Why does riding a bike or moped get looked down on in much of the USA?

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  1. peeples profile image94
    peeplesposted 5 years ago

    Why does riding a bike or moped get looked down on in much of the USA?

    I live in southern USA, and it seems that here there is a negative view of people who ride bikes or mopeds or even walk to get where they need to go. It is seen by many as being poor or low class. Isn't riding bikes or mopeds a normal thing in bigger cities? Are people in big cities looked down on too? I'd like for me and my husband to get bikes and start conserving on our vehicle but my husband is hesitant due to other's perceptions.

  2. Blond Logic profile image96
    Blond Logicposted 5 years ago

    Perhaps it needs people like yourself and your husband to make that move to show how everyone can benefit from it.

    Don't allow other's perception to stand between you and good health.

  3. dashingscorpio profile image86
    dashingscorpioposted 5 years ago

    For better or worse the USA is a materialistic country.
    On the bright side that drive to obtain our dreams of success made us a "super power" in less than 200 years compared to nations who had been around for 1000's of years.
    On the negative side adults who do not have a job, a car, and their (own) place to live are often looked down upon.
    I've read a hub recently concerning dating where a woman stated any man over the age of 30 that has a roommate is a loser (unless) he lives in New York where rents are very high. Therefore such a person could have a job, a place to stay other than his parent's home but he would be a "loser" because he is not living alone!
    In some countries adult children live with their parents for several years and in some instances their are multiple families sharing a large dwelling.
    In the USA if someone is riding a bike he/she had better be dressed in work-out gear and on a bike trail or else (some) people will assume they're losers.
    Walking home with groceries is also viewed as something no one would do by "choice". No one assumes they're trying to go "green"
    In this country a lot of folks equate "poverty" with being a "loser". It's a very materialistic nation.

    1. peeples profile image94
      peeplesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I think many in larger cities have incomes and are not in poverty but ride by choice. It's sad when trying to reduce debt and costs equals loser.

    2. dashingscorpio profile image86
      dashingscorpioposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Very true! In the eyes of many "you are what you own". At least that's how a lot of folks place value on people. Any guy who'd suggest going out on a date via bus or subway would be laughed at. Even in NY he'd have to spring for a taxi! :-)

  4. profile image0
    Grey Templesposted 5 years ago

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with riding a scooter or moped or a bike to work or the grocery store or wherever.  I had lost my vehicle and purchased a scooter and saved so much money on gas, insurance etc.  I also walked every where and I was getting my exercise.  Americans are lazy and like convenience and don't like change.  If you want to ride your bike or scooter you go gurl.

  5. profile image0
    mbuggiehposted 5 years ago


    I live in the rural northeast and there are bikes and scooters (and similar types of things) everywhere.

    No one "looks down" on people riding bikes and scooters in this neck of the woods.

    As a matter of fact, we've got bike and scooter shops all over the place.

    1. peeples profile image94
      peeplesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I wish that was how it is here.

    2. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That is why I live in the northeast and rarely venture south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

  6. brakel2 profile image74
    brakel2posted 5 years ago

    Where I live, people do as they please. You can't live your life to please others. People who think outside the box are the innovators and make their lives better. Your example might lead others to ride and improve fitness. Set an example in your area, and go for it.

  7. Au fait profile image92
    Au faitposted 5 years ago

    I don't think people look down on those who ride bikes or mopeds so much as they are irritated -- if they drive motor vehicles.  Bicycles especially, but also mopeds -- tend to have a limited speed, holding up traffic because it can be hard to get around them depending on how heavy traffic is and what kind of terrain one is in.

    People who ride bicycles tend to ignore traffic laws either because they do not know them or because they think they should be able to ignore them if they want to.  Bicyclists are supposed to obey the same traffic laws as other vehicles on the road but often do not.

    I spend 6 hours and sometimes more on the road everyday for 9 months of the year.  I'm amazed that there aren't more accidents given the terrible driving habits of most people regardless of what kind of vehicle they are driving.

    When a bicyclist is pedaling up a long steep hill in the country, possibly a heavily traveled road despite it's narrowness with no shoulders, they are holding up traffic.  A vehicle takes a big chance of a head-on collision if they choose to go into the oncoming lane to pass the bicyclist and the bicyclist simply cannot pedal only so fast in any situation.  Many people on the road have schedules they must keep for various reasons, and so these bicyclists are holding them up.

