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Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Re-introduction

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  • Cara Lin Bridgman
    In many ways, my xtracycle does stop traffic and turn heads. College age girls on motorbike comment on it. Little kids ask their parents about it. The
    Message 1 of 10 , May 17, 2007
      In many ways, my xtracycle does stop traffic and turn heads. College
      age girls on motorbike comment on it. Little kids ask their parents
      about it. The people who tend to eye it the most are, unfortunately,
      the ones least likely to be able to afford or get one. They are the
      people in Taiwan that sweep streets or collect things for recycling.
      They are usually pushing a bike or trike or truck-like trike that is so
      overloaded with cardboard and plastic bottles there's no room to sit and
      peddle. Others are hauling recyclables in dollies wired to their 50cc
      motorbikes (i.e. the cheap home-built trailer).

      In Taiwan, the division is clear: work bikes for those in poverty,
      single-speed 'girls' bikes for retirees and house-wife grocery shoppers,
      mountain bikes for commuting high school students counting the hours
      until they can have a motorbike license (age 18), and high-class carbon
      fiber road bikes for white-collar males attired in all the logo-labeled
      fashion biking wear. Other than the high school kids, biker-commuters
      are quite rare. They may be on a slight increase though.

      The recent best case, though, was when I biked my just assembled Surly
      Instigator-Xtracycle-Stokemonkey to the travel agent. A guy came by and
      spent the next half hour telling me he wanted one just like it, how it
      would be perfect for touring Japan. The next day, he called my husband.
      Yesterday, he came by for a visit. When he saw that bike, he knew it
      was just what a bike was supposed to be! Well, I certainly think so.
      That's the way I felt when I first saw pictures of the Xtracycle.

      The local Giant distributor doesn't think the Stokemonkey will sell well
      because it has no freewheel on the crank. He may be right, all the
      people I see on electric bicycles are sitting, not peddling. In Taiwan,
      unfortunately, there is still a pretty strong feeling that manual labor
      is for the poor and uneducated and Lance Armstrong imitators.

      CL


      davidmoskovitz wrote:
      >> I imagined everyone would run out and get one when they saw me
      >> biking along with my guitar on board! I guess not.
      >
      > That's exactly what happened to me. I had the biggest shit-eating grin
      > on my face when I got SUB'd, and thought everyone was going to stop and
      > stare, drop their packages, spill their coffee.
      >
      > Nope. No one noticed anything different, except me, who could carry an
      > extra 200 pounds around. I was almost heart-broken. I'm seriously
      > contemplating getting the RockTheBike amplifier and a decent bass
      > tube.
      >
      > It is different when you have a passenger. That often gets a nod.
    • Todd Fahrner
      ... I m not surprised, yet. It s not much different here, really, among the lower classes. Biking is not cool among the poor -- the classes that could benefit
      Message 2 of 10 , May 17, 2007
        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Cara Lin Bridgman <caralinb@...> wrote:

        > The local Giant distributor doesn't think the Stokemonkey will sell well
        > because it has no freewheel on the crank. He may be right, all the
        > people I see on electric bicycles are sitting, not peddling. In Taiwan,
        > unfortunately, there is still a pretty strong feeling that manual labor
        > is for the poor and uneducated and Lance Armstrong imitators.

        I'm not surprised, yet. It's not much different here, really, among the lower classes. Biking is
        not cool among the poor -- the classes that could benefit most from learning to multiply
        their power with bike technology instead of buying and fueling inhumanly heavy vehicles.
        Your kung fu is strong, Cara.
      • Cara Lin Bridgman
        Every semester in the first day of my Environmental Science class, I ask my students how they want to get to work after they graduate: walk, bike, bus,
        Message 3 of 10 , May 17, 2007
          Every semester in the first day of my Environmental Science class, I ask
          my students how they want to get to work after they graduate: walk,
          bike, bus, motorbike, car? Motorbike and car always tie for first place
          by a very very wide margin. Each semester 1-2 out of 20-30 says bike or
          bus. Each semester I point out that they are in a sports school (a
          school that produces some of Taiwan's Olympic winners) and they're not
          planning on exercising on their way to work? Some students actually
          look thoughtful after I've made that comment.

          Part of the reason why I bike is because I can't lecture on peak oil and
          global warming and all the other myriad environmental problems without
          trying to practice what I preach. This semester, in my Human Ecology
          class, we spent a few days looking into the effects cars have on
          communities, economics, and health--looking at the total costs. I could
          be driving, like most of the teachers in the school. My first year, I
          rode a motorbike.

          Now I ride the bike. Although I sometimes feel a little bit like it's
          cheating, I really appreciate the addition of the Stokemonkey. It
          ensures I can get home without heat exhaustion--an unbelievably huge
          plus. Yesterday, on the way to school, the bottom fell out of the sky.
          It was the most enormous downpour. The Stokemonkey, which I usually
          do not use on the way to school, helped ensure I arrived school damp,
          not dripping, from sweat inside my rain gear. I have one of those bike
          capes, but the way cars kick up splash, only a submarine is the complete
          solution. Yesterday, I was inside a cagoule-like thing with hood that
          everyone uses with their motorbikes. It was like being enclosed in
          saran wrap.

          CL

          Todd Fahrner wrote:
          > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Cara Lin Bridgman <caralinb@...> wrote:
          >
          >> The local Giant distributor doesn't think the Stokemonkey will sell well
          >> because it has no freewheel on the crank. He may be right, all the
          >> people I see on electric bicycles are sitting, not peddling. In Taiwan,
          >> unfortunately, there is still a pretty strong feeling that manual labor
          >> is for the poor and uneducated and Lance Armstrong imitators.
          >
          > I'm not surprised, yet. It's not much different here, really, among the lower classes. Biking is
          > not cool among the poor -- the classes that could benefit most from learning to multiply
          > their power with bike technology instead of buying and fueling inhumanly heavy vehicles.
          > Your kung fu is strong, Cara.
        • Rainbow Flight
          Hey Cara I m impressed! Thanks for sharing your story. I set up ASPO-Nelson and helped set up ASPO-NZ (www.aspo.org.nz) and am honoured to hear your story of
          Message 4 of 10 , May 18, 2007
            Hey Cara
            I'm impressed! Thanks for sharing your story.
            I set up ASPO-Nelson and helped set up ASPO-NZ (www.aspo.org.nz) and am honoured to hear your story of walking your talk. I'm waiting with anticipation for my Stokemonkey to arrive, looking to increase my Xtracycle use significantly, going as car light as possible.
            With oil at US$70 a barrel this morning, things are looking more interesting, huh??!!
            I really want one of the bumper stickers on "The SUB that Ate Detroit"(http://home.comcast.net/~manewal1/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html)
            at http://home.comcast.net/~manewal1/wsb/html/view.cgi-photo.html--SiteID-2845842.html .....I never saw a bumper stick with such clarity as this one before....
             
             
            Regards
            Ted
            Nelson, NZ
             
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