Cycling

Anything About Anything...
User avatar
Jonathan
A Brave Victim
Posts: 3392
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:50 am
Location: Not really lurking anymore

Cycling

Post by Jonathan »

I just came across one of those videos again: Bicycle Rush Hour Utrecht (Netherlands) III

Of course, it doesn't look odd to me at all.

I wonder what the overall attitude to bicycles is like around here. After all a bicycle not that different from a lightcycle. They're just slightly slower. And thankfully they don't barricade the road behind them, or we'd have had major problems. :)

I also wonder if any of you have thoughts on our cycling infrastructure (preferably if you have any idea what it's actually like as an outsider, which I realize isn't true for most people). Many Dutch are too proud of it to see possible shortcomings. Probably rightfully so. But, being human, I always think of how things could be better. And I think it has to do with me being faster than the vast majority of cyclists around here, even on a plain upright bicycle. You just kind of outgrow it in places. Maybe I'll elaborate if there's any interest.
ˌɑrməˈɡɛˌtrɑn

User avatar
Lucifer
Project Developer & Local Moonshiner
Posts: 8610
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:32 pm
Location: Republic of Texas
Contact:

Re: Cycling

Post by Lucifer »

I love riding a bike. I think it's a great way to travel.

They recently went through Austin and did a bunch of stuff to make bicycling easier and safer. Some major roads that were previously two lane got knocked down to one lane and a car-sized bike lane was put in both ways.

Sadly, the roads I take to work haven't been addressed well, and it's a very accident-prone street. I've seen 3 accidents in the last two weeks, watched several near misses, and avoided one myself today. :(

The attitudes in town aren't terribly good, though. I almost dumped my wife when we were dating the first time I saw her whiz past a bicyclist. I was mortally offended! That could have been me! And here she was being the kind of jerk that tries to kill me! And her reasoning? "Well, he was in my way and going too slow." I answered with "True, but I don't think you want to kill anybody today." She was quite perturbed. Hadn't thought it through.
Image

Be the devil's own, Lucifer's my name.
- Iron Maiden

User avatar
sinewav
Graphic Artist
Posts: 6255
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:37 am
Contact:

Re: Cycling

Post by sinewav »

I ride my bike all the time. Used to bike to work every day when I had my old job (now I have to fly in an airplane everywhere for my new one, which makes me unhappy). My car broke down a few weeks ago and I was like, "meh, I don't feel like fixing this right now, maybe later." I just use that as an excuse to ride my bike everywhere and it's great. Actually lost 3 pounds over the last 2 weeks.

The bad thing is, I'm a dangerous biker. I spent all my time as a kid riding BMX and I tend to just drive my bike over everything and anywhere, totally disregarding traffic. I'm really surprised I'm not dead yet. Bad habits from my pre-teen years. :/

I am really not sure how a cyling infrastructure would help someone like me. I'm kind of a dick on a bike and I never used the bike lanes in Chicago.

User avatar
Jonathan
A Brave Victim
Posts: 3392
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:50 am
Location: Not really lurking anymore

Re: Cycling

Post by Jonathan »

It really helps to have safety in numbers on crack. If people don't ride a bike, they'll know what it's like. Or at least they're definitely bicycle-aware. Kids are even indoctrinated at a young age. Imagine the horror of such mental abuse. :)

Lucifer: That does look odd to me.

sinewav: Don't die just yet... Try getting into a defensive mindset. Look way ahead, try and find a way to flow through traffic. It's that much more pleasant if you don't dive straight into every 'surprise' (even if you can see most developing ahead of you) just because you can.

As for infrastructure, what has happened here is much more than a cycle lane here and there. It does seem that segregation was and is a major part of its success. So much that cycle paths and roads have evolved separately. I don't think you can really compare the experience.
ˌɑrməˈɡɛˌtrɑn

nux
Round Winner
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:20 pm

Re: Cycling

Post by nux »

What i love about that video is the amount of cars passing through the streets. I wonder why this hasnt been implemented worldwide yet.
There's a difference between knowing your shit, and knowing you're shit. Grammar does matter.

chrisd
Round Winner
Posts: 314
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 1:13 pm

Re: Cycling

Post by chrisd »

I bike to work every day and the scenery is great where I bike. Check it out by pasting the coordinates 51.917551,4.28311 into google maps and then looking at streetview.

