Feeling Good About Cycling

I know I mentioned the wonderful book _Feeling Good_, and I’ll mention it again because I read a page or two daily to keep the brain gremlins away.

On page 43, there’s a great gem: a list of mental distortions.

Since my mind is distorted with bizzaro ideas from Ye Olde England and Lime Copse, here’s my take:

1. All or nothing thinking:

Either bike infrastructure is totally safe in every way or it is a “liability” that ought not to be built.

2. Overgeneralization:

Once upon a time, motorists, understandably annoyed with racers fooling around in their roads while they tried to rush all their wives to give birth, designed a bike path to make traffic move faster. Now all bike path planners are “anti-cyclist” trying to force us off the road.

3. Disqualifying the postitive:

Despite the safety rating of infra-structure heavy cities as being three times San Diego, we still don’t want infra-structure because–[fill in the blanks. I’m not going to do this all myself, people.]

4. Binocular trick:

Each time a VC rider gets rear-ended on a VC road, that’s a fluke or due to his own mistake (microscope).

At the same time, each time someone scrapes a knee on a bike path or bumps a pedestrian, we declare the bike path to be a HAZARD to be avoided. (Telescope).

5. Should statements:

These result in guilt, anger, frustration, and resentment: a whole grab bag of good will!

These include statements such as ought:

A cyclist ought to wear a helmet.

And should:

Cyclists should ride on the right side of the road. They should also dress like the love child of a canary and a number 5 highlighter.

6. Labeling:

You are an incompetent cyclist. You are an unthinking cyclist. You are superstitious.

7. Personalization: You see yourself as responsible for events that you are not responsible for:

You’re riding on OUR bike paths.

The take home message is that mental distortions are easy to do and lots of fun.

The challenge for you is to do as many as possible at a single time.

Collect them all!

Note Dr. Burns is NOT paying me to promote his book, but I wish he was!


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