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Re: [bicyclingadvocacy] Re: Status Symbols (was: "long Distance Commute")

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  • Bijan Soleymani
    ... I don t wish I agreed with Serge. I m happy that bicycles don t have any status associated with them. I want people riding bicycles not buying very
    Message 1 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
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      On Fri, Jul 02, 2004 at 03:27:37PM -0000, Ken Clark wrote:
      > I wish I agreed with Serge, and perhaps this disagreement will boil
      > down to his location in California and mine in Michigan, but his
      > statements that "cars are not as much of a status symbol as they once
      > were" and that Trek and others have widespread status value seem
      > utterly wrong to me.

      I don't wish I agreed with Serge. I'm happy that bicycles don't have
      any status associated with them. I want people riding bicycles not
      buying very expensive ones to show off.

      > I would bet that if I asked my neighbors, in a lower/middle-income
      > neighborhood of high-income Ann Arbor, MI, what they thought of
      > Merlin and Litespeed bikes, I would only find two or three that had
      > even heard of those brands. The status value of any bike around here
      > is still next to nil except among other cyclists.

      I haven't heard of those brands. If it wasn't for this list I wouldn't
      have heard of any brands (well except Shinmano). I don't think much of
      any of the brands I have checked out since.

      > I would expect that anyone buying a $14,000 bike would be considered
      > either a complete idiot by non- cyclists or rich enough to not care that
      > people think it's a nutty purchase.

      I'm a cyclist and I would consider that retarded. Buying a $14000 bike is
      like buying a $200000 car.

      Bijan
      --
      Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
      http://www.crasseux.com
    • Jeremy F. Parker
      Status lies in the eye of the beholder, of course. You lose status if you try to impress, and thereby associate with, people not worth bothering with. A bike
      Message 2 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
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        Status lies in the eye of the beholder, of course. You lose status
        if you try to impress, and thereby associate with, people not worth
        bothering with.

        A bike called the "Giro d'Italia" is designed to impress people who
        have heard of the Giro d'Italia"

        A bike called "Tour de France" is designed to impress people who
        have heard of the Tour de France, but not the Giro d'Italia.

        A bike called "racing" is designed to impress people who have not
        heard of the Tour de France.


        High Status Bikes, the Offical List (1st draft)
        -----------------------------------

        A bike with "corncob" gears (not applicable in flat areas)

        A bike with no gears at all, not even a freewheel
        (freewheel ok on off-road bikes)

        A bike with a very large inner cog, provided
        - gear ratios are evenly spaced
        - bike has mudguards and racks
        (extra points for front racks)
        - tires are between 28-37 mm wide
        - flat handlebars ok, but iffy

        - extra points for
        - all extra waterbottles above one (or at least cages)
        - Carradice or Karrimore saddlebag (preferably faded)
        - appropriate patches on saddlebag

        Audax bikes are somewhat similar to the above and have higher
        status. (You lose status if you don't know what an Audax bike is)

        A very expensive road racing bike, PROVIDED it looks travel stained
        but well cared for

        A unicycle

        Any bike over 20 years old PROVIDED tires are 32mm or less wide

        Any bike successfully used in an unusual context, such as a Brompton
        on a 200 km Audax

        Any bike rescued from a skip, dumpster, or similar

        A high wheeler. Extra points if used on an actual ride

        A bike with hub gears, hub dydnamo, chaincase, mudguards, and a high
        quality frame material

        - extra points for dropped handlebars

        A tandem

        - extra points for a triplet, but more riders than three are just
        silly, unless in kiddie seats.

        Any bike being put on or taken off an airplane, train, or ferry
        (but not funiculars or cable cars)

        -----------------

        Jeremy Parker
      • Ed Wagner
        Jeremy, I think it s silly to ascribe high status to most any bicycle or rider. Why? Because the average person on the street has no idea of the difference
        Message 3 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
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          Jeremy,

          I think it's silly to ascribe high status to most any bicycle
          or rider. Why? Because the average person on the street has
          no idea of the difference between a shiny new Schwinn or a
          shiny new Cinelli. It's only a bicycle.

