Author Topic: Driving a car  (Read 8709 times)

GuitarStv

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Driving a car
« on: December 12, 2014, 11:23:55 AM »
Well, specifically driving a car to commute with during the snowfall we had yesterday morning and afternoon.  Tailgating, slipping and sliding on ice, no signalling, using the horn all the time.  Averaging 10 - 20 kph (6 - 12 mph) on the 100 kph (60 mph) highway.

Yeah driving sucks you say, what does this have to do with the anti-mustachian hall of fame?

Driving deprives people of their souls.  It turns them into raging dicks.  We had multiple cases of road rage yesterday . . . people throwing bottles out of windows at one another, aggressive driving leading to very predictable accidents, etc.  Maybe the weather put them into a shitty mood you say?

Nope.  I walked my dog through the snow last night and passed many people shoveling their driveways and walkways, received multiple happy "Hello"s and friendly waves.  Not a single angry or upset face.  It's that metal box sealed away from the air that turns people into raving lunatics.  And we pay tremendous costs to maintain our steel shells . . . insurance (highest prices in Canada are in Toronto), gas prices, maintenance, deleterious health effects (from general fatness to raised blood pressure, to the hundreds of accidents recorded yesterday), long term effects of pollution, societal effects of designing around roads rather than human transport, the vetoing of better public transit in favor of short sighted 'car friendly' policies, etc.

Bleh.

This was all thrown sharply into focus for me yesterday while biking past long lines of angry people in their bubbles.  Fuck cars.

Forcus

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2014, 11:33:09 AM »

Driving deprives people of their souls.  It turns them into raging dicks.

I think it just enables people to reveal their inner asshole. I don't think it makes them become assholes. It's a consistency thing. If someone is brazen enough to cut you off and then flip you the bird they'd at least think about cutting in line at the grocery store if not actually do it. But a car gives anonymy and physical separation so it's more likely you'll see their behavior in that way.

Note, these opinions are from someone who is half-mustachian at best. Please consider my comments in that light.

enigmaT120

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 11:53:39 AM »
I think it just enables people to reveal their inner asshole. I don't think it makes them become assholes. It's a consistency thing. If someone is brazen enough to cut you off and then flip you the bird they'd at least think about cutting in line at the grocery store if not actually do it. But a car gives anonymy and physical separation so it's more likely you'll see their behavior in that way.

Good point.  Kind of like the internet.


Winston

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 12:02:37 PM »
Counterpoint:

Cars are amazing, wonderful machines that grant us experiences and freedoms that would otherwise not be possible (even with public transport... hell, even with teleporters). They are useful tools when used wisely, and can provide joyful experiences in the right settings. However, the majority of car use occurs under frustrating circumstances (e.g. traffic, poor weather conditions, long commute, etc.). They often get a bad rap on these forums for that reason, and because of the operating cost and pollution aspects. However, poor use of a powerful, wonderful tool is no reason to condemn the tool.

Bless cars.

golden1

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2014, 12:18:14 PM »
Yeah, seeing only the negatives in car ownership is kind of silly.

Cars are tools, like anything else.  Used properly, they are generally a net positive to society. 

I think it has more to do with population density.  I live in the car asshole capital of the northeast, the Boston area.  Most of the assholishness is because we are driving on roads way too small for the amount of people that live in the area, and they can't handle the volume.  So people wait and wait and lose patience.  Driving is actually fun if you aren't hanging out with thousands of people on a narrow highway. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2014, 12:24:39 PM »
You misunderstand me.  I don't see negatives in car ownership.  I see negatives in car usage.  Their very design is optimized to suck your soul away.  Yes, there are some rare occasions that they are a necessary evil . . . but usage is very much abused.

For the record, I've got a car.  I use the car, just as rarely as possible for the reasons listed.

momoneymama

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2014, 01:33:18 PM »
This has been on my mind a lot lately, as I drive to work every day. The same people that hold a door open for a stranger are unwilling to pause the few moments it takes to let someone into a line of traffic.

Impatient driver "A" honked their horn at driver "B" for not moving fast enough. Driver "B" flipped off driver "A" in annoyance. Driver "A" and driver "B" both pull into the same parking lot and get out of their cars to discover they are teammates/work friends. And they laugh it off. True story.

I disagree that it reveals a persons inner asshole. I've seen good people with kind hearts turn into aggressive drivers behind the wheel. I just try to smile, wave and be as patient and polite as I can while in the car. I usually just turn on the music and sing my heart out with my son.

