Americans Guzzle Cheap Gas With Idiotic Glee - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-19-2016, 08:33 PM
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Americans Guzzle Cheap Gas With Idiotic Glee

While prices in places like the UK or Australia remain within reason of what I call "real value" of gasoline - meaning in the big picture it is an expensive resource and should never be treated as anything less than the non-renewable, environmentally destructive, political smoking gun that it actually is - Americans are once again experiencing gas prices falling below a dollar a gallon in some areas.

As usual, I'm stunned at the emotionally infantile, intellectually sedated, instant gratifying ways of my country, one that seems to believe that cheap Hershey bars are more important than child slavery for example, and honestly am frightened because this will increase fossil fuel consumption.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/12/13...?referer=&_r=0
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#2 Old 01-19-2016, 08:49 PM
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this is generalizing..

Dog, guts and guns..
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#3 Old 01-19-2016, 09:18 PM
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Well I'm an American, so obviously it's "generalizing" but American culture as a whole thrives on the idea of convenience and personal gratification at any cost. It is HIGHLY LIKELY that the average American won't even think twice about taking advantage of cheap gasoline, anymore than the average American thinks about Hershey or Nestlé or the effect that outrageous meat consumption in the United States has had on the world.

These things are "popular" for a reason. ..it doesn't just work out accidentally because of a few corrupt people. .it requires a general state of bourgeois cultural blindness to produce a nation of people who are actively participating in things like environmental devastation and slavery without ever thinking twice about where the products or gasoline comes from and how it affects everyone in the big picture.

If you are offended as an American, again I find it absurd, being an American myself and with the clear signs that American people as a whole need to wake the **** up.
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#4 Old 01-20-2016, 03:28 AM
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So lets talk about what we are doing then ourselves to minimize our consumption of gasoline.

I cycle to work and the gym most days from May - October (in fact I am the only person in a building of 300 + people) who does this. Because 60 more people from another building will be joining us and parking at work is already a nightmare for everyone, I have pushed the idea of more people cycling. Thankfully the director had a bicycle rack installed for me this last summer after three years of parking and locking my bike behind a park bench at work.

When it is too freaking cold here to cycle, I do drive, but my place of work is only a few miles away, and I limit my vehicle travels to what is close by. I don't even like driving accross town, but if I do, I make good use of it by running other errands in that vicinity all at once.

Sometimes I take the city bus depending on where I am going.

Occasionally I carpool but I am guilty of not doing this as much as I should. I have a relatively small car though. I have a coworker who lives three houses down from me but our work hours are much different. Often my partner uses my car and drops me off to work. If it isn't too brutally cold I might walk home, though right now it is dark by the time I get off work.

When I bring my clothes to the laundromat, I leave the car home and cram all my clothes into a large backpack, hoist it on my back, and walk two blocks to the laundromat.

I keep a budget for gas and do not go over it.

My dream is to someday not own a car and depend entirely on my bicycle and/or bus. That would mean investing in winterizing my bike and very warm winterwear for cycling. This week it has been below zero almost every day so that would be a toughy, but I have seen others doing it. Two days ago when it was actually -18 F I saw a guy cycling in the early morning with a headlamp on. He had one of those fat tire bikes. Insanity... I didn't own my first car or even drive for that matter until I was 23 years old. I went a few years without a car around 1998-2000. I have become spoiled with the ability to go anywhere anytime in my car, but I don't think I have totally taken advantage of that. I have limited long distance travel experience throughout my life, and have never been to a foreign country save Canada with my Dad twenty years ago.

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#5 Old 01-20-2016, 09:01 AM
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I have never owned a car or motorbike and I rarely even ride the bus! I'm in the UK now, but it was the same when I lived in the US: I walked everywhere. The pavement in many American towns and cities is no good for pedestrians. In Georgia I had to walk in the middle of the street for long intervals during my daily commute.
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#6 Old 01-20-2016, 10:52 AM
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If they raise the federal tax on gasoline, it would hurt the poor and working class the most.

Since the US is so large, with a good interstate highway system, many goods are moved by truck, including food. So not only would gasoline and heating fuel price increases hurt the poor, but the prices of their necessities would escalate as well, much as they did in the last price jump in gas.

