In 2009, in the US, there were 14.9 million bicycles purchased  vs. just over 13 million passenger vehicles.
The response to higher gas taxes would have nothing to do with bikes. We'd buy cars with better fuel efficiency, explore alternative engines with lower costs-per-mile, and continue to pay the tax. Until the efficiency gains match the costs of the tax, the rest of the economy would suffer as most people would have less discretionary spending.
You HAVE to get to work, so you're going to eat the tax. And it's regressive, to boot.
Urban people in the U.S. complain a lot about the suburban nature of most of the country, but there is little that can be reasonably done eliminate the suburbs. Most people in this country simply prefer it, and will pay more for their transportation costs to get it. Raising taxes on these people is not going to change their behavior in any meaningful way. A few extra cents, or even an extra half dollar is gas taxes is going to be a lower cost to them than uprooting their life and moving within biking distance.
If people prefer it, why does the government have to mandate it by law?
Suburban zoning and -- even more importantly -- minimum parking requirements force property developers to build nothing but sprawl with isolated pods of single-use development. Wide, hostile roads are required (by law) to carry people between commercial, office, residential, and industrial sprawl zones.
If free markets were allowed to have any influence at all on land development, you would see at least some new urban style building. As it is, nothing but sprawl is permitted.
GP said EU levels, so it's not a few cents or "even" a half dollar. It's straight up doubling or tripling gas prices. This would no doubt impose a lot of hardship on people, and there might well be significant political upheaval in the process, but if you think it wouldn't change behavior and the suburban sprawl problem then you don't realize how inelastic people's income really is.
I think you mean "how inelastic the demand for gas is in the face of higher prices".
Of course people's income is fixed in this equation. Though I suppose you might try to earn more if gas prices go up.
What you're trying to say is that demand for gasoline is inelastic in the face of higher prices.
And here's a bit on gasoline...
That’s the same commute as I had during my time in high school. I did it on a bike, for 4 years, as did everyone else in my class. (I grew up in the Netherlands, where this is normal.)
> Raising gas taxes is going to cost people who have longer commutes
Which in turn will make people live closer to their work place and it will promote working from home. People might also start lobbying for more and better public transport.
The net speed of transit is driven by stop frequency and dwell time. Remember, you simply cannot make up for the time you're not moving -- driving half your trip at 15 mph and half at 30 mph doesn't give you an average speed of 22.5 mph ((15+30)/2), but of 20 mph -- it's the total time for the trip, divided by distance.
Acceleration (and braking) of LRV has to be limited on account of standees, which generally means limiting top speeds. The fact that most LRVs travel on shared roadways (with private vehicles, trucks, bikes, and pedestrians) means they have to be prepared for sudden stops. Exclusive RoW can avoid this problem, but it's expensive: you've either got to block off surface access, elevate, or tunnel.
Tracked vehicles cannot pass one another without sidings. A consistent issue with LRVs is that if there's a breakdown, or even a delay, of an up-track vehicle, the effects ripple back through the route. Sidings (or switches) are expensive. Trolley buses (which receive power from overhead electrical wires) have similar limitations.
Any transfers you need to make will also add considerable time to your trip, and again, dwell or stationary time _cannot_ be made up by speed.
In crowded or dense urban areas, priority signaling for transit, and the lack of need to find and pay for parking, can cut some time off of trips, but that's fairly limited.
I live in the Cleveland area, and even living in the downtown area, I could imagine it being a legitimate sacrifice to live without a car. While the downtown area is growing in residence and support services, such as grocery stores, are being built downtown, it's still tough. Also, while some businesses are moving their offices downtown, other companies, especially large ones like Eaton, have moved their substantial downtown presence to the suburbs, so the problem is happening in both the residential and commercial side of real-estate. I'd have to imagine many small and mid-size cities suffer from this.
I just don't see a solution that is going to get people to cluster more, given our culture. I think the long-term solution is electric cars and the possibilities that shared, highly convenient, self-driven cars present. So instead of changing behaviors drastically, we use technology to make the required changes much smaller.
