Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Cyril Haearn
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby Cyril Haearn » 26 Sep 2018, 6:53pm

Si wrote:Generally I don't find an assumption of banned or poor, however, I have noticed than when pushing the bike through the shopping precinct the Big Issue seller never tries to sell me one, whereas when just walking (not wearing bike clothes) they always do. Make of that what you will!

What about chuggers, should one ignore them, be polite, cross to the other side?
I would like to know, used to be a chugger myself :wink:
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Cugel
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby Cugel » 27 Sep 2018, 4:03pm

Tom Richardson wrote:General Motors alone spends $1.8billion a year encouraging the purchase and use of its vehicles and they're just one of several. They're spending this money to create an image that motoring is something good to do. Governments also want you to keep driving because if people stopped (or even just drove a bit less) GDP would go through the floor. And infrastructure is set up to suit motoring because its what people have been persuaded to do and because that's good for GDP too.

It's like the film 'The Matrix' where we're living in an illusion where motoring is the norm. People even consider it essential. I had one of the red pills a while ago and saw that the reality is a bit different. They don't want you to know this of course and people who have bought the advertisers dream don't want to accept it either.


Although The Matrix is a terrible Yank filum full of guns and impossible chases, the theme of two realities - the hidden reality and the constructed reality - is a very interesting one. Michel Foucault, a French historian-philosopher-anthropologist-you-name-it describes the fundamental assumptions of a culture-nation-society as it "power" - the set of ideas that are regarded as the base rock of all the details; and which include the tests-for-truth processes and fundamental "facts". The power is the set of beliefs and resultant institutions within a society that make it and its human constituents behave as they do in an almost unconscious (certainly unquestioning) fashion.

These powers don't necessarily align well with everyone's reality (example, most religions in a seculars society) but manage to obscure this by erecting social institutions and practices that obscure one sort of reality by building another highly persuasive artificiality - just as in The Matrix.

Ole Foucault then produced a series of histories concerning the evolution (the "genealogy") of various modern institutions, including the justice-penal systems of The West, the modern notions of madness-psychology-psychiatry and a radical re-telling of the history of our sexual mores. He did this by doing "archaeology" - a superfine sifting of low-level historical material looking not for the overt and conscious explanations and justifications of the time but for all those less obvious but extremely telling influences giving rise to various cultural beliefs and practices.

Whether you agree with his analysis of the above subjects or not, what Foucault illuminated was the ability of various human cultures to offer radically different perspectives of the same real-life events. There is no "scientific" or "absolute" history; no definitive truth capturing the super-real or essence of historical human events. There are only competing viewpoints that are more or less cohesive and more or less persuasive to a given culture and those who are constructed by it.

******

One day there will be an alternative history of the combustion engine and the car. It will not be like those Great British Empire Histories that they gave us at school in the 50s and 60s (all good, for the benefit of all) but a rather different perspective - perhaps that of the millions of victims rather than that of the numerous Mr Toads and those manufacturers who create and serve the Toads, along with their bottom line.

We cyclists (some of us) already have an inkling of this alternative history and the reasons the car has come to have such a prominence.

Cugel

brooksby
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby brooksby » 28 Sep 2018, 10:08am

Doesn't Robert Penn ("Its all about the bike") give an anecdote in his book about how the locals in his pub gradually become more and more convinced that he lost his driving licence, and must have done something really terrible not to want to talk about it.

DaveGos
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby DaveGos » 28 Sep 2018, 12:45pm

Twice this week I have bumped into people I have not seen for a while ( generally related to one of my other interests tennis) and they ask how the cycling is going , and then go on to assume its all to do with charity rides. I ask the do they just play tennis if charity

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby Cyril Haearn » 28 Sep 2018, 12:56pm

Tennis is a world of its own like cycling, and there is some golf hysteria going on now in France, Europe against trumpland :?
If one spent many thousands on 6 kg bikes one might indeed be poor, financially
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby PDQ Mobile » 28 Sep 2018, 1:59pm

Cugel wrote:One day there will be an alternative history of the combustion engine and the car. It will not be like those Great British Empire Histories that they gave us at school in the 50s and 60s (all good, for the benefit of all) but a rather different perspective - perhaps that of the millions of victims rather than that of the numerous Mr Toads and those manufacturers who create and serve the Toads, along with their bottom line.

We cyclists (some of us) already have an inkling of this alternative history and the reasons the car has come to have such a prominence.

Cugel


Mr Toad had a caravan.
As someone that has spent many years chasing a bit of work across Europe living in small caravans pulled by small cars, I have yet to see a caravan that I could live and work from pulled by a bike.

Though I always have a bike "onboard".

Not all motorists are Mr Toads. And not all drivers are bad, in fact many are highly skilled and polite.

And in answer to the OP, yes I have been asked if I had "had the bag"!

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Cugel
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby Cugel » 28 Sep 2018, 4:40pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:
Cugel wrote:One day there will be an alternative history of the combustion engine and the car. It will not be like those Great British Empire Histories that they gave us at school in the 50s and 60s (all good, for the benefit of all) but a rather different perspective - perhaps that of the millions of victims rather than that of the numerous Mr Toads and those manufacturers who create and serve the Toads, along with their bottom line.

We cyclists (some of us) already have an inkling of this alternative history and the reasons the car has come to have such a prominence.

Cugel


Mr Toad had a caravan.
As someone that has spent many years chasing a bit of work across Europe living in small caravans pulled by small cars, I have yet to see a caravan that I could live and work from pulled by a bike.

Though I always have a bike "onboard".

Not all motorists are Mr Toads. And not all drivers are bad, in fact many are highly skilled and polite.

And in answer to the OP, yes I have been asked if I had "had the bag"!


