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BS: Living in a car-centric world

Iains 04 Apr 17 - 04:47 PM
Jack Campin 04 Apr 17 - 01:50 PM
Thompson 11 Jan 16 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 10 Jan 16 - 08:52 PM
Thompson 10 Jan 16 - 12:45 PM
Charmion 10 Jan 16 - 12:16 PM
Thompson 10 Jan 16 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 09 Jan 16 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 09 Jan 16 - 09:49 PM
GUEST,Charmion's brother Andrew 09 Jan 16 - 02:29 PM
Thompson 09 Jan 16 - 02:24 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 09 Jan 16 - 12:53 AM
Thompson 08 Jan 16 - 07:22 PM
Thompson 08 Jan 16 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,Musket 08 Jan 16 - 01:10 PM
Thompson 08 Jan 16 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Musket 08 Jan 16 - 09:51 AM
Charmion 08 Jan 16 - 09:29 AM
Thompson 08 Jan 16 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Musket 08 Jan 16 - 04:14 AM
Thompson 07 Jan 16 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 07 Jan 16 - 08:25 AM
Thompson 07 Jan 16 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Jan 16 - 02:58 AM
Thompson 07 Jan 16 - 02:33 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 06 Jan 16 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,Musket 06 Jan 16 - 03:45 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Jan 16 - 12:35 PM
Bill D 05 Jan 16 - 11:36 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Jan 16 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Musket 05 Jan 16 - 03:42 AM
Thompson 05 Jan 16 - 12:51 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Jan 16 - 06:10 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Jan 16 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Jan 16 - 05:39 PM
Thompson 04 Jan 16 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,crazy little woman 04 Jan 16 - 12:02 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Jan 16 - 11:14 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Jan 16 - 11:12 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Jan 16 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,Musket 04 Jan 16 - 10:42 AM
Thompson 04 Jan 16 - 09:24 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Jan 16 - 08:36 AM
Stu 04 Jan 16 - 07:11 AM
Thompson 04 Jan 16 - 06:28 AM
Thompson 04 Jan 16 - 06:12 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Jan 16 - 05:40 AM
Manitas_at_home 04 Jan 16 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Musket 04 Jan 16 - 03:29 AM
Thompson 04 Jan 16 - 02:19 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Iains
Date: 04 Apr 17 - 04:47 PM

I remember working in Dallas nearly 45 years ago and staying within 1/2 mile of my workplace but it was not possible to walk the distance. Too much freeway to cross and no sidewalks. The suburbs, both in Dallas and elsewhere in the western world, were designed for the car, not for pedestrians. In most of the western world a car is regarded as essential, and for many it is. It is all very well to talk about banning cars, but what are the alternatives. We tend to live many miles from our workplace and public transport in most places is inadequate and declining. Walking and cycling are ok for the fit but not for those that are infirm. The writing has been on the wall for the demise of the car for decades, but nothing has been done. Without viable alternatives in place and a rethink as to our present extended mobility, to legislate against cars would be a fiasco. Meanwhile we squander the planets resources and in towns and cities poison ourselves. No politician has the courage to grasp the nettle and initiate the necessary dialogue to promote change. So where do we go from here- apart from the highway to hell?


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Apr 17 - 01:50 PM

Fun with sledgehammers:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-39489320

Way to go, guys.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 11 Jan 16 - 10:42 AM

Tokyo, like all Japanese cities, towns and even villages, is a special case, because transport is approached from a bottom-up viewpoint. There are train stations within, I'd say, every kilometre, and beside each station, or virtually all stations, is a long-stretched-out two-storey bike parking facility with a caretaker keeping an eye on the sorta-locked bikes; parking in these costs around a fiver a week.

Train travel is by no means cheap, but it's universally used, and it's fast and efficient and simple to navigate. (For example, local stations where I was last staying had birdsongs playing on the platform, louder by the escalators, and different birds for different stations so the blind would know where they were, while the songs were relaxing and pleasant for both sighted and blind. And have you lost your keys or mittens or cap? They'll be hanging on the hooks by the turnstiles.)

