Re: Car-lite and assuaging an octogenarian parent's fears.
- About the zillionth time I caught myself actually answering falsely
because I knew the person asking really wouldn't identify with my
answer, I decided that I was doing a real disservice. Why not
challenge that idea that it's okay to be self-serving? And if fifty
people a day do it, maybe they'll start thinking *they're* the weird
I do emphasize that it is not painful and it is not torture, and
that I started out with just a little bit and figured even a little
bit was a good thing... and generally people think I'm an insanely
happy person so they are a little jealous. I know I've made people think.
--- In email@example.com, Cara Lin Bridgman <caralinb@...>
> Unfortunately, most folks already think I'm a weirdo just because
> a bike when I could be on a motorbike or in a car. At least one personhow to
> has asked "Why are you torturing yourself?" Well, most of the time I
> don't quite see it that way...
> Health, planet, politics, oil -- all to the good.
> A member of the Christian Peacemaker Team reported on being asked
> help solve the problems in Iraq. The answer was 'Ride your bike.'Xtracycle roots radical.
> Meanwhile, the former Shah of Iran said 'Oil is too valuable to burn.'
> He's right. We need it more for medicine and fertilizers and water
> bottles (i.e. tools & containers), than we need it for transportation.
> David Chase wrote:
> > On 2007-01-07, at 6:20 PM, richardofuller wrote:
> >> And it will be environmental: Yes, having a steel cocoon to drive
> >> around in
> >> makes us safer (unless we try to travel faster than bicycles) but the
> >> environmental consequences of this personal safety are too great. As
> >> individuals and as a human culture, we need to be willing to accept
> >> more
> >> personal risk--we have over-tipped the balance between personal
> >> safety and
> >> system sustainability.
> > Something in this doesn't work for me, and I think it might
> > not work for a lot of people. I tend to look at it from the
> > point of view of game theory (prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt,
> > that sort of thing). At the high level, what game theory
> > tells you is not that it is a good thing to take risks
> > (because only suckers take risk -- you WILL lose the game)
> > but, if a good outcome requires people to take risks, then
> > the game is busted, and must be changed.
> > [ And it's worth noting, if you're not that experienced,
> > bicycling can be pretty risky. I started riding in a
> > big way when I was around twelve, and rapidly had quite
> > a number of the classic accidents (lots of slides on
> > slippery pavement, thrown off my bike by railroad tracks,
> > over the handlebars in several stupid ways). It's not
> > an easy education, and the people designing the roads
> > often haven't got a clue about how to make cycling less
> > risky. ]
> > In the short run, we don't have much choice -- too many
> > people are playing the drive-a-lot-not-too-responsibly
> > game, which leads them to buy larger and larger cars, and
> > not bicycle riding. I think that there are several things
> > that are likely to change the game for us;
> > - we'll definitely, unarguably, hit peak oil
> > - we'll definitely, unarguably, see the effects of global
> > warming In either case, this will change the landscape, in
> > terms of investment, etc. Imagine telling people that you
> > want to plow their neighborhood under for a new highway,
> > when everyone can see that cars are going to very soon be
> > much more expensive to drive. If you can solve a traffic
> > problem by waitinng five years, why bothering building a
> > road?
> > - drive-by-wire will get really good
> > Automated driving will not happen for a good
> > long time, until it happens really well. For
> > liability reasons, no way will any company deploy
> > it, until it works rock-solid. However the heck
> > it works, there will surely be some way to tickle
> > it to say "don't you dare run into me", and
> > whatever that thing is will spread like wildfire
> > through the regular cycling community (much as
> > flashing high-intensity LEDs spread -- you see
> > one, you want it, now)
> > - Health, maybe.
> > I'm not too optimistic about this. As a nation,
> > our health care SUCKS. We spend tons of money (30%
> > more than #2, 40% more than #3, is the general
> > pattern) and we die YEARS early after spending a
> > greater fraction of our life sick. It's very very
> > likely that this is a combined result of our
> > boneheaded system for delivering health care, PLUS
> > the fact that we're all FAT. (Other effects might
> > be that we don't consume enough olive oil, fish,
> > red wine, and tea.) I'm on the trailing edge of the
> > baby boom, so I would have expected to see other
> > people already doing things to fix their weight,
> > blood pressure, cholesterol, etc, and one of the
> > most time- and cost-effective things to do is to
> > ride a bike. It hasn't happened yet, at least not
> > in a way that I can see. I do think, if we ended
> > up with a national health care system, that it would
> > then make sense to the people running it to encourage
> > people to get more exercise.
> > In terms of explaining to other people why I ride
> > my bicycle, I find that it is easier to say "it
> > is very good for my health, in ways that can be
> > measured with a blood test" (and it is -- its value
> > in medication avoid exceeds the cost of the gasoline
> > saved by a factor of five to ten), than to say
> > "I think cars are inherently antisocial, especially
> > the way we use them" or "I'd like to send as little
> > money as possible to actual Islamofascists (i.e.,
> > Saudi Arabia)", or "I think our foreign policy is
> > completely screwed by our dependence on oil", or
> > "I'm pretty sure global warming is happening, and
> > I'd like to do something about it".
> > No, most people understand self-interest, as near
> > as I can tell. Talk about that other stuff, they
> > think you're a weirdo.
> > The neat thing will be when we're running diesels
> > on vegetable oil, we can then make head-to-head
> > efficiency comparisons. The other other reason to
> > ride a bike, is that we get about 1000 miles per
> > gallon. It's the most way efficient to move
> > people that there is -- how cool is that? (That's
> > like 50 people carpooling in a 20mpg car.)
> > So, to return to your original point about "taking
> > risks" -- no, I hate that part, if I could eliminate
> > all the risk in riding my bike, that would be great.
> > However, to compensate for that risk, is the risk of
> > not getting enough exercise, and all the politcal and
> > environmental stuff. I don't like it that I'm contributing
> > to global warming, I don't like it that I'm sending money
> > to Saudi Arabia and Iran and Russia (Putin gives me
> > the creeps).
> > David
> > You're getting this message because you signed up to be an
> > To Post a message, send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > ride to believe.
> > Yahoo! Groups Links
> Cara Lin Bridgman
> P.O. Box 013 Phone: 886-4-2632-5484
> Longjing Sinjhuang
> Taichung 434
> Taiwan http://web.thu.edu.tw/caralinb/www/