You already feel a mild version of this in rush-hour on NYC subways. Your body will move slightly as the train breaks, often causing people to lose balance (particularly if they never experienced this previously)
Also, the distances between cities in the US is far greater than what it is in EU nations like Germany or Italy. Plus the scenery is much better. Ever ridden across North Dakota?
Assuming you live in Europe. It's different in the US.
Some people do legitimately have a need for larger vehicles. The farmer I use to work for had 4 or 5 F-150s to be used on the farms (no way you are getting a regular car in and out of some of those waterlogged fields). Those were farm equipment, not something you use to drop off the kids at school. People who need vehicles like that to go grocery shopping are an extreme minority.
And I have never seen any of the roads around here closed, even when impassable by anything short of a snowmobile or a tractor.
2. Wasn't that image on a Photoshop hoax site?
3. That path is perfectly clear. Try driving a car with 4" of clearance through 8" of snow. It can be done with very good snow tires, but not nearly as quickly as a vehicle with more clearance.
2. I do not believe so.
3. This is true. You have to clear the roads for people to use smaller cars.
If U.S. cities had proper cycling infrastructure, I would expect many more adults would use bikes for local travel. But as it is, driving is certainly more reasonable for many people when the alternative is biking on a shoulderless road with deadly vehicles passing inches away from you.
Lucky for me, I live near the most bike friendly city in the country - and it's not on the left hand coast. ;)
If it was feasible and I lived within 10 miles of where I work, I would for sure bike. Right now, I commute almost 20 minutes in my car, so biking to and from work just isn't a great idea. If I lived and worked in the city, I would for sure bike every day. Even if I worked in the city, I would utilize the light rail for the majority of my commute. It sucks I would still have to drive 10-15 minutes to get to the light rail though.
A historical example comes to mind: the collapse of the slave industry in the American South in the 1800s. (Please note that I'm referring to very specific aspects of the trade; I'm not by any means equating slavery with the energy sector, morally or otherwise.)
If you were to consider abolition from a short-term point of view, as many Americans did, it seemed like a terrible idea. It had catastrophic effects on millions of working, poor Americans. After all, it meant crippling the nation's single largest industry.
And yet, when we reflect on the American slave trade and its eventual decline, those hardships are trumped by greater moral and economic imperatives. The moral imperatives go without saying. The economic ones had to do with recognizing the true cost of labor and finding new opportunities, some of which were outside of agriculture.
Some moral and economic imperatives exist in our current conversation about restructuring the energy industry, which are only visible from a long-term perspective. For example, we're morally bound to address the long-term environmental impact and dangerousness of car travel (although, again, I'm not suggesting this moral imperative is equal to that of abolishing slavery). From an economic standpoint, we're also bound to recognize that our current methods of producing and consuming energy are unsustainable.
TL;DR: Sometimes radically restructuring an industry is the smart - and right - thing to do, despite the relatively short-term economic hardships that it causes.
See, this is where I have to disagree - I think people who insist on driving their own cars should fund those who take public transport.
The government is trying to encourage public transportation - that puts less stress on roads and infrastructure, it causes less pollution and damage to the environment, and means roads are less congested.
Also, public transport is one of those funny things that actually gets better the more people use it.
Fares will go down, and you'd get more frequent services.
It's called negative externalities - the free-market unfortunately doesn't account for all costs.
If I smoke a cigarette - I only pay for the cigarette - but it's those around me that also get sick from the second-hand smoke. That's why the government taxes them.
Likewise, if I buy a gas-guzzling SUV, which churns out black smoke to all my neighbours around - I only pay for the gas - but it's those around me that also suffer.
Basically, if we apply your logic, then we would live in a every-man-for-himself society, where we'd do whatever we could to get ahead, and not care about the impact on those around us.
Paying for what you use and a little extra to offset the negatives is still just paying for what you use.
Further, who pays for the roads the public transportation uses? I have a guess: drivers.
I think people should pay for whatever they want to use.
Can't reply because of HN time restrictions on long threads, but I think the reduction on driving is more due to cities and housing centers within cities getting denser - even Houston is doing that, and we've traditionally been very spread out. We still are, but it's improving.
