It's important that you don't wear helmets or funny shoes

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by David Martin, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

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  2. Pyromancer

    Pyromancer Guest

    David Martin wrote:

    > According to one cycling labour MP who rides a .. er .. blue ? bike.


    > http://motoring.independent.co.uk/comment/article351086.ece


    She's right though - if cycling is to be accepted as sensible,
    practical transport and a serious option to the car for nipping round
    town, it has to be regarded as something you do in ordinary gear, not
    fancy shoes and saftey helmets.

    The fetish for bikes with no mudguards needs to be got rid of too - no
    sane car manufacturer would attempt to sell a mass-market supermini
    that left the occupants covered in muck every time they used it in the
    rain, so why are bike shops stuffed full of guardless bikes?

    Ok, I'm biased having just ordered one, but what we need if cycling is
    to truly become mass-transport again is a return to comfortable upright
    bikes that are intended to be ridden in normal gear, rather than sports
    machinery. Legions of cyclists Amsterdam style all going at 12mph to
    replace the hordes of single-occupancy cars. The sports cyclists will
    gain as well, from better motorist familiarity with cyclists.
     
  3. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Pyromancer wrote:
    > ... what we need if cycling is
    > to truly become mass-transport again is a return to comfortable upright
    > bikes that are intended to be ridden in normal gear...


    Comfortable /upright/ bikes? I'm sure there's something wrong there ;-)

    --
    Danny Colyer <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/danny/>
    Subscribe to PlusNet <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/referral/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  4. Pyromancer wrote:

    > what we need if cycling is
    > to truly become mass-transport again is a return to comfortable
    > upright bikes that are intended to be ridden in normal gear, rather
    > than sports machinery.


    I own both types. Don't forget that sports bikes are a way into transport
    cycling for a lot of people (as are Sustrans routes, but that's another
    story). It works both ways.
     
  5. Mike Causer

    Mike Causer Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 19:20:35 +0000, Danny Colyer wrote:

    > Pyromancer wrote:
    >> ... what we need if cycling is
    >> to truly become mass-transport again is a return to comfortable upright
    >> bikes that are intended to be ridden in normal gear...

    >
    > Comfortable /upright/ bikes? I'm sure there's something wrong there ;-)


    Dr. Moulton invites you to step this way ->

    I now have 3 Moultons as well as just the one 'bent, and for some trips
    one or other of the Moultons will be better, for some rides the Speed Ross
    will twist their knickers.

    It's nice to have the choice ;-)


    Mike
     
  6. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On 15 Mar 2006 01:47:08 -0800 someone who may be "David Martin"
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >According to one cycling labour MP who rides a .. er .. blue ? bike.
    >
    >http://motoring.independent.co.uk/comment/article351086.ece


    An MP with common sense, excellent. As it says at
    http://www.cicle.org/cicle_content/pivot/entry.php?id=436

    ==============================================================

    Q: When I was viewing the photographs in The Amsterdam Project
    series, what immediately struck me was the seemingly laid back or
    just everyday approach to bicycling. I mean, for the most part,
    there seemed to be no apparent preparation or use of
    cycling-specific gear when bicycling. We see women in heels and in
    flip flops, men in business suits, and so on...Then there are the
    bikes... almost all of them are upright, and what we in the U.S.
    might consider clunkers, outfitted with racks, crates, fenders,
    etc... Almost no where to be found is the SPD cycling shoe, Lycra
    outfit, or bike that emphasizes speed or performance rather than
    comfort and utility. [snip]

    Cycling in Amsterdam is not a specialized activity. It’s a daily
    mode of transportation. People don’t dress special to ride their
    bike any more than we dress special to drive our car to the grocery
    store. They are wearing business suits and high heels because
    they’re on their way to work and that’s what they wear to do those
    activities. When you drive to the store you don’t think “I’m going
    for a drive;” you think “I’m going to the store”…or to work, or to
    the park, or wherever. Culturally it’s a reflection of cycling not
    being an activity in and unto itself, but an enabler of daily life.

    ==============================================================



    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh
    I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents me
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/00023--e.htm#54
     
  7. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>,
    Pyromancer ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > The fetish for bikes with no mudguards needs to be got rid of too - no
    > sane car manufacturer would attempt to sell a mass-market supermini
    > that left the occupants covered in muck every time they used it in the
    > rain, so why are bike shops stuffed full of guardless bikes?


    Because most people who are currently buying bikes are not buying utility
    bikes. And also because bikes come part-assembled, and assembling
    mudguards is relatively time consuming when measured against the
    perceived added value.

