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Jersey drivers and rogue bicyclists

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  • Justina Voulgaris
    Tee hee, Tone. I have to admit, it was hard to trade in my NY driver s license for an NJ one. But I did have a Share the Road bumper sticker on my car and
    Message 1 of 17 , Jun 25, 2007
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      Tee hee, Tone.  I have to admit, it was hard to trade in my NY driver's license for an NJ one.  But I did have a "Share the Road" bumper sticker on my car and was always super respectful of bicyclists.  So there were a few good drivers on the other side of the Hudson … 

       

      To be fair, NYC had a lot of bicyclists who flagrantly ignored the rules of the road and were a menace to pedestrians, other cyclists, and motorists alike.

      As bicyclists, we are so much more vulnerable, and our needs so ignored, that it is tempting to take what we can get.  But I think it is important that if we want to be respected as vehicles, and easily injured vehicles at that, we need to show the best behavior we can muster.   Then we can demand the good treatment we deserve. 

       

      Oh, I'm guessing that the reason gas is cheap in NJ is because it hosts the oil refineries in Elizabeth and Rahway .  NJ is actually quite pretty once you get away from the turnpike…

       

      The bike shop couldn't order my X last Friday because Xtracycle is closed on Fridays, and today the person who takes the orders was out.  I could have ordered straight from Xtracycle, but the bike shop let my whole family try out their personal Xs and spent a lot of time chatting with me, so I wanted to do it through them.  But I'm so impatient!!

       

      Justina

       

         

    • davidmoskovitz
      ... Nicely said. The vehicular superiority of bicycles doesn t make it OK for bike riders to be rude. The in-between-ness of the bicycle does seem to attract
      Message 2 of 17 , Jun 26, 2007
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        > To be fair...

        Nicely said. The vehicular superiority of bicycles doesn't make it OK
        for bike riders to be rude. The in-between-ness of the bicycle does
        seem to attract folks who don't fit, by choice or otherwise, into the
        mainstream cultures of car-driving and, where it exists, walking.
      • Anne Littlebird
        Well I must admit I tend to be a rogue cyclist going back and forth to work. We are supposedly a bike friendly city but that seems to only apply to riding
        Message 3 of 17 , Jun 26, 2007
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          Well I must admit I tend to be a rogue cyclist going back and forth to
          work. We are supposedly a bike friendly city but that seems to only
          apply to riding leisurely through the park. My commute takes 15 mins
          by the most direct route and twice that by the alternate route - which
          is actually just as dangerous but prettier. The direct route is 4 very
          narrow lanes - the middle 2 being designated turning lanes depending
          on the time of day. The lanes are so narrow that a city bus overhangs
          into the other lane making driving also interesting. The sidewalks
          however are the same width as the car lanes- go figure.

          My first carfree day I was carefully riding correctly when a police
          car's mirror clipped the handlebar because he couldn't wait to move
          over into the other lane, slipping me into a storm drain dropped down
          in the pavement. I was fine, just a knee scrape - except everything
          went flying out into traffic where it was run over by a dozen cars
          before there was a break in the traffic so I could retrieve it. No one
          stopped not even the police car.

          OK, try again. 2 days later a bus tried to sneak passed with no room
          and then got mad at me because he couldn't do it. Uh, huh. So
          discretion being the better part of valor I take the side walk. So far
          I've met tons of really nice people waiting for the bus that I chat to
          on the way. No beef from them - of course I go really slow if there
          are pedestrians but usually there aren't any except for the bus
          riders. Only one person has said anything and she was in a car; she
          almost hit the car in front of her while she yelled obscenities out
          her window!

          I got really excited the other day when they started to tear up the
          sidewalks - thought the bike lane was materializing, Alas no - just
          planting trees; which have already been trimmed by passing buses.

          Haven't seen another freecycle so I should imagine when mine gets here
          I shall cause accidents on my daily commute because people will be in
          such awe they will forget to look where they are driving...

          Annie
        • Justina Voulgaris
          WARNING: what follows in an off-topic rant about biking conditions. Feel free to skip. Oh, Annie, I hear you! The town I live in near Seattle has a bike
          Message 4 of 17 , Jun 26, 2007
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            WARNING: what follows in an off-topic rant about biking conditions.  Feel free to skip.

             

            Oh, Annie, I hear you!  The town I live in near Seattle has a "bike friendly" rating from the League of American Wheelmen, and calls itself "The Bicycle Capitol of the World"  but all it has is a bike path along the river (lovely, yes), a velodrome, and a few busy roads with narrow bike lane striping.  The meagerness of these facilities really struck home with me today.  

             

            We usually walk, but today my 9 year old son and I bicycled the 2 miles into the shopping district of our town.  My son had strapped his wooden toy long sword to his bike, was wearing costume chain mail (and, of course, a bike helmet), and was thrilled to be out on his bike.

