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  1. #1
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    a lot of gas burning to go bike riding

    I had been riding to pretty much the same trail head for my place to ride for 12 weeks, 5 times a week before my mountain bike frame cracked on me. In that time, I really noticed how many times I had driven there before. It's a few miles from home, has about 1,000 feet of elevation change, and isn't really a big deal. I can look around the parking lot on any given weekend and see a bunch of mountain bikes being pulled off of or out of cars at just about any trail head. Fortunately, a lot of people around here ride to the trails but it still seems disproportionate. It seems to be this way at a lot of spots just about everywhere. And hey, I've done a lot of it.
    After my mountain bike cracked, I started commuting 'full time' -utilizing the time I take mountain biking and applying it to commuting on a bike instead of with a car. I've always wanted to commute more, I have the chance to do 22-34 miles a day, given the route I chose. However, I had struggled for time to consistently do it until my mountain bike frame cracked.

    Norco has since sent me a replacement frame, but it's a 650 frame, I have a 26". They also gave me wheels and a fork, but they're entry level compared to the 36 Talas that's less than a year old and the FR 600 rims I laced to 240s make the Sun Ringle rims they gave me look like shit.

    Amid feeling like a victim of bad welding and planned obsolescence, I've found myself caring less and less about riding on trails.

    Maybe it's the macho mentality that so many mountain bikers retain? Maybe it's the marketing aspect of it that makes what could be reliable become junk and outdated? It's both.

    Don't get me wrong, I've met a lot of guys and girls that strive for equity, hate mass consumerism-but still, I'm finding it a lot more simple to just commute with my time. I ordered a Long Haul Trucker and am trying to sell the 650 Range Norco gave me. Apparently you can ride a LHT on single track and be happy. I might 'shred' trails again, but I'm not really feeling the part of the culture that drives, drives, drives and buys, buys, buys in the pursuit of trail.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    I had been riding to pretty much the same trail head for my place to ride for 12 weeks, 5 times a week before my mountain bike frame cracked on me. In that time, I really noticed how many times I had driven there before. It's a few miles from home, has about 1,000 feet of elevation change, and isn't really a big deal. I can look around the parking lot on any given weekend and see a bunch of mountain bikes being pulled off of or out of cars at just about any trail head. Fortunately, a lot of people around here ride to the trails but it still seems disproportionate. It seems to be this way at a lot of spots just about everywhere. And hey, I've done a lot of it.
    After my mountain bike cracked, I started commuting 'full time' -utilizing the time I take mountain biking and applying it to commuting on a bike instead of with a car. I've always wanted to commute more, I have the chance to do 22-34 miles a day, given the route I chose. However, I had struggled for time to consistently do it until my mountain bike frame cracked.

    Norco has since sent me a replacement frame, but it's a 650 frame, I have a 26". They also gave me wheels and a fork, but they're entry level compared to the 36 Talas that's less than a year old and the FR 600 rims I laced to 240s make the Sun Ringle rims they gave me look like shit.

    Amid feeling like a victim of bad welding and planned obsolescence, I've found myself caring less and less about riding on trails.

    Maybe it's the macho mentality that so many mountain bikers retain? Maybe it's the marketing aspect of it that makes what could be reliable become junk and outdated? It's both.

    Don't get me wrong, I've met a lot of guys and girls that strive for equity, hate mass consumerism-but still, I'm finding it a lot more simple to just commute with my time. I ordered a Long Haul Trucker and am trying to sell the 650 Range Norco gave me. Apparently you can ride a LHT on single track and be happy. I might 'shred' trails again, but I'm not really feeling the part of the culture that drives, drives, drives and buys, buys, buys in the pursuit of trail.

    I got out of the "buy, buy, buy" a couple years ago. The bikes I have keep on doing fine, despite their age. When the frames crack or fail, I'll worry about it then what to do with the remaning bike components. Not gonna sweat it.

    On the other hand, there is a counter culture batch of mtb leeches that are always waiting for hand outs, freebies and stuff to score, that never have money to buy what you have for sale, but instead expect you to give it to them, as if you owe it to them because you work harder and are better off than they are. Two weeks ago, I gave away 30 brand new 26" spare tubes, 4 schwalbe tires, Rocket Rons and racing Ralphs in 29'er with plenty of tread left, in good condition, and a few other goodies to a guy that once spotted me a patch bottle of Stan's to save my bacon getting out, after the previous contents had dried out completely, in my tire.

