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  1. #1
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    A little thread about cycling

    mod note: the following exchanges were originally spawned in the Consoles are expensive thread. Posts containing both on-topic and off-topic parts have been copied to this thread, while cycling-specific posts have been moved out of it.

    PCs still don't "just work" in the way that consoles do. People like stuff that just works. That way they can ignore the platform and get on with their lives. A minority of folk find the platform itself interesting and enjoy the whole learning, tinkering, upgrading process -- and that's fine. But for most people their interests lie elsewhere and they don't have the time or patience to get bogged down in the idiosyncrasies of the platform. It's not a gaming thing, its a human thing.

    It's one of the reasons cars are so popular -- they 'just work'. There are huge subcultures around cars, but the average driver doesn't need to engage with them. Get in, drive from A to B, end of. In contrast, in the world of bicycles or motorcycles you very quickly find yourself engaging with (and in all likelihood being overwhelmed by) the hardcore, nuts-and-bolts, way-of-life side of things by necessity, because shit doesn't 'just work' like it does on a car. And most people don't have time for that.

    And all of these subcultures are full of people who look down upon everyone else for being too ignorant or stubborn or what-have-you to realise the advantages of their chosen operating system/mode of transport/way of making coffee when the truth is that most people simply don't care to look beyond the simplest, easiest, most familiar way of doing things because their lives and minds are full of other stuff instead.
    Last edited by alms; 22-02-2016 at 11:42 PM.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordianblot View Post
    If we're throwing around anecdotal evidence, in my case my family and friends (unless they play PC games, and then even a few only use laptops) all have laptops and no desktops. Friends my age all get laptops in college, keep them a while after and then it's just part of how they use computers.
    Guess you could look up the numbers, TBH the last time a "normal" has asked me to build them a computer was 2001.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe View Post
    In contrast, in the world of bicycles or motorcycles you very quickly find yourself engaging with (and in all likelihood being overwhelmed by) the hardcore, nuts-and-bolts, way-of-life side of things by necessity, because shit doesn't 'just work' like it does on a car. And most people don't have time for that.
    If you think bicycles lack the "just work" factor then you may have been listening too often to that kind of people who need to rationalize their buying extremely expensive bikes. They spend all the time pontificating what sophisticated and delicate things bikes are (they're not) and why everything lesser must be rickety, unreliable shit which noone in their right mind would think about riding

    Though it may not be the case for you, realizing how much that notion is divorced from reality, for many of us is just as easy as stepping out of the door and looking at people of all ages and walks of life riding their plain, ordinary, old bikes as transportation workhorses, most often than not noisy rust buckets that rarely get their chains lubed, if ever.

    (Or maybe it was simply a cager)
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  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Matt_W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe View Post
    It's one of the reasons cars are so popular -- they 'just work'. There are huge subcultures around cars, but the average driver doesn't need to engage with them. Get in, drive from A to B, end of. In contrast, in the world of bicycles or motorcycles you very quickly find yourself engaging with (and in all likelihood being overwhelmed by) the hardcore, nuts-and-bolts, way-of-life side of things by necessity, because shit doesn't 'just work' like it does on a car. And most people don't have time for that.
    Cars require regular maintenance that (for most people) must be done by a specialist shop. And my cars seem to need non-regular maintenance (due to breakdowns or some other problem) about once per year. My bicycle, on the other hand, merely requires me to keep the tires inflated and the occasional tube change due to a flat (which I can easily do on the side of the road and takes less than 5 minutes.) I haven't taken my bicycle into the shop for a tune-up in several years. There's no contest; the bicycle is a much more 'just works' machine than the car. And maybe I just live in a strange city, but I ride with enthusiast groups all the time and their primary concern is making bicycle riding easy, convenient, and fun. So a much more laid back atmosphere than you describe, emphasis on rugged, easy-to-ride (even single speed) cycles, casual clothing (not lycra), slower speeds so you can chat while riding, back roads and exploration, and a sense of the cycle itself as just a means to an end.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe View Post
    Unfortunately in Australia 90% of bicycle riders are in the lycra brigade (as I've heard it called).
    Don't take it the wrong way please, you shouldn't judge people from the clothes they wear :) A lot of people are in teams and wear their team's kit and many more use technical clothing simply because it's more practical.