Cape Coral, for instance, is just a huge, sprawling (mostly-vacant) city. You could probably manage to situate yourself with most of the things you need nearby, but you would still find the vast majority of the city inaccessible without a long ride.
Your yearly commute in micromorts is 311 versus 12 by car.
But then I do often use my bike to go 50 m, since it's faster and I can carry stuff on it.
I know what you're saying, so I'm sorry for being a little pedantic, but I just have to jump in and point out that there are MANY bike commuters in suburban and rural areas. I lived in Bloomington, Indiana for two years and biked 3 miles into town every day. It was incredible for my health and the countryside is just gorgeous. In many ways it was vastly preferable to my various urban commutes since then.
You're right that the infrastructure is often lacking, but you learn the tricks you need to get your errands done, and there are many of us out there every day building the critical mass to change that.
From the second result in Google: "The average commute in miles for Americans is 16 miles and 26 minutes for one way"
In reality of course, these commute times are all of your own making. Just because politics in the 20th century designed cities a particular way doesn't mean it is now forever set in stone in the 21th.
There are plenty of times when it is too expensive to live near work.
There are plenty of times when housing near work is low income or unsafe.
Until recently I lived about 20km away from my work, and my commute took about 25-30min: 10min walking and 15min on the train. I found this a very nice and relaxing commute; being on public-transport means you can read / browse the web / zone out, and indeed it's a valuable unwind time for me (the walking time is also hugely beneficial in this respect). [The same trip by car takes about 30min with no traffic, or an indeterminate amount of time in typical rush-hour traffic...]
In all honesty Calgary is a hopeless city.
Consider Tokyo: https://maps.google.ca/?ll=35.637209,139.744034&spn=0.502803...
Now compare it to Calgary: https://maps.google.ca/maps?ll=50.988692,-113.841705&spn=0.3...
Keep in mind Tokyo is only the center of that metro area. Tokyo itself is 13M people. The full metro area is 35M! Meanwhile calgary is a mere 1M!
Calgary is just not scaling. If we tried to fit 35M people in Calgary the city limits would start hitting the Rockies! Just as CPUs are hitting limits on the speed of light Calgary is hitting limits on safe highway speeds. Mass transit could be improved but it cannot shrink the city.
The best part was actually looking forward to my commute -- even though I only cycled about once or twice a week. Now I'm so far out of shape, it will take a few months of working out in the gym to get back to what I was doing (and hopefully my knees won't go out again).
You can make of that what you will. I would call it rural.
Your average noncollege town isn't like Bloomington.
(40 km is not a particularly long ride for a recreational biker...)
That's a shockingly low number of miles ridden per year. I will no longer think of myself as an underachiever on Strava :)
(at least, if the graph is correct)
Apparently "In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars, Just as Usual in the United States" was too long for a headline.
The difference between northern and southern Europe, or between different countries in Europe, can be pretty big at times. Netherland has had more bikes than people for as long as I can remember. In Spain, the few rare bikers would tend to get killed by cars.
Edit (in response to jgreen10)
>Are you suggesting no one has a car?
No, I am suggesting that the logic "cheaper stuff outsell more expensive stuff" is wrong.
The thing almost every user expects it that saving the file just saves over the old file in the format it was originally in. IIRC, it used to work that way, and then one day it changed for the worse.
Mind you, I've never contributed the tiniest bit of code or funding to Gimp, so I can't really complain.
That's utterly silly. If you take yourself seriously as a graphics editing program, then inevitably you have to move to one format that you can then convert into others. Otherwise you have to implement every single operation on every single file format you support. With the One True Format, (.otf) you can convert your .jpgs to the .otf and then do the operation there.
This then presents a problem. Tech-savvy users know that there will be a loss of data when you save to a consumption format. But the rest of us don't. If you allowed open and save in the same format, people will make the intuitive leap, that they're actually editing the files in that format, when they're not. They'll think all the layers they made will carry over into the PNG and that they'll be there when they re-open the file, when in fact they won't.
It would be a nightmare, because nobody will know what will save and what won't. You'd have to then educate users that to get everything to save properly, you have to save to .otf. Or you could just bake that logic directly into the app.
