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One Less Prius

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Old 07-08-2009, 01:06 PM
Chuck Chuck is offline
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One Less Prius

To a cyclist, a prius is just a small hummer.

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/smug.gif
Matt - BLOGSPOT - July 7, 2009

Strange coming from this quarter --Ed.

Just got these stickers back from the printer, after a long while in the making. Stoked! A rip-off of the ubiquitous, One Less Car sticker from Microcosm. The bottom says, 'Fewer Smug Emissions'.

Most people, at least here in Los Angeles, 'get it', but I want to clarify more on the meaning of this and I'll do so in my all-time favorite format, FAQ's.

What's wrong with driving a prius? They get great gas mileage!
Yes, they do. When I need to rent a car for a trip (PA/VA MTB adventure!) I always try to get one. But buying a prius and making no other changes in how one travels every day in a city is not a paradigm shift. Cars are environmentally and socially damaging in many ways beyond fuel use. The energy and resources required to build and ship them, the destruction the space created for automobiles does, the separation of being in a 2,000 pound box, etc. And many hybrids drivers use it as an excuse to just drive more often!... [Read More]
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:25 PM
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Re: One Less Prius

Poor P drivers.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:36 PM
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drimportracing drimportracing is offline
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Re: One Less Prius

He is extreme but every bike is a step toward reducing oil dependency. It's a point to consider but not viable for everyone. If I could move pizzas on a moped I would do it when the weather permitted. That would be my most ideal concession to reduce my fuel usage, it's still not exercise or pollution free like a bike though. - Dale
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:43 PM
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Re: One Less Prius

The guy's a little extreme, but he does have a point: biking is cleaner than any car can possibly be. I bike most of the time too - it reduces miles on my car!
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:07 PM
fuzzy fuzzy is offline
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Re: One Less Prius

The Onion piece referenced in this blog seems to focus too much on forcing Those Who Control The World make all the changes, that our individual consumption is so small that we don't have to do anything except be politically active.

As for the Prius vs. bicycle, I wore out and replaced an old bike before replacing an old car with a half-as-brown (not green) Prius. The targets of the Climate Bill will require at least another halving of that remaining brownness.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:11 PM
phoebeisis phoebeisis is offline
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Re: One Less Prius

I like bikes-I've ridden bikes-to actually get places, and for fun-since 1968.However, bikes are only practical for youngish folks who live in urban areas that aren't extremely hot.

Once these smug bike riders get to be 50-60-they won't be riding their bike 20 miles to work.When you are 15-35-a 10 or 15 mile ride-one way- to work is no big deal-just a bit over 30-45 minutes. When you are 45 or 50-maybe knee, hip, neck degeneration- the story changes. Yes,the Chinese do/did it, but now their roads are crowded with cars/buses/motorcycles and when you look at pictures of urban China, there are very, very few 50 year old riders.

Adults in the USA AREN'T GOING TO TURN TO BIKES IN HUGE NUMBERS-They are too dangerous because they can't safely share the road with cars. Yes, you can say"it is the cars fault" but you are just as dead. A 15 mph vehicle can't safely share the road with a 35 mph vehicle. We do, but it isn't safe. Blame the cars, but the cars aren't going to leave.Cars are just too useful-too safe, and too practical to be supplanted by bicycles.We are an aging country, bikes are a little bit of the solution but not for folks over 40 or under 15 years old.

Just another Smug bike rider.Besides,I bought the Prius to save $$-not to save the planet-no one pats me on the back-that must be a CA thing!
Charlie
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:43 PM
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SentraSE-R SentraSE-R is offline
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Re: One Less Prius

$5/gallon gas will do wonders for FE vehicles. It's the one common factor that will get Americans off their fat *sses (uh, I meant car seats, of course), and thinking about FE and alternate transportation. Until that sea change occurs, the vast majority are like our uncaring family members. We who bicycle and hypermile are weird freaks, to be tolerated for our eccentricities.
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49.5 mpg avg over 53,000 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Best tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:05 PM
WriConsult WriConsult is offline
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Re: One Less Prius

Charlie, I agree with you that bikes are only part of the solution and the majority of Americans will always make most of their trips by car. That's true even in Denmark and the Netherlands, places whose capitals have year-round bike commute rates around 30%. I don't share the sentiments of extremists who want to get everyone out of their cars. That attitude is polarizing, unnecessary and wrong.