    I am in the latter camp: I go through pretty hot/humid summers and cotton becomes a heavy, sticky, unbearable mess after 5 minutes (and no matter how nice, it bruises my nipples so I would need to place band aids on them all the time, it's just not worth it), in winter synthetics simply dry up faster, and I would recommend against using baggy clothing in crosswinds, gusts can be ...a lot of fun.

    Of course if one only rides in suitable conditions, they may have different views, but for me wearing civil clothes means I typically have to slow down to a crawl, which is neither practical nor fun, so there must be good reasons to do that.

    There's people who wear it just to look the part and others that, regardless of what they're wearing that day, or what vehicle are operating, are simply dicks who take risks with someone else's life. I just call the latter dicks and/or irresponsible.

    The thing is not limited to roadies anyway, the comeback of fixies has given rise to a certain type of user who is more interested in putting together expensive, flashy bikes, sometimes sourcing Japanese, meant for track, parts which in many instances cost more simply because they're certified for competition use.

    The fixie crowd can be a strange one though, a lot insist of riding brakeless bikes (often removing the brakes from bikes that come equipped with them!) on the road for the sake of it. It's not a good idea.

    It's not even limited to cycling, more like a mindset that people carry around with them, no matter what their hobbies are. But BikeSnob once jokingly argued after the economic crisis cycling received an influx of impoverished investment bankers who had to downsize their hobbies, and find cycling "so cheap". Point is I'm not sure he was entirely wrong about that... but I digress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe View Post
    Unfortunately in the couple weeks since that acquisition I have experienced several hardships, most significantly a rear tire blowout the remedying of which with inadequate tools left me sweaty and sweary and altogether resentful and moreover led me to make unfavourable comparisons between the bicycle experience and the also fairly recent experience of changing a car tyre. I do plan to persist with the pedal-powered endeavour, but I would be lying if I said it had been pleasantly smooth sailing to date or that I haven't had second thoughts about it.
    You should congratulate yourself, that's a formative experience most new cyclists go through at some point. Basically there are two options:

    1) you have a plan B, like: bike shop nearby; someone who can pick you and the bike up; or if bike allows, it can be locked down and picked up later, switch to public transportation instead.

    2) you make sure you have all that is needed to fix the flat and are comfortable with doing it on the road. When I say fix, I mean "swap the tube and make sure the tire is clear of the debris which caused the issue in the first place", I'm not inclined to patch them on the roadside, you can never tell whether your next flat will be in darkness or bad weather.

    Casual cyclists typically resort to 1, while dedicated riders usually pick 2.

    edit: there's a third actually, you could carry around one of those cans that claim to fix and inflate tubes, but I've never tried them.

    Two more things: don't ride on worn down tires, they flat like there's no tomorrow thus are a recipe for frustration. And, in certain areas, I am told (more or less) puncture resistant tires are a necessity.

    BTW I have very conflicted feelings about bike paths. That they're badly implemented within my country might color my judgment, but riding at 12 kph or less while dodging strollers, runners with their headphones on, distracted pedestrians, and generally, all kinds of madness is neither safe nor fun.

    I'd rather mix with motorists, they're more predictable. Besides technical implementation issues with full segregated lanes (they're a lot of "fun" as soon as they need to cross a road, if you like accidents), they affect negatively one of the most important principle for cyclists:

    "Safety is in the numbers". Europe was originally the cradle of cycling, but it has undergone Americanization and now there's plenty of drivers who think bikes don't belong to the road, which is crazy: bikes are fully fledged vehicles for the law, at least where I am - and regardless road cycling is a time honored tradition that doesn't deserve to die.

    Honestly? self-driving cars can't come soon enough.
    Last edited by alms; 19-02-2016 at 01:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    BTW I have very conflicted feelings about bike paths. That they're badly implemented within my country might color my judgment, but riding at 12 kph or less while dodging strollers, runners with their headphones on, distracted pedestrians, and generally, all kinds of madness is neither safe nor fun.

    I'd rather mix with motorists, they're more predictable. Besides technical implementation issues with full segregated lanes (they're a lot of "fun" as soon as they need to cross a road, if you like accidents), they affect negatively one of the most important principle for cyclists:

    "Safety is in the numbers". Europe was originally the cradle of cycling, but it has undergone Americanization and now there's plenty of drivers who think bikes don't belong to the road, which is crazy: bikes are fully fledged vehicles for the law, at least where I am - and regardless road cycling is a time honored tradition that doesn't deserve to die.

