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Author Topic: Bickering about bicycles, now with occasional tips about motorised vehicles  (Read 123094 times)

jwhouk

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(does the conversion)

Wait - about US$2,200 for a BICYCLE?

A high-end TREK bicycle comes in at less than that... though at $1,979, with tax added it probably nicks that total.

Yeesh. Sorry, I'm not buying a bike like that for THAT much.
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The Seldom Killer

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It's matter of you get what you pay for.

My previous geared bike was an aluminium frame with carbon forks and (subject to several component changes) lasted me 10 years through 8-10 thousand miles a year and multiple crashes, bumps, bounces and other rough handling. It cost me £350 and it finally succumbed to metal fatigue.

To buy the same bike now would cost about £800. The extra £400 is going to get me a far lighter, stronger frame, higher quality components and a set of hand built wheels which are always better than factory built. In the current market, what I'm buying should cost me at least another £300-£400 so is very much a bargain. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't buy the components and build this up from scratch for cheaper, a realistic option for more expensive bikes or bikes of lower quality.

It's worth bearing in mind that this isn't going to be a pub bike or a commuter or a bike for pottering around town or up quiet little country lanes on a Sunday afternoon. This is a bike for adventures and epic quests in far away places. Now if you were buying a motorbike straight off the showroom floor for adventures and epic quests, would you really only spend £1200 on it?
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hedgie

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I dunno, a friend of mine got his for about that much, and it was totally new, just the previous model year, so it was heavily discounted.  And it was a rather nice bike.  Not quite the sex on wheels that Ducatis are, but still damned nice.
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jwhouk

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If I'm going to spend that much on a bike, it's going to be something like a Rhoads Car.
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bhtooefr

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A high-end TREK bicycle comes in at less than that... though at $1,979, with tax added it probably nicks that total.

That's... not high-end, and Trek's got a bike over $10k.

$2000 is very much mid-range.

The trick is that bicycles, especially high-performance road bikes, have to have far more advanced engineering in their frames and some components, than a car, to be sufficiently light-weight yet strong. And, they have to do it without the economies of scale of car production, unless they're a single-speed rod brake roadster (at which point you can get a Flying Pigeon in China for $30, but you end up having to rebuild the thing yourself as soon as you buy it).

And, the Rhoades Cars are incredibly heavy junk, as I understand.

I'll note that I paid $1100 for my recumbent trike, and it's very much low-end, heavy, flexy, and with cheap components.
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The Seldom Killer

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Fucking hell. that Rhoades Car weighs 179lb. If I spent that much money on a biie I'd want one that I could still ride up Walkley Bank after a100miler in the Peak District. Or indeed ride anywhere in Sheffield without crying.

B is righ $2000 is is the ballpark figure for a mid range bike these days
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ankhtahr

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I'll just say something about motorised vehicles now.

I had the opportunity to drive a BMW i3. It's a fully electric car. It's amazing. It takes a moment to get used to, as it starts recharging as soon as you lift your foot of the gas pedal, so it feels like you're braking relatively strongly. In fact it's perfectly possible to stop for red lights without ever touching the brake pedal. Luckily the car turns on your brake indicators when you do that, otherwise people would definitely crash into you.

It's really fascinating how quiet that car is. And how much torque it has. No need for a clutch, as in contrast to an engine running on petrol it can supply torque while standing still, so you don't lose any energy.

This was a really interesting experience, but now I want an electro car, and I could never afford one. Maybe an electro bike. There are ones which will go up to 45 km/h (legal limit in Germany). But first I'll need to fix my daily bike. And I'd also love to have a lightweight single speed bike. I'm considering buying an old racing bike and making it single speed on my own. Seems like the cheapest option.
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GarandMarine

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All this talk about $2000 motorcycles reminds me I need to look into motorcycle lessons so I can get my Class M endorsement in Colorado... then I'm going to buy an 885 Harley Sportster or comparable bike if I can find one. I forgot to mention I got my first motorcycle lessons while I was in California, running around on little 85cc Yamaha Chapees was a blast and I'm absolutely hooked.
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A high-end TREK bicycle comes in at less than that... though at $1,979, with tax added it probably nicks that total.

That's... not high-end, and Trek's got a bike over $10k.

$2000 is very much mid-range.

This.

I'm still on aluminum-wtih-carbon-fork (and Tiagra components), but I can see myself moving into that price ranger sooner or later.
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Carl-E

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All this talk about $2000 motorcycles ...

