Skip to comments.Four Wheels Good, Two Wheels Bad
Posted on 07/23/2010 11:17:38 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
There is something profoundly wrong with a nation where more adults ride bicycles than children.
America might now be such a nation.
While kids sit at home texting their friends and slaying computer-generated monsters, a growing number of their parents and grandparents are clogging the roads atop a contraption that was once considered a childs toy.
We will have accurate data when the 2010 census is complete, but there are already strong indications of bicyclings rise in popularity. Fortunately for red-state America, the phenomenon is more common in urbanized regions along the coasts. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia recently gushed that the 2009 American Community Survey found that the number of commuters [in Philadelphia] who rode a bicycle to work rose from 4,778 to 9,410 between 2005 and 2008: a 97 percent increase in 3 years.
Two odious ideologies fuel the popularity of bicycling: anti-obesity extremism and eco-lunacy. Pedal power, we are told, will not only make you thinner, it will reduce your carbon footprint. (Its a Nanny State twofer.)
Already slim, or pursuing other means to lose weight? Like your SUV, and dont swallow the discredited theory that man is baking the planet? Then obviously youre an idiot. In 2003, BusinessWeek asked Andy Clarke, director of state and local advocacy for the League of American Bicyclists, to respond to the fact that 500,000 Americans commute by bicycle. The figure was pathetic, he snorted, for a nation that should be smarter and wiser.
Feeling themselves superior to their countrymen in both health and environmental consciousness, many bicyclists flout road rules. Last year, The Boston Globe reported: On any hour of any day bicyclists routinely run red lights, ride the wrong way on one-way streets, zip along sidewalks, and cut off pedestrians crossing streets legally -- even though bike riders are supposed to obey the same traffic laws as motorists. Sometimes, a bicyclist will do all of these things in one two-wheeled swoop. The city seems unable to stop it.
Writing in the Rocky Mountain News, Arvada, Colorado resident J.M. Schell admitted that there was a very, very good reason so many view those of us who are cyclists as rude, arrogant jerks. Most of us are.
Recklessness and lawbreaking notwithstanding, Big Bicycle has attained the status of a lobby that cannot be ignored. Bikes Belong, an agitprop shop sponsored by the U.S. bicycle industry with the goal of putting more people on bicycles more often, boasts of 12 professional staff, 18 volunteer directors, and a $2 million annual operating budget.
Maximizing Federal Support for Bicycling, a page on the organizations website, explains that it spent $1 million on lobbying between 2002 and 2005, which ultimately produced $4.5 billion for bicycling and walking in SAFETEA-LU, the transportation law passed in August 2005. Where did that money come from? You guessed it: the federal gas tax. (Four out of every ten dollars raised by the levy are diverted to non-highway expenses.)
Where did the dough go? To state and local pols, who gleefully commit drivers forced contributions to dubious bike schemes. Theres never been so much attention from cities collectively for cycling as a mode of transportation, the executive editor of Bicycling magazine swooned to USA Today in 2007. Bike to Work days and weeks are commonplace. Bicycle planning is providing lucrative jobs for bureaucrats eager to wield the coercive power of government to change commuting habits.
Remarkably, Big Bicycle was able to get in on Wall Streets bailout. The National Center for Bicycling and Walking notes that fedpols 2008 rescue of financial firms included a rather unrelated perk: Starting January 1, 2009, employers who provide bike parking, bathing facilities, tune-ups, or other support for bicycle commuting, can deduct up to $20 a month per participating employee from their own taxable income.
Is bicycle-commuting a credible traffic-fighting tool? No, says Cato Institute scholar -- and avid cyclist -- Randal OToole. I dont think encouraging cycling is going to reduce congestion or significantly change the transportation makeup of our cities, he said. There really is very little evidence that any of [these efforts] are reducing the amount of driving. Theyre just making it more annoying to drivers. (OToole observes that telecommuting is far more common, and growing faster, than getting to work on a bike.)
