Archive for March, 2012

Gendered Advocacy

March 30, 2012

I recently finished the book _Delusions of Gender_ by Cordelia Fine.

Basically, her point is that most of what we think of as innate, sex-related behavior–“dolls are for girls, trucks are for boys”–is actually the product of subtle socializing that is measurable in one year old humans. This is because even the most liberal parents, this side of an isolation chamber, teach their children gender roles.

After Cordelia’s fine book, my bullshit detector goes off each time I encounter such phrases as “since I am a woman…” and “men are biologically programmed for…”

You might think that Cordelia wants to get rid of gender all together.

I think that she knows that this is impossible, and I’m not sure what her personal position on gender is exactly. Her personal story wasn’t the point of the book. I do know that since she is a good scientist, she focuses more on how our society influences are experience of gender and less on prescriptions for the future of child rearing and for gender roles in general.

Overall, I feel that SOME gender roles are fun and harmless. I know few people who would like to live in a bland world where men and women wore fluorescent yellow vests, only, and, like dogs, we could only tell the difference by sniffing one another. I like to see my princess in make-up and a dress, but neither of us would like to see me in anything else but a man’s suit.

However, like everything else, the party’s over for gendered games when someone gets hurt. In an overly gendered world men can become stony, unable to laugh except at someone’s expense, while the only entertainment they have are sports. Yuck! In the same over-gendered world, women can deny themselves, based on nonsensical beliefs, from realizing their potentials both inside and outside of careers. Ug!

This affects cycling advocacy as well. Many a woman has asked me where are all the women cyclists in our crazy, “take the lane” world. Many complain of being too scared to cycle.

I have said this before, I think that women’s fears of cycling is brilliant, and it is one of the main reasons that they are so safe cycling, more than men. EVEN WHEN WE FACTOR IN THE LOWER NUMBER OF WOMEN, WOMEN AS A GROUP ARE SAFER CYCLISTS THAN MEN AS A GROUP. [I used all caps for the morons who skim and comment. I am not an idiot, and I realize that in good stats you must factor for things such as the total number of riders in each group and so on. Usually I leave this stuff out as I figure that people would realize that I am not a moron, but I am still treated like an idiot