             

            The first mile is a steep, curvy downhill that drivers take fast.  The road does have a bike lane, but the motorists cut corners as they whip around the curves, and I don't think it is a safe place for my son, and maybe not even for me.  So we were on the sidewalk.  There was an older couple in front of us.  We slowed down and I yelled out "excuse us, please!", as opposed to the curt "on your left" that people usually yell out on the river path.  The woman turned around, nastily yelled at us for startling her, and told us to get into the bike lane.  We were right at the a curve, so I stopped and told the couple to watch those cars cutting into the bike lane.  I told them I hated riding on sidewalks, but the bike lane wasn't safe enough.  The man asked why didn't we ride on the sidewalk on the other side, so we wouldn't come up behind people.  I said people walk both directions on sidewalks.  I said that I respected that pedestrians have the right of way, and that we did call out and slow down.  He said he didn't hear me call out due to some construction nearby. (Note to self: remember older folks cannot hear well and they startle easily).  I urged them to help me fight for better facilities for bicycles, and then I would be delighted to get off the sidewalk.

             

            So we get down into the shopping district.  Traffic is heavy.  Most of the roads there don't even have bike lane striping. So we were stuck on these nasty little sidewalks with telephone poles, bus shelters, overgrown bushes, many driveways for businesses and, of course, pedestrians who should have the right of way.  I got more and more depressed.  My son, who was very stung by the nastiness of the woman we had met earlier and tired of having to get on and off his bike constantly to cross streets and get around obstacles, just wanted to give up and go everywhere by car.

             

            We are trying to do the right thing by getting out of our car.  We all have busy lives and don't have time to walk or take the bus everywhere (and the bus out here only runs every half hour at best).  The bike is a marvelously clean, efficient, health-promoting vehicle.  But how can we use it?!  

             

            I just learned that my Xtracycle will be delivered to the bike shop next week.  I don't know if I want to celebrate or cry.

             

            Feeling despondent and wanting to move to Amsterdam ,

            Justina

             


            From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com [mailto: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Anne Littlebird
            Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2007 3:18 PM
            To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Jersey drivers and rogue bicyclists

             

            Well I must admit I tend to be a rogue cyclist going back and forth to
            work. We are supposedly a bike friendly city but that seems to only
            apply to riding leisurely through the park. My commute takes 15 mins
            by the most direct route and twice that by the alternate route - which
            is actually just as dangerous but prettier. The direct route is 4 very
            narrow lanes - the middle 2 being designated turning lanes depending
            on the time of day. The lanes are so narrow that a city bus overhangs
            into the other lane making driving also interesting. The sidewalks
            however are the same width as the car lanes- go figure.

            My first carfree day I was carefully riding correctly when a police
            car's mirror clipped the handlebar because he couldn't wait to move
            over into the other lane, slipping me into a storm drain dropped down
            in the pavement. I was fine, just a knee scrape - except everything
            went flying out into traffic where it was run over by a dozen cars
            before there was a break in the traffic so I could retrieve it. No one
            stopped not even the police car.

            OK, try again. 2 days later a bus tried to sneak passed with no room
            and then got mad at me because he couldn't do it. Uh, huh. So
            discretion being the better part of valor I take the side walk. So far
            I've met tons of really nice people waiting for the bus that I chat to
            on the way. No beef from them - of course I go really slow if there
            are pedestrians but usually there aren't any except for the bus
            riders. Only one person has said anything and she was in a car; she
            almost hit the car in front of her while she yelled obscenities out
            her window!


          • Anne Littlebird
            Well I lived overseas for 6 years, no car with bike riding on the roads and I loved it! And then I came back home and it s not been the same since. I hear you
            Message 5 of 17 , Jun 27, 2007
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              Well I lived overseas for 6 years, no car with bike riding on the roads
              and I loved it! And then I came back home and it's not been the same
              since. I hear you Justina. I want my sister to get an xtracycle rather
              than carry her 3 1/2 year old in one of those trailers - they scare me
              to death with cars. They live in Albuquerque which is easier to ride in
              than here oddly enough. She would like to get back into cycling as well
              for her short distances. She wants me to move there - I think it's just
              because she wants to know how I'm going to ride a bike in full buckskin
              beaded regalia - she doesn't understand I can carry all that on the
              xtracycle and change when I get to the gig/powwow. She's warped.

              The last part of my daily commute I could do via a recreational bike
              path - which is good because the alternative is VERY dangerous. Our
              building backs up on the path and we had 3 stairs up to the grass path
              to get to the building - best part of the journey! Well the city decided
              to work on the path to make it better including the four corners of the
              main intersection to reach it. Well that was a night mare during the
              construction process because the intersection and the path were closed!
              And I get off the bike still at intersections and always walk the bike
              across. So for a month I had to pray I would make it to work on the last
              half a mile.