Where?  Those are $2000 bicycles.

And that Harley you're talking about is more like $20,000 new, depending on the level of "factory customization" involved. 
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GarandMarine

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Hedgie was talking about motorcycles, and a Harley Sportster can be had for cheap if you do your own work, and buy one from the 80s. I don't buy nearly ANYTHING new.
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Grognard

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the Ranger failed inspection.
must have a short someplace, because 3 different lights burnt out in the past 72 hours.

and then the tie rod ends  and the passenger ball joint are shot as well.
Waiting to get some more estimates for the repairs.
so far, I've heard: $600 and $850....  :(
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hedgie

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Hedgie was talking about motorcycles, and a Harley Sportster can be had for cheap if you do your own work, and buy one from the 80s. I don't buy nearly ANYTHING new.
For a lot of things, it's better that way, especially if one is frugal || on a tight budget.  It rather boggles my mind what some people pay for the new shiny, when after 6 months, it can be found second-hand, or discounted to being a model that's being phased out, or a refurb for a fraction of the price.
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jwhouk

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Somebody's gotta be the first, or it never gets used.
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GarandMarine

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Or the price drops till more people are willing to purchase it.
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Carl-E

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Sorry, it was like 4 posts between hedgie and yours, so I was off a bit. 

Used is definitely the way to go, but even used Harley's ain't cheap, especially if they've been kept up at all.  $2000 for one from the 80's might get you one that runs, but probably not, and even if it does it'll need a shit-ton of work. 

Grognard, I feel your pain - our inspection just came up first of August.  Thought I just needed tires and an alignment. 

Sway bar links had gone bad.  We got it done, but it was the final drain on the bank account until some more cash comes in. 
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GarandMarine

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I honestly wouldn't want a Harley right off the bat unless I get a steal somewhere... something more like the Classic styled Hondas or a used Victory, something like that. No need to get a higher end (*cough* not really any more *cough*) bike for my first one.
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celticgeek

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Here is what you need:  Motorcycles
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Grognard

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My 'Beast' is still limping around with a Spare tire.
Two new tires will run $250-300.

...and I'm still UNDER-employed.  :(

fuck.
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Carl-E

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My 'Beast' is still limping around with a Spare tire.
Two new tires will run $250-300.

...and I'm still UNDER-employed.  :(

fuck.

Like I said, get used.  I needed a pair of front tires for the inspection - after running on a bad sway bar, both were bald, one had belt showing on the inside edge. 

$38 for a matched pair of tires with nice, deep treads from the local U-pull-it yard.  $25 to get them mounted and balanced. 

I haven't bought new tires since... ummm....


I'm not sure I ever have. 
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Grognard

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the local 'pick-a-part' places have caught on to that.  Now days, they pull the good tires as the vehicles come in.
but even at $50 each, I'd save.
hmmm...
maybe Saturday.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #922 on: 11 Oct 2014, 03:13 »

Nice little bit of advice


But man, fuck roundabouts.  They put in a few in north of my city and nobody gets how to use them. More often then not traffic is jammed an extra mile cause of those fuckers.

...No offence meant, but anyone who can't figure out a simple roundabout in under thirty seconds has no business piloting anything motorised in any public place whatsoever.
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bhtooefr

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The problem is that in the US, things are so car-centric that it's downright impractical right now to get those people out of cars. And, because of how massively and invisibly subsidized car travel is, and how allergic people are to subsidizing infrastructure that isn't car infrastructure, mass transit and cycling infrastructure investment is nonexistent (and city structures in the US were designed around the car, making things worse).

I had some ideas for how to gradually fix this from the "incompetent people operating heavy machinery" direction, though, from the direction of creating a new class of car similar in concept to Europe's heavy quadricycle (although much heavier and more powerful to fit a few existing used cars into the category), with greatly reduced safety standards and the current licensing standards, and then creating much stricter licensing for normal cars: https://bhtooefr.org/blog/2013/06/12/thoughts-on-drivers-licensing-standards-in-the-us/
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I think some of the problem comes when people figure them out differently. Even in the UK, where they're commonplace, people do different stuff on them. Mind you, I would like to see tougher and repeated driving proficiency testing.
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jwhouk

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"Heavy quadricycle"?

(Looks up on WP)

Oh.

Uhm, one small problem.

Smart cars are nice - if you live in a big city. If you live out in the middle of frakkin' nowhere, they're not much help - especially if you burn an entire tank of fuel/all of your battery power going one way to the next major city.