    But currently, the bike market is as if Mazda MX5s and Lotus Elises - and
    also stripped out custom landrover mud-racers - outsold mass-market
    superminis by ten to one. For every sensible adult utility bike a bike
    shop sells it sells eight more-or-less serious mountain bikes and three
    more-or-less serious drop bar bikes. Not because bike shops don't want
    to sell utility bikes, but because the public at large no longer see
    bicycles as practical utility vehicles.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; It appears that /dev/null is a conforming XSL processor.
     
  8. "David Hansen" quoted somebody

    ...Then there are the
    > bikes... almost all of them are upright, and what we in the U.S.
    > might consider clunkers, outfitted with racks, crates, fenders,
    > etc... Almost no where to be found is the SPD cycling shoe, Lycra
    > outfit, or bike that emphasizes speed or performance rather than
    > comfort and utility. [snip]


    It's the universal rule of thumb, round the world, that people would
    cycle four times as far as they would walk The area you can reach
    goes up as the square of the radius of the circle round your starting
    point, so if you travel four times as far, you are able to reach
    sixteen times as many places.

    In the Netherlands, though, they use a different rule - on a Dutch
    bike you can travel only three times as far as you can walk (1).
    Thus a Dutch bike is only 9/16 times as useful, about 56%, as a
    normal bike
    ----------------------
    (1) see for example, the Dutch Directorate General for Passenger
    Transport, "the Dutch Bicycle Master Plan" March 1999, p107

    Jeremy Parker
     
  9. > but because the public at large no longer see
    > bicycles as practical utility vehicles.


    And never will until traffic levels decrease or urban speed limits are
    lowered (or our climate gets better).
     
  10. Graeme Dods

    Graeme Dods Guest

    On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 23:43:50 GMT, Mark Thompson wrote:

    > And never will until traffic levels decrease


    Or until they increase to semi-permanent gridlock levels.

    Graeme
     
  11. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Pyromancer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > David Martin wrote:
    >
    >> According to one cycling labour MP who rides a .. er .. blue ? bike.

    >
    >> http://motoring.independent.co.uk/comment/article351086.ece

    >
    > She's right though - if cycling is to be accepted as sensible,
    > practical transport and a serious option to the car for nipping round
    > town, it has to be regarded as something you do in ordinary gear, not
    > fancy shoes and saftey helmets.


    What? Like what the Dutch do?

    > The fetish for bikes with no mudguards needs to be got rid of too - no
    > sane car manufacturer would attempt to sell a mass-market supermini
    > that left the occupants covered in muck every time they used it in the
    > rain, so why are bike shops stuffed full of guardless bikes?


    True.

    > Ok, I'm biased having just ordered one, but what we need if cycling is
    > to truly become mass-transport again is a return to comfortable upright
    > bikes that are intended to be ridden in normal gear, rather than sports
    > machinery. Legions of cyclists Amsterdam style all going at 12mph to
    > replace the hordes of single-occupancy cars. The sports cyclists will
    > gain as well, from better motorist familiarity with cyclists.


    True. I'm just finishing restoring a 1950's 3 speed. Superb to ride
    (though I need to get the brakes sorted before I take it anywhere other than
    round the block.

    T
     
  12. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Graeme Dods" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 23:43:50 GMT, Mark Thompson wrote:
    >
    >> And never will until traffic levels decrease

    >
    > Or until they increase to semi-permanent gridlock levels.


    What? Like central London yesterday? My colleague insisted on a Taxi.
    Walking would have been quicker. The tube + walking would have creamed that
    time and cycling would have just been plain silly -- even with a gridlock of
    taxis and white vans. Thank god for the Congestion Charge -- it would have
    been truly grim without it!!

    T
     
  13. Simon Jester

    Simon Jester Guest

    X-No-Archive:yes

    Pyromancer wrote:
    >
    > She's right though - if cycling is to be accepted as sensible,
    > practical transport and a serious option to the car for nipping round
    > town, it has to be regarded as something you do in ordinary gear, not
    > fancy shoes and saftey helmets.
    >


    The problem is once you start wearing proper cycling gear, riding in
    normal clothes feels horrible.

    > The fetish for bikes with no mudguards needs to be got rid of too - no
    > sane car manufacturer would attempt to sell a mass-market supermini
    > that left the occupants covered in muck every time they used it in the
    > rain, so why are bike shops stuffed full of guardless bikes?
    >


    I suspect most adults getting back in to cycling want a 'mountain' bike
    for leisure use.


    > Ok, I'm biased having just ordered one, but what we need if cycling is
    > to truly become mass-transport again is a return to comfortable upright
    > bikes that are intended to be ridden in normal gear, rather than sports
    > machinery. Legions of cyclists Amsterdam style all going at 12mph to
    > replace the hordes of single-occupancy cars. The sports cyclists will
    > gain as well, from better motorist familiarity with cyclists.


