Author Topic: Lazy North Americans?  (Read 14120 times)

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Offline Sailariel

Lazy North Americans?
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2006, 05:37:52 pm »
It does make a big difference. I can walk or bike anywhere because I live in town. We do have a car to get our elderly in laws to medical appointments. We drive very little--about 5 miles a week, give or take a couple of miles.


Offline RussellSeaton

Lazy North Americans?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2006, 12:10:03 pm »
"It does make a big difference. I can walk or bike anywhere because I live in town. We do have a car to get our elderly in laws to medical appointments. We drive very little--about 5 miles a week, give or take a couple of miles."

Is your job also in town?  Are all of your friends in town?  Are all of your relatives in town?  Do you have winter, real winter, in your part of the country?

I live 2.2 miles from my work.  Roads are rideable, not walkable.  I have friends and relatives who live within a 25 mile radius of my house.  Other relatives who live up to 110 miles away.  I have ridden my bike to the ones who live within 25 miles.  When I choose to ride to their houses.  Good weather, start the ride in the morning for the longer ones, lights for the night rides, not when its raining, snowing, or extremely cold.  It rained in my town last night.  I still rode the bike for fun after work.  It was in the 50s.  Then it really started raining.  And it was raining and in the 40s this morning when I drove to work.  Rain, snow and teens and 20s for the rest of the week.  Do you ever purchase large items that do not fit on a bike?  Such as a couple 2x4s to make shelves in a garage.  Hard to carry on a bike.  Easy to carry in my Corolla with the rear seats folded down.

Biking is a great activity.  I do a fair amount of it.  All varieties of road riding.  But I try to keep it in perspective and not rule or ruin my enjoyment of life.


Offline TheDaltonBoys

Lazy North Americans?
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2006, 01:07:05 pm »
Schiller quote was great. One of the other contributors said something empiraclly true and that is that when it comes to oil, it IS going to run out, and what any of us do now or later does impact the future whether for our children or the world in general. Simply put, I went "car-less" at 50 and I'm 56 now so if I can get it, anyone can for I am not the sharpest pencil in the box. Enjoy the Voyage all...Mark of the Dalton Boys


Offline Sailariel

Lazy North Americans?
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2006, 02:09:47 pm »
Russell, We live in town--a very small coastal town on the Maine coast. Our winters are mild. Last year we had a total of 12" of snow. Most of the bikers here ride year round- they break out their "Beaters". The majority of our friends live in town--others who we met when we were criusing full time for 14 years, are scattered all over the world. I am retired, so driving to work is not in the equation. The car which is a 10 year old Escort Wagon does get used to haul stuff that won`t fit in the panniers. When we moved ashore 2 years ago we definitely needed a car. I get all my medical stuff through the VA so when I have an appointment, it is an 80 mile round trip. Thankfully the appointments are not too frequent. I do not believe we can be totally carless. But we can avoid un-necessary trips, consolidate errands, and drive cars that are more fuel efficient. I`m sorry if I sounded like a fanatic--trust me, I`m far from it.


Offline Sailariel

Lazy North Americans?
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2006, 02:09:48 pm »
Russell, We live in town--a very small coastal town on the Maine coast. Our winters are mild. Last year we had a total of 12" of snow. Most of the bikers here ride year round- they break out their "Beaters". The majority of our friends live in town--others who we met when we were criusing full time for 14 years, are scattered all over the world. I am retired, so driving to work is not in the equation. The car which is a 10 year old Escort Wagon does get used to haul stuff that won`t fit in the panniers. When we moved ashore 2 years ago we definitely needed a car. I get all my medical stuff through the VA so when I have an appointment, it is an 80 mile round trip. Thankfully the appointments are not too frequent. I do not believe we can be totally carless. But we can avoid un-necessary trips, consolidate errands, and drive cars that are more fuel efficient. I`m sorry if I sounded like a fanatic--trust me, I`m far from it.


Offline MrBent

Lazy North Americans?
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2006, 11:31:45 am »
This is a great topic, and one that cyclists think of often.  I'm no saint: my wife and I own two vehicles, Subaru Forester and VW Eurovan camper.  I figure we drive a total of 10 to 15k miles/year--pretty average N.American drivers, I suppose.  Still, we do a lot with our bikes and on foot even though we live in a hilly, mountainous area.  Being in the southern Sierras of California, we are blessed with a lot of good weather, so even in the winter we can ride some.

I live (gasp!) 45 mi. from my place of work; however, I take public transportation 95% of the time, almost always in conjunction with my commuter bike.  I ride the 3 mi. each way (hills both directions) to the bus stop and then ride the bus.  This little ride is often the highlight of my day.  With a RARE exception, I am the only one to ride to the bus stop.  The bus goes right to the college where I work, and many of the riders are young students who should be fit enough to ride to the bus as I do, yet none of them ever does.  As I walk about my campus (Bakersfield California), I realize that FAT seems to be the norm.  I am the freak.

Granted, given the current state of US cities and roadways, full-time biking can be a serious challenge, but we can EASILY to a lot more than we currently do.  And here's the secret that the sedentary don't understand: biking is fun!  Loading up the panniers or the trailer for a grocery run is just a great way to spend some time.  I never regret a human-powered outing, never.

Anyway, enough rambling.  

Cheers,

Scott


Offline Turk

Lazy North Americans?
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2006, 09:09:40 pm »
Very interesting topic. Good to hear from other serious bikers on this matter.

I have a theory that in America most bikes have more miles put on being transported than being ridden. That might be an indicator of our laziness. I put on a lot of miles this year but I might have put on more miles carrying it on my car. I took it down to St. Louis, 1100 miles round trip, to ride on the Katy Trail in 105 degree weather.