              Now the path is open - of course the lights at the intersection are on
              some weird delay for pedestrians and it takes 10 mins to get to the
              path! Then went I took the path I found the city had taken our steps and
              now there was a sheer 4 foot drop off! Our grounds person said they
              weren't putting them back but that they had built in a road further
              down. OK. Well this 'road' is gravel - fine for most of it on a MB but
              the lower section at this point is built of rocks bigger than my fist -
              sharp limestone piled pretty thick. ?????? This road was put in so that
              cyclists can drive their cars and park at the top then take their bikes
              off and ride them down this road and get to the bike path. ??? At the
              top of the road I still had to walk my bike along the road dodging under
              bushes and trees because there is not only no sidewalk but also no space
              between the road and the bush line. Again there are compensations for
              cars for people using the bike path but not for real cyclers.

              On a good note come Thursday I will have the rest of the money to order
              my xtracycle! I sold a 7 ft corner cupboard and they are coming to get
              it! Yay!! Hopefully I can cycle on the roads with it and people will
              give me a wide berth just because they are so impressed! I hope...

              Justina Voulgaris wrote:
              >
              > WARNING: what follows in an off-topic rant about biking conditions.
              > Feel free to skip.
              >
              >
              >
              > Oh, Annie, I hear you! The town I live in near Seattle has a "bike
              > friendly" rating from the League of American Wheelmen, and calls
              > itself "The Bicycle Capitol of the World" but all it has is a bike
              > path along the river (lovely, yes), a velodrome, and a few busy roads
              > with narrow bike lane striping. The meagerness of these facilities
              > really struck home with me today.
              >
              >
              >
              > We usually walk, but today my 9 year old son and I bicycled the 2
              > miles into the shopping district of our town. My son had strapped his
              > wooden toy long sword to his bike, was wearing costume chain mail
              > (and, of course, a bike helmet), and was thrilled to be out on his bike.
              >
              >
              >
              > The first mile is a steep, curvy downhill that drivers take fast. The
              > road does have a bike lane, but the motorists cut corners as they whip
              > around the curves, and I don't think it is a safe place for my son,
              > and maybe not even for me. So we were on the sidewalk. There was an
              > older couple in front of us. We slowed down and I yelled out "excuse
              > us, please!", as opposed to the curt "on your left" that people
              > usually yell out on the river path. The woman turned around, nastily
              > yelled at us for startling her, and told us to get into the bike lane.
              > We were right at the a curve, so I stopped and told the couple to
              > watch those cars cutting into the bike lane. I told them I hated
              > riding on sidewalks, but the bike lane wasn't safe enough. The man
              > asked why didn't we ride on the sidewalk on the other side, so we
              > wouldn't come up behind people. I said people walk both directions on
              > sidewalks. I said that I respected that pedestrians have the right of
              > way, and that we did call out and slow down. He said he didn't hear
              > me call out due to some construction nearby. (Note to self: remember
              > older folks cannot hear well and they startle easily). I urged them
              > to help me fight for better facilities for bicycles, and then I would
              > be delighted to get off the sidewalk.
              >
              >
              >
              > So we get down into the shopping district. Traffic is heavy. Most of
              > the roads there don't even have bike lane striping. So we were stuck
              > on these nasty little sidewalks with telephone poles, bus shelters,
              > overgrown bushes, many driveways for businesses and, of course,
              > pedestrians who should have the right of way. I got more and more
              > depressed. My son, who was very stung by the nastiness of the woman
              > we had met earlier and tired of having to get on and off his bike
              > constantly to cross streets and get around obstacles, just wanted to
              > give up and go everywhere by car.
              >
              >
              >
              > We are trying to do the right thing by getting out of our car. We all
              > have busy lives and don't have time to walk or take the bus everywhere
              > (and the bus out here only runs every half hour at best). The bike is
              > a marvelously clean, efficient, health-promoting vehicle. But how can
              > we use it?!
              >
              >
              >
              > I just learned that my Xtracycle will be delivered to the bike shop
              > next week. I don't know if I want to celebrate or cry.
              >
              >
              >
              > Feeling despondent and wanting to move to Amsterdam,
              >
              > Justina
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              >
              > *From:* rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
              > [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Anne Littlebird
              > *Sent:* Tuesday, June 26, 2007 3:18 PM
              > *To:* rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
              > *Subject:* [rootsradicals] Re: Jersey drivers and rogue bicyclists
              >
              >
              >
              > Well I must admit I tend to be a rogue cyclist going back and forth to
              > work. We are supposedly a bike friendly city but that seems to only
              > apply to riding leisurely through the park. My commute takes 15 mins
              > by the most direct route and twice that by the alternate route - which
              > is actually just as dangerous but prettier. The direct route is 4 very
              > narrow lanes - the middle 2 being designated turning lanes depending
              > on the time of day. The lanes are so narrow that a city bus overhangs
              > into the other lane making driving also interesting. The sidewalks
              > however are the same width as the car lanes- go figure.
              >
              > My first carfree day I was carefully riding correctly when a police
              > car's mirror clipped the handlebar because he couldn't wait to move
              > over into the other lane, slipping me into a storm drain dropped down
              > in the pavement. I was fine, just a knee scrape - except everything
              > went flying out into traffic where it was run over by a dozen cars
              > before there was a break in the traffic so I could retrieve it. No one
              > stopped not even the police car.
              >
              > OK, try again. 2 days later a bus tried to sneak passed with no room
              > and then got mad at me because he couldn't do it. Uh, huh. So
              > discretion being the better part of valor I take the side walk. So far
              > I've met tons of really nice people waiting for the bus that I chat to
              > on the way. No beef from them - of course I go really slow if there
              > are pedestrians but usually there aren't any except for the bus
              > riders. Only one person has said anything and she was in a car; she
              > almost hit the car in front of her while she yelled obscenities out
              > her window!
              >
              >
              >
            • TheJonesgal@aol.com
              Hi, I m still waiting for people to come running to admire me on my wonderful xtracycle! I have had people wave but that s about it. I still enjoy riding it
              Message 6 of 17 , Jun 27, 2007
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                Hi, I'm still waiting for people to come running to admire me on my wonderful xtracycle! I have had people wave but that's about it. I still enjoy riding it even if I get no attention.
                Gerry from Federal Way, WA


