Aside from VC DBs there is one form of cycling advocate who is even more annoying: those who feel that they are above the fray.
If you feel this way, take heart, you’re not.
You’re not better than anyone who feels passionately about spending hundreds of dollars on useless classes, reflective gear, and helmets only to ride your bicycle in smelly, noisy, and deadly high speed traffic.
You’re not better than those of us who want to wear dresses and suits and to have flowers in our basket while we don’t think or hear cars at all, but only see lovely people walking and riding past outdoor cafe’s and plazas.
There’s no “middle ground”.
If you aren’t with the urban design and cycle chic crowd, you’re with the VC DBs because the mess we have is the result of people following all the rules, being logical, and compromising, compromising, compromising. We have compromise our safety, our health, to make our surroundings hell. In exchange for our compromise, we have only gotten mockery from the media, and blame for our own deaths from the government and the police.
If you are above the fray, then you are really for the do nothing status quo. You don’t have to go to a meeting, behind our backs, and argue for the squashing of infrastructure, you merely need to get our of the way while the few VC DBs do so. It only takes a single motorist posing in lycra clothing per city to crush all infrastructure especially since half of America has elected do nothing scardy cats while the other has elected cheap sadists.
Things are getting better, but at a snail’s pace. If you think that things are awesome then you don’t really belong in the conversation that talks about change unless you want to align yourself against it which again makes you a firm VC DB.
I don’t have a ton of time to elaborate about all the details, but the main difference between the two camps is that one side talks about safety as if cycling were inherently dangerous while the other side talks about how to make one’s trip more enjoyable by making one’s surroundings better.
Taxing the public is a legitimate form of revenue. There’s nothing inherently immoral about it, and if one thinks that this is not so then one should not really be part of conversation because there’s no way to get from here to there without massive, massive suffering and if one is in favor of massive suffering, I don’t want to know you.
The government owns the roads and it needs to build things in a way that benefits us all. There are some pretty clear cut ways of studying this, but safety can’t be the driving force or we’ll just get a more sterile and safer hell hole.
This is why those who think that self-driving cars are wrong. They are poised to create one of the dark alternate futures just as the electric car advocates are. Sure they mean well, but they will still continue the biggest, unelected appropriation of public space since the original wars of colonization in the US.
If we don’t understand that streets are for people and people and dangerous machinery do not make a nice ride then we are in the other camp. Which is fine.
But don’t lie to yourself about it.
Be a VC douchebag.