> If anything, having a tatty, battered old
> bike affords more status as it attests to
> a long and lasting love.
You'll still have a bad looking bike, but at least it will be mechanically much nicer than your fifth-hand rusting omafiets.
Since I started doing that I never had a bike stolen in 15 years, despite living in Rotterdam and Utrecht (big cities) and buying 3 new bikes in that time.
PS: I had a old/ugly bike that I had for 16 years in Davis, CA that I still locked and it was stolen from an apt complex the one and only time I forgot to lock it. There are thieves whom ride around in cargo trucks stealing bikes wholesale, in addition to people whom just "borrow" bikes and dump them whereever.
Amsterdam is a smalll place so having a fluro green bike with a number plate of your name welded to the frame is a good deterrent.
Drilling for rivets is also dangerous when done incorrectly. You do not want to be riding at full steam when the frame cracks, it's nasty.
High carbon, stainless, and fancy stuff is where you can run into problems. In general you won't see this on car or bike frames, too expensive in bulk.
If it's a newer bike it's probably aluminum which you can usually still weld with impunity. If it was high grade alloy the heat could matter, but as far as I know nobody cares that much about bike frames. Heat treatment, or "seasoning" in the case of some aluminum is expensive.
Source: used to cut up old bikes and weld the frames into crazy chariot contraptions we would tow around
Steel is real, man. It'll bend, not break.
But in seriousness, yeah, I was following very closely behind a fellow who snapped his fork jumping over a bump in the road. I almost went over him. Despite the helmet, he lost memory of the accident. I called an ambulance for him and left my number. He called me the next day asking what had happened.
It was a nice aluminum frame, looked in good condition. Always check carefully for hairline fractures when buying a used aluminum bike.
I agree about the shitty-ness, it is less likely to attract attention and you feel less bad leaving it out on the streets but I think most people would prefer to ride a nicer bike if only people with keep their hands off your property.
Some people, particularly teenagers and students, can be quite creative in dirtying up their bike. A friend in school had glued sand to her bike, and then painted it. Quite a unique look. But it got stolen anyway, and when she found it, the thief had scraped all the sand off.
But there are many reasons why a bike might look ratty. The owner really could have had that bike for a long time, it could be second-hand (or more likely fifth-hand or something), it could have been stolen, it could have been found in the trash and refurbished, it could have been ratty'd up to prevent it from getting stolen, or it might be someone's artistic expression.
But in big cities it's certainly not unusual that the lock is the most expensive part of a bike.
We actually started an initiative to tackle this issue. So, in case you HATE BIKE THEFT as much as we do, give our FB page a like (https://www.facebook.com/AgainstBikeTheft/) and sign our petition (bit.ly/bikes-petition) aiming on getting more focus on the problem. It'd be a huge help for us.
We're also building an active solution - again, check the website and FB.
Yeah, having your bike stolen sucks, particularly if on your way back home from a night at De School but whatever... still cheaper (and healthier and fun)
Get it over, or you can go live a couple years in Rome and learn what it means to live in a hideous car-infested city.
The small open garden is really pleasant, though unfortunately it closes early (maybe 3-4am?). It's a nice respite from the steamy floor.
I like the art installations too.
Out of ADE my last time there was back in December, wasn't really fond of many clubs in Amsterdam but De School is definitely one of the best, definitely worth checking it out and I'm going again now in the end of June :)
You've got to admit that the Trouw was good on its own merits, not just because of the poor alternatives (but then go check out the OT or the Bunker. Have you been there?)
Take a trip anywhere outside the center during rush hour and it's a completely different story.
Because it seems like a relatively small policing effort could enable a massive improvement in quality of life.
In case you HATE BIKE THEFT as much as we do, give our FB page a like (https://www.facebook.com/AgainstBikeTheft/) and sign our petition (bit.ly/bikes-petition) aiming on getting more focus on the problem.
The problem is that the police have other stuff to do, and they might as well be pissing in the wind with the amount of bike theft here. They could do a huge crackdown, but that's unsustainable and after the crackdown we'll be right back to the same theft rate.
