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Yes, there are a lot of bicycle films, and bikes do generate a certain romance and passion in their enthusiasts, but I do think he has a small point (just a small one.) Most people do not drive cars around because they've been romanced by them; they drive them around because they have to! They need to get to work, drop off their kids at the daycare, or head to the grocery, and walking or riding a bike seems prohibitively extra difficult. We are lazy people, especially when it's so much easier to throw your groceries in a car and drive home than to schlep them around on your back and bike up a hill in the middle of one of DC's hot, humid summers.

I once saw a sign in NYC that said, "imagine a car free NY!" That really captured my imagination and for a while, I thought the best thing possible would be a completely car free city. But in retrospect, there are lots of people who do need cars. I can't imagine carrying a 2 month old baby around on a bike (although I know people who have tried), and some places are just far enough away that getting there by bike is an impractical all-day activity. Instead of encouraging a car free city; I think we should be encouraging a city with less cars, and more importantly, a city with smaller cars, designed to be safer for pedestrians. This is sort of what I have in mind: http://www.spira4u.com/

But that isn't his point. If his point was that "the car uniquely meets some needs, and therefore will always be a part of the transportation system." I would agree. That the needs of drivers should be paramount to those of others because a majority of people drive (80% in the region, but only 53% in the central jurisdictions and only 50% in DC - and dropping) is not something I agree with.

The merits of what makes a good movie are not a good basis for conducting your everyday life, or there would be far more rape, murder, alien invasions and Miley Cyruses and less reading to your kids, making dinner, and sleeping.

@Forest, I made my reduced-car lifestyle possible by setting up a bike with a rack and foldable baskets for grocery shopping. Then I put the bike in a handy spot (a locked shed in my yard) where I could grab it an go quickly. And I decided that helmets were overrated--one less thing to keep track of when I'm out running errands.

I also decided to prioritize my choices by factoring in the time spend in a car, which I do not value. My annual miles quickly fell from 9000/year to 5000/year.

People simply do not need to drive as much as they think they do.

My guess is that Gary Imhoff really has no idea what being passionate about cars is about. If you really love a particular make and model, you detail it on Sunday, cover it up during the week and don't sully it with mundane tasks, then put it to some frivolous use on the weekend. Rinse and repeat. The bike is so much better adapted to the mundane tasks because the connection to the environment and reliance on your own power can make biking to work or the store a lot of fun. Fun and freedom in a _real_ car kicks in above 4500 rpm, preferably on a closed course. But since my personal engine makes only fractions of a horsepower, every stoplight sprint can be challenging and fun, without being dangerous.

I have to mention that any movie list with bicycles that does not include BMX Bandits is woefully incomplete. It's got a young (16 years old) Nicole Kidman and there is some sort of plot and stuff.

It's #6 on my list.

gary imhoff's problem is that he's terrified of seeing his influence and importance wane as a new generation of public-opinion makers and muckrakers come into existence to take his place.

we all get old, gary, and we all get irrelevant. you'll have to come to grips with that.

Imhoff seems to proceed from the assumption that smart growth advocates, cyclists and other hippies are only out to be killjoys. Hey Gary, I agree that driving is FUN. The problem is that your fun might be someone's death: just ask Codi Alexander, if she was alive.

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