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Car Ownership

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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby GASMON » Sun 19 Feb 2012, 15:48:46

Yes SG, your correct, maths never my strong point. Still bloody expensive though. This from 2 days ago, diesel hits £1.4305 / litre. (I'll let you do the math !!!)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17072925

and this wont improve the situation

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17089953

Anyone's guess if Israel gets trigger happy !

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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Beery1 » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 14:26:32

I don't own, nor have I ever driven a car (never learned because I see them as a great way to become poor). However, my wife does both. I keep trying to convince her to give the damned thing up (it's a waste of space and a HUGE waste of money), but she won't.

I own 5 bicycles (a touring bike and four cheap general purpose sport/thrasher bikes that I won't care about losing if bike theft becomes an issue), my wife and daughter own one bike each, and we have a Trail-a-Bike. So if/when the roads are blocked with people trying and failing to use their cars to get to wherever it's better if the shit really hits the fan, we'll be making a steady 10 miles per hour, which is better than the motorists will be getting. We can also haul about 8 bags or up to 200lbs of groceries or camping gear for the three of us. Motorists better be ready to haul that (or as much as they can) on their backs at 3mph max, once they figure out that no one's getting anywhere by car.

I live an hour's bike ride from the city and the same distance from local farms. In my opinion, anyone who doesn't is crazy, oil crisis or no oil crisis.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby AgentR11 » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 15:49:22

Beery wins the internets in my book!
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby careinke » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 16:31:29

I would vote for a law that required a separate bike path be built alongside any new road construction or major road repair. Such a law would have numerous benefits, with a relatively small increase in work that was going to be done anyway.

I would even willingly give up some more right away on my property, if needed, to let it happen.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby AgentR11 » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 16:44:09

Do I get to club the first person that uses my 25mph bike path for walking?
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Beery1 » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 16:53:48

careinke wrote:I would vote for a law that required a separate bike path be built alongside any new road construction or major road repair. Such a law would have numerous benefits, with a relatively small increase in work that was going to be done anyway.


I would have to vote against such a law. I am somewhat of a geek regarding cycling safety issues, and having studied numerous studies of real world collision and traffic data, I am aware that separate bike paths increase danger to cyclists at intersections over and above any benefit they provide. Cyclists need more integration into the road system, not more segregation, so I'm all for bike boulevards and sharrows, but not bike paths or bike lanes. Only when our use of the road is accepted (preferably happily, but grudgingly if necessary) will cyclists be as safe as we can be. In my view, the current trend of separating cyclists from our roads is a serious mistake that is leading to stagnant mode share and fear of the road (which is where most cycling must be done). The irony is that cycling is actually very safe - the lifetime risk of a cyclist being killed on a bike is half that of a motorist being killed in a car.

I would vote for a law that reminded motorists that bicycles have an equal right to the road, whether by using sharrow markings or by installing 'Bikes May Use Full Lane' signs. That, and a blanket 15mph reduction on all urban non-freeway roads of 40mph or over and lesser reductions for lower speeds, would vastly reduce road fatalities for cyclists, pedestrians and even motorists. This would save monetary costs as well as lives, since the current system strives to reduce speeds in cities by installing costly traffic light systems that enforce 25mph average speeds for 'traffic calming' on roads with nominal 40mph+ limits, which just strikes me as foolish. But apparently, reducing speed limits is unpopular, so traffic planners have to do it by spending many times more to do the same job using technology. And it doesn't work anyway, since drivers tend to jam their feet on the accelerator to get to the next light ASAP, which tends to make these roads even less safe.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Loki » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 17:04:14

AgentR11 wrote:Do I get to club the first person that uses my 25mph bike path for walking?

Don't get me started on bicyclists vs. pedestrians. What cars are to bikes, bikes are to pedestrians.

I walked for years around Portland and got real sick and tired of asshole bicyclists zooming down the sidewalks at top speed, utterly oblivious to those of us using our feet. One of these confrontations came to blows after I saw a bicyclists purposefully hit a girl who was walking ahead of me---I pushed him off his bike after he came straight towards me. He apologized when he realized he was messing with the wrong guy, mumbled something about having had a bad day, and got back on his bike and rode off.

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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Beery1 » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 17:11:39

Loki wrote:Assholes come in all flavors.


They do indeed. And the thing most cyclists don't know is that the road is actually safer for cyclists than the sidewalk. Sidewalk riding is actually between 2 and 12 times more dangerous - to the cyclist - than cycling on the road, because of how sidewalk riders interact with intersections. Here in Silver Spring, it's legal to ride on the sidewalk, but I never do it because I know how dangerous it is (and because pedestrians ought to be safe on the sidewalks). I believe it's also legal in Oregon (though maybe that law only applies to Portland - I don't recall the exact statute). Personally, I think it ought to be illegal everywhere, as it is in the UK.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 17:18:33

Great posts Beery!
I'm currently living in Melbourne, (Australia's second biggest city) which is widely regarded as one of the most advanced in the world for cyclists.
It seems the thinking of planners has been influenced by the same thinking as Beery mentions here, with the trend now being towards dedicated cycle lanes/ cycle priority lanes/ cycle specific traffic lights, rather than more bike paths. This in a city which consistently for several years buys more bikes than cars.
Beery, I guess you might have seen the Australian Story piece on ABC about the drunk barrister who got away with destroying a cyclist on a bush road by disappearing and claiming to be too traumatized to stop or call the police? What a shocker!
There is a push on to make drivers more aware, more responsible, but so far its all carrot, very little stick. Cyclists die a lot with nobody held accountable.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Beery1 » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 17:30:23

Thanks SeaGypsy.