                -----Original Message-----
                From: Anne Littlebird <issumatuq@...>
                To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 3:17 pm
                Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Jersey drivers and rogue bicyclists

                Well I must admit I tend to be a rogue cyclist going back and forth to
                work. We are supposedly a bike friendly city but that seems to only
                apply to riding leisurely through the park. My commute takes 15 mins
                by the most direct route and twice that by the alternate route - which
                is actually just as dangerous but prettier. The direct route is 4 very
                narrow lanes - the middle 2 being designated turning lanes depending
                on the time of day. The lanes are so narrow that a city bus overhangs
                into the other lane making driving also interesting. The sidewalks
                however are the same width as the car lanes- go figure.

                My first carfree day I was carefully riding correctly when a police
                car's mirror clipped the handlebar because he couldn't wait to move
                over into the other lane, slipping me into a storm drain dropped down
                in the pavement. I was fine, just a knee scrape - except everything
                went flying out into traffic where it was run over by a dozen cars
                before there was a break in the traffic so I could retrieve it. No one
                stopped not even the police car.

                OK, try again. 2 days later a bus tried to sneak passed with no room
                and then got mad at me because he couldn't do it. Uh, huh. So
                discretion being the better part of valor I take the side walk. So far
                I've met tons of really nice people waiting for the bus that I chat to
                on the way. No beef from them - of course I go really slow if there
                are pedestrians but usually there aren't any except for the bus
                riders. Only one person has said anything and she was in a car; she
                almost hit the car in front of her while she yelled obscenities out
                her window!

                I got really excited the other day when they started to tear up the
                sidewalks - thought the bike lane was materializing, Alas no - just
                planting trees; which have already been trimmed by passing buses.

                Haven't seen another freecycle so I should imagine when mine gets here
                I shall cause accidents on my daily commute because people will be in
                such awe they will forget to look where they are driving...

                Annie


                AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.
              • Anne Littlebird
                I spent this afternoon on the phone trying to find a local bike shop to install mine. Most of the shops will only work on things they sell. How s that for bike
                Message 7 of 17 , Jun 27, 2007
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                  I spent this afternoon on the phone trying to find a local bike shop to
                  install mine. Most of the shops will only work on things they sell.
                  How's that for bike friendly? Finally found one where the mechanic is
                  anxious to see it. No one here had heard of it and one was not even
                  willing to go look on the internet. Fine - I didn't want to spend my
                  money there anyway.

                  Meanwhile the safe morning commute bike paths are all closed for this
                  week and controlled by the police because the senior olympics are in
                  town and they are using the park. There are no signs and haven't been
                  any to let people know this. Mind you I don't have a TV and I don't get
                  the newspaper. But there should have been signs posted so we'd know. I
                  had to go to the website of the olympics to see the schedule.

                  bike friendly...

