Friday, May 30, 2008

Alvin... Where're the cars?

A guy named Alvin Lee, who seems to be from Singapore, sends little notes about his rides and his club to the Bike Friday web site. I enjoy reading Alvin's stories and looking at the accompanying photos.

In various photos, in which Alvin appears to be having a super time, you see him with his Bike Friday tikit folding bike, with his (40-strong) folding bike club based in Singapore - and with an elephant.

In none of the photos do you see a car or a parking lot. Look for photos of US rides without cars in the shots. There are always cars in the photos. We don't like to get far from our cars.

Virtually all US club rides start in parking lots; that's where the riders park and unload their bikes. They ride a loop from their car and back to it.

In this country, SUVs make cycling and suburban life possible. Check it out: virtually all cyclists and suburbanites have at least one.

Bikes accumulate far more miles in or on cars than they do on their own wheels. Four dollars plus per gallon to freight one's 18lb bike to a club ride four miles plus from home. Sure you can afford to do it, Mr or Ms Lawncare, but does that make it any less obscene?

We drive to every ride. Were it not for the automobile, there'd be no bike clubs, no club rides, no more than three bike shops per major city, no Trek, no Specialized, no Pearl Izumi, certainly no Cervelo or Colnago and nearly no cycling in this great land.

The same die-hard commuters and no-goddamn-car-no-matter-what cyclists would be riding. I lift my coffee cup in salute: You guys rule. No goddamn car no matter what.


Anonymous said...

It sure will be interesting to see how much of cycling's out-of-town rides become historic. Here in Oregon there's the Ride Across Oregon that relies heavily on the internal combustion engine. [Logistics].

Car Pooling: That would be anyone with the mega bike rack and room for at least four. Sounds a lot like a Ford Excursion to me.

I'm already thinking about next years ski season. Hitch hiking with the boards and boots tied to a pack...Oh wait. This is a cycling forum. My bad.

Bobby Waly

Oldyonfoldy said...

Hi Maynard,

Greetings from Perth, Australia. To answer your question...

Some of us cyclists are not willing to admit that many a times, we do put our bikes (easier on foldies) into our cars to get to our riding destination. And there is no shame to that.

But I think we should use fuel efficent cars if we are serious about being green.

BTW, I ride a Suzuki Burgman 400 mega scooter and sometimes carry my foldy on it.

You have a fun blog there. Keep it up.

Al :)