The impact of a bicycle…a day dreamer’s rant

I was day dreaming the other day…thinking about how Americans are getting on their bikes more and leaving the car behind. With gas prices getting higher everyday, people are getting fed up and finding that bike commuting isn’t such a bad thing. In fact bike commuting has had a positive impact on everything and because of it, cost of living is starting to go down. Eventually gas prices would start to get lower and lower, cost of food is so cheap that people can afford quality organic foods. Streets would be filled with bicyclists and that the Hummer H1, H2 as well as other big SUV’s have become so undesired that their resale values are so low…they eventually become like the YUGO of the late 80’s.

Another positive impact that bicycles would have on people would be their health. Obesity levels would drop in numbers much like the waist lines, people are happier, treating depression would be a simple prescription of a 10 mile bike ride.

Ah…to dream. I know that everyone of us here are making an impact as small or as grand with our bikes. I would like to thank all of our readers who are out there everyday making a difference in our society. Think about it, you make a difference EVERY DAY. Anytime you get on your bike, you make an impact in your neighborhoods, work, and the traffic around you. Not to mention that you’re not causing any pollution.

So many people will spend countless hours volunteering in organizations or donating tons of cash just so they “can make a difference.” But little do people realize, all that could be achieved with a bicycle…

9 Comments

  1. Zak May 28, 2008 10:18 am 

    Nicely done. Thanks for the positive words.

  2. Iron Man May 28, 2008 10:32 am 

    I’ve been getting pessimistic lately. Thanks for the boost.

    I did just have one of the more “portly” fellows in the office ask me to map out a route for him. I was shocked.

    Sadly there is a guy on a bicycle being hit almost daily in this town. There was me, and in the past three weeks I’ve read of four in the paper … two of those were fatal. One of the non-fatal wrecks was an off duty cop going the wrong way down a one way street. There are a lot of folks taking to the streets with the skill-set and street knowledge of a ten year old.

  3. Wayne Myer May 28, 2008 11:55 am 

    It’s a beautiful dream.

    Unfortunately, a lot of our economy has been built in part upon the burgeoning waistlines and a general malaise of excess. Fixing the “broken window” economy that has sprung up around would be very painful (witness the current housing crash and credit crunch).

    If you think the recession is painful now, just wait until we (Americans in general) start adapting to a life a little less excessive.

    I personally look forward to the “growing” pains. Great post.

  4. C-Fiddy May 28, 2008 12:32 pm 

    Thanks for the encouragement!
    It’s good to dream. The people who figure out ways to realize their dreams are the truly powerful ones. And don’t waste time wringing your hands over potential negatives, hold on to your handlebars instead!
    (Don’t tell anyone, but as we freak out and stop driving over $4.30 gas, Germany is paying somewhere around $8.60.)

  5. BodhiSativa May 28, 2008 2:54 pm 

    Proud cyclists
    spreading life
    Alive

  6. Mike Myers May 28, 2008 7:46 pm 

    I will never understand the wrong way riders. Where does the idea come from? I see them all the time. Recently, I saw a guy in scrubs riding into traffic on a cruiser, with a look of abject terror on his face.

    It’s difficult, as a motorist, to deal with wrong way riders. Judging closing distance is much more difficult. Passing them is more difficult. If I approace a cyclist from behind and it’s unsafe to pass, I can slow down. Can’t do that when someone’s riding into traffic.

    When I see them now, I whip out my cell phone and call the sheriff’s non-emergency number. I tell them a person on a bike is riding into traffic in a reckless manner. I figure if a deputy tells them they’re violating the law it’ll have more of an impact than if I do it.

  7. 2whls3spds May 29, 2008 4:13 am 

    Good Dream…and I hope it becomes a reality.

    Mike Meyers…I have no clue what to do about wrong way riders. I see several every day; what scares me about a lot of them, is that I see them prior to sunrise, they are dressed in dark clothes and have no reflectors or lights. Much as I hate legislation and ordinances, we need comprehensive legislation to bring bicycles into a class of vehicle (like the Danes and Dutch) with minimum requirements for proper road operation (ie; lights, reflectors, brakes) Then we need policing to to enforce those standards. At the same time cycling specific infrastructure needs to be addressed. Unfortunately in the US we have 50 different states and a several thousand cities all with their own agendas…

    Aaron

  8. Marla May 29, 2008 4:56 am 

    Hey, the value of the SUV is going down. Many car lots are offering less than 1/4 of their value or won’t take them at all! At least here in the south. So, part of your daydream is coming around.

  9. CHOPPERGIRL August 24, 2009 9:21 pm 

    The (false) idea behind wrong-way riding is you can see on-coming cars and get out of the way or further onto the curb, than to not see them and have them zoom past you and suck you into them.

    The reason people do this is the problem of asshole car drivers, and trucks, who do not swing wide (like I do if I see a bicycle or motorbike) in a wide berth around riders, but don’t change their postion in the lane *at all*. They go by you within inches. Its harrowing and dangerous as hell, because the suction of their vehicle can suck you in, destablize you, crash you, and pull you into the lane to get hit by their car, sucked into or under back end of their semi trailer, or into the lane to get hit by the next car.

    If you are going past a bicycle rider, motorbike rider, horseback rider, or just people walking, SLOW DOWN and MAKE A WIDE CIRCLE AROUND THEM if there is no other traffic around. To have 3000 pounds of steel barreling down on you is intimidating as hell. To see a driver slow down and circle around you is not only polite, it signals to them you see them, and you’re taking extra precautions for their safety, which makes them feel a *lot* safer.

    Stupid arrogant idiot drivers don’t realize this, until there car breaks down and they have to walk to a filling station on foot by the side of the road, and actually feel this suction and the absolute hostility of people who just could care less that you are walking feet away from the road and don’t budge an inch in their lane.

    So don’t call the cops on these wrong way drivers. Instead, slow down, and give them a wide berth, because by calling the cops, you are only being double an asshole. Yes, what they are doing is a bad idea, because it actually intimidates them worse, as well as disconcerts the auto driver. If you want, shake your head like “no” to give them a message what they are doing is a bad idea. Enough ‘no’s and driving into traffic long enough, they’ll get the signal that what they are doing is hurting them as much as its helping them.

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