Interestingly there was a case this year (currently going through appeals) where a judge ruled that a man stealing a bicycle in a residential neighborhood should be found not guilty because the police had created the circumstances of the bike's theft:
It's unclear what that means for bicycle entrapment in general, but an article in Parool (again, in Dutch) suggested that this may have implications for the methods of the Amsterdam police depending on how it goes:
Actually, there's evidence that a sustained crackdown can succeed in changing norms. I believe that the biking rate in Copenhagen is almost as high as Amsterdam but the theft rate is far lower. Norms matter. Here's an example:
How about using CCTV at bicycle locking points? Combined with satellite imagery it should be a relatively non-resource intensive way to catch the thiefs. Of course, there's still the question of whether a surveillance-based solution is worse than the crime it's meant to address.
Now you have two problems -- and a freezing cold wind coming in from the wide open Overton window.
(I never had my bike stolen, living in an urban area in the south of the Netherlands. That doesn't mean that it didn't happen there... if you leave your bike standing in odd places, it may well be gone when you come back. One way employed by thieves was to drive around with a van and just pick up any bikes that were standing around, locked or not, in broad daylight or not.)
I've lived in Amsterdam for the last 9 years and the only bike I've had stolen was one that I didn't lock.... I even still have a bike sitting in a rack outside my house that has been mine for 18 years.
I'm riding a fancy looking €1000 bike daily, have been for the last four years, I lock it with just the default ring through the back wheel when I go into a shop or something, and use the chain I have to lock it to a bike rack. It's even insured if I just use the simple lock.
Thanks to some nice tax breaks (meaning you can get a bike for up to 49% off though your employer (look for 'fietsplan')) I am actually on the hunt for a new bike. :-)
Is it typical for a 13mm+ Ulock in Amsterdam to get broken?
There's a god-botherer in my city who gets old bikes, attaches a placard with how you're all going to hell if you don't let jesus into your life, and then leaves them around the city... locked with homemade steel u-bolt locks filled with concrete, so that authorities have more trouble getting rid of them. Admittedly they're not valuable bikes, but I've never heard of one being stolen...
Thinner chains are easily cut, as I experienced when my son list his keys. Proper ring locks are also impossible to cut, but they only lock the rear wheel and don't lock the bike to an object, so it can still be carried away.
The best strategy, I find, is to avoid leaving the bike in theft 'hot spots', especially in the weekend. If that can't be avoided, make sure to put the bike behind another bike, preferable a fancy one or one with a shitty lock.
Ever since, I try parking my bike near one that looks better and is locked worse than mine.
It's just that even all that isn't always good enough if the homeless guy or professional bike thief has a power-cutter thingy.
But that's what multiple bike shop owners told me and they all wanted to sell me a lock, so I don't know if this is true.
Edit: Oh, I forget. O-locks are also very convenient if your bike is still within eyesight and you just want to avoid run-by-thefts. Perfect if you're popping into a shop for food or cigarettes or whatnot.
You can't easily open the lock, but as people can still walk away with the bike it isn't a real deterrent either.
It's not hard to break a modern lock but it requires more than a screwdriver.
Yes. One thing that still works is to get two different high-end locks and to always use both. Most thieves specialize in one lock only. But I'd still not leave a decent bike outside over night.
You're supposed to be somewhat discreet when doing that, not warning everyone.
Most people's locks can be cut with a strong set of shears. The other ones are usually not worth spending your time on unless it's everything there is. In which case, like @jacquesm said, freezing temperatures are an excellent solution. More of a middle of the night thing though. Shears work 24/7.
Well I guess it means that you can't leave your bike unlocked in parts of Amsterdam, which is a shame.
What you said is mostly for true for major cities though.
When I was in Tokyo I saw hundreds of bikes unlocked. There was a poster with a security photo saying "bike thief." My wife mentioned it was likely that person had just grabbed the wrong bike.
I'm not saying bike theft doesn't happen in Japan, it just seems to be significantly more rare in Japan compared to most other places.
I remember hearing San Francisco was trying to cut down on the secondhand market as a way to reduce bike theft. I see Japan has a registration system for bikes. I wonder how much that contributes?
It's sad to me that people take this for granted. I've lived in place that don't and they are wonderful to expect that petty theft is rare. In many countries though it's so common that there's generations of people that seem to just think "that's the way the world is". It's not, it's the way we let it be.