The middle class and the rich will buy whatever cars they want, regardless of gas prices because they can afford to. The very rich and government officials will still use private planes, which use so much energy, it is ridiculous. This includes celebrities and even the Obamas, who have used 2 huge Air Force 1 planes for vacations, his and hers.

As far as me personally, I have recycled since the '80s, been vegan a decade, use electric or hand lawn tools (like mowers,) and we have one car in the family, subcompact with no leather or unnecessary things. I used to bike more, but I'm 57 now, and the roads here are very bike unfriendly.
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#7 Old 01-20-2016, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalassa4 View Post
Well I'm an American, so obviously it's "generalizing" but American culture as a whole thrives on the idea of convenience and personal gratification at any cost. It is HIGHLY LIKELY that the average American won't even think twice about taking advantage of cheap gasoline, anymore than the average American thinks about Hershey or Nestlé or the effect that outrageous meat consumption in the United States has had on the world.

These things are "popular" for a reason. ..it doesn't just work out accidentally because of a few corrupt people. .it requires a general state of bourgeois cultural blindness to produce a nation of people who are actively participating in things like environmental devastation and slavery without ever thinking twice about where the products or gasoline comes from and how it affects everyone in the big picture.

If you are offended as an American, again I find it absurd, being an American myself and with the clear signs that American people as a whole need to wake the **** up.
This is somewhat off topic, but with reference to the car-centric culture that seems (at least from the outside) so prevalent in the US, it always intrigues me how even in post-apocalyptic films and TV series, how cars and guns continue to play a central role in the story of survivors, years if not decades after all kinds of industry, manufacturing and the importing of goods, has ceased. It's almost as if even fantasy writers can't imagine an America where cars and guns are no longer important. Or maybe it's just lazy writing?
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#8 Old 01-20-2016, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post
If they raise the federal tax on gasoline, it would hurt the poor and working class the most.

Since the US is so large, with a good interstate highway system, many goods are moved by truck, including food. So not only would gasoline and heating fuel price increases hurt the poor, but the prices of their necessities would escalate as well, much as they did in the last price jump in gas.

The middle class and the rich will buy whatever cars they want, regardless of gas prices because they can afford to. The very rich and government officials will still use private planes, which use so much energy, it is ridiculous. This includes celebrities and even the Obamas, who have used 2 huge Air Force 1 planes for vacations, his and hers.

As far as me personally, I have recycled since the '80s, been vegan a decade, use electric or hand lawn tools (like mowers,) and we have one car in the family, subcompact with no leather or unnecessary things. I used to bike more, but I'm 57 now, and the roads here are very bike unfriendly.
I'm glad you're so eco-conscious, as I'm sure many people are on this forum, but honestly I think your views are a little outdated considering the dire state of the environment, and the technology we have now. No, it would not "hurt the poor"- we just need to utilize the technology we already have, fossil fuel consumption is on the rise, and in some areas gas is now as cheap as 50 cents, so I didn't just pull this post out of my rear end.
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#9 Old 01-20-2016, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by no whey jose View Post
I have never owned a car or motorbike and I rarely even ride the bus! I'm in the UK now, but it was the same when I lived in the US: I walked everywhere. The pavement in many American towns and cities is no good for pedestrians. In Georgia I had to walk in the middle of the street for long intervals during my daily commute.


Yeah the roads can vary here according to location. I have no trouble walking in L.A. or taking public transportation, and I actually had no problems walking or taking public transportation in West Virginia, except for small patches near my mom's house which were too rural to be truly dangerous. ..North Carolina is a different story, probably more similar to Georgia because of long rural stretches of highway.
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#10 Old 01-20-2016, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Spudulika View Post
This is somewhat off topic, but with reference to the car-centric culture that seems (at least from the outside) so prevalent in the US, it always intrigues me how even in post-apocalyptic films and TV series, how cars and guns continue to play a central role in the story of survivors, years if not decades after all kinds of industry, manufacturing and the importing of goods, has ceased. It's almost as if even fantasy writers can't imagine an America where cars and guns are no longer important. Or maybe it's just lazy writing?