I know users don't read, etc, but the trade you're making is that the simple process of editing a file and saving it is now much more annoying. I just want to make changes to my PNG, not deal with the One True anything.
The stated goal was to make it harder (still? I guess people clicked through the warning without reading) to accidentally save in .png or .jpg and lose the layers. But the result, for someone whose usual workflow is to open a .png/.jpg, edit, and save back to .png/.jpg, could not be more user-hostile and obnoxious.
In response to a complaint, someone on the forums wrote:
> This is the way Gimp now works. Of course you can consider this a PITA. But for other folks, losing work because they saved as JPG instead of XCF is also a PITA. The philosophy is that people that are impacted negatively by this change are people with very simple work-flows who would be better off using simpler software (XnView, Digikam, Lighttable...)
In other words, all of you people with simple workflows, that worked just fine in Gimp for years? Now you have to go off and learn some new software, because Gimp is for Serious Graphic Design™ only. Ugh.
I got excited researching this because I found a changelog for Gimp 2.8.4 that mentions patching the behavior to be sane, but then I realized that's only a patch in the unofficial OS X build. On Linux, the same nonsense in the latest version.
Every program I use saves to the original format by default, most warning you if there will be data loss. Whether you like it or not, this is how software works and how users expect it to work. If you want to automatically backup a different format that's fine.
GIMP should have option "also save as native format in image repository" that is on by default, if the developers care so much about the conversion losses.
If you want to save the full format of the file, including layers and whatever other GIMP magic you've created, you'd best save it in GIMP-native format.
If you're just doing some quick tweaks, you'll get used to the export option and ignore the prompt to save on quit.
Since most of what I do are quick edits of screenshots, the latter works fine for me. If I were a graphic artist, I'd probably get more than slightly peeved if my afternoon's work were lost due to an incompatible file format save w/o prompt.
Not prompting the user leads to massive loss of user work and state. Prompting the user is a minimal overhead to avoid this risk.
From a technical point of view I can certainly approve the change. Back in my time I've had couple of my images ruined by badly timed save (user error [tm]), so the non-destructive approach certainly has its merits. However, the new behaviour breaks a lot of ingrained casual use flows. So maybe the best approach would for Gimp to remember the original filename when it's opened and if the filetype is anything except XCF, simply do two saves: create a new $filename.xcf automatically with all the changes the user has made, and also auto-export with the old name.
That way the more casual users could still just do "open, edit, save" for their quick edits. As a bonus, since the XCF file is non-destructive, the original file would still be in there. This might give the best of both worlds: it wouldn't break existing workflows, and it would automatically prevent accidentally changing the original image. Plus it would make the save/export split less of a headache for new users.
Just an idea.
It's virtually every time; I just request JPG exports to go along with the PSD, because otherwise I won't know it's missing.
(To be fair, some of that last bit is due to Adobe patents)
So my point is: The same goes for cars vs. bikes. Most people wouldn't mind using a bike to go to work, but it feels weird to pay only a couple of bucks for a bike, when you've learn that the price to go to work is the price for a car.
The reasons for this could probably be rightly chalked up to obfuscation and other below-board shenanigans on the part of certain companies, but the end result is still that you don't use the FOSS version if you're serious.
>I was more referring to compatibility, here.I was more referring to compatibility, here.
Yeah I know, but I got carried away :)
i mean, really, i love GIMP, but, it'll take some time ...
Anyway, Android (Linux) dominates the mobile space, and Linux dominates the server and a lot of the embedded space. So yes, cheap stuff outsells expensive stuff.
And I think it is an interesting question, someone knows some statistics regarding that?
Something like the EU as a whole vs. the US as a whole has a lot more meaning, IMO.
I would not be surprised to hear that more paper and pens are sold in Europe than computers.
In Barcelona we're suffering a process of making the whole city available for bikes and its one of the most wonderful things you can see. Almost everyone uses bikes to go work. It's healthy, it's confortable, and you don't need to pay taxes or insurance. I think it's a brainless option.
