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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  2940 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I am a vigilante

Ride a motorcycle. You'll get accustomed to the idea that the big boxes all around you are indifferent and inattentive to your death and that you are essentially playing Frogger with zero lives left.

Then when you hop on your bicycle you'll be thrilled by how little room you take up and the fact that you can pop onto the sidewalk when things get truly dicey!

humanodon  ·  2940 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I do. I've traveled a fair bit and it's only in the US that I find people who are so ridiculously unaware of the moment to moment situation on the road. The roads here are simply too safe for cars, the people drive too fast, and they aren't used to seeing anything other than cars or trucks as part of traffic. It's only in the US that I see such intense road rage. Especially over lane sharing. To be fair, lots of riders are shitty here too. They start off on big bikes to feel like they've got balls, then eat it and give the rest of us the reputation of being weekend warrior organ donors.

Anyway, maybe biking would be a nice change. I wouldn't have to worry about some asshole tipping my bike over in displaced anger caused by some other rider.

kleinbl00  ·  2940 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It comes from the fact that the drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco is the same as the drive from Paris to Zurich. The interstate freeway system allows you to rapidly cross vast expanses of nothing that aren't common anywhere but Africa and Central Asia and in town, the roads are designed to emulate the interstate freeway system.

Find a bike path. Ride it. Google actually does a pretty good job of giving you bike directions these days. According to Runkeeper I've biked 3500 miles in the past two years. My total investment was $800 for the bike in 2009, three sets of tires, a replacement crank, sprocket and two chains.

humanodon  ·  2940 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, I guess I didn't factor in how long distances might affect driving attitudes. I think most people from outside of the US and certainly many who don't tend to drive long stretches within the US forget how enormous the place is.

That's a whole lot of mileage on a bike!

kleinbl00  ·  2939 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The freeway system explains so much gigantism in the American car ethic. I remember driving around Switzerland and noting that the widest lanes there are about as wide as the lanes on bridge decks in the US. The widest lanes in the US, on the other hand, are about as wide as the narrowest parking lots over there.

Fun fact: Soviet armor was explicitly designed to weigh less than American armor so that Soviet/Iron Curtain bridges could be built that would support Soviet tank columns but collapse under the weight of American tank columns. Tankers in the Red Army couldn't be over 5'8."