I think it's the attitude of people who tend to like post-apocalyptic fiction, I think a lot of what makes it to the big screen is from writers who are gear-heads who really like cars and guns, as toys basically. ..and I think there was a lot of that especially among Baby Boomers, where as Gen X or Gen Y might be more obsessed with their laptop or robot floor cleaner.

The technology simply needs to change, and that's not due to lack of technology or lack of money (I really hate the conservative ploy to try to make gas and oil about the poor, and when other people fall for it...it sounds good, maybe made more sense 30 years ago) it all boils down to the power of the wealthy, not the need of the poor....I honestly am angrier at the middle class than anyone, because they're the ones "voting" with their dollars for things that are convenient but deeply unethical or even dangerous.
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#11 Old 01-20-2016, 01:36 PM
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So lets talk about what we are doing then ourselves to minimize our consumption of gasoline.

I cycle to work and the gym most days from May - October (in fact I am the only person in a building of 300 + people) who does this. Because 60 more people from another building will be joining us and parking at work is already a nightmare for everyone, I have pushed the idea of more people cycling. Thankfully the director had a bicycle rack installed for me this last summer after three years of parking and locking my bike behind a park bench at work.

When it is too freaking cold here to cycle, I do drive, but my place of work is only a few miles away, and I limit my vehicle travels to what is close by. I don't even like driving accross town, but if I do, I make good use of it by running other errands in that vicinity all at once.

Sometimes I take the city bus depending on where I am going.

Occasionally I carpool but I am guilty of not doing this as much as I should. I have a relatively small car though. I have a coworker who lives three houses down from me but our work hours are much different. Often my partner uses my car and drops me off to work. If it isn't too brutally cold I might walk home, though right now it is dark by the time I get off work.

When I bring my clothes to the laundromat, I leave the car home and cram all my clothes into a large backpack, hoist it on my back, and walk two blocks to the laundromat.

I keep a budget for gas and do not go over it.

My dream is to someday not own a car and depend entirely on my bicycle and/or bus. That would mean investing in winterizing my bike and very warm winterwear for cycling. This week it has been below zero almost every day so that would be a toughy, but I have seen others doing it. Two days ago when it was actually -18 F I saw a guy cycling in the early morning with a headlamp on. He had one of those fat tire bikes. Insanity... I didn't own my first car or even drive for that matter until I was 23 years old. I went a few years without a car around 1998-2000. I have become spoiled with the ability to go anywhere anytime in my car, but I don't think I have totally taken advantage of that. I have limited long distance travel experience throughout my life, and have never been to a foreign country save Canada with my Dad twenty years ago.
I think it's great that you are doing your best even if you have to drive sometimes because of weather. I haven't had a car in over ten years, I really only drove a lot when I was in my late teens mostly, and I would not own a car again unless there was some solar-electric hybrid that I needed to get by in a certain area.

I'm glad you are trying to keep it positive, I appreciate you focusing on the good people are trying to do here, but I think it's imperitive that people pay attention to the implications of gasoline being under a dollar a gallon in the United States, and what that means for fossil fuel consumption, because from what I've observed, a lot of people are just going "yay" with little or no regard to anything, I don't think it's a good idea to sweep it under the rug.
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#12 Old 01-20-2016, 02:41 PM
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I walk everywhere and the only things I guzzle are water and *hangs head in shame* Pepsi.

Anytime I think I'm perfect, I remember that my cousin lives on an island, and I've never walked over to visit her.
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#13 Old 01-20-2016, 04:54 PM
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Make them watch 'Cowspiracy' before the next trip out to the steakhouse in the v8 pickup.