                  TheJonesgal@... wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi, I'm still waiting for people to come running to admire me on my
                  > wonderful xtracycle! I have had people wave but that's about it. I
                  > still enjoy riding it even if I get no attention.
                  > Gerry from Federal Way, WA
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Anne Littlebird <issumatuq@...>
                  > To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 3:17 pm
                  > Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Jersey drivers and rogue bicyclists
                  >
                  > Well I must admit I tend to be a rogue cyclist going back and forth to
                  > work. We are supposedly a bike friendly city but that seems to only
                  > apply to riding leisurely through the park. My commute takes 15 mins
                  > by the most direct route and twice that by the alternate route - which
                  > is actually just as dangerous but prettier. The direct route is 4 very
                  > narrow lanes - the middle 2 being designated turning lanes depending
                  > on the time of day. The lanes are so narrow that a city bus overhangs
                  > into the other lane making driving also interesting. The sidewalks
                  > however are the same width as the car lanes- go figure.
                  >
                  > My first carfree day I was carefully riding correctly when a police
                  > car's mirror clipped the handlebar because he couldn't wait to move
                  > over into the other lane, slipping me into a storm drain dropped down
                  > in the pavement. I was fine, just a knee scrape - except everything
                  > went flying out into traffic where it was run over by a dozen cars
                  > before there was a break in the traffic so I could retrieve it. No one
                  > stopped not even the police car.
                  >
                  > OK, try again. 2 days later a bus tried to sneak passed with no room
                  > and then got mad at me because he couldn't do it. Uh, huh. So
                  > discretion being the better part of valor I take the side walk. So far
                  > I've met tons of really nice people waiting for the bus that I chat to
                  > on the way. No beef from them - of course I go really slow if there
                  > are pedestrians but usually there aren't any except for the bus
                  > riders. Only one person has said anything and she was in a car; she
                  > almost hit the car in front of her while she yelled obscenities out
                  > her window!
                  >
                  > I got really excited the other day when they started to tear up the
                  > sidewalks - thought the bike lane was materializing, Alas no - just
                  > planting trees; which have already been trimmed by passing buses.
                  >
                  > Haven't seen another freecycle so I should imagine when mine gets here
                  > I shall cause accidents on my daily commute because people will be in
                  > such awe they will forget to look where they are driving...
                  >
                  > Annie
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  > AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free
                  > from AOL at *AOL.com* <http://www.aol.com?ncid=AOLAOF00020000000437>.
                  >
                • Justina Voulgaris
                  Anne, maybe you have already done this, but Xtracycle has a listing of bike shops who deal with FreeRadicals: http://www.xtracycle.com/dealers.php Maybe there
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jun 27, 2007
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                    Anne, maybe you have already done this, but Xtracycle has a listing of bike shops who deal with FreeRadicals:

                     

                    http://www.xtracycle.com/dealers.php

                     

                    Maybe there will be one near you.

                     

                    Good luck,

                    Justina

                     


                    From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com [mailto: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Anne Littlebird
                    Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:50 PM
                    To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Jersey drivers and rogue bicyclists

                     

                    I spent this afternoon on the phone trying to find a local bike shop to
                    install mine. Most of the shops will only work on things they sell.
                    How's that for bike friendly? Finally found one where the mechanic is
                    anxious to see it. No one here had heard of it and one was not even
                    willing to go look on the internet. Fine - I didn't want to spend my
                    money there anyway.


                  • Anne Littlebird
                    Yes I have looked but the nearest one is 5 hours away. Good thought though.
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jun 27, 2007
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                      Yes I have looked but the nearest one is 5 hours away. Good thought though.

                      Justina Voulgaris wrote:
                      >
                      > Anne, maybe you have already done this, but Xtracycle has a listing of
                      > bike shops who deal with FreeRadicals:
                      >
                      > http://www.xtracycle.com/dealers.php
                      > <http://www.xtracycle.com/dealers.php>
                      >
                      > Maybe there will be one near you.
                      >
                      > Good luck,
                      >
                      > Justina
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      >
                      > *From:* rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                      > [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Anne Littlebird
                      > *Sent:* Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:50 PM
                      > *To:* rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                      > *Subject:* Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Jersey drivers and rogue bicyclists
                      >
                      > I spent this afternoon on the phone trying to find a local bike shop to
                      > install mine. Most of the shops will only work on things they sell.
                      > How's that for bike friendly? Finally found one where the mechanic is
                      > anxious to see it. No one here had heard of it and one was not even
                      > willing to go look on the internet. Fine - I didn't want to spend my
                      > money there anyway.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • akyramoto
                      I found a great shop that installed mine even though they did not sell them - i felt i got better customer service from them right away as compared to a dealer
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jun 28, 2007
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                        I found a great shop that installed mine even though they did not sell
                        them - i felt i got better customer service from them right away as
                        compared to a dealer that was up the highway about 15 miles.

                        i guess it just varies from shop to shop owner to owner.
                        I'm happy i found one that was glad to see someone get into cycleing
                        even though I wasn't doing downhill or street racing.