          But when it comes to cars - they do know the difference.
          Lexus or Lada?

          I've known a lot of racers. For them, a bicycle is merely a
          tool to be used until it's obsolete or worn out. Normally
          we'd think of bicycles as durable, but when a racer uses one
          and uses it hard, the drive train will be worn out, the wheels
          will need to be replaced, and the frame itself may be reaching
          the end of its service life - particularly if it's aluminum.
          It's just uneconomical to repair.

          Tourists and commuters hang onto old bikes for different
          reasons. Often, they don't roll up the miles that racers do,
          so the bikes simply last longer. And there's an appeal to
          having a bike that's been adjusted and modified to suit that
          individual and his intended use. Bikes are intensely personal
          machines. We hate to part with them.

          Now, as for fixed gears, many of the people who adore them are
          neo-Luddites who eschew such 'frills' as multiple gears and
          (sometimes) brakes, or at least the road-going contingent
          seems to be so. Still, a lot of them reclaim bikes from
          dumpsters and convert older road bikes to fixed gears. It's
          cheaper to build a fixie from an old bike rather than restore
          it. And make no mistake about it - there's a definite appeal
          to having a bicycle that is simple and reliable, needing very
          little maintenance. There's another kind of appeal in taking
          an old bike and making it useable again. Some of us are just
          plain cheap!

          (As an aside, today we Americans are celebrating our
          Independence Day, commemorating our Revolutionary War that
          ended British domination over the colonies. Given the present
          divisive political climate and the bitterness it engenders,
          perhaps you'd consider taking us back.)

          Ed

          The spirit is willing, but the flesh is middle-aged.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Jeremy F. Parker [mailto:jfp2266@...]
          Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 4:39 PM
          To: bicyclingadvocacy@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [bicyclingadvocacy] Re: Status Symbols (was: "long
          Distance
          Commute")


          Status lies in the eye of the beholder, of course. You lose
          status
          if you try to impress, and thereby associate with, people not
          worth
          bothering with.

          A bike called the "Giro d'Italia" is designed to impress
          people who
          have heard of the Giro d'Italia"

          A bike called "Tour de France" is designed to impress people
          who
          have heard of the Tour de France, but not the Giro d'Italia.

          A bike called "racing" is designed to impress people who have
          not
          heard of the Tour de France.

          ---
          Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
          Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
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        • Matt Thyer
          Stanley, No one believes that across-the-board generalizations about popularly held viewpoints (no matter how accurate or telling) will ever provide
          Message 4 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
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            Stanley,

            No one believes that "across-the-board generalizations about popularly held viewpoints" (no matter how accurate or telling) will ever provide credibility with the public, "decision makers," or for that matter with an automobile or oil industry that seems loath to consider anything but their own bottom line (and why should they, its a "free-market" isn't it?).

            On one hand I can read Jim's need to blow off a head of steam regarding the impenitrability of the aforementioned cultural norm. I just got off my bike not ten minutes prior to reading this message and prior to that my ride was filled with the unmistakeable oder of car-farts. Its July 4th you see and real "Patriots" are encouraged to hop into the oldest, loudest four wheeled rattle-trap they can keep going with daily injections of crude oil and high performance petrolem products (I'll add the lead myself thank you very much) and head out to cruise boullevards and avenues.

            The real question has very little to do with the status quo in my estimation. The ballance of attention will either shift away from the automobile because it becomes impossible for the common man (read average First World Joe) to own an opperate *OR* because similar status, for one reason or another, is thus transfered to an alternate mode of transportation before the oil dries up. Not that I'm what anyone one might call a visionary, but I suspect that the first option would have some where in the neighborhood of 300 million (minus at least one) US citizens pissing-mad when it does finally comes to pass. Because of said impending national-temper-tantrum I see no reason to wear the kid gloves when it comes to telling the truth about the present state of individual transport and transport infrastructure.