My friend in Joliet IL 'nearly thought about' selling his Silverado when gas was approaching $4/gal in 2011 as his commute from Crown Pointe IN to Joliet was costing him $120 a week, but he didn't just I case he needed to pull his boat as borrowing his dad's F150 from the next street would have been a chore.
Changing some peoples mindset is just not going to happen even if gas prices go up.
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#14 Old 01-20-2016, 06:12 PM
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Some positive news regarding the topic of gasoline consumption:

Starting in 1975, the United States has enforced a set of laws called the "CAFE" Standards (Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency). These laws establish the minimum average fuel efficiency of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpor...e_Fuel_Economy

This doesn't mean that car makers can't sell 15 MPG cars. It DOES mean that they must also sell highly fuel-efficient cars, such that the average MPG of all cars sold meets the CAFE standard.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush signed legislation to require even BETTER fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks (this surprised me): http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2007/12/20071219-1.html

Year by year, the CAFE Standards require car makers to make incremental improvements in fuel economy. Car makers have responded to this requirement by inventing wonderful technologies for lowering vehicle fuel consumption: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/tech_adv.shtml

AND, by the year 2025 (less than 10 years from now), the CAFE Standards will require that all new small cars sold in in the United States to have an average real-world fuel efficiency of 43 MPG!

For large cars, the 2025 requirement is 34 MPG.

For small trucks, the 2025 requirement is 37 MPG.

For large trucks, the 2015 requirement is 23 MPG.


Now, it's true that people will still be driving their old, 15 MPG vehicles, but some of these vehicles will be forced off the road by ever-stricter smog-emission laws (they won't pass their smog test).

It's also true that, if people just drive more miles, they can partly undermine the environmental benefits of high MPG cars. However, data shows that the overall benefit is positive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpor...tomobile_usage

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
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http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 01-20-2016 at 06:31 PM.
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#15 Old 01-21-2016, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David3 View Post
Some positive news regarding the topic of gasoline consumption:

Starting in 1975, the United States has enforced a set of laws called the "CAFE" Standards (Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency). These laws establish the minimum average fuel efficiency of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpor...e_Fuel_Economy

This doesn't mean that car makers can't sell 15 MPG cars. It DOES mean that they must also sell highly fuel-efficient cars, such that the average MPG of all cars sold meets the CAFE standard.

In 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush signed legislation to require even BETTER fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks (this surprised me): http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2007/12/20071219-1.html

Year by year, the CAFE Standards require car makers to make incremental improvements in fuel economy. Car makers have responded to this requirement by inventing wonderful technologies for lowering vehicle fuel consumption: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/tech_adv.shtml

AND, by the year 2025 (less than 10 years from now), the CAFE Standards will require that all new small cars sold in in the United States to have an average real-world fuel efficiency of 43 MPG!

For large cars, the 2025 requirement is 34 MPG.

For small trucks, the 2025 requirement is 37 MPG.

For large trucks, the 2015 requirement is 23 MPG.


Now, it's true that people will still be driving their old, 15 MPG vehicles, but some of these vehicles will be forced off the road by ever-stricter smog-emission laws (they won't pass their smog test).

It's also true that, if people just drive more miles, they can partly undermine the environmental benefits of high MPG cars. However, data shows that the overall benefit is positive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpor...tomobile_usage
And a lot of the old gas guzzlers were destroyed years ago when Obama enacted the rebate, so that helps to push fuel ecenomy of cars up.

Also, when gas prices go down (average $1.88/gallon today nationwide per AAA), environmentally unfriendly (and expensive) methods of extraction become less profitable (like fracking).
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#16 Old 01-21-2016, 02:14 AM
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Im probably the rare breed here...A mechanic and construction worker who drives a 4x4 diesel pickup. I dream of living in a natural way, no fuel consuming machines - but tough when you have a family to support and all you know is what you have been doing since high school.

I question whether or not it's better to just keep your old truck (mine is 15 years old) or support the modern auto industry/research/development/more materials, etc of the process that goes into a new machine.
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#17 Old 01-21-2016, 01:06 PM
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Im probably the rare breed here...A mechanic and construction worker who drives a 4x4 diesel pickup. I dream of living in a natural way, no fuel consuming machines - but tough when you have a family to support and all you know is what you have been doing since high school.

I question whether or not it's better to just keep your old truck (mine is 15 years old) or support the modern auto industry/research/development/more materials, etc of the process that goes into a new machine.

It might be possible to do both. A person can keep their truck a while longer, and then later switch to a newer, equally powerful, improved MPG model. Or, a person could keep their truck, but also buy a smaller vehicle for trips around town.