I do recall in Ozzie that the cricketer Shane Warne got into a brouhaha with a cyclist a couple of weeks ago. Seems he tried to say that the cyclist started it, but a driver who saw the whole thing reckoned that it was just an old fashioned case of road rage on the part of Warnie, who apparently doesn't like cyclists using 'his' road. Sadly, such cases - and cases such as the one you mention - are far too common, and if truth were known, a lot of unsolved cases or cases attributed to 'accident' would probably be found to be caused by the current trend of hatred towards cyclists. I sometimes think it might be an idea to make hate crimes law apply to cyclists.

A lot of motorists seem to have a feeling of entitlement to the roads, which is ironic really, since today's motorists owe their vehicles and their roads to the humble cyclists who lobbied for good roads in the 1890s and who started automobile companies such as Ford, Rover, Peugeot, etc. Not many people know that, as Michael Caine might say.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 17:33:09

Beery1 wrote:I own 5 bicycles (a touring bike and four cheap general purpose sport/thrasher bikes that I won't care about losing if bike theft becomes an issue), my wife and daughter own one bike each, and we have a Trail-a-Bike. So if/when the roads are blocked with people trying and failing to use their cars to get to wherever it's better if the shit really hits the fan, we'll be making a steady 10 miles per hour, which is better than the motorists will be getting. We can also haul about 8 bags or up to 200lbs of groceries or camping gear for the three of us. Motorists better be ready to haul that (or as much as they can) on their backs at 3mph max, once they figure out that no one's getting anywhere by car.

Bug out bikes is a thread in itself which we ought to evolve here methinks.
There is a lot of innovation going on, with cargo bikes, brushless super efficient electric hubs, trailers, even pedal/ electric power motorhomes like this one from Jay Nelson of San Fransisco:

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Here in Australia I have recently found that very high quality Chinese copies of German electric hubs have become available very cheaply, about 30% of the original item. I know the ethics argument, but haven't we all been downloading free music for the last decade or 2, without dying of guilt and shame or watching our famous musicians starve?
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby careinke » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 17:51:38

AgentR11 wrote:Do I get to club the first person that uses my 25mph bike path for walking?


Yea we should make that mandatory. LOL
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby careinke » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 17:56:06

Beery1 wrote:
Loki wrote:Assholes come in all flavors.


They do indeed. And the thing most cyclists don't know is that the road is actually safer for cyclists than the sidewalk. Sidewalk riding is actually between 2 and 12 times more dangerous - to the cyclist - than cycling on the road, because of how sidewalk riders interact with intersections. Here in Silver Spring, it's legal to ride on the sidewalk, but I never do it because I know how dangerous it is (and because pedestrians ought to be safe on the sidewalks). I believe it's also legal in Oregon (though maybe that law only applies to Portland - I don't recall the exact statute). Personally, I think it ought to be illegal everywhere, as it is in the UK.


OK, I bow to your obvious superior Knowledge on the subject. How about much wider shoulders on country roads?
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Beery1 » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 18:28:46

careinke wrote:How about much wider shoulders on country roads?


I must admit I don't trust shoulders either. It's not a very popular view these days among many cyclists or transportation engineers, but studies tend to indicate that anything that places the cyclist outside the default motorist view also places the cyclist in some additional danger. The number of shoulder-riders who have been sideswiped and severely injured or killed by inattentive drivers well outnumbers the number of cyclists hit from behind while in the same lane. Drivers tend to see what's in front of them and they tend to ignore what they think is out of their way, and this gets cyclists injured and killed more than any other factor. Basically, the only cyclists who get killed while in the traffic lane (where the person who hit them is apprehended) are those who happen to ride at the same time and at the same place as drunk drivers (which is more than likely why so many cyclists killed on the road at mid-block are victims of hit-and-run).

These findings can, by the way, be verified by the League of American Bicyclists and by the Cyclists Touring Club in Great Britain, and by every major cyclist training organization in the world, as far as I know. A good resource is Commute Orlando, which gets into the data in a very deep but accessible way in their articles. See here:
http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/200 ... community/

It is a sad state of affairs, only mitigated by the fact that, as I've said before, cycling is very safe indeed. When deaths happen, they are very rare. The statistics suggest that the average cyclist (if permitted immortality other than in a road accident) would live something like 10,000 years before being killed. It's the huge population of the US that makes cycling seem risky - when you have millions of cyclists on the road, even deaths that happen extremely rarely to individuals are going to happen daily when considered in the mass. Still, one death is one too many, and at some point, anyone's number could come up, which is why I study the data hard to find out where the real risks are and to minimize my risk and my daughter's (she cycles behind me on a Trail-a-Bike) on our commute from her school in the afternoon.