            Our representation in Washington (and elsewhere) seems to have taken their inspiration for national transportation infrastructure from the same folks who came up with the nation's obecity mitigation policy -- I'll take stop-and-go on I-5 and can you super-size that please? Anytime a roadway becomes clogged with traffic the expected response is to add more lanes. This is the logical equivalant to getting a bigger belt when your belly gets wider which rarely, if ever, solved any problems associated with being fat.

            Now back to the second situation outlined above (the one where a similar amount of status is lavished on an alternate mode of transportation). How does anyone with an interest in making this change occur (cycle advocate or otherwise) instigate this migration of value from one mode of transportation to any other? What are the key social triggers that need to be tripped before the oil is all vaporized into the earth's atmosphere leaving the bluk of the world's citizens stuck at home because, lord knows, they can't walk to work? How do we make the bike into a sex symbol that people will want to name-drop at dinner parties ("Oh, did you see Jack's new Giant? It's such a sexy bike ...")?

            2ยข,

            Matt Thyer
            Seattle, WA
            http://matt.grimalkin.org

            Stanley Batt wrote:
            Does anyone seriously believe that such
            across-the-board generalizations about popularly held
            viewpoints and value systems will help bicyclist
            advocates gain credibility with the public or decision
            makers?


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Bijan Soleymani
            ... I don t know about that. The drivetrain (I m assuming that means chainrings, cogs and chain) are relatively cheap compared to the frame and the wheels.
            Message 5 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
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              On Sun, Jul 04, 2004 at 06:31:43PM -0500, Ed Wagner wrote:
              > I've known a lot of racers. For them, a bicycle is merely a
              > tool to be used until it's obsolete or worn out. Normally
              > we'd think of bicycles as durable, but when a racer uses one
              > and uses it hard, the drive train will be worn out, the wheels
              > will need to be replaced, and the frame itself may be reaching
              > the end of its service life - particularly if it's aluminum.
              > It's just uneconomical to repair.

              I don't know about that. The drivetrain (I'm assuming that means
              chainrings, cogs and chain) are relatively cheap compared to the
              frame and the wheels. Wheels shouldn't need to be replaced unless
              something has happened to the rims (but I don't know much about
              racing wheels). And a frame wearing out indicates poor design.

              Bijan
              --
              Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
              http://www.crasseux.com
            • tractorlegs
              My bike ain t much of a status symbol -- The less expensive the better. I scan yard sales and flea markets or swap meets, and pick up fully rigid name-brand
              Message 6 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
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                My bike ain't much of a status symbol -- The less expensive the
                better. I scan yard sales and flea markets or swap meets, and pick up
                fully rigid name-brand old mountain bikes. Wonderful light steel
                chromoly frames, great components; but because they are not suspended
                and they're usually ten years old or so, they're at garage sales for
                50 bucks. I put on 90 or 100 psi skinny tires (Tom Slicks, for sale
                over at performance dot kom), lube and adjust, and I are in bicycle
                heaven. But not Status Symbol Heaven.

                However, here's something that IS a status symbol; leave your water
                bottles at home and use a Camelbak!

                --Tractorlegs
              • SHYRLEY WILLIAMS
                tractorlegs wrote: My bike ain t much of a status symbol -- The less expensive the better. I scan yard sales and flea markets or swap
                Message 7 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
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                  tractorlegs <tractorlegs@...> wrote:
                  My bike ain't much of a status symbol -- The less expensive the
                  better. I scan yard sales and flea markets or swap meets, and pick up
                  fully rigid name-brand old mountain bikes. Wonderful light steel
                  chromoly frames, great components; but because they are not suspended
                  and they're usually ten years old or so, they're at garage sales for
                  50 bucks. I put on 90 or 100 psi skinny tires (Tom Slicks, for sale
                  over at performance dot kom), lube and adjust, and I are in bicycle
                  heaven. But not Status Symbol Heaven.