If people need pickup trucks for their work (to carry supplies, tools, etc.), I think this is a reasonable use of fossil fuels. What I find wasteful is when people use large vehicles primarily for commuting - it's wasteful to use a 5000-pound vehicle just to carry a 200-pound person to work.
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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#18 Old 01-21-2016, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mrgrimm View Post
Im probably the rare breed here...A mechanic and construction worker who drives a 4x4 diesel pickup. I dream of living in a natural way, no fuel consuming machines - but tough when you have a family to support and all you know is what you have been doing since high school.

I question whether or not it's better to just keep your old truck (mine is 15 years old) or support the modern auto industry/research/development/more materials, etc of the process that goes into a new machine.
Living without a car is not possible for many people. My commute, as well as my wife's commute, would be impossible without a car.

There have been several reports/articles/etc on whether it is better to keep an old car or buy a new car. I believe the consensus is typically that it is better to buy a new car than to continue driving an older car (depending on a number of assumptions).

However, for new VW's, one can't be sure. They apparently like to skirt regulations.
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#19 Old 01-21-2016, 01:58 PM
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Living without a car is not possible for many people. My commute, as well as my wife's commute, would be impossible without a car.

There have been several reports/articles/etc on whether it is better to keep an old car or buy a new car. I believe the consensus is typically that it is better to buy a new car than to continue driving an older car (depending on a number of assumptions).

However, for new VW's, one can't be sure. They apparently like to skirt regulations.
I have lived where there has been little or no public transport and as a non-driver it was hugely limiting. If I wasn't a non-driver, I would have definitely ended up running a car. As I never developed the confidence to drive, and as I need mobility, we had to move somewhere less rural were there is plenty of public transport. That's probably easier to do here in a densely occupied island like the UK than in the huge areas that compose the US.
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#20 Old 01-21-2016, 06:57 PM
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It might be possible to do both. A person can keep their truck a while longer, and then later switch to a newer, equally powerful, improved MPG model. Or, a person could keep their truck, but also buy a smaller vehicle for trips around town.


If people need pickup trucks for their work (to carry supplies, tools, etc.), I think this is a reasonable use of fossil fuels. What I find wasteful is when people use large vehicles primarily for commuting - it's wasteful to use a 5000-pound vehicle just to carry a 200-pound person to work.
I agree with you there! I have seen where one person comes to work alone in a huge SUV that seats 8, parks the vehicle, goes in to work for 8 hours, comes out, and drives off. It seems like such a waste of gas and space. But who knows, maybe they pick up the kids or spouse somewhere along the way there and back. I have seen it increasingly on the road though, where just one person is driving a huge vehicle. And so many more cars are on roads now. I cycle in a not so friendly towards cyclist/pedestrian neighborhood where cars dominate. I love cycling, but everyday when I cycle I feel a knot in my stomach with nerves because I feel like I am risking life and limb being out on the road among fast paced cars and trucks. At least as a pedestrian I have sidewalks, but cycling is tough going. Thankfully there is a taskforce in my city working on building a bike lane and bike path on my end of town which is sorely needed, and there are groups educating people on cycling properly using hand signals and rules and so on. I actually attended one of those classes myself to brush up my skills.

I think we would save a ton on gas consumption simply by using much smaller vehicles unless the vehicle was for work related purposes. Sadly the larger vehicles are the trend nowadays.
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#21 Old 01-22-2016, 09:56 AM
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A local bicycle shop can equip your bike with "grocery bag panniers", which allow one to easily carry 2 full bags of groceries:







With a bicycle trailer, you can carry 100+ pounds of groceries or supplies:



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_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
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http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

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#22 Old 01-22-2016, 12:28 PM
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For 10 years, I commuted almost exclusively by bicycle and motorscooter. I never had a collision (although I crashed my bicycle a few times - no broken bones)

I avoided collisions by:

1. Learning safe riding skills for bicycling and scootering
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q...cycling+skills
http://www.amazon.com/Proficient-Mot.../dp/1889540536

2. Wearing a yellow visibility vest, day and night. You can buy yellow "construction vests" from Home Depot for cheap. http://www.homedepot.com/b/Tools-Har...vZc29hZ1z0wqol



3. For nighttime riding, putting lights on my bike: front, side, and rear


_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 01-22-2016 at 12:30 PM.
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#23 Old 01-22-2016, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Thalassa4 View Post
I think it's great that you are doing your best even if you have to drive sometimes because of weather. I haven't had a car in over ten years, I really only drove a lot when I was in my late teens mostly, and I would not own a car again unless there was some solar-electric hybrid that I needed to get by in a certain area.

