Author Topic: How cycling helps your health and the environment  (Read 4452 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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How cycling helps your health and the environment
« on: December 04, 2015, 03:00:04 AM »

TimmyB

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Re: How cycling helps your health and the environment
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2015, 08:33:31 AM »
I'm a cyclist and I would find it hard to believe that the number of injuries/deaths go DOWN.  Sorry, but yes, I am healthier, but I also am placing my life in much greater risk by riding than if I were driving to my destination.  I would HOPE that wouldn't be the case, but I'm a realist.

Adam White

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Re: How cycling helps your health and the environment
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2015, 08:40:15 AM »
I'm a cyclist and I would find it hard to believe that the number of injuries/deaths go DOWN.  Sorry, but yes, I am healthier, but I also am placing my life in much greater risk by riding than if I were driving to my destination.  I would HOPE that wouldn't be the case, but I'm a realist.

Isn't that a projection based on if drivers switched to bikes for 50% of their journeys of 5 miles or shorter? It makes sense to assume that the much greater reduction in cars on the road would lead to fewer auto accident deaths.
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

TimmyB

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Re: How cycling helps your health and the environment
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2015, 11:29:23 AM »
I'm a cyclist and I would find it hard to believe that the number of injuries/deaths go DOWN.  Sorry, but yes, I am healthier, but I also am placing my life in much greater risk by riding than if I were driving to my destination.  I would HOPE that wouldn't be the case, but I'm a realist.

Isn't that a projection based on if drivers switched to bikes for 50% of their journeys of 5 miles or shorter? It makes sense to assume that the much greater reduction in cars on the road would lead to fewer auto accident deaths.

Which is an unrealistic projection to make, especially when they are showing a map of the midwest, where I live!  We can only ride (maybe) eight months a year, up here, and four of those suck, as well.   >:(

I would absolutely love to live in a place where this was the norm, but I simply don't have that optimism for the USA to ever get there.  Look at all the debates/discussions we have just in this forum on public transportation.  We (as a society) have been raised since day one to love our cars and need our cars.  Heck, I know I am in that group.  But, I also love to ride my bike.  I just wish I could do it more safely.  Sadly, I find myself hauling my bike to a "safe" location, just so I can ride peacefully, then loading it back onto my car, and driving home.   :(

DrQue

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Re: How cycling helps your health and the environment
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2015, 11:48:21 AM »
I struggle with this idea as well. Riding a bike a few miles to work in Jacksonville is impractical for about half the year since I will inevitably arrive sweaty. Also only about a third of my route has dedicated bike lanes. 

TimmyB

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Re: How cycling helps your health and the environment
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2015, 12:27:52 PM »
I struggle with this idea as well. Riding a bike a few miles to work in Jacksonville is impractical for about half the year since I will inevitably arrive sweaty. Also only about a third of my route has dedicated bike lanes.

As we scoured the country looking for our place to move after our first career ends (2017), Jacksonville checked all of the boxes, except two.  Great mass transit (i.e., light-rail), and safe streets for cycling.  Sadly, MOST cities failed the 2nd one, so it's not like I'm saying it's worse than others; it (as you noted) is just not a bike-friendly place.  I do love that most of JB is very bike friendly, but that's only for casual biking, not commuting or distance riding.

It's funny: where we are from, you can't ride half the year, because it's too cold and slippery; for you, it's the same, but "hot and sweaty"!  :D

Adam White

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Re: How cycling helps your health and the environment
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2015, 02:10:20 PM »
I'm a cyclist and I would find it hard to believe that the number of injuries/deaths go DOWN.  Sorry, but yes, I am healthier, but I also am placing my life in much greater risk by riding than if I were driving to my destination.  I would HOPE that wouldn't be the case, but I'm a realist.

Isn't that a projection based on if drivers switched to bikes for 50% of their journeys of 5 miles or shorter? It makes sense to assume that the much greater reduction in cars on the road would lead to fewer auto accident deaths.

Which is an unrealistic projection to make, especially when they are showing a map of the midwest, where I live!  We can only ride (maybe) eight months a year, up here, and four of those suck, as well.   >:(

I would absolutely love to live in a place where this was the norm, but I simply don't have that optimism for the USA to ever get there.  Look at all the debates/discussions we have just in this forum on public transportation.  We (as a society) have been raised since day one to love our cars and need our cars.  Heck, I know I am in that group.  But, I also love to ride my bike.  I just wish I could do it more safely.  Sadly, I find myself hauling my bike to a "safe" location, just so I can ride peacefully, then loading it back onto my car, and driving home.   :(

I used to be able to ride to and from work. The ride was only about 4 miles and was relatively safe - most of it was back roads and there was even a segregated cycle lane for a small portion of it. But then I moved and it wasn't really a very good option. I would occasionally take my bike to work and cycle home. I moved again and now it's just not feasible at all. I'm about 15 miles from work and the route is so scary. I have been trying to find a decent halfway point in order to get the chance to cycle part of the way - but it's just not happening yet.
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

TimmyB

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Re: How cycling helps your health and the environment
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2015, 02:54:21 PM »
I'm a cyclist and I would find it hard to believe that the number of injuries/deaths go DOWN.  Sorry, but yes, I am healthier, but I also am placing my life in much greater risk by riding than if I were driving to my destination.  I would HOPE that wouldn't be the case, but I'm a realist.

