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Re: Yellow Bicycles

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  • Michael A Ohene
    First of all tell me. Anyone who wants to promote a yellow bike program, = Do you actually ride a bicycle? Be honest. Why would someone build a bike down
    Message 1 of 6 , May 18, 2003
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      First of all tell me. Anyone who wants to promote a "yellow bike" program, =
      Do you
      actually ride a bicycle? Be honest. Why would someone build a bike down ins=
      tead
      of up to increase its efficiency.
      The main attraction to "yellow bike" programs is the belief:
      1.Bikes are cheap like the toys you had when you were children and you shou=
      ldn't
      pay money or have to learn about cheap transportation.
      2.Bikes are all the same.

      Yellow-bikes are pieces of garbage which are good for nothing besides ancho=
      rs.

      If you want people to ride bikes, then give them bikes. Decent ones too, Fo=
      r the
      non-cyclists out there let me speak on behalf of all cyclists in saying bic=
      ycles are
      the same as cars. Millions of people know absolutely nothing about their ow=
      n cars.
      I don't know one cyclist who doesn't know the history, mechanics, etc of bi=
      cycles.

      I hate to be so harsh and devisive, but the only people who think that you =
      can just
      give someone any bike to ride is obviously a motorist. They belong to the s=
      ame
      class of people who believe the reason why people dont ride bikes is becaus=
      e
      there are no bike lanes, as opposed to their absolute ignorance of bicycles=
      or
      knowledge of cycling in traffic.

      And sorry, but despite what they try to teach us in the American school sys=
      tem
      the Europeans dont know everything; especially about cycling or bikes. From=
      what
      I have heard the European style of cycling is good for groceries and such; =
      you
      know the 18km/h bike ride.
      Maybe one of the non-cyclist pro-bicycle people can explain how an ineffici=
      ent bike
      is better than an effiecient one.
      Europe and some American cities (Austin, Seattle) seem to be increasingly h=
      appy
      with toy-bicycle culture, where cycling is promoted as an alternative to dr=
      iving and
      becomes an alternative to walking.
      Another thing we cyclists know is that, you cant just jump on someone else'=
      s bike
      and ride, at least not for a car-distance trip that we are aiming for. The =
      bike has to
      fit. You have to clean a bike or it will become too inefficient to ride. No=
      government
      will ever provide efficient,size-specific bikes. They will be heavy, labori=
      ous
      one-size-fits-all pieces of trash made in China bought by a bunch of libera=
      l
      motorists. People who clearly dont understand that cycling isnt a matter of=

      preferance it is a science which is only understood and mastered by cycling=
      .

      Some people say well, "I have to get a cheaper bike so it doesnt get stolen=
      ." I
      belielve that as far as errands, but for work where most people can probabl=
      y lock
      their bike in their building, the excuse is absurd. But people will find an=
      y excuse in
      the book to keep from buying a high-priced efficient bike.

      I understand where you all are coming from, but I remember Geroge Bernard
      Shaw's famous quotes: "A learned man is an idler who passes his time by rea=
      ding.
      Beware of his knowledge it is more dangerous than ignorance." "All men mea=
      n
      well, Hell is paved with good intentions."

      Of course, we cyclist have to fight for our rights against the masses of gu=
      ilt-ridden
      liberal motorists who are thirsty for an excuse as to why they dont ride a =
      bike. How
      else can people in the carfree arena promote fuel-efficiency for every vehi=
      cle
      except for bikes; becuase remember bikes are just toys, "when you are done =
      give
      it to your cousin to play with."

      Back to concrete steps. I posted a real guide to bikes in the files section=
      . By a real
      cyclist.

      p.s. I have nothing against liberals or conservatives, its just that the li=
      berals I know
      are more likely to try to act of behalf of us "oppress" cyclists.