I'm glad you are trying to keep it positive, I appreciate you focusing on the good people are trying to do here, but I think it's imperitive that people pay attention to the implications of gasoline being under a dollar a gallon in the United States, and what that means for fossil fuel consumption, because from what I've observed, a lot of people are just going "yay" with little or no regard to anything, I don't think it's a good idea to sweep it under the rug.
Is it under a dollar a gallon anywhere in the US? It's under $2/gallon here in Florida.
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#24 Old 01-22-2016, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by David3 View Post
For 10 years, I commuted almost exclusively by bicycle and motorscooter. I never had a collision (although I crashed my bicycle a few times - no broken bones)

I avoided collisions by:

1. Learning safe riding skills for bicycling and scootering
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q...cycling+skills
http://www.amazon.com/Proficient-Mot.../dp/1889540536

2. Wearing a yellow visibility vest, day and night. You can buy yellow "construction vests" from Home Depot for cheap. http://www.homedepot.com/b/Tools-Har...vZc29hZ1z0wqol



3. For nighttime riding, putting lights on my bike: front, side, and rear

I was hit while riding my bike in 2011 by a woman pulling out of a driveway in her SUV. She was on her cell phone and didn't see me. I made a terrible mistake in thinking she would stop since I had the right of way. It was just a hard bump, but it sent me and my entire bike skidding out into traffic. Thankfully there were no cars in the lane I went into. I went through over six months of physical therapy due to my pelvis being jarred by the hit, and spent $100 to have my bike fixed. I also made the mistake of not calling the police and taking a report. I was in a state of shock and just wanted to get out of there and get home at the time. She didn't even get out of her SUV to see if I was ok, just stuck her head out the window and asked. It took a while to get the nerve to go out and ride again. Now I make eye contact with vehicle drivers I pass at intersections and driveways, and if I don't think they will see me, I stop and wait. I have also altered my route to avoid some otherwise tricky situations.
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#25 Old 01-23-2016, 03:44 AM
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Now I make eye contact with vehicle drivers I pass at intersections and driveways, and if I don't think they will see me, I stop and wait. I have also altered my route to avoid some otherwise tricky situations.
As a pedestrian, when I know it's my right of way, I assert it - whether walking along the pavement when someone is pulling out of their drive or when crossing the road at a zebra crossing. I do always ensure however that I make eye contact. If I know a car driver has seen me and they still pull out onto the pavement in front of me blocking the path, I walk around them and force them to stop to hopefully encourage them to be more conscious of what they're doing. I suspect that a lot of car drivers 'invisibilise' (physically see but mentally screen out) more vulnerable parties such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
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#26 Old 01-23-2016, 04:00 AM
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As a pedestrian, when I know it's my right of way, I assert it - whether walking along the pavement when someone is pulling out of their drive or when crossing the road at a zebra crossing. I do always ensure however that I make eye contact. If I know a car driver has seen me and they still pull out onto the pavement in front of me blocking the path, I walk around them and force them to stop to hopefully encourage them to be more conscious of what they're doing. I suspect that a lot of car drivers 'invisibilise' (physically see but mentally screen out) more vulnerable parties such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
You have more trust of people than I do lol. I was also hit by a van many years ago when I was walking across an intersection. I had a crosswalk and he had a stop sign. But he kept looking the other way for one way traffic and not looking the opposite direction for pedestrians. I waited and waited but he would not make eye contact, so I went ahead and then he pulled out further and hit me. I went on the hood and instinctively grabbed the windshield wipers. He stopped immediately and asked if I was ok. That time I remember screaming at him I was so angry, and I am normally a passive person. Again I didn't take a police report. I was just slightly bruised but very shaken. He was very apologetic.