    Honestly? self-driving cars can't come soon enough.
    Living in America, I tried riding my bike on the road at night once, with proper headlights and a flashing tail light unlike everyone else that I've seen ride at night around here, and I had a woman scream at me while we were sitting at a stop light because I "scared" her as she was driving. This was after she almost ran me over when she pulled up behind me at the light. She had never seen a bike with lights on it before, and didn't know what I was, so apparently her thought process was to run me over because I was something that shouldn't have been on the road. It was only after her headlights hit me and she saw a human being that she slammed on her brakes and left a 10 foot long skid mark. So after contemplating, and coming close to, murdering me, she yells at me because in her mind it's my fault. This is almost perfectly in line with some of my own family's thinking, because they claim bikes have no place on the roads for this, that, and the other reasons.

    We've got trails around where I live, but they're used as camp sites for the local bums who find it fun to break glass all over them. Since the trails are converted railroad tracks, they're owned by the state and largely unmaintained aside from a biennial pea gravel reapplication. Which means they're not all that friendly to bikes. You have a better time if you're on mountain tires, since it tends to take bigger shards of glass to get through, but it's still a hazard. In 3 months of riding I replaced 2 tubes and an actual tire due to glass. And that's on top of dealing with walkers who take up the whole trail and don't have the courtesy to move when you call out on approach.

    A friend of mine used to live near a park that had both walking and biking trails, which were close together but separated and followed the same general path, and he said that on any given day the bike trail would be overrun with walkers. Mostly old women who would claim they didn't hear him on approach and yelled because he'd pass them any way he could. So he went and got himself a bike bell that sounded like a gong when he rang it, and then their complaints changed from that to scaring them with his "overly loud" bell. I told him he should up the ante by getting a hand cranked air raid siren and attaching it to his bike.
    Last edited by unruly; 21-02-2016 at 04:49 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    I would still deem them as more expensive because of their inherent lack of flexibility. For the most part, customization isn't an option, and you need to buy something that matches well enough your expected usage case from a selection, also there's an opportunity cost from basically having little or no way in terms of upgrading.
    I would guess that for the majority of computer owners, "upgrading" is something like buying a new printer or the like. The dedicated gamer/enthusiast crowd might buy a new graphics card every year or two, but I'd guess that the vast majority of PC owners had machines that largely contained the same interior at the time of retirement as it had at the time of purchase. If the machine breaks, then they either buy a new one or get a necessary part replaced. If a part simply becomes too outdated/underpowered, then they either take that as a sign that it is time to buy a new machine or they upgrade that single part to an upgraded piece of the same or similar line.

    My previous PC was selected with upgrading in mind, but I ended up mostly doing minor changes. I'd swap out modem/network cards with equivalents when something went wrong. I upgraded the power supply to a similar heavy cube. I added a couple of sticks of memory. I added a graphics card. I swapped hard drives a couple of times. Most of that could have seen the equivalent done with a more modern laptop.

    That previous PC was old enough that laptops weren't such a viable option. It was ultimately retired due to an apparent motherboard issue, and replaced with a machine that I built myself. Thing is, my current machine is still pretty similar to its original state. I need a new internal hard drive again. I could use some more RAM, but that isn't a necessity. I need a new modular power supply, but that isn't a necessity until the one inside dies or until I change some more power-related hardware. (And the main reason I need a new one is because my current PSU is a carry over from my previous PC.) I want a new graphics card, but I want to wait to see what this year offers in new products (and what that might do to prices of the current crop.) I might need to replace the DVD drive soon. But again, most of that is stuff that could be done with laptops, or isn't that important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe View Post
    It's one of the reasons cars are so popular -- they 'just work'. There are huge subcultures around cars, but the average driver doesn't need to engage with them. Get in, drive from A to B, end of. In contrast, in the world of bicycles or motorcycles you very quickly find yourself engaging with (and in all likelihood being overwhelmed by) the hardcore, nuts-and-bolts, way-of-life side of things by necessity, because shit doesn't 'just work' like it does on a car. And most people don't have time for that.
    Speaking for living in the country in the US, cars are popular because they are a necessity. You aren't going to bike 20 miles to work, much less 30+ miles. You aren't going to bring home a week's worth of groceries on a motorcycle. Or taking your five year old to school or your mother to the doctor. Mass transit isn't an option because it isn't present.