So people of all ages cycle to the station and leave their bike there.

Meanwhile, worried about senior moments? Cycling may be the answer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 10 Jan 16 - 08:52 PM

"...the density of a population is as significant as its size..."
Tokyo: 13.5M (6,038/km2)
http://photomichaelwolf.com/#tokyo-compression/1

Even a city like Boston isn't "carfree" by any stretch of the imagination but there's a big difference between "mass transit" and "motor transport" projects. Boston could never take on something like the "Big Dig" on its own nor should it be expected to. That's Federal, State and Local budget for the I-93/95 corridors. Same holds for Cleveland's I-71/77/80/90 freeways.

"The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways" is a real bit of naming irony given his "military-industrial complex" speech. It being one of the biggest and most consistent boondoggles of the genre and all. Hard to blame him tho, after experiencing America's old piecemeal "Lincoln Highway" coast-to-coast the German's Reichsautobahn must have been a real eye-opener for a General of the Army keen on logistics and all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Jan 16 - 12:45 PM

Good point.

Los Angeles: 3,928,864 (density 3,198/km2)
Dallas: 1,197,816 (density 1,407/km2)
Cleveland: 396,815 (density 1,971.8/km2)

Groningen 197,823 (density 2,535/km2)
Amsterdam 832,563 (density 4,908/km2)
Copenhagen 583,348 (density 6,800/km2)

and for that matter, since we're always told we can't (sob) have a subway because our population is too spread out,

Dublin 527,612 (density 4,588/km2)

- though anyone who would think of that population as Dublin's would meet gapes of astonishment, since most people count the metropolitan area's 1,801,040 as Dublin's population. Can't see a density figure for that area.

What Dublin is doing is running the city bikes scheme within the two canals that form a circle around the city proper, and gradually expanding the number of stations within that area. Both inside the canal-bordered area and outside, cycle paths are being built. These start with basic painted lines, then as they're taken up move to a red surface, and in a few cases have progressed to proper separated cycle lanes. One of these goes a couple of kilometres along the Grand Canal bank; others are through parks, by the sea and so on.

Cycling has grown exponentially in the past couple of years, and some drivers are finding this hard to cope with; it's good for the city, though, and good for the health of the citizens.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Charmion
Date: 10 Jan 16 - 12:16 PM

When you're talkin' transit, the density of a population is as significant as its size, if not more so.

Like just about any European city you care to name, New York has transit that works because it is an old city with a pre-automobile layout and a very dense population.

Low-density cities like Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and, I guess, Cleveland, grew up with the car, and are consequently designed to accommodate drivers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 10 Jan 16 - 08:52 AM

Phil d'Conch says:
2013 Populations:
New York: 8,406,000
Boston: 646,000
Cleveland 390,000


Groningen 197,823
Amsterdam 832,563
Copenhagen 583,348


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Jan 16 - 09:53 PM

"It's not that easy bein' green."

Mysha: "So, if Bostonians and New Yorkers can live carless, why does the same not apply to the denizens of other metropolitan areas?"

2013 Populations:
New York: 8,406,000
Boston: 646,000
Cleveland 390,000

So for any given bus route or subway line there are fewer commuter dollars to work with in Cleveland than New York or Boston. Most rail won't work at all and buses would needs be fewer and smaller. The city itself would need to get denser (less service in the 'burbs, etc.)

Keep on truckin' Joanne, with your ballot and your feet. It's never too late to get it wrong. At some point in the distant future it will be our turn to be the villians anyway ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Jan 16 - 09:49 PM

"Breaking Away" the best American cycling movie in a category where second best plumb evades me. But the "Cutters" plotline was pure contrivance. If anything it was 1970's Hollywood moviemakers that were in trouble.