BTW: I forgot to mention my city runs a public bycicle program since 8 years and it's a total success. For 40€/year you get full access to a bicycle to move around the city without restrictions. I think it was the smartest move the city did.
Besides, you cannot accidentally spend £30 to fill up a small drawer unit with bikes, cars or computers, which you can do quite easily with paper and pens, I have found.
Also, the prices are not quite as you present. Some people with not much money manage to buy old cars that cost £100 and some people with a lot of money buy new pushbikes that cost over £5000.
The article doesn't address these statistics. Or kid bikes. Also not seeing motorbikes, which seem quite popular in Europe.
I'm surprised that bike sales are that far off from car sales anyway. Expected most people that grow old enough to ride to buy one.
Very informative otherwise.
Yes, mopeds are very, very, popular in Italy.
Are you kidding me? Of course it happened! How many cars do you think were sold in 1900?
Having cycled Copenhagen, I have to say it's wonderful. Everyone is on bikes all the time, and the city always prioritizes bicycles over other vehicles. I'd love for the same to be true in Palo Alto, but realistically a high vehicle tax would have to be done at a state level. The problem is that California is so diverse, that there is no way a farmer in Fresno or Bakersfield is going to be able to handle a large auto tax.
The only way we're going to be able to get people out of cars here in the Bay Area is to increase spending on cycling infrastructure, as well as transit. Thankfully with cycling infrastructure, many cities, including Palo Alto, are finally getting serious about making more bicycle boulevards and bike lanes. For a long time cities in the Bay Area have either just payed lip service to the idea, or have been mired in red tape so that they couldn't roll out new cycling infrastructure without an environmental review.
On the transit front, I'm not so optimistic. There's just such a quagmire of competing transit services in the region, that it's impossible to get any kind of a cohesive system together. Either you have a central authority which dictates the entire route map which will tend to neglect various regions, or you get what we have now which is hyper-localized transit authorities which don't service the needs of the region very well. As a result, companies just implement their own systems (ala Google, Facebook, Apple, Box, etc.) which are exclusionary and have become icons of gentrification.
True, but Danes buy cars nonetheless (especially if they have kids). It's fairly typical to only have one car per family, though.
I have a friend who bought a used VW Passat wagon (5 or 6 years old) in Denmark for $90,000 USD.
A used Passat from 2008 will cost you roughly $30,000 USD . Expensive, I know, but nowhere near $90,000.
I almost feel like this article is misleading because bicycle production is much higher than automotive production. See the following link under "Bicycle vs. car production"
And repair yourself when something goes wrong.
I have a car, it works well. I haven't taken it to go to work since end of may. I don't plan on buying a new one until this one dies of old age, hopefully in a decade or so.
I'm a cyclist, but I know how to fix the common things on my vehicle.
I'm sure there are people that own bikes that are clueless in fixing them, much the same as there are people that own cars that haven't a clue. That doesn't mean there aren't people out there that could strip and rebuild either on their own.
Where I live, it approaches dangerous to bike on the road. When a road has a speed limit of 45 mph, turns, and no shoulder at all, it's difficult to bike. This is not in a rural area.
Note that Portland is investing in bike infrastructure now, and it makes certain crossings easier, but I think the bikers came first, not the infrastructure.
Keep in mind that I have a 15 mile ride to work, and no, moving is not an option.
If you shower before you ride then you have twelve hours or so head start on bacteria - it takes them that long to multiply, excrete and cause a stink. So even if you are glistening with sweat at work then you can change your clothes, wash your hands and face, sit at desk, work, no smell needed. If you do stink then maybe it is because you lack fitness and basic hygiene, which is nothing to do with there not being a shower at work.
When was the last time anyone washed a seat in a car? Never! A car seat is one of the most disgusting places to sit. Would you not change the sheets on your bed for years? No. Yet sit in the same seat in a car, year after year, with a greenhouse around it, sucking in carbon monoxide from the tailpipe in front - no idea why people think that is hygienic.
You need to get practical!
