Bikes outselling cars in most of the European Union

Post in 'The Green Room' started by begreen, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. begreen

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  2. Frozen Canuck

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    I have noticed this trend with my daughters generation as well.

    She looked for a place in/near the downtown core, walks/jogs/roller blades/bikes to almost everything in her community, uses mass transit for work. All the while pocketing easily 6-8K/yr by not driving & paying for parking everywhere.

    She owns a car that she only drives when she comes back into the rural areas to visit us, or for other infrequent travel. I have to remind her to start the car once a month & let it run awhile to keep the motor lubricated.

    When I see her peer group I notice many of them making similar choices, they either have a car that is hardly ever used or have no car & are happy to walk etc. Most earn above average incomes & choose not to use a car.

    Better more forward thinking choices than their parents generation to be sure.
     
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  3. begreen

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    Neither of my sons wants to drive but they would heartily endorse much better mass transit.
     
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  4. Circus

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    Not exactly an apples to apples comparison. A bicycle is like buying new shoes and a car is like buying a new house.
     
  5. begreen

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    Both are transportation choices. The reason people are switching to bikes is because they are more affordable in a weak economy. And many younger generation are turning their backs on the car as their mode of transport. This is the first time in some countries in 70 years. It's not a trivial trend.

    FYI, have you priced out a Specialized or Cannondale lately?
     
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  6. Frozen Canuck

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    Yes I hear you BG. I just couldn't fathom how some of my daughter's peer group could be laying out 5K for a bike & then buying accessories. Still can't for that matter, however that is coming from someone who grew up with a bike that wore like cast iron & weighed like it too.

    In my daughter's peer group there would be few that are making the choice based solely on economics as most are solid earners for the under 30 group. They are simply making different choices than their parents did, IMO better choices. Most completely reject/distain suburbia & the waste that goes with it.
     
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  7. Where2

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    I know what you mean there. My GT Zaskar MTB set me back less than some kids drop on a pair of Nike's they have no intention of wearing. I found it pre-loved at a pawn shop for two clams. Never realized what a bargain it was until I recently had to replace both front and rear tires and tubes for ~$50. Where I live, it is not uncommon to see a car that is worth more than I paid for my waterfront house commuting beside me on my drive to work.

    Can't blame them there. People used to ask why I bought a 40+ year old house in a 40+ year old neighborhood when I could afford to buy a brand new house in a brand new neighborhood? The answer was simple: I'm two blocks from the grocery store, Ace Hardware, Blockbuster & two pharmacies. I'm within walking distance of a city park, a dozen restaurants, two banks, two gas stations, four churches and a gym. On top of all that, I have a dock in my backyard with access to the Atlantic Ocean. You didn't get those features with a new house in a new neighborhood.
     
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  8. stoveguy2esw

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    actually this doesnt shock me, when i was stationed in germany back in the 80's there were a lot of bikes out there , cars werent as prevalent as here by far either. difference is the germans have a modern mass transit system (lotsa trains, streetcars and the like) its modern because it was bombed out of existance in ww2. now their society is built in such a way that makes this work well for them

    such a system would be a very big undertaking here in the us however as our infrastructure was built more around individual transport except in larger cities
     
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  9. oldspark

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    Many people are scared to ride on the roads here do to the drivers, I dont ride much any more but some drivers are dangerous plus the fact they think we should not be there. I ride a MB on gravel now for the most part, chances of getting killed are a lot less.
     
  10. Where2

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    Count me in that group! I stick to the sidewalks on less traveled thoroughfares on my MTB. In this evening's news alone, there are three reports of pedestrians being hit in South Florida, including one fatality. Most nights there are only one or two reports of pedestrian vs. vehicle... Rarely does the vehicle lose these battles.
     
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  11. jebatty

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    On my bike ride around Lake Superior, 1500 miles, I used about 1/2 oz of oil for the chain, the only petroleum product used. That works out to about 385,000 miles per gallon. Count me in. Plus I had a fabulous 3 week vacation.
     