Somewhere between architectural-decorative concrete and Formica,® the Bloomington quarries and cutter unions were all but ancient history. I doubt anybody's grandfather could remember a time before RCA and Thomson and General Electric. They all had tuition reimbursement so the "U" was doing good local business and consumer electronics workers all wanted a college education for their own kids.

If only they had known then what we know now about electronics and consumers. Hey I'm still holding out for the SelectaVision! nostalgia revival. Aren't we all? And so the thread drifts full circle back to Joanne's situation in Cleveland today. Deindustrialization. No more factories, no more factory jobs.

Cleveland is/was a factory town. It's the western terminus of the Ohio & Erie Canal which was America's first major transportation project. Later railroads and highways followed the same routes. Chicago was bigger than New York. Cleveland waterways used to catch fire so often you lost track of when. Today that entire quadrant of the U.S. is refered to as the "Rust Belt" with Detroit as the poster child. It's no co-inkydink Rachel Carson hailed from the same parts. Something had to give.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 09 Jan 16 - 02:29 PM

Thompson wrote, "11 years later, though, they made Breaking Away (though it's the kind of film that isn't made any more in America, I think, a film that's proudly about working-class people)."

"Yay, Cutters!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 09 Jan 16 - 02:24 AM

11 years later, though, they made Breaking Away (though it's the kind of film that isn't made any more in America, I think, a film that's proudly about working-class people).


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 09 Jan 16 - 12:53 AM

The best thing about Boston transportation was the Magliozzi brothers.

Being without a car in 2016 America is a lot like being a child again... or your great-grandparent. Face it, any country that produces "Born to be Wild" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in the same year is committed to its four fendered friends.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Jan 16 - 07:22 PM

Sorry, that should have been its *annual* pollution limits - something went wrong with the coding when I copied in the blue clicky.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Jan 16 - 07:21 PM

In today's Guardian: diesel vehicles have already caused London to breach its pollution limits, one week into 2016.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 08 Jan 16 - 01:10 PM

i know. I can't eat celery since seeing footage of Hitler chewing a stalk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Jan 16 - 11:52 AM

Ahh. Horses for courses. I found the Top Gear boys mildly entertaining until Clarkson punched his producer for not being able to conjure up a hot dinner when he was late back from the pub. Now I can't look at them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 08 Jan 16 - 09:51 AM

In my case, an Amazon Firestick is a piece of plastic designed to put Clarkson, May and Hammond on my telly later this year. To be fair, it gives a more stable BBC iPlayer than my BT Vision box and an excellent YouTube.

Ok.. I've streamed a couple of movies too, but it's really for my original purpose...

North America may or may not be car centric, but it certainly isn't pedestrian friendly. I used to wonder why I always told people Boston was my favourite American city. It's the pavements and encouragement to walk round the place, I'm sure. Funnily enough, Banff in Canada is good for the same reasons.

Here, we have a more balanced approach. But in either continent or others, there is no problem whatsoever in enjoying cars.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Charmion
Date: 08 Jan 16 - 09:29 AM

I went to the doctor's the other day.

He used to have a suite of offices in a slightly tatty high-rise next to the Ottawa Civic Hospital, cleverly located on three major bus routes and handy to the ER if something went wrong. Parking in that area is scanty and expensive, but I didn't use it so I did not care. Last summer, the doc moved his practice to an industrial park way out in the south end, a journey of more than an hour by bus from my front door. I hate to think how long it would take to get to the nearest hospital from there, but many of the other patients were thrilled: the place offers acres and acres of parking lot.

Monday was bitterly cold with a snell wind, after a heavy wet snowstorm. Said parking lot was jammed from edge to edge with vehicles of all kinds, and what little exposed asphalt remained was covered with lumpy ice. Walking across it felt like retreating from Moscow.

In fact, the entire neighbourhood is hostile to pedestrians, with sidewalks (footpaths) on only one side of four- and six-lane arterial roads and hardly any trees. Standing at the bus stop takes determination, as the wind feels as if it comes directly from Ellesmere Island.