This is similar in SF. I don't know how quickly a bike will be stolen there but cars are broken into on such a regular basis that often you can walk down a street and see broken glass every 3rd or 4th parking space from someone breaking into all the cars on that section of the street. Again it seems super solvable with a few honeypot cars and seems like it would do much to make people's lives better (have had my cars broken into 7 times in California)
In hindsight I realize I was probably wrong to contribute to this ecosystem, but the way I saw it, I was feeding the homeless to provide a social good.
You don't say?
Most people I know stopped buying junkie bikes once they started making a bit more money though, so it's still generally frowned upon. It's just culturally not quite the same as outright theft (again, I don't approve of this personally but even I once bought a probably-stolen bike once).
I've never heard of that, and it even has its own English Wikipedia page! How can I be so out of touch?
> the bike crime level is so high, no sense in buying half-decent bike
> no way I buy a lock that costs more than bike
> [the lock can be cut by bolt cutter in a few seconds]
> [the lock gets cut, the bike gets stolen]
> omg, they stole my bike! Gotta buy another cheap one
15 years, noones touched it... San Francisco, which probably doesn't come far after Amsterdam in terms of bike theft.
I don't agree with cycling on the roads and highways here in Canada, it's chaos and frankly, dangerous. I don't really see if implementing what they have because it's already built in.
The thing that really jumped out at me was when I was waiting for a bus around zaanse schans, about an hour outside of Amsterdam in the country, there was an elementary school that just finished up for the day and every single student came out on bicycles. Myself and a group of Canadian's couldn't believe it. They all happily were socializing on their bikes tightly packed together while riding on the bike path in the country to their homes. Here in Canada nearly everyone takes a giant yellow school bus.
Very nice place, highly recommend checking it out if you have chance. Aside, saw the outside of the Atlassian Amsterdam office too ;)
It is worth remembering that it wasn't built in 40 years ago. Cities can build the infrastructure, they just have to systematically make that choice for years. It is just many cities outside the Netherlands prioritize expanding car infrastructure rather than bike. Many places will push developers to add underground car parking, Netherlands pushes you to have the 10,000 bicycle underground parking garage mentioned in the article.
The main difference in the Netherlands is its consistency of commitment to cycling infrastructure over decades as roads naturally came up for renewal.
I'm generally not too 'patriotic', but I can't help but feel a certain pride when I see the insane amount of bikes, especially around rush hour, and especially when I see the variety of cyclists: pregnant women, the elderly, people in suits, a father/mother with a mind-boggling three kids strapped to the bike and a little kid wobbling alongside, and then of course the occasional 'weird' bikes (The tall bikes in Amsterdam are my favorites).
There's plenty to criticize about our society, but I love the bikes.
Video is in The Hague, I've seen it in Amsterdam though, a couple of times.
Having read and watched some videos on how the Netherlands does road planning for safety, the approach seems to be a much more "descriptive" approach to adapting road shapes and forms and cycle lanes to the natural behavior of people using those modes of transportation. For example, squeezing the width of lanes down naturally causes car drivers to slow rather than covering the area with signs telling drivers to slow down. This approach is slowly being adopted elsewhere (http://thecityfix.com/blog/naked-streets-without-traffic-lig...).
Lots of thought also into mixed-mode junction design
Amsterdam, as city, is hundreds of years old. Bicycles weren't around then. They have had to put bike infrastructure in.
You can also get mowed down in pedestrian area, on the pavement by impatient cyclist that don't like traffic jams and custom courtesy like stopping to let you cross a zebra crossing is non-existent with cyclists.
A definitive win for the environment, but terribly stressful with a pregnant woman or a toddler. There is just nowhere safe at all, even between the stall of art market.
Bicycles were the biggest disappointment of visiting Amsterdam.
The fear would make sense if all that caused yearly deaths by cycling crashing into toddlers and people, but its is surprisingly rare. I have yet to hear about a single case here in Sweden, and we are almost as happy to use bikes as those in the Netherlands. The only thing that explains it is that the statistical risk of taking a stroller and walking against bike traffic seems similar to being in the park in a lane where joggers are running. The speed that people bike in a city is so low that they can react and slow down, similar to a jogger who is running. In contrast, cars driving on the road is going much faster and as such, it is significant more likely to be hit by a car than a bike. I would take a guess and say that it is even true in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam was supposed to be the example of integration (pedestrian / cyclist / car ) done right. It wasn't, just that the position of power between cyclist and pedestrian was reversed compared to London: instead of entitled mum with a stroller in the bike lane, you get entitled cyclist that blaze through a pedestrian area ringing his bell and shouting rather than controlling his speed.