                        a bike is a bike :)
                        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Anne Littlebird <issumatuq@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Yes I have looked but the nearest one is 5 hours away. Good thought
                        though.
                        >
                        > Justina Voulgaris wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Anne, maybe you have already done this, but Xtracycle has a
                        listing of
                        > > bike shops who deal with FreeRadicals:
                        > >
                        > > http://www.xtracycle.com/dealers.php
                        > > <http://www.xtracycle.com/dealers.php>
                        > >
                        > > Maybe there will be one near you.
                        > >
                        > > Good luck,
                        > >
                        > > Justina
                        > >
                        > >
                        ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        > >
                        > > *From:* rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                        > > [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Anne Littlebird
                        > > *Sent:* Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:50 PM
                        > > *To:* rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                        > > *Subject:* Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Jersey drivers and rogue bicyclists
                        > >
                        > > I spent this afternoon on the phone trying to find a local bike
                        shop to
                        > > install mine. Most of the shops will only work on things they sell.
                        > > How's that for bike friendly? Finally found one where the mechanic is
                        > > anxious to see it. No one here had heard of it and one was not even
                        > > willing to go look on the internet. Fine - I didn't want to spend my
                        > > money there anyway.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • Susan
                        I know bike friendly classifications are figured out by fairly arbitrary things like Money put into facilities as opposed to how safely and efficiently a
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jun 28, 2007
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                          I know "bike friendly" classifications are figured out by fairly
                          arbitrary things like "Money put into facilities" as opposed to how
                          safely and efficiently a human can use a bicycle to go somewhere.
                          Therefore, a crassly expensive path around a park or a velodrome would
                          up a town's ranking... with cycles ranking below tanks or little red
                          wagons in the "planning for their use of our roads" process.
                          It's important not to let aa few individuals' hostility eat at
                          you... but it's hard. I work hard *not* to replay them too many times
                          once I"ve learned what I can from them. Fortunately, I'm in a college
                          town and generally can ride streets safely, but sometimes I"m on a
                          path or sidewalk (and there are places where that just makes the most
                          sense, such as the 200 yards to my school entrance where there tends
                          to be *nobody* on the sidewalk, there are no dangerous conflicts and
                          the road is under construction).
                          Yes, older folks really appreciate gentle, from-a-fair-distance
                          warning and slowing down a lot. They're also a whole lot less likely
                          to be wearing headphones and in their own universe :-)
                          I try to "replay" the other end of things too... I have a bear bell
                          on my bike and I knock it with my knees, and this 10-12 year old boy
                          tugged his mom's hand and pointed back, and they scooted over with
                          smiles... or when I was riding my '68 Schwinn single speed Racer and
                          this older Asian man glanced up and saw me and this big grin just
                          erupted from somewhere deep inside him, and I knew that for half a
                          second he'd been somewhere else on the planet, entirely.


                          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Justina Voulgaris"
                          <jvoulgaris1@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > WARNING: what follows in an off-topic rant about biking conditions.
                          Feel
                          > free to skip.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Oh, Annie, I hear you! The town I live in near Seattle has a "bike
                          > friendly" rating from the League of American Wheelmen, and calls
                          itself "The
                          > Bicycle Capitol of the World" but all it has is a bike path along
                          the river
                          > (lovely, yes), a velodrome, and a few busy roads with narrow bike lane
                          > striping. The meagerness of these facilities really struck home with me
                          > today.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > We usually walk, but today my 9 year old son and I bicycled the 2
                          miles into
                          > the shopping district of our town. My son had strapped his wooden
                          toy long
                          > sword to his bike, was wearing costume chain mail (and, of course, a
                          bike
                          > helmet), and was thrilled to be out on his bike.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > The first mile is a steep, curvy downhill that drivers take fast.
                          The road
                          > does have a bike lane, but the motorists cut corners as they whip
                          around the
                          > curves, and I don't think it is a safe place for my son, and maybe
                          not even
                          > for me. So we were on the sidewalk. There was an older couple in
                          front of
                          > us. We slowed down and I yelled out "excuse us, please!", as
                          opposed to the
                          > curt "on your left" that people usually yell out on the river path. The
                          > woman turned around, nastily yelled at us for startling her, and
                          told us to
                          > get into the bike lane. We were right at the a curve, so I stopped
                          and told
                          > the couple to watch those cars cutting into the bike lane. I told
                          them I
                          > hated riding on sidewalks, but the bike lane wasn't safe enough.
                          The man
                          > asked why didn't we ride on the sidewalk on the other side, so we
                          wouldn't
                          > come up behind people. I said people walk both directions on
                          sidewalks. I
                          > said that I respected that pedestrians have the right of way, and
                          that we
                          > did call out and slow down. He said he didn't hear me call out due
                          to some
                          > construction nearby. (Note to self: remember older folks cannot hear
                          well
                          > and they startle easily). I urged them to help me fight for better
                          > facilities for bicycles, and then I would be delighted to get off the
                          > sidewalk.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > So we get down into the shopping district. Traffic is heavy. Most
                          of the
                          > roads there don't even have bike lane striping. So we were stuck on
                          these
                          > nasty little sidewalks with telephone poles, bus shelters, overgrown
                          bushes,
                          > many driveways for businesses and, of course, pedestrians who should
                          have
                          > the right of way. I got more and more depressed. My son, who was very
                          > stung by the nastiness of the woman we had met earlier and tired of
                          having
                          > to get on and off his bike constantly to cross streets and get around
                          > obstacles, just wanted to give up and go everywhere by car.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > We are trying to do the right thing by getting out of our car. We
                          all have
                          > busy lives and don't have time to walk or take the bus everywhere
                          (and the
                          > bus out here only runs every half hour at best). The bike is a
                          marvelously
                          > clean, efficient, health-promoting vehicle. But how can we use it?!
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I just learned that my Xtracycle will be delivered to the bike shop next
                          > week. I don't know if I want to celebrate or cry.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Feeling despondent and wanting to move to Amsterdam,
                          >
                          > Justina
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > _____
                          >
                          > From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                          [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com]
                          > On Behalf Of Anne Littlebird
                          > Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2007 3:18 PM
                          > To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: Jersey drivers and rogue bicyclists
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Well I must admit I tend to be a rogue cyclist going back and forth to
                          > work. We are supposedly a bike friendly city but that seems to only
                          > apply to riding leisurely through the park. My commute takes 15 mins
                          > by the most direct route and twice that by the alternate route - which
                          > is actually just as dangerous but prettier. The direct route is 4 very
                          > narrow lanes - the middle 2 being designated turning lanes depending
                          > on the time of day. The lanes are so narrow that a city bus overhangs
                          > into the other lane making driving also interesting. The sidewalks
                          > however are the same width as the car lanes- go figure.
                          >
                          > My first carfree day I was carefully riding correctly when a police
                          > car's mirror clipped the handlebar because he couldn't wait to move
                          > over into the other lane, slipping me into a storm drain dropped down
                          > in the pavement. I was fine, just a knee scrape - except everything
                          > went flying out into traffic where it was run over by a dozen cars
                          > before there was a break in the traffic so I could retrieve it. No one
                          > stopped not even the police car.
                          >
                          > OK, try again. 2 days later a bus tried to sneak passed with no room
                          > and then got mad at me because he couldn't do it. Uh, huh. So
                          > discretion being the better part of valor I take the side walk. So far
                          > I've met tons of really nice people waiting for the bus that I chat to
                          > on the way. No beef from them - of course I go really slow if there
                          > are pedestrians but usually there aren't any except for the bus
                          > riders. Only one person has said anything and she was in a car; she
                          > almost hit the car in front of her while she yelled obscenities out
                          > her window!
                          >
                        • Justina Voulgaris
                          Thanks for the reminder to see things from a positive light, Susan. Now that I think about it, we did get some smiles on that day too. I ll have to
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jun 28, 2007
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                            Thanks for the reminder to see things from a positive light, Susan.  Now that I think about it, we did get some smiles on that day too.  I'll have to concentrate on that. 

