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Dear Urban Cyclists: Go Play in Traffic
The Wall Street Journal ^ | April 2, 2011 | P.J. O'Rourke

Posted on 04/02/2011 6:48:43 PM PDT by OddLane

A fibrosis of bicycle lanes is spreading through the cities of the world. The well-being of innocent motorists is threatened as traffic passageways are choked by the spread of dull whirs, sharp whistles and sanctimonious pedal-pushing.

Bike lanes have appeared in all the predictable places—Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berkeley and Palo Alto. But the incidence of bike lanes is also on the rise in unlikely locales such as slush-covered Boston, rain-drenched Vancouver, frozen Montreal and Bogotá, Colombia (where, perhaps, bicycles have been given the traffic lanes previously reserved for drug mules). Even Dublin, Ireland, has had portions of its streets set aside for bicycles only—surely unnecessary in a country where everyone's car has been repossessed.

Then there is the notorious case of New York City. Not long ago the only people who braved New York on bicycles were maniacal bike messengers and children heeding an abusive parent's command to "go play in traffic." Now New York has 670 miles of bike lanes—rather more than it has miles of decently paved streets.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Humor
KEYWORDS: bikelanes; bloomberg; potholes
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To: GOPJ

I LIKE IT.


51 posted on 04/02/2011 8:45:00 PM PDT by wheresmyusa (FTUN)
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To: cripplecreek
The "street" I live on.

Two bike lanes!

52 posted on 04/02/2011 8:50:46 PM PDT by jrushing (Anti-American-ProTerrorist-Coward-Fascist-Communist-Socialist-Democratic Party)
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To: fso301; LostInBayport
When I see these bicyclists all decked out in skin tight spandex I can’t help but wonder if what it’s really about is guys out cruising for guys?

I think you're on to something.

53 posted on 04/02/2011 8:52:34 PM PDT by theymakemesick ( islam - inspired by Satan www.prophetofdoom.net)
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To: ponygirl

Many helmets come with snap on visors.
54 posted on 04/02/2011 8:53:14 PM PDT by deport
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To: ponygirl

“I hate wearing helmets because they don’t have a visor and I get the glare over my sunglasses. Much prefer a baseball cap with a visor.

Go to an equestrian supply store.
There are numerous forms of helmets for jumpers and polo players. They are fiberglass with a velvet covering.
They have visors, but not quite as long as a baseball cap.
There are also helmets for race horse jockeys.
Anything would be better then those fruity bicycle helmets.


55 posted on 04/02/2011 8:54:23 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: OddLane

There’s a bicycle shop in a nearby town from me. I took my g/son and his flat bicycle tire there to get it fixed. While waiting, I thought I’d just look at some of the prices of new bikes they had displayed on a rack.

I couldn’t believe it, the first one I looked at was $29.95, I found the reason that it was unbelievable the next time I looked, it was not $29.95 but $2995.

They did only charge $3.50 to fix the flat though.


56 posted on 04/02/2011 8:54:56 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country. The thing is, Sarah loves mine.)
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To: OddLane

They’re obnoxious in the suburbs and in the countryside as well.


57 posted on 04/02/2011 8:56:08 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (You is what you am.)
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To: Graybeard58
Next you are in Walmarts buy a package of Slime Skabs and it only takes a few minutes to patch the tube and be on his way.


58 posted on 04/02/2011 9:08:12 PM PDT by deport
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To: Hammerhead
yeh, something VERY odd about some dude parading around in skintight spankex showing off his 1” pee-pee. WEIRD and gross.

LOL. Just saw "Spinal Tap" today and remembered this line:

Nigel: We've got, you know, armadillos in our trousers. I mean, it's really quite frightening.

59 posted on 04/02/2011 9:15:45 PM PDT by EricT. (Can we start hanging them yet?)
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To: wolfman23601

In most places, riding a bike on the sidewalk is illegal.
Riding a bike on a road is legal, except for freeways.

That’s the law.
Change the laws if you don’t like them but at least know what the current laws are in your area.