Biking 15 miles to work is not practical in 100+ degree weather with humidity averaging between 60 and 90 percent. Moving to be within biking distance of work is not practical when jobs change every few years and there are two of us living in the house which is fairly central to both workplaces.
And I wash the interior of my car yearly - your phobia about 'dirty car seats' is fairly silly.
I'd say trying to not die from heat exhaustion or stroke while riding uphill on a bike in 100+ degree weather is practical.
That's around 37 degrees celcius for us non-US people =).
I'm from Sydney, and we often have low 40's (Celcius) during summer. We currently have raging bushfires over here in some areas =(, and it's easily 40 degrees.
I bike to work (and also for fun on weekends) during that sort of temperatures, and I've never been worse for wear...
I also jog regularly during that weather (although I find that harder than biking - less breeze).
Mate - you're not going to get heat stroke from riding your bike a few Km at 37 degrees, seriously...
As your fitness improves, you'll probably find it easier.
Just stay hydrated (you do carry water, right?), apply sunscreen, and you'll be fine. Sure, it's harder work than driving a car, but exercise is hard work (despite what those late-night TV ads tell you).
> Where I live is too hot and humid to bike most months out of the year
That's such a defeatist statement, "too hot and humid to bike most months". I have a lot of faith in you. You could probably think of a way! It's not literally impossible! Maybe you could ride in the morning, before or just after sunrise. Maybe you could ride in a set of clothes, wipe yourself down in the bathroom, and then change into a fresh outfit to work in. You should try those things and three other strategies that you think of and then maybe I'll accept that statement "it's hard to bike during the summer".
There really needs to be better education regarding commuting via bike.
"I sweat too much" = you're likely out of shape.
"The weather is too inclimate" = wear appropriate clothing.
"I live too far away" = 15 miles in an hour is very reasonable.
Minnesota has heat indexes in the summer similar to the Middle East, in the winter we can get windchills <= -20F, yet Minneapolis is one of the best cities for cycling in the United States.
What is appropriate clothing for my example? I'd guess most appropriate would be naked, though I'd still be drenched. There is no clothing that can fix this.
I love riding bikes, but it has never been a feasible solution for my transportation to work, given that I don't want to arrive looking and feeling disgusting, drenched in sweat. I could handle your cold, though. Perhaps you've never experienced extreme humidity coupled with high-90s.
You could still find a place close by where you could rinse off and clean up quick before heading into the office.
There are an innumerable number of ways you could make it work if you actually wanted to.
I can respect that it's far more inconvenient for you than it is others, and that may be enough of a hurdle to just never make it worthwhile.
As far as the humidity and high 90s, the Land of 10,000 Lakes gets our share of shitty weather. It takes a real commitment to continue through it.
Ok, so you sweat a lot =). That's alright, we're all different.
However, I'm a bit confused here - you're claiming you do cycle a lot - but you don't like cycling?
I have to agree with scarlson - most people who live less than say, 35 km (21 miles) could easily bike to work, if they wanted. With a reasonably level of fitness, you could do such a ride in under an hour.
Is it work - absolutely. But come on, you save money, you get to see the outdoors, and you get exercise.
Beyond 35 km, yeah, I'd probably think twice, if it was every day. However, I know of people who bike from Penrith to Sydney CBD here, a distance of around 56 km (35 miles) - each way.
And by appropriate clothing - I think he means bike clothes (i.e. lycra). Sure, you can't wear it around the office - but I just get changed in our bathrooms at work.
I have the luxury of being not only 2.5 miles from my workplace (I ride in daily), but I can bring my carbon fiber race bike into my office and lean it against my desk. I am very lucky.
I've gotten very good at doing a mild cleanup upon arrival at the office if I go for a longer training ride before work: a damp washcloth, reapplication of deodorant, and I'm usually good. I do shower and shave before leaving my house, though, so I am starting things off fresh.
That's not to say you can't bike for significant parts of the year, but there are definitely days where it wouldn't just be uncomfortable, it would be unsafe, to bike to work in Texas. Add to that that certain cities, like Austin, are also fairly hilly.
That shouldn't restrict you from ever biking though, as seems to be the excuse some people are using.
