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In the UK it would be a brave company that took the 'anti-car' stance when it comes to selling bicycles. Furthermore, most cycle shops, distributors and others connected with the trade are personally quite pro-car (the mechanic fixing bikes to pay for his car which he needs to get to his job fixing bikes is the classic, the accountant of one distributor driving a Porsche takes the biscuit). Then there are the customers, generally most of them are pro-car (even if necessary evil) and you cannot alienate them, can you?

Are there any companies in the bike business - large or small - that are quite open with harsh opinions about the motorcar? Or have there been, only for the business model to fail? Is deference to motoring a reality that cannot be escaped?

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Never understood why people have to be "anti" something if they are "pro" something else. You will accomplish more for your side of the fence with positive remarks. People learn more by a positive example than an angry opposition. –  Moab Jul 11 '11 at 14:31
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3 Answers 3

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Well, there's the Cars-R-Coffins website, but i don't know of any shops that are actively anti-car.

It's pretty counter productive, and even if you push the green dream pretty hard, it's generally recognized that positive input is better than negativity.

For example: Most people respond better to, "I ride my bike because it's good, cheap transportation, and environmentally sound." than they do to, "Stop killing the planet with your 6 mpg Hummer H2, you inconsiderate #$@%!*..."

There are advocacy organizations that will push the line pretty hard, but retailers and wholesalers have to maintain balance a bit better than that.

FTR, I don't think you are insensitive to this, i just think it's an answer that you pretty much stated in your question.

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In a novel (All Tomorrow's Parties), William Gibson had it that cars are "cages" and had it said of someone (a bicycle messenger) that they had "tangled with a cage". –  ChrisW Jul 11 '11 at 13:46
    
One of my favorites. I like most cyberpunk stuff though. –  zenbike Jul 11 '11 at 14:20
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Well, I surely think bike shops should encourage cycling, its in their best interests, its also in their best interests to sell bikes to motorists. At the end of they day most bicycle shops have to make a living so I guess they will happily sell a bike to anyone. Maybe there are some lucky shops who have enough business from cycling fanatics and can afford to alienate drivers, but this attitude is not going to encourage anyone out of their cars..... Peace man.

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Certainly there are many (mostly urban) bike shops that push the concept of cycling to replace auto usage. Perhaps if you check the "hippie" (what would be a good modern term?) bike shops in a few large towns you'll find one or two nearly as extreme as you describe. Certainly not the rule, though.

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Rasta, Dreadheads, stoner, liberal, hipster, vegan, emo, yuppie, pothead, green, punk, vegetarian, granola, goth, neohippie, democrat, loser, poser, environmentalist, treehugger, douchebag, organic, communist tree-hugger, indie, flower child bohemian yippie douche neohippie movement beatnik. --- From the Urban Dictionary. I did edit out duplicates or very offensive terms. –  zenbike Jul 11 '11 at 11:37
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I think I'll stick with "hippie". –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 11 '11 at 15:46
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