Which is what happens in the US.
« Last Edit: 11 Oct 2014, 08:28 by jwhouk »
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bhtooefr

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Smart cars are actually far heavier than the heavy quadricycle class, or even my proposed American analogue to it (which is nearly twice as heavy). And, I wasn't talking about electrics at all. (That's actually another separate discussion, but in-road in-motion charging is the answer there.) Also, I actually really hate the Smart, it's awful at almost everything it does, but it won't leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere out of fuel.

Most Smarts in the US run on gasoline, have an 8.7 gallon tank, and EPA combined mileage is 36 city/highway. That's 313 miles. Or, if you're driving far enough in a day that this is a concern, it's gonna be all highway, and EPA highway is 41. That's 357 miles.

357 miles will get you to a gas station. OK, you need premium, but 357 will get you to one that has premium, too. And, if you're driving 357 miles one way to work, you are far from typical, policy shouldn't be written around you, and when the hell are you going to sleep?
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jwhouk

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I was speaking of cars smaller than a smart car (note: that's how they spell it, without the capital S - except when it's at the start of a sentence; take that, grammarians!). Smaller city cars with smaller motors and smaller engines won't get you as far.
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bhtooefr

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Keep in mind that something like a Geo Metro would meet my idea of a regulation, and that would get you plenty far (and using less fuel and in more comfort than any smart...) And, it's just a matter of power to weight, drag (those two affecting performance), and fuel tank size versus vehicle efficiency (affecting range), for how far you can go. And, because I'm proposing rolling back safety regulations for this class (which, European heavy quadricycles also have rolled back safety regulations, being a four-wheeled three-wheel motorcycle (I know, that sentence doesn't parse at all correctly) legally), weight can be far lower for a given amount of capability.

And, the heavy quadricycle is the closest analogue I've got due to the rollback in safety standards, although the kind of car I'm proposing is really more like Japan's keijidosha class in capability. You wouldn't want to take it on the freeway, but it's capable of it.
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Geo Metro LSI ... I got some photos of my wreck which would make you never to want to drive one.

Beer can with Styrofoam for rigidity.

I'm VERY lucky to have survived.
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bhtooefr

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The problem with that argument is that it both declares the wreck inevitable, and also makes it worse for everyone who accepts that risk (and therefore makes it less likely that people will accept that risk).

Keep in mind that I do ride this to work sometimes:


That thing versus your Geo Metro? You'd feel the crash, but I'd be at severe risk of dying. However, I'd be at much less risk than if you were in, say, a modern SUV.

So, I'm saying, for drivers that haven't proven themselves competent to the standards that other nations have, make lighter vehicles with rolled-back safety standards, so they can get to work still, but don't cause as much damage to whatever they run into, be it pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist, or another motor vehicle. And, if it's clear that it's less safe, they may be more careful (the spike-instead-of-an-airbag effect), and have an incentive to learn to avoid accidents.

Essentially, what I'm saying is, I don't want to have to wrap myself in 2000+ pounds of steel and plastic and airbags (my current car's curb weight is 2790) to be safe, so I want everyone else who isn't held to a very high standard to not be in that SUV.
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The thing is, when you have enough people piloting massive high-speed hunks of metal around, be they never so skilled (and most of them never are very skilled at all), the crash is kind of inevitable; I don't think I've ever met any regular driver who hasn't been in some kind of crash, even if it's a relatively minor fender bender.  That's why I principally favor alterations in the built environment though infrastructure construction and zoning laws. For instance, the idea (quite common in American zoning), that stores, residences, and office blocks should all be zoned independently of one another in separate blocs, thus requiring a car to drive the miles through the endless houses and then endless offices to get to work, often eliminating even the possibility of living, working, and shopping within walking distance of home.  Installation of lightrail systems brings development to rail stations and hubs as a natural consequence, in a similar fashion to highways but at much less total expense; if said development is permitted/encouraged to be mixed-use, the benefits increase.  A good deal of manufacturing can be incorporated into the urban fabric as well, assuming that rules about emissions are strictly enforced.  The upshot, of course, is dramatically fewer people needing to drive, and thus much less incentive to bear the expense of a car. 


Smart cars are nice - if you live in a big city. If you live out in the middle of frakkin' nowhere, they're not much help - especially if you burn an entire tank of fuel/all of your battery power going one way to the next major city.