Using public transit for my monthly visit (I get a needle every four weeks) is a colossal time-eater (quite apart from the physical misery it entails in winter), and if I still had a paid job I could not justify it. That industrial park, and its parking lot, are glaring symbols of everything that is expensively wrong with North American car culture -- but there isn't a darn thing I can do about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Jan 16 - 06:40 AM

What's an Amazon Firestick?


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 08 Jan 16 - 04:14 AM

Shimrod's neighbouring kids will grow up to want to drive cars, just like any normal kid.

Car sales are up, boyant and one of the few sectors propping up the pension payments to those sat whinging about them.

They pollute far less than ever, even VWs funnily enough, they give social mobility and with the job market changing over the years, allow more people to work without the huge cost and upheaval of moving house. Considering the negative equity for many not in London, that alone makes them a lifeline for otherwise struggling families.

Am I thinking about Syria? Yes. Am I thinking about Osborn's slow admittance that his measure for the economy aren't working? Yes. Am I thinking about pollution and global warming? Yes.

But right now, I am concentrating on long range weather forecasts and whether to put my winter wheels on yet.

Car centric world. Later this year, both versions of Top Gear will be on the goggle box and I for one can't wait. Even bought an Amazon Firestick ready.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Jan 16 - 11:18 AM

Odd. I posted and the post cycled off into the mountains and disappeared.

What I was saying was that in Ireland our attitude (within limits) is "Rain? What rain? There's no such thing as rain, just a lack of rain gear."

And that modern tubeless tyres have changed things for a lot of people; mostly no punctures any more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 07 Jan 16 - 08:25 AM

"BCE"

What? You've never heard of:
http://polaris.hs.llnwd.net/o40/ind/2016/img/community/stories/history-photos/indian-biker.jpg

"Copenhagen"
Yah, those pics are always in spring & summer. Friend tried to get me to ride about this time of year. "A little cold, no wind, what's the big deal?" he says. It was minus five outside and there was six inches of snow on the seats. Bleeping Viking.

Serious. Even when they emmigrate to the U.S. most Europeans I know own bikes like Americans own cars. Two at a time. A town beater for weekdays and a racer for the weekends.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Jan 16 - 05:01 AM

Just discovered the story of Graeme Obree, whose home-made bike revolutionised velodrome cycling - and ideas about cycling aerodynamics. Banned for his success. A very Mudcattish story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Jan 16 - 02:58 AM

"The only thing I regret is the trips to the sea or across the country - I still travel around the country a fair bit, on trains. Everything else is done on the bike or occasionally the bus. And I'm becoming more and more aware of how harmful the car culture is."

Like you, Thompson, I had to give up my car (in my case because of health issues) and the harm that car culture does, and is doing, became more and more apparent to me too. I don't have any children of my own but I live opposite a primary school and when I hear those happy little voices in the playground, I can't help worrying about what state the world will be in when those kids grow up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Jan 16 - 02:33 AM

Maybe AD 1900 ;)

Here's how Copenhagen does it.

I scrapped my car a while ago, regretfully - I love driving - because I realised that it was just ridiculously expensive. I used to use it for work, but most of the work had dried up, and for shorter journeys I was cycling. The only time I was using the car was for bringing the dog to the park or the sea, or occasionally to drive across the country. But it was costing me a minimum of €2,000 a year in tax, insurance, parts, etc. Then it failed the NCT fairly comprehensively, because of rust in the boot. Having seen the aftermath of a tragic accident years ago when a girl's arm was sheared off and she bled to death after her boyfriend's old banger separated its top from its chassis, I'm very nervous of body rust. So that was that.

The only thing I regret is the trips to the sea or across the country - I still travel around the country a fair bit, on trains. Everything else is done on the bike or occasionally the bus. And I'm becoming more and more aware of how harmful the car culture is. Over the Christmas, seven people were killed by cars in Ireland. Seven precious lives lost that can never be given back! How do we not ask questions about that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 06 Jan 16 - 09:34 PM

"Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town"

In 1900BCE Americans built the California Cycleway but they gave up (bi)cycles for automobiles before construction was even finished. So they built the Pacific Electric "Red Car" surface rail system to replace it. At one time the largest network of its kind on the planet.