                  However, here's something that IS a status symbol; leave your water
                  bottles at home and use a Camelbak!

                  --Tractorlegs




                  I must be a fashion faux pas then. I have water bottles but they aren't even bike ones. Just the ones you buy in the shops which I then stick in the bottle cages.

                  :-)

                  And I wear sandals while cycling...

                  Shyrley



                  ---------------------------------
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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • w. r. niere
                  Agreed. I also think Shimano SPD sandals qualify. Likewise the Mueller Windjammer fairing. Of all the things I use to make riding more enjoyable, those are the
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
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                    Agreed.

                    I also think Shimano SPD sandals qualify.
                    Likewise the Mueller Windjammer fairing.
                    Of all the things I use to make riding more enjoyable, those are the
                    ones I enjoy the most.
                    But I do love the extra water a lot.

                    Ranj


                    tractorlegs wrote:

                    >
                    >However, here's something that IS a status symbol; leave your water
                    >bottles at home and use a Camelbak!
                    >
                    >--Tractorlegs
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >

                    --
                    --------------------------------------------



                    "Patriotism means to stand by the country.
                    It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official
                    save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country."

                    -Theodore Roosevelt
                  • Jwar11235@aol.com
                    In a message dated 7/5/2004 2:14:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time, tcl1@swbell.net writes: I also think Shimano SPD sandals qualify. Rani, I like sandals for most
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
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                      In a message dated 7/5/2004 2:14:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time, tcl1@...
                      writes:
                      I also think Shimano SPD sandals qualify.
                      Rani,

                      I like sandals for most any occasion, but have never had tried them for
                      cycling. It looks like a lot of exposed toes hanging out there in front.

                      Johnny
                      Gateway to the North Georgia Mountains


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Stanley Batt
                      Johnny wrote: I like sandals for most any occasion, but have never had tried them for cycling. It looks like a lot of exposed toes hanging out there in front.
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
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                        Johnny wrote:
                        I like sandals for most any occasion, but have never
                        had tried them for cycling. It looks like a lot of
                        exposed toes hanging out there in front.

                        SB:
                        That is the reason why I have been wearing them for
                        years when the weather is warm enough. All natural
                        -air cooling. Also useful in warm rainy weather.I keep
                        a pair of work shoes at work and change there.

                        In addition, the lighter weight is certainly
                        appreciated after three or four months of cycling with
                        winter boots.

                        If it wasn't hard on my soles, I'd ride barefoot,
                        when the temprature is cooperative. IMO the increased
                        risk of exposed toes (results of probability of an
                        event X likely severity of an event) is close to nil.

                        Stanley Batt
                      • Stanley Batt
                        ... SB: Consider water bottle holders that can handle an adequately sized water/beverage bottle. My water bottle holder can handle up to 2-liter soda pop
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
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                          Ranj wrote:
                          > But I do love the extra water a lot.

                          SB:
                          Consider water bottle holders that can handle an
                          adequately sized water/beverage bottle.

                          My water bottle holder can handle up to 2-liter soda
                          pop bottles, without a problem. I use it for 1.5-litre
                          water bottles refilled with refrigerated tap water or
                          water fountain water when not at home or work. Can be
                          recycled endlessly and requires no clean-up. Cheap and
                          refreshing. When cycling I just remove the cap until
                          the bottle is empty, which is usually every trip to or
                          from work. Picture is on the advocacy website photo
                          section.

                          Stanley Batt
                        • Bijan Soleymani
                          ... Do you mean the plastic bottles from bottled water they sell in the stores? I read in the newspaper that those shouldn t be re-used as the plastic contains
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
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                            On Mon, Jul 05, 2004 at 07:40:01AM +0100, SHYRLEY WILLIAMS wrote:
                            > I must be a fashion faux pas then. I have water bottles but they aren't
                            > even bike ones. Just the ones you buy in the shops which I then stick
                            > in the bottle cages.