I have considered having her take the bus both ways, as the bus is the single safest vehicle on the road (the bicycle is only the safest 'personal' vehicle). But my calculations indicate that our risk of sedentary-related diseases increases without the exercise - so much so, that it creates a far greater risk than the small extra risk involved in cycling. Technically, for optimum health and reduced risk, we should cycle both ways, but my daughter enjoys the social aspect of the morning bus.

By the way, it must be admitted that avoiding the real risks comes at a price and demands some level of bravery. A vocal minority of drivers don't like us using the road and they can react with hostility to cyclists who insist on using it. To use the road in today's environment means accepting some level of misunderstanding and occasionally even road rage. But I see it this way - if they're honking at me, they've seen me. And I'd much rather be disliked and alive, than cycling unsafely by avoiding being in the safest place due to not wanting to cause a fuss. After all, it's not just my life - it's my daughter's too.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby AgentR11 » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 18:53:28

All I'm saying is that if you permit walking on it, its not a bike path, its a sidewalk. I've biked thousands of miles on regular ole roads, and I find them vastly safer than sidewalks or the supposedly safer "bike paths". A bike has a range of speeds where it is really good transportation; 12mph - 25mph, depending on slope, wind, and cargo; but outside of that it's a wabbly, slow, useless impediment to transportation purposes.

As to transportation deaths, we kill something like 30,000 people a year here in vehicles; that's a hundred a day; the fact that a bike fatality is even notable is a testament to their reasonable safety.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Beery1 » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 19:04:18

AgentR11 wrote:A bike has a range of speeds where it is really good transportation; 12mph - 25mph, depending on slope, wind, and cargo; but outside of that it's a wabbly, slow, useless impediment to transportation purposes.


I agree with everything else you say, but as a cyclist who operates at an average of 10mph, I have to take issue with 12-25mph. I don't think my old ticker could take 25mph other than downhill - and even then I'm probably riding the brakes to reduce down to 20mph.

And [speaking in crotchety old man voice] I'll be damned if anyone suggests I can't operate as straight as anyone else at 10mph, or even 6-8mph, ye young whipper-snapper! I have elevated super-slow bike riding to an art form. :)
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 19:53:21

Bikes are either toys for children, DUI transport, or green-washing affectations. I don't know what annoys me more; Burning Man/Astronaut-wannabees in their latest Italian lycra racing fashions, or really-really sincere hippies dressed for the Ren Faire. F@ck. They should all just stay off the road and a let the adults do what needs to be done----shop.

Re bike lanes/trails. Why bother? Roads will be donkey trails soon enough.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby careinke » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 21:13:29

So Beery1,
Using your logic, I should be able to use a golf cart or a self built electric cart on the main roads, in the main lanes? My golf cart, (if I really had one), goes just as fast and is more visible than a bike so no reason not to ride it on the main roads. Would you agree, if not why not?
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby AgentR11 » Mon 20 Feb 2012, 21:16:07

The law says bikes belong on the road, in the right hand lane, "as far to the right as practicable". Other, less intelligent states may vary from this rule.

I don't know about golf carts and other powered transport lacking appropriate features for the use of power on public right of ways.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Beery1 » Tue 21 Feb 2012, 00:57:57

careinke wrote:So Beery1,
Using your logic, I should be able to use a golf cart or a self built electric cart on the main roads, in the main lanes? My golf cart, (if I really had one), goes just as fast and is more visible than a bike so no reason not to ride it on the main roads. Would you agree, if not why not?


No, because unlike bicycles, golf carts and self-built electric carts are not considered vehicles under the law.

In the 1890s, before cars were first seen on the roads, cyclists lobbied to have the bicycle codified into law as a vehicle whose operator had all the rights and responsibilities of a carriage driver. This law now has over 100 years of precedent and cycling on the road has been a right for that long. The early cyclist advocates also lobbied to build the asphalt road system on which motorists were (much later) granted the privilege to operate somewhat equally - but only as long as the motorist has a license and can be relied upon to operate his vehicle safely. Motorists were required to be licensed in Europe starting in 1903 and in the US starting in 1910, because of the carnage that they caused on the roads as soon as motorists started using them. Cyclists had been a petty nuisance, but they were never routinely deadly. Cars were deadly - and still are. That is why bicycles, and no other vehicles, have always been allowed to operate freely on the roads. We cyclists are the only vehicle operators with the right - not just a permit - to operate our vehicles on our roads. That is why no cyclist can ever be legitimately banned from riding a bicycle on the road. Cyclists have retained our rights to the road right despite motor and oil industry lobbying, precisely because our right to the road was codified into law before the invention of the automobile.

This is why the way motorists view the roads is so interesting - they have a set of beliefs about road rights and ownership which do not match the reality at all. If anyone 'owns' the road, it is ALL people, not merely motorists. Today's law is predicated on the basis that everyone has a right to use the road, and that the vehicle they use is their choice. They can either choose the bicycle or they can become licensed and be merely 'permitted' to use a motor vehicle on the road. The ability to to use a motor vehicle on the road is a privilege, not a right, and it can be revoked at any time by a competent authority.
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