User avatar
sinewav
Graphic Artist
Posts: 6255
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:37 am
Contact:

Re: Cycling

Post by sinewav »

Jonathan wrote:Don't die just yet... Try getting into a defensive mindset. Look way ahead, try and find a way to flow through traffic. It's that much more pleasant if you don't dive straight into every 'surprise' (even if you can see most developing ahead of you) just because you can.
Right, I guess you really have to be of a defensive mindset in the US. Most drivers don't even notice people on bikes. I even had to do some crazy moves the other day when reaching an intersection. Some dumb-ass lady saw me approaching, then ignored me and pulled her SUV right into my path as if to say "oh he's on a bike, he will just have to get out of the way." I had to veer sharply onto a concrete embankment to get around her car. Even two days ago while driving with my roommate in his truck he cut off a couple bikers. When I confronted him, he said something like "I'm in a car, I have the right of way." Fat-ass Americans generally don't ride bikes and lack the mindset to look for those who do. I spend most of the time riding over private property trying to stay as far away from the street as possible.
chrisd wrote:I bike to work every day and the scenery is great where I bike.
Oh nice. A lot better than my crappy ride to work. :/

User avatar
Jonathan
A Brave Victim
Posts: 3392
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:50 am
Location: Not really lurking anymore

Re: Cycling

Post by Jonathan »

nux wrote:What i love about that video is the amount of cars passing through the streets. I wonder why this hasnt been implemented worldwide yet.
Don't get the wrong idea. We still have a lot of car use. The more extreme examples just draw the most attention. We still have overfilled roads and all that. You will see it, just not everywhere you look. Nonetheless, bicycles do predominate on shorter trips, and people have found that they're much better at permeating city centers. Perhaps most importantly, everyone can do it and be respected in traffic. If you can keep your balance and respect basic traffic laws, you're in. It's a runaway thing, where the more people do it, the more people will join them.

sinewav: Ouch. Yeah, there's also the possibility you don't get space no matter what you do. I have seen some international videos shot from a bicycle, and the horrible interaction with other traffic looks completely alien to me. Even if you shoot for years it would be hard to accumulate such footage over here.

chrisd: Nice. Perhaps one of my favorite places to ride (that I have had a chance to try) is in the dunes. South of Zandvoort there's an excellent path rolling over the dunes. It's not the only good path in the area, but I think it's the best. It's so incredibly calming. Sadly I'm usually not anywhere near it.
ˌɑrməˈɡɛˌtrɑn

User avatar
Lucifer
Project Developer & Local Moonshiner
Posts: 8610
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:32 pm
Location: Republic of Texas
Contact:

Re: Cycling

Post by Lucifer »

sinewav wrote:When I confronted him, he said something like "I'm in a car, I have the right of way."
And you responded with "There are absolutely no places where you automatically have the right of way. There are a lot of places where you are supposed to yield the right of way to other drivers. How did you pass your driving test without knowing that? Did you get your license in a Cracker Jack box?" Right? You did, right?
Image

Be the devil's own, Lucifer's my name.
- Iron Maiden

User avatar
sinewav
Graphic Artist
Posts: 6255
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:37 am
Contact:

Re: Cycling

Post by sinewav »

Lucifer wrote:And you responded with "There are absolutely no places where you automatically have the right of way.
He was half-joking when he said it. He knows it's wrong to cut-off a biker, but his own self-importance got in the way that time. I was pissed, but I also expected it. I expect everyone to be inconsiderate. Usually I'll just give a big sigh when I hear stuff like that, which is usually enough to get my point across. It's not that people don't know better, they aren't in the habit of doing better.

