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....
I bought my place with that very prospect in mind. I can do my vital errands by bicycle on roads with very little car traffic. For roads with cars you need to be able to get the hell out of their way. Even My Harleys are fast enough for that.
This is praeteritio
I am safe and considerate and annoyed by joy-riders out clogging the roadways.
I guess that makes me a pompous ass.
Lance Armstrong would probably stay on the shoulder. He wouldn’t be chatting with his pudgy friend riding two abreast on a state highway.
I don’t hate bikes, just venting on the green holier-than-thou no carbon footprint dorks.
Good for you. My only complaint with bicycle riders is when they ride down the middle of the road. Let me explain. Where I live has a private road. Bicycle riders who don't live here, not that it matters, ride in the middle of the lane and won't pull over for traffic. This pisses me off.
“500,000 Americans commute by bicycle.”
For a while, in nice weather.
Not 52 weeks a year!
Obviously I was fit enough back in the day but I could never figure out where to put 1,000 lb’s of carpentry tools on a bicycle for the 40 mile round trip to work.
In the Portland Metro area, we are building new bike paths as we speak, even though we can’t afford it. The reason being that IIRC correctly, Minneapolis was recently named as the bike path capital of the US...taking over Portland’s # 1 spot. Can’t have that happening!
Have you ever driven down a road without a bike path, see a biker in your lane, and want to open the passenger door as you pass said biker?
Happens to me all of the time.
I guess you just don’t love Mother Earth enough! /s
In English please.
Political uncorrectness my man; you and I need to get with the program.
I’m sure you can haul hay and cattle and fertilizer with a rickshaw if you put your mind to it.
Pardon me if If I don't give that a try. A truck is better suited to the purpose.
To mention something by way of saying that you won’t mention it. You said you couldn’t comment on Mark Cavendish ... so why did you?
As long as I'm in confession mode; I really enjoyed cutting up tens of thousands of board feet of dead trees. I did. It was a kick.
It seems to me I didn't. The question remains. Who is he and why should I care? Now I have made a comment.
You have only reiterated what you had already made clear by praeteritio.
Knocking off a few fur bearing animals is also fun as well. I don't think that will get me invited to Greenpeace or The Sierra Club however. I'll get past that.
Whatever you say.
I am surprised that nobody has mentioned that when we ride to work (instead of driving), we are avoiding funding those loonies in a far away land who want to kill us all.
Just a week ago I saw an idiot on a bike run a Red light in front of a Ford truck. The truck driver had to throw on his brakes and swerve to miss the idiot. Idiots on bikes make great smears. Get your child’s toy off the road.
Well, all I can say was when I was younger I loved to bicycle. Now my knees aren’t so good, and I can’t, and I wish I could once again. I have a lovely park right next to where I live, and I would dearly love to ride through it. There is that sense of exhilaration I get from riding in the open air, unencumbered, and one with nature. It was the same feeling I got when young, and had motorcycles. Same feeling of freedom, as ephemeral as that may have been.
At least two bike riders are killed in my county every year. (many country roads) Be warned, there are many out there that do not SEE the bike trying to ride in their lane. Darwinism.........
Well then you can be sure the roads will be well paved.
That’s a nice old Buick!
I loved riding my bike to graduate school in Philadelphia,...**but**...I like being alive better. The truth is that if motorcycling in dangerous, then so is bicycling! ( Is a “duh” necessary?)
I still bike ( 30 years later) but it is on mountain trails that are specifically set aside for just that purpose.
I bike politely and as safely as is possible. Every mile that I ride leaves more fuel for those who need and want it. The joy of it is that so long as it is my option and I am considerate, what harm is it for the rest? The amount of money listed in this article is a pinprick on the ass of a 1.4+ TRILLION DOLLAR Deficit.
The idiots cited by my fellow FReepers should be pulled over by the police and tickets issued, just like the bozo who zoomed up on me and sprayed beer in my face and roared off on a traffic-less road. There are idiots on both sides but given the fact that this is a land of diminishing freedoms, please allow me mine!
Dittos. I am absolutely not in favor of requiring people to ride bikes. If they want to ride around on their Lardass 2000 scooters because they weigh 500 pounds, and their diabetic feet had to be cut off, and they can't leave the house without an oxygen bottle, then all the power to them. We should honor the valuable contribution they make by dying off at a young age and sparing the retirement system the burden of their presence.
“As long as I’m in confession mode; I really enjoyed cutting up tens of thousands of board feet of dead trees. I did. It was a kick.”
Those of us who choose to live in houses are grateful.
If they ride on the white line too many drivers will try to pass without moving to the left. I hate it when a car brushes by me a few inches away.
Pass ‘em like they were a farm tractor, ie move into the other lane.
I live in Alaska, bikes are not so easy to use up here, if anything a quad ATV is what everyone must have, many people commute to work on these, there are some wonderful paved off the shoulder of the highway bike trails around, they are kept clean, they have all the ramps and signs and such.
But very few people ride bikes on them, sure maybe for the couple of weeks of summer we get here, but on the other side of the highways with its muddy track full of dips and water holes is the route for the ATVs and in the winter the snowmachiners.
Of which neither group can legally use the $20 million bike path...
Democrats in action. They feel so good about a project but fail to consider the real wants and desires of the people.
Myself, I own two motorcycles and a 496 cubic inch gasoline powered dually.
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