I advise not living in the middle of frakking nowhere, as over four in five of your fellow Americans do.  Or, if you want to enjoy the privilege of living in the middle of nowhere and regularly commuting to the city, accept that such a lifestyle has costs associated with it.   High-tech society and urbanization are inescapable partners, arable land is not infinite, and there's a whole, whole lot of people in the world.  The idea that you can live on farmland and not use it at all, while you work at some urban job and leach off the urban infrastructure, is simply not a tenable one in the modern world.
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jwhouk

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Do you KNOW why we live "out in the middle of fricken nowhere"?

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT 2/3RDS OF THE COUNTRY IS.
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GarandMarine

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Spoken like a city slicker up there who'd never left the environs of the same.
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Ah kin put y'all up in dem mountins where bycicles lik that'un will getcha kilt on tha roads.

so fer back in th'holler that th'folks pipe in thar sunny-shine.
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jwhouk

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Spoken like a city slicker up there who'd never left the environs of the same.

Hush, you. I'm a good half hour from anywhere that serves a grande skinny latte with an extra shot and a side of biscotti.
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GarandMarine

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Not you. Dalil...somethingsomething.
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I built the walls that make my life a prison, I built them all and cannot be forgiven... ...Sold my soul to carry your vendetta, So let me go before you can regret it, You've made your choice and now it's come to this, But that's price you pay when you're a monster with no name.

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Ah kin put y'all up in dem mountins where bycicles lik that'un will getcha kilt on tha roads.
It isn't bicycles that get cyclists killed; it is cars, vans, trucks etc. The fact that an incident where a car is driven into a bicycle, and kills the rider, is called a "bicycle accident", and the death is listed as a "cycling fatality", and it is bicycles that are labelled as "dangerous", is victim-blaming and responsibility-avoidance of a rather disgusting kind. It is essentially like arguing that shirts are dangerous rather than guns, because if you get shot in the chest, the shirt won't keep out the bullets.
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hedgie

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Spoken like a city slicker up there who'd never left the environs of the same.

Hush, you. I'm a good half hour from anywhere that serves a grande skinny latte with an extra shot and a side of biscotti.
Grande is Starfucks-speak (yes, I know it means large), and biscotti is a plural term :P
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Please tell me all you QC cyclists wear at least 1 of those blinking lights that atrap to your arm, or have one on your bike. When it gets to be dusk, people on bikes without lights are ridiculously hard to fucking see from a vehicle. I'm not sure why, but its the truth.

From what I can tell, this hasn't been answered so here goes:

Not seeing things that well at dawn and dusk is a known issue with humans.  In fact most accidents involving pediastrians used to happen around that time.  The problem is that we have two visual systems.  The day system (cones) needs bright light needs bright light and allows us to perceive colour.  Night vision (rods) work in low light but are in black and white.  Dawn and dusk are times when there's not really enough light for us to use the day vision system fully but there's too much light for the night vision system to kick in.

Nowadays, I always wear hi-vis tops when cycling (and I've found a coat for when I'm on my bike).  Accept when there's bright sunlight (and the sun is high in the sky), I'll have my lights flashing.  After all, I only do city riding (although I have plans to change that) so I don't need a steady light.
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Francisco

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Just a comment on that then.

http://road.cc/content/news/95353-study-says-cyclists-should-make-themselves-seen-reflective-clothing-not-hi-vis

The highlight from that is that is hi vis is not really effective at night. Retro-reflective, like the piping and flashing on my otherwise non hi vis jerseys and jackets is what really works. Also, in urban environment, moving hi viz lacks the consistent contrast to really distinguish a rider from their background. Out in the country, hi vis orange trumps hi vis yellow although all this is trumped by a pale blue. Riding defensively and out in the middle of the lane is commonly the easiest way to get noticed by drivers, both on the same road or junctioning on to your road.

Flashing lights are generally good but again experience visibility issues in urban environments over rural. Flashing lights also make it harder for a driver to gauge distance and closing speed. They also have issues with hypnotic disregard where a driver following them for a length of time stops really being able to pay attention to them.

Of course the other highlight from that article is that 61% of accidents on the road are attributable to driver inattention. Now obviously it's difficult from a scientific perspective to say that at any given time two thirds of drivers aren't paying sufficient attention to safely operate a motorised vehicle, but sometimes it really does feel that way.