User avatar
Phytotron
Formerly Oscilloscope
Posts: 5041
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:06 pm
Location: A site or situation, especially considered in regard to its surroundings.
Contact:

Re: Cycling

Post by Phytotron »

I like the moment at 0:21 when the little scooter whizzes by, just for comic effect.

Bikes, green buses, and trains. We need a lot more of that in the US. My wife and I cycle a lot, both recreationally and as transportation, but as is typical with most American cities, the infrastructure isn't all that supportive. Some cities, including Louisville, are pursuing initiatives to improve it, putting in bike lanes and whatnot, but that means retrofitting existing infrastructure and in a lot of thoroughfares that's just too costly (short-term, of course) or almost impossible. So you're forced into riding in regular traffic lanes, which can be rather harrowing. So, where possible we tend to stick to side streets. Don't have to suck their exhaust, at least.

And then there's the question of public support. I feel like it's improving a bit (the economy and gas prices pushing more people into it helps), and our current mayor is very pro-cycling and with the public campaigns. But on the whole, public opinion, and more importantly, behavior, still isn't all that supportive of cyclists. A lot of drivers don't understand that a bicycle has all the same rights (and responsibilities) of the road as a car. They think we're supposed to ride on the sidewalk or whatever—which in the sprawl areas of most cities don't even exist. Some drivers can be really aggressive toward cyclists.

I don't know how aware you are of the American infatuation with, and dependency on, the individual automobile, and surely less so of its history. It's just become an ingrained part of the national culture and infrastructure, and it's going to be difficult to change that.

We don't have anything like the sort of rail you all do in Europe. We used to, both interstate rail as well as city streetcar/trolley systems, but National City Lines, with GM and others, took care of that. (Now you all can get the references about the red car and interstates in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, heh.) But, I digress.

Ike put in the interstate highway system, which was a massive public infrastructure undertaking with some positive benefits, but a lot of negative side-effects too. I've been saying forever that we need another such national infrastructure program for public transportation. Trains and light rail, support for cycling, etc. That would have been perfect for both stimulus and a source of jobs, and still would, but noooo. Nutbag Tea Partiers and Republicans absurdly think it's tyrannical communism, and Obama and the Democrats are too timid to stand up to them. But again, I digress.

Also, Vehicle-to-grid.

sinewav wrote:I spent all my time as a kid riding BMX
Me too!
Attachments
double endo to handshake.jpg

User avatar
Jonathan
A Brave Victim
Posts: 3392
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:50 am
Location: Not really lurking anymore

Re: Cycling

Post by Jonathan »

Phytotron wrote:I like the moment at 0:21 when the little scooter whizzes by, just for comic effect.
Meh. They stink. Not as much CO₂ as a car, but at least it's safe to breathe CO₂. They emit a ton of other crap, and do it right under your nose. I really hope electric scooters and assisted bikes will eradicate them in a few years. Cars may follow suit as it becomes more practical. Sadly, I don't think cigarette smoking will progress similarly to people shocking themselves for pleasure.
Phytotron wrote:And then there's the question of public support. I feel like it's improving a bit (the economy and gas prices pushing more people into it helps), and our current mayor is very pro-cycling and with the public campaigns. But on the whole, public opinion, and more importantly, behavior, still isn't all that supportive of cyclists. A lot of drivers don't understand that a bicycle has all the same rights (and responsibilities) of the road as a car. They think we're supposed to ride on the sidewalk or whatever—which in the sprawl areas of most cities don't even exist. Some drivers can be really aggressive toward cyclists.
"Get yer toy offa mah road, kid!" Those people have become a vehicle of their car.
Phytotron wrote:I don't know how aware you are of the American infatuation with, and dependency on, the individual automobile, and surely less so of its history. It's just become an ingrained part of the national culture and infrastructure, and it's going to be difficult to change that.
I'm aware of its being one of those American infatuations. Not so much of its history, but I can see how it took shape.
ˌɑrməˈɡɛˌtrɑn