Isn't that a projection based on if drivers switched to bikes for 50% of their journeys of 5 miles or shorter? It makes sense to assume that the much greater reduction in cars on the road would lead to fewer auto accident deaths.

Which is an unrealistic projection to make, especially when they are showing a map of the midwest, where I live!  We can only ride (maybe) eight months a year, up here, and four of those suck, as well.   >:(

I would absolutely love to live in a place where this was the norm, but I simply don't have that optimism for the USA to ever get there.  Look at all the debates/discussions we have just in this forum on public transportation.  We (as a society) have been raised since day one to love our cars and need our cars.  Heck, I know I am in that group.  But, I also love to ride my bike.  I just wish I could do it more safely.  Sadly, I find myself hauling my bike to a "safe" location, just so I can ride peacefully, then loading it back onto my car, and driving home.   :(

I used to be able to ride to and from work. The ride was only about 4 miles and was relatively safe - most of it was back roads and there was even a segregated cycle lane for a small portion of it. But then I moved and it wasn't really a very good option. I would occasionally take my bike to work and cycle home. I moved again and now it's just not feasible at all. I'm about 15 miles from work and the route is so scary. I have been trying to find a decent halfway point in order to get the chance to cycle part of the way - but it's just not happening yet.

You need to stop moving!  :D  Yeah, 15 miles, even with good weather and little traffic, would take its toll on you. 

In a more-perfect (perfecter?) world for me, Jax would be more like Atlanta, or Atlanta would be on the ocean.  I would love to have the equivalent of the Silver Comet Trail in the Jax area, and now they are also building the Beltline, which will add huge amounts of recreational cycling paths to the urban core.  Other than that fairly recent 15-mile long path they just opened up (Baldwin path?), there isn't much like that in the Jax area.  There are so many cities we've visited that have made safe cycling a priority, even right into the downtown CBD, such as Ft. Wayne, Austin, and Columbus.  Granted, two of those are major university towns, which adds a huge number of cyclists to the mix.  However, it doesn't take all that much to do, but someone in the right place has to want to get it done.

Overstreet

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Re: How cycling helps your health and the environment
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2015, 07:27:25 PM »
You may like Atlanta but for riding the area I lived in, North Decatur to Edgewood, was particularly hazardous. It seemed that Trees Atlanta is pretty strong there. they would champion for trees. They would also plant trees in the little strip of grass between sidewalk and curb. Often the trees over hung the road. Often the bigger trees were cut so the trunk was "squared  plumb" to the face of curb. Roots would lift the pavement. Thus if you were riding the bike and got squeezed over by traffic the roots would throw the tires askew and the tree would slam a riders shoulder.  You can have Atlanta.

I used to ride to work in the 90's. It was possible to ride up San Jose from Fruit Cove to down town and be relatively safe from traffic. Of course it was not without incident and my near misses were usually from runners. Seems they didn't understand, "On your right!" Then again my ride times were a little early before the rush.  I found that if you started out with a fresh shower and a clean jersey the sweaty body recovered at work with a little sink touch up and the day was OK. My normal pace was 50 minutes for  17 miles with stop lights.  It can be done but it take some prepositioning of assets and fore thought.   

The thing is I did this two or three times a week. That's 34 miles one trip times maybe three.......68-102 miles per week...usually 2 and not likely all year.  I was still putting 30,000 miles on my car/trucks per year.  It doesn't always mean a 50% decrease in vehicle usage. You see when those projects were over and I needed the mobility of driving to the office every day and in the course of work duties my mileage only went up to 35,000 miles.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2015, 07:47:41 PM by Overstreet »

TimmyB

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Re: How cycling helps your health and the environment
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2015, 07:32:14 AM »
You may like Atlanta but for riding the area I lived in, North Decatur to Edgewood, was particularly hazardous. It seemed that Trees Atlanta is pretty strong there. they would champion for trees. They would also plant trees in the little strip of grass between sidewalk and curb. Often the trees over hung the road. Often the bigger trees were cut so the trunk was "squared  plumb" to the face of curb. Roots would lift the pavement. Thus if you were riding the bike and got squeezed over by traffic the roots would throw the tires askew and the tree would slam a riders shoulder.  You can have Atlanta.

I used to ride to work in the 90's. It was possible to ride up San Jose from Fruit Cove to down town and be relatively safe from traffic. Of course it was not without incident and my near misses were usually from runners. Seems they didn't understand, "On your right!" Then again my ride times were a little early before the rush.  I found that if you started out with a fresh shower and a clean jersey the sweaty body recovered at work with a little sink touch up and the day was OK. My normal pace was 50 minutes for  17 miles with stop lights.  It can be done but it take some prepositioning of assets and fore thought.   

The thing is I did this two or three times a week. That's 34 miles one trip times maybe three.......68-102 miles per week...usually 2 and not likely all year.  I was still putting 30,000 miles on my car/trucks per year.  It doesn't always mean a 50% decrease in vehicle usage. You see when those projects were over and I needed the mobility of driving to the office every day and in the course of work duties my mileage only went up to 35,000 miles.

But, you notice what I love about ATL is the TRAIL networks, not riding in the streets!  :D  I'm crazy, but I'm too old for that battle.