NPR Piece on Cargo Bikes today

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caitlin
Participant
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I swear I am getting a cargo bike by the end of 2010.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121034522


mark
Participant
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nice article, semi (but not really)-related:

i was riding down butler with a bike on my back earlier today and someone yelled “get a car”

i thought this was funnier than usual car heckling, i can imagine hauling lots of stuff with a cargo bike and getting similar comments from the peanut gallery.


Willie
Participant
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Why is it that riding a bike makes people think you should “get a car”? Maybe you don’t want a car, or just like having money in the bank. I know when i had a car my bank account was nonexistent. Now i know lots of bikes cost more than most used cars but whos to say you need a really pricey bike to become car free.


Mick
Participant
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There are people that don’t need a car and can’t afford a car.

A lot of these people believe, however, that, as an adult in the US, you HAVE to have a car. They go through great personal sacrifice to keep their cars (“I wish I didn’t need to have two jobs.”)

If I’m geting this right, they have a certain level of hostility towards those that reject their values. They have not thought out either their “need for a car,” nor their hostility to those self-righteous, holier-than-thou bikers, though, and really couldn’t articulate mre than they are when they shout.

When I was younger, I kept running inot people at parties who would loudly proclaim, after hearing how I live, “I’d like to be able to do that but you can’t live like that.”

They always had that second person “you.” As though I was talking about some hypothetical person instead of how I really do live.

Most of them did not have circumstances that would make living without a car inconvenient (“I live on a farm outside of McDonald;” “I work a few miles outside of Monroeville;” or “I have 3 kids and two jobs.”).

A lot of them were similar to me – they were fit, single, lived on the East End, and worked at a university. Still, they believed “You can’t live like that.”

Seeing someone who obviously isn’t an Oakland-dwelling student on a bike is bound to generate cognitive dissonance for them.

Mick


Willie
Participant
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This reminds me of something that happened to me over the summer. On my way home from work I was coming over the smithfield street bridge into station square on the right hand side sidewalk. I was ringing my bell and passing people the proper way when some business guy looks back at me then says something to me about bikes not being allowed on the bridge sidewalk. I told him as far as I know its a shared sidewalk and I have a right to ride on it responsibly. He said that I was wrong and we continued to argue. It got a bit more heated and we got in each other face a bunch. Then suddenly when he thought i might hit him or something he pulled out his mace and told me he would use it. I laughed and told him I would then call the police. He threatened to call them on me for a possible assault in the situation that i hit him. Well I told him to call them and we can ask them who is right here. So he called them on his cell phone and told them he was getting threatened by someone. SO we sat and waited. 30 mins go by and no police. I honestly think he didnt call them and was just using it as a excuse to take my pic with his phone in case I hit him. Anyway I continued to tell him what I know about bike traffic rules and laws. We both cooled off and after alittle while he says to me “im sorry i didnt know what the rules were, I guess you know what you are talking about”. I told him about the bike pgh website and that he should check it out so he would know what to do when he encounters a biker. Finally during all of this we walked over the bridge to the parking lot in station square to where he was parked. When we got to his car I told the man he should get himself a bike that he could bring with him in his car and then ride into downtown instead of walking. He told me he was way too old and out of shape for it. Of course I told him that was not the case. Id have to say the guy was only about 40-45 and seemed as healthy as the normal person.

My point of all this is to show how some people just think living bike free is not possible for them. Btw this all happened about a hour before going to my first critical mass.


erok
Keymaster
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there are signs on that bridge that say “shared sidewalk” with a bike and a ped on it. i cross it almost daily


Willie
Participant
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He must of been too old and out of shape to read it.


Willie
Participant
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alnilam
Participant
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I was ringing my bell and passing people the proper way when some business guy looks back at me then says something to me about bikes not being allowed on the bridge sidewalk

As bad as it is that you got crap for passing responsibly on a specifically-marked shared sidewalk, I almost wish more people thought bikes weren’t allowed on the sidewalk. Might lead to less “get off the damn road” situations.

Then again, that same guy might not have been happy if your bikely presence cost him 6 seconds in his car, either.


Bikelove2010
Participant
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I have a cargo bike. I ride it EVERYWHERE because I get good looks and compliments on it, from cyclists/peds/cars/construction workers/etc. I had an old mountain bike for short trips but I took it to my moms house because I don’t want to ride it. I feel like because you can tell my bike is something I have because I want it, and because it’s huge and I can’t ride it on the side walk, people don’t think I’m poor/have a DUI/whatever. I have NEVER gotten a rude comment (knock on wood). But hey, maybe my giant bike with weeks worth of groceries, my not-so-little-anymore sister, or 3 pizzas will change come people’s mind about cyclists.


erok
Keymaster
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i think i saw your bike locked at rei one day. i wish it had three pizzas on it


Bikelove2010
Participant
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ya, that’s probly mine. I always park outside REI when I go anywhere in the SSW (mainly because of the 3rivers racks, not so much the location).


Willie
Participant
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haha my bikely presence cost this guy about 45 minutes that day.

After it was all said and done I felt pretty good because I was able to avoid what could of turned into a bad situation and I taught somebody something. Id like to think he drove home after that with a new respect for people on two wheels. Or he could of drove home mother F’n me the whole way. I may never know.

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