Lethality is not the only criteria but accidents between pedestrians and cyclist is exceptional rare in relation to all the fear people feel towards cyclists. The opposite is true for cars. Ironically the fear towards cyclists seems to go down during winter (since bike lanes tend to be more free from snow and ice than the side walks) so during the time when the bike lane is the most dangerous it is also the time when most people are walking on them. There is thus a strong correlation between fear of bikes and lack of conveniences.
I live in America and commute on my bicycle almost every day. For me the biggest obstacle isn't the hills (which there are plenty of) or even sharing the road with cars (which is admittedly extremely unpleasant) but the fact that in the quasi-suburban area in which I live, everything's so damned spread out that bicycling is very impractical.
> The famously flat Dutch terrain, combined with densely-populated areas, mean that most journeys are of short duration and not too difficult to complete.
The problem in the US is, in no small part, due to zoning. I've been making my way through this:
http://amzn.to/2tkSbsH - "Zoned in the USA"
And the detailed look at how other countries do things is interesting - they're certainly no "libertopia", but far more typologies of housing are allowed, as well as commercial uses in primarily residential areas.
It's worth a look for those who are deeply interested in the topic.
I actually have quite a collection of articles about this stuff, as it's been one of my main interests lately:
The most relevant part: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1X5uVR5NxY&list=PL01072BB79...
Not without problems however: the air polution in Sao Paulo recommends against physical activities, the cycleways are of very questionable quality and the Pinheiros river stinks as hell.
I can spot some capybaras (they are like giant guinea pigs) in the morning, have to dodge their excrement in the cycleway (they shit like a horse, no kidding).
From what I know from Florianopolis, moving on less than four wheels (including walking) is just plain dangerous unless you have a physically separated lane. I know several people who got injured and I see many white bikes attached to posts on the road as a sign of "someone on a bike lost his life here".
Of course, the physically separate lane still has many wholes and occasionally a 30cm high "cliff" at its two ends but it shouldn't get you killed.
Florianopolis is made for cars and it feels like all attempts at allowing for bikes are half-assed at best.
Two motorcycle riders die in in Sao Paulo EVERY SINGLE DAY on average - this statictic is not counting the ones that die a week later in the hospitals. There are more than 1 million motorcycles registered in the city (1 for every 10 citizens) but still a lot of meaningless deaths.
Previous mayor Haddad made a lot of bicycle lanes all over the city but they are of very poor quality, some are plain dangerous or are in areas where they are not used (poor planning).
That said, I would trade Sao Paulo by Florianopolis any day of the week - in Sao Paulo I'm 50 miles from the sea, in Florianopolis you can surf before the work.
You can build whatever you want in the cement-plant-district. But you have to deal with having that kind of nuisance nearby. You can also build whatever you want in the no-nuisance district. But you can't impose any kind of nuisnace.
They're overall more relaxed about mixed-use zoning, but they do have exclusively industrial zones, and exclusively residential (with small shops & schools) zones.
One of the advantages of having bars in residential areas is that you don't concentrate them in one area. Unless you live in a big metropolis, the bars are not large, are not noisy and don't cause many problems. To be fair, I don't know how dance clubs are zoned. I have never seen one outside of a reasonably sized city. But, you can definitely hear people croning away in the karaoke clubs at night.
> Few Dutch people don lycra to get out on their bike, preferring to ride to work, the shops or the pub in whatever clothes they think appropriate for their final destination.
> Of course, the cycle paths lend themselves to sauntering along in summer dresses in a way a death-defying, white-knuckle ride in rush-hour traffic does not. It is also partly because of this that people don't need showers at work to be able to commute by bike - it's a no-sweat experience.
So, reading with some context clues, the answer is "not long enough to work up a sweat."
I ride in regular clothes during the summer, but it takes some planning, notably starting early in the morning and riding slowly.