    And since you pretty much have to have a car and will likely spend a not insignificant amount of your life inside various motor vehicles, you might as well spend some money (which is likely a small fraction of what you've spent and will continue to spend to purchase and to simply maintain it) to make it a bit more enjoyable.

    An extra 8GB of RAM in a PC is a luxury. A working sound system in a car is a way of maintaining sanity during long rides.

  7. #7
    Moderator alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baines View Post
    You aren't going to bike 20 miles to work, much less 30+ miles. You aren't going to bring home a week's worth of groceries on a motorcycle. Or taking your five year old to school or your mother to the doctor.
    Something tells me you don't read many cycling blogs nor forums :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Something tells me you don't read many cycling blogs nor forums :)
    Okay, you aren't going to bike 20 miles on a 70mph highway.

    Heck, I wouldn't risk biking 20 miles on back roads, simply because the other people in cars aren't going to expect to see anyone biking. From a driver's perspective, one of the most annoying and dangerous things on the road is a bicyclist.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baines View Post
    Okay, you aren't going to bike 20 miles on a 70mph highway.
    I'd rather take the nicer route, but if it can't be helped? With the shoulder clean and wide enough (which is often the case here where speed limits are higher) there's less buzzing and brushing than on roads with lower speed limits.

    Mind, most roads I ride on have minimalistic or no shoulder at all, and are likely to look like wormholes to anyone used to the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baines View Post
    Heck, I wouldn't risk biking 20 miles on back roads, simply because the other people in cars aren't going to expect to see anyone biking.
    Can't comment on your whereabouts, ofc, will just point out a lot of people these days tend to assume riding is stuff for daredevils, while it's really not the case.

    If you ride little or not at all, an interesting experiment would be pulling up a heatmap for your area on something like Strava.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baines View Post
    From a driver's perspective, one of the most annoying and dangerous things on the road is a bicyclist.
    The most dangerous thing for a motorist are other motorists, it's just a matter of physics. Motor vehicles are faster, heavier, and sturdier, packing more energy and destruction potential. Plus, most drivers are affected by a risk perception bias that makes them feel safer than they are and more likely to engage in risky behaviors.

    Personally, when I'm driving, what I find annoying annoying - no wait, maddening - is reckless people taking stupid, unnecessary risks that endanger the well-being, if not the lives, of others, often for the sake of saving seconds of their time, at best. On a bike? the same.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Personally, when I'm driving, what I find annoying annoying - no wait, maddening - is reckless people taking stupid, unnecessary risks that endanger the well-being, if not the lives, of others, often for the sake of saving seconds of their time, at best. On a bike? the same.
    Where I live if someone runs a stop sign or red light without even slowing it is almost always a cyclist. Even though there are not many on the roads, cyclists are scofflaws in far greater proportion than drivers around here.

    Anyone here have experience with Priority Bicycles?
    Last edited by Fumarole; 22-02-2016 at 07:41 PM.
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    Where I live if someone runs a stop sign or red light without even slowing it is almost always a cyclist. Even though there are not many on the roads, cyclists are scofflaws in far greater proportion than drivers around here.
    It's the same way in the Netherlands, and we have more bicycles then we have people. Driving a car in cities is akin to those B17 Flying Fortress games.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    Even though there are not many on the roads, cyclists are scofflaws in far greater proportion than drivers around here.
    This is an argument recurrently put forward by motorists against cyclists: however statistics do not support it, and drivers are found to be just as much or more disrespectful of laws as cyclists.

    One of the proposed explanations is that people, regardless of the vehicle they're using, are affected by perception biases and notice and remember more bad behaviors when they're from users of different vehicles, the same e.g. applies to cars VS motorbikes, cars VS trucks, and so on, leading to sweeping generalizations.

    That aligns with my experience: if a car takes off from a side-road, from a standstill, cutting an oncoming vehicle with right of way, forcing them to brake more or less hard, the latter is not likely to use the horn. However, a cyclist taking up a lane (a maneuver that is both allowed and recommended in some situations to increase safety) is very likely to get the horn treatment.