  3. #3
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    I buy when my shit breaks. I drive to trails because i ride dirt. I dont see either of those being influenced by a "macho mentality".

    Enjoy your commuting, my rides will remain a hobby.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    I buy when my shit breaks. I drive to trails because i ride dirt. I dont see either of those being influenced by a "macho mentality".

    Enjoy your commuting, my rides will remain a hobby.
    I'll go along with that.
    Front Range, Colorado.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post

    Maybe it's the macho mentality that so many mountain bikers retain? Maybe it's the marketing aspect of it that makes what could be reliable become junk and outdated? It's both.
    I think you need to just stick to what you think. if you are going to commute all the time just get a roady. You obviously have a burning grudge against the sport and i see where this can come from, but you need to stop thinking about others and think about what you want to do.

    As long as you do your homework theres a lot of quality stuff out there that will last and will make the trails even more fun. It seems you have lost touch of what getting on a mtb is all about and thats getting away from the daily commute and to the freedom of riding wherever you want on whatever you want, whenever you want.

    What you have experienced locally you need to get away from. drive somewhere else if needs be, a lot of other people have to.

  6. #6
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    Re: a lot of gas burning to go bike riding

    I went thru a " ride to the trails" phase for awhile but when I realized that the 40 minute round trip was taking away from my trail time I ditched that & bought a bike rack for my car. Not to mention getting run off the road & yelled at by douchy drivers and wearing out my expensive knobbies on pavement. Yeah, f--k that.
    No moss...

  7. #7
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    a lot of gas burning to go bike riding

    I've tried riding to my local trails. Total mileage ended up at 115, only 20 of those on dirt. I think I'll keep driving when I want dirt.


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  8. #8
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    I not only load my bike and drive to the trail head to give me more dirt time. But I also enjoy an after ride snack just kicking back on my tail gate of my truck. Talking to other's entering or exiting. It's a great time to meet others and it's also a good time to just relax and enjoy the scenery.
    Front Range, Colorado.

  9. #9
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    a lot of gas burning to go bike riding

    I feel the need to point out that I don't burn gas to get to the trailhead. I burn diesel. Lots of it. My truck is generously turned up and blows plenty of black smoke. I call it my Global Warming Device.


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  10. #10
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    I have to drive to the trailhead also. Its worth it though to take myself 20 miles out in the wilderness on a bike. I also commute quite often on my road bike but that will never take the place of mountain biking. Many companies make long-lasting reliable bikes and equipment. Just because one frame breaks, it doesn't mean the whole industry is making utter crap. Yes some riders have a somewhat macho persona but I've noticed 95% of them are just people wanting to ride a bike. I dont get what all the complaining is about, just ride your bike.

  11. #11
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    The trail I ride most often is five miles from my house, and I ride to it. The other trails close to me are about thirty miles away and require a car.

  12. #12
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    My commute is done on gravel and dirt roads, navigates singletrack, goes through a creek, and follows old farm roads before it ends with a jaunt along the Pacific Coast Bike Route. It definitely accomplishes the 'escape from the daily commute' that so many people are trying to get out of trail riding. What's even better is I don't drive, which I think is probably the worst part about commuting. Commuting can be beautiful, it's how you approach it. 70 mph down the highway seems to be what most people are doing, and they don't get to notice much of anything, but what I do is nothing short of amazing. As a naturalist, I also get to observe a lot more fauna/flora in symbiosis.

    I guess I didn't make this point clear, I'm finding in my commute what others find in their trail riding.

    Having driven through Oregon, Washington, AZ, NM, NV, WY, I've seen a lot of trail heads and have slept at them too. I kind of want a veggie conversion at this point, having clocked some 10,000 miles this year getting to trails.

    Again, I have met a lot of beautiful people trail riding. I have also met beautiful people doing just about any type of outdoor recreation-rock climbing, backpacking, alpine climbing, trail running, mountain unicycling, yes I do them all, etc. The bike, for me, is also a bit about taking part in a recreational activity that doesn't involve more fossil fuel burning.

    Besides reassembling my mountain bike, I'm going climbing this morning.

    I appreciate the good words some of you had to share, the people who said I'm just letting myself be distracted-which really is true; thanks.

    Those who are not constructive, whatever.

  13. #13
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    You're not "distracted", far from it. "Distracted" is what the powers that be want us to be, so know one will tell the emperor he's not wearing clothes. You get it.