They still gave that up for automobiles as fast as they could buy them. Then they complained about the traffic jams Red/Yellow Cars running on surface streets caused and didn't want to pay the premium taxes for rail in elevated medians for an already declining ridership. So they buried both systems under America's first parkway; the now obsolescent Arroyo-Seco.

LA/Pasadena's current public system (bus & rail) is running at less than half it's design cap. The various Bike Master Plans, even if fully implemented, wouldn't hold a candle to the 1900 Cycleway vision.

Meanwhile American consumers are looking to Lyft-Uber-Skype-Prime leaving urban planners and regulators with that same old 'deer in the headlights' look on their faces.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 06 Jan 16 - 03:45 AM

They've finished building it since you were there Michael.

😎


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Jan 16 - 12:35 PM

Longish time since I visited the States; but I recollect the NY Subway as a pretty efficient system.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jan 16 - 11:36 AM

Greg F. said way back up there ^

"There IS no public transport worth the name in the U. S. of A."

I must disagree... the Washington D.C. metro area, being one of the most traffic-congested areas, has a pretty good system. Of course, it IS possible to find a place to live that is way down a side street or at the end of an odd lane where access is a problem, but most folks live within a 5-10 minute walk of bus or subway.
Not only that, but bike lanes are being added, a new trolley line has just been added in D.C., and studies are under way for MORE transit. The current drop in gas prices has cut ridership, as people will choose their private car when it saves them a bit of time & money, but the situation WILL make public transit more & more necessary in the future.

Nothing will change the need for a car for some purposes... you can't easily do family grocery shopping on a bike.. or take 4 instruments to a sing on the other side of town... but I know a woman who is blind who often goes to sings. (She 'sometimes' asks for a ride from the bus stop, but can do the major parts of the trip on her own.)

The USA is a very big place, and motor vehicles (including trains) are all that make it possible to get around. Elon Musk is trying to see that alternate forms of power are available in the future. We shall see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Jan 16 - 08:03 AM

Your High Nelly pic depicts the worst of the worst! The Liv Avail looks much nicer, basically quite a normal looking diamond frame with a tweak of the top tube. Getting a leg over could be an issue for some people, but these days you get nice bikes like the one in your pic and you can go for a smaller frame and put the seat up. I think that quite a few people ride bikes that are a bit too big. The missus and are both seasoned cyclists over many decades and we both ride bikes with horizontal top tubes. I've just been chatting to her about this and neither of us have ever regarded landing on our crutches on the top tube as even a remotely-worrying issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 05 Jan 16 - 03:42 AM

My bike looks as if it's a woman's bike. It's a Dutch style really and what with my back held together with pins, makes it easier to get on. Cocking of leg hasn't been my strong point since 1983.

Being rather tall as well as not very flexible has limited my car choice somewhat too. I have a saloon and my son couldn't see why I didn't go for the better looking coupé version. Too low for getting into. Mrs Musket has a two seater sports car with open top. I might convince myself I look like Joe Cool in it, but the illusion buggers up somewhat when you see me getting in and out doing an impression of a hermit crab borrowing a too small a shell.

Yeah, we are car centric. I've a Triumph Stag in bits in a lock up, waiting for me to get interested again. My present car cost three times my first house and I could buy a new Martin guitar every month with what the repayments would be had I bought it on finance rather than spending the kids' inheritance.

Odd when you think about it. I turn lights off to save energy, put on a jumper rather than turn up the heating, make a point of using all the food we buy, I've solar panels, newish insulation, get happy when energy bills slightly lower, grow all my own veg etc etc.