                            Do you mean the plastic bottles from bottled water they sell in the stores?
                            I read in the newspaper that those shouldn't be re-used as the plastic
                            contains chemicals that disolve and are carcinogenic. The plastic used for
                            the one gallon bottles of bottled water is supposed to be ok, as is the
                            plastic used for bike bottles and other bottles meant to be re-used.


                            > :-)
                            >
                            > And I wear sandals while cycling...

                            Shimano makes clipless sandals :)

                            Bijan
                            --
                            Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
                            http://www.crasseux.com
                          • Bijan Soleymani
                            ... Actually seems this was all a hoax. I gave this some thought and decided to do a quick search on the net. It seems that some college students wrote a
                            Message 13 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
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                              On Mon, Jul 05, 2004 at 09:16:01AM -0400, Bijan Soleymani wrote:
                              > On Mon, Jul 05, 2004 at 07:40:01AM +0100, SHYRLEY WILLIAMS wrote:
                              > > I must be a fashion faux pas then. I have water bottles but they aren't
                              > > even bike ones. Just the ones you buy in the shops which I then stick
                              > > in the bottle cages.
                              >
                              > Do you mean the plastic bottles from bottled water they sell in the stores?
                              > I read in the newspaper that those shouldn't be re-used as the plastic
                              > contains chemicals that disolve and are carcinogenic. The plastic used for
                              > the one gallon bottles of bottled water is supposed to be ok, as is the
                              > plastic used for bike bottles and other bottles meant to be re-used.

                              Actually seems this was all a hoax. I gave this some thought and decided
                              to do a quick search on the net. It seems that some college students wrote
                              a thesis along these lines, but he made various mistakes. The FDA says that
                              the bottles are safe to re-use.

                              Bijan
                              --
                              Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
                              http://www.crasseux.com
                            • Jeremy F. Parker
                              ... water ... aren t even bike ones. Just the ones you buy in the shops which I then stick in the bottle cages. ... Shyrley, being a fellow Brit , should get
                              Message 14 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
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                                >
                                > However, here's something that IS a status symbol; leave your
                                water
                                > bottles at home and use a Camelbak!
                                >
                                > --Tractorlegs
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > I must be a fashion faux pas then. I have water bottles but they
                                aren't even bike ones. Just the ones you buy in the shops which I
                                then stick in the bottle cages.
                                >

                                Shyrley, being a fellow Brit', should get herself a water bottle
                                like mine, from the nationwide chain of lawyers, "Cycle Aid" They
                                have stalls at bike shows, and give the water bottles away free.

                                See <www.cycle-aid.co.uk> for more about Cycle Aid, or phone 0800-
                                132-383.

                                The water bottle comes with a depth scale on the outside, but not
                                for the depth of the contents. Instead you stick the water bottle
                                into a pothole, to measure the pothole's depth. 40 mm, apparently,
                                is the minimum depth for sueing the local council.

                                No Brit' will ever again be able to make comments about American
                                lawyers.

                                I'm not sure what kind of symbol my water bottle is, but it
                                certainly is some kind of symbol.

                                Jeremy Parker
                              • Matt Thyer
                                Tracktorlegs, For the first time in a very long while I went the opposite direction. When I sold my car last April I was blessed with a moment of extra cash
                                Message 15 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
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                                  Tracktorlegs,

                                  For the first time in a very long while I went the opposite direction. When I sold my car last April I was blessed with a moment of extra cash which I promptly went out and spent on a new frame (Fuji Touring) and all the wonderful bike components I had always skipped because I was too poor or too cheap to buy them.

                                  So now I have a beautiful bike, the one that I've always wanted, racked out and panniered to my hearts content, and all I can think of now is how I'm going to make it ugly so no one else will want it more than me. I wish I had kept up my practice of snagging old frames and rebuilding them except when I climb hills -- this Fuji is a tractor even under an extreme load.

