The Spokesmen #22 – August 31, 2007

The 22nd episode of The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast included David from The FredCast Cycling Podcast, Carlton Reid from Bike Biz Magazine and QuickRelease.tv, and Rich Kelly from Interbike.

Among the topics we discussed:

Interbike 2007
• Interbike Web Site
• Interbike Times Blog

Eurobike 2007
• New Shimano Cranks (news story)
• New Garmin Products (news story)

Cycling in The Netherlands

Should Cyclists Pay Road Taxes?

Tips and/or Rants
• Your favorite part of the show! ;-)

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9 comments to The Spokesmen #22 – August 31, 2007

  • Andy

    WELCOME BACK! – Can’t wait to listen :)
    Andy, Berks (Soon to be in New Zealand hopefully…..Do you have any insights into biking on the bottom of the world for a future show? )

  • Regarding taxing bike riders. The logic that bicyclists to not pay their fair amount of taxes so they shouldn’t be on the roads is failed logic. The vast majority of funds for road building and maintainence come from income and sales taxes not taxes on car licensing. Plus bicycle contribute basically zero wear on roads compared to heavy motor vehicles. People who bring up this argument are just looking for an excuse to harass cyclists. As tax payers we all pay for things we do not directly use.

  • Hey Guys- Great show! Welcome back. It is good to hear your voices again.

  • Best show in a long time! I loved the conversation about taxation, the 5th E.U. Motorist Directive, and advocacy. As a primarily commuter cyclist, it was great to hear you guys talking about these issues, and I am definitely going to link to your podcast on my blog.

    I think you guys hit the problem right on the head: cyclists should not have to pay extra taxes to support the roads unless the transportation departments, ministries, etc. are going to set up infrastructure to support them. The side of the road is traditionally the place where roadkill, trash, etc. are thrown by street sweepers and the like, and that’s where we’re supposed to ride.

    And other infrastructure is set up only for cars as well. I got into a slight (non-physical) altercation with a driver yesterday who was upset because I wouldn’t move over so he could pass me at a red light. Well, I was sitting in the spot on one of the magnetic traffic light-changing sensors where I had a CHANCE of setting it off so I could cross. And I wasn’t going to move or else we’d be sitting there forever (or until a car approached from the other side of the street and set off the sensor from that side). That one incident shows a great reason for cyclists not to pay a tax.

    Thanks for a great show!

  • great show! I get worked up too over that argument that cyclists don’t pay their fair share for use of the road. I wrote a post on that topic, in response to a letter to the editor of our local paper. You can check it out here on my “other” blog:

    http://bikegreenville.blogspot.com/2007/06/who-is-subsidizing-whom.html

  • Carlton Reid

    Very few of the arguments used by motorists against cyclists bear close scrutiny, including the hoary old tax one.

    Logic doesn’t come into it. For instance, a road rage motorist is happy to slam on the brakes and slow down and shout at you for 30+ seconds…because you slowed him down for ten seconds. See, no logic.

    One of the few valid arguments often levelled at cyclists is that we run red lights. Some cyclists do, esp in big cities. As I said on the show, Londoners can tell I’m an out-of-towner: I’m a cyclist who waits at traffic lights.

    However, motorists routinely violate traffic rules: speeding, parking on sidewalks, and heck, running red lights. Two wrongs don’t make a right but I know which sort of rule breaker I’d rather get run down by.

  • Lee

    Well said Brent! I agree whole heartedly… its just another excuse.

  • Hi there, nice to hear you again!

    About taxation, it is just an excuse to scourge into people’s pocket. There was a proposal here at Puerto Rico a number of years ago to require cyclists to pay for the state’s Auto accident compensation administration (ACAA), so cyclists could be covered when having accidents not involving a car, but it never made it to paper. Cyclists are covered by ACAA if there is a car involved in the accident. All this may sound good, but it is really hard to implement and for the amount required, the state will end up loosing money!

    From a bike tourist point of view, cycling provide a source of income to campgrounds, hotels, general stores, bike shops, etc… who in turn pay the corresponding taxes to the state, so taxing cyclists for road use is ridiculous.

    Keep up the good work!

    Gabriel
    Bike Tourist Podcast

  • Devin Akey

    Regarding taxation. I can’t believe some politicians are suggesting this. There are two crises facing the western world: the obesity epidemic and global climate change. If we as a culture integrated pedal power as a major component of our transporation strategy we would make a great impact or curbing these two evils. Politicians should be advocating for tax breaks to encourage cycling (not the other way around) and working with city planners to integrate pedal power into the infrastructure. Where I live (Vancouver, Canada) politicians have given tax breaks to amatuer sports registration and equipment to encourage youth fitness. Why can’t we do this for cyclists? One might think that “The Governator” would be all over this. Fit people and cleaner air…it seems simple enough to me.

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