  14. #14
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    OP seems to notice/sense distraction at the combined ride w/ unrealistic driving. I'm very fortunate in having a local scene which constructively amplified itself this past Year, greatly reducing mileage off the bike. Such the thing is difficult to implement and even harder to maintain, anything else just increases the disconnect between successful trail networks and the riding community.

    I truly love my trail rides to work - something like 10 miles round trip and if it were a group ride it'd be the 'expert' group ride. Can't complain. Any area which influences the working and living Community in such the way should be granted an offset within their unique Fiscal responsibilities; urging neighboring Communities/Towns/Cities to latch onto this concept, promoting positive growth.

    The tune of the Greenways Project but with a focus on interconnectivity and modes of sustainability. We've even a rigid pedestrian pathway being grafted into greater County, able to reach the next State.

    Enjoy your commutes ehigh, there's more who should have the option to.
    I like Sand - I don't like Witches


  15. #15
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    On the way to the trailhead.

    a lot of gas burning to go bike riding-1462669_10201716332368287_1357088638_o.jpg
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    My truck is generously turned up and blows plenty of black smoke. I call it my Global Warming Device.
    Bad juju for you. All the smoke does is validate the EPA's increased emissions requirements. I drive a diesel as well but it does not smoke.

  17. #17
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    I don't think I'd be happy riding my trails on a LHT. I used to practice riding my 'cross bike on trails sometimes. It was novel, but maintaining traction on any real grade up was difficult and I couldn't really let it run on the way down. Rigid gets pretty harsh at speed too. IMO, hang on to your Norco. (Did it really only take you 12 weeks to break it?? I was going to say 12 years isn't such a bad run, but...) At least, until next September. If you're not interested in riding it during the nice part of the season, dump it.

    I have a few too many bikes. I notice that my ride hours in different branches of cycling depend a lot on my access to trails. I now ride about two miles to the trailhead. So I've barely looked at my road bike. When I was in Seattle and it took a minimum 45 minute ride to get to a trailhead, I rode a lot more road and drove to trails once a week, with the occasional missed weekend.

    I'm not really trying to prove anything. At least, if I'm not actually competing. I just enjoy mountain biking more. I guess I've thrown a lot of money at keeping my Hardrock rolling, up to now, and the New Hotness this summer. I'm hoping that I can just ride this bike near-stock, though, and the Hardrock's on maintenance-only now.

    There's a sport of mountain biking and a hobby of collecting and tinkering with bikes. You get a surprising amount of choice about how much of each you participate in.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
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    I wish I still had a trail close enough to ride to.

  19. #19
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    I understand the joy in commuting because of the knowledge that you are not travelling in a vehicle. For some reason I can't bring myself to enjoy my commute as much as my trail riding. It would probably help if I didnt feel like I was going to be run over at every turn. Hopefully one of these days I can enjoy my commutes as much as you do ehigh.

  20. #20
    El Gato Malo
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    This thread has too much bike.

  21. #21
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    a lot of gas burning to go bike riding

    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post

    I guess I didn't make this point clear, I'm finding in my commute what others find in their trail riding.
    Buy a roadie then.



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  22. #22
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    a lot of gas burning to go bike riding

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    Bad juju for you. All the smoke does is validate the EPA's increased emissions requirements. I drive a diesel as well but it does not smoke.
    You allow the government to saddle your engine with power and efficiency robbing emission control devices. The fact that you think you're better off for it shows your complete ignorance about the issue. You have been so lulled by the siren song of ignorance that you don't even notice your white knuckle death grip on it.


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    You allow the government to saddle your engine with power and efficiency robbing emission control devices. The fact that you think you're better off for it shows your complete ignorance about the issue. You have been so lulled by the siren song of ignorance that you don't even notice your white knuckle death grip on it.
    Because the freedom to spew fine particulate, heavy metal, carcinogenic, petrochemical toxins into our air, lungs, food, and water -totally unregulated- is the American way! Well, that, and the ability to blast all of those that drive inferior, unmanly, vehicles right in the face with nasty, black, choking toxic smoke.

