash with another vehicle, it could be the exclusive
> fault of the other driver.
> The driver of the damaged vehicle gets full credit for hitting a fixed
> object, with no reason to think he can't hit a moving object next time.

Agreed; hence my first message posted in the thread mentioning unrepaired
damage accumulated from NUMEROUS past crashes.

---Stash

SPAM FILTER: For my correct email address delete one s.

Ian G Batten
September 23rd 03, 03:00 PM
In article >,
David L. Johnson > wrote:
> $4/gallon gas would go a long way. That would quickly empty the streets
> of all the big ego-boosting trucks, making it easier to ride -- and would

Fuel in the UK is 80p/l, which is about $4.70 per US gallon. There's no
noticeable shortage of large 4x4s.

ian

Mark
September 26th 03, 01:21 AM
rosco wrote:

>
> In my mind, a better bicycle riding infrastructure could lead to the next
> boom, or atleast keep the sport from dying. In our small town this summer
> an elderly bicycle enthusiast was mowed over and killed on our narrow
> roads
> where motor vehicles travel MUCH too fast. We have had a couple of fatal
> car/SUV crashes on these back roads, and a pedestrian was also killed by a
> car. Frankly, I'm afraid to ride a bicycle on many of our roads, and
> choose my routes carefully (after the events of this summer, I decided to
> always wear a high visibility night-time vest when riding on the roads
> regardless
> of time of day). In my opinion, more bike lanes and trails would have a
> huge impact on the popularity of the sport.

I was waiting for this one. That is the number one thing keeping me from
venturing farther on my bike. Tampa Bay is usually at the top of the
statistics for bike fatalities per capita. I would love it if there was a
network of dedicated bike trails.
The main reason people tell me they won't buy a fuel efficient car is
because they are afraid of being killed by a large SUV.
I ride on the sidewalks here.
Infrastructure had a big influence on the car boom. It could work the same
for bikes. Some major routes could even be covered to increase use during
our rainy season.
Mark

September 27th 03, 12:13 AM
In rec.bicycles.misc Jeff Potter > wrote:
: I think the last big bike boom was in the mid-70's. It happened because
: of:

Around 90's I'd say.

: *cheap light 10speeds hit US shores for 1st time

1. MTBs and hybrids sold everywhere.

: *US bicentennial, with its urge to 'ride across the country'
: *high gas prices
: *low-traffic backroads

2. Green values
3. Public action to increase cycling
4. More interest in sports and freetime

: What will inspire the next boom?

1. Recumbents sold everywhere (well that's just a wild guess ;p )
2. More and more of factor 3. and 4. above

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html
varis at no spam please iki fi

September 27th 03, 12:26 AM
In rec.bicycles.misc David L. Johnson > wrote:

: $4/gallon gas would go a long way.

How much is it in Japan? Something like $2 per liter? ;p

Some statistics on means of transport could be nice to see, I
guess quite a few Japanese opt to walk and ride the public
transport, or maybe get a ride from their motor-vehicle owning
friends on the rare occasions they go some far away place without
traffic jams.

Environmentalism seems to be doing ok in Japan. You can see some
meetings for non-profit organizations that have notes like "please
note parking slots are in short supply - so consider leaving your
car at home".

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html
varis at no spam please iki fi

James Annan
September 27th 03, 12:43 AM
wrote:
> In rec.bicycles.misc David L. Johnson > wrote:
>
> : $4/gallon gas would go a long way.
>
> How much is it in Japan? Something like $2 per liter? ;p

About $1, I think. The amount my camping stove uses, I don't really pay
much attention.

> Some statistics on means of transport could be nice to see, I
> guess quite a few Japanese opt to walk and ride the public
> transport, or maybe get a ride from their motor-vehicle owning
> friends on the rare occasions they go some far away place without
> traffic jams.

Haven't seen the stats, but we see a _lot_ of children cycling to school
every day. Our neighbours mostly use cars, but they must be a
nightmare around town.

> Environmentalism seems to be doing ok in Japan. You can see some
> meetings for non-profit organizations that have notes like "please
> note parking slots are in short supply - so consider leaving your
> car at home".

I suspect that has more to do with a lack of space than any
environmental attitude (although it is sometimes dressed up as the
latter so as to make a virtue out of necessity). Did you know that Japan
uses about as much concrete as the USA?

James

September 27th 03, 12:49 AM
In rec.bicycles.misc Andreas Oehler > wrote:
:>having miles and miles of roads that are pleasant to ride on because they
:>are lined with trees (think shade)

: It is not neccessary to ride "miles and miles" because the city is
: designed to have (nearly) everything available in a short distance.

It's utility vs. recreation. In Helsinki there are few nice
places for riding, unless you just want to enjoy the scenery...
Riding the quiet or not so quiet country roads just 30 km off is
an entirely different world.

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html
varis at no spam please iki fi

September 27th 03, 12:59 AM
In rec.bicycles.misc Buck > wrote:

: You missed the point. Part of being an avid cyclist is the desire to ride
: miles and miles and having nice roads upon which to ride. Riding in the city
: is a much different, and unpleasant, experience.

Suburbs are far from free as well. No way you can find a straight
stretch with 1 km or more between intersections. There's always
traffic to watch out for... traffic lights to stop at, and so
on...

I'd like tightly built mini-cities - that way you can quickly ride
(or drive) out, and enjoy some real countryside/forest.

:> > and have low speed limits....
:>
:> 30km/h is the speed limit in the quarter here - but you often have to be
:> slower.

: Again, part of the problem. I don't want to be stuck on crowded city
: streets. I want traffic moving about the same speed I can move. It's safer
: overall. And a bonus in suburbia is the lack of pedestrians (yes, it is sad
: that people aren't outside). I have had more close calls with wandering
: pedestrians than I have had with cars. Take a ride on the streets of your
: local university campus to get a taste of the problem.

I think this is much up to personal preference, but one is often
allowed to choose the place of living, after all. I don't demand
universal access as a cyclist - IMO even in Helsinki there would
be some zones which would be better off as pedestrian-only. I
think one could build a strong case for lively downtowns that are
made with the pedestrian in view.

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html
varis at no spam please iki fi

September 27th 03, 01:02 AM
In rec.bicycles.misc Marian Rosenberg > wrote:

: I have local acquaintances who don't even bother to own bicycles because
: they can get everything they need within a kilometer of home.

I know some people who consider 5 km an "easy walking distance".
These people are clearly abnormal ;)

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html
varis at no spam please iki fi

Scott Eiler
September 27th 03, 01:31 AM
In article >,
the robotic servitors of Mark >
rose up with the following chant:

>Tampa Bay is usually at the top of the
>statistics for bike fatalities per capita. I would love it if there was a
>network of dedicated bike trails.

Be careful what you wish for. I ride my bike in the Chicago suburbs, out
among the forest preserves where there are abundant bike trails... and
abundant broken glass on same. Of course, the roads themselves are no
better... unless I ride in the car lanes instead of on the nice wide
shoulders. I've been getting flat tires every two months on average - and
sometimes twice a month.

That's an issue I'd like to ask bicyclists about, but I'm not sure if it's
a technical issue or a social issue... How do we combat broken glass? All the
*technical* solutions I've been offered have failed.

-------- Scott Eiler B{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ --------

"Do not mistake my childlike appearance for innocence of any kind.
'Form of Boy' is well-known as the most feared battle-shape in Paradise."
-- The angel Asmodel, from "JLA: Paradise Lost" scripted by Mark Millar.

September 27th 03, 02:17 AM
In rec.bicycles.misc Jeff Potter > wrote:
: I'm not sure it has to happen at the expense of cars. They appear to be here
: to stay. Why can't bikes be ADDED to them?

Off course, people could ride for a few years, then go back to
cliff climbing or what have you. Not a bad thing... Maybe this is
actually how bike booms happen? :-)

Cars are usually a long term commitment, in the long term the
alternatives don't really fit the bill so one just goes to a
different model. Bikes could be that too. Why buy a car for 6000,-
when you can just ride there... takes maybe 30 min extra *this*
time... Fill in with public transport or loan a car from friend if
needed. Spend the money on a cosy bike and accessories.

It's a life style thing, a kind of slot which starts feeling more
and more self-evident over the years.

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html
varis at no spam please iki fi

Werehatrack
September 27th 03, 02:29 AM
On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 00:31:37 GMT, (Scott Eiler)
may have said:

> I ride my bike in the Chicago suburbs, out
>among the forest preserves where there are abundant bike trails... and
>abundant broken glass on same. Of course, the roads themselves are no
>better... unless I ride in the car lanes instead of on the nice wide
>shoulders. I've been getting flat tires every two months on average - and
>sometimes twice a month.
>
>That's an issue I'd like to ask bicyclists about, but I'm not sure if it's
>a technical issue or a social issue... How do we combat broken glass? All the
>*technical* solutions I've been offered have failed.

Whe bike trail and shoulder usage becomes an active interest for
enough people, the topic of keeping those ways cleared of glass (and
other sharps) will get the attention of the people who could do
something about it. The process begins with complaining to whoever is
presently in charge of development of alternative transit systems;
these are the folks who *should* be planning where the next batch of
trails, dedicated lanes, and bike/train facilities will be located.
By pointing out that they need to bootstrap public confidence in bikes
by making them useful on the existing routes through better
maintenance, you can help the whole thing along. By providing
specific examples of where and how the issue is being neglected today,
you give them the ammunition to go looking for a budget with which to
fix it. Chances are that they're aware that things are not optimal;
you need to convince them that it's worse than they think, and needs
to be addressed.



--
My email address is antispammed;
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-= ®atzofratzo =-
September 27th 03, 04:38 AM
On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 01:29:31 GMT, Werehatrack
> wrote:


>Whe bike trail and shoulder usage becomes an active interest for
>enough people, the topic of keeping those ways cleared of glass (and
>other sharps) will get the attention of the people who could do
>something about it.

On the Pinellas Trail here in St. Pete, they do a wonderful job of
keeping the trail free of debris. I ride about 20 mile section
several times a week and I always see crews cleaning, maintaining and
cutting grass. I guess matters enough here that it's maintained well.



__________________
-= ®atzofratzo =-

®emove The fleA to reply

Werehatrack
September 27th 03, 06:42 AM
On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 03:38:12 GMT, -= ®atzofratzo =-
> may have said:

>On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 01:29:31 GMT, Werehatrack
> wrote:
>
>
>>Whe bike trail and shoulder usage becomes an active interest for
>>enough people, the topic of keeping those ways cleared of glass (and
>>other sharps) will get the attention of the people who could do
>>something about it.
>
>On the Pinellas Trail here in St. Pete, they do a wonderful job of
>keeping the trail free of debris. I ride about 20 mile section
>several times a week and I always see crews cleaning, maintaining and
>cutting grass. I guess matters enough here that it's maintained well.

Ditto for the White Oak Bayou trail which runs past me two blocks away
here in Houston. In fact, the city has both a website and a hotline
to report trails in need of maintenance, and they seem to pay
attention to reports of glass and such. (Of course, the streets
themselves are another matter...)

--
My email address is antispammed;
pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.
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Ryan Cousineau
September 27th 03, 07:01 AM
In article >,
wrote:

> In rec.bicycles.misc David L. Johnson > wrote:
>
> : $4/gallon gas would go a long way.
>
> How much is it in Japan? Something like $2 per liter? ;p
>
> Some statistics on means of transport could be nice to see, I
> guess quite a few Japanese opt to walk and ride the public
> transport, or maybe get a ride from their motor-vehicle owning
> friends on the rare occasions they go some far away place without
> traffic jams.
>
> Environmentalism seems to be doing ok in Japan. You can see some
> meetings for non-profit organizations that have notes like "please
> note parking slots are in short supply - so consider leaving your
> car at home".

Yeah. That might have to do with the fact that in Japan, land is in
short supply.

Part of the thrilling art of buying a Japanese car other than a K-model
(600cc motors) is submitting the government form that shows where you
will park the car. I don't even like driving downtown in Vancouver, and
it's parking paradise by comparison.

Japan has population density like even Europe can barely imagine, along
with a well-developed rail system. North America has room like Europe
and Japan can barely imagine, and this has strongly influenced
transportation choices.

--
Ryan Cousineau, http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine
President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club

Qui si parla Campagnolo
September 27th 03, 01:23 PM
risto-<< How much is it in Japan? Something like $2 per liter? >><BR><BR>

BUT Japan is small, they have a really good train and taxi system plus the
culture keeps many in their home prefecture/community for their entire life. I
lived there for 3 years.

But they are as in love with autos as the Americans are, just hard to get
around and cars are much smaller. It should be mentioned that Tokyo has some of
the worse air pollution on the planet, from cars.

Peter Chisholm
Vecchio's Bicicletteria
1833 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO, 80302
(303)440-3535
http://www.vecchios.com
"Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"

James Annan
September 27th 03, 11:00 PM
(Qui si parla Campagnolo) wrote in message >...

> But they are as in love with autos as the Americans are, just hard to get
> around and cars are much smaller. It should be mentioned that Tokyo has some of
> the worse air pollution on the planet, from cars.

Actually, as big cities go, I believe it is one of the best (and
broadly within WHO limits).

James

September 28th 03, 01:18 AM
Ryan Cousineau > wrote:

: Japan has population density like even Europe can barely imagine, along
: with a well-developed rail system. North America has room like Europe
: and Japan can barely imagine, and this has strongly influenced
: transportation choices.

Population density, in people per square km, is 17 in Finland and
476 in the Netherlands. (Calculated from
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html .) I think
US and Japan fall between the two. Netherlands is perhaps unusual,
my impression is that the population is not so concentrated there.

I don't really recall experiencing a traffic jam on a Finnish
highway but they seem quite commonplace in other countries. Makes
one think whether velomobiles would actually be faster
transportation in those countries.