                                  You can keep your Camelbak, I've tried them and don't like them. Just think about all that wonderful sunshine I'm missing on my back where ever you go. Its like wearing a big hat in a convertible if you ask me ;^)

                                  Matt Thyer
                                  Seattle, WA
                                  http://matt.grimalkin.org

                                  Tractorlegs tractorlegs@... wrote:

                                  However, here's something that IS a status symbol; leave your water
                                  bottles at home and use a Camelbak!
                                • RIIN GILL
                                  ... I wear fisherman sandals. They cover my toes, and they re securely attached to my feet since I have to unbuckle them to take them off, so they re not
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
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                                    On Mon, 5 Jul 2004 Jwar11235@... wrote:

                                    > I like sandals for most any occasion, but have never had tried them for
                                    > cycling. It looks like a lot of exposed toes hanging out there in front.

                                    I wear fisherman sandals. They cover my toes, and they're securely
                                    attached to my feet since I have to unbuckle them to take them off, so
                                    they're not going to fall off. My feet are nice and cool though. I can't
                                    stand to wear socks and shoes in the summer. It's sandals all summer.

                                    ***********************************************************
                                    Riin Gill
                                    Interlibrary Loan 734-615-6168
                                    Taubman Medical Library fax 734-763-1473
                                    University of Michigan
                                    ***********************************************************
                                    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~riin/
                                    If you were riding your bike, you'd be having fun by now.
                                  • tractorlegs
                                    ... Just think about all that wonderful sunshine I m missing on my back where ever you go. Its like wearing a big hat in a convertible if you ask me ;^) ...
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
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                                      --- In bicyclingadvocacy@yahoogroups.com, "Matt Thyer" <mthyer@m...>
                                      wrote:
                                      > You can keep your Camelbak, I've tried them and don't like them.
                                      Just think about all that wonderful sunshine I'm missing on my back
                                      where ever you go. Its like wearing a big hat in a convertible if
                                      you ask me ;^)
                                      >


                                      I'll keep using the Camelbak -- two things: One, the water bottle
                                      cage is occupied by a headlight battery; Two, I do like the sun, but
                                      am concerned about skin cancer. Too much cancer in my family, so I'd
                                      just as soon keep the shirt (or, for you Status Symbol
                                      types, "Jersey") on! :-)

                                      --Tractorlegs
                                    • Lauren Cooper
                                      I prefer barefootin on my recumbent trike. Rather incongruous of me to be riding a racy, shiny, new bent trike with bare feet! But it has a pair of boxy Look
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Jul 6, 2004
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                                        I prefer barefootin' on my recumbent trike. Rather incongruous of me to be
                                        riding a racy, shiny, new bent trike with bare feet! But it has a pair of
                                        boxy Look pedals that, with a cleat stuck in place, provides a reasonable
                                        surface area for bare feet. Have to carry sandals for off-bike, tho.

                                        Lauren



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                                      • bikerat@verizon.net
                                        ============================================================ From: Ken Clark I would agree that people seeing someone on a bike
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Jul 9, 2004
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                                          ============================================================
                                          From: "Ken Clark" <kenclark@...>
                                          I would agree that people seeing someone on a bike would be more likely to describe the cyclist as healthy and environmentally conscious. Around here, however, most people also associate cyclists with low-income, anti-social behavior, recklessness, and childishness. I hope that's strictly a Southeast Michigan phenomenon, but I have my doubts.

                                          ============================================================
                                          From Kimberly Cooper:
                                          No, that's not just in southeast Michigan.

                                          It's an educational failure. Just write letters to the editor of your local newspaper educating noncyclists on the various reasons why people bicycle. That's what we did in our city and it greatly improved the attitude people have toward bicyclists and bicycling...much more positive!

                                          People thought similar things about women who wanted to vote and have good paying jobs and about African-Americans. Then, the women and African-Americans started educating those people. Things changed for women and African-Americans. Things will change for bicyclists, too.
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