    Seriously, emissions controls aren't designed to control the CO2 emissions -for diesel or gas powered vehicles- so you're not doing much, if anything, to stick it to your {apparent} disdain towards climate change science. By circumventing emissions controls, you are however, allowing the addition of more class 1 carcinogens into the air, and thus everything else. Such pleasant compounds as Benzene, Mercury, Arsenic, Nitrobenzanthrone (nasty sh*t that), Cadmium, etc are found in quite measurable quantities in diesel. Add to that more than a dozen additional class 2 and 3 carcinogens, and other nasty little endocrine disrupting molecules/compounds -such as lead, and increased levels of Nitrogen Oxides -that exacerbate ground level ozone (a prime component of dense smog) and acid rain- and it's a nasty little stew that you spew, all for a bit more horsepower, and perhaps a dig at the "man" for telling you what to do which your truck. I respect -and agree- with much of what you post on here Brew, but not this time. If you're going to chose to add a bit more pollution to our shared air/water/food, you should at least know how your choice impacts the rest of us that you live among, ride with, party with, and work with.

    Thread derail (hopefully) over...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ View Post
    You're not "distracted", far from it. "Distracted" is what the powers that be want us to be, so know one will tell the emperor he's not wearing clothes. You get it.
    I considered some things and I really appreciate it. I was surprised by how much I let the 'cultural definition' of mountain biking direct how I ride a bike-then again, it seems a lot of people are up to it.

    A long haul trucker should be in the local shop for me today. I ordered a Surly Bill trailer for 300 pound loads and a Bob Yak trailer for 70 pound loads for when I commute only on the roads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brockwan View Post
    the freedom of riding wherever you want on whatever you want, whenever you want.
    Most trails are groomed in comparison to my imagination of being able to actually 'ride wherever I want, whatever I want, whenever I want.' It implies an attitude that responsible trail use doesn't really have room for.

    I'm looking into a Rock Lobster Monstercross bike or maybe one of his coupler bikes in the long future.

    I posted my Range 650b and hope to get a Chromag some day. In the mean time, 'shredding' is on hold. Having a Canadian bike made in the Canada is reassuring, it sounds like a situation where I could call Ian Ritz with some faith that he'll see what's up with his guys working the torch. I am not sorry that I can no longer recommend Norco bikes to anyone. I am sorry for anyone who bought a Norco bike on my recommendation that may have a similar experience.

    The 06 Highlander is also for sale. Slept in it plenty of times, great time. I'm looking into veggie oil for my next auto. I'll see.

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    Fortunately my diesel is a ULEV, and I get 25 mpg in that van, plus thieves can't see the bikes in back through the shaded glass. Still, I would love to be able to ride to a trailhead just a couple miles away, but there ain't no such thing around me.

    The best riding for us here is a one hour drive to our local forest. I wish they had auto-pilots already! I could program the van and climb in the bunk for a post ride siesta!

  26. #26
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    All my diesels are ULEV. You can't even smell the exhaust when you start them up on a cold morning. Nor will you ever see smoke or soot with a diesel particulate filter or have high Nox levels with Ad Blu scrubber to keep the Nox values in check. 3.0 liter v6 diesel motor 240 HP, 406 ft lbs, and I never, ever use all the torque it can make when pretty much all of it kicks in at around 1700 rpm and 22 psi boost, stock, factory. No need to be dumb and roll coal like a punk teenager, those days are long gone. No need for a chip or a tune, either., which is a great way to void your warranty, as it should be... you wanna play, you gotta pay. Wreck a motor with a chip, the price tag is on you, not the manufacturer, with a back to factory tune and that crap line "I was just driving along, when...."

    Oh, and 32-37 MPG from a 5000 pound SUV.

  27. #27
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    I've been surprised by what I can tow with a Surly Bill trailer. It competes with cars.

    I got a Bob trailer and it's great for when I do loads between what all my panniers are good for and what the Bill trailer is for. $1000 in trailers, but I already have saved $150 in gas moving around what I moved around with a car. There is an impact on the environment when the trailer bed, hitch, tires, etc were made for trailer, but it's hard not to imagine some sort of offset is in affect so long as I continue to put it to use.
    But yeah, what do you know, ∞ mpg
    it even tows mountain bikes and people

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    You allow the government to saddle your engine with power and efficiency robbing emission control devices. The fact that you think you're better off for it shows your complete ignorance about the issue. You have been so lulled by the siren song of ignorance that you don't even notice your white knuckle death grip on it.


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    Not sure where that attitude came from . I hate the fact that we have so much emission controls but also don't like it when people are proud of the smoke they can blow when all it does is bring on more controls.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    Not sure where that attitude came from . I hate the fact that we have so much emission controls but also don't like it when people are proud of the smoke they can blow when all it does is bring on more controls.
    I never said I "roll coal". My truck actually runs pretty clean. It passes smog every two years, without me having to return it to stock. The modifications I have done improve fuel economy and increase power, with out blowing a ton of smoke.
    However, the current emissions controls imposed upon the diesel industry by the EPA cause more problems than they solve.