Word
Reverse Adjust Outside Corner Grinder
Posts: 4169
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Cycling

Post by Word »

Phytotron wrote:I've been saying forever that we need another such national infrastructure program for public transportation. Trains and light rail, support for cycling, etc. That would have been perfect for both stimulus and a source of jobs, and still would, but noooo.
I agree with the idea but it's a bit like our controversy about schools for the disabled. Where I live they've already spent millions to narrow the streets, demolish the old railway tracks and built a super expensive bikeway on that. However, many cyclists don't use it and there are still lots of accidents on the street, regardless how beautiful the landscape is.

http://www.romanistik.uni-freiburg.de/p ... rier_2.jpg

User avatar
sinewav
Graphic Artist
Posts: 6255
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:37 am
Contact:

Re: Cycling

Post by sinewav »

Phytotron wrote:
sinewav wrote:I spent all my time as a kid riding BMX
Me too!
Heh, I should be a little more clear. I didn't stop riding BMX style bikes until I was 35, haha. The last one I had, I gave away to this 8 year old kid in my neighborhood. He had no dad and an alcoholic mom. His bike kept breaking down and he would always come to my house and ask to borrow mine. After the third time I was like, "you know what Stevie? you can just keep it. Here is a note for you mom with my number so she doesn't think you stole it." After that I bought something more like a 26" cruiser because it would be better for getting to work and whatnot.

I still have that habit of never sitting down on the bicycle seat when I ride though (and getting off before I've come to a stop).

User avatar
Phytotron
Formerly Oscilloscope
Posts: 5041
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:06 pm
Location: A site or situation, especially considered in regard to its surroundings.
Contact:

Re: Cycling

Post by Phytotron »

Jonathan wrote:
Phytotron wrote:I like the moment at 0:21 when the little scooter whizzes by, just for comic effect.
Meh. They stink. Not as much CO₂ as a car, but at least it's safe to breathe CO₂. They emit a ton of other crap, and do it right under your nose. I really hope electric scooters and assisted bikes will eradicate them in a few years. Cars may follow suit as it becomes more practical. Sadly, I don't think cigarette smoking will progress similarly to people shocking themselves for pleasure.
All true. Scooters/mopeds and those 70's Japanese sports mopeds have become really popular around here. The latter are especially obnoxious, with that loud, high-pitched screaming buzz the engines make.

But as far as the video, I just meant the visual and audio. Zip!

By the way, I didn't even mention cruising culture. People still do it around here in certain places. Sometimes it involves tricked-out rides and/or is connected to a special occasion, other times/places it's just the driving up and down a strip on Friday and Saturday nights.
sinewav wrote:The last one I had
Brakes for weaks!

I still go out every now and then, but I'm a bit more concerned about breaking myself these days, heh.

The NBL held its Grand Nationals here for 25 years at the legendary Derby City BMX track (see related videos for races) in E.P "Tom" Sawyer Park. They've recently merged with the ABA to form USABMX, and are continuing to host nationals here as the Bluegrass Nationals and Derby City Nationals. And then there's the renowned Louisville Extreme Park on the riverfront, which allows bikes among the skaters (it's EXTREME!!!, after all). So, whatever type of riding you're into, there are those two marquee venues, plus a few other parks, both public and private. And, of course, the street. :)
I still have that habit of never sitting down on the bicycle seat when I ride though (and getting off before I've come to a stop).
Heh, I only stand up when starting out, but yeah, almost always hop off before it has stopped completely.

But I want to note something, too. When it comes to regular cycling, I don't "drive my bike over everything and anywhere, totally disregarding traffic." Like I said earlier, you have not only the same rights, but the same responsibilities of automobiles when you're on the road. You can't expect drivers to treat you appropriately if you don't follow the rules yourself. Set a good example and don't give popular opinion something to complain about. "Well, those cyclists don't follow the rules, they weave in and out of traffic, between cars, don't signal. They're dangerous. Why should we accommodate them?"

Post Reply