60 posted on 04/02/2011 9:47:00 PM PDT by Lorianne (o)
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To: bigbob

Most of your biking comrades disobey every rule of the road.


61 posted on 04/02/2011 10:02:21 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: the invisib1e hand

They sure as hell are. Coming out of my subdivision the road has a bike lane and sharrows, but you only see the insectide weekend bike warriors on the road.


62 posted on 04/02/2011 10:09:57 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Lorianne

They don’t care. IMO, every bike operated by anyone over that age of 18 should be registered, with a sticker for insurance purposes.


63 posted on 04/02/2011 10:12:55 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: OddLane
I suppose I'm an "urban cyclist" ~ since I live in a town with a population of about 500,000 people. I steadfastly and coscientiously obey MOST of the traffic laws (though I will admit to biking on the sidewalk on a few really busy streets with no bike lanes, but I always watch for and yield to pedestrians.) I racked up 3,500 miles on my Electra Hawaii Beach Cruiser last year ~ not to shabby for a 46-year-old housewife, huh? The best part? I lost 100 pounds in the process, woo HOO!

My city has been busily installing bike lanes all over the place, to the great consternation and dismay of pretty much everyone in my city. Personally, these bike lanes aren't anywhere near where I would want to bike, so I think they're pretty gosh-darned pointless. Frankly, I prefer to ride my bike as far away from traffic and cars as possible, so I do most of my riding on quiet residential side streets and on the rare bike trails around town. In fact, rather than bike LANES, I'd rather they spent the same money on some reasonably located bike TRAILS, but that's just me.

I love my bike.

64 posted on 04/02/2011 10:15:33 PM PDT by PERKY2004 (Proud wife of a military pilot ~ He's in his 28th year of military service and appreciates prayer!)
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To: OddLane

65 posted on 04/02/2011 10:16:13 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Krankor

I have a love/hate relationship with spring. As soon as the forsythia blooms (love) the bike clubs start coming out of the woodwork (hate).

I’m in the country but close enough to DC’s ‘burbs where their clubs hit our area in swarms on weekends. Our pot-holed, two-lane roads are narrow, twisty and hilly with lots of trucks pulling horse trailers on them. I honestly dread coming upon them when they’re out.

The saying that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should comes to mind. Yeah, it’s beautiful here and you have the right to ride these roads, but is it really a good idea?


66 posted on 04/02/2011 10:27:34 PM PDT by Nickname
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To: PERKY2004

I lost 100 pounds in the process, woo HOO!

. . .

Congrats to you. That’s fantastic! You must feel worlds better. :)


67 posted on 04/02/2011 10:39:13 PM PDT by Nickname
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To: the_devils_advocate_666

Now there’s a cyclist that I could get behind.


68 posted on 04/02/2011 10:41:14 PM PDT by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now, courtesy of "liberals, Islam and illegal immigration.)
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To: Revolting cat!
Is that Les Paul?
69 posted on 04/02/2011 11:18:03 PM PDT by OddLane
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To: PERKY2004
Congratulations!

A friend of mine has lost a lot of weight through running marathons, but I guess biking is another good way of shedding pounds.

70 posted on 04/02/2011 11:24:08 PM PDT by OddLane
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To: AlexW
Thank you...I was expecting someone to jump me for the misspelling of the second dam,(damn) ...

The thing is, you communicated interesting info in a compelling way. That's all that counts on forums like this.

I'm a writer by trade; it's how pay my bills and has been for quite a long time. Maybe because of that, common typos and misspellings on internet posts are to me not even worth noticing.

Somebody can be a terrible speller and have less-than-stellar grammar and still be a good writer. On the other hand, someone can be an excellent speller, grammatically punctilious, and a meticulous typist, and be a lousy writer.

This is an internet forum of people discussing things, not a professional publication. Spell-check police on the internet need to get some priorities, IMO.

71 posted on 04/02/2011 11:34:54 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent)
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To: Lorianne; wolfman23601
In most places, riding a bike on the sidewalk is illegal. Riding a bike on a road is legal, except for freeways.