Then ignore all that when I get in my car.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 05 Jan 16 - 12:51 AM

When you're talking about "woman's frame" Steve, you mean the classic High Nelly version of the step-through?

My current bike, the Dawes is a 1970s or so version of this. While heavy, I dont' find it unresponsive. Nicest bike I ever had was one of the original Claud Butlers, so long on the wheelbase that you could take the hands off the handlebars and sail along forever. It had one of those bendy top tubes. 30lb weight but beautifully responsive.

A version of the WSD (women-specific design) bikes is this Liv Avail - I've ridden it and it's fairly frisky. I find its version of the step-through a little too high for standing at the traffic lights waiting to set off again, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 06:10 PM

infirmities


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 06:08 PM

The geometry of a "woman's frame" (yes, still talking about bikes!) leads to a heavy and unresponsive ride. Just too much like hard work and not enough like fun. A good bike shop will advise you on a bike that fits your build, not only with regard to frame size but also in respect of saddle choice, saddle height and handlebar reach. There may be special cases for both sexes with regard to infimities, etc., but, on the whole, the basic diamond frame is the most efficient for almost everyone, and can be tweaked. Another point is that stock bikes with women's frames are almost invariably cheap, and with bikes cheap means heavy. As for accidentally coming off your seat and crashing your family jewels on the crossbar, well I've cycled many tens of thousands of miles and it's never happened to me (I still possess a golden baritone voice, let's put it that way). That being the case, in consideration of anatomical matters, I'd have thought that the girls were at even less risk!


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 05:39 PM

"About cars: I live in a widespread city in a huge country. I like driving and I love having a car. Sue me."

It always comes down to one of these, doesn't it?

- I need to drive (mainly because the culture in which I live is based on the assumption of universal car ownership).

- I like driving

- I love my car

All of which avoid questioning our car-based, car-obsessed culture and what it is leading to. Remember that cars have only existed for a tiny fraction of human history and a civilisation based around the car cannot be sustainable for many more generations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 01:06 PM

Also, if you're a small woman the "women-specific design" frames are nicer to ride - Giant make these - different angles on the frame - and the Dutch women's bikes also have a nicer shape for a woman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 12:02 PM

"And no girly frames that were only invented to preserve the dignity of Edwardian ladies in long skirts."

Not so. My husband is a fit 63, but he cannot swing his leg over a 'boy's bike' any more.

If you ever bounce off your bicycle seat and your genitals come crashing down on the crossbar of a bike, you will know the benefits of 'girl's bike'.

Bike sellers now call such bikes 'step-through bikes.'
==============
About cars: I live in a widespread city in a huge country. I like driving and I love having a car. Sue me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 11:14 AM

Grrr. I waited ages for it to take, double-checked that it hadn't, so had another go. Now look what's happened. Grrr.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 11:12 AM

Lamentably, my cycling days are all but over, though I can still manage a jaunt along the Camel and Tarka Trails on my old Specialised hybrid. In 1993 I did over 6000 miles just commuting to work and going on Sunday jaunts, strictly fun, never any competing. I never rode with anyone who could keep up, all that hill-climbing giving me legs like iron. In 1990 I rode from Radcliffe to Bude on me tod, 325 miles in four days, carrying two full panniers and my saddlebag and staying in youth hostels. The worst bit wasn't the hills, which I never gave a thought to, but crossing the dead flat Somerset Levels into a strong headwind. We bought a Dawes tandem in 1994 and we could get over 40mph down the hill to Widemouth, exceeding the speed limit by over 10 mph. Sadly, my knee soon to put an end to our riding that beauty of a bike. My recollection is a little vague, but I think my Claud weighed in at about 28lb, around 13 kilos maybe. The frame was Reynolds 531 double-butted throughout and was a bit stiffer than an average touring bike's, which made it nice and swift without being too jarring. Two chain wheels, ten-speed, both changers on the down-tube, none of your fancy indexing that always seems to need adjusting. They don't make 'em like that any more!