You wouldnt believe how fast some if the dutch natives are - in suits and without hands of course. They can even turn without holding a bike.
I always felt a bit sad that it wasn't more normal for 'my crowd' to have scooters. I would've loved a scooter.
Now when those turned 18.. that's a different story, it did not take them very long before the driver license was there.
When I look at my nieces/nephews now, then it is mostly still the same story. Except that indeed the number of mopeds is higher, but still under 50%.
Grocery shopping is often less than 5 kilometers, but me and my neighbours often use the car for that (eventhough often it could be done by bike).
I think the biggest reason is purely cultural. It is normal (almost expected) that kids and teenagers go to school, sport and clubs by bike. You grow up riding a bike and it is your first real "liberation" from depending on your parents for everything.
It kinda represents freedom to go where you want to go before coming of age and being allowed to drive a car. (The minimum age to get your driving license used to be 18, though recently you can get a "starters license" at 17 as long as you drive under adult supervision).
And later on you realise that often taking the car, whilst great, isn't that more practical (and certainly not as economical) as taking the bike now and again.
Another reason is our infrastructure, it is pretty safe with all those bicycle lanes, so parents do not worry too much.
Also if you live in the city then for shorter distances (under ~3km) it is just the fastest way to get anywhere and no parking problems.
Add things like that the Netherlands does not have a hot and moist climate, so normally not sweaty.
Pretty low crime rates especially in regards to violence.
Car drivers being used to have lots of bicycles around.
There's just a lot of factors down here that make riding a bicycle more attractive as in most other countries that I have seen.
The solution: e-bike.
Where i live in the Netherlands many people use them (not just elderly.) Just this week i saw a 15 year old kid drive back home from school on an e-bike. If you have to drive a long distance, an e-bike eases makes it much easier/faster...
Even an expensive bicycle pencils out very quickly relatively.
1. Current eBikes are generally small-scale prototypes. Prices should fall with volume.
2. They're generally comparably priced to a small motorbike, for which they're a near substitute.
3. Financing of large consumer purchases turns out to be a fairly frequently-occurring (and solved) proplem.
I don't think this will be a showstopper.
4. Actually, checking Amazon, eBike prices seem to be on par or lower than what I'd pay for a decent standard bike: ~$750 US or so. Kits as low as $250 for wheel conversion.
 At roughly the speed I can bike in moderate to cool temps without getting excessively sweaty.
So I guess 2x10 km is the most likely answer. And that's already a lot.
The really crappy part is how much of that 15 miles is caused by car infrastructure. Imagine how much closer one might be to work if the distance were compressed, removing about 80% of all street and highway width, the entirety of all road buffer zones (highways often have several times as much of this as they have actual road), front yards (= mostly to keep house back from busy road and allow space for cars on driveway), parking lots (often several times as large as the place they're meant to serve), and so on. I'd be surprised if such compression didn't shave about half the distance off.
I have what I consider a fairly easy bicycle commute which is double that.
After a month in the Netherlands, I always feel like going back to a car-based society is a huge step backwards. Like, there is a wall of concrete and asphalt and metal and fumes and busy-ness, and we're all just so trapped in it. Like prisoners.
One more thing, as great as cycling is in Amsterdam, from what I can tell, it might be the least best place to cycle in the Netherlands, so if you only cycle in Amsterdam you're not even getting the best experience.
But at other times, and especially outside the city centers, it can be very relaxing.
If you're in the area though, I can highly recommend taking one of the many bike routes, in particular one that leads to the dunes near Amersfoort. From Amsterdam/Utrecht it's a perfect distance for a day trip and really beautiful.
I biked with the kids from Haarlem to Bloemendaal aan Zee. It was the best! Took me a while to figure out Bloemendaal aan Zee and Bloemendaal are different places, so there were some wrong turns, but it was fun all the way.
It's faster than the tram; a bike is cheap and cycling is free; its way easier to park than a car; its healthy; there are cycle paths everywhere (inside and between cities); and everyone else does it, so you usually have company.