That’s the law. Change the laws if you don’t like them but at least know what the current laws are in your area.

Historical information for you both. When I was a kid, living in a suburb of LA, we always rode on the sidewalks. If a cop caught you riding in the street he would chew you out and tell you it was only safe to ride on the side walk. A few years later they passed the insane law that bikes HAD to ride in the street, thus increasing the bicycle death rate many fold. The reason? It supposedly wasn't safe for pedestrians for bikes to ride on the side walk. So, to save a few people on the side walks some bruises they decided to kill off bike riders.

BTW, I used to ride in the area I live in now, which is very unpopulated, but I stopped riding when I saw a guy get run over by a logging truck. It ran over his head, popped his brain right out on the highway like a grape. I made the instant decision to sell my bike and drive or walk every where after that.

72 posted on 04/02/2011 11:51:02 PM PDT by calex59
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To: Nickname

I live in a small town and now that the weather is warming up, the bike idiots will be coming in numbers. We are about 45 miles east of Sacramento so they haul their bikes up in trailors and in the backs of trucks, take up all the parking spaces in the one and only market we have here and then ride all over the streets acting as if no one lives here or ever drives on the roads. Quite irritating actually.


73 posted on 04/02/2011 11:54:05 PM PDT by calex59
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To: OddLane

Car owners pay for the roads. We pay with taxs and fees. We have to carry insurance. And we have sticter laws to follow. Cycleists blow thru stops signs, red lights, weave in and out of traffic.
Make the bikers carry the same type of cash burden we have to pay and I would say” welcome aboard”.


74 posted on 04/03/2011 3:04:20 AM PDT by Yorlik803 (better to die on your feet than live on your knees.)
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To: Anoreth

P.J. ping.


75 posted on 04/03/2011 4:20:20 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nadie me ama como Jesus.)
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To: Navy Patriot

The Russian general has the right idea @ 1:40 in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMX7_z4ixFQ

Best part of the movie to me.


76 posted on 04/03/2011 4:52:51 AM PDT by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: calex59

It is a rule in our house that you ride on the sidewalk when available. Common sense.


77 posted on 04/03/2011 6:51:05 AM PDT by wolfman23601
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To: calex59

I used to ride a little, too. Our house is very close to a recreational lake with beautiful, long bridges spanning it. We have a lot of pros who train here. So I decided to start riding, and did, until a lady who was on a ride at 8:00 on a Sunday morning got hit full force by a drunk driver. My life as a mom to my kids is much more important than my life as a cyclist. So I spin at the local gym and run at home. I will probably never ride the roads again.


78 posted on 04/03/2011 6:57:43 AM PDT by StrictTime
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To: the_devils_advocate_666

s


79 posted on 04/03/2011 7:04:17 AM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom!!! <sarc>)
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To: LoneStarGI
It really tweaks me that I have to yield to and watch for people who are stupid enough to ride a bike on a very narrow, heavily traveled road with no ‘bike lanes’ or shoulders.

Well, that's why they're trying to build more bike lanes.

I'd bike to work if I didn't have to bike through a ghetto, on pothole-ridden roads, to get there.

About 15 miles each way.

Cheers!

80 posted on 04/04/2011 1:01:43 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: the_devils_advocate_666
...and dual-suspension! I'd like to see her going over cobblestones--cause she sure isn't dressed for real off-road.

Cheers!

81 posted on 04/04/2011 1:03:26 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: John123; Vision
Depends on where you live -- if he's doing it to keep in shape in the off-season, he probably doesn't want to get all chafed on the machine.

Been there, done that.

Cheers!

82 posted on 04/04/2011 1:07:23 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Graybeard58
You can get an OK beginner bike for $300 or so, decent bikes starting at about $600, and "good" bikes at $950 and up.

Anything over $1500 is for the more serious cyclists.

Cheers!