I do wish I could bike to work but I just don't feel safe. If there was a bike lane all the way to work, I'd feel safe enough to bike it.
Sometimes it's nice to have some strength in numbers; can you commute in with a coworker?
677 bicycle deaths vs 230 deaths for those walking. Interestingly many more pedestrians were injured than pedalcyclists injured in that same time period.
If there were dedicated bike lanes going to work, I'd be in them.
As it is, I walk or take my car.
I would never consider biking downtown, at least not yet.
I ride between 5,000-10,000 miles a year. I've had several crashes due to my own fault or other cyclists' faults in races. I've also been hit once and suffered a very minor broken wrist that healed in three weeks. I am pretty lucky.
Some of my friends have been in crashes with cars and they are all fine. It was scary at the moment and they got hurt, with some injuries such as a broken collarbones, but they're all still riding and healthy today.
Of course, they all LOVE riding bikes. If you don't love to ride bikes, it's tough to "get on that horse after it bucks you off," so to speak.
I want a pony. =)
I didn't move close to my job to spend 30+ minutes a day commuting.
I don't want to show up sweaty to the office.
I can run errands or meet someone for lunch. After work I wouldn't need to go home to get my car if I, on a whim, wanted to go across town for whatever reason.
Bay area is popular for biking because they make it difficult to park. Where I live they make it easy with large free parking lots. I'm in a large coastal city.
On a bicycle you have the Highway Code (or equivalent) on your side, you are also able to go into pedestrian mode if need be. Therefore you do not have to stop for anyone or anything if you do not want to. There are softer targets than cyclists and softer cyclists than you. So long as you have your wits about you then there is no need to be apprehended when on a bicycle.
You can even change your route to avoid having to stop, e.g. at a junction. You can also change your pace without arousing suspicion. There is no need to use a 'car park' or other area targeted by thieves. With an unassuming but well locked bicycle you need not have your ride be a cause of concern, even if locked up in an area you do not know well. In some cities parking is so expensive that the loss of a bicycle seat or wheel is 'affordable' risk.
By sticking to the tin box you are part of the problem and not the solution. Cities need regular citizens walking about in them to feel safe.
I know what I am talking about. My response to this was to ride a bicycle and never be a pedestrian in that bit of town again. I also moved house, seeing my own blood on the pavement was a bit much!
On your bike!
Maybe you should harden up and accept that life comes with the occasional slight discomfort.
Perhaps start-ups need to offer showers and changing rooms and safe bike storage, instead of ping-pong tables and air hockey?
As for safe storage of your bike, just take it into the office and lean it against your desk. Don't ask permission.
Small problem, the hills are many, varied, and of enough incline and length, to make them a challenge even to seasoned riders. So its rare to see them there. If anything I am more bound to find them on the 45mph roads as those tend to be flatter. Some of them do have bike lanes.
Now we have change the purpose of some parks to be more family friendly and bike friendly, these are normally connected to purpose built bike and walking trails; the Silver Comet is one.
So I think geography does influence it a bit. Even if I were within a few miles of where I needed to go the land just isn't all that much fun to zip about, unless on a motorcycle then those curves and hills are most fun.
By the way, how did you know where I live?
>We decided to delve a little deeper into the figures and see which of these countries had the highest rates of bicycle-to-car ownership.
I'm more interested in historical bike sales, historical car sales, and the correlations and causations we could find, than which countries had the highest rates of bike-to-car ownership.
So what kind of laws does that get us? In most cities electric bikes are illegal. Sidewalks and bike lanes, more often then not, only cover partial lengths of road. It's actually illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk, but the bike lanes in the States are so unbelievably dangerous that no one in their right mind would choose the bike lane over the sidewalk. You can't ride a bike along an interstate highway --that's illegal too. Oh, some rich cities have nice new bike paths, but they go almost no where useful and it is illegal to ride on those at night.
And to top it all off there's a cultural stigma that if you ride a bike for more than exercise or a leisurely peddle around the block then you are a worthless bum.
Also, why would you want to bike on the shoulder of an interstate? The whole definition of a limited access highway is that only highspeed cars, going the same direction are on it, for safety.