                             

                            In a discussion I heard recently about how to get people to take action against global warming, someone mentioned that Martin Luther King Jr gave an "I have a dream" speech, not "I have a nightmare".  A reminder to see and be a reflection of all the good that we are bringing with our bikes.

                             

                            I'm going to talk to the League of American Wheelmen about their bike-friendly designations…

                             

                            Justina


                            From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com [mailto: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Susan
                            Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:05 AM
                            To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [rootsradicals] Re: no safe place to ride in "bike friendly" city


                            I try to "replay" the other end of things too... I have a bear bell
                            on my bike and I knock it with my knees, and this 10-12 year old boy
                            tugged his mom's hand and pointed back, and they scooted over with
                            smiles... or when I was riding my '68 Schwinn single speed Racer and
                            this older Asian man glanced up and saw me and this big grin just
                            erupted from somewhere deep inside him, and I knew that for half a
                            second he'd been somewhere else on the planet, entirely.

                            _._,___

                          • Morgan Giddings
                            Hi Justina, This is indeed sad that the woman yelled at you. But I think that is symptomatic of our society as a whole, not just the situation with bikes.
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jun 29, 2007
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                              Hi Justina,
                              This is indeed sad that the woman yelled at you. But I think that is symptomatic of our
                              society as a whole, not just the situation with bikes. There is just a subset of people that
                              are rude, self-righteous, and not respecting of others. It doesn't matter whether it
                              involves a bike or not, I see this kind of behavior all the time. Perhaps it affected you
                              more because you felt self-conscious biking down that sidewalk? Anyway, I would have
                              chalked it up to encountering a cranky old woman, and that's that....

                              I've bike commuted in various cities for almost twenty years now, and have found that,
                              while there is the occasional rude person like that, it is no more than I encounter when I
                              drive - people cutting me off, gunning the engine at lights, tailgating, and etc etc.

                              Whenever I find myself getting down about it, I recall to myself a few things:
                              - That I am doing something healthy for myself, the environment, and my daughters'
                              future. In particular, I saw a study recently that showed that the health benefits of biking
                              far outweighed the risk potential from accidents. (in fact, statistics still show that biking is
                              no more unsafe than being in a car, and that the two most unsafe things to do on a bike
                              are riding on a sidewalk and riding at night unlit...)

                              - That when gas gets to $6 per gallon, who is going to be having the last laugh? A lot of
                              americans are spoiled by cheap gas, and have set up their lives around it. By setting up
                              one's life so it is possible to bike for most trips, there is much less dependency on oil.

                              - Regarding kids, I find that they reflect parents' attitudes readily. So if I am having a bad
                              time with something, that translates to my daughter quickly. Perhaps your son was
                              frustrated because he was picking up on your frustration? Anyway, I attempt to be as
                              positive around my daughter as possible, though it isn't always easy!