There's a fair amount of things on a bike that, like many other mechanical things, can need looking after to keep running well - new tires and tubes, CO2 cartridges if like me you are too lazy to manually pump, chains, cassettes, lubricant, wheels (eventually), brake pads/discs. If you don't have maintenance skills for adjusting things like derailleur cable tension/brakes you will probably need to budget for shop servicing too. It's often considerably more than non-cyclists expect, and often scales with use. If you ride regularly in foul weather, many of these items need attention much more often - there's nothing like road salt to prevent ice for causing just about everything on a bicycle drive train to rust if not cleaned off.
Not doing essential maintenance like chain replacements usually just increases costs in the long term - worn chains in turn accelerate wear on the cassette etc.
Unless you live somewhere with a great climate, foul weather clothing inevitably ends up needing bought if you intend to commute all year round by bike.
That said, you're now making me curious to what degree this applies to other cities, even just cities that are known to be bike-friendly. In how many cities is it normal (or even possible), like in Holland, to use bikes in this ways?
The style of bikes that are popular in Amsterdam and other relatively flat European cities often aren't that commonly found in many other countries in my experience - the incredibly popular in Holland 'coaster' brake design (where you stop pedaling/pedal backwards to brake) is borderline dangerous on very steep hills, but works great in flat areas, making it pretty uniquely suited to cities like Amsterdam. Similarly, you guys rarely need to bother with gears, or need so few you can use much simpler to maintain hub gear systems rather than finicky external derailleurs. I've almost never seen a new bike sold in the UK with coaster brakes, largely due to safety on hills. Similarly, it's pretty rare to see a coaster brake equipped bike in the US. I sure wouldn't want to try stopping at the bottom of a long 30% grade in San Francisco on coasters...
I spend about €15 a month on my bicycle if I spread out the cost of purchase, clothing, and maintenance (mostly parts, I do my own maintenance, which isn't uncommon here). That's for a high quality, extra tall bicycle (I'm 2m tall) that looks presentable enough for my daily commute to work.
A student could probably manage with €3 to €8 a month.
> clothing, panniers, lights, helmets, locks...
The lock is the biggest expense for most people: in my case the lock was usually more expensive than the bike! Panniers are dirt-cheap, as are lights (if we bother, which I believe we should, but many of us don't). Helmets are not very common except for kids and high-speed cyclists. And some tourists. And nobody except for aforementioned high-speed cyclists buy special clothes. We just wear what we're wearing that day.
> There's a fair amount of things on a bike that, like many other mechanical things, can need looking after to keep running well - new tires and tubes, CO2 cartridges if like me you are too lazy to manually pump, chains, cassettes, lubricant, wheels (eventually), brake pads/discs.
It's a kind of point of pride, especially for men traditionally, to fix your own bike if you have a flat. Generally speaking the same goes for tires and chains, although we sometimes go to a bike shop for that. Often though we just keep going until the chain snaps or the bike gets too slippery on wet roads. That doesn't seem to happen much though, which perhaps has something to do with the kinds of bikes we ride and how we use them. And of course the fact that there's a decent chance that the bike will get stolen or we buy a nicer, cheap, second-hand bike in the interim.
As for brakes: most bikes don't have the squeezy-hand-style brakes that do seem to be annoyingly needy. We generally have the back-pedal style that I've never ever had to replace.
And pumps are so ubiquitous that I've never had to own one myself.
That makes 6ct/km (1.6 if we don't consider the bike itself) at what is still the early stage of a bicycle's lifetime.
I think that qualifies as virtually "free".
People in the US obsess about how many gears they have, but a bike with a straight chainline is just so much simpler and more reliable.
AFAIK, most Dutch bikes are internally/hub geared with chain cases to protect it from the elements. It's a shame hub gears aren't more popular in the US.
Mine came with a lock and lights. Tires last 10 years and aren't that expensive. Pumping tires has to happen a few times a year, come on. Never replaced a chain before the rest of the bike was due for replacement anyway. Never heard of anyone replacing cassettes. Lubricant is not expensive for how much it's needed (a euro a year maybe). New brake pads aren't expensive and they last years, disks last decades no idea how expensive they are (my bike from high school still doesn't need to have them replaced). Never used a pannier. Never wore a helmet that I can remember (I've had this discussion before here... I don't know anyone who wore one, nor anyone who sustained serious injury due to not wearing one). And special clothing, huh? What's wrong with the clothes you're wearing?
You're greatly exaggerating. The only expensive part is buying a good one when it's new.