    Yes, bicyclists have the same rights to be on any road as anyone else, unless forbidden as in the case of freeways, but I'm sure you have been in situations where other people were preventing you from getting something done, so that should give you an idea of how irritating it can be if you are under a tight schedule and someone is in the way.

    No doubt some people do look down on bicyclists because they may be viewed as poor, but those people who do that may one day find themselves in that situation and realize that being poor is not a character flaw. 

    Mainly, I believe it is the inconvenience of slow vehicles on the road that is the irritant.  Lots of well off people in fancy neighborhoods ride bicycles and walk for exercise.  Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire, used to ride the bus to work.

    In big cities people usually take the bus, they do not ride a bicycle because it is unsafe.  Not just unsafe due to traffic, but because it is easy to mug someone on a bike compared to in a locked car with the windows up.  Hard to carry bags of groceries or other on a bike also.  No protection from the weather, but mostly no protection from people and stray animals.

  8. Karen Ranoni profile image42
    Karen Ranoniposted 5 years ago

    I think riding a bike or moped is actually viewed as a very responsible and conscience thing to do given our enviromental  state of chaos. I live in Metro Detroit and people ride the bike paths and ride on the streets and nobody thinks anything of it. Besides, who cares what others think anyway! I applaud you for wanting to ride bikes, and I think it would be great for your health, You go girl!

  9. MizBejabbers profile image89
    MizBejabbersposted 5 years ago

    I don't think all of the South has this attitude. In Little Rock the attitudes are mixed and probably justified in having mixed viewpoints. In any area of town, if you are well dressed and riding a bike or scooter (and it can be riding gear or a nice Tee shirt and pedal pushers or even a business suit) a rider isn't looked down upon as poor. They may be looked at in annoyance if he or she holds up traffic. On the other hand, many people, especially men, in the central area of town are riding bikes because they have lost their driver's licenses due to too many DWIs. They can be easily spotted because they are wearing old clothes and riding their bikes on the wrong side of the road, many times on the sidewalk (and in the vicinity of a liquor store). They don't obey the rules of traffic and endanger themselves as well as motorists.
    Our twin cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock are building bike lanes in many of the most urban areas, like Main Street. This is probably because of the demand by the upscale bicyclists living downtown, not to accommodate the drunks, although I hope the drunks will use them. I have a couple of criticisms of this (1) they are taking up lanes that have been used by automobiles and making some of these 4-lane streets into two lanes only and (2) the cities are using moneys that could otherwise be used to maintain the streets. I can just see bicyclists falling into the potholes now.
    I know one man who lost his drivers license due to DWIs and bought him a moped because he thought he didn't have to have a license. He was wrong. The police confiscated his moped and he had to go back to taking the bus to work.

    1. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hmmm...here on the Niagara Frontier (New York) people usually ride their riding mowers and tractors when they lose their licenses. Not good, but all too common.

    2. MizBejabbers profile image89
      MizBejabbersposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That's funny. These DWIs and DUIs don't own tractors and riding mowers, but I've seen on TV where some people you mention have been given tickets on mowers and even golf carts.

  10. Kenneth Ray profile image65
    Kenneth Rayposted 5 years ago

    It's true in Canada too. I spent a couple summers commuting by bicycle. I had bottles thrown at me followed by "get a job! ". And on several occasions heard people in vehicles shout "get a job loser!".  I am not sure why a person on a bicycle equates person who is poor or homeless.

  11. mikejhca profile image92
    mikejhcaposted 5 years ago

    People may perceive you as someone that can not afford a car. Some people don't like bikes and mopeds because they are slower than cars. They may not like people walking because they don't like waiting for people to cross the road. People in big cities are looked down on too by some people.

    You should not try to please everybody. Chances are your husband will look better and be healthier if he starts biking. Just follow the rules. One of the reasons people don't like cyclists is because some cyclists ignore things like stop signs and lanes. I do a lot of biking and I follow the rules of the road.

    Biking is good for your mind, your body and the environment. Driving everywhere is bad for your health. It is the reason so many people are overweight in the US and Canada. I look down on the people that drive everywhere. It is bad for their health, it is bad for the environment and it increases the price of gas.

  12. bravewarrior profile image93
    bravewarriorposted 5 years ago

    They get in the way of traffic causing cars and trucks to have to slow way down unless they can pass. This is especially frustrating during drive time. Bike lanes should be made for bicycles and mopeds. Some cities have them on select streets, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

  13. Penny G profile image68
    Penny Gposted 5 years ago

    We are such a rich country and people want status . Mopeds don't reflect that. Who cares what others think, you can laugh all the way to the bank!


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