83 posted on 04/04/2011 1:10:09 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

I apologize if my comment offended you. But the original poster said “whole” body spandex... not just shorts.


84 posted on 04/04/2011 4:51:16 AM PDT by John123 (US$ - I owe you nothing. Euro - Who owes you nothing.)
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To: GOPJ

They just raised my car insurance. Thanks liberals! I’m just glad I’m not under 25 anymore because they try to deter young men from becoming independent adults.


85 posted on 04/04/2011 2:45:10 PM PDT by BenKenobi (Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. - Silent Cal)
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To: the_devils_advocate_666

It took a while but I finally noticed the bicycle.


86 posted on 04/04/2011 2:52:35 PM PDT by MaxMax
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To: Yorlik803
Car owners pay for the roads. We pay with taxes and fees.

Fuel taxes and registration fees cover only 50-55% of the construction/maintenance of roads.
87 posted on 04/07/2011 7:05:08 AM PDT by WackySam (To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.)
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To: WackySam
Fuel taxes and registration fees cover only 50-55% of the construction/maintenance of roads.

And how much above and beyond normal taxes do bicyclists pay?

88 posted on 04/07/2011 7:08:42 AM PDT by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: paulycy
And how much above and beyond normal taxes do bicyclists pay?

None. But how much damage does a bike do to a road? A high income cyclist could easily pay more than his fair share of the roads through income taxes. Considering that most cyclists are above average income, they're also paying more for the registration/taxes on their more expensive vehicles.
89 posted on 04/07/2011 7:57:46 AM PDT by WackySam (To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.)
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To: fso301

This is a week old, but still deserves a reply. As cyclist, spandex wearing one, I can say with confidence that I am not cruising for guys. Fraid you missed that mark by a mile, because I ride home to my wife of 20 years this June.

We wear spandex because it works. It’s skin tight so it pulls all the sweat to the surface where it evaporates. Clothing that is not a second skin allows the sweat to pool beneath without airflow and you get hot. It’s no more complicated than that.


90 posted on 04/10/2011 5:02:40 PM PDT by Melas
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To: the_devils_advocate_666

He’s still riding too. I know a few folks who ride with him, and they he’s faster than most half his age.


91 posted on 04/10/2011 5:08:32 PM PDT by Melas
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To: bigbob

Good luck getting FReepers to admit that. For reasons I still can’t fathom, otherwise logical conservatives here start foaming at the mouth at the mere mention of a bicycle.


92 posted on 04/10/2011 5:11:33 PM PDT by Melas
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To: ponygirl

Educate yourself. Helmets designed for road bikes (those with drop bars) don’t have visors because the lower riding position would necessitate lifting your head at an uncomfortable angle to see past the visor. Mountain bike helmets on the other hand almost always have a visor because of the more upright riding position.


93 posted on 04/10/2011 5:17:48 PM PDT by Melas
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To: Graybeard58
I couldn’t believe it, the first one I looked at was $29.95, I found the reason that it was unbelievable the next time I looked, it was not $29.95 but $2995.

I hope you're sitting down when you read this, because at $3k, you're only looking at an upper mid-level bike. Top of the line road and mountain sleds top $10k.

94 posted on 04/10/2011 5:21:30 PM PDT by Melas
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To: grey_whiskers
You can get an OK beginner bike for $300 or so, decent bikes starting at about $600, and "good" bikes at $950 and up. Anything over $1500 is for the more serious cyclists. Cheers!

I can't say that I agree with your numbers. Using Cannondale (my new love) for example, the lowest end mountain bike they sell is $550. Like cellphones, computers, motorcycles, watches, etc, you don't want the lowest end. The bikes a beginning mountain biker should consider start at $1389.

The serious mountain bike line starts at $4k and goes to $10k.

95 posted on 04/10/2011 5:33:49 PM PDT by Melas
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To: Thrownatbirth
The SmartBike program (a well-publicized urban bike rental scheme) seems to be a major FAIL in Washington DC.