As for me, I don't habitually wear hi vis. On the occasions that I have, I haven't noticed in difference in the behavior of adjacent motorised traffic. I'm also of the opinion that if it's legal for someone to do something (i.e. wear normal clothing while riding a bicycle), it shouldn't be unreasonable to expect people to do that. An expectation of wearing special clothing starts to be a barrier to people doing that thing which for day to day activities like riding a bicycle shouldn't be considered a reasonable expectation.
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Dalillama

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Do you KNOW why we live "out in the middle of fricken nowhere"?

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT 2/3RDS OF THE COUNTRY IS.
But not, and this is rather the point I was getting at, 90% of the jobs, housing, amenities, etc.  Those are all in cities.  And if you want to enjoy those things and the bonuses of living in the country, via a long commute by automobile, then you're going to have to, essentially, pay extra.  In the context of the discussion where you brought up living out in the boonies, you were complaining about someone's proposal to allow persons with lower qualifications to drive a class of small compacts.  You complained that said compacts would not have the range you wanted, and wouldn't let you get to the city (although you were shown to be incorrect in this assertion).  Under such a set of rules, though, you would simply have to meet higher qualifications to get licenced to drive the large cars you think you need and feel entitled to.  That is simply the cost of trying to have it both ways.

Spoken like a city slicker up there who'd never left the environs of the same.



No, seriously, I grew up halfway to the ass end of nowhere,  and my husband's from all the way out in the asshole of nowhere.  That doesn't take away even slightly from my actual points.  Indeed, it reinforces them.
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GarandMarine

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The better and more humanist solution is to do away with cities, they drain resources and generate nothing.
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I'm gonna need citations for that assertion.
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(Urban political scientist here.) Two books worth reading to shed some light on the city / urban vs rural debate, most likely available through your local public library or bookseller: 1. Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward Glaeser and 2. A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America by Vishaan Chakrabarti. I have led urban-centric book club conversations using these two texts as our basis.
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jwhouk

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The county in which I live has a total population of about roughly 20,000.

Just about 10,000 live in the city (and I use that term begrudgingly) where I reside. There is a smaller city to the north of me that has about 6,500 . The rest of the population is scattered around the county.

My "city" is located on the south edge of the county. The county is 907 square miles - and it's practically square, too.

To go from one end of the city to the other is just over four miles - and it's not all flat.

To go from one end of the county to the other... is about 31 miles, and ALL of it is rural, and practically NONE of it is straight-line.
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Re: Some things about driving
« Reply #946 on: 12 Oct 2014, 18:22 »

...No offence meant, but anyone who can't figure out a simple roundabout in under thirty seconds has no business piloting anything motorised in any public place whatsoever.

I don't know if it's true, but I've heard the rules of right-of-way on roundabouts are totally different between Europe and North America.

The roundabout I saw in Halifax had traffic lights, and I'm not sure I fully understood them.

In other news, saw people riding their bikes today, and man was I jealous.  Maybe I need to go out tomorrow, regardless of the weather?  (oh man, 23C on Tuesday.)
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jwhouk

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Three basic rules of roundabouts:

1. Vehicles in the roundabout have the right of way.
2. You should ALWAYS stop or slow down before entering a roundabout.
3. DO NOT STOP if you are in a roundabout!
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Dalillama

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The better and more humanist solution is to do away with cities, they drain resources and generate nothing.

Are you volunteering to be part of the ~90% of the human race that has to die for that to happen?  Remember the bit about arable land being in limited supply?  There's nowhere to put the human race except cities.  Also, as noted above, basically all technology more advanced than a wooden plow is the product of cities, and it would be quite impossible to have things like, say, webcomics and internet fora without a vastly urbanized society[ies] to support such a thing.
The county in which I live has a total population of about roughly 20,000.

Just about 10,000 live in the city (and I use that term begrudgingly) where I reside. There is a smaller city to the north of me that has about 6,500 . The rest of the population is scattered around the county.

My "city" is located on the south edge of the county. The county is 907 square miles - and it's practically square, too.

To go from one end of the city to the other is just over four miles - and it's not all flat.

To go from one end of the county to the other... is about 31 miles, and ALL of it is rural, and practically NONE of it is straight-line.
Then your gripe about fuel capacity frankly sounds even sillier; I could bike one end of the county to the other in a few hours, let alone drive.  I used to ride further for recreation, when I didn't live in the city.  (It's a lot harder to find 30 miles of pleasant ride around here, and the traffic and signals and the like slows me up considerable as well).
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jwhouk

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Oh, by the way, did I happen to mention the ROUTINELY SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES from November through March?
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