But I can understand your tactic to a degree. the bike safety class I took, I learned that it is actually safer (on slower roads) to ride in the middle of a lane instead of off to the side, especially when there are two lanes going one way. I have done this to assert my right to be there if there are two lanes going one way so drivers are forced to go in the other lane if they want to get around me. When I would ride off to the side of that road, with very little shoulder, they would go only slightly around me but stay in the outer lane and come dangerously close to hitting me. And then cut back right in front of me. They can't do that when I am riding in the middle of the lane. I am also making myself more visible that way (and I also wear bright clothes and always a helmet and gloves). I always stop at stop signs and lights, even when no one is coming for miles. It's a good habit, whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist or in a vehicle.

I think often drivers underestimate the size and power of the vehicles they drive. It's definitely a car culture where I live. And the increasingly fast pace of life and "convenience" in every regard...computers, cooking/fast food, office jobs etc makes car culture even more appealing to people. No one seems to have time for anything, and yet we have more resources at our fingertips than ever before.
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#27 Old 01-23-2016, 05:39 AM
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As a pedestrian, when I know it's my right of way, I assert it - whether walking along the pavement when someone is pulling out of their drive or when crossing the road at a zebra crossing. I do always ensure however that I make eye contact. If I know a car driver has seen me and they still pull out onto the pavement in front of me blocking the path, I walk around them and force them to stop to hopefully encourage them to be more conscious of what they're doing. I suspect that a lot of car drivers 'invisibilise' (physically see but mentally screen out) more vulnerable parties such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Be careful. My adult son was hit and knocked down by an SUV while crossing a street last summer; luckily he was not hurt. He had the pedestrian light on WALK, made eye contact with the driver, who promptly turned right on red into the intersection without stopping, and knocked down my son. He's 6 feet tall and about 190 lbs of strong 22 year old. The guy just stopped for a second, and when Son stood up, he drove away. The driver thought the initial eye contact was for him to go, I guess.

Anyway, some people have no idea about driving! This happened in a resort town with tons of clueless tourist pedestrians, so I can only assume they are mowed down there on the reg.
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#28 Old 01-23-2016, 09:22 PM
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Bicycle safety courses are taught in many major cities. These classes include detailed and practical methods to avoid being hit by motorists, even while riding on busy city streets. You can get information about these courses by visiting your local bicycle shop (an actual bicycle shop, not a toy store that sells bicycles), or through the internet.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has classes for motorcycle and scooter riders: http://www.msf-usa.org/

"Proficient Motorcycling" is considered to be the best motorcycle safety book ever written: http://www.amazon.com/Proficient-Motorcycling-Ultimate-Guide-Riding/dp/1889540536 . It is very readable, yet it effectively teaches you how not to be hit while motorcycling. The lessons also apply well to bicycle and scooter riding.

These safety courses are based on the findings of thousands of crash investigations. These investigations identified the mistakes made by car drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. The methods for safer bicycling and motorcycling are well-understood, and all riders should learn them.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 01-23-2016 at 09:47 PM.
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#29 Old 02-03-2016, 03:14 PM
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It might be possible to do both. A person can keep their truck a while longer, and then later switch to a newer, equally powerful, improved MPG model. Or, a person could keep their truck, but also buy a smaller vehicle for trips around town.


If people need pickup trucks for their work (to carry supplies, tools, etc.), I think this is a reasonable use of fossil fuels. What I find wasteful is when people use large vehicles primarily for commuting - it's wasteful to use a 5000-pound vehicle just to carry a 200-pound person to work.
The smaller vehicle thing does work, but has been tough at times because the extra cost to register the vehicle and maintain insurance. Then there is the safety thing - People zooming around in huge SUV's nose deep in their I-phone can ruin my family's day if we are hit while out in our little Chevy Aveo...one reason I prefer to pack us in to my Super Duty instead.

Wouldn't it be nice if somehow there were separate road systems, one for bicycles and golf cart size/speed vehicles and the other for big trucks/work vehicles. IMO ALL vehicles should be governed at around 40 mph anyways. If everyone just slowed down we would all have longer, more peaceful lives!
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#30 Old 02-03-2016, 03:20 PM
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Is that your bike? Normally I don't like things like that but that actually looks kinda cool.
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