    Helio succinctly called this whole phenomenon "othering", and I agree on the whole it's very much yet another case of Us VS Them.

    Even if you think about it in terms of consequences, those stemming from a motor vehicle not obeying the laws are much more severe, and regardless of whom the blame lies with, it's not a pleasant experience to hurt another human being, again, regardless of what vehicle they're in.

    However, since the motor vehicle has the upper hand because of its greater mass, speed and collision unfriendly design (seriously take a look at the pedestrian collision tests if you haven't), it follows that there is a greater incentive for a cyclist to avoid collisions. This leads to what is generally called within the cycling community "defensive riding".
    Last edited by alms; 22-02-2016 at 09:04 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by unruly View Post
    Living in America, I tried riding my bike on the road at night once, with proper headlights and a flashing tail light unlike everyone else that I've seen ride at night around here, and I had a woman scream at me while we were sitting at a stop light because I "scared" her as she was driving.
    Bicycling in a motorized urban environment, particularly at night, is a skill. It's potentially quite dangerous if you don't know what you're doing; you have to know and be able to predict the actions of motorists, bike defensively, make sure what you're doing is visible and obvious, etc. Just like driving a car on the roadway, you have to learn the skill and then gain experience in applying it.

    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    This is an argument recurrently put forward by motorists against cyclists: however statistics do not support it, and drivers are found to be just as much or more disrespectful of laws as cyclists.
    I'd guess that motorists and cyclists are 'disrespectful' of different traffic laws: motorists (me included) routinely travel over the speed limit, pass through lights after they've changed to red, travel too close behind other motorists, etc. Bicyclists generally (and I am certainly guilty of this) don't stop at stop signs or traffic lights when there's no traffic around, use sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways, ride the wrong way on one way streets, and generally treat flat paved surfaces as the wild west, understanding traffic laws as mostly meant to make motorists' actions more predictable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt_W View Post
    I'd guess that motorists and cyclists are 'disrespectful' of different traffic laws: motorists (me included) routinely travel over the speed limit, pass through lights after they've changed to red, travel too close behind other motorists, etc. Bicyclists generally (and I am certainly guilty of this) don't stop at stop signs or traffic lights when there's no traffic around, use sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways, ride the wrong way on one way streets, and generally treat flat paved surfaces as the wild west, understanding traffic laws as mostly meant to make motorists' actions more predictable.
    I seem to recall though that blowing red lights is one of the most common among motorists, the MO however is different: it's mostly an attempt to slip through a light that has just turned red, cutting off other vehicles which have just received right of way in the process; whereas, like you said, the cyclist without a deathwish is more likely to pass through a junction being unused - something that in the US is frequently referred to as an "Iowa stop", as the laws of that state explicitly allow it.

    Though not exactly the same thing, leaving vehicles parked in bike lanes or over sidewalks is also painfully common.

    Salmons, either on one-way or two-way roads, are widely regarded as intolerable, maybe even more by cyclists than drivers, and FWIW I usually signal to keep on the right side of the road.

    I also find downright irresponsible to ride at non-walking speeds on sidewalks and other pedestrians-only spaces (actually, I've previously argued it's often not a good idea even in what should be dedicated bike lanes)

    When it comes to traffic lights, part of riding defensively is anticipating them. As many drivers take the green light as if they were in a race, one that cyclists clearly cannot win, reaching cruising speed and/or disengaging the junction before motor vehicles have a chance to take off is often regarded as a good idea.

