OT: Rant was Re: [LMB] Construction

Katrina Knight kknight at epix.net
Tue, 25 Nov 2003 11:01:39 -0500

At 01:50 PM 11/24/03 Azalais Malfoy wrote:
>On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca wrote:
> > There are certain basic skills that *everyone* should learn IMHO:

<snip others>

> > * basic bike repair (pumping up tires, cleaning, tire repair, 
> chain
> > cleaning and replacement, brake tightening and cable replacement, 
> gear
> > adjustment) (or auto repair if you can't ride a bike)
>Not everyone can do either.  I can't do either.  I would agree
>with you that if someone decides they can and want to own their
>own transportation, THEN they should learn to do basic repairs on
>it, but I really don't think own-your-own transportation is a
>good thing to expect of people generally.

I think people should know how to deal with the basic things that 
concern their own transportation method. For bikes of all types and 
cars, that means enough basic maintenance to keep things working or 
to know when you need someone else to fix them before they turn into 
a big problem. (I'm okay with not knowing things like how to change 
the oil or whatever yourself, so long as you know enough to check the 
oil level yourself and add some if needed and you know how to tell 
when to have someone else change the oil.) For people who use public 
transit, that means knowing how to look up schedules, switch buses or 
trains, etc, plus having some sort of plan on how to deal with 
emergency transportation needs that can't make use of public transit. 

I think the things everyone should know enough to deal with the small 
emergencies in life. How to prepare your own food, do basic mending 
of the things that are important to everyday living, keep yourself 
safe and get to places you need to go are important.

I'd add basic safety skills to Alayne's list of what everyone should 
know - some first aid, how to put out a small fire, deal with a 
weather emergency, etc.

>Public transportation is better for the environment than car
>ownership and it's nice to not need a shower when I show up
>places, especially work, dates, etc.  (I know people who can ride
>bikes without sweating but seeing the results of other exercise,
>I am fairly sure I wouldn't be one of them.)
>Public transportation improves the livability/social scale of
>cities, anyway.

Ideals are nice. Unfortunately, they're not practical for a lot of 
people. I think good public transportation is import to have, but 
unfortunately it is non-existent or not good in a lot of places.

Katrina Knight
kknight at epix.net