Travel by muscle power

In Switzerland, bicycles are very popular. Everyone rides them, from kids to the retirees.

Razor scooters are also popular.

On the plus side, that keeps everyone physically fit. Supplemented by public transportation in case of bad weather, these options work pretty well.

On the down side, larger Swiss cities are not friendly to cars. Parking spots are few, many streets are one-way only requiring massive detours. In good weather and for people with little to carry, that’s fine. Not sure that would work well for traveling with a hundred kilos of photo gear in inclement weather…being able to bring studio lights, stands, prop guns and more by myself all in one trip pretty much requires a personal vehicle. I am also not sure how riding in the rain works for people who wear glasses.

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5 Responses to Travel by muscle power

  1. Bill says:

    “I am also not sure how riding in the rain works for people who wear glasses.”

    Personally I wear contacts, but knowing the limitations of glasses in the rain, maybe you could try getting a pair of clear ski goggles and putting Rain-X or something on them?

  2. Seth says:

    I don’t find glasses to be much of an issue when riding in the rain (unless the rain is so hard that even walking in it is a problem).

  3. Mike says:

    I remember when we didn’t think about helmets when riding, even in the city. Urban-campus university, rode everywhere. The only thing I did with the bike was have a u-lock, toe-clips, and a tie-down strap on the right leg of my trousers …. so they wouldn’t get shredded in the gear/chain. When it rains – or just after – , the wheels throw plenty of mud/water ‘upward’, so don’t bike in a jacket and tie. Centripetal force? Not to mention that even the widest mountain-bike tires will not hold traction on slick pavement. I had to test that theory out, too; Pavement slides aren’t fun.

    The ‘razor’-type scooters are great for urban commuting. I have a Titan which I used, often, and still have. It’s an upgraded brand/model, titanium/aluminum, bigger diameter wheels, but they’re still in-line skate wheels, not inflatable tires, like the one used by the adult in the photo. These things are really manueverable (think skateboard, with a vertical training handle). You can ride these with a backpack or messenger bag, easily, and no problems, obviously, if you have to ‘bail’. It also keeps the platform closer to skateboard dimensions (size and weight), and very, very light, two-steps to fold down and carry in one hand by the throat, and can be used as a blocking/glancing or blunt-force implement, with board-side out (like a shield with a handle, edges and ‘points’).

    • Mike says:

      btw …. on glasses. Just don’t ride in the rain, if you don’t really have to. Think ‘driving in the rain, without windshield wipers, in a topless convertible’. But it depends, firstly, on your comfort and ability on the bike, under dry conditions. (I don’t wear glasses.) The ability to ‘read’ objects and estimate distance/speed and maintain focus on your ‘path’ will be effected by actual rain, but the surface conditions will be a primary factor, in deciding whether to ride.

  4. Paul Koning says:

    As a former Dutchman, I have a lot of experience with bikes. Oleg, you’ve seen nothing yet until you visit Holland.
    Commuted to high school every day, 20 minutes each way on bike. Lots of rain in Holland (think Seattle). Dutch bikes have fenders, so spray from tires is minimized. Also mud flaps on many models. There’s a bike poncho, vaguely like a conventional poncho made of plastic coated fabric (like the yellow rain slickers you probably know). Front flap goes over the handle bars, you hold the loops underneath to keep it in place. You stay dry (unless you go really fast or there’s a whole lot of head wind). Glasses? Yes, I wore those. Annoying. A hat might have helped, but we didn’t wear those. I once drew miniature windshield wipers in a burst of early inventiveness, but unfortunately never made a working model… 🙂

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