IMHO the problem isn't with the concept, it's with the execution. If they were to ditch those stupid little bikes and replace them with something that looks, well, respectable (maybe a mix of generic mountain, hybrid and street cycles), they'd get a lot more customers.

I work in downtown DC, and am part of a group of coworkers who go down and walk around the Mall a couple/few times a week during lunch. Just about every time we pass the SmartBike rack near our office we discuss how we should probably just break down and rent the things, since it would allow us to cover more ground faster (we could actually go and spend time at the Smithsonian). But then someone always says "You know what all of us peddling down Penn Ave on those things is going to look like?" and we decide that walking is still the way to go.
96 posted on 04/10/2011 5:39:01 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: the_devils_advocate_666
I like bikes!

There's a bike in that picture?!?!?
97 posted on 04/10/2011 5:40:40 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: pnh102; OddLane
If cyclists want to make use of the roads then they should be made to pay for them like those of us who drive do.

Let me get this straight. You want to raise taxes on "the other guy". You can turn in your "Conservative Card", you obviously are a pro-tax Liberal. Furthermore, it appears that you are an elitist who feels that others should pay for something you freely [ab]use while also denying access to it to those who also pay for it. I notice a complete absence of malice towards people who ride the buses that use that same roadway that actually cost you more in taxes. Where is the hate and contempt for them that you reserve only to bicyclists?

I would also like to correct a glaring error in your statement. Bicyclists do pay taxes for the roads since all surface roads are not paid by gasoline taxes but out of the local government's general funds. That is, the same streets that you drive on, that joggers run on, and that cyclists commute on are paid from general taxes like property, and sales taxes.

The State and Federal gasoline taxes allegedly are earmarked for limited access highways and the interstate - and the law properly criminalizes the use of those roadways by bicyclists.

98 posted on 04/10/2011 5:52:37 PM PDT by The Theophilus (Obama's Key to win 2012: Ban Haloperidol)
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To: Navy Patriot
I drive an older 3/4 ton (built like a tank) truck with grille guards for exactly that purpose.
I am well aware of the mindset, hubris and attitude of these creeps and they EARN their reward.

I'm glad you posted this because now if you are ever involved in anything concerning a bicyclist, this post of yours can be successfully used to throw your sorry criminal ass in prison for capital murder.

You have made it abundantly clear to all that you are a sociopath murderer just waiting for an opportunity. Any spandex jokes will also make you subject to additional penalties since your premeditated lethal attacks on a vulnerable bicyclist can easily be proven to be a hate crime since you think all cyclists are homosexuals.

Stupidity + hate. Not a good combination.

99 posted on 04/10/2011 6:00:39 PM PDT by The Theophilus (Obama's Key to win 2012: Ban Haloperidol)
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To: The Theophilus
You want to raise taxes on "the other guy".

I simply believe that users of the roads should pay for them. Those of us who drive pay fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees, tolls and other funds that cover the cost of highway maintenance. Those people who do not drive pay nothing. What could be more fair than that? And why shouldn't cyclists who make use of the roads, which are not free, be allowed to use them for free?

... you obviously are a pro-tax Liberal.

And your position that cyclists should use facilities for which they have not paid makes you a... what?

Or maybe you believe that drivers should continue to subsidize the costs of cyclists' use of the roads, just like we subsidize things like mass transit and other BS that has nothing to do with roads. Congratulations, you're now advocating for wealth redistribution. This also makes you a... what?

Furthermore, it appears that you are an elitist who feels that others should pay for something you freely [ab]use ...

Yawn. Sure I have.

I would also like to correct a glaring error in your statement. Bicyclists do pay taxes for the roads since all surface roads are not paid by gasoline taxes but out of the local government's general funds. That is, the same streets that you drive on, that joggers run on, and that cyclists commute on are paid from general taxes like property, and sales taxes.

Except that in most places roads are funded through fees and taxes directed specifically at drivers. And again, you've not made any case, other than "I hate you and you suck," as to why cyclists should get to use roads for free.

100 posted on 04/10/2011 6:05:07 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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