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Thread: the bikemaster

  1. #1

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    the bikemaster

    Before I departed Texas for New York, almost three years ago, I gave my car to charity (a measure of how disgusted with sitting in traffic, and the damage done to my old beater by the horrid physical conditions of the roads in and around Dallas). In New York, I made a wonderful discovery (after suffocating on the subway between smelly underarms, being canned like a fish on the city's overcrowded buses, and arriving horribly late to appointments and whatnot); the bicycle.
    That wonderful memory of the first coming of age.
    I habitually ride to and from Manhattan (usually no further than 59th St.-- the southern edge of Central Park), to my studio in Brooklyn. Although I have been doing so for a couple of years, it still makes me wonder how I beat the subway, and the buses on trips up to midtown. It takes me roughly twenty minutes to get to Central Park on my bike, whereas the subway's trip is a guaranteed half hour (not accounting for train delays, and passenger incidents). The buses take roughly 40 minutes to make the trip.
    And the feeling of freedom is great. In a city so completely obsessed with space, a bike is a very hot commodity. A bike, where personal space can expand to engulf the drab monoliths whizzing by as they morph into grand palaces and inviting civic parks. A bike, where one can jockey with the iron will of New York taxi cabs-- and usually win! A bike, upon which last minute meetings and errands can be made considerably faster than the utilization of public transportation, without the headache and insult to the nose. A bike, where the wind slides cool fingers down heated flesh as you pass over the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Williamsburg, or 49th St. Bridge. Freedom manifest.
    That is why bike ridership has increased in the city.
    Oh, did I fail to mention that the MTA (metropolitan transit authority) is raising subway and bus fares?

  2. #2
    Riding a bike is all that man, nothing can replace the freedom of bicycling.

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Even in auto-centric Kansas City, during rush-hour traffic on surface streets with a level of service B or C, I notice that bikes can keep up with cars just fine. I'd commute by bike if I didn't live 25 km from work.

    There is a certain kind of freedom that you feel on a bike ... as if you're more connected with the world around you. Maybe it's because there is no window and no car body between you and the outside world, or that your feet are just a few inches above the pavement rather than separated by a unibody floorpan and firewall.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I went to school in Marquette Michigan, and it is nothing to see every bike rack full. My adviser rode his bike to work every day he could (some times the snow was just too deep). I got into the whole biking revolution a while back when I was having problems with my car and could not afford to get it fixed for a month. Two months after getting it fixed, I could still be seen riding on one of the many paths that crisscrossed the city. Our community was fortunate to have a rails to trails program, and being an old iron ore port, the trails where everywhere...

    Then I moved to reading... I have bounced off two cars, and they enforce the no bikes on the sidewalks law. I miss the freedom of my bike.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Now you just gotta start racing....go over to Floyd Bennet park in Brooklyn ...those races will make a man outta ya! And you too can be covered in this ccol decorative pattern of road rash like I am....chicks dig it.


    PS.....you aren't going to find any support for riding your bike on the sidewalk in thsi forum...well....maybe from Budgie, but no one else.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    when the weather turned nice here i noticed that biking took me half the time of the subway commute. 10 minutes as opposed to 20.

    Car doors scare the heck out of me.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Originally posted by jresta


    Car doors scare the heck out of me.
    Ride in the middle of the street, not the bike lanes. Philly drivers are some the most courteous to cyclists.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Mike - be nice.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Ride in the middle of the street, not the bike lanes. Philly drivers are some the most courteous to cyclists.

    I hear ya. My ride in the morning takes me up Passyunk to 5th so on Passyunk i ride in the middle but once I get up to 5th St. north of Lombard I can't do that anymore. Traffic moves to quick.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Originally posted by El Guapo
    Mike - be nice.
    I was being TOTALLY serious!

    See, the bike lanes in Philly are funny. I can speak first hand because I was heavily involved with their placement. They weren't designed with cyclist in mind, per se. They were put in to shut the "bike nazis" up. Roads weren't widened when they were put in, a bunch of maps with cartway widths were looked at, and where PaDOT thought they could "squeeze" in bike lanes they did.

    Half of the bike lanes in the city encroach upon the on street parking. It really is a joke.

    People think I'm crazy, but I always tell people, ride in the middle of the street. The idea is to make the cars go around you, not by you. If they have to cross the yellow line they are going to use more caution, than if you are hugging the curb.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike D.
    People think I'm crazy, but I always tell people, ride in the middle of the street. The idea is to make the cars go around you, not by you. If they have to cross the yellow line they are going to use more caution, than if you are hugging the curb.
    I agree. Twelve years ago when I got into biking, a friend of mine from high school who was as intense as Mike (my friend also shaved his legs and crashed often) showed me how to "become one" with the auto traffic. If more bicyclists stayed in the road, instead of just to the right of the white painted line, the sooner auto drivers will get used to us. Motorists tend to think they own the road, but they don't.

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