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pantanifan

Cycling Cultures

I don't have any figures to back this up but my perception is that participation in cycling is relatively high in China, and relatively low in India, Holland has a high number of cyclists, whereas in Greece you don't see many cyclists around...

So, what are the reasons for such variations? What factors influence whether a country/region encourages or prevents people from getting on their bike?
caligirl147

Terrain, economic necessity or opportunity, social mores, laws, and on an immediate level even peer pressure. There are so many things that determine who rides and who doesn't, the list will be very long.
pantanifan

I guess "car culture" also has an impact, i.e. the higher percentage of car usage, the lower the number of bikes on the roads?
caligirl147

Car culture is huge, especially in the States. It's why many people no longer walk, let alone bike. Anywhere.

One bonus to having a (hopefully a non-gas guzzling, low or no emission) car is you can put a rack on it, or put your bike in it, and take your bike places it's never been before. And then you can ride. Of course, you could always just bike to that new place and forget your car. But with 60 hour work weeks, the car, as evil as it is, makes living and riding more convenient.
CapeRoadie

I think U.S. cities would do well to shut their downtown areas to cars forever, starting with weekends, then progressing to the work week. Allow buses, police, EMS, disabled persons and taxis. Make some wide bike lanes with what's left. How could it hurt anyone, really?
tiggertoo

CapeRoadie wrote:
I think U.S. cities would do well to shut their downtown areas to cars forever, starting with weekends, then progressing to the work week. Allow buses, police, EMS, disabled persons and taxis. Make some wide bike lanes with what's left. How could it hurt anyone, really?


It would hurt the US tax payer, who would have to cover the cost of re-engineering and re-building the roads to accommodate bikes.

It is too late for cities. New suburbs, though, are something else.
CapeRoadie

tiggertoo wrote:
CapeRoadie wrote:
I think U.S. cities would do well to shut their downtown areas to cars forever, starting with weekends, then progressing to the work week. Allow buses, police, EMS, disabled persons and taxis. Make some wide bike lanes with what's left. How could it hurt anyone, really?


It would hurt the US tax payer, who would have to cover the cost of re-engineering and re-building the roads to accommodate bikes.

It is too late for cities. New suburbs, though, are something else.


It wouldn't hurt us more than an Iraq War, though, would it? When we pull out of there and recover from the massive spending deficit (fiscally conservative Republicans?), I don't think the American taxpayer would suffer so much. Think of the gas money saved from riding a bike. Not much re-engineering of roads to do it, I don't think, just some repainting of lanes and lines. And so much saved in auto crash injuries, auto repair from those crashes, gasoline, oil, high health costs to society from lack of exercise, etc. I don't know, tiggertoo, it might actually benefit the taxpayer.
bbnaz

I don't think what's left of Detroit would cotton to that idea.........
tourmalet

Re: Cycling Cultures

pantanifan wrote:


So, what are the reasons for such variations? What factors influence whether a country/region encourages or prevents people from getting on their bike?


Terrain certainly plays a part - even within one small region (say Yorkshire) no-one cycles to work in Sheffield (or very few) because it's way too bloody hilly, whereas in York everyone rides a bike around town as it's more compact and flt as the proverbial pancake.
deRailed

just skimming through and decided to pick up on this thread. The times are a changing and quick. At gas tipping $3 a gallon and as it looks never to go back down the politicians as well as corporate America is facing a cultural shift weather they like it or not.

Cities are not doomed...people will be forced to live closer to downtowns and commuting by bike is the most sensible alternative.

Don't be surprised to see Hillary Clinton riding a bike in the next 2 years pontificating about the benefits of human power!
crash48

I think cities will increasingly become car free-it's starting to happen now.
CapeRoadie

crash48 wrote:
I think cities will increasingly become car free-it's starting to happen now.


Where, crash? Certainly not in the U.S.
kellyrocheearly

i think it would be quite easy to make all major cities car free at weekends. Only allow commercial vehicles and let everyone else use public transport with fare reductions on these days to encourage people.
Most people drive out of laziness rather than necessity and juts need a kick up thje arse to get them out of the bad habit
Slapshot

In Bilbao they have closed the town center to cars, only city buses and taxis can drive around the town center, also there are free bikes for whoever wants to use them, I think there are 3 or 4 picking/droping points for this bikes you only need an ID to been able to use one.
kellyrocheearly

also most major cities have a river through them and this should be used to keep cars of the road with water buses & taxis. People would love that in the summer time
cadence

A different kind of cycling culture

http://www.geocities.com/ratpatrolhq/

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