There are plenty of reasons why not everyone is going to get on a bike, but I disagree vehemently with your assertion that bikes and cars can't share the road safely. It can be done, even in America. Come to Portland sometime and see it in action: 8% of all Portlanders commute primarily by bike, and an additional 10% do secondarily. What's been amazing as bike usage has exploded at least 4x over the past 15 years is the actual number of fatal and injurious accidents has actually declined slightly, making the actual accident rate about 4x lower than it used to be. The more people bike, the safer it gets, and a handful of European cities have shown that trend to continue to be true even as cycling expands far beyond Portland's level. And by the way, we have done nothing to make driving less convenient, more expensive or more dangerous. If anything, the changes have benefited the remaining drivers by reducing traffic congestion and marginally improving safety for cars.

Even in America as a whole -- NOT a bike friendly place in general -- per-mile death rates for cycling are already about the same as for driving. (Now maybe that's nothing to brag about; to some extent it illustrates just how incredibly dangerous driving is). In any event, the fact that cycling is no more dangerous may seem counterintuitive to those who focus solely on the weight difference, but remember also that bicycles travel much more slowly, are far more maneuverable than cars and are out in the open air making their operators much more aware of their surroundings. The ability of cyclists to avoid accidents is many times greater than drivers', and the crashes that do occur are typically at much lower speeds, effectively cancelling out cars' weight advantage in real world conditions.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:07 PM
phoebeisis phoebeisis is offline
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Re: One Less Prius

Older and younger folks just aren't going to use human powered transportation.They are too young and too old to use it-and it is much more dangerous per mile than a car or a bus or a light rail.
What we need is alternative energy to let us use much more efficient electric powered vehicles. Wind,solar,hydro, thermal, nuclear sources are out there, they just have to be developed. Yes, they will be MUCH MUCH more expensive than $20,$70 oil e have become used to.So what-are choices are-too drive less, yes we can do that, or to use human powered vehicles as sole transportation(fine for young urban folks who don't mind the risk ) but not practical for the rest of us.

People in the USA used to ride bikes because they liked/loved to ride bikes.Now there is a new class of riders who ride"because it is good for humanity"-I guess some the mass riders/lawbreakers in CA fall into this category.

It is fine to ride because "it is good for humanity"and it is fine to proselytize that, but the holier than thou anti car crap is just annoying.
Bikes just aren't practical for most folks.Here in NOLA we have lots of younger folks riding their bikes.According to what I've read over 10% of those folks have 1 bike ripped off per year of regular riding. The list of why it is so hard to ride a bike for transportation in a city-especially a violent city- is long. The 10% number might be right, might be wrong-doubt the study it came from is any great shakes.The number 10%-seems plausible.
When I was buying/fixing/selling bikes post Katrina I would throw in a free bike lock with each sale(not really free of course, but the 5 foot 12mm cables were better than nothing and allowed the front wheel and frame to be secured). Bike theft is a HUGE deal in most cities(bike hijacking-more dangerous- is even more dangerous-and it is a rising threat)

Charlie
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:25 PM
phoebeisis phoebeisis is offline
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Re: One Less Prius

Wriconsult,

I wrote the above before reading your last note.
I'm maybe being a bit too negative.Here in NOLA folks aren't bike friendly despite that fact that we have fair numbers of folks who bike. We also have a horrendous summer climate-hot and humid-. This probably makes me a lot more negative than I should be.

When we have the $$ we drive to Flagstaff AZ (3000 miles) in the summer and spend 6 days in the La Quinta(they are pet friendly- we had 4 cats and 2 dogs with us for the 31 days post Katerina we spent there).Well, Flagstaff is a tourist/University city, and it is bike friendly!! It is like some sort of Twilight zone when I ride there-bike lanes, courteous drivers-beyond belief!
One time I was slowly (flatlander) climbing a hill, and someone pulled into the exit from an apartment complex. I was at least 5 seconds from them, but they just waited and let me pedal by before crossing. I ACTUALLY THOUGHT THEY WERE SETTING ME UP TO ROB OR STRAFE ME. I couldn't believe they were just being polite, since it was completely foreign to me to have a car wait like that(it was night also-hence the rob suspicion).

Yes, cars and bikes can share the road, but bikes will always be more dangerous. We do need driver education, but in typical big urban areas with lots of crime it will take a long long time. ( I view Portland as kinda like CA but without the Californians (with their self centered,center of the universe, cosmetic surgery botox attitudes) and with more rain of course).

Bikes are fun, and useful, but in many cities they are pretty dangerous.

Don't mean to be so negative. I love bikes. I see them as maybe 0.1 TO 1% of total man miles someday-short rides to store/drugstore etc.Still subtract 1/1000 miles could be about 50,000,000 gallons fewer per year used-in the USA- OR 500,000,00 GALLONS IF IT IS 1%.
Charlie
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