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html
varis at no spam please iki fi

September 28th 03, 01:24 AM
Qui si parla Campagnolo > wrote:

: But they are as in love with autos as the Americans are

Somebody has some explaining to do on that :-)

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html
varis at no spam please iki fi

Arpit
September 29th 03, 10:21 AM
On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 00:31:37 GMT, (Scott Eiler)
wrote:

>In article >,
>the robotic servitors of Mark >
>rose up with the following chant:
>
>>Tampa Bay is usually at the top of the
>>statistics for bike fatalities per capita. I would love it if there was a
>>network of dedicated bike trails.
>
>Be careful what you wish for. I ride my bike in the Chicago suburbs, out
>among the forest preserves where there are abundant bike trails... and
>abundant broken glass on same. Of course, the roads themselves are no
>better... unless I ride in the car lanes instead of on the nice wide
>shoulders. I've been getting flat tires every two months on average - and
>sometimes twice a month.
>
>That's an issue I'd like to ask bicyclists about, but I'm not sure if it's
>a technical issue or a social issue... How do we combat broken glass? All the
>*technical* solutions I've been offered have failed.
>

I just ride straight over it. Makes a crunching sound. Never gotten a
flat from it.
>-------- Scott Eiler B{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ --------
>
>"Do not mistake my childlike appearance for innocence of any kind.
>'Form of Boy' is well-known as the most feared battle-shape in Paradise."
>-- The angel Asmodel, from "JLA: Paradise Lost" scripted by Mark Millar.

Scott Eiler
September 29th 03, 01:07 PM
In article >,
the robotic servitors of Arpit >
rose up with the following chant:
>On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 00:31:37 GMT, (Scott Eiler)
>wrote:
>
>>That's an issue I'd like to ask bicyclists about, but I'm not sure if it's
>>a technical issue or a social issue... How do we combat broken glass? All the
>>*technical* solutions I've been offered have failed.
>
>I just ride straight over it. Makes a crunching sound. Never gotten a
>flat from it.

Okay... what kind of tires do you use? So far, I've used kevlar bead
inflatable tires, and hardly ever *avoided* a flat that I can tell. My bike
shop swears there's no such thing as a solid tire.

-------- Scott Eiler B{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ --------

"It seemed an unlikely spot for a sensitive songwriter from Greenwich
Village... She ordered the 20-ounce steak."
-- Lin Brehmer, Chicago DJ, describing his meeting in a steakhouse
with Suzanne Vega.

Werehatrack
September 29th 03, 02:15 PM
On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 12:07:00 GMT, (Scott Eiler)
may have said:

>In article >,
>the robotic servitors of Arpit >
>rose up with the following chant:
>>
>>I just ride straight over it. Makes a crunching sound. Never gotten a
>>flat from it.
>
>Okay... what kind of tires do you use? So far, I've used kevlar bead
>inflatable tires, and hardly ever *avoided* a flat that I can tell. My bike
>shop swears there's no such thing as a solid tire.

Your bike shop merely left off two words: "worth using."
Inflationless tire setups exist, but they emulate a vacuum cleaner in
too many respects. WalMart has carried one of them; it's a foam
noodle that's used in place of the tube. I haven't tried one; the
idea strikes me as flawed for a variety of reasons. I know of another
method that *ought* to work, but it has a major drawback. It's used
commonly in forklifts, and it's called "foam fill"...but I doubt that
you'd want to spring for the cost of it, and if you break a spoke,
you're screwed because the stuff forms itself to the tire and the rim
in the installation process. You'd have to cut the tire off to get to
the spoke heads.

--
My email address is antispammed;
pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.
Yes, I have a killfile. If I don't respond to something,
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T. Brady Bunch
September 29th 03, 03:54 PM
"Scott Eiler" > wrote in message
hlink.net...
: In article >,
: the robotic servitors of Arpit >
: rose up with the following chant:
: >On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 00:31:37 GMT, (Scott Eiler)
: >wrote:
: >
: >>That's an issue I'd like to ask bicyclists about, but I'm not sure
if it's
: >>a technical issue or a social issue... How do we combat broken
glass? All the
: >>*technical* solutions I've been offered have failed.
: >
: >I just ride straight over it. Makes a crunching sound. Never gotten a
: >flat from it.
:
: Okay... what kind of tires do you use? So far, I've used kevlar bead
: inflatable tires, and hardly ever *avoided* a flat that I can tell.
My bike
: shop swears there's no such thing as a solid tire.
:
I purchased a Schwinn Voyageur circa 1989 and immediately installed Mr.
Tuffy tire liners which have served me well on my commutes. So far, I
haven't had a single flat tire while riding that bike (knock on wood).

Thomas Reynolds
September 29th 03, 11:47 PM
(Scott Eiler) wrote in message .net>...
> In article >,
>
> That's an issue I'd like to ask bicyclists about, but I'm not sure if it's
> a technical issue or a social issue... How do we combat broken glass? All the
> *technical* solutions I've been offered have failed.
>

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition does bike lane cleanups
periodically. Perhaps you or your bike club can do that in your area.

As a technical solution I can tell you that I use Specialized
Armadillos on all but my competition bike. After 5K miles this year
on the Armadillo bikes I have gotten zero flats. I don't deliberately
run over broken glass but I don't make any effort to avoid it either.
The other bike has Michelin tires with tire lines underneath. I have
gotten a couple of flats this year on that bike.

Tom

Rick
September 30th 03, 12:47 AM
I've tried virtually all of the potential solutions worth trying. I've had
glass cut through kevlar, and the heads of screws penetrate tire liners. My
bike shop (Shaw's Lightweight Cycles in Santa Clara - they deserve the plug)
recommended using Continental Top Touring tires on my bike. So far, only 1
flat in 5 years of riding these beasties. I don't intentionally ride over
glass, as Scott seems to do, but then, I'm not riding a mountain bike.

Rick
....stuff deleted
> >I just ride straight over it. Makes a crunching sound. Never gotten a
> >flat from it.
>
stuff deleted

John Albergo
September 30th 03, 12:16 PM
Art Harris wrote:

>
>
>
>In the '80s, mountain bikes became more popular because they were more
>comfortable and easier to ride. And they made more sense for the
>majority of casual riders. By then, road bikes were getting more
>expensive, and only the real enthusiasts were buying them.
>
>I think the drop bar road bike will remain a specialty item for
>enthusiasts. I hope that the overwhelming emphasis on speed, racing,
>and stupid-light everything will moderate, and people will get back
>buying stable, durable "sport touring" bikes. But I don't yearn for
>the days of toe clips and friction shifting.
>
>Art Harris
>
>
In my estimation it was the MTB boom that resulted in the stupid-light
road bike. Those wanting something "really" durable and utilitarian
went for the MTBs and their obviously thicker tires and rims and, of
course, upright seating. This removed incentive to make road bikes that
were utilitarian as far as road bikes go. The idea that road bikes are
"for racing" took stronger hold.

It seems to me there are more roadies out there in the last few years
-anyone else sense this? Maybe due to L.A.'s success, I don't know.

I'm guessing that road cycling will tend to decline in popularity if
population and road congestion continue to increase. Fewer "good" roads
to ride due to traffic and over-aggressive driving. See how many drive
their bikes somewhere to ride - another phenomenon that became common
from with the MTB, and another perceived advantage of same -- getting
away from cars.

Matt O'Toole
September 30th 03, 07:45 PM
"John Albergo" > wrote in message
...

> Art Harris wrote:

> >In the '80s, mountain bikes became more popular because they were more
> >comfortable and easier to ride. And they made more sense for the
> >majority of casual riders.

Exactly.

> >By then, road bikes were getting more
> >expensive, and only the real enthusiasts were buying them.

Real enthusiasts will spend what it takes to get what they want. With the
average, and more price-sensitive buyers going for MTBs, the industry kept the
price points on road bikes fairly high.

> >I think the drop bar road bike will remain a specialty item for
> >enthusiasts.

I see signs of change. The price of an STI bike has dropped about a third since
Sora came out.

> >I hope that the overwhelming emphasis on speed, racing,
> >and stupid-light everything will moderate, and people will get back
> >buying stable, durable "sport touring" bikes.

Me too.

> >But I don't yearn for
> >the days of toe clips and friction shifting.

Me neither.

> In my estimation it was the MTB boom that resulted in the stupid-light
> road bike. Those wanting something "really" durable and utilitarian
> went for the MTBs and their obviously thicker tires and rims and, of
> course, upright seating. This removed incentive to make road bikes that
> were utilitarian as far as road bikes go. The idea that road bikes are
> "for racing" took stronger hold.

I dunno -- while the MTB trend might have given the movement its second wind, I
remember bikes being a whole lot stupider years ago, and breaking more often.
GEL 280 rims, drilled out parts, pencil-thin cranks, etc.

> It seems to me there are more roadies out there in the last few years
> -anyone else sense this? Maybe due to L.A.'s success, I don't know.

Perhaps partly. Could be a lot of MTB'ers crossing over, though... Once
they've been riding awhile, they discover a road bike is more efficient for ridi
ng on the road, which is where they wind up doing most of their riding anyway --
especially as they get older, and have less time to get to the trailhead.

> I'm guessing that road cycling will tend to decline in popularity if
> population and road congestion continue to increase. Fewer "good" roads
> to ride due to traffic and over-aggressive driving.

Some places with the worst traffic and most aggressive drivers are also pretty
good for bikes -- southern CA, for example. So I think planning and road design
is the real key. I was in Reston, VA (near Washington) the other day. I can't
think of a worse place for bikes. The area is otherwise much like southern CA.
The difference is the design of the roads.

> See how many drive
> their bikes somewhere to ride - another phenomenon that became common
> from with the MTB, and another perceived advantage of same -- getting
> away from cars.

Yup. It's one reason I took up mountain biking -- not because I felt in
danger -- it was just more fun to ride on beautiful, carless trails than on
boring, traffic-choked roads. However, I'd say that being afraid of traffic is
the #1 reason most people who are otherwise inclined to, don't ride bikes.

Finally, getting back to the bike industry -- the problem with this whole
thread, and the industry in general, is that they're trying too hard to latch
onto "the next big boom." They're putting too much stock and blame in external
factors, instead of looking to themselves for real innovation, offering
customers what they really need and want, and building a business that's
sustainable over time.

I *do* see some of that innovation. Hopefully, it will gather steam in the
coming years.

Matt O.

Rick Onanian
September 30th 03, 08:22 PM
On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 11:16:20 GMT, John Albergo
> wrote:
>In my estimation it was the MTB boom that resulted in the stupid-light
>road bike. Those wanting something "really" durable and utilitarian
>
>It seems to me there are more roadies out there in the last few years
>-anyone else sense this? Maybe due to L.A.'s success, I don't know.

My guess would be an effect similar to what one may
observe about myself. I bought a MTB in 1997, and
enjoyed it; and I found that I wanted to do road rides
on a bike made for the road, so last year I finally
splurged on a road bike.

I would have bought one sooner, but they're so very
expensive. Anyway, it could be people moving on
from MTBs, which are the general first-choice when
getting into bicycling -- chosen for versatility (I _can_
ride it on pavement, but I can't do trails on a road
bike), and perceived comfort (upright posture and
flat bars looks more comfy to a novice, and is until
they want long road rides).

>I'm guessing that road cycling will tend to decline in popularity if
>population and road congestion continue to increase. Fewer "good" roads
>to ride due to traffic and over-aggressive driving. See how many drive
>their bikes somewhere to ride - another phenomenon that became common
>from with the MTB, and another perceived advantage of same -- getting
>away from cars.

I sometimes drive my road bike to wherever I want to ride,
although I haven't lately. There are nice places to ride
that I can't get to on bicycle (can't find roads other than
interstate highways, or would have to cycle through some
terrible inner-city neighborhoods, not to mention distance
from home).

--
Rick Onanian

October 1st 03, 01:09 AM
Note: this subthread will be diverted to rec.bicycles.rides.

In rec.bicycles.misc Rick Onanian > wrote:
: On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 11:16:20 GMT, John Albergo
: > wrote:
:>It seems to me there are more roadies out there in the last few years
:>-anyone else sense this? Maybe due to L.A.'s success, I don't know.

: My guess would be an effect similar to what one may
: observe about myself. I bought a MTB in 1997, and
: enjoyed it; and I found that I wanted to do road rides
: on a bike made for the road, so last year I finally
: splurged on a road bike.

Similar development here: a hybrid in 1998, a recumbent trike in
2003. If I hadn't gone bent I'd have a road bike now.

Why do you think we are seeing this trend right now? I'm not sure
of this trend, I just think there are more cyclists these days,
though nothing really dramatic...

: I sometimes drive my road bike to wherever I want to ride,
: although I haven't lately. There are nice places to ride
: that I can't get to on bicycle (can't find roads other than
: interstate highways, or would have to cycle through some
: terrible inner-city neighborhoods, not to mention distance
: from home).

No such problems here. I always ride to rides, though this
sometimes means kilometers upon kilometers of boring,
traffic-plagued suburbs before reaching the nice roads. My long
term solution is moving closer to nice riding areas.

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html
varis at no spam please iki fi

October 1st 03, 01:35 AM
In rec.bicycles.misc Matt O'Toole > wrote:

: "John Albergo" > wrote in message
: ...

:> I'm guessing that road cycling will tend to decline in popularity if
:> population and road congestion continue to increase. Fewer "good" roads
:> to ride due to traffic and over-aggressive driving.

: Some places with the worst traffic and most aggressive drivers are also pretty
: good for bikes -- southern CA, for example. So I think planning and road design
: is the real key. I was in Reston, VA (near Washington) the other day. I can't
: think of a worse place for bikes. The area is otherwise much like southern CA.
: The difference is the design of the roads.

I think population density figures in. In the Greater Helsinki
area one has to get out of the suburb zone into the semi-rural
proximal country areas to hit the road biking scene. Once there,
some really peaceful roads can be found. One early Sunday evening,
I hit a section where I saw no cars going either way for about 10
km. (Between Mäntsälä and Hyvinkää, to be exact.) Essentially it
was my riding there that justified the existence of the road :-)

Are general trends more prevalent than local conditions? A rise or
fall in road biking could be primarily a local trend. Does an
increase in traffic necessarily lead to more aggressive driving?
An idealist could hope for courtesy and concern for the other on
the road - certainly would make driving more enjoyable...

: Finally, getting back to the bike industry -- the problem with this whole
: thread, and the industry in general, is that they're trying too hard to latch
: onto "the next big boom." They're putting too much stock and blame in external
: factors, instead of looking to themselves for real innovation, offering
: customers what they really need and want, and building a business that's
: sustainable over time.

: I *do* see some of that innovation. Hopefully, it will gather steam in the
: coming years.