> Tires last 10 years and aren't that expensive
> New brake pads aren't expensive and they last years
Ride 20 miles a day and lifespans like these are nigh on impossible. Especially if you have inclement weather to deal with.
> Never heard of anyone replacing cassettes.
Cassette lifespan is entirely dependent on maintenance, but if you abuse your bike you will find the derailleur starts 'jumping' on shifts after 400-600 miles or so. For me, this is every 3 or 4 months. They are designed as consumable parts, not unlike car brakes. This is one of several reasons why single speed bikes make great commuters if you can push a reasonable sized gear.
> And special clothing, huh? What's wrong with the clothes you're wearing?
What you are wearing is often not great if cycling in rain, snow or ice. Sitting at my desk in rain drenched, puddle stained clothing is never much fun. Similarly, many people understandably don't want to wear the clothes they sweated in for 10 miles on the way to work for a full day at the office...
Uh? What? :-)
I've done 10.000 km with my current cassette and chain, and it is still working OK. One gear starts sliding a bit when I put too much power, so I might check the chain one day, or maybe next year. I have a spare cassette sitting somewhere (it's been sitting there for a couple of years already), but I cannot be bothered to change it yet.
That's 10 to 15 times your numbers. According to them, I should have had troubles with my cassette after a 3-day trip with 200 km per day :-)
And compared to many people, I am not very cautious with my bike.
Most modern Dutch commuters bikes are either single speed, or three/seven-speed without a derailleur; instead the gears are housed inside of the rear wheel's nave. This makes them well protected and very durable. My seven year old bicycle is still on its first three-speed gear set.
Come to think of it, all I've replaced thus far is the chain (which will need replacing again in a year or so) one light bulb, the elastic bungee cords for luggage, and a spring for my saddle.
It looks roughly the same as most of the bikes in the racks at home, at work and around the city.
If you visited people in the suburbs, it's more likely they own nicer bikes. Or, you might see people riding nice bikes at the weekend.
On the other hand it’s also easier to get a bike stolen than a car.
: http://www.cyclinguk.org/resources/cycling-uk-cycling-statistics#How many people cycle and how often?
If you leave a bike out over night there's a good chance it will be gone in the morning.
Great biking city, however.
- Netherlands is compact (10km from town to town, bikable)
- Netherlands is flat
- Cities are old, and are not easy to navigate with cars
- Cars are expensive
- Infrastructure is in place (everywhere!)
- Bikes are cheap
- Biking is healthy
- Biking is often faster in cities for <10km distances (better routes, no searching for parking place)
Note: If you want bikelanes in your city/country: Just start biking, the more and more people are biking, the more politics is forced to build infra. This is happening in Paris, Latvia, and more!
For cars in the US it's the opposite: even when major cities get big enough to where cars clearly aren't scaling well anymore, cities are often reluctant to refactor car space for walking, biking, or transit, because a majority of current travelers go by car.
My city just created a law that motorists who don't leave a 1m gap between their vehicle and bike will be fined.
The problem is the "bike lane" is just a picture of a bike on what used to be the paved shoulder, the 30cm wide paved shoulder. And the biked lane can narrow down to nothing in some places. And it often includes vehicle parking in the same bike lane.
The roads here are very narrow here too so much that you have to drive into the other lane to get that 1m gap. If there is traffic coming the other way you as a driver of a vehicle have no choice but to crawl along behind a bike, even worse if it's two bikes side-by-side.
I am a bike rider and a vehicle owner but I can't agree with the law there is just no room. It absolves the bicyclist of everything and blames vehicle drivers for everything.
You often can't pass another motorist without going into the oncoming lane either.
The fundamental question is whether you see the road as a way for all people, or if you see it as primarily a resource for the wealthy, with the poor allowed provisional access based on their degree of disturbance to the flow of money.
You seem to see denying wealthy motorists the right to travel at their preferred speed as a more serious issue than denying the poor the right to safe travel in any form.
Actually no my concern is there is no room! The width of the road is barely enough for one vehicle leaving maybe 30cm on either side. Making a law to demand 1m (100cm) separation seems to ignore reality, and math.
Also, I could be ahead of a bicyclist and he can overtake me but I am now required by law to make room as he overtakes to my right. Even if there is a vehicle to my left I have to move over or be fined.