As for biking on the shoulder of an interstate, there are areas where the only paved road going between two points is an interstate highway.
And of course there are very common borderline cases where I want to get from point A to point B, and the path on the interstate is 50 miles, while the path avoiding the interstate is 150 miles. So a trip that I ordinarily need to allot one day for becomes a 2-3 day trip unless I'm willing to pedal at top speed or for more than 8 hours. I don't want to bicycle on the interstate, but most infrastructure assumes your bike is a purely recreational vehicle.
In my head, it's the other way. Why would I deal with pedestrians, a rougher surface, and surprised cars when I can ride a dedicated lane on the road? You just have to do it a bit to get over the initially scary feeling when cars approach from behind and you have to trust they won't hit you.
No, you just have to accept the much-increased danger of being in a serious accident.
As for sidewalks being safer than streets, that is a myth. The reality is streets are much safer for bicycles. This is a well covered subject, Googling "safer bicycle street sidewalk" brings up a lot of info. The main reason is drivers are not expecting anything on a sidewalk to be moving at bicycle speeds, so cars turn in front of bikers much more often.
When I was living in Vienna we had 2 cars and 3 bikes for the family.
Bikes were replaced more often, I needed to buy a bike twice in 5 years due to the original ones being stolen. Kept my car the whole time.
Not exactly sure what this article is trying to show. Bad statistics?
Most of us can't afford a car that we drive just for fun, but most can afford even a $4000 - $5000 bike that's just for fun. Included in these statistics are mountain bikes and racing bikes that people ride only in the weekends.
The number of people commuting on their bikes are more interesting, but then the US and a few other countries are screwed because of the distances between the city and suburbs or industrial parks that are inaccessible by anything but a car (European countries have these too).
You see and experience more from a bike and it clears the mental cobwebs for me. Maybe my bobble head Yoda on the handlebars helps too :)
Pedaling on in California.
1. Dress well. Its especially important to fully cover your face (except eyes), ears and hands. Winter hat, scarf, gloves are always mandatory.
Legs may also need good (multi-layered) coverage but its not that critical. The number of layers for the rest of the body varies with the temperature
2. Don't overexert yourself. Avoid getting to a point where you're breathing too quickly or too deeply - this can be painful and can trigger breathing problems. If your breathing starts getting deeper and faster, slow down.
Basically, its much better to overdress and go slower than to under-dress and try to go fast to compensate with body-heat. Most cyclists will claim the contrary, but the contrary only applies after having some experience (or for people who just can't bear to go slow).
3. Carry extra layers of clothes with you. You never know if the layers you need in the morning will be the same as the layers you need in the afternoon.
Once it snows, I consider it far too dangerous (though again, there are a few people here that bike in snow w/ studded tires). I only have a bike lane for a short part of my ride, the rest being on 50, 60, and 80kmh roads with no paved shoulder. I don't want to find out what happens if I hit a deep patch of snow, ice, or some cross-winds while a semi is passing me doing 80kmh.
As for your 2nd point, I made that mistake the first time it got close to freezing. By the time I made it to work, I had a tough time breathing.
In my experience you don't want to be using a bike lane after heavy snow anyhow; they often don't get plowed. If you can take residential roads you're pretty safe (and studded tires really do make a HUGE difference).
But yeah, you don't want to be on the road with cars going 80km/h - I wouldn't be comfortable doing that every day in the summer, either.
• Ownership of the two is not mutually exclusive.
• Usage habits of the two vary wildly, probably mostly favoring cars, not only because keeping an unused car is far more expensive and complicated than keeping an unused bicycle is, and because people don't tend to buy cars the first week of January to work off those holiday pounds.
I'm not sure why this article matters much.
I wonder if thats why Belgium is the only country where this isnt true ( well besides luxembourg )
Now with the crisis and since I am living abroad for many years, I cannot tell if it still holds.
A recent David Sacks tweet claiming this got a lot of attention: "Why Uber/Lyft market is so much bigger than people think: it's not a substitute for cabs, it's a substitute for driving." https://twitter.com/DavidSacks/status/378305832602980353