Would you like to detail what you see as "real innovation" and
real customer needs? :-)

--
Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html
varis at no spam please iki fi

Dumpster Bike
October 1st 03, 04:52 AM
i live in philadelphia and frequently find myself riding through roads
that look like they were paved with broken glass. literally. after
going through at LEAST one flat per week on a pair of Hutchinson
Basics (the blue fold up ones, worst tires ive ever used), i sprung
for one of those Specialized Armadillos for the rear wheel on my work
bike. it was about 20 dollars, 700X23C. about 10 months, one loooong
cold winter, tons of broken glass and use almost every day since, the
only flat i got on this tire was when i was removing the tube one time
and tore the rubber directly under the valve. my fault. ive picked
tons of glass shards out of the thick rubber but none of it ever made
it to the tube. about half the messengers i know have had similar
results and use these.

the flipside is that mine had to be retired recently because the
sidewall (which is extra re-inforced as well) was beginning to tear
away from the bead. ive seen this on other Armadillos ive trash
picked. the tire is also quite heavy, and although i dont have a whole
lot of experience with high end tires, friends have told me that while
theyre bullet proof, theyre very stiff and ride like crap. basically
if you want something that will almost never puncture, these are the
tires to use. ive had glass come through a tire AND the mr. tuffy
underneath it, but not these tires. they make them in 27s as well,
which is nice, although i think theyre called turbos, but basically
the same thing.

Tim McNamara
October 1st 03, 05:14 AM
It's rather amazing that we permit the elected officials of our cities
to get away with such blatant ineptitude. If you want to combat
broken glass, have every rider in town save their slashed up tires and
tubes, and then take them en masse to a city council meeting and dump
them on the floor. Bicyclists are citizens and taxpayers, yet we do
not seem to think we should be treated as such by our local, state and
federal governments. We seem to be content to exist marginally as
"not intented and permitted road users" to quote the court Illinois in
the Boub case.

Eric S. Sande
October 1st 03, 05:33 AM
>Some places with the worst traffic and most aggressive drivers are
>also pretty good for bikes -- southern CA, for example. So I think
>planning and road design is the real key. I was in Reston, VA (near
>Washington) the other day. I can't think of a worse place for bikes.
>The area is otherwise much like southern CA.

>The difference is the design of the roads.

That's for sure. Reston is well within the unacceptable zone of
second-growth suburbia. I've been out of town in Springfield, VA
for the last week, and that's within the first ring of the DC
suburbs. It's being remade in the image of the automobile.

I was pretty amused by the sidepaths along the Springfield-
Fairfax parkway, populated by riders with all the equipment
but no place to go. I may have gotten the name of the road
wrong.

To make a long story short, I rode, I lived to tell about it.

But it wasn't easy. My sisters, both occasional cyclists,
were full of helpful comments such as, "Well, the SUVs aren't
nearly as dense as in California."

--

_______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________
------------------"Buddy Holly, the Texas Elvis"------------------

Carl Fogel
October 3rd 03, 06:37 AM
Tim McNamara > wrote in message >...
> It's rather amazing that we permit the elected officials of our cities
> to get away with such blatant ineptitude. If you want to combat
> broken glass, have every rider in town save their slashed up tires and
> tubes, and then take them en masse to a city council meeting and dump
> them on the floor. Bicyclists are citizens and taxpayers, yet we do
> not seem to think we should be treated as such by our local, state and
> federal governments. We seem to be content to exist marginally as
> "not intented and permitted road users" to quote the court Illinois in
> the Boub case.

I'm amused by this thread about how to "combat"
the minor debris that threatens us with occasional
bicycle flats on roads and bicycle paths.

It reminds me of how annoyed I am every spring when
I find a nasty spot on a mountain trail blocked by
a slanting fallen log, a much bigger problem for a
motorcycle than a mountain bike.

What are those lazy Forest Service people doing? Why
haven't they hiked up through the melting snow to saw
up logs for my convenience?

Luckily, no one can hear me whining in the forest.

Everyone posting on this thread seems to have the
money to buy bicycles and internet computer access.

But has anyone disguised as a responsible adult
suggested that we bicyclists should pay a bicycle
tax or user fee to fund a cleanup that seems to be
solely for our benefit? Motorists aren't complaining
about flat tires.

Perhaps the idea that bicyclists ought to pay for
anything is too shocking to be considered. After all,
what taxes do we pay as bicyclists, as opposed to the
ordinary taxes that everyone pays?

We pay no fuel tax to fund road work. Here in Colorado,
the combined state and federal gas tax is about 40
cents per gallon, a figure that is never posted at the
pump, lest motorists notice the roughly 33% sales tax.
What would bicyclists say if asked to pay a 33% sales
tax at the local bike shop?

We pay no license plate fees. This year, the license for
the ancient 3-rail motorcycle trailer that I've been using
a few times every year since 1976 cost me all of $11.17.
Imagine the outrage if bicyclists were asked to pay $11.17
per year to license bicycles that often cost more than
my trailer.

We pay no rider's license fees. A Colorado driver's
license costs $15.60 every ten years for drivers over 21,
but $25.60 for the five years between 16 and 21. Drivers
61 and older pay only $8.10 for ten years.

We aren't even required to have road insurance. And our
non-existent insurance rates don't increase if we get tickets.

We feed no parking meters, even if we lock our bikes to
the meters themselves.

We pay no tolls. My free daily ride takes me past the ticket
hut at the Pueblo Reservoir recreational area, where cars
pay $5 for a daily pass, $50 for a yearly pass, and even
more for trailers.

We pay no $2 disposal fee for our old tires.

So perhaps we're getting what we pay for?

True, we bicyclists never ever cause the slightest trouble
ourselves--heavens, no!--but demanding that everyone else
pay to provide us with hundreds of miles of red carpet swept
free of glass seems, well, a bit childish.

In contrast to our imitations of spoiled children,
consider Sheldon Brown, who owns and runs a local bike
shop and therefore probably knows more than most of us
about taxes.

Sheldon Brown is an adult. Can anyone find a rude, whiny,
snotty, arrogant, insulting, or nasty post from him? Does
anyone doubt that he would have made my point (if he agreed
with me and thought it worth pursuing) with more grace and
good nature?

When the sysop of a popular bicycle web site was killed in
a recent accident, did Sheldon Brown wring his hands about
what a shame it was that the ISP did not continue to support
the site for free? Hell, no! He took the time, trouble, and
expense to mirror the site for the rest of us. Compare that
kind of response with the general tenor of this thread about
how awful it is that there's glass on the roads and paths.

If we bicyclists want roads and paths cleaned up for our
delicate tires, then shouldn't we either volunteer to clean
things up ourselves or else offer to pay taxes to fund the
services that we want? Wouldn't that be more adult than
flinging punctured inner tubes at elected officials and
demanding that more general tax revenue be spent on our
rather narrow needs?

Of course, it's human to expect everyone else to work or
pay for our convenience. I've been appalled for years by
those fallen logs on the old Civilian Conservation Corps
trails where I ride a motorcycle, but I've never been
appalled enough to pay anyone to clear the fallen timber
for me, to propose a tax on motorcycles to fund trail work,
or to carry a folding saw and do it myself.

But I'd be embarrassed to complain about it.

Paulus
October 3rd 03, 11:32 AM
Greetings. A few points:
We do pay a bicycle tax here in Australia. It is a GST which is applied to all good and services we use as cyclists.

Bicycles:
a.. have minimal impact on road surfaces.
b.. do not contribute to greenhouse gases (besides when they are built)
c.. take up less land fill than a car.
d.. promote healthier people, and thus reduce the burden on the health system.
e.. reduce traffic congestion
f.. do not contribute to photochemical smog
g.. contribute to reduces stress when used due to the exercise performed

As a motorcyclist, road debris are dangerous and can result in loss of traction.
As a car driver and motorcyclist I pay FULL PRICE rego on both vehicles while I can use one at a time (this also includes compulsory 3rd party insurance which always seems to increase every year).



"Carl Fogel" > wrote in message om...
> Tim McNamara > wrote in message >...
> > It's rather amazing that we permit the elected officials of our cities
> > to get away with such blatant ineptitude. If you want to combat
> > broken glass, have every rider in town save their slashed up tires and
> > tubes, and then take them en masse to a city council meeting and dump
> > them on the floor. Bicyclists are citizens and taxpayers, yet we do
> > not seem to think we should be treated as such by our local, state and
> > federal governments. We seem to be content to exist marginally as
> > "not intented and permitted road users" to quote the court Illinois in
> > the Boub case.
>
> I'm amused by this thread about how to "combat"
> the minor debris that threatens us with occasional
> bicycle flats on roads and bicycle paths.
>
> It reminds me of how annoyed I am every spring when
> I find a nasty spot on a mountain trail blocked by
> a slanting fallen log, a much bigger problem for a
> motorcycle than a mountain bike.
>
> What are those lazy Forest Service people doing? Why
> haven't they hiked up through the melting snow to saw
> up logs for my convenience?
>
> Luckily, no one can hear me whining in the forest.
>
> Everyone posting on this thread seems to have the
> money to buy bicycles and internet computer access.
>
> But has anyone disguised as a responsible adult
> suggested that we bicyclists should pay a bicycle
> tax or user fee to fund a cleanup that seems to be
> solely for our benefit? Motorists aren't complaining
> about flat tires.
>
> Perhaps the idea that bicyclists ought to pay for
> anything is too shocking to be considered. After all,
> what taxes do we pay as bicyclists, as opposed to the
> ordinary taxes that everyone pays?
>
> We pay no fuel tax to fund road work. Here in Colorado,
> the combined state and federal gas tax is about 40
> cents per gallon, a figure that is never posted at the
> pump, lest motorists notice the roughly 33% sales tax.
> What would bicyclists say if asked to pay a 33% sales
> tax at the local bike shop?
>
> We pay no license plate fees. This year, the license for
> the ancient 3-rail motorcycle trailer that I've been using
> a few times every year since 1976 cost me all of $11.17.
> Imagine the outrage if bicyclists were asked to pay $11.17
> per year to license bicycles that often cost more than
> my trailer.
>
> We pay no rider's license fees. A Colorado driver's
> license costs $15.60 every ten years for drivers over 21,
> but $25.60 for the five years between 16 and 21. Drivers
> 61 and older pay only $8.10 for ten years.
>
> We aren't even required to have road insurance. And our
> non-existent insurance rates don't increase if we get tickets.
>
> We feed no parking meters, even if we lock our bikes to
> the meters themselves.
>
> We pay no tolls. My free daily ride takes me past the ticket
> hut at the Pueblo Reservoir recreational area, where cars
> pay $5 for a daily pass, $50 for a yearly pass, and even
> more for trailers.
>
> We pay no $2 disposal fee for our old tires.
>
> So perhaps we're getting what we pay for?
>
> True, we bicyclists never ever cause the slightest trouble
> ourselves--heavens, no!--but demanding that everyone else
> pay to provide us with hundreds of miles of red carpet swept
> free of glass seems, well, a bit childish.
>
> In contrast to our imitations of spoiled children,
> consider Sheldon Brown, who owns and runs a local bike
> shop and therefore probably knows more than most of us
> about taxes.
>
> Sheldon Brown is an adult. Can anyone find a rude, whiny,
> snotty, arrogant, insulting, or nasty post from him? Does
> anyone doubt that he would have made my point (if he agreed
> with me and thought it worth pursuing) with more grace and
> good nature?
>
> When the sysop of a popular bicycle web site was killed in
> a recent accident, did Sheldon Brown wring his hands about
> what a shame it was that the ISP did not continue to support
> the site for free? Hell, no! He took the time, trouble, and
> expense to mirror the site for the rest of us. Compare that
> kind of response with the general tenor of this thread about
> how awful it is that there's glass on the roads and paths.
>
> If we bicyclists want roads and paths cleaned up for our
> delicate tires, then shouldn't we either volunteer to clean
> things up ourselves or else offer to pay taxes to fund the
> services that we want? Wouldn't that be more adult than
> flinging punctured inner tubes at elected officials and
> demanding that more general tax revenue be spent on our
> rather narrow needs?
>
> Of course, it's human to expect everyone else to work or
> pay for our convenience. I've been appalled for years by
> those fallen logs on the old Civilian Conservation Corps
> trails where I ride a motorcycle, but I've never been
> appalled enough to pay anyone to clear the fallen timber
> for me, to propose a tax on motorcycles to fund trail work,
> or to carry a folding saw and do it myself.
>
> But I'd be embarrassed to complain about it.

David Damerell
October 3rd 03, 03:32 PM
Carl Fogel > wrote:
>But has anyone disguised as a responsible adult
>suggested that we bicyclists should pay a bicycle
>tax or user fee to fund a cleanup that seems to be
>solely for our benefit? Motorists aren't complaining
>about flat tires.

I don't know about the USA, but in the UK, vehicle excise duty, fuel tax
etc. are not hypothecated. As a cyclist who does not drive I pay
considerably more tax per mile travelled than a motorist - never mind that
my vehicle does not damage the road, I need a less wide road, and I do not
pollute.
--
David Damerell > Distortion Field!

Mike Dahmus
October 3rd 03, 03:58 PM
On 2 Oct 2003 22:37:47 -0700, (Carl Fogel)
wrote:

>So perhaps we're getting what we pay for?

Considering that in every state in this country, large amounts of road
funding comes from sales and property taxes, we most certainly
_aren't_ getting "what we pay for".

---
Mike Dahmus
m dah mus @ at @ io.com

DejaVU
October 3rd 03, 04:10 PM
scribed in
>:

>In rec.bicycles.misc Marian Rosenberg
> wrote:
>
>: I have local acquaintances who don't even bother to own bicycles
>: because they can get everything they need within a kilometer of
>: home.
>
>I know some people who consider 5 km an "easy walking distance".
>These people are clearly abnormal ;)

Here, if you start at the city name board to the north, and walk 5km
south , you'll be out the other side and onto a small dairy farm.
I commute the princely distance of 2.4km to work, and I go home for
lunch every day. Who needs big cities?

swarf, steam and wind

--
David Forsyth -:- the email address is real /"\
http://terrapin.ru.ac.za/~iwdf/welcome.html \ /
ASCII Ribbon campaign against HTML E-Mail > - - - - - - -> X
If you receive email saying "Send this to everyone you know," / \
PLEASE pretend you don't know me.

g.daniels
October 3rd 03, 04:39 PM
scrap it off to the side with the dayglo poster paper squares brought
alongside that black rack bag so the local urchins can hemmorhage.

