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Old 04-20-2005, 08:01 PM   #21
Gabe
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Default Nope, Moto-Commute Don't Work for You

So you shouldn't do it, unless you want to enjoy riding your motorcycle everyday. But many, many Americans would benefit, and yet don't.



6 million motorcycles, 178,000 motorcycle commuters...incredible.
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Old 04-20-2005, 08:03 PM   #22
jungkvist
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Default Sorry mate...

Our government can't endorse motorcycles because our economy depends on the manufacturing of automobiles. And, for many Americans, their car defines who they are. Most of us live in cookie-cutter suburbs, don't speak more than 100 words per-day to our children and wouldn't know a good time unless some one on TV told us; our cars are who we are. Take away your average American's car and you're left with not-much. Besides, it's hard to eat french fries when you're riding a bike; they cool too quickly.



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Old 04-20-2005, 08:22 PM   #23
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

Here's a problem. Does anyone think that the bickering on this site about helmet laws is vitriolic and blissfully fact-free? Well, if motorcycle riding were ever considered as a policy push, helmet-law debate would look like the stinking Royal Society as 24-hour OMFG motorcycles are so dangerous and one trip to the emergency room costs $shiatload which could be saving gay dolphins from **** Cheney ensued. Liberals would be accused of trying to kill children in "fiftieth-trimester abortions! ABORTION I SAY"; and conservatives would be accused of trying to kill children, then harvest their organs for research at Halliburton. Videos of squiddy wheelies & beer-drinking Sturgisoids will released by Ralph Nader acolytes to the teevee dinks with accompanying calls for "sensible transportation". It would be Simultaneously Hiliarious and Sad.
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Old 04-20-2005, 08:30 PM   #24
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

Great article. In a perfect world, I'd LOVE to see more bikes on the road during commute hours. I'm a Bay Area resident and commute 80 miles a day round trip, rain or shine. I drove a cage to work a total of 4 days last year. The bike is always faster and saves me quite a lot of money (~$10 day) considering gas and bridge toll savings because I can use the commuter lane. Besides, I'd rather be on my bike in the freezing rain and fog than stuck in a car.



Although I think more bikers could (and should) be encouraged to ride to work, "converting" the masses out of their giant SUVs would be a waste of time. The simple fact is that we Americans are pitiful drivers hence the need for larger and "safer" vehicles that allow us to plow into the person in front of us with impunity because we can't be bothered to take our eyes off the newspaper we are reading to watch the road. Seriously, I'd be too scared to share the road with some of the drivers I encounter every day if they were mounted on a high hp bike. At least now I can see them coming. Until everyone realizes that operating any motor vehicle at highway speed demands attention as well as respect for others sharing the road, motorcycles probably aren't the answer.



Hope I don't trip climbing off this soapbox...
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Old 04-20-2005, 09:25 PM   #25
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

Very good for Gabe. If he were to run for office in my district, I just might consider voting for him based on his transport policy platform.



To be honest, though, our job is not to be motorcycle missionaries. It's not our place to tell other people how to get to work. Culture is what it is; we shouldn't deride our fellow citizen just 'cause they choose to drive instead of ride. Telling someone _to_ ride is just as bad as telling someone _not_ to ride. However, I do approve of Candidate GabeÂ’s suggestions for rebates and other financial encouragements to get people onto PTWs. Smart policy can go a long way to changing culture.



As for me, the whole point of motorcycling is the commute. Why would you ride if you donÂ’t commute? The subway used to take about 50~60 minutes to get to the office. I did have more time to read, but it was still a real chore.



My motorbike now gets me to the office in about 25 minutes. My record is 17 minutes, on a national holiday. With heavy snowfall and thick snowdrifts it can take up to an hour. I can sleep an extra half hour most mornings.



Motorcycling was the greatest quality of life choice I ever made. Everybody should ride a PTW. I forcefully encourage all my mates to get a bike; IÂ’ve even given away old bikes to friends.



Gearing up doesnÂ’t take that long; just toss a reflective vest over your suit. You can still smoke on the way to work, too; get an open face helmet and your cigs brighten up in the wind. If the climate requires more, just wear your necktie underneath an armored jacket. Most of us also require slacks and nice shoes. So get a heel/ toe shifter, floorboards and galoshes. It keeps your shoes spiffy. Or consider a scooter.



On that note, I'm moving to Portland, Oregon, later this year. IÂ’ve heard it rains there. First thing I hope to do is to buy one of those large scooters. I need something that can accommodate a briefcase; perhaps a Majesty, Burgman or Silverwing. Do my fellow MOrons have any advice on this matter?



As for my family, my wife also commutes on two wheels. For the US, she's planning on a Vino or a Scarabeo of some sort. Then I'm buying a bike for my 72-year-old dad, too. He used to ride an AJS/ Matchless in the mid-1950s. I'll get him something with a sidecar so he can't fall over.



So we don't need to be missionaries about motorcycling; our job is not to wave our transport method in anyone else's face. Just ride, man.





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Seoul, Korea

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Old 04-20-2005, 09:30 PM   #26
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

Commute distance: 17 miles

Commute time in a car: 45-105 minutes ~30mpg

Commute time on bike: 30-40 minutes ~50mpg



There is the fact that I live in Los Angeles and the 405 between the 10 and the 101 is part of my commute (official #1 worst congested road in US)



I miss the commute from my last job: .5mi = 15 minute walk through Santa Monica. 7 minute run if I was a little late... *sigh*



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Old 04-20-2005, 09:46 PM   #27
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

"Motorcycles are TOYS and will never get the respect as transportation. And that is the fundamental problem begging for a solution."



I'll modify your comment for my own, very similar take:



The fundamental problem is the PERCEPTION of motorcycles as toys.



Clearly, as Gabe so diligently sought the information, other nations do and have for some time now, treat "PTW" as legitimate transport.

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Old 04-20-2005, 09:58 PM   #28
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Default Spain goes one step further than UK

Here in Spain they've taken the idea one step further than just thinking about using more PTW's.



They have just instituted a law that allows anyone with whose had a car driver's license for at least three years to also operate motorcycles up to 125cc. No further testing required.



The goal is to take out some of the administrative barriers to getting on 2 wheels (getting a drivers license can be an expensive proposition in these parts).



The law came into effect last October. As of March this year, sales of 125 cc bikes has increased by 91 %!



I know what most of you are thinking, same as me, that's going to put a lot of newbies on the road and the hospital emergency rooms are going to be busy.



It does not seem to have happened so far, only time will tell.
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:11 AM   #29
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

The aim is not necessarily to convert everyone to riding motorcycles, it's to get more people that own motorcycles to use them as transportation. The idea is to demonstrate how beneficial it might be if just a relatively small percentage of cars are converted to bikes. If some people decide to give motorcycling a try in the process, that's gravy. But you're not going to see droves of former soccer moms and dads trading in their SUVs for R1s. (That would be scary.) But if this helps to change the attitude towards motorcycling in general, it benefits riders in many, many ways.
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:23 AM   #30
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Default Re: Gabe's Manifesto

I don't suggest telling people what to do, either. Not many non-riders are likely to suddenly decide to ride because anybody says so. But the public could and should be educated on the beneficial aspects of PTWs to offset the constant and somewhat uniformed "death machine" view of motorcycles we're forced to endure.



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