RangerOne

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2014, 04:00:42 PM »
Driving doesn't make you an asshole. Maybe it makes you an asshole towards the environment if you are driving too much for no reason.

What I am trying to say is that there are many level headed people in the city that learned somewhere along the line that driving is a privilege and dangerous. The only way to stay safe and save gas is to drive calmly and rationally and not let your emotions change your driving.

Driving emotionally is the number one reason why driving will be the least safe form of transportation until we have automated self driving vehicles. People don't all know or agree on rules of the road. People try to teach each other lessons when they feel like someone else is driving unsafe our breaking their rules. Its just a big cluster fuck.

I love driving. I'll be a bit sad when it becomes to expensive to do. Some would argue that time is upon us already. But I am damn well going to set a good example for my family and not drive with a chip on my shoulder or flip out on people who break the rules. Let the cops deal with those people or stay off the road if its too unsafe.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2014, 08:05:36 AM »
I'm sorry, GuitarStv, to post this (usually polite Canadian, eh?).   But you are in Toronto, presumably voluntarily.  The city that called out the army for a few inches of snow?  The people who think they live in the center of the universe and therefore are massively privileged and everyone else (all those other massively privileged people) should give way before them?  And who run the province and think that winter tires are optional?  And you expect rational behaviour?

And non-Canadians, you have just witnessed a popular Canadian past-time - "let's make fun of Toronto".
The measure of civilization is how people treat one another.

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BlueMR2

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2014, 08:45:16 AM »
I love driving, I find it nearly as calming as riding my bicycle.  There are also idiots that bicycle.  Let's face it, most of the population is made up of greedy, self-involved people that are going to make us miserable no matter what form of transportation they happen to choose at the time.  :-)

surfhb

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2014, 03:10:39 PM »
I agree.    I love driving and being able to visit different places to surf, camping, visit family and friends, ect

Not having a car would be a soul suck for me

Khaetra

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2014, 03:54:08 PM »
I agree.    I love driving and being able to visit different places to surf, camping, visit family and friends, ect

Not having a car would be a soul suck for me

Same for me.  I love to travel and take road trips.  Not having a car would make this impossible.

JLee

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2014, 09:45:10 AM »
You misunderstand me.  I don't see negatives in car ownership.  I see negatives in car usage. Their very design is optimized to suck your soul away. Yes, there are some rare occasions that they are a necessary evil . . . but usage is very much abused.

For the record, I've got a car.  I use the car, just as rarely as possible for the reasons listed.

You are driving the wrong cars. Driving mine makes me happy. Relaxed. Joyful. Relieves stress. Makes me smile. I look back to the parking lot when I'm walking somewhere.

Please understand that people are different. Cars are different. Perspectives are different. Passions are different. Your view is not everyone's, and there's no need to spread hatred.

ash7962

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2014, 01:13:52 PM »
I agree that cars are just tools, as some people up thread already said.  I also think that we use cars way too much as it is.  As someone said, the streets in Boston are too small to support the number of cars trying to use the road.  So, why is the answer "increase the road size to make driving easier" instead of "reduce the amount of traffic to levels the road can comfortably support".  We could do that through increased public transportation and increased car sharing.  I know these two solutions don't work for everyone all the time (they don't work for me all the time either), but I think they could help reduce the amount of car usage out there.  Both those options would help with morning commutes.  If everyone took public transportation to work most families would probably only need 1 car.  Also, before you tell me you need two cars for different situations..  Imagine if we had a city with a small car garage at the end of each block containing x (2-4?) minivans each.  Each family could own just their own smaller, more efficient car on a regular basis, then for hauling large things or carting around a lot of people you could reserve a mini van. 

What I'm trying to say is that the over use of cars makes the conditions worse for everyone, wastes individual's money, wastes city money (more usage = more maintenance costs), and wastes environmental resources.  I don't think the solution is to accommodate more cars, I think its to reduce the amount of cars out there.

Eric

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2014, 01:14:45 PM »
JLee and his car, sitting in a tree....
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe."  -- Einstein

JLee

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2014, 06:44:07 AM »
JLee and his car, sitting in a tree....
Yup. Some people find peace in hiking, camping, writing..mine is cars.  Deal with it (or don't, doesn't matter). :)

BlueMR2

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2015, 12:03:37 PM »
I don't think the solution is to accommodate more cars, I think its to reduce the amount of cars out there.

