Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

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hiawather
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Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby hiawather » July 11th, 2018, 6:31 pm

Contrary to the typical (and carelessly) demagogic attacks on bicyclists as privileged hipsters, I submit this.

"Nationally and in cities across Sun Belt, the bulk of those who bike to work – based on our best available data – are low-income people. Nationwide, 49 percent of people in the cycling category earn less than $25,000 per year. In Houston, the figure is closer to 42 percent...

Despite a clear indication that most cyclists appear to be low-income people, other images of cyclists persist..."

And the reason why people use this demagogic attack on bicyclists?

"All of these conflicting ideas of who rides a bike matter because they inform policy discussions.

“I’d like to think that policy is created through reasoned debate finding the best choices among many,” Longhurst said. “But in fact, cultural associations shape a great deal of what decision-making bodies do, to both the good and the bad.”"

http://www.governing.com/topics/transpo ... sters.html

Articles, whether posted here or in other places, whose central argument rests on the premise that bicyclists are privileged are at core demagoguery, even if they include valid side arguments. Keep that in mind when responding to them. I certainly don't know what the magic bullet is for dismantling demagoguery but I think the first step is recognizing it for what it is before you decide on a strategy to respond.

If they are written by a person who has attained a high level of education and should reasonably be expected to have done some at least cursory investigation as to whether or not the core of their argument had merit that is doubly a shame. Creating an image of a group of people that casts them in a negative light to score political points? Simply put, it is a moral failing.

It is true that some bicycling advocates do not represent the socioeconomic status of most bicyclists. However, this isn't at all relevant. What is relevant is that the group that benefits from bicycle infrastructure is poorer than the general population, and if people sharing their opinions bring the concept of privilege into this discussion they should not turn it on its head.

Vagueperson
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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby Vagueperson » July 19th, 2018, 5:23 pm

Sounds like a Streets.mn post.

MNdible
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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby MNdible » July 20th, 2018, 9:39 am

Not that this invalidates the larger point made above, but it's worth remembering that there is a very strong correlation between age and income. For example, the area around the University of Minnesota shows up as being a very high poverty area, but we don't typically think about single college students with a part time work study job the same way we would, say, a family of five living in North Minneapolis making it by on minimum wage.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » July 20th, 2018, 6:29 pm

It is worth noting that most of the people who ride a bicycle for strictly economic reasons would probably drive a car if they could afford to. Making the world a better place by riding a bike is a pretty minor consideration, if they think of it at all. It's mainly the millennials and fitness oriented boomers that see cycling as anything more than the cheapest way to get from point A to point B.

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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby Multimodal » July 21st, 2018, 11:44 pm

In his new Copenhagenize book, Anderson-Colville says we need to make easier and/or faster to get somewhere by bike, compared to by car. That’s the *only* major thing that motivates humans. We’re pragmatic, after all.

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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby Mcgizz » July 22nd, 2018, 5:08 am

Multimodal wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 11:44 pm
In his new Copenhagenize book, Anderson-Colville says we need to make easier and/or faster to get somewhere by bike, compared to by car. That’s the *only* major thing that motivates humans. We’re pragmatic, after all.
In a non-recreational sense that is probably true. I stopped commuting by bike and transit last November because it took me an hour to get from Cen-Hen to the airport and then another hour to get back. Total commuting time was just shy of 2 hours. Before 35W construction ramped up I was able to shave my total commute time to less than 1 hour.

Train is slow, buses are slow, connections are not timed well, its just too fast to drive by comparison.

amiller92
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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby amiller92 » July 23rd, 2018, 10:29 am

That sounds like a commute that's perfect for a bike ride to the Blue Line. 10 minutes on the bike. 30 wait/train. Not too much longer than driving.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » July 25th, 2018, 11:31 am

I live a pretty sheltered life and didn't know about the existence of "MPLS Bike Wrath" until today. Evidently this guy decided to ride down the middle of the lane on Lyndale and do an "educational" session with some drivers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYwnnLN ... e=youtu.be

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Anondson
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Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby Anondson » July 25th, 2018, 12:42 pm

I could never. But man that looks far too “in your face”. I’m conflicted, but I’m not defending the driver jerks.

amiller92
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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby amiller92 » July 25th, 2018, 1:59 pm

My problem with Ward is that his videos often seem to involve him being kind of a jerk, despite being entirely within his rights. Like, yeah, you have every right to take the lane on Lyndale. Yeah, drivers are jerks.

But why? There's not much for destinations on the one lane stretch of Lyndale, so why not use a parallel street (I'd say Bryant but man is it bumpy these days)? Or if you must, why not move over where you can to let cars by? I guess the answer is to prove a point. I'll pass.

Profile or Ward from awhile back: http://www.citypages.com/news/righteous ... /390441491

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Anondson
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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby Anondson » August 23rd, 2018, 10:45 am

Request to bike commuters...

We open enroll our son into Saint Louis Park, we living in Hopkins. My son, about to be a senior, stunned me by saying he’d rather bike to SLP high school from our home in Hopkins than bus or drive. He’s in after school sports and other activities also so he has gear to bring.

We don’t know what to get him to make this successful but we are excited to make this work best.

