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Share That Bike

The problem is plain: Cars are 1) Expensive to own and expensive to fuel; 2) Dangerous, killing large numbers of drivers, passengers and innocent passers-by; 3) Loud, with honking horns and roaring engines; 4) Filthy, spewing toxins into the air, leaking vile fluids all over the ground, and requiring an oil-drilling industry that itself fouls even more water, air and land; 5) Lazy, leading people to sit on their increasingly fat asses for long periods of time, stuck behind the wheel; 6) Boring – in truth, after the first honeymoon period of excitement about road trips, driving is just plain tedious. Cars suck.

The solution: Leave your car in the driveway. Walk and the earth! Read an exciting book on public transportation! Meet people when you’re not traveling past them at 65 miles per hour! Take a good-looking, similarly-fit person out on a hot date with all the money you save!

bicycle red and yellowPart of the solution could be for you to ride a bicycle. Bicycles are 1) Inexpensive to own and inexpensive to fuel; 2) Safe, killing very few people in accidents (it’s cars that kill bicyclists – not the other way around); 3) Quiet, often impossible to hear over a the sound of a gentle breeze; 4) Clean, leaving nothing behind them but elegant, thin trails after they glide through puddles of water; 5) A great method of exercise, giving people strong legs, abdominal muscles and hearts; 6) Exciting to ride, with a flexibility of motion that no car can replicate, and a feeling that’s close to flight, amplified by the physiological response to physical exertion.

There’s a new, low-investment way for people who have thought about transitioning some of their transportation from car to bicycle to try it out: Bike sharing. Spinlister provides a network for people who want to rent bicycles to connect with people who want to lend out the bicycles they own. They allow owners to set their own hourly and daily rates, giving bike owners an income to offset the investment in the purchase and maintenance of their bicycles, and giving prospective bicyclists, or people who are simply traveling through town, an opportunity to see whether getting around by bicycle can work where they are.

Of course, if only fewer people were driving those dirty, dangerous cars, getting around by bicycle would be easy no matter where people lived.

16 comments to Share That Bike

  • manning120

    I agree, but. In my little county, getting from home to office and back by bicycle would be very difficult, . Even if there were bike paths and other concessions now totally absent, we carry lots of groceries, and people, every day — in our cars, of course.

    What I’m pondering is a vision of electric cars whose drivers locate recharging stations by seeing their wind turbines in the distance, and quickly recharging by exchanging battery packs. If only we could get the oil companies to buy into such a system.

  • Xanti

    The only problems with this are that public transportation in most of the US is crappy and unreliable, and bicycles are a pain in the ass, especially for others. I can’t stand bicycle assholes on the road personally.

    A part of the solution surely is to overhaul our public transportation system, but much of it also is overhauling cars:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/27/1783781/for-powering-cars-solar-is-orders-of-magnitude-more-efficient-than-biofuels/?mobile=nc

    Bicycles? Not really. Maybe in tiny countries like the Netherlands and Denmark, but not here. Good riddance.

    • Xanti:

      A “bicycle asshole on the road” is following the law, and inconveniencing you in what way? By making you slow down?

      A car asshole on the road KILLS people.

      Is a bicycle a pain in the ass? You don’t have to go to a gas station and pay big oil companies for their filthy product. They require a parking space that’s about as big as a closet, rather than a big driveway or garage. Three bicycles can go down a lane that occupies only one car.

      The car is the thing that’s a pain in the ass, Xanti.

      • Dave

        Been fighting the battle against drivers who become unbelievably irritated by the sight of a bicycle since 1971. There’s no explaining it, no reasoning with it. Green Man, you’re onto something.

      • Xanti

        I think bicycles are a great way for hippies to feel both environmentally friendly and not guilty about transportation, without actually being eco-friendly and without actually having nothing to be guilty about (think about how those bicycles are made ;) )

        >Is a bicycle a pain in the ass? You don’t have to go to a gas station and pay big oil companies for their filthy product. They require a parking space that’s about as big as a closet, rather than a big driveway or garage. Three bicycles can go down a lane that occupies only one car.