I agree.  Most people don't even like cars, but they've got 1 or more that sit idle for the vast majority of their service lives.  There's got to be a better solution.  Public transportation is a good one for high density areas, but out where I am, public transportation is  a service that only goes from where I don't live to where I don't ever want to go anyways.  Small vehicle transportation really is a good thing, but a better method of spreading the expenses/sharing the equipment is necessary.

JLee

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2015, 09:29:57 AM »
I don't think the solution is to accommodate more cars, I think its to reduce the amount of cars out there.

I agree.  Most people don't even like cars, but they've got 1 or more that sit idle for the vast majority of their service lives.  There's got to be a better solution.  Public transportation is a good one for high density areas, but out where I am, public transportation is  a service that only goes from where I don't live to where I don't ever want to go anyways.  Small vehicle transportation really is a good thing, but a better method of spreading the expenses/sharing the equipment is necessary.

Zipcar? Lyft?

BlueMR2

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2015, 09:46:34 AM »
Zipcar? Lyft?

Something like that, but more advanced.  Put destination in your smartphone along with a departure time, person count, and luggage capacity/etc needed and it should match up an autonomous vehicle of the correct type for the trip that will appear at your door.

The ones that people still drive have some interesting insurance problems.  Autonomous vehicles would hopefully get us away from these issues.  Rental insurance is always sketchy, and carrying other people for pay is almost always a violation of commercial usage clauses in the insurance.

GetItRight

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2015, 09:48:11 AM »
I second JLees sentiment. I enjoy driving, especially in heavy snow. To each their own, but I find it rejuvenating to my soul. Everybody has different interests and things they enjoy.

GuitarStv

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2015, 10:24:49 AM »
To the people who enjoy driving . . . do you enjoy commuting in heavy city traffic during snowfall?  Because that's what I was talking about in my OP.  Short distance, extremely slow speed, no maneuverability, bumper to bumper, constant honking, and accident after accident.  The conditions combined to make those in cars assholes - even when they were people who were totally nice and decent when outside their vehicle walking to the mail box.

I can kinda see the appeal of a leisurely Sunday drive on empty back roads up to my Dad's farm . . . it's like being a part of a sporting event minus all the athleticism.  But that's a totally different thing that what every person I saw heading to work was experiencing.

MoneyCat

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2015, 10:28:50 AM »
How much of the people's anger came from the act of driving and how much of their anger came from the fact that they were being forced to drive to a soul-sucking job that they hate?  Some perspective.

Bob W

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2015, 10:36:19 AM »
A good car now uses less than 5 cents per mile in fuel.  Electrics can be entirely powered by the sun as well.  A bike rider burns about 10 cents per mile in food costs and is 3 to 10 times as likely to die or be permenantly disabled.  All  hail the open minded bike riders. 
Better living through math.

GuitarStv

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2015, 10:43:04 AM »
Yes, you will eat more if you exercise.  I'd challenge your '10 cents per mile' claim though.  I can buy 2300 calories of rice for a dollar.  40 miles in a fuel efficient car is about 1.80 of gas (according to your own posts).   1600 calories to bike 40 miles = under a dollar.  The cost of insurance, and maintenance are also significantly higher with a car though . . . you seem to have forgotten those?


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920084/

Overall health benefits of cycling are "substantially larger than the risks relative to car driving" despite the higher exposure to air pollution and taking into account the risk of a traffic accident/death.

Tallgirl1204

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2015, 11:41:34 AM »
Well, I observed something last night that caused me to mock myself, and I have been waiting for the right venue.  We went out to dinner with friends last night.  Four adults and two kids.  Due to a comedy of non-planning, We drove FOUR separate cars to the restaurant.  (Punches own face.)

You may mock me now.

BlueMR2

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2015, 08:27:50 AM »
To the people who enjoy driving . . . do you enjoy commuting in heavy city traffic during snowfall?  Because that's what I was talking about in my OP.  Short distance, extremely slow speed, no maneuverability, bumper to bumper, constant honking, and accident after accident.  The conditions combined to make those in cars assholes - even when they were people who were totally nice and decent when outside their vehicle walking to the mail box.

That's why I live and work in the suburbs, avoiding the city itself at all cost.  City = people jammed together all mad because they can't hardly move.  Suburbs = freedom to move in peace.

JLee

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2015, 09:43:17 AM »
To the people who enjoy driving . . . do you enjoy commuting in heavy city traffic during snowfall?  Because that's what I was talking about in my OP.  Short distance, extremely slow speed, no maneuverability, bumper to bumper, constant honking, and accident after accident.  The conditions combined to make those in cars assholes - even when they were people who were totally nice and decent when outside their vehicle walking to the mail box.