Carl Fogel
October 3rd 03, 07:46 PM
"Paulus" > wrote in message >...
> Greetings. A few points:
> We do pay a bicycle tax here in Australia. It is a GST which is applied
> to all good and services we use as cyclists.
>
> Bicycles:
> a.. have minimal impact on road surfaces.
> b.. do not contribute to greenhouse gases (besides when they are
> built)
> c.. take up less land fill than a car.
> d.. promote healthier people, and thus reduce the burden on the health
> system.
> e.. reduce traffic congestion
> f.. do not contribute to photochemical smog
> g.. contribute to reduces stress when used due to the exercise
> performed
>
> As a motorcyclist, road debris are dangerous and can result in loss of
> traction.
> As a car driver and motorcyclist I pay FULL PRICE rego on both vehicles
> while I can use one at a time (this also includes compulsory 3rd party
> insurance which always seems to increase every year).
>

Dear Paulus,

My point is that a very small group (not even all bicyclists) seems
to expect a very expensive service (massive road cleaning) paid for
by the vast majority of taxpayers (who don't need it) for a very small
benefit (a few less flat tires, a routine hazard for delicate bicycles).

My analogy is that a very small group (a handful of trail motorcycle
riders) wants a very expensive service (forest service lumberjacks
to clear one or two fallen trees from high mountain trails) paid for
by the bast majority of taxpayers (who don't need it) for a very
small benefit (a few less fallen logs, a routine hazard for motorcycle
trail riding).

Your points a through g seem plausible, but I suspect that we
bicyclists overrate the fantastic benefits of our recreation.
(For fun, replace "Bicycles" at the head of your list of benefits
with "Basset Hounds." It works, but I doubt that my fellow
taxpayers will pay to sweep the streets for my glorious pet,
even though the glass and stickers trouble his paws at times.)

In your case, for example, you've added a bicycle to both a car
and motorcycle, presumably because you like and can afford all three.
You pay no extra and specific taxes for the bicycle, if I understand
your description of the Australian General Sales Tax, but I suspect
that there are extra and specific taxes on your car and motorcycle,
such as license plates, a motor vehicle driver's license, fuel taxes,
road tolls, and so forth.

If so, you pay for and receive a road suitable for motor vehicles.
If we want it swept regularly for a bicycle's delicate tires,
then either we have to tax the tiny minority of bicyclists who
will benefit or else demand that everyone else pay for our hobby.

Two faintly related points may be of more interest to you and me.

First, does "rego" mean "registration," as in vehicle registration?
("Pink slips" here in Colorado, where they haven't been pink for years.)
My study of Australian phrases via Robert Barrett's cheerful Les Norton
thrillers missed this one.

Second, just in case the inevitable inequities of taxation amuse
you, I must confess that I pay less tax for Australian novels than
you do--your GST (sales or service?) apparently doesn't apply to
overseas sales. You can see the difference on any book here:


http://www.bookworm.com.au/cgi-bin/bookmall/bookworm/index.tam

So thanks for subsidizing my depraved literary tastes and good
luck on your unswept roads.

Carl Fogel

Carl Fogel
October 3rd 03, 08:10 PM
David Damerell > wrote in message >...
> Carl Fogel > wrote:
> >But has anyone disguised as a responsible adult
> >suggested that we bicyclists should pay a bicycle
> >tax or user fee to fund a cleanup that seems to be
> >solely for our benefit? Motorists aren't complaining
> >about flat tires.
>
> I don't know about the USA, but in the UK, vehicle excise duty, fuel tax
> etc. are not hypothecated. As a cyclist who does not drive I pay
> considerably more tax per mile travelled than a motorist - never mind that
> my vehicle does not damage the road, I need a less wide road, and I do not
> pollute.

Dear David,

Actually, I don't know about taxes in the USA, either--taxes are
hideously tangled, fungible no matter what the politicians claim, hidden,
and inequitable--like much of life.

But as "a cyclist who does not drive," you presumably do not pay
vehicle excise duty, fuel tax, and so forth, do you?

My point is that we bicyclists pay less--as bicyclists--but that some
of us in this thread are demanding extensive and expensive services that
seem to be solely for our benefit. The roads are built and paid for by
a vast majority of motor vehicle users, not the tiny minority of
bicyclists. That we bicyclists are wonderful people is, of course,
never in doubt--but I'm reluctant and even embarrassed by the idea
of demanding that everyone else pay tribute to my noble nature and
sweep the roads for my delicate, non-damaging tires.

As a pure bicyclist in the UK, you may enjoy horrifying comparisons
and examples of the way we live now here in the U.S. in these degenerate
days (at least some of us).

In the early 1970's, I bicycled four miles, back and forth to
school, leaving my 5-speed Schwinn at a friend's house two blocks from
the school rather than locking it at the school bike rack. The school
bike rack has long vanished, due to disuse, while hordes of "2-hour
parking" signs have sprouted in the quiet neighborhood around the
school to discourage the children from parking their cars in front
of the houses.

I have a brother-in-law who never even learned to ride a bike.

And my daily 15-mile paved ride rarely produces more than half a dozen
other bicyclists. (It's awfully nice of the rest of Pueblo to provide
me with a nearly private 6-mile stretch of bike path along the Arkansas
River.)

Am I right in suspecting that bicycles are considerably thicker on
the ground in your neck of the woods? Are we perhaps numerous enough
in the UK to tax and support bike-specific services?

Carl Fogel

Carl Fogel
October 3rd 03, 08:33 PM
Mike Dahmus > wrote in message >...
> On 2 Oct 2003 22:37:47 -0700, (Carl Fogel)
> wrote:
>
> >So perhaps we're getting what we pay for?
>
> Considering that in every state in this country, large amounts of road
> funding comes from sales and property taxes, we most certainly
> _aren't_ getting "what we pay for".
>
> ---
> Mike Dahmus
> m dah mus @ at @ io.com

Dear Mike,

I imagine that you're right about the varied sources of road funding,
but I still have to disagree with you, even if no taxes from fuel
and motor vehicle taxes went to road funding.

Aren't the vast majority of people who pay sales and property taxes
motor vehicle users who get what they pay for, namely roads good
enough for motor vehicles? Do you and I and handful of other bicycle
enthusiasts pay enough to complain that these excellent roads aren't
swept regularly and thoroughly enough for our delicate tires?

I'd love it if I could hornswoggle the rest of you into paying
for the Forest Service to clear my mountain trails of fallen timber
every spring, but frankly I'm getting a lot more than I pay for, so
I hope that no one in the Forest Service reads this and starts thinking
about taxing me for maintaining trails that see only a few hundred
hikers, bicyclists, horses, hunters, and motorcycles every season.

As a bicyclist, I certainly get far more than I pay for in taxes.
I use a six-mile stretch of bike path built by the city of Pueblo
that runs along the Arkansas River. Typically, I see only a single
person per mile, walking or riding. Having such a grand path
available makes it awfully hard to complain that it should be
repaved to take care of the occasional cracks and bumps from the
tree roots. I also try to remember how little I pay when the city
fails to mow the hideous stands of ragweed in one section--I'm
more than I pay for, as far as I can tell.

You make an interesting point about the sources of road funding.
Can you suggest any web sites that break the sources down into
categories like income taxes, fuel taxes, license plates, toll
roads, property taxes, sales taxes, and so forth here in the U.S.?
Two other posters unconvinced by my babbling turn out to be
in Australia and the U.K., and their comments suggest an interesting
difference in how we pay for potholes.

Carl Fogel

Mike Dahmus
October 3rd 03, 09:48 PM
On 3 Oct 2003 12:33:36 -0700, (Carl Fogel)
wrote:

>Mike Dahmus > wrote in message >...
>> On 2 Oct 2003 22:37:47 -0700, (Carl Fogel)
>> wrote:
>>
>> >So perhaps we're getting what we pay for?
>>
>> Considering that in every state in this country, large amounts of road
>> funding comes from sales and property taxes, we most certainly
>> _aren't_ getting "what we pay for".
>>
>> ---
>> Mike Dahmus
>> m dah mus @ at @ io.com
>
>Dear Mike,
>
>I imagine that you're right about the varied sources of road funding,
>but I still have to disagree with you, even if no taxes from fuel
>and motor vehicle taxes went to road funding.
>
>Aren't the vast majority of people who pay sales and property taxes
>motor vehicle users who get what they pay for, namely roads good
>enough for motor vehicles? Do you and I and handful of other bicycle
>enthusiasts pay enough to complain that these excellent roads aren't
>swept regularly and thoroughly enough for our delicate tires?

Well, you're making it much more complicated than it has to be.

Fact: You made a claim that cyclists don't pay their fair share.

Fact: They pay more than their fair share.

Fact: Street-sweeping is a basic civic function which ought to be
covered by general fund revenue; if we are funding roads by that means
at all (and we do in every city of note in the USA).

(And here in Austin, streets are, in fact, swept; as they have been in
every other town I've lived in - this is an argument in favor of
on-street facilities, by the way).

---
Mike Dahmus
m dah mus @ at @ io.com

Tim McNamara
October 4th 03, 12:27 AM
In article >,
(Carl Fogel) wrote:

> Aren't the vast majority of people who pay sales and property taxes
> motor vehicle users who get what they pay for, namely roads good
> enough for motor vehicles? Do you and I and handful of other
> bicycle enthusiasts pay enough to complain that these excellent
> roads aren't swept regularly and thoroughly enough for our delicate
> tires?

Actually, given that I pay every bit as much towards construction and
maintainance as any typical road user (since I own a house, have a
job, buy stuff and own a car) then I'd say YES! I pay enough to
complain that these "excellent roads" are in crappy condition, badly
maintained and ineptly designed.

Rick
October 4th 03, 12:38 AM
....stuff deleted
> My point is that we bicyclists pay less--as bicyclists--but that some
> of us in this thread are demanding extensive and expensive services that
> seem to be solely for our benefit.

Carl,

I never heard anyone say this. The roads are, however, not the place for
broken glass and other debris deposited from individuals who have no clue
what a trash can is for. The debris on the sides of road is, as a matter of
course, removed at taxpayer expense whether or not bicyclists are present.
Your premise that these services are in addition to those already funded by
taxes is flawed. The problem is that we have a society which has already
forgotten the simple message about polluting our environment that we thought
was being learned.

> The roads are built and paid for by
> a vast majority of motor vehicle users, not the tiny minority of
> bicyclists. That we bicyclists are wonderful people is, of course,
> never in doubt--but I'm reluctant and even embarrassed by the idea
> of demanding that everyone else pay tribute to my noble nature and
> sweep the roads for my delicate, non-damaging tires.
>

Of which I, as both a driver and cyclist, pay for, as do the great majority
of cyclists. Commute cyclists provide a huge benefit for the general
populous that is not widely recognized and they receive no compensation for
same. The least that can be expected is that there is a clean lane so that
the cyclist can function smootly amid the traffic.

....stuff deleted

Scott Eiler
October 4th 03, 01:00 AM
In article et>,
the robotic servitors of "Rick" >
rose up with the following chant:
>I've tried virtually all of the potential solutions worth trying. I've had
>glass cut through kevlar, and the heads of screws penetrate tire liners. My
>bike shop (Shaw's Lightweight Cycles in Santa Clara - they deserve the plug)
>recommended using Continental Top Touring tires on my bike. So far, only 1
>flat in 5 years of riding these beasties. I don't intentionally ride over
>glass, as Scott seems to do, but then, I'm not riding a mountain bike.
>
>....stuff deleted
>> >I just ride straight over it. Makes a crunching sound. Never gotten a
>> >flat from it.

For what it's worth, it wasn't me nor anyone named Scott who made that quote.
Though my bike shop seems to think I seek out glass... and I'm not riding
a mountain bike either. B{C>

But, back to the point...

The bike shop swears that big knobby mountain bike tires would not have saved
me from any of my glass encounters, even though the bike shop sells *mostly*
mountain bikes. Admittedly, they've seen the gashes in my tires, and even
some of the chunks of glass. But could it be that a nice big knobby tire
might save me from smaller pieces of glass anyway?

-------- Scott Eiler B{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ --------

"It seemed an unlikely spot for a sensitive songwriter from Greenwich
Village... She ordered the 20-ounce steak."
-- Lin Brehmer, Chicago DJ, describing his meeting in a steakhouse
with Suzanne Vega.

Scott Eiler
October 4th 03, 01:34 AM
In article >,
the robotic servitors of (Carl Fogel)
rose up with the following chant:
>
>Everyone posting on this thread seems to have the
>money to buy bicycles and internet computer access.
>
>But has anyone disguised as a responsible adult
>suggested that we bicyclists should pay a bicycle
>tax or user fee to fund a cleanup that seems to be
>solely for our benefit? Motorists aren't complaining
>about flat tires.

The hell they aren't. The last place I got a flat was on a road where the
local redneck wannabes throw their beer bottles. This week I rode past a car
that got a flat the same place.

>Perhaps the idea that bicyclists ought to pay for
>anything is too shocking to be considered. After all,
>what taxes do we pay as bicyclists, as opposed to the
>ordinary taxes that everyone pays?

Actually, I kind of like your idea and have no comment about most of your
points. When I drive, I gladly pay for toll roads if they get me where I want
to go and the freeways don't. If there were *toll* bikeways that were well
maintained, I'd pay for the privilege. But see my finishing comments...

>We pay no fuel tax to fund road work. Here in Colorado,
>the combined state and federal gas tax is about 40
>cents per gallon, a figure that is never posted at the
>pump, lest motorists notice the roughly 33% sales tax.
>What would bicyclists say if asked to pay a 33% sales
>tax at the local bike shop?

Your analogy on this point breaks down because the local bike shop would have
to charge *excise* tax. If the State of Illinois wanted to charge me 33% of
what it takes to fuel my bike, that's a *grocery* tax, so good luck enforcing
it on *everyone*. Besides, I'll admit that I produce toxic
methane-related by-products from my groceries, but not quite on the same level
as internal combustion of gasoline. B{D>

>If we bicyclists want roads and paths cleaned up for our
>delicate tires, then shouldn't we either volunteer to clean
>things up ourselves or else offer to pay taxes to fund the
>services that we want? Wouldn't that be more adult than
>flinging punctured inner tubes at elected officials and
>demanding that more general tax revenue be spent on our
>rather narrow needs?

Actually, I do "volunteer" to clean things up myself. More precisely, when I
see a field of broken glass in the bike path, I stop and kick it off to the
side... where the only things it'll hurt is people's dogs that roam through
the grass. Maybe if the cleanup of broken glass were more systematic, it
would be more useful to society at large.