Bicycles are wonderful, of course. For children. Only misanthropes complain about stopping or yielding to safely accommodate a couple of twelve-year-olds pedaling their way to the fishin hole.
For adults, bicycling has become a finger-wagging, revenue-pilfering, and increasingly obnoxious crusade.
re: We will have accurate data when the 2010 census is complete
There is also something profoundly wrong with a nation where a constitutionally mandated enumeration of its people every 10 years collects info about bicycles!
Riding a bicycle to work is a beautiful and therapeutic experience. I know because I tried it, and pretty soon I’m going to try it again. Seriously.
Wholebunchalotta credibility there!
I have bicycle commuted off and on since 1989. I’ve done every STP (Seattle to Portland) bike ride since 1991. The first 10 years in two days and the rest in one day. It’s 200 miles.
I like to bike ride, it keeps me in shape, and I am sharper when I get to work than I am when I’ve sat in a half hour of rush hour in a car. A couple of years ago, I counted the cars I PASSED on my 9 mile ride to work. I passed over 300 “stop and go” cars before 100 of them overtook me just before I pulled into the office. :)
I consider a mountain bike to be an excellent form of transportation when you put kevlar belted road tires on it. And if you leave the mountain tires on it is not only fun, but it can be a good way to get places during economic collapse. People do not realize just how fast bicycles are compared to cars in an urban area. Heck, I used to commute 46 miles round trip to my job in the University district. It took 55 minutes each way by bike and 1 hour and five minutes by bus.
I don’t force it on anyone else, and I have not gone down on a bike since I was jumping dirt piles in summer of 1965 in eastern Washington.
And no, I don’t stop at stop signs or even traffic lights if there is no traffic or cops. And I’ve been hit by three cars, all of which were badly scratched up by my handlebars and pedals but I stayed up with no damage whatsoever every time.
All that said, what makes it fun is that I don’t HAVE to. Nor would I force it on anyone else.
Say, how about Mark Cavendish? Is he God, or what? Screw the Green Jersey! That’s for wussies and Cavendish knows it.
I have a 20-mile drive to work. Lately, I am encountering cyclists leaving town when I am within 4-5 miles of work. More annoying is when I am leaving for home and catch them in my lane getting out of town.
They are either retirees or unemployed or perhaps schoolteachers off for the summer. They seem oblivious to those of us who actually have to be somewhere.
Now I did have a friend once who was an Army Ranger triathlete who used to ride his bike out to my place for a light workout. Different deal; dude had it going on and was ready to deploy in defense or our country.
These other clowns are just out for a joy ride. Maybe they should volunteer putting up square bales if they need exercise.
Perhaps. But I'll bet you don't smell very good when you get to work. Especially in the summer.
Too bad you are such an incompetent driver you can’t manage to maneuver around a simple bike.
Four wheels OK, two wheels BETTER.
Of course, my two wheels are a Honda Shadow with overcompression and custom pipes pushing 70 hoursepower...
If you have your own office it doesn’t matter. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
I can't comment on this because I don't know who he is.
Queue the spandex/exercise haters........
I can generally bike down to the teens -- tho' I have biked from 109o in Phoenix down to -4o in the Twin Cities.
My current job is not too far, but the path goes through some unsafe neighborhoods.
So it's back to the car for me.
I have a 15 mile trip into work and gladly share the road with any bikers who are out there enjoying themselves or commuting.
In your post, you came off like a pompus-ass who looks down on most other bikers- who don’t shave their legs and wear spandex.
Is that what Lance Armstrong would do?
Point taken. But if you don't have your own office you should consider the sensibilities of others.
I shower at work. It’s something I look for before I agree to a contract. Most serious companies have that now.
Yeah. I’m incompetent. Its bikes plural, in hill country. I’m attuned to tractors and deer year round. Those are accomplishing something, unlike the herd of green weenies.
If they were on their way to work I’d have a little more respect.
But, thanks for your keen insight....
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