                              Anyway, I hope you don't give up. About 4 years ago, I gave up on commuting because I
                              had a few close calls on a busy rode that I was commuting on. Then I gained 25 pounds,
                              and got out of shape (then started running to get back in shape, but I hate running!).
                              About 2 years ago, I realized that I could take an alternative route that's 2 miles longer
                              each way, and now am commuting that route daily. I also have done a lot more reading
                              about how to deal with traffic, and I use a lot more techniques to "control the flow" of
                              traffic behind me (i.e. when there's not room to pass, taking the lane so that someone
                              doesn't try to - and if I'm blocking cars for very long, just moving off the road to let them
                              pass). I've lost the pounds and feel a lot healthier and happier now! Especially with the
                              Xtracycle - yesterday I carried a stereo system home on it.

                              Morgan




                              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Justina Voulgaris" <jvoulgaris1@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > WARNING: what follows in an off-topic rant about biking conditions. Feel
                              > free to skip.
                              >
                              > [snip]
                            • Justina Voulgaris
                              Thanks for the thoughtful comments and encouragement, Morgan. After stewing about the situation for a while, and realizing that my son was obsessing about the
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jun 29, 2007
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                                Thanks for the thoughtful comments and encouragement, Morgan.  After stewing about the situation for a while, and realizing that my son was obsessing about the anger of that woman, I realized that we needed to, ahem, switch gears.  So I talked with my son about how the man of the couple did listen to what we had to say and he wasn't nasty at all.  I suggested that we focus on what we, and our town, can do to create a situation where both we and that nice elderly gentleman can feel safe and secure.  You are absolutely right that cranky behavior will always be out there, and that we shouldn't get distracted by it.  Good for you for focusing on keeping your attitude positive for your daughter!

                                 

                                I'm glad you mentioned that you found an alternate route that, although a bit longer, is much safer.  I'm so used to finding the shortest route anywhere for walking purposes, but on a bike we can afford to go out of the way a little.  And my hope is that with the Xtracycle my son won't mind the extra distance.

                                 

                                I won't give up.  I too have commuted and/or used my bike for transportation and chores for a couple of decades.  The times I have had to take a hiatus and be in the car all the time drove me nuts (not to mention putting on extra pounds!).  I'm very excited to be getting my Xtracycle.  Everyday for the past week I've been assessing my errands and thinking "hey, I'll be able to do that by bike now!"

                                 

                                Justina

                                 


                                Morgan wrote:

                                This is indeed sad that the woman yelled at you. But I think that is symptomatic of our
                                society as a whole, not just the situation with bikes. There is just a subset of people that
                                are rude, self-righteous, and not respecting of others. It doesn't matter whether it
                                involves a bike or not, I see this kind of behavior all the time. Perhaps it affected you
                                more because you felt self-conscious biking down that sidewalk? Anyway, I would have
                                chalked it up to encountering a cranky old woman, and that's that....


                              • Bruce Alan Wilson
                                Our LBS, if you bring a kit in and say install this will charge you an arm and a leg. But, if you bring in a wad of cash and say, Order me an Xtracycle and
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jun 29, 2007
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                                  Re: Jersey drivers and rogue bicyclists

                                  Our LBS, if you bring a kit in and say "install this" will charge you an arm and a leg. But, if you bring in a wad of cash and say, "Order me an Xtracycle and install it on my machine", they will do it for just labor.

                                  Bruce Alan Wilson

                                  "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

                                • Bruce Alan Wilson
                                  The obvious answer to me is to join your local bike club and use them to lobby for better facilities. What s that story about the difference between lighting
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Jun 29, 2007
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                                    Re: no safe place to ride in "bike friendly" city

                                    The obvious answer to me is to join your local bike club and use them to lobby for better facilities.  What's that story about the difference between lighting a candle and cursing the darkness?

                                    Bruce Alan Wilson

                                    "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

                                  • Anne Littlebird
                                    Yes that does seem obvious, however I was an Executive Committee member of my local club for 4 years until I went back to school and couldn t participate like
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Jun 30, 2007
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                                      Yes that does seem obvious, however I was an Executive Committee member
                                      of my local club for 4 years until I went back to school and couldn't
                                      participate like I wanted to. But I can't say that they got anywhere
                                      with getting proper bike lanes etc for our city. It's not they didn't
                                      try or still work at it but in the 4 years since I left them there still
                                      wasn't much movement. It's been close to 20 years that they have been
                                      lobbying for bike lanes and safer routes but mainly all we have is a
                                      park we can bike through and a few other scenic routes that go nowhere.

                                      Comuting and using the bike for viable transport is another.

                                      Bruce Alan Wilson wrote:
                                      >
                                      > The obvious answer to me is to join your local bike club and use them
                                      > to lobby for better facilities. What's that story about the difference
                                      > between lighting a candle and cursing the darkness?
                                      >
                                      > Bruce Alan Wilson
                                      >
                                      > "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other
                                      > forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle
                                      > remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch
                                      >
                                      >
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