I can kinda see the appeal of a leisurely Sunday drive on empty back roads up to my Dad's farm . . . it's like being a part of a sporting event minus all the athleticism.  But that's a totally different thing that what every person I saw heading to work was experiencing.
Nope, I hate traffic.  :)

I love roads like this.

Pooperman

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2015, 10:13:35 AM »
To the people who enjoy driving . . . do you enjoy commuting in heavy city traffic during snowfall?  Because that's what I was talking about in my OP.  Short distance, extremely slow speed, no maneuverability, bumper to bumper, constant honking, and accident after accident.  The conditions combined to make those in cars assholes - even when they were people who were totally nice and decent when outside their vehicle walking to the mail box.

I can kinda see the appeal of a leisurely Sunday drive on empty back roads up to my Dad's farm . . . it's like being a part of a sporting event minus all the athleticism.  But that's a totally different thing that what every person I saw heading to work was experiencing.
Nope, I hate traffic.  :)

I love roads like this.


As do I. Driving is calming and fun, but I don't drive much because public transportation is much more useful and efficient. I have an econocar that I like, and use it when I need to. People get pissed in traffic, but to me, it's an excuse to just have the radio on and sing karaoke :D

SpicyMcHaggus

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2015, 11:54:36 AM »
I enjoy honking at asshats who don't buy snow tires and then creep along at 30 on the highway. This is Wisconsin. It happens every year. You wouldn't walk around in a spring jacket "because I didn't want to spend the money on the winter coat", don't drive around on "allseason" tires when there is 2" of snow and ice on the ground.
ET ERE: 5yrs

gimp

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2015, 12:03:55 PM »
In defense of driving:




GuitarStv

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2015, 12:28:47 PM »
That bike path seems much wider than it needs to be.  :P

gimp

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2015, 12:49:12 PM »
Pessimist: Cup is half empty.

Optimist: Cup is half full.

GuitarStv: Cup is twice as big as it needs to be.

I actually didn't see any people biking near the first location, but at the second, I saw a guy biking up ... approx 10 mile, 4-5000 foot ascent. Hard-fucking-core. You would probably be friends.

cbwalters

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2015, 11:23:37 PM »
This is related to driving cars, and I don't want to start my own thread, so I am going to rant here. Ready? Okay.

At my workplace people leave our building (which has a perfectly good sandwich shop in it with lots of variety if you MUST buy your lunch everyday) and drive a minimum of 5 miles to the nearest fast food place. Then they bring that crap back to the office parking lot where they sit alone in their IDLING cars (can't go without AC in the summer or heat in the winter - king comfort and queen convenience) for up to an hour while they eat their "food" and stare at their phones.

There is SO much wrong with so many parts of this daily routine for these people. Pure rage floods my body as I watch this happen on a daily basis. Not only the environmental effect of all the extra fuel put into the air when you add up how many people do this, but from a financial perspective... - The added wear and tear on the car, - The inflated price of not packing your own lunch, - The overpriced phone addiction, - The lack of desire to get off their very fat asses, - The effort they go to in order to avoid having real human connection and discussion, and I could go on, but I trust you get my point.

What is wrong with these people's brains!?!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 11:26:01 PM by cbwalters »

enigmaT120

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2015, 11:41:54 AM »
Pure rage floods my body as I watch this happen on a daily basis.

Man that can't be good for you.  I hope you are bicycling or doing something to work it off.  I think the worst I get is mildly exasperated to see parents at the end of their driveways with their precious cargo, motors idling, while they wait for the school bus. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2015, 12:23:15 PM »
Across the street from where I work there is an expensive private school.  Each day a line forms at least a 1/4 mile long of cars queuing up to pick up their kids at 3:30.  Mostly SUVs.  They all wait in line, engines idling as school staff checks that the correct parent picks up the correct child and wave through the vehicles one by one.  Average parent is probably idling their car in that line for 30 minutes each day.  Voluntarily.


*Shudder*

BlueMR2

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2015, 10:11:19 AM »
Across the street from where I work there is an expensive private school.  Each day a line forms at least a 1/4 mile long of cars queuing up to pick up their kids at 3:30.  Mostly SUVs.  They all wait in line, engines idling as school staff checks that the correct parent picks up the correct child and wave through the vehicles one by one.  Average parent is probably idling their car in that line for 30 minutes each day.  Voluntarily.

All the schools here do that now (private and public).  It's called "car line" and is the standard dropoff/pickup procedure.  Not sure when it came about, but it wasn't a thing back in the '90's when I was still in school.  However, it's now accepted practice that kids that live too close to home for busing will be delivered via car line by a parent every day.

