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comment by humanodon
humanodon  ·  2964 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I am a vigilante

I would like to put stickers on bike riders that go through red lights, but I can't catch them. I like the idea of riding a bike in a Western city, but people drive too fast and aren't used to recognizing non-cars as entities on the road. It also gets me riled when bike riders don't think that traffic laws apply to them. It'd be nice if there were a network of bike roads that were separate from regular streets, something elevated maybe.

kleinbl00  ·  2963 days ago  ·  link  ·  

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  ·  2963 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  ·  2963 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  ·  2963 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  ·  2963 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."

AlderaanDuran  ·  2964 days ago  ·  link  ·  

| It'd be nice if there were a network of bike roads that were separate from regular streets, something elevated maybe.|

We have "The Greenway" here in the Twin Cities. Hard to get funding for, because bikes aren't taxed like cars are, nor do they use gasoline, so there's really not "biker specific tax" to pay for these projects unlike traditional roads. But slowly, every year, it gets better and better. Parts of the greenway are completely separate from roads, have tunnels, over passes, and it is almost entirely separate from roads out in the burbs. But as it moves into Minneapolis obviously that's not the case, and the overpasses and underpasses become fewer and farther between and at that point it just kind of turns into street riding. But they've widen the bike lanes, taken away traffic lanes, changes the speed limits, and the stop light timings on many of the roads that are considered part of the greenway. The make the speed limits so slow for cars (like 20 or 25), that everyone in a car just uses something else.

They are trying to make it run full east/west through the whole downtown and heavily populated areas, and convert roads into bike only for it at some point. But it's a process, and again, the funding is tough when the people who use it aren't paying any specific taxes to that infrastructure, so it relies heavily on donations currently.

humanodon  ·  2964 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I hadn't heard about that. I hope it gets the money, it sounds like a nice change.

ErisHeiress  ·  2964 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Biking can be great, or it can be shit. Depends on the city. I live in one of the top 10 bike friendly cities in the US, so despite the shitty winters up here, it's actually quite nice.