15 votes

I am not a "Cyclist"

11 comments

  1. [8]
    jzimbel
    Link
    Slightly tangential anecdote/rant, but I’m currently shopping around for an e-bike since it makes a lot more sense than a car for my needs. When I’ve mentioned this to family, I’ve gotten some...

    Slightly tangential anecdote/rant, but I’m currently shopping around for an e-bike since it makes a lot more sense than a car for my needs. When I’ve mentioned this to family, I’ve gotten some interesting reactions.

    Some of them have made negative comments about the bike “doing the work for you”. Okay?? That’s kind of the point. Pedal assist is supposed to let you travel farther and get up hills while loaded down with groceries or other cargo.

    Others (the suburban road- and mountain-bike enthusiasts) want me to deck it out with fat tires and such, like some kind of tank. I live in a mostly flat city with good and rapidly improving bike infrastructure.

    It’s weird to see how much they still see bikes as exercise/recreation equipment and nothing more.

    This whole experience has caused me to form some new, strongly negative opinions on the idea of exercise as something to be kept segregated from everyday life. Drive to the park, go for an hour bike in the park, drive home. Now drive to the grocery store, get groceries, drive home. If you live in a bike-friendly area (and some of my relatives do), why can’t those things be merged?

    6 votes
    1. arp242
      Link Parent
      I've long been ridiculing people people taking the car to the gym for the same reason. Personally, I don't really like doing exercise but I don't mind being physically active. That is, I don't...

      This whole experience has caused me to form some new, strongly negative opinions on the idea of exercise as something to be kept segregated from everyday life. Drive to the park, go for an hour bike in the park, drive home. Now drive to the grocery store, get groceries, drive home. If you live in a bike-friendly area (and some of my relatives do), why can’t those things be merged?

      I've long been ridiculing people people taking the car to the gym for the same reason.

      Personally, I don't really like doing exercise but I don't mind being physically active. That is, I don't really enjoy doing sports or the like for the sake of it, but I also don't mind cycling to, well, everywhere. I don't even have a driver's license. I enjoyed the 10km cycle to work, but I would rarely cycle for the fun of it (maybe once a month at the most).

      There's also some research that says that being active throughout the day is much better for your health than being mostly inactive and going to the gym once every few days. I don't know how strong this research is though.

      3 votes
    2. [4]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      My only question would probably be: why not a motorcycle instead?

      My only question would probably be: why not a
      motorcycle instead?

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        A couple of plausible reasons: Motorcycles (especially electric motorcycles) tend to cost a lot more than e-bikes Motorcycles are, for better or worse, part of traffic. Lane splitting and...

        A couple of plausible reasons:

        • Motorcycles (especially electric motorcycles) tend to cost a lot more than e-bikes
        • Motorcycles are, for better or worse, part of traffic. Lane splitting and filtering are sadly illegal in the vast majority of the United States, so you're basically limited to moving at the same pace as the surrounding cars
        • Motorcycles require more maintenance than bicycles, and you have to get a license for them, and insurace, so there are significant additional, recurring costs compared to just buying an e-bike
        • Motorcycles have to be parked somewhere, which can be a problem. Bicycles are portable in comparison, and can even be brought inside
        6 votes
        1. Adys
          Link Parent
          All of the above. I'm a big fan of rentable e-bikes. I don't have to worry about the vehicle being stolen and, since I live in the city center, I'm never far from one. I don't have a motorcycle...

          All of the above. I'm a big fan of rentable e-bikes. I don't have to worry about the vehicle being stolen and, since I live in the city center, I'm never far from one. I don't have a motorcycle license, nor a parking space, and it's a lot easier to move around within the city with a bike than with a motor vehicle.

          3 votes
        2. jzimbel
          Link Parent
          Yup, pretty much this. A bike is small enough to store in my building’s basement, and there are enough dedicated bike lanes/separated paths around my city that I can get places quickly without...

          Yup, pretty much this. A bike is small enough to store in my building’s basement, and there are enough dedicated bike lanes/separated paths around my city that I can get places quickly without much overlap with automobile traffic.

          As an added bonus I find that it’s a lot easier to stop and enjoy something whimsical while biking: I was on my way back from visiting some friends this weekend and came across a big brass band playing in an open field by the bike path. I got off the path for a minute and just took in the scene before continuing on. If I’d been on a motorcycle or in a car I wouldn’t have noticed it, and even if I had, stopping to listen wouldn’t have been worth the effort of finding a spot to park.

          3 votes
    3. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      I combine exercise and errands all of the time. I don't personally use an e-bike though as I have time to spare and want to maximize the exercise part.

      I combine exercise and errands all of the time. I don't personally use an e-bike though as I have time to spare and want to maximize the exercise part.

      1 vote
    4. acdw
      Link Parent
      I just bought an ebike -- today is Day 2 of commuting with it. It's awesome, and I love it. However, I've internally been having a lot of the same arguments you've experienced from actual people...

      I just bought an ebike -- today is Day 2 of commuting with it. It's awesome, and I love it. However, I've internally been having a lot of the same arguments you've experienced from actual people -- I'm actually glad this video was posted because it helped me realize I don't want to be a "cyclist" either, just a guy who rides bikes.

      1 vote
  2. ohyran
    Link
    I live in Northern Europe and the city I live in is pretty hilly BUT have good bike lanes. Both my and my husband just use our bikes for everything and I have never ever experienced any driver try...

    I live in Northern Europe and the city I live in is pretty hilly BUT have good bike lanes. Both my and my husband just use our bikes for everything and I have never ever experienced any driver try to ram me off the road or anything like that! (thank fekk for that btw, or for them since they are by law always, no matter what, and how, responsible in one way or another as they are driving the one ton heavy machinery)

    Inner cities need better infrastructure for public transport, secure and easily accessible car parking for those out of town, and a focus on bike lanes and pedestrian traffic. Cars are a necessity for many - its a bitter fact. So banning them outright seems tricky... although one day it may be possible to get away from them somehow.

    4 votes
  3. mrbig
    Link
    Pretty cool video. My city doesn’t have many bike lanes, but the drivers are not that hostile. I don’t consider myself a cyclist either. I just ride a bike. Cyclists spend thousands of Reais in...

    Pretty cool video. My city doesn’t have many bike lanes, but the drivers are not that hostile. I don’t consider myself a cyclist either. I just ride a bike. Cyclists spend thousands of Reais in specialized frequently useless gear and ride together making a big splash. I have a basic bicycle that’s efficient and comfortable. I wear a helmet, gloves and the bike has some lights. That’s about it.

    2 votes
  4. acdw
    Link
    A similar thing happened to me when I was vegan -- I got the smallest, tiniest taste of what BIPOC/women/LGBTQI people go thru daily. The expectations to speak for the entire group, out-grouping,...

    A similar thing happened to me when I was vegan -- I got the smallest, tiniest taste of what BIPOC/women/LGBTQI people go thru daily. The expectations to speak for the entire group, out-grouping, collisions with weird stereotypes, etc. My favorite was my coworker, who said, "You must not drink if you're vegan." I didn't at the time for completely other reasons, but I asked him why. He said it was because when you drink, you have to eat bread, and all bread has eggs and milk. Ergo. ... Yeah.

    Anyway, back to bicycling -- luckily where I live most everyone is pretty chill with bikes, as in, they might not get it or complain about me later, but they don't try to run me over. Though I might also be lucky-- there's plenty of white bike memorials around this city. It doesn't help that the actual people on the bikes usually bike against traffic, in the road. That's truly scary.

    2 votes