>Of course, it's human to expect everyone else to work or
>pay for our convenience. I've been appalled for years by
>those fallen logs on the old Civilian Conservation Corps
>trails where I ride a motorcycle, but I've never been
>appalled enough to pay anyone to clear the fallen timber
>for me, to propose a tax on motorcycles to fund trail work,
>or to carry a folding saw and do it myself.

The difference is, your motorcycle on the old CCC trails doesn't reduce
road traffic or make the United States less dependent on foreign oil. Quite
the reverse, in fact. My bicycle on the local bike trails does *both* those
things when I ride to work. And I live in a community which is not only proud
about its bike trails, it brags about them and puts on events to promote their
use, especially for commuting.

Practically speaking, as we both said before, I can afford to pay for
the bicycle services I use, and governments might benefit from this.
But would society benefit?

Perhaps government subsidy of cyclists MAKES SENSE. And perhaps it might make
sense for me to ask the government to FINISH THE JOB when it gives the
subsidies. When more people sensibly decide to use the bicycle for more
stuff, perhaps THEN we can talk about usage taxes for bicycles.

-------- Scott Eiler B{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ --------

"It seemed an unlikely spot for a sensitive songwriter from Greenwich
Village... She ordered the 20-ounce steak."
-- Lin Brehmer, Chicago DJ, describing his meeting in a steakhouse
with Suzanne Vega.

Pete Harris
October 4th 03, 04:55 AM
(Qui si parla Campagnolo) wrote

> Certainly not
'combat' but do local areas have an aggresive(read pays well)
> bottle return system. That is, do places pay well for returned glass
> containers?
>
> That helps a wee bit.

Here's what doesn't help at all: Open Container laws which encourage
people to throw beer bottles out the window.

At least in California, it doesn't matter if the the bottle is
completely empty, it's a serious "moving vehicle" violation. Cops are
trained to look very carefully through your windows to find one of
these--then you're in big trouble, and we all know that.

Unfortuately, the MADD lobby is stronger than the bike lobby, so all
we can do is teach our kids the importance of lofting the backhand
toss clear over the shoulder and safely into the ditch where someone
who needs the money can pick up the bottle for the redemption value.

- Pete

Carl Fogel
October 4th 03, 05:33 AM
Mike Dahmus > wrote in message >...

[snip previous posts]
>
> Well, you're making it much more complicated than it has to be.
>
> Fact: You made a claim that cyclists don't pay their fair share.
>
> Fact: They pay more than their fair share.
>
> Fact: Street-sweeping is a basic civic function which ought to be
> covered by general fund revenue; if we are funding roads by that means
> at all (and we do in every city of note in the USA).
>
> (And here in Austin, streets are, in fact, swept; as they have been in
> every other town I've lived in - this is an argument in favor of
> on-street facilities, by the way).
>
> ---
> Mike Dahmus
> m dah mus @ at @ io.com

Dear Mike,

Long-winded, sure, but what's complicated my post?

My point is that if a handful of bicyclists want the streets
swept so well that our delicate tires don't suffer, then who
should be taxed for such expensive services?

(Actually, a quick search failed to find the word "fair" in my
posts, but I think that you're entitled to infer it.)

The motorists aren't complaining. No one but us is crying
out for more street sweeping crews driving more expensive
machines for longer hours--and not too many of us.

What taxes do we bicyclists pay that motorists or pedestrians
are exempt from? We pay the same taxes (or less) to maintain
the motor vehicle roads that everyone depends on--the very
bicycles ridden by the most vehement posters arrived by truck
from the bike factories.

It's quite common for special interest groups to demand more
services and then react in horror when asked to pay for them.
The money should fall from trees that always seem to grow in
someone else's yard.

Of course, you and I are never guilty of this. We always
pay more than our fair share of taxes, but receive less than
we deserve. Noble of us, isn't it?

(I'm baffled by what you meant by "on-street facilities."
Perhaps I missed some earlier post? More likely, I don't
live in a notable city and you can teach me something.)

Carl Fogel

Traveller v.116
October 4th 03, 06:01 AM
[Snipped]

An interesting sidenote to this thread:
When gas prices rose over a buck here in Houston, there were several souls
who parked the heavy pickup and SUV deathmobiles, broke out the bikes, and
bikecommuted. It didn't last, though. Less than half stayed on pedal power.

If that's what it takes to lose a few cars, then I'm for another gas price
increase.

Carl Fogel
October 4th 03, 07:31 AM
Tim McNamara > wrote in message >...
> In article >,
> (Carl Fogel) wrote:
>
> > Aren't the vast majority of people who pay sales and property taxes
> > motor vehicle users who get what they pay for, namely roads good
> > enough for motor vehicles? Do you and I and handful of other
> > bicycle enthusiasts pay enough to complain that these excellent
> > roads aren't swept regularly and thoroughly enough for our delicate
> > tires?
>
> Actually, given that I pay every bit as much towards construction and
> maintainance as any typical road user (since I own a house, have a
> job, buy stuff and own a car) then I'd say YES! I pay enough to
> complain that these "excellent roads" are in crappy condition, badly
> maintained and ineptly designed.

Dear Tim,

Isn't the topic of my post and this thread whether broken glass
is swept from roads regularly and thoroughly enough for bicycle
tires?

If so, wouldn't you agree that this level of service is more than
what the vast majority of the driving public requires?

You may well have my sympathy if the streets wherever you live
are in such dreadful condition. Here in Pueblo, Colorado, few
motorists or bicyclists seem as concerned as you about the
condition of the roads.

What sort of road conditions have led to your extreme unhappiness?
Endless potholes? Massive construction? Crumbling concrete? I'm
willing to believe that things are bad in your city, but I'm so
lucky (six pedestrians and bicyclists on the six-mile bicycle-path
section of my daily ride today) that I honestly have trouble
imagining what's wrong where you live.

Whatever's wrong, I suspect that brushing glass off the streets
with dollar bills won't fix it.

As citizens, you and I and 98 out 100 other people must
pay various taxes for roads. You and I would like these
roads swept free of glass that bothers our four bicycle
tires. But what argument will you use to convince the other
98 taxpayers to fund the cleaning services that you and I
want?

Aren't you getting the "typical" road that "any typical
road user" (to use your phrase) expects? The point that I
raised is that some of us non-typical road users (bicyclists)
want non-typical levels of service without paying so much as
a dollar for metal license tags on our non-typical vehicles.

In any case, what do you think needs to be addressed first
with limited funds? Inept road design (I don't know yet what
you have in mind), bad general maintenance (by which I mean
potholes and suchlike), or sweeping up broken glass?

Good luck in what sounds like a daily battle just to get down
the road.

Carl Fogel

Dr Engelbert Buxbaum
October 4th 03, 07:47 AM
Scott Eiler wrote:


> >I just ride straight over it. Makes a crunching sound. Never gotten a
> >flat from it.
>
> Okay... what kind of tires do you use? So far, I've used kevlar bead
> inflatable tires, and hardly ever *avoided* a flat that I can tell. My bike
> shop swears there's no such thing as a solid tire.

There *are* solid tires, called Green tires (although they are black). I
used to use them, and they work fine except that they take about 5 km/h
of your top speed. Last about a year in heavy use, before they start
breaking appart.

Mounting them is a pain in the back unless you know a little trick:
Spray them with lemon degreaser first. That will make them softer and
somewhat larger in diameter. Put them on the wheel and then let the
degreaser evaporate over night, the tires will shrink back to their
original size and sit nuke proof on the wheel.

Currently I use tires reinforced by a 5 mm neoprene layer (made by
Schwalbe), they too work very nicely.

The (not so) funniest thing about broken glass is that after an accident
police officers use a broom to collect the glass bits into a neat little
heap. That the leave where? At the right side of the road, right in the
path of cyclists. Grrrr

Carl Fogel
October 4th 03, 07:53 AM
"Rick" > wrote in message >...
> ...stuff deleted
> > My point is that we bicyclists pay less--as bicyclists--but that some
> > of us in this thread are demanding extensive and expensive services that
> > seem to be solely for our benefit.
>
> Carl,
>
> I never heard anyone say this. The roads are, however, not the place for
> broken glass and other debris deposited from individuals who have no clue
> what a trash can is for. The debris on the sides of road is, as a matter of
> course, removed at taxpayer expense whether or not bicyclists are present.
> Your premise that these services are in addition to those already funded by
> taxes is flawed. The problem is that we have a society which has already
> forgotten the simple message about polluting our environment that we thought
> was being learned.
>
> > The roads are built and paid for by
> > a vast majority of motor vehicle users, not the tiny minority of
> > bicyclists. That we bicyclists are wonderful people is, of course,
> > never in doubt--but I'm reluctant and even embarrassed by the idea
> > of demanding that everyone else pay tribute to my noble nature and
> > sweep the roads for my delicate, non-damaging tires.
> >
>
> Of which I, as both a driver and cyclist, pay for, as do the great majority
> of cyclists. Commute cyclists provide a huge benefit for the general
> populous that is not widely recognized and they receive no compensation for
> same. The least that can be expected is that there is a clean lane so that
> the cyclist can function smootly amid the traffic.
>
> ...stuff deleted

Dear Rick,

I like the point that you raise about roadside debris
eventually being removed, but I still think that my premise
is correct because the posters here are not asking for it
to be removed "eventually"--they want the roads swept
noticeably more often and more thoroughly. This still seems
like asking for additional service, and road-cleaning crews like
to be paid.

I'm afraid that I don't share your belief that any simple message
about pollution has been forgotten. I think that many people simply
don't agree with it or don't care about it. If they had only
forgotten it, you could simply remind them. If they disagree
or don't care, you have to convince or coerce them.

I'm also afraid that I doubt your claim that "commute cyclists
provide a huge benefit for the general populace." Commuters
on bicycles are, as far as I know, extremely rare in the U.S.,
both as children going to school and as adults. If there are
enough bicycle commuters here to make a significant or even
measurable difference to the general public (much less a huge
one), perhaps you could dig up some figures or a web site address
to cheer me up?

I do wish that my tone were as courteous as yours. It sets you
apart from much of what I've been reading here.

Thanks,

Carl Fogel

Greg Morrow
October 4th 03, 01:53 PM
> >Here in Michigan we have 10 cent bottle return so glass is not a problem
Greg

Arpit
October 4th 03, 02:52 PM
Big knobbly mountain bike tires



In article >,
the robotic servitors of Arpit >
rose up with the following chant:
>On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 00:31:37 GMT, (Scott Eiler)
>wrote:
>
>>That's an issue I'd like to ask bicyclists about, but I'm not sure if it's
>>a technical issue or a social issue... How do we combat broken glass? All the
>>*technical* solutions I've been offered have failed.
>
>I just ride straight over it. Makes a crunching sound. Never gotten a
>flat from it.

Okay... what kind of tires do you use? So far, I've used kevlar bead
inflatable tires, and hardly ever *avoided* a flat that I can tell.
My bike
shop swears there's no such thing as a solid tire.

-------- Scott Eiler B{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ --------

"It seemed an unlikely spot for a sensitive songwriter from Greenwich
Village... She ordered the 20-ounce steak."
-- Lin Brehmer, Chicago DJ, describing his meeting in a steakhouse
with Suzanne Vega.

Scott Eiler
October 4th 03, 03:36 PM
In article >,
the robotic servitors of Dr Engelbert Buxbaum >
rose up with the following chant:

>There *are* solid tires, called Green tires (although they are black). I
>used to use them, and they work fine except that they take about 5 km/h
>of your top speed. Last about a year in heavy use, before they start
>breaking appart.
>
>Mounting them is a pain in the back unless you know a little trick:
>Spray them with lemon degreaser first. That will make them softer and
>somewhat larger in diameter. Put them on the wheel and then let the
>degreaser evaporate over night, the tires will shrink back to their
>original size and sit nuke proof on the wheel.
>
>Currently I use tires reinforced by a 5 mm neoprene layer (made by
>Schwalbe), they too work very nicely.

Thanks for the advice. My bike shop sells me an inner layer too, but it sure
doesn't look like it's 5 mm thick; mine is more the thickness of a trading
card. If I can find something thicker, it sounds like the way to go.

>The (not so) funniest thing about broken glass is that after an accident
>police officers use a broom to collect the glass bits into a neat little
>heap. That the leave where? At the right side of the road, right in the
>path of cyclists. Grrrr

I ride on bike paths that run right beside the road in places, and I've seen
the glass bits from accidents swept right onto the bike path. Grrr indeed.
Sure, maybe I should pay extra usage fees to get executive-level service
from the local Public Works department, but shouldn't they do no harm for
free?

-------- Scott Eiler B{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ --------

"It seemed an unlikely spot for a sensitive songwriter from Greenwich
Village... She ordered the 20-ounce steak."
-- Lin Brehmer, Chicago DJ, describing his meeting in a steakhouse
with Suzanne Vega.

Tim McNamara
October 4th 03, 04:05 PM
In article >,
(Carl Fogel) wrote:

> My point is that if a handful of bicyclists want the streets swept
> so well that our delicate tires don't suffer, then who should be
> taxed for such expensive services?

<snip>

> It's quite common for special interest groups to demand more
> services and then react in horror when asked to pay for them.

I'm already paying for such services. In our city, we had excellent
street maintainance until a whacko Republican mayor got elected and
decided it was more important to spend my tax dollars on corporate
welfare for his buddies than for services that actually benefit the
taxpayers. And he deluded himself into thinking he was the best mayor
in the country. Now that he's a senator, he's carrying on doing
exactly the same thing but with much greater scope and far more
potential for damage. He'll be a candidate for President in about 10
years.

www.bushboy.com

Xelax
October 4th 03, 06:09 PM
Dr Engelbert Buxbaum wrote:
> Currently I use tires reinforced by a 5 mm neoprene layer (made by
> Schwalbe), they too work very nicely.

I think I've seen them in bike shops, but I thought it was the tubes
which were reinforced or self-healing.

> The (not so) funniest thing about broken glass is that after an accident
> police officers use a broom to collect the glass bits into a neat little
> heap. That the leave where? At the right side of the road, right in the
> path of cyclists. Grrrr

At least they collect it... Where do you live ? <rant> Here in Berlin
the firemen will pick up oil leaks without delay after an accident
(Grundwasserschutz), but the glass stays on until the BSR comes along,
which can be a while. Heck, even the car wrecks are just abandoned on
the spot by their owners after an accident, and can easily stay weeks or
even *months* by the roadside, preferably on the bike path, or else the
ADAC almighty might possibly get angry... </rant> (But I find Berlin
nevertheless a great place for going around by bike.)

