seek drive climb

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Random Ramblings 2 : I heart bicycles

I exclusively rode my bicycle around San Francisco for almost a decade before I purchased an automobile. It was, in the 7x7, the best way to get around. It still is, but chronic medial epicondylitis on my part, has put the brakes on that for the time being.The cost savings, the low environmental impact, the reduced traffic, and the physical health benefits are the rewards for bicycle commuting and I loved it. I want to return to everyday riding as my primary form of transport once these elbows calm down. My biggest gripe with city commuting is the array of morons one encounters while navigating the urban environment. I'll let this video do the explaining: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgCqz3l33kU] The battle between cyclist and motorist is an issue of strong opinions among both parties and one that in San Francisco is fueled by events like Critical Mass. As a cyclist I found CM hurt this relationship rather than promote tolerance and understanding between the factions. This I believe is largely due to the cyclist's belief that they are in someway superior to the motorist. The 20 something fixie riding hipster has bastardized events like Critical Mass to align with this viewpoint and effectively ruined the positive message events like this were meant to promote. So what the hell does this has to do with driving around Europe in a van? Absolutely nothing. But while riding shotgun in said van, or trotting along through small villages in France, costal towns in Italy or cities in Germany, Switzerland or Croatia, we have noticed more people on bicycles going about their daily lives then even the bicycle loving capital of America; Portland Oregon. It is not just kids with skinny jeans or hippies with a chip on their shoulder; it is mothers and child, elderly couples, businessmen, and guys with a baguette and beret. They are all ages, from all walks of life and they are not merely going for a ride; but taking care of business and running errands. I think this is due in part to smaller towns, higher petrol costs and narrower streets. There also seems to be a wider acceptance of the bicycle as a practical, logical means of transport regardless of age, creed, or fashion preference.

-S