        You’ve obviously never have rode a bike in SoCal ;)

        >A “bicycle asshole on the road” is following the law, and inconveniencing you in what way? By making you slow down?

        Yeah, and our laws are very inconsistent and annoying when it comes to the road, yes? Actually, when it comes to everything else come to think of it…

        Anyway, I think George Carlin sums up my views on people with bikes on the road perfectly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6zj5nhASk0

        If you’re going to ride a bike, make it a motorcycle. Otherwise get off the road.

        • “These fucking faggots with their bicycles.” — George Carlin, in the video that sums up your views on people with bikes “perfectly.”

          Aw, how cute, Xanti! The bicycle riders are “faggots” who wear helmets and who are “going 30 feet up in the fucking air, that’s where they’re going!”

          Ass.

      • Xanti

        >A car asshole on the road KILLS people.

        So do bikes, if given the chance:

        http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2012/04/05/was-cyclist-who-killed-pedestrian-reckless

        Also, I don’t spend any money on gasoline, my car doesn’t take any ;) There’s always alternatives, and it’s not always best (or in my opinion, ever the best) to go towards the more low-tech solution.

        Get a car or use a bus, metro, whatever. Don’t make the road into some excess of vanity for your environmental nonsense.

        • Xanti,

          Show me that the rate of people killed by bikes is anything comparable to the rate of people killed by cars and I’ll begin to believe you. Otherwise, you’re just being silly.

        • Xanti

          “Show me that the rate of people killed by bikes is anything comparable to the rate of people killed by cars and I’ll begin to believe you. Otherwise, you’re just being silly.”

          I never said they are. I said they can, if given a chance. The fact that very few people use bikes (in comparison to cars) for long term transportation certainly helps lower the risk.

          If you’re denying that bikes can kill and can be dangerous, then you’re the one being silly :P

    • Bill

      Yeah, boy, them bicycle assholes on the road, insisting on using our traffic lanes just like they were legally classified as vehicles that have to obey all the same rules of the road that cars do. Bunch’a punks.

      • Xanti

        Except they’re far slower, and they’re typically ridden by middle class douchebags who think they’re on a mission to save the environment. Either that or teenagers who don’t have their license yet. Either way, an annoying bunch of people.

        • So, really, your problem is that you *don’t like the people* who ride bikes. That’s your problem, not anybody else’s.

        • Though bicyclists are slower in their movement down the street, they’re faster in their wits. Sitting on your butt in a car or truck leads to blocked blood vessels in the brain, whereas frequent exercise increases effective mental functioning.

        • Xanti

          This comment system is really annoying, since a poster can’t seem to directly respond to anyone after a post or two in a table. You really should look into adopting disqus or something. Anyway…

          “So, really, your problem is that you *don’t like the people* who ride bikes. That’s your problem, not anybody else’s.”

          Sure, and I’m not alone. Thankfully bicycle assholes are typically not on the road in these parts, even cops over here don’t like them (hey, something we can finally agree on) so it’s not something I wake up in the morning pondering.

          But bringing this back into actual policy, it’s laughable if anyone actually suggests bicycles or scooters or whatever are actually part of some sort of national strategy, being that it is completely infeasible in the US. In some dense cities like San Francisco, maybe, and in some tiny almost mirco nations like Denmark, maybe, but not North America, not by a long shot. Unless you want to do away with all forms of long-term transportation, which again is unrealistic.

          Again, bicycles are great for hippies to feel better about themselves, not so great for actual policy consideration.

  • Xanti

    “Though bicyclists are slower in their movement down the street, they’re faster in their wits. Sitting on your butt in a car or truck leads to blocked blood vessels in the brain, whereas frequent exercise increases effective mental functioning.”

    Judging by the comments here, I am highly skeptical of that…

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