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 11:12 AM

Lamentably, my cycling days are all but over, though I can still manage a jaunt along the Camel and Tarka Trails on my old Specialised hybrid. In 1993 I did over 6000 miles just commuting to work and going on Sunday jaunts, strictly fun, never any competing. I never rode with anyone who could keep up, all that hill-climbing giving me legs like iron. In 1990 I rode from Radcliffe to Bude on me tod, 325 miles in four days, carrying two full panniers and my saddlebag and staying in youth hostels. The worst bit wasn't the hills, which I never gave a thought to, but crossing the dead flat Somerset Levels into a strong headwind. We bought a Dawes tandem in 1994 and we could get over 40mph down the hill to Widemouth, exceeding the speed limit by over 10 mph. Sadly, my knee soon to put an end to our riding that beauty of a bike. My recollection is a little vague, but I think my Claud weighed in at about 28lb, around 13 kilos maybe. The frame was Reynolds 531 double-butted throughout and was a bit stiffer than an average touring bike's, which made it nice and swift without being too jarring. Two chain wheels, ten-speed, both changers on the down-tube, none of your fancy indexing that always seems to need adjusting. They don't make 'em like that any more!


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 10:42 AM

If it were a Volkswagen I'm sure it would be lying about something Stu. Who knows what the real emissions are? I just know it's a hell of a lot more powerful but about £100 less a year in car tax. And it ain't a VW.

My bike is a Claude Butler too. They (used to) make, (now just assemble) them over in Brigg, not far from chez Musket. Ok, my carbon footprint on the bike could be lower than it is for two reasons. I fart pedalling back from the pub and it is an electric assist bike, charged from the mains, or Drax Coal Power Station as it's known.

Mind you, it's bloody heavy, as I realised properly when the battery died and I had to pedal home sans buzzing front wheel.

Mrs Musket bought her brother's Orange light weight bike, carbon fibre this that and the other, but then added a handlebars basket like Miss Marples. In some ways, it looks dafter than spandex on the bloke next door when he goes with his racing mates on a Sunday afternoon.

It's a car centric world. Like Mr Mercury, I'm in love with my car.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 09:24 AM

Tis true, up to a point. New technology has produced solid tyres that don't puncture and are comfortable; their grip is said to be slightly less, though. It's also produced far lighter bikes - my Dawes weighs 20 kilos; its modern equivalent weighs 9 kilos, mainly because the strengthened aluminium frame is lighter than the old steel frames.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 08:36 AM

Narrow tyres, narrow frames and shaved legs will not reduce wind resistance by a noticeable amount at normal cycling speeds. A narrow tyre may reduce road resistance but it will also be less comfortable and more prone to punctures. You will get a far more comfortable ride with a slightly wider slick tyre and you'll be going almost as fast, if that's what you think riding a bike should be all about. I never seemed to have a problem keeping up with the road racer boys around here as I batted along on my ten-speed Claud as long as I wasn't laden with a bagful of sausages and exercise books. A nice, lightweight, responsive frame and a good leather seat obviate the need for all those silly shock absorbers that waste so much energy in up and down motion. And no girly frames that were only invented to preserve the dignity of Edwardian ladies in long skirts. They're hopeless.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Stu
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 07:11 AM

" The rate uses a carbon emission calculator, hence my latest car, despite having two extra cylinders, 80 more BHP blah blah costs less per year than my last car."

So you think. They could well be lying to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 06:28 AM

Interesting piece comparing British and Dutch infrastructure in terms of child safety.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 06:12 AM