GuitarStv

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2015, 12:24:30 PM »
Insanity I sez!

darkadams00

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2015, 06:02:31 PM »
A good car now uses less than 5 cents per mile in fuel.  Electrics can be entirely powered by the sun as well.  A bike rider burns about 10 cents per mile in food costs and is 3 to 10 times as likely to die or be permenantly disabled.  All  hail the open minded bike riders.

$2.00/gallon, 40 mpg = $0.05/mile so that requires one to drive a very efficient car at current gas prices that haven't been around for years---not just "a good car." Of course, higher mpg's could offset a higher gas price as well, but 40 mpg is still pretty good until one gets into the hybrids (higher purchase cost etc etc).

I bike around 3000 miles per year. My wife and son both bike extensively as well--commuting, errands, and recreation. Our food budget didn't move at all when we started biking and hasn't moved since then either. We just changed what we ate (healthier food choices), where we ate (home), and when we ate (more consistent meals, fewer junky snacks). Our food budget is $125/week for a family of two adults, one teen. We're not training for races. We're riding to work, to the library, or some other place like that.

Does biking require more transportation time? Yes. More patience related to weather? Yes. More diligence during the trip? Depends on the route. More money? Definitely not according to my annual transportation and food spending patterns. And we've moved down to a one-car family, lost about 75 cumulative "family" pounds, relieved stress, and enjoyed the dawns and sunsets.

Safety? Plenty of lights if needed, a smattering of reflective bits, good eyes, and good routes. One near miss at "backing out of the parking space" speed (I was the faster vehicle) in several years, thousands of miles, and three distinct riding styles (middle-aged dad, tentative mom, and daring son). I've had more "near t-bone" intersection misses in my car in the same amount of time from idiots running red lights.

Drive a car if you wish. I do as well when I need to. The notion of cyclists holding up their noses at drivers and drivers pointing fingers at cyclists for personal choices makes no sense. Really it's just one more soapbox that people can jump on in their free time.

Bob W

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Re: Driving a car
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2015, 08:29:35 PM »
A good car now uses less than 5 cents per mile in fuel.  Electrics can be entirely powered by the sun as well.  A bike rider burns about 10 cents per mile in food costs and is 3 to 10 times as likely to die or be permenantly disabled.  All  hail the open minded bike riders.

$2.00/gallon, 40 mpg = $0.05/mile so that requires one to drive a very efficient car at current gas prices that haven't been around for years---not just "a good car." Of course, higher mpg's could offset a higher gas price as well, but 40 mpg is still pretty good until one gets into the hybrids (higher purchase cost etc etc).

I bike around 3000 miles per year. My wife and son both bike extensively as well--commuting, errands, and recreation. Our food budget didn't move at all when we started biking and hasn't moved since then either. We just changed what we ate (healthier food choices), where we ate (home), and when we ate (more consistent meals, fewer junky snacks). Our food budget is $125/week for a family of two adults, one teen. We're not training for races. We're riding to work, to the library, or some other place like that.

Does biking require more transportation time? Yes. More patience related to weather? Yes. More diligence during the trip? Depends on the route. More money? Definitely not according to my annual transportation and food spending patterns. And we've moved down to a one-car family, lost about 75 cumulative "family" pounds, relieved stress, and enjoyed the dawns and sunsets.

Safety? Plenty of lights if needed, a smattering of reflective bits, good eyes, and good routes. One near miss at "backing out of the parking space" speed (I was the faster vehicle) in several years, thousands of miles, and three distinct riding styles (middle-aged dad, tentative mom, and daring son). I've had more "near t-bone" intersection misses in my car in the same amount of time from idiots running red lights.

Drive a car if you wish. I do as well when I need to. The notion of cyclists holding up their noses at drivers and drivers pointing fingers at cyclists for personal choices makes no sense. Really it's just one more soapbox that people can jump on in their free time.
.      Agreed!   There is a nice thread on here somewhere that the bikers tag their avg cost around 35 cents per mile with the all in cost.  My take is that like cars, one can be a frugal biker or an expensive one.   Our car driving food budget is around $65 per week for 2 adults 1 kid.   I love the weight loss part of biking but I have been significantly injured 3 times biking and zero in my car.  I was even T boned in a car without injury.  Had I been on a bike I would have been killed.  That said it is refreshing to know that MMM himself drives twice as many miles as he bikes and flys in clown jets twice that amount.   At least I don't fly. 
Better living through math.