    However, there are differing opinions: some are in favor of obeying to laws strictly, either as a way to reinforce mutual respect or because they feel it's the duty of a good citizen. Others argue that world is less than ideal and when there's safety to be gained, it's OK to interpret laws with a little leeway.
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Matt_W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    However, there are differing opinions: some are in favor of obeying to laws strictly, either as a way to reinforce mutual respect or because they feel it's the duty of a good citizen. Others argue that world is less than ideal and when there's safety to be gained, it's OK to interpret laws with a little leeway.
    I generally fall on the side of obeying traffic laws (as a cyclist) when it makes sense. The issue is that cyclists have special considerations that don't apply to motor vehicles and vice versa. For instance, here in San Diego, a prominent geographical feature is canyons, which cut across the city all over the place. This creates many situations where a road will dip down into a canyon, then climb out the other side. Invariably, there is a stop sign at the bottom, which I ignore as a cyclist if safe. Also, many demand-based traffic lights simply will not trigger due to a rider on a bicycle. Bicycles are usually perfectly capable of using and happy to use the shoulder of the road; we can use narrow pathways not available to cars; and we are simply not capable of the same speed as motor vehicles. Our riding capabilities and needs are just different. It makes little sense to apply exactly the same traffic standards. I've ridden in cities for many years, mostly in the dark, with little incident (though FWIW, I've recently twice had to lock my brakes hard enough due to motorist inattention that I fell off the bike, and a buddy of mine was injured significantly last month when another cyclist came out of his driveway without looking first and cut him off. I'm not sure if I'm just losing my touch or unlucky or traffic is getting worse.)

    EDIT: Thanks for moving this discussion to a new thread. I've been enjoying the back and forth, but was feeling pretty guilty about threadjacking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    It's the same way in the Netherlands, and we have more bicycles then we have people. Driving a car in cities is akin to those B17 Flying Fortress games.
    This is a surprisingly fitting comparison. The only thing I miss when driving a car in a Dutch city is an on-board gunner...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt_W View Post
    Cars require regular maintenance that (for most people) must be done by a specialist shop.
    The work having to be done by professionals is fine; it's about how much cognitive load is involved. Handing the problem over to someone else (and expecting to do so from the very beginning) involves very little cognitive load and corresponding frustration.

    My bicycle, on the other hand, merely requires me to keep the tires inflated and the occasional tube change due to a flat (which I can easily do on the side of the road and takes less than 5 minutes.) I haven't taken my bicycle into the shop for a tune-up in several years. There's no contest; the bicycle is a much more 'just works' machine than the car.
    Well, I'm glad your experience has been so swell. Here's the comparison from my angle; first the car:

    1. Notice flat tyre.
    2. Pull over to side street; inspect and retrieve spare 'space saver'-type tyre + jack from boot.
    3. Jack up car (moderate effort)
    4. Unbolt flat tyre, remove and place in boot, replace with spare tyre, replace bolts.
    5. Drive home. Wash hands.
    6. Next morning, take car to nearby shop to have real replacement tyre fitted under insurance. Return three hours later to pick up car.

    Now, the bicycle:

    1. Hear "bang" from the rear tyre.
    2. Pull over, observe that rear tyre is flat.
    3. Walk the bicycle back home approx 3km. (mild effort)
    4. Remove rear wheel nuts, negotiate wheel around chain, noting sprocket ring in process.
    5. Remove tyre from wheel after some trial and error (mild effort)
    6. After more trial and error, succeed in reassembling tube -> tyre -> wheel assembly.
    7. Attempt to pump up tyre using old craptacular pump, modestly successful (i.e. enough to ride on) after significant effort exerted.
    8. Replace wheel on bike, negotiating chain arrangement in process. Both sweaty and with grease on hands, under fingernails, and on arms and legs at this point.
    9. Ride bicycle to service station (~1km) to use their pump.
    10. Discover that above 30psi the new tube comes through tyre wall, i.e. I experienced a 'blowout' and there is a split in the tyre itself.
    11. Ride bicycle back home with rear tyre at low pressure. Total exertion and frustration: high.
    12. Next day, head into the shop the bicycle originally came from (I bought it second hand) only to be informed that they are out of stock of the tyre in question and to come back the next day.
    13. Go back the next day. Buy el cheapo tyre and additional replacement tube.
    14. Repeat removal of wheel, negotiation of chain, removing tyre from wheel, etc. etc. Doesn't go so well as the first time: lots more grease and frustration.
    15. Discover that old craptacular pump is now totally dead craptacular pump.
    16. Take the wheel down to the service station on scooter and pump it up there. Return home.
    17. Eventually succeed in returning bicycle to functional status. Don't feel like celebrating.

    Oh, but there is a coda....