Many drivers are careful. That still leaves millions who aren't. In addition, even the careful ones are sometimes not, since they are but human. (Includes me and you).

You can tell many tales concerning the easements, enablements and conveniences of the car. You can do for guns. Even wars. But ... there's a price that others pay. Maybe me & you too, one day. There are also alternatives, such as not having to chase work across Europe, because no one can without cars so there's work here instead now.

Your argument can be placed in many similar situations .... "I was able to travel and get work with the aid of my slave galley, so they're not all bad. Some galley slaves have a really good time as I look after them with at least 3 bowls of gruel a day and only the minimal whipping".

Meanwhile, slave galleys elsewhere are not so nice and in fact, lethal.

Yes, yes - an outrageous simile as a car is not a slave galley. Both, however, decimate those humans who fall foul of their misuse (or just use). Technology is far from benign, neutral or otherwise innocent. It embodies the intents, good and bad, of it's designers. It embodies the unintended consequences too, often very bad consequences. Technology is usually very unforgiving of human ineptitude, inability or other causes of it's poor use. The car is perhaps the prime example.

Cugel

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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby PDQ Mobile » 30 Sep 2018, 10:32am

Cugel.
It's not an "argument" as such.
And the "slave galley" stuff is pretty irrelevant.
I chase the work because I so choose. Mostly I enjoy it, and the discovery of new people, cultures and places has enriched my life.
By continuation of that fact, the motor car has enriched my life, just has my bicycle.


I don't agree with the low opinion of "millions" of drivers.
Millions of drivers are excellent, courteous and skilled.
There are some frustrated ones (sometimes caused through bad public transport and/or infrastructure planning) but the fault there lies with Govt. -to some extent at least.
There are some really bad drivers, dangerous drivers, but IMV they are a minority.

Other countries sometimes do it better.
Courtesy to cyclists is notably better in France for example.
That needs an explanation other than just condemning all drivers?

nez
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby nez » 30 Sep 2018, 11:13am

I've had people ask how I can afford to use Leica cameras - won the lottery? Had an inheritance? They seem surprised when I answer 'I don't own a car.' But it's a few thousand quid a year available to do what I like with. Choices, eh?

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Cunobelin
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby Cunobelin » 30 Sep 2018, 11:18am

Interesting Stats [url=https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/walking-and-cycling-levels-demographic-breakdown-england-cw020] about demographics of cycling and walking.

This who are unemployed or have never had a job are far less likely to cycle than senior managers!!!!!

Phil Fouracre
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby Phil Fouracre » 30 Sep 2018, 11:36am

You can prove anything with statistics :-) You can also go 'round in circles' discussing the pros and cons of technology! Bikes and cars are great pieces of technology used properly. I wouldn't be without either - I can travel locally or nationally anywhere I want at the 'drop of a hat'! with no real inpediment, and at a reasonable cost, what's not to like? and, probably the reason you won't get most people out of their cars! The cost? Well, that's another matter altogether :-(
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

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Cugel
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby Cugel » 30 Sep 2018, 12:52pm

Phil Fouracre wrote:You can prove anything with statistics :-) You can also go 'round in circles' discussing the pros and cons of technology! Bikes and cars are great pieces of technology used properly. I wouldn't be without either - I can travel locally or nationally anywhere I want at the 'drop of a hat'! with no real inpediment, and at a reasonable cost, what's not to like? and, probably the reason you won't get most people out of their cars! The cost? Well, that's another matter altogether :-(


Mr Mobile and yourself are optimists and look on the bright side. Nothing wrong with that, to a degree. Why mope about bad things you can do nothing about and that don't affect your own life, eh? This is my own general outlook.

However, you're doing a LAH LAH with that thing about "statistics can prove anything". Whilst you could find many a statistic that will demonstrate the pleasures and easements of the car (and they'd be correct statistics) you can't ignore the solid hard, immovable statistic concerning the widespread damage they cause: worldwide, over 1 million per year killed; at least 10X that number made permanent paraplegics; 100X that number given less serious but significant damage. Now add on the wider effects on their relatives, especially parents and spouses. Now add the damage done by their pollutants. Add also the wider damages to the environment, from climate change to the decimation of wildlife and much else. Let us not forget the effects of the oil industry with its own degradations and pollutions.

Nor are all these ills caused by only "bad drivers". The considerate ones (I'm one of them, I hope) also cause damage, even if it's less of the death & maiming variety than with the motorised loon-Toads. But even the careful have "accidents".

All technologies and all human behaviours employing them have costs and benefits. One's attitude to the technologies involved depend on the values one gives to different things. I give a lot of value to not-killing or maiming people, clean air and un-decimated wild life. You give a lot of value to extensive mobility and all it gets you. We're unlikely to ever align our values to the same scales. .... Although you might, should a car seriously bite you or yours one awful day.

Cugel

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby PDQ Mobile » 30 Sep 2018, 1:36pm

Mr Mobile!
I like that. :D
And I am surely not as quick as formerly. :(

Though I might be Miss Mobile? :wink:

Phil Fouracre
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby Phil Fouracre » 30 Sep 2018, 4:54pm

You misunderstand! re: stats, joking, hence the smiley. I agree with everything you say, hence cost = glum face. I've not got any answers, simply pointing out probably how most people feel about cars!
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

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Cugel
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Re: Cycle - You must be banned or poor

Postby Cugel » 30 Sep 2018, 5:40pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:Mr Mobile!
I like that. :D
And I am surely not as quick as formerly. :(

Though I might be Miss Mobile? :wink:


Miss Mobile .....? How mobile and in which general fashion? Post videos if possible.

Cugel. not yet reconstructed for post-modern times and therefore probably due a telling off from a femme fatale or perhaps Matron.