The broken-glass-on-the-road situation would be much better in Germany
if there was at last a proper money-back system for all containers, and
especially for glass ones. I find really sad that this should even be an
issue. Such systems have been working for decades all over
North-America, their problems have
been largely solved, and as a side effect it does wonders in reducing
the litter. I find the German grocers and packers lobby arguments and
tactics downright dumb and irritating, it really shows they're either
idiots, take us for idiots, or have never been abroad. Practically all
the glass shards I slalom around has remnants of Jevers, Becks or
Schultheiss labels, brands which are all sold in throwaway bottles -
it's surprising that I never see Erdinger and other Mehrwegflaschen
brands. Fastened plastic bottle empties lying on the road are another
hazard.

Gruß,

Alexandre

Carl Fogel
October 4th 03, 10:43 PM
Tim McNamara > wrote in message >...
> In article >,
> (Carl Fogel) wrote:
>
> > My point is that if a handful of bicyclists want the streets swept
> > so well that our delicate tires don't suffer, then who should be
> > taxed for such expensive services?
>
> <snip>
>
> > It's quite common for special interest groups to demand more
> > services and then react in horror when asked to pay for them.
>
> I'm already paying for such services. In our city, we had excellent
> street maintainance until a whacko Republican mayor got elected and
> decided it was more important to spend my tax dollars on corporate
> welfare for his buddies than for services that actually benefit the
> taxpayers. And he deluded himself into thinking he was the best mayor
> in the country. Now that he's a senator, he's carrying on doing
> exactly the same thing but with much greater scope and far more
> potential for damage. He'll be a candidate for President in about 10
> years.
>
> www.bushboy.com

Dear Tim,

It sounds as if your fellow voters and taxpayers disagreed with
you. I'll leave you to brood about his evil national plan to
leave glass unswept and reduce rec.bicycles.tech to impotent fury.

You might as well be cheerful--it pays the same.

Carl Fogel

Rick
October 4th 03, 10:47 PM
....stuff deleted
>
> Dear Rick,
>
> I like the point that you raise about roadside debris eventually being
removed, but I still think that my premise
> is correct because the posters here are not asking for it to be removed
"eventually"--they want the roads swept
> noticeably more often and more thoroughly. This still seems like asking
for additional service, and road-cleaning crews like
> to be paid.
>

Having commuted by bicycle for many years, I do believe that the roads that
receive weekly maintenance are, generally on an schedule for cyclists. Yes,
there will be glass and debris that gathers that would be nice to see
removed, but it does, eventually, get removed. Other roads, however, are
cleaned on a schedule that is well below some safe threshold. I remember
passing the same road debris every day for over almost a year. For all I
know, it is still there, since I've changed jobs since then.

> I'm afraid that I don't share your belief that any simple message
> about pollution has been forgotten. I think that many people simply
> don't agree with it or don't care about it. If they had only
> forgotten it, you could simply remind them. If they disagree
> or don't care, you have to convince or coerce them.
>

By forgotten, I mean that those who learned it have not passed it on
successfully. There was a period of time there where dropping garbage was
actively frowned upon and often received a sharp rebuke. Those days are
gone. It seems that even those who once seemed to care about the message do
so no longer. The degree of litter is obviously rising in the areas I've
been in lately, and I must say it is a sorry state of affairs.

> I'm also afraid that I doubt your claim that "commute cyclists
> provide a huge benefit for the general populace." Commuters
> on bicycles are, as far as I know, extremely rare in the U.S.,
> both as children going to school and as adults. If there are
> enough bicycle commuters here to make a significant or even
> measurable difference to the general public (much less a huge
> one), perhaps you could dig up some figures or a web site address
> to cheer me up?
>

Again, as a commuter, there are things I've seen and done that have improved
the commute of others. From stopping to assist drivers whose cars have
stalled or who needed help until the law arrived, to moving debris, ducks,
and dogs from the road and potential danger. From not driving on those
roads, others obviously had a (modestly) improved commute simply because I
was not taking up 17 feet of roadway that they might otherwise not be able
to access. So, yes, commuters do provide a definite, and appreciable,
service. One only notices us, however, when one makes the occasional minor
adjustment to accomodate a cyclist.

> I do wish that my tone were as courteous as yours. It sets you
> apart from much of what I've been reading here.
>

Aw, shucks. Just being me.

Rick

Carl Fogel
October 4th 03, 10:54 PM
(Pete Harris) wrote in message >...
> (Qui si parla Campagnolo) wrote
>
> > Certainly not
> 'combat' but do local areas have an aggresive(read pays well)
> > bottle return system. That is, do places pay well for returned glass
> > containers?
> >
> > That helps a wee bit.
>
> Here's what doesn't help at all: Open Container laws which encourage
> people to throw beer bottles out the window.
>
> At least in California, it doesn't matter if the the bottle is
> completely empty, it's a serious "moving vehicle" violation. Cops are
> trained to look very carefully through your windows to find one of
> these--then you're in big trouble, and we all know that.
>
> Unfortuately, the MADD lobby is stronger than the bike lobby, so all
> we can do is teach our kids the importance of lofting the backhand
> toss clear over the shoulder and safely into the ditch where someone
> who needs the money can pick up the bottle for the redemption value.
>
> - Pete

Dear Pete,

Wouldn't it be simpler to teach your kids not to leave open liquor
bottles, empty or otherwise, rolling around in your car in the first
place?

Come to think of it, which do you fear more when you're riding your
bicycle, some glass on the road and a flat tire, or a drunk driver
coming up behind you?

Why do you think that the police look for open beer bottles when they
pull drivers over?

Hope you don't hit anyone while explaining your position.

Carl Fogel

Ted Bennett
October 4th 03, 11:29 PM
Xelax > wrote:

> The broken-glass-on-the-road situation would be much better in Germany
> if there was at last a proper money-back system for all containers, and
> especially for glass ones. I find really sad that this should even be an
> issue. Such systems have been working for decades all over
> North-America, their problems have
> been largely solved, and as a side effect it does wonders in reducing
> the litter.

> Alexandre

If Alexandre thinks that the litter problem in North America has "been
largely solved", then I can safely conclude that he has never been here.
Maybe to Disneyland, where the litter does get cleaned up.

--
Ted Bennett
Portland OR

Tim McNamara
October 5th 03, 03:41 AM
In article >,
(Carl Fogel) wrote:

> Tim McNamara > wrote in message
> >...
> > In article >,
> > (Carl Fogel) wrote:
>
> > > It's quite common for special interest groups to demand more
> > > services and then react in horror when asked to pay for them.

Out of curiosity, who isn't a special interest group? Wait, let me
guess: the people who agree with *you.*

> > I'm already paying for such services. In our city, we had
> > excellent street maintainance until a whacko Republican mayor got
> > elected and decided it was more important to spend my tax dollars
> > on corporate welfare for his buddies than for services that
> > actually benefit the taxpayers. And he deluded himself into
> > thinking he was the best mayor in the country. Now that he's a
> > senator, he's carrying on doing exactly the same thing but with
> > much greater scope and far more potential for damage. He'll be a
> > candidate for President in about 10 years.
> >
> > www.bushboy.com
>
> It sounds as if your fellow voters and taxpayers disagreed with
> you. I'll leave you to brood about his evil national plan to leave
> glass unswept and reduce rec.bicycles.tech to impotent fury.

Hee hee. Well, that was a rather complicated election what with
Wellstone- who was leading in the polls and moving away- being killed
and all. You'll notice, perhaps, that St. Paul's former mayor didn't
carry St. Paul in the senatorial election. I'm content to wait until
his next election. Mr. Coleman is doing such a nice job renegging on
his public campaign promises that he should make an excellent
candidate for President.

Tim McNamara
October 5th 03, 03:52 AM
In article >,
(Carl Fogel) wrote:

> Wouldn't it be simpler to teach your kids not to leave open liquor
> bottles, empty or otherwise, rolling around in your car in the
> first place?

Now, see, that's just it. Our kids *don't* keep the bottles in the
car. They throw them out the passenger window, where the bottles
smash right on the part of the road that bicyclists ride on. You,
like so many others, seem to lack the common sense approach of
teaching our kids not to drink and drive in the first place.

Now, I personally think that them who creates the problem should pay
for straightening it out. That's people in cars- bicyclists aren't
out smashing bottles in the bike lanes as a general thing. Virtually
every broken bottle on the street came out of a car. If we can't hold
the individual culprits accountable, then it gets spread out among the
whole class of people.

Xelax
October 5th 03, 07:28 AM
Ted Bennett wrote:
>
> Xelax > wrote:
> > The broken-glass-on-the-road situation would be much better in Germany
> > if there was at last a proper money-back system for all containers, and
> > especially for glass ones. I find really sad that this should even be an
> > issue. Such systems have been working for decades all over
> > North-America, their problems have
> > been largely solved, and as a side effect it does wonders in reducing
> > the litter.

> If Alexandre thinks that the litter problem in North America has "been
> largely solved", then I can safely conclude that he has never been here.

Hi Ted.

It's getting somewhat off-topic, but I feel I have to answer that.

I had spent practically my entire life in Montréal (30+ years) until I
moved over here. I was back there in may, and I must say that arriving
from Berlin, I found broken beer glass bottles on the streets to be
rather conspicuous by their absence; aluminum cans were also seldom
to be seen; if one is littered it will be quickly picked up by someone
who needs the money. I've even picked up some myself while on my way to
the convenience store, thinking that the negligible extra effort was
well worth a couple of nickels. Nota bene : that DOESN'T mean there's no
litter, dumbness is universal, but there is at least a counter-force at
work here.

But I now realize while I'm writing this that there could be another
factor : there appears to be no [by]laws in Germany prohibiting the
consumption of alcohol on the public way. It's perhaps much less
hypocritical than the North-American practice of hiding one's brew in a
brown paper bag, but I'm still a bit shocked at the sight of men
guzzling through a six-pack of beer (500ml cans!) during a subway ride
on their way to the stadium.
[i]
> Maybe to Disneyland, where the litter does get cleaned up.

For sure Montréal ain't no Disneyland, this city has its share of
problems. Policemen are more occupied chasing sausage sellers and
alcohol drinkers in parks on Sundays [in some places it is downright
ridiculous, for example, with upwards of 50 officers checking people's
bags at the Jeanne-Mance Park], than at curbing driver violence.
Pedestrians and bikes are not even an afterthought in most of the city
planning [I have some pictures of some really appalling places - it
seems the engineers have something in general against anything which
doesn't move in two tons of glass and steel], and the last government
introduced generalized RTOR (Right-Turn-On-Red) - they had the gall of
passing it off as an environmental and energy saving measure!!! The new
government upheld that decision, and even extended it to the island of
Montréal. Makes me puke.

Alexandre

Carl Fogel
October 5th 03, 07:44 AM
Tim McNamara > wrote in message >...
> In article >,
> (Carl Fogel) wrote:
>
> > Wouldn't it be simpler to teach your kids not to leave open liquor
> > bottles, empty or otherwise, rolling around in your car in the
> > first place?
>
> Now, see, that's just it. Our kids *don't* keep the bottles in the
> car. They throw them out the passenger window, where the bottles
> smash right on the part of the road that bicyclists ride on. You,
> like so many others, seem to lack the common sense approach of
> teaching our kids not to drink and drive in the first place.
>
> Now, I personally think that them who creates the problem should pay
> for straightening it out. That's people in cars- bicyclists aren't
> out smashing bottles in the bike lanes as a general thing. Virtually
> every broken bottle on the street came out of a car. If we can't hold
> the individual culprits accountable, then it gets spread out among the
> whole class of people.

Dear Tim,

You seem to be confusing me with Pete.

Carl Fogel

Mitch Haley
October 5th 03, 12:51 PM
Xelax wrote:
> and the last government
> introduced generalized RTOR (Right-Turn-On-Red) - they had the gall of
> passing it off as an environmental and energy saving measure!!! The new
> government upheld that decision, and even extended it to the island of
> Montréal. Makes me puke.

What's wrong with right turn on red?
Are Montréal residents too stupid to stop and yield before turning?
Mitch.

Rick
October 5th 03, 03:22 PM
....stuff deleted

> What's wrong with right turn on red?
> Are Montréal residents too stupid to stop and yield before turning?
> Mitch.

I can't speak for Canadians, but there is a significant portion of
Californians who are this stupid.

Rick

Pete Harris
October 5th 03, 06:15 PM
(Carl Fogel) wrote in message

> Wouldn't it be simpler to teach your kids not to leave open liquor
> bottles, empty or otherwise, rolling around in your car in the first
> place?

MY kids of course would NEVER be in a car with alcohol. But they
certainly could tell their friends that, hey, they train on the these
roads, so please don't break bottles on the shoulder.

While the 'teach your kids' comment was actually an attempt to be
humorous, I'm dead serious about Open Container laws. They DO
encourage empty beer bottles to fly out of windows. Since an empty
(or half-emtpy) bottle does not actually drive a car, the law is
obviously there to help the police prosecute drivers who aren't drunk
enough to be convicted of DWI.

Some states don't have this law, though I understand they're at
jeopardy of losing federal highway funds without it.

Of course I don't want drunk drivers on the road and I don't want kids
drinking, but I also don't want broken glass all over the road. I
wouldn't mind flatting so often if I believed that these ridiculous
"emtpy container" laws were actually making the roads safer.

Richard Adams
October 5th 03, 10:00 PM
Carl Fogel > wrote:
>
>>But has anyone disguised as a responsible adult
>>suggested that we bicyclists should pay a bicycle
>>tax or user fee to fund a cleanup that seems to be
>>solely for our benefit? Motorists aren't complaining
>>about flat tires.

You overlook one major problem.

No matter how much money goes into public coffers for road building and
maintenance, without fail it will not be spent caring for roads until
they are terminally ill and far more costly to repair (replace.)

When control over these budgets gets out of the hands of the politicians
and into the hands of the people that do the work (assuming they are on
the up and up) better roads will be the product.

Myself, I live near affluent comunities and even their bikelanes are
rarely cleaned and often damaged by roots or sinkholes.