Anyone who’s a bike commuter care to write a post (or turn it into a streets.mn post!) for the high school first time bike “commuter” in Minnesota? What to add to a bike, suggestions for clothing, how to travel with all the bags, books, and after school eq? Weather and seasonal prep?

Maybe expand it for middle school and elementary school?

Tcmetro
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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby Tcmetro » August 23rd, 2018, 11:40 am

I used to bus/bike from Minneapolis to Edina in middle school. One day I got absolutely soaked along with my books, so definitely keep track of the weather.

I remember being sweaty quite a bit also, so probably good to have a shirt change at least handy - maybe kept in the lockers at school.

EOst
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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby EOst » August 23rd, 2018, 12:01 pm

A waterproof pannier (or two) would be a smart investment for school books.

amiller92
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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby amiller92 » August 23rd, 2018, 1:24 pm

Some of the responses to my similar request might be relevant: https://streets.mn/2015/08/06/what-kind ... w-commute/

Definitely need waterproof panniers, probably on the bigger side. Mine are Thule but there are plenty of options. I typically commute with only one (unless I'm planning to stop for groceries) but he might need both depending on how much stuff he has to carry. I tend to have a bunch of extraneous crap in the bottom, but if I were him I'd think about whether to carry an extra tube and the tools needed to change one. I took out the rain gear after carrying it for most of the summer, but you want to keep a close eye on the weather or carry it. Or both, as my weather apps feel like they've gotten less reliable. As summer winds down, he'll want a to carry a potential extra layer too.

All the obvious gear: lights, extra batteries (or other means of charging), fenders, cargo rack, adequate locks, etc.

Does he have a smart phone (I imagine all kids do now)? Very helpful for navigating. For me, it's helpful that Metro Transit is an easy backup. I can even put the bike on the bus if needed and just use my GoTo card.. If that's not helpful on his normal route, do you want him to have access to a ride sharing app or something? (You can tell I only have a toddler as I do not know what's normal for a teen). Also helpful to know where the bike shops are along your route, should you need a repair (lost my rear fender bolt thanks to Cedar Lake trail bumps this week and had to make a run to Perennial).

Where is he going to park and how secure is it? I've not had any trouble with outdoor racks downtown, but I purposely park where the smokers are because they're "eyes on the rack" and I almost never park for long after dark.

I also don't do full winter commuting (I take the bus if it's too cold or slippery), but he'll have to do some experimenting as to what clothes and in how many layers work. I did, however, do Winter Bike to Work Day with CM Schroeder on one of the coldest days of the winter this year and will share one take away: biking creates a windchill that goes directly toward your crotch. When it's really cold, be sure to protect your bits.

Er, okay. So this is surprisingly warm: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01 ... UTF8&psc=1 For the feet, boots that are big enough to leave some air around the feet for insulation and wool socks. For the hands, I have a reasonable warm but thin and loose pair of winter gloves. If I put those on over bike gloves, that's usually enough. When it's really cold, I sometimes wear ski goggles. They sorta work with my glasses, but that's not an issue if he's not blind like me.

Really, it's not all that different from dressing for winter walk, except the extra wind chill, especially on the hands, face and feet.

Grease Rag does an annual winter skill share and their recaps might be worthwhile reading for tips on winter biking: http://greaserag.org/search-results/?ak ... onID][]=41

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Re: Bicyclist Demographics (and popular image)

Postby Korh » August 23rd, 2018, 5:56 pm

Can only give some advice biking from downtown Hopkins to Hopkins High School (and a little of North Junior High) so its nothing to exact but from my own personal experiences:
Get a decent sized lock: I don't know how many people bike to SLP High but at Hopkins on some days during the fall and spring it was a good challenge to try to find a way to lock my bike to the rack so while a u lock is much more secure, something like a master lock cable can offer a good deal more creative ways to lock your bike enough so someone can't simply walk away with it.

Purchase I large sized backpack and keep a small one for a spare: I don't know what after school sports/activities he's in but in all probability he'll flip flop between two different ways of handling his school equipment/supplies, try and shove everything into a single bag/backpack, or take the bare minimum home and keep everything else in his locker. For the former try to find the biggest (and preferable waterproof) bag/backpack possible and for the latter a simply string backpack should work fine.

Encourage helmet use: Yeah I know there's a bit of discussion around whether to use helmets or not but I like to bring up two things present in this situation,
Highschoolers with there phones not paying attention while walking around.
Highschoolers with there phones not paying attention while Driving around.
Joking aside it might be worth while to at least suggest to use one while biking to school since there are a lot of obstacles present when coming and going from the campus (I myself got hit by a school bus my junior year at Hopkins)

Other odds and ends:
Don't know if your son is planning to bike in the winter but good biking gloves a good thing to have even if he doesn't (it can get surprisingly cold on your hands in the fall and spring when your out before the suns up)
Since the commute is only from Hopkins to SLP high school, I'm guessing its only about 4-5 miles long so you shouldn't need any major biking equipment like biking shorts, clips, etc. but a light could be helpful depending on how early/late he's at school and a simple bike computer than can record speed, time, distance, etc. can be fun to have.


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