The narrow tyres and frames are to lessen wind resistance. The Spandex is comfortable for fast cycles. Not for me either, but those who use both swear by them. There was a sportive in Dublin a couple of months back in which around 3,000 people cycled - all shapes and sizes and ages of humans, but virtually all of them on good modern bikes, and wearing Spandex, because it wicks off sweat and keeps you warm enough and cool enough, and doesn't chafe. Two routes, 60km and 100km; they started around 8am and most of them were back around by 2pm.
Here, and also in Britain, I think (?) there's a Bike to Work scheme that allows working people to buy bicycles through their wages, with huge tax relief, on condition they actually use them to ride to work. You can get a bike for 52% off the full price if you're on a high tax rate. Both tax and social insurance are taken off the price. This and the citybike schemes have increased the numbers of people cycling a lot, especially young men. However, we could do with a training programme and a few TV programmes on cycling around the world; some of these young men cycle in the way they're used to driving, selfishly and boorishly.
In the Netherlands, kids start learning how to cycle in traffic once they're in creche, using tricycles and a track laid out like a road, with 'traffic lights'. It's a natural part of their education. Then they do a cycling exam on a street route when they're 11, and after passing that they can cycle alone to school. But virtually all of them will have cycled with their mothers and fathers before that - first in the box of a backfiets, then on their own small two-wheelers beside their parents, learning how to go calmly and make the subtle Dutch signals and see others' signals and judge when to cross traffic safely in this country with few traffic lights.
The rest of Europe is gradually moving towards more bicycles and fewer cars in cities, and cycletouring is becoming a huge thing around Europe; America may go its own way or may follow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 05:40 AM

I cycled thousands of miles every year but I would never wear that skin-tight, bollock-strangling, silly-looking cycling gear. I wore footwear that didn't clank or look ludicrous as soon as I dismounted, preferring toe clips with adjustable straps, a piece of cake to use and highly efficient. In summer it was baggy cycling shorts and in winter anything long and loose except round the ankles. I'll concede the need to be highly visible. To me, the whole point of riding my bike was to enjoy having all my senses working in the fresh air, and, hopefully, sunshine. I had a Claud Butler Majestic when having a "Claud" actually meant something and I always fitted it with sensible 32mm touring tyres to take the bumps on Westcountry lanes, and always fitted a Brooks B-17 seat. I used a Carradice cotton duck saddle bag and remember one day cycling home from Holsworthy with 17lb of meat from the butcher and two sets of exercise books to mark. Today's cycling hordes, on their stiff bikes and ultra-narrow tyres that seem designed specifically to be as uncomfortable as possible, look like aliens on a mission. They also look unfailingly miserable. Well cycling for me was sheer enjoyment, though I didn't exactly hang about. I can't begin to imagine why cyclists are now seen as the enemy. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 05:22 AM

You don't get the point. It's not your road any more than anyone elses. All taxpayers pay for the building and upkeep of roads. The extra levy on motorists is to offset the pollution caused (and doesn't even begin to pay for that). If cyclists are going to be expected to pay at the same rate as motorists then we would have to be allowed to use motorways and have on street parking provision.

See http://ipayroadtax.com/


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 03:29 AM

It's road tax actually Thompson. The rate uses a carbon emission calculator, hence my latest car, despite having two extra cylinders, 80 more BHP blah blah costs less per year than my last car. Witchcraft engine technology. (Though in reality, cheats such as stop start technology and brake energy charging tick the boxes I suppose.)

It's still a road tax though. Like any tax, it is not ring fenced. If you have a car with £0 to pay, you still have a virtual tax disc and need to declare SORN etc so the idea of bikes being part of the carbon scale for road use is not supported in law.

Still, I don't mind them using my road. The road racing concerns me though. How you are supposed to clock your time competitively whilst driving with due care and attention is beyond me. The least they can do, if they must wear spandex, is observe The Highway Code. I do when I'm on my bike, so why don't they?

Spandex. If it really were a car centric world, that stuff would never sell. The only concession to driving wear I ever made was not wearing a make of jeans with rather protruding studs at the rear pocket tops. It can bugger up leather seats.


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Subject: RE: BS: Living in a car-centric world
From: Thompson
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 02:19 AM

CupOfTea, you could get a European bike with the kind of brake where you backpedal to brake. Gear shifts on modern bikes are part of the handlebars, but you sound too wounded even to use them.


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