[lug] Commuting by bike with a laptop

Davide Del Vento davide.del.vento at gmail.com
Wed Jan 13 10:10:20 MST 2010

On Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:13, Rob Nagler <nagler at bivio.biz> wrote:
> karl horlen writes:
>> Davide writes:
>> > PS: being a dad, I don't bike when there is snow/ice on the
>> > streets, which means after Thanksgiving - but I don't drive
>> > either: I walk and ride the bus.
>> i saw a guy almost fall into traffic the other day.  the roads, bike
>> lane, sidewalks were all really in bad shape.  i would think it just
>> makes sense to put aside the bike for a day or two in cases like
>> that.
>> 5 minutes later i saw a guy toting his daughter in a carrier on the
>> back of the bike.  just seemed not very smart.
> It's funny.  Linux guys will argue about anything. :)
Of course :-)

> This particular
> topic is extremely near and dear to my heart so I can't let it go.
Ok, so let's argue :-)

> As always, these decisions are very personal.  I really don't mean to
> preach, but after working on Freiker for all these years, I've seen
> that change is possible, and kids can ride *safely* even in the
> winter.
I sort of agree. I broke a vertebra falling by myself from the bike,
but that was because I was going way too fast in a street way too
narrow (and downhill). I won't to a similar mistake again (but I can
imagine lot of kids doing it!) I had to wear a corset (I can't find
the right English word, but it gives you the idea) for almost a year.
I couldn't even put my shoes myself! Right now, I cannot afford an
accident like that, or even a less serious one like breaking a leg.
You can argue that I can get injured while walking, and it's true. I
just "feel" that's less likely and that the injury would be less
serious. It's a feeling, I could be wrong.
If I lived more far from my workplace, probably I'd ride the bike in
the winter too. But I'd first buy a better bike, with better tires and
wear more suitable gear, use a shelter to prevent snow accumulation on
the bike, and be extra-cautious when riding, etc. Given my present
home-work distance, it just doesn't worth the effort.
In fact, I don't drive, but walk. My wife and I even figured out to
live without a car as long as possible (see
http://blog.javacorner.net/2008/07/we-bought-car.html for details)

> there is such a law in a city in the Netherlands.
Cool. Don't think that all Europe is like that, though. Italy is just
terrible for biking, and it's getting worst. The town were I was born,
has the same population of Boulder, but in a size which is about 1/10
(all the building are 5 stories, and there are ~3 apartments per
story). I lived there until high school, never drove and (almost)
never accepted a ride in a car: it just didn't make any sense (I could
walk to destination in about the same time that the guy will need to
open the garage, take the car, close the garage, drive there, find a
parking spot, close the car, etc). People just didn't get it, and
preferred cars (high school kids preferred small motorcycles, because
you cannot drive a car in Italy until 18 - and yes, small motorcycles
are the most dangerous thing, several schoolmates get injured, and a
few died). Last time I went there it was really bad: there is so much
traffic that you will arrive much faster walking than driving, not at
the same time like in good old times. And now most parking spots have
a fee (when I was kid they were free). Still, people prefer to drive.
Very sad. But thanks to the mania, my dad was able to feed the family
working in the car industry (now he's retired).


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