Forester Vs. Clarke VI

“The encouragement worked because people thought, particularly when encouraged by Clarke’s propaganda, that bikeways made cycling safe for beginners and children. ”

This is actually true. Again, one merely needs to go to places where we have better infrastructure. Any words don’t really matter when you can just experience it.

“That meant an even stronger incentive to eliminate consideration of vehicular-cycling skills…”

This assumes that the majority of cyclists have vehicular skills and are as stated in last post “Advanced Cyclists”.

In fact, the majority of Americans, and indeed the world are NOT advanced.

Thus, it’s kind of funny to say we are eliminating something that wasn’t really that popular to begin with.

Plus, he sounds really sad that we don’t need these skills anymore. I’d actually think that to need less skill is a good thing.

When we invented modern agriculture and refrigeration, we eliminated the need for hunting skills. Millions of Americans can and do still hunt, which is great, but we don’t need to. Similarly, if someone wants to teach his course and people want to take it, they can.

Thus, it’s actually not being eliminated at all. Rather, we have less of a need for it is all. This is a good thing unless you invented it, of course.

“…when Clarke had to explain, or more accurately excuse, the scientific basis for the program, in the third document.”

No. We don’t need a scientific basis for the program. Riding a bicycle should be fun not “scientific.”

“He had to eliminate consideration of vehicular-cycling skills because, if the public had to accept that even these beginners and children had to learn vehicular cycling skills to use the B/C bikeway system, the whole thing would go down the drain.”

But previously, he argued that bikeways do eliminate the need for skill. Or did he?

I’m starting to get confused on what he said.

I do recall how he, in his book, _Effective Cycling_ (sic), that he almost crashed three times in half an hour on a bike path which meant that bike paths were dangerous.

Having taken bike paths, daily, for over a decade without a single accident, I’d say that if someone almost crashes thrice, _they_ are the problem, not the path. I would NOT want this person teaching me a “bicycle safety” course.

So chalk me up for being totally lost here.

“This explains the skillful mendacity with which Clarke finesses these two issues, but which can be disclosed by a close reading of his official writings that implement national policy as set by Congress.”

This only thing I really cared for in this sentence was “mendacity”. As an intelligent person, I love to learn new words, and I didn’t know what this one meant.

It means, “the quality or state of being mendacious.”


Mendacious means liar.

So basically Clarke is a liar.

I can’t parse the rest of this so Forester wins.

But Clarke is not a liar. Or rather, I didn’t see him lie yet. And if he is a liar, he’s probably not a bigger liar than the rest of us ordinary sinners.

Except Forester, of course who’s perfect and never lies. 😉


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