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"Biking is Weird" (from the Seattle Carfree list)

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  • Canal1@qwest.net
    In the burbs, it is considered to be weird to not be surrounded by two tons of steel. In 1967, I hitch-hiked from L.A. to Panama. Given the poverty of
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 1, 2001
      In the burbs, it is considered to be weird to not be surrounded by
      two tons of steel. In 1967, I hitch-hiked from L.A. to Panama.
      Given the poverty of countries through which I passed, that seemed
      only a little weird. In 1970 I biked from Seattle to Newport, Ore.
      (on the coast). Given the wealth of the country through which I
      passed, that was considered completely weird. The looks (and
      occasional shoots) from passing cars confirmed this.

      What is needed is real education in school as to how to bike.
      Bicycles are considered childish in the U.S. and one result is that
      adults think they know how to ride when they do not. Yesterday I
      rode from my house here in Fremont to Kenmore (Tracy Owen Station)
      for my excercise for the day. Afterward, I watched the afternoon
      commute on the Burke Gilman Trail from my deck on Canal Street.
      The west bound bikers usually past in packs, as they are "packed" up
      by the the signals at Westlake and Nickerson and 34th and Fremont (as
      they come down hill in the Dexter Avenue bike lanes). The leaders of
      the pack are the regulars, who know how to bike (i.e. use toe clips
      or other devices, so that they spin the pedals). Later come the slow
      stragglers, those who tediously push one foot down and then the
      other. By the time they get to Canal Street they are beat. They
      don't know the joy of biking, only the unending, painful work. The
      only reason they are biking at all is because the weather is good and
      they thought they would give it a try. Most such riders will give it
      up. Ultimately they will be back in their steel cocoons, convinced
      that biking is "weird." As I said, this is a matter of education.

      John Crosby
      Seattle
    • Rod and Lennie Kat
      I m confused. I thought biking required feet to alternate pushing down, circling around, pushing down again. How do you cycle without doing this? Biking is
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 1, 2001
        I'm confused. I thought biking required feet to alternate pushing down,
        circling around, pushing down again. How do you cycle without doing this?
        Biking is unending, painful work - if you're not aerobically used to it. It
        just takes time, as does any exercise. I've only seen bikers who ride for
        distances, mostly uninterupted by traffic, using toe clips. Wouldn't it be
        difficult to travel to work or school, constantly stopping, yielding, etc.
        with toe clips? I would say bike education for the public is needed -
        myself included - but biking is exercise, which requires effort, and should
        not be
        categorized into who-can-do-it-best status slots. If the effort is made and
        maintained, the traveling becomes less work, more enjoyment.

        Lennie Dusek

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <Canal1@...>
        To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 3:49 PM
        Subject: [carfree_cities] "Biking is Weird" (from the Seattle Carfree list)


        > In the burbs, it is considered to be weird to not be surrounded by
        > two tons of steel. In 1967, I hitch-hiked from L.A. to Panama.
        > Given the poverty of countries through which I passed, that seemed
        > only a little weird. In 1970 I biked from Seattle to Newport, Ore.
        > (on the coast). Given the wealth of the country through which I
        > passed, that was considered completely weird. The looks (and
        > occasional shoots) from passing cars confirmed this.
        >
        > What is needed is real education in school as to how to bike.
        > Bicycles are considered childish in the U.S. and one result is that
        > adults think they know how to ride when they do not. Yesterday I
        > rode from my house here in Fremont to Kenmore (Tracy Owen Station)
        > for my excercise for the day. Afterward, I watched the afternoon
        > commute on the Burke Gilman Trail from my deck on Canal Street.
        > The west bound bikers usually past in packs, as they are "packed" up
        > by the the signals at Westlake and Nickerson and 34th and Fremont (as
        > they come down hill in the Dexter Avenue bike lanes). The leaders of
        > the pack are the regulars, who know how to bike (i.e. use toe clips
        > or other devices, so that they spin the pedals). Later come the slow
        > stragglers, those who tediously push one foot down and then the
        > other. By the time they get to Canal Street they are beat. They
        > don't know the joy of biking, only the unending, painful work. The
        > only reason they are biking at all is because the weather is good and
        > they thought they would give it a try. Most such riders will give it
        > up. Ultimately they will be back in their steel cocoons, convinced
        > that biking is "weird." As I said, this is a matter of education.
        >
        > John Crosby
        > Seattle
        >
        >
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      • renegadebuddhacoach
        ... I ve only seen bikers who ride for distances, mostly uninterrupted by traffic, using toe clips. Wouldn t it be difficult to travel to work or school,
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 1, 2001
          ... I've only seen bikers who ride for
          distances, mostly uninterrupted by traffic, using toe clips. Wouldn't it be
          difficult to travel to work or school, constantly stopping, yielding, etc.
          with toe clips? ...

          Clipless pedals are very easy to use getting in an out is no problem at all.

          buddha


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