    18. Six days later, hear 'bang' from the rear wheel.
    19. Pull over, confirm flat.
    20. Wheel bicycle home (~3km)
    21. Remove wheel, tyre, etc. Confirm that there is another split in the new tyre just above the bead. More exertion, grease, frustration.
    22. Take tyre into bicycle shop, get replacement for free. May be a bad batch, they say. Like I give a shit.
    23. New tyre, new tube (the one I bought after the first blowout)
    24. Still no pump, so again take the wheel down to the service station on my scooter to pump it up.
    25. THE VALVE FUCKING LEAKS FUCK YOU ALL
    26. Return home with flat tyre, consider throwing bicycle in the bin.
    27. After a couple hours to settle down and gain perspective, check Kmart website (there is one right next to where I go grocery shopping) for bicycle tubes: they have what I need. Go grocery shopping. Go to Kmart. They have stock of every tube except the one I need (700x32). Consider killing everybody in the store.
    28. Notice they have a puncture repair kit in stock. Buy that instead.
    29. Return home, patch 'old' tube. Put in tyre, wheel, etc.
    30. Take the wheel to the service station for the third time. It pumps up!
    31. Return home, replace wheel, chain, etc. Functional bicycle again!

    Step 31 was four days ago. Undoubtedly things could've gone much easier if I had more experience and/or the right equipment, but that's just the point -- I don't know anything about cars either and I didn't need to. To say that the comparative exertion, frustration, and grease quotients favour the car experience by 10:1 is probably being too generous. 15 or 20:1 would probably be more accurate.

    I become frustrated easily and don't deal with it well. It is precisely experiences like these that led me to abandon a fairly well developed interest in fiddling with PC hardware, case modding, water cooling (this was back before today's virtually idiot-proof solutions) and so forth in favour of emphasising reliable, simple and elegant professional solutions that promise to JUST WORK or at least become somebody else's problem when they don't. Microsoft's Surface Pro line is pretty much my ideal PC at this point. Having written the above, it's really quite remarkable (knowing my triggers and thresholds) that I'm actually still sticking with the bicycle for the moment, let alone enjoying it. And that's without even mentioning the fall I took when I ran into a log that someone had dragged onto the bike path which has left me with an admittedly minor wrist injury that nonetheless has derailed other planned activities such as swimming and donating blood.
    Last edited by Lethe; 23-02-2016 at 08:23 AM.


  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    cotton

    bruises my nipples
    I'm entirely with you on the general uselessness of cotton (it's also utterly shit when it gets really cold - pretty much only useful as a towel absorbing your sweat, should you have the need), but the nipple troubles were a new one to me.


    Anyway, regarding the relative lethality and common sense of motorists vs bicyclists, as one of nature's perpetual pedestrians I'm of the firm opinion that they're both a bloody nuisance and can sod the sodding sod off. I live in a fairly large city where trams and busses are 5-10 minutes apart, there's almost never more than a 10 minute walk to the nearest public transport and there are road tolls to dissuade people from driving inside the city during day time, yet the roads are somehow always packed with cars.

    I have more patience with bicycles since they at least don't make noise or ruin the air, and are fractionally less likely to kill you in a collision, but in my experience the prevalence of cars everywhere seems to make cyclists treat any car-less surface as their own personal highway.

    Us pedestrians of course often act like concussed lemmings as well, but at least we have the moral advantage of not flinging around silly amounts of steel at murderous velocities as we go.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Matt_W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe View Post
    Well, I'm glad your experience has been so swell. Here's the comparison from my angle.
    That does sound like a horror story, and a bunch of terrible luck with equipment. I would probably be done with my cycle, at least for quite some time, after a couple of experiences like that.

    I've got a set of panniers in which I always keep a couple of spare tubes, a tire removal tool, and a pressure gauge. I've also got a decent frame pump on the bicycle and have removed my wheels so often it's basically mindless now. Not that any of that would have prevented your tires from splitting and your tubes from being out of stock. (How could any respectable shop not have 700x32's?) I did recently go on a long ride with a friend who had just bought a new bike and hadn't equipped it yet. He, of course, blew out a tire at literally the worst possible place on the ride. We walked the bikes a few miles to the nearest transit station and rode the bus home with our tails between our legs.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    This is an argument recurrently put forward by motorists against cyclists: however statistics do not support it, and drivers are found to be just as much or more disrespectful of laws as cyclists.
    Do you have links to these? I'd like to read them. I'm curious to see where these studies were done because I would not be surprised if things were different in Europe versus the US.
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