Carl Fogel
October 6th 03, 02:31 AM
Richard Adams > wrote in message >...
[snip]
>
> No matter how much money goes into public coffers for road building and
> maintenance, without fail it will not be spent caring for roads until
> they are terminally ill and far more costly to repair (replace.)
>
> When control over these budgets gets out of the hands of the politicians
> and into the hands of the people that do the work (assuming they are on
> the up and up) better roads will be the product.
>
[snip]

Dear Richard,

I'm not quite sure what you're saying. If politicians do not
control public road maintenance budgets, who will?

That is, who are these "people that do the work" whom you see
taking control of the road maintenance budgets?

The road maintenance crews actually "do the work" of sweeping
glass off streets, but I suspect that they aren't the people
that you have in mind. Perhaps you mean unelected road maintenance
department administrators?

In any case, won't anyone who controls a public budget become
a de facto politician, the target of numerous groups demanding
more services and lower taxes?

Carl Fogel

David Damerell
October 6th 03, 01:02 PM
Carl Fogel > wrote:
>David Damerell >:
>>I don't know about the USA, but in the UK, vehicle excise duty, fuel tax
>>etc. are not hypothecated. As a cyclist who does not drive I pay
>>considerably more tax per mile travelled than a motorist - never mind that
>>my vehicle does not damage the road, I need a less wide road, and I do not
>>pollute.
>But as "a cyclist who does not drive," you presumably do not pay
>vehicle excise duty, fuel tax, and so forth, do you?

No, I don't, but those are small sums compared to the general taxation
which I do pay.

>My point is that we bicyclists pay less--as bicyclists

This is nothing more than the pretense of hypothecation, which we still
don't have. I pay almost as much tax as a motorist with a similar income;
I then clock many fewer miles on a vehicle that does not damage the roads
or demand such wide spaces.

>of us in this thread are demanding extensive and expensive services that
>seem to be solely for our benefit. The roads are built and paid for by
>a vast majority of motor vehicle users, not the tiny minority of
>bicyclists.

No, they are not; they are paid for by all taxpayers, and the truly
extensive and expensive service is roadbuilding itself, most of which is
done solely for the benefit of motorists. The cost of debris sweeping
would be trivial by comparison.
--
David Damerell > Kill the tomato!

David Damerell
October 6th 03, 01:11 PM
Carl Fogel > wrote:
>As citizens, you and I and 98 out 100 other people must
>pay various taxes for roads. You and I would like these
>roads swept free of glass that bothers our four bicycle
>tires. But what argument will you use to convince the other
>98 taxpayers to fund the cleaning services that you and I
>want?

For starters, the fact that I pay for roads to be built wide enough for
the motor cars of the proportion of them who drive, for motorways to be
built that I cannot even use, for the roads to be repaired after their
cars chew them up, for the National Health Service to heal the people they
injure, for the Police time and effort spent in preventing them from
killing still more of us, et cetera; which is all rather more costly than
sweeping the streets.

Of course your argument is nonsensical, because any public service funded
out of taxation does not benefit every taxpayer; clearly any given
taxpayer must expect to sometimes be paying for things they do not use,
but to also have the services they do use funded. I pay for motorways I
don't drive on, but illiterates pay for public libraries that I borrow
books from.
--
David Damerell > Kill the tomato!

Mike Dahmus
October 6th 03, 05:22 PM
On 3 Oct 2003 21:33:15 -0700, (Carl Fogel)
wrote:

>Long-winded, sure, but what's complicated my post?
>
>My point is that if a handful of bicyclists want the streets
>swept so well that our delicate tires don't suffer, then who
>should be taxed for such expensive services?
>
>(Actually, a quick search failed to find the word "fair" in my
>posts, but I think that you're entitled to infer it.)
>
>The motorists aren't complaining. No one but us is crying
>out for more street sweeping crews driving more expensive
>machines for longer hours--and not too many of us.
>
>What taxes do we bicyclists pay that motorists or pedestrians
>are exempt from? We pay the same taxes (or less) to maintain
>the motor vehicle roads that everyone depends on--the very
>bicycles ridden by the most vehement posters arrived by truck
>from the bike factories.

Again, you have taken far too long to get to your point; and in the
process; made it more complicated than it has to be.

Fact: Most funding for roads and other things that support automobile
usage does not come from the gasoline tax or vehicle registration
fees; it comes from general funds.

Fact: When I bike to work instead of driving; I do not get a refund on
any of those taxes; despite being responsible for far less cost than
if I chose to drive that day.

Fact: The trucks that deliver the goods that we "rely" on could be
served by a much smaller roadway network. Most of the cost of roads in
urban and suburban areas in the US is due to suburban commuters and
their automobiles; not to delivery traffic.

Conclusion: Cyclists already get a bum deal; especially on local
streets (i.e. non signed highways); which in jurisdictions in the US,
rarely receive any significant amount of monies from gasoline taxes.

Sweeping the streets a bit more often helps make up a bit of that gap;
but not all of it.

---
Mike Dahmus
m dah mus @ at @ io.com

Rick Onanian
October 6th 03, 08:30 PM
On 3 Oct 2003 08:39:32 -0700, (g.daniels) wrote:
>scrap it off to the side with the dayglo poster paper squares brought
>alongside that black rack bag so the local urchins can hemmorhage.

That was unintelligible. However, it has redeeming value in how
much it sounds like it ought to be a lyric in a Jethro Tull song...
--
Rick Onanian

Carl Fogel
October 7th 03, 12:06 AM
Mike Dahmus > wrote in message >...
> On 3 Oct 2003 21:33:15 -0700, (Carl Fogel)
> wrote:
>
> >Long-winded, sure, but what's complicated my post?
> >
> >My point is that if a handful of bicyclists want the streets
> >swept so well that our delicate tires don't suffer, then who
> >should be taxed for such expensive services?
> >
> >(Actually, a quick search failed to find the word "fair" in my
> >posts, but I think that you're entitled to infer it.)
> >
> >The motorists aren't complaining. No one but us is crying
> >out for more street sweeping crews driving more expensive
> >machines for longer hours--and not too many of us.
> >
> >What taxes do we bicyclists pay that motorists or pedestrians
> >are exempt from? We pay the same taxes (or less) to maintain
> >the motor vehicle roads that everyone depends on--the very
> >bicycles ridden by the most vehement posters arrived by truck
> >from the bike factories.
>
> Again, you have taken far too long to get to your point; and in the
> process; made it more complicated than it has to be.
>
> Fact: Most funding for roads and other things that support automobile
> usage does not come from the gasoline tax or vehicle registration
> fees; it comes from general funds.
>
> Fact: When I bike to work instead of driving; I do not get a refund on
> any of those taxes; despite being responsible for far less cost than
> if I chose to drive that day.
>
> Fact: The trucks that deliver the goods that we "rely" on could be
> served by a much smaller roadway network. Most of the cost of roads in
> urban and suburban areas in the US is due to suburban commuters and
> their automobiles; not to delivery traffic.
>
> Conclusion: Cyclists already get a bum deal; especially on local
> streets (i.e. non signed highways); which in jurisdictions in the US,
> rarely receive any significant amount of monies from gasoline taxes.
>
> Sweeping the streets a bit more often helps make up a bit of that gap;
> but not all of it.
>
> ---
> Mike Dahmus
> m dah mus @ at @ io.com

Dear Mike,

Actually, my post seems to be shorter than yours (14 shorter text
lines
versus 17 longer text lines), but I hope that you won't take this as a
challenge to a bizarre whose-is-shorter contest.

Frankly, your position seems more complicated than mine. Would you be
more comfortable arguing that I have over-simplified things? No one's
keeping score--I think that it's called a mulligan among good-natured
golf players.

In any case, good luck demanding not only that the streets be swept
free
of glass for your bicycle tires, but that you also be given tax
refunds
for riding a bicycle.

Carl Fogel

Richard Adams
October 7th 03, 02:14 AM
Carl Fogel wrote:

> Richard Adams > wrote in message >...
> [snip]
>
>>No matter how much money goes into public coffers for road building and
>>maintenance, without fail it will not be spent caring for roads until
>>they are terminally ill and far more costly to repair (replace.)
>>
>>When control over these budgets gets out of the hands of the politicians
>>and into the hands of the people that do the work (assuming they are on
>>the up and up) better roads will be the product.
>>
>
> [snip]
>
> Dear Richard,
>
> I'm not quite sure what you're saying. If politicians do not
> control public road maintenance budgets, who will?
>
> That is, who are these "people that do the work" whom you see
> taking control of the road maintenance budgets?
>
> The road maintenance crews actually "do the work" of sweeping
> glass off streets, but I suspect that they aren't the people
> that you have in mind. Perhaps you mean unelected road maintenance
> department administrators?
>
> In any case, won't anyone who controls a public budget become
> a de facto politician, the target of numerous groups demanding
> more services and lower taxes?

I was truly spoiled by the city I grew up in, Midland, MI, where city
streets and roads were very well taken care of, particularly considering
that it's a northern town which has to contend with freeze/thaw and such.

I live in the Santa Cruz area where it hardly even rains and many
streets and roads are a disgrace. I haven't actually looked at the
local DPW to see if it's a political position or appointed by
commissioners, but fixing any road before it's cratered is more cost
effective than tearing up the whole roadbed, laying a new one and
paving, a process which can take upto a year (or longer.)

When the road budgets vary depending upon the whim of politicians, e.g.
former Michigan governor John Engler, the requirements tend to balloon
as roads need to be replaced, thanks to big fat tax cuts and refunds to
people who don't need them rather than putting the money into the roads
when they are starting to show damage.

Communities do need to keep public works projects on the radar, rather
than let them slip off to buy a few votes.

There's some statute being considered in California, to force a fixed %
of state revenues (hopefully with a floor) into infrastructure.
Politicos do like to blather on about jobs, seems ironic that they
overlook the guys who build the roads as gainfully employed and tax paying.
> Carl Fogel

Carl Fogel
October 7th 03, 03:32 AM
Rick Onanian > wrote in message >...
> On 3 Oct 2003 08:39:32 -0700, (g.daniels) wrote:
> >scrap it off to the side with the dayglo poster paper squares brought
> >alongside that black rack bag so the local urchins can hemmorhage.
>
> That was unintelligible. However, it has redeeming value in how
> much it sounds like it ought to be a lyric in a Jethro Tull song...

Dear Rick,

It's likely that the poster faces demons unknown to most of us.

It's tempting to think that sensible comments will make a difference,
but words have little, if any, therapeutic value. Only drugs seem to
help.

Luckily, we make as little sense to them as they do to us.

Carl Fogel

David Damerell
October 7th 03, 12:28 PM
Carl Fogel > wrote:
>Actually, my post seems to be shorter than yours (14 shorter text lines
>versus 17 longer text lines),

Or it would be, if it weren't for your love of superfluous quoted text.

>In any case, good luck demanding not only that the streets be swept free
>of glass for your bicycle tires, but that you also be given tax refunds
>for riding a bicycle.

Of course, this is a neat change of position on your part from what is
just to what is practical. We already know that bicyclists are treated as
second-class citizens in many countries.
--
David Damerell > Kill the tomato!

A Muzi
October 8th 03, 05:28 AM
>>On 3 Oct 2003 08:39:32 -0700,
(g.daniels) wrote:
>>
>>>scrap it off to the side with the dayglo poster paper squares brought
>>>alongside that black rack bag so the local urchins can hemmorhage.

Carl Fogel wrote:
> It's likely that the poster faces demons unknown to most of us.
>
> It's tempting to think that sensible comments will make a difference,
> but words have little, if any, therapeutic value. Only drugs seem to
> help.
>
> Luckily, we make as little sense to them as they do to us.



Damn.
Now I have to decide where I fit along a spectrum of "Mr.
Daniels", "us" and "them".
Hmmmm. . .

--
Andrew out of place Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971

Tom Keats
October 8th 03, 06:54 AM
In article >,
(g.daniels) writes:
> scrap it off to the side with the dayglo poster paper squares brought
> alongside that black rack bag so the local urchins can hemmorhage.

I believe this is an artistic way of saying: "If you don't like
busted glass, sweep it off to the side yerselves. Make sure to
get it right out of the way, or make it visible, so people who
frequent roadsides don't cut themselves on it. Then, everybody
will be okay."


cheers,
Tom



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Rick Onanian
October 8th 03, 03:21 PM
On Tue, 7 Oct 2003 22:54:27 -0700, (Tom Keats)
wrote:
>In article >,
> (g.daniels) writes:
>> scrap it off to the side with the dayglo poster paper squares brought
>> alongside that black rack bag so the local urchins can hemmorhage.
>
>I believe this is an artistic way of saying: "If you don't like

Great...that's just what we need. Retro postmodern art-deco
acid tripping art, meet usenet.

Make sure to wear your 3-d art-o-tronic glasses!

Warning: The surgeon general has determined that pregnant
women, nursing mothers, pregnant men, and epileptics should
not view these posts. Doing so may be hazardous to their
health.

>cheers,
> Tom
--
Rick Onanian

Carl Fogel
October 8th 03, 07:31 PM
(Tom Keats) wrote in message >...
> In article >,
> (g.daniels) writes:
> > scrap it off to the side with the dayglo poster paper squares brought
> > alongside that black rack bag so the local urchins can hemmorhage.
>
> I believe this is an artistic way of saying: "If you don't like
> busted glass, sweep it off to the side yerselves. Make sure to
> get it right out of the way, or make it visible, so people who
> frequent roadsides don't cut themselves on it. Then, everybody
> will be okay."
>
>
> cheers,
> Tom

Dear Tom,

I (may) stand corrected.

Perhaps the poster is only imitating a badly troubled person,
but the usual test is why and whether he can stop at will.

I'm delighted by your reading of the text, which led me to look
at it again, but I fear that my interpretation is darker than
yours--"Scrape the broken glass off to the side of the road,
using the orange warning signs attached to the black pannier
bags so that the local children can cut themselves on it and
bleed."

The fragment doesn't rise to the level of Lowell's "For the
Union Dead," but then what does? Being troubled is not
enough--talent and a theme are also needed. Broken glass,
bicycle tires, and an aimless wish to see children bleeding
is about what you expect when freshmen take creative writing
courses, learn how little they have to say, and hide behind
near-incoherence.

The text for the next seminar will be Jerome K. Jerome's
bicycle-touring masterpiece, "Three Men on a Bummel,"
freely available from Project Gutenberg.

Oh, wait--Jerome is funnier than hell. I'll try to think
of some more dignified bicycling literature.