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  12. velvetfoot

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    We just got back from a vacation in Spain. Incredible amount of motor scooters (eg, Vespa), and they're all ridden by maniacs.
     
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  13. oldspark

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    In some countries in Europe if you hit a bicycle with a car it is your fault period, here if you hit a bicycle you add it to your resume.;)
     
  14. 1750

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    I commute to work by bike much of the time. Most drivers are pretty courteous, but a small number seem aggressively opposed to the whole idea. Unfortunately, it only takes one to ruin your day.

    Sadly, the onus of responsibility seems to be on the bike rider to keep from being hit by the car. Even in cases where it's obvious the car driver is at fault, and bicyclists are seriously injured or worse, it is exceptionally rare that drivers are ticketed for traffic infractions that involve bikes.

    Nevertheless, we are finally, finally getting some bike lanes through the major corridors, and I think the city just hired a coordinator for non motorized transportation (it's grant-funded, so who knows if it will last). These are all steps in the right direction, but we seem to have such a long way to go before it becomes a more widely accepted mode of general transportation.
     
  15. Grisu

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  16. Where2

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    I'd consider riding in a bike lane on a major thoroughfare after they add a concrete divider barrier between the car lanes and the bicycles. Where I live in South Florida, there already are bike lanes on most major thoroughfares, and that's where the bicyclists are typically hit. Texting and driving is a secondary offense here. Hands free cell devices are not mandatory. I'm one of the few who doesn't have a cell phone pinned to my ear on my morning and evening commute. It's a frightening free-for-all commuting in a car when you realize nobody else around you is actually concentrating on driving their 3,000lbs hunk of steel at 50-80mph.

    You have my appreciation user 1750. I cannot commute on my bike for fear of being killed where I live. It's bad enough when I go out on the bike from 9-11PM to get exercise using multiple lights and riding on the sidewalks.
     
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  17. oldspark

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    Used to belong to a bike forum and one day one of the people who posted a lot quit posting, they found out later a person texting hit him and he was killed in a bike lane.
     
  18. sesmith

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    Those numbers don't surprise me. Europe has always been more bike centric than we are here. Add to that the high cost of fuel, taxes and higher cost of registering and keeping a car in many countries there, it just makes more sense to ride a bike and use mass transit.

    We are much more spread out here, making a bike less of a real transportation option for many. Add to that, the many other reasons people use not to ride bikes here...safety, hills, weather, and just the fact that many are too overweight and out of shape to get started, bike riding is still not seen as a legitimate transportation alternative by many.

    Locally, though, I have seen some changes. I've commuted most days the 12.5 miles each way to work, for quite a few years. Several years ago, I would rarely see other riders (and I work at a university). The last couple of years I see many others, so locally, at least, that's a big increase. There is a downside to that, though. I've also noticed a huge increase in the number of bike riders who are doing crazy, unsafe things on the road. So I've gone from seeing no bike riders, to seeing many riding wrong way, on sidewalks, blowing through stop lights and signs, and the list goes on. Not to imply that most riders are riding unsafely, just that the number of unsafe riders is way more than it should be. That just gives us all a bad rep. with the driving public around here.
     
  19. pdf27

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    One point to remember - the rise of the MAMIL. The modern mid-life crisis is more likely to involve a carbon fibre bike and some lycra than it is a red convertible and a younger woman. More bikes does not necessarily mean less commuting by car.

    That being said, the annual audit of how people commute where I work just came out. On average the number of cyclists has been increasing by 1% of the total every year for the past five.
     
  20. 1750

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    I've never heard of the MAMIL. That's hilarious.
     
  21. 1750

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  22. Circus

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    You a better man than I, Gunga Din.
     
  23. Seasoned Oak

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    People as wising up. WHile giving suggestions on how to save on gas i thought Ed begly Jr. (Mr conservation) would hawk electric cars first, but no, he suggested Walking and biking as a way to promote health and save gas before resorting to motorized transport of any kind that also cause some pollution.
     
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  24. #24 Hansson, Dec 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2013
    Hansson

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  25. 1750

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