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The horse, cycling and the motorcycle as alternatives to the car

By Rigval on 07 May 2010

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So with major concern towards the environment, changes are happening to the motoring public. The promotion of hybrid cars, electric cars, fuel efficient petrol and diesel cars as well as eco-friendly supercars. But say you still think that motorcars are what's causing global warming and you'd like to contribute less towards this. What could be done about it aside from walking more, taking the MRT, buying or converting your car to run on NGV, buy a hybrid, drive like Mother Theresa or just stay home and not go out?

You could buy a horse. A thoroughbred race horse from the turf club that is about to be pensioned off is a good choice. It may be cheap to buy and maintain unless he's a prize winning horse like Seabiscuit whereby his sperm could make fast baby racehorses an and therefore make it rather expensive. Find one that always loses, learn horseback riding as a horse carriage would be considered as a trailer and may fall under the jurisdiction of the LTA (that's Land Transport Authority to those of you who aren't local) and you may need to license it.

So you trot your way to work. If you live in an apartment. You could park the horse at the grassy patch near the entrance of the apartment and let it graze and eat grass there. Then later at night, I'd bring that horse to the apartment carpark which I've paid for and have it converted into a stable. I think it's a foolproof plan if you're traveling alone or with a friend. The costs would be very little and you'll be kind to the environment as the only greenhouse gas the transport (horse) will produce if some methane when it farts or passes motion. If it gets sick and outlives its usefulness, you could always be the John Wayne you wanted to be and shoot the horse like cowboys do.

Of course the horse is just a radical thought that will never see the light of day. It would be simpler to ride a bicycle rather than do what I've said above. Add the quite strenuous fact that you have to climb quite a bit to reach the saddle makes it a chore. To me at least.
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Riding a bicycle is a good eco-friendly option. No fossil fuels are burnt and you will be fit and healthy too. But you're definitely not going to pedal from Johor Bahru to Changi for your daily commute as if you were unfit in the first place, you may end up with a cardiac arrest. And this is an automotive website. Where's the motoring part of it if I were to talk to you about cycling?

This brings us to commuting on a motorcycle. A motorcycle is a motorized bicycle if you wanted to keep the explanation simple. It is most of the time a cheap and efficient means of transport. A commute on a motorcycle would mean that you don't take up so much road space and you've bought yourself a vehicle that does no use much raw material compared to a car. This means that you've already made an environmental friendly practice by buying a motorcycle and using it. Unless its a two-stroke motorcycle that is, which is polluting to the environment due to its designs using the total-loss lubrication method, with the lubricating oil being burnt in the combustion chamber, causing "blue smoke" and other types of exhaust pollution.

So a good four stroke engined motorcycle is the bike you want to be seen on if you want to be regarded as an eco-friendly person. Buy one with good power to weight ratio and you will have speed, power, great fuel economy and less CO2 emissions than average car. This does not mean that you should buy a Ducati Monster over a Honda Cub as the Honda does its job pretty well too, and is an automotive icon on its own too. You also save time and fuel too as you don't sit in a traffic jam as you do not get stuck behind another car.

Actually I am suggesting that everyone starts riding a motorcycle to work so that the roads are free of traffic jams. Free of jams so that yours truly may use his car peacefully. I tried riding a bike before and I had very bad coordination in trying to change gears with my foot and use the hand clutch. I kept thinking why can't a bike have a gearshift that you could use your thumb to change gears or a DSG type transmission so I can just focus on the riding much better and avoid myself getting killed.

I also felt extremely naked and the thought of being under a lorry or a bus somehow made the joys of motorcycling much lesser for me. Pillion riding on a BMW motorcycle a long while back was also a little unnerving as every time the chap piloting the darn bike gunned it out of a junction I felt as if my hands were about to be torn off from the hand grips and that I was going to land on my behind and get hit by a truck. Yes I am paranoid when it comes to riding a bike. But I want you people to ride one for my own car using convenience. Hence the irony.

The other reason is that I just like the Confederate motorcycles pictured below, and this article gives me a reason to post some pictures of what I think beats the heck out of owning a Ducati 1198 or a MV Augusta Brutale . The styling on these bikes are very steam punk-ish or retro modern or whatever art based term you may have for the designs. The Confederate motorcycle is a stupendous piece of handcrafted American engineering. Their cars may be rubbish, but their bikes are, as I believe, made with as much passion as an Italian motorcycle. Check out two Confederates below.
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-Confederate B120 Wraith
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- Confederate P120 Fighter

opinion, humour, bicycle and 3 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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