Carl Fogel

Brian Huntley
October 8th 03, 07:36 PM
Rick Onanian > wrote in message >...
> On 3 Oct 2003 08:39:32 -0700, (g.daniels) wrote:
> >scrap it off to the side with the dayglo poster paper squares brought
> >alongside that black rack bag so the local urchins can hemmorhage.
>
> That was unintelligible. However, it has redeeming value in how
> much it sounds like it ought to be a lyric in a Jethro Tull song...

Scraping away,
Scraping away-hey!
Scraping away
all the fresh glass that is my
Way-ay-ay-ayayaya, ayayay!

mbrick
October 8th 03, 07:48 PM
Get the biggest strongest Red Neck you can find. See how far he can heave a
beer bottle and build the bike paths 10 feet farther away
"A Muzi" > wrote in message
...
> >>On 3 Oct 2003 08:39:32 -0700,
> (g.daniels) wrote:
> >>
> >>>scrap it off to the side with the dayglo poster paper squares brought
> >>>alongside that black rack bag so the local urchins can hemmorhage.
>
> Carl Fogel wrote:
> > It's likely that the poster faces demons unknown to most of us.
> >
> > It's tempting to think that sensible comments will make a difference,
> > but words have little, if any, therapeutic value. Only drugs seem to
> > help.
> >
> > Luckily, we make as little sense to them as they do to us.
>
>
>
> Damn.
> Now I have to decide where I fit along a spectrum of "Mr.
> Daniels", "us" and "them".
> Hmmmm. . .
>
> --
> Andrew out of place Muzi
> www.yellowjersey.org
> Open every day since 1 April, 1971
>

Carl Fogel
October 9th 03, 12:06 AM
A Muzi > wrote in message >...

[snip]

> Damn.
> Now I have to decide where I fit along a spectrum of "Mr.
> Daniels", "us" and "them".
> Hmmmm. . .

Dear Andrew,

Touche!

But feel reassured--the capacity to wonder where you
fit in on the spectrum is strongly in your favor.

"All the world is queer save thee and me,
and even thou art a little queer." -- Robert Owen

Carl Fogel

Tom Keats
October 9th 03, 12:11 AM
In article >,
(Carl Fogel) writes:

> I'm delighted by your reading of the text, which led me to look
> at it again, but I fear that my interpretation is darker than
> yours--"Scrape the broken glass off to the side of the road,
> using the orange warning signs attached to the black pannier
> bags so that the local children can cut themselves on it and
> bleed."

I took the dark bits as sarcasm.

> The fragment doesn't rise to the level of Lowell's "For the
> Union Dead,"

Is that about a kaput sidewall generator? :-)

> but then what does?

I'm gonna started scoutin' around for scary ghost cyclist
(cyclist ghost?) stories again. I halfheartedly tried
awhile back, but didn't come up with much. The ones I
found just weren't scary. Maybe I'll have to invent some.


cheers,
Tom

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Carl Fogel
October 9th 03, 07:38 AM
(Tom Keats) wrote in message >...

[snip]

>
> I'm gonna started scoutin' around for scary ghost cyclist
> (cyclist ghost?) stories again. I halfheartedly tried
> awhile back, but didn't come up with much. The ones I
> found just weren't scary. Maybe I'll have to invent some.
>

Dear Tom,

Alas, no cycling ghost stories come to mind immediately.

As I recall, Bierce mentions bicycles only in passing
in doggerl in the Devil's Dictionary ("the wheels go round
without a sound").

Nothing rings a bicyclist's bell in Saki, although you might
adapt his pair of enemies trapped under the log, who reconcile
just before the wolves arrive. (Perhaps a helmet and anti-helmet
pair stuck under something that doesn't occur to me after crashing
into each other in the fog, just before they hear an approaching
semi's horn and--stop me before I scribble again!)

Nor can I think of any John Collier stories with cyclists.
Of course, he preferred demons, devils, genies, and witches.

None of Robertson Davies' gaudy-night ghost-stories
featured bicycles that I can remember.

Perhaps Stephen King has done something?

With ghosts, vampires, and werewolves, the basic problem
is likely the need for a dark or moonlit ride, something
that few of us indulge in. Possibly a mysterious lamp
failure could be a starting point?

For slightly less depraved tastes, I've noticed but never
read a series of bike-race mysteries by Greg Moody,
"Dead Air," "Deadroll," "Derailleur,", "Perfect Circles,"
and "Two Wheels."

Of course, you mustn't advertise your lurid and utterly
implausible literary interest in ghosts and murder mysteries,
lest anyone take you for the kind of low-brow clod who can't
enjoy great literature like, say, "Hamlet."

(I believe that a curious form of punctuation known as an
emoticon may be appropriate here to signal heavy-handed
irony, but I come from a much more long-winded background
and have never used such curious modern contrivances--could
a ghost story manage to infuse a smiley-face with some
horrifying meaning?)

Carl Fogel

Tom Keats
October 9th 03, 09:06 AM
In article >,
(Carl Fogel) writes:

....

> Nor can I think of any John Collier stories with cyclists.
> Of course, he preferred demons, devils, genies, and witches.
>
> None of Robertson Davies' gaudy-night ghost-stories
> featured bicycles that I can remember.

All very well & good; I'm looking for "true" stories.

> Perhaps Stephen King has done something?

I recall some cycling-involved scenes in The Stand, and
Maximum Overdrive.

> With ghosts, vampires, and werewolves, the basic problem
> is likely the need for a dark or moonlit ride, something
> that few of us indulge in. Possibly a mysterious lamp
> failure could be a starting point?

There's the urban legend of The Headless Motorcyclist.
A fellow becomes enamoured with a woman, and pays occasional
nocturnal visits to her. Her father doesn't like the
motorcyclist, and strings (baling?) wire across the road to
clothesline him. It works so well, the motorcyclist is
decapitated. In some versions of the story, the head rolls
down an embankment, to the footing of a nearby bridge. In
other versions, the head is never found. Subsequent passers-by
occasionally witness the ectoplasmic replaying of the event.

The best /bicycling/ story I've found so far, was about some
aerodrome support guy who rides across a runway, under a parked
bomber, bashes his head against an open hatch on the aircraft,
and collapses in a permanently cold-cocked heap. He's eternally
doomed to repeat this mishap, night after night. I'd like to
find something more dignified and befitting of cyclists, than
this sort of slapstick tragedy.

I also found some British stories involving cyclists, and
lighthouses in foggy nights. Good mood & setting, but the
plots were rather thin.

> Of course, you mustn't advertise your lurid and utterly
> implausible literary interest in ghosts and murder mysteries,
> lest anyone take you for the kind of low-brow clod who can't
> enjoy great literature like, say, "Hamlet."

Aw, I don't care about appearances. All Art is storytelling
anyway. The story's the thing, even in hoity-toity stuff like
ballet or rodeo. The medium is just the substrate.

> (I believe that a curious form of punctuation known as an
> emoticon may be appropriate here to signal heavy-handed
> irony, but I come from a much more long-winded background
> and have never used such curious modern contrivances--could
> a ghost story manage to infuse a smiley-face with some
> horrifying meaning?)

Perhaps Victor Borge's "phonetic punctuation" might be extended
to the creation of emoticons.


cheers,
Tom

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Rick Onanian
October 9th 03, 05:01 PM
On 8 Oct 2003 23:38:25 -0700, (Carl Fogel)
wrote:
>just before the wolves arrive. (Perhaps a helmet and anti-helmet
>pair stuck under something that doesn't occur to me after crashing
>into each other in the fog, just before they hear an approaching
>semi's horn and--stop me before I scribble again!)

Don't forget the LED blinkie vs. amber strobes...

>and have never used such curious modern contrivances--could
>a ghost story manage to infuse a smiley-face with some
>horrifying meaning?)

Sometimes a ;> can look evil, but not in the font I'm using now.

>Carl Fogel
--
Rick Onanian

Dr Engelbert Buxbaum
October 13th 03, 12:09 PM
Xelax wrote:

>
>
> Dr Engelbert Buxbaum wrote:
> > Currently I use tires reinforced by a 5 mm neoprene layer (made by
> > Schwalbe), they too work very nicely.
>
> I think I've seen them in bike shops, but I thought it was the tubes
> which were reinforced or self-healing.

Yep, you can by some sort of thick liquid in bike shops which is put
into the tube to make them self-healing. If a puncture occurs, the stuff
plugs the hole before too much air is lost.

I have not tried this, so I can not comment on the effectiveness
(Anybody been there, done that?). My guess would be that this works only
for small punctures, not for a big gash.

Carl Fogel
October 13th 03, 08:40 PM
Dr Engelbert Buxbaum > wrote in message >...
> Xelax wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > Dr Engelbert Buxbaum wrote:
> > > Currently I use tires reinforced by a 5 mm neoprene layer (made by
> > > Schwalbe), they too work very nicely.
> >
> > I think I've seen them in bike shops, but I thought it was the tubes
> > which were reinforced or self-healing.
>
> Yep, you can by some sort of thick liquid in bike shops which is put
> into the tube to make them self-healing. If a puncture occurs, the stuff
> plugs the hole before too much air is lost.
>
> I have not tried this, so I can not comment on the effectiveness
> (Anybody been there, done that?). My guess would be that this works only
> for small punctures, not for a big gash.

Dear Xelax and Engelbert,

Skip to the bottom for flat-tire data comparing a thousand rides
on Slime tubes versus a thousand rides on the same route with
thick tubes and protector strips. I suspect that glass and
thorns present somewhat different threats.

Thicker inner tubes are usually marketed as "thorn-resistant"
in the U.S. I just measured a section from one and found that
its maximum outer thickness is 0.115", tapering to 0.060" along
its inside curve. This sounds about only half as thick as as the
5mm that you mention for Schwalbe inner tubes--which may have
a different kind of rubber, not just thicker rubber. (A normal
tube measures only 0.030" and thinner walls are available.)

These "thorn-resistant" tubes work in two ways. First, they add
enough thickness to the tire-tube combination that some of the
short puncture-vine thorns so common in the U.S. fail to penetrate
completely. Second, even when the tiny thorns do penetrate through
the extra rubber, the tremendous air pressure tends to seal the
pinholes forced through all that rubber instead of leaking out.

All this extra rubber, unfortunately, increases rolling resistance.
Some riders feel no difference, others claim to notice huge increases,
and most of us are left wondering what the actual losses are.

A similar approach is to insert tire liners of tough plastic or
kevlar (Mr. Tuffy is the popular plastic brand). Jobst Brandt
suggests that these plastic strips work on the thickness principle,
with the hard little thorns easily penetrating plastic or kevlar,
but being held at arm's length by the extra layer of material.

These separate protector strips might offer more protection from
larger chunks of debris, such as glass chips, than thicker tubes.
They certainly add even more to the rolling resistance, and a
number of posts have mentioned problems with the ends of the strips
wearing holes in the inner tubes.

Some modern tires feature an integrated kevlar belt that mimics
these protector strips. Again, Jobst Brandt and others have
pointed out that kevlar fibers offer no more resistance to
sharp thorn points than a steel-wool pad offers to a needle.
But the extra-thickness protection (and rolling-resistance
drawback) still apply.

Here on the Colorado prairie, I used a combination of thick
tubes and plastic strips for several years along my mindlessly
regular daily 15-mile ride in the countryside. When I switched
from 27" wheels to 700c, I also switched to the Slime tubes,
which are otherwise normal tubes filled at the factory with
a few ounces of a lurid green liquid, faintly tacky, and tiny
chopped-up white fibers. The slightly sticky liquid and the
fibers work on the principle of a clogged drain pipe, being
forced into any holes by the escaping air--hence, they work
better on high-pressure road tires than on low-pressure
mountain-bike tires.

The lurid green slime makes it hard to ignore slow leaks.
Even a drop shows up clearly on a tire. Often, a wisp of
tiny white fiber is forced out through the tube and tire.
A fair number of tiny leaks are sealed and later revealed
when larger punctures lead to replacing the tire. The
higher up the sidewall of the tire a thorn penetrates,
the less likely the slime is to seal the hole--the liquid
spins and concentrates against the outside of the tire.

Drawbacks include the potential for green slime to foul
and even ruin air gauges, green slime splattering on you
and your bike, cost, a few ounces of extra weight, and the
need to carry spare tubes because patches may not stick to
rubber covered with the chemical.

Jobst Brandt warns that a massive flat, a blowout, could
cover everything on the wheel with slippery stuff and lead
to a crash.

None of these anti-flat measures will stop nails, tacks,
sharp chunks of rock or glass, inch-long Russian olive
thorns, or jagged metal debris, although the Slime does
slow the immediate rate of air loss with a whoosh-whoosh
fountain-spray.

My yearly records for flats for my daily ride suggest that
I ought to wake up and switch back to thicker tubes and
protector strips. Below is part of an even more tedious
post from September, comparing the results from two 3-year
periods of 15-mile daily rides over the same puncture-vine
infested route:

In 1997, 1998, and 1999, I rode an old Schwinn touring bike with
thick-walled thorn-resistant tubes, Mr. Tuffy protector strips,
and 27-1/4" tires.

year rides miles rear front total
---- ----- ----- ---- ---- ---
1997 319 4785 2 1 3
1998 330 4950 8 0 8
1999 349 5235 11 1 12
--- ---- ---- --- --
998 14970 21 2 23

I averaged one flat every 650 miles and one front flat to 10 rear
flats.

In 2000, I bought a used 1998 Schwinn LeTour, partly because it
was a better bike and partly because most wheels and tires are
700c. I also switched from Mr. Tuffy protector strips and thorn-
resistant tubes to Slime tubes (with green sealant and white
clogging fibers), having read that that protector strips increase
rolling resistance noticeably.

My switch was arguably disastrous.

year rides miles rear front total
--- --- --- --- --- ---
2000 349 5235 18 15 33
2001 339 5085 16 13 29
2002 343 5145 36 17 53
--- ---- -- --- ---
1031 15465 70 45 115

I averaged one flat every 134 miles and suffered one front flat
for every two rear flats. The 700c tires and Slime tubes went
flat five times as often during a thousand rides in three years
on the same route.

It seems unlikely that the huge increase in flats was due to any
change in my riding skill or habits, so I reluctantly conclude
that the thorn-resistant tubes and plastic strips offer far more
protection than sealant and normal tubes where stickers and road
debris are a problem.

Carl Fogel

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