    I guess that we should ignore the fact that most nations on Earth do nothing at all about emissions. The US hamstrings its economy with draconian restrictions while countries like Mexico, India and China leave their industries unchecked. Why should we kick ourselves in the teeth in the name of emissions controls?

    Lets start with the fuel its self. Ultra low sulfer diese AKA ULSD. ULSD has 10% less BTUs than the old standard low sulfer diesel that had been in use since 1990. What does that mean? It means it requires 10% more fuel to perform the same amount of work. A truck that was getting 20MPG now only gets 18MPG, with the same load. Stretch that out over the lifetime of a truck and you are talking about tens of thousands of diesel fuel that was not needed just a few years ago. Now think about the millions of diesel engines running all manner of equipment across the US. Trucks on the road, trains, generators in hospitals, shopping malls, office buildings, agricultural equipment, construction equipment, all sorts of industrial equipment, all using more fuel, simply because of the switch to ULSD.
    And all that fuel has to be mined and then shipped into the US on huge tanker ships. Tanker ships that now have to deliver 10% more crude, just to make up for the increased demand.
    And how do we clean up the emissions coming out of the engines? With a diesel particulate filter, a diesel oxidizing catalyst, and a selective reduction catalyst. Three very costly components consisting of rodium, paladium and platinum. Hhhmmm, that sounds like its clean and cheap to build...... Not. The carbon footprint just from building the exhaust aftertreatment components alone is astronomical.
    And when the aftertreatment system is not functioning properly (which is often) it forms all sorts of nasty compounds that are far worse than the CO, HC and NOx that they are supposed to clean up.
    The reliability of diesel engines has suffered tremendously. EGR valves that stick open. EGR coolers that leak internally, detroying engines. Variable geometry turbocharges that sieze up. Everytime one of these components fail, it causes the engine to lose power, emit higher levels of pollutants, and cost the operators thousands of dollars in repair costs.
    Shall I go on?

    Keep in mind, the people that pass these regulations are unelected officials. There is zero recourse against them. The officials at CARB and EPA are appointed officials. There is no check and balance against their tyrrany. They can pass any regulations they please with out the threat of losing their appointments.

    So go drive your ULEV diesel if it makes you feel better. Its not helping the enviroment. On a grand scale, they are slowly strangling the economy and ruining the enviroment.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

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    yeah I just hauled 220 pounds on my Surly Bill trailer. I actually had to bring my Bob trailer over to my friend because we're both cooking and serving breakfast at the local people's kitchen and we're bringing it all in on bikes. It was pretty funny, towing Bill with Bob on top.

    Got to say you sure seem to know a lot about diesel, congratulations. Still, unless you're burning veggie oil, I don't know what most people are doing with trucks that my neighbor doesn't do horse-drawn and what I do bike-draw. It's kind of lazy. Image. Identity. Choose a sustainable one.

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    I guess I am lucky in that I have lots of trailhead choices. I can ride from my house or I can drive. Choice is fricken awesome.

    but for me, it is all about the mountains. I don't care if I drive a vehichle or atv or bike to get there. as long as I am in the mountains. So to me, I am a mountain lover first, and the bike is just a tool to be in them. Just like a bike, or a raft, or a kayak or a truck or an atv. All of which I do use to access to great outdoors. So to each his own and have fun doing what you like.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    I guess that we should ignore the fact that most nations on Earth do nothing at all about emissions. The US hamstrings its economy with draconian restrictions while countries like Mexico, India and China leave their industries unchecked. Why should we kick ourselves in the teeth in the name of emissions controls?
    Are you kidding me?
    Have you seen the pollution in those countries?

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    Yeah I've been pretty confused on that one too.

    I actually drove my car. I was thinking to myself, "wow I probably should have just hopped on the bus"

  34. #34
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    Nearest trailhead is (a flat) 4.7 miles west of me. Awesome AM riding is 6-7 miles west of me.

    I still drive... sigh...

    There's something nice about driving to a TH in a Jeep with no doors and no top and a MTB hanging on the rack.

    Oh, and for the diesel debate... I'm an engineering manager for Cummins... and I drive a gasser. Diesel vehicles are too expensive. I'll consider the Nissan Titan with the 5.0L Cummins V8 when it comes out... But I'm sure it'll be $50k.

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