      Michael



      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "autofrei-wohnen.de" <info@a...> wro=
      te:
      > Hi Damon and pt,
      >
      > German Railway ("DB - Die Bahn", www.bahn.de) runs it in Berlin and Munic=
      h
      with a new system in the inner city since March 2002, more german cities ar=
      e
      going to get this. See english page at
      > http://www.callabike.de
      > I didn`t use it before, but I see them allover - waiting, or used by sing=
      le persons
      and tourist groups - so I think it works and I didn`t hear anything bad abo=
      ut the
      system. It costs a little bit, but this is not much (6 EuroCent per minute)=
      . The
      registration procedure is not very easy, but it makes the system very sure.=
      They
      have thousands in Berlin and in Munich, you find them only at the corners o=
      f the
      streets or places, but every corners & places in the inner city are possibl=
      e ! I
      heard, that in Berlin have been 8000 Users registered to the system (trend:=
      mostly
      men between the ages of 20-30), and vandalism seems to be no problem: the
      Berlin bikes are okay like the bikes "in the peaceful Munich", says Andreas=
      Knie,
      the dep.-chief of "DB-Rent". Stolen bikes in one year: under 100.
      >
      > Additional "Die Bahn" is cooperating with Car-Sharing in several german c=
      ities,
      see
      > http://www.dbcarsharing-buchung.de/db/index.html
      > I think this page is also in english available. If not: They run it in th=
      e following
      german cities: Berlin, Bochum, Chemnitz, Erfurt, Essen, Frankfurt, Darmstad=
      t,
      Dortmund, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Freiburg, Halle, Hamburg, Leipzig,=

      Mainz, München, Rostock, Ruhrgebiet, Schwerin (soon), Wiesbaden, Wittenberg=

      and more are in preparation
      >
      > The problem with our german railway is, that they close more and more tra=
      ins for
      bicycles. They say: Transportation of bikes is no more needed, you can use =
      their
      callbike instead of ...! (in 2, or soon 3, cities!!). So its very hard to f=
      ind a train if
      you want to go on vacation with your bike. The CallBike isn`t made for holi=
      day: it`s
      good for the cities, but, sorry, it`s a ridiculous, unuseful, heavy monster=
      , without
      possibilities to carry some luggage on the wheel behind or in front.
      >
      > Markus Heller, Berlin
      > http://www.autofrei-wohnen.de
      > http://www.autofrei-wohnen.de/homeEngl.html
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Damon Feldman" <damonf@r...>
      > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2003 7:08 PM
      > Subject: [carfree_cities] Yellow Bicycles
      >
      > | I was thinking of the old "yellow bicycle" program where free bicycles =
      are
      > made available all over town.
      > | When people are done with them for a trip or errand, they leave them fo=
      r the
      > next person to use.
      > |
      > | I wonder if technology (gps, lojac, chips that allow a scanner to ident=
      ify an
      > item remotely, etc.) allow this to
      > | work today, where the program failed years ago due to theft. Perhaps
      > electronic cards that require people
      > | to re-lock the bicycle or lose a deposit (like carts in airports).
      > |
      > | Damon
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • J.H. Crawford
      ... This is being tried in Amsterdam on a prototype basis, with just a few racks of bikes that are locked up again when you re done. There have been a series
      Message 2 of 6 , May 19, 2003
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        Damon said:

        >I was thinking of the old "yellow bicycle" program where free bicycles are made available all over town.
        >When people are done with them for a trip or errand, they leave them for the next person to use.
        >
        >I wonder if technology (gps, lojac, chips that allow a scanner to identify an item remotely, etc.) allow this to
        >work today, where the program failed years ago due to theft. Perhaps electronic cards that require people
        >to re-lock the bicycle or lose a deposit (like carts in airports).

        This is being tried in Amsterdam on a prototype basis, with just a few
        racks of bikes that are locked up again when you're done. There have
        been a series of problems, but it looks like it will probably work in
        the end. The bikes are of an unusual (cheap) design, and are thought
        not to be desirable to steal, in addition to being locked in a rack.
        Problem is that people have been stealing them anyway.

        Regards,


        -- ### --

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
      • Wes Ballew
        Sheesh, where did this come from. I know plenty of people who ride junky, heavy bikes to work just fine. While in college I put close to 1000 miles on a three
        Message 3 of 6 , May 19, 2003
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          Sheesh, where did this come from. I know plenty of people who ride junky, heavy bikes to work just fine. While in college I put close to 1000 miles on a three speed junker from the 1960's that weighed as much as a small car. It is not necessary to have an $3000 bike to peddle three of four miles to work and back. And let's please try to avoid the whole bike lane vs. anti bike lane argument here. There are other reasons why the yellow bike progrom has not worked well in this country, mainly theft.
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