    I agree with what you are saying but I think this is a problem of
    image. Most people regard transport cycling as something only the lower
    classes who can't afford a car do.
    Whereas mountain biking or sports cycling is an acceptable middle
    class hobby.
     
  14. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "Simon Jester" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > I agree with what you are saying but I think this is a problem of
    > image. Most people regard transport cycling as something only the lower
    > classes who can't afford a car do.
    > Whereas mountain biking or sports cycling is an acceptable middle
    > class hobby.


    It's interesting that a lot of transport cycling is done by more well off
    people, despite the image.

    cheers,
    clive
     
  15. Simon Jester

    Simon Jester Guest

    X-No-Archive:yes

    Clive George wrote:
    >
    > It's interesting that a lot of transport cycling is done by more well off
    > people, despite the image.
    >


    True, but we are still very much a minority of road users and there are
    a lot of people not particularly well off who try to give the
    impression that they are. The sort of people who spend six months
    salary on a new car to get one up on the neighbours.
     
  16. > Most people regard transport cycling as something only the lower
    > classes who can't afford a car do.


    Nooo, they get the bus.

    The wide-eyed astonishment when I mention that I cycle reveals that it's
    viewed as something only the suicidal or the brave do. Nowt to do with
    class.
     
  17. > The wide-eyed astonishment when I mention that I cycle reveals that it's
    > viewed as something only the suicidal or the brave do. Nowt to do with
    > class.


    I remember in my last job when I first said I was intending to cycle to
    work; people looked at me as if I was intending to take up a career in
    unexploded ordnance disposal or other activities with a similar risk level.

    Most of my friends are fairly young(ish) and many take part in "risky"
    activities such as raves etc but are still shocked when I say I cycle
    everywhere (apart from the ones which are cyclists). Even they consider
    something like a 26 mile ride to be a "big feat of athletic endeavour".

    I'm not sure either about the class issues but I do think most modern youths
    can't wait to get a car as they equate it with freedom and an amount of
    youthful "rebellion" - particulaly if they wish to attend music events which
    are often held in different locations every time (including even licensed
    ones as most big nightclubs don't like *regular* dance events in their
    venues as cops lean on them..)

    The "gary boy"/"max power" cruise scene has also merged with some aspects of
    the rave scene - most of you must have seen a young chav driver in a car
    with a cheap body kit blasting hard house/hardstyle from their speakers at
    full volume...

    Paradoxically this creates an even *greater* problem with drunk/drugged
    drivers than the old skool days when most raves/clubs where in areas people
    could either walk or cycle to....

    Alex

    --
    Mr [email protected] / General Lighting
    Ipswich, Suffolk, Untied Kingdom
    http://www.partyvibe.com
     
  18. David Martin wrote:
    > According to one cycling labour MP who rides a .. er .. blue ? bike.
    >
    > http://motoring.independent.co.uk/comment/article351086.ece
    >
    > ..d
    >

    She's actually paraphrasing Steven Norris:

    "The former Conservative transport minister said: "I never wear a helmet
    for the same reason I never wear lycra.

    "I think the idea that you have got to dress up like a bloody spaceman
    in order to ride a bike is just completely potty.

    "You should be looking at it [cycling] as something that normal, fat,
    middle-aged men like me do. "

    From

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2013678.stm
     
  19. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Mr [email protected] (2.30 zulu-india) wrote:
    > The "gary boy"/"max power" cruise scene has also merged with some aspects of
    > the rave scene - most of you must have seen a young chav driver in a car
    > with a cheap body kit blasting hard house/hardstyle from their speakers at
    > full volume...


    I imagine many of us have probably *felt* their "music" as the house
    vibrates when they go past...

    --
    Danny Colyer <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/danny/>
    Subscribe to PlusNet <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/referral/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  20. Simon Jester <[email protected]> wrote:
    > X-No-Archive:yes


    > Pyromancer wrote:
    >>
    >> She's right though - if cycling is to be accepted as sensible,
    >> practical transport and a serious option to the car for nipping round
    >> town, it has to be regarded as something you do in ordinary gear, not
    >> fancy shoes and saftey helmets.


    > The problem is once you start wearing proper cycling gear, riding in
    > normal clothes feels horrible.


    Thanks for the warning. I'd better stick with the ordinary clothes
    I've been cycling in for fifty years then.

    > I agree with what you are saying but I think this is a problem of
    > image. Most people regard transport cycling as something only the lower
    > classes who can't afford a car do.


    One solution to that is to regard anyone who thinks that as a lower
    class thinker :)

    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
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