I understand the purpose of the law but it is poorly written.
It also has awesome weather for cycling all year round.
People are just hard to change.
Then car companies did a lot of lobbying.
Some of us just have kids and have noticed that all the city housing is either incredibly expensive or in slums, and the schools in the city proper are dangerous and terrible so we'd also have to pay for private school. And we're not made of money.
I'd much rather live in the city—I hate the car-centric lifestyle—but living there if I have enough money not to but not enough money to also pay for private k-12 schooling would be irresponsible. Plus there's the issue of having to balance commutes for two people in a dual-income household—one of us would almost certainly need a car anyway.
 This is true for my city at least. YMMV.
Not all suburban cities are equal either, some makes it possible not to have to commute by car (at least near where I live).
So it's still a chicken/egg problem but a much tougher one to resolve than if schools having too little money were even a large part of the trouble. It's even a shitty situation for people who can afford to get their kids into better schools because there's pressure under this system to spend absolutely as much as you can on these things, because you will definitely be improving your kids' chances in life by doing so.
It's a craptastic coordination problem that's so bad things would kind of be better if we just assigned schools based on some combination of parental income and education level, since that'd put most kids more or less where they are when we use willingness-and-ability-to-spend-money as a proxy for those things (i.e. the current system) while keeping everyone from having to waste tons of money competing over blessed zip codes or paying private school tuition.
I can't even picture the political shitstorm that would happen if someone suggested (openly) segregating schools by parental income and education level.
Well, yes, but more to the point inner city schools suck in outcome terms because outcomes are driven more by parental educational attainment and other non-school factors (income is mostly irrelevant except that it correlated with parental education, and tax base is irrelevant as shown by the fact thst the problem is not particularly attenuated in states that equalize per pupil spending statewide, so that taking your tax money elsewhere has only a very weak effect on school funding) than by anything schools do, and no one has found (and most of the efforts of standardizing what schools do in the expectations of consistent outcomes detracts from the search for) interventions that address deficiencies in this area.
To fix inner city (or “poor rural” or other “problem” schools) you have to either first fix or, at least, find interventions that break the cyclical nature of the underlying social inequalities that actually cause the poor outcomes.
Money easily grows out of being well educated, assuming there aren't other barriers to accomplishment. You have the cause and effect relationship here backwards.
Since parental involvement is a really good proxy for wealth, and, as you point out, parental involvement correlates strongly with educational outcomes, wealthy children tend to have better educational outcomes.
However (and take it from a gifted and learning disabled person) the presence of better-educated (and more academically invested) students in a classroom can be a rising tide that brings up the more marginal students.
Overall, I don't think we actually disagree. Education is well-correlated with wealth. Parental involvement (given that parents who are able to be involved are more likely to be able to do that and stay financially functional) effectively "counts" as money spent on education, especially since it indirectly helps the entire cohort.
It takes a village.
> assuming there aren't other barriers to accomplishment
In my neck of the world, poverty counts.
It is more complicated than that. Some other factors are: Schools in "college towns" tend to be better and "neighborhood schools" where less than 5% of the kids are bussed in and the rest live in walking distance also do better than average.
I am not saying poverty is not a problem. I am saying that spending per capita on students in public schools does not have a good track record for correlating well to student outcomes.
Also, if you look at "The Tipping Point," it indicates that poor neighborhoods where middle class and better people are a certain percentage of the population fair much, much better than poor neighborhoods where those people drop below a certain percentage of the population. The lack of adequate "wisdom" being readily available seems to do more harm than lack of money per se. When it falls below a certain threshold, things rapidly come unraveled and you see crime and other problems shoot through the roof.
We are not doing such a great job of creating community in the world today.
I am not saying money doesn't matter. But I do believe that there are a lot of things that matter more and that cannot be solve by simply throwing money at the problem. Hopefully, that makes more sense.
Let's not beat around the bush; this happened back in the day because they took their taxes to the suburbs for mostly white schools.
See, we have a national costume that happens to be a 2 ton motorized suit of armor. And if you aren't wearing it, your loyalty is suspect.
And this: http://denver.streetsblog.org/2017/06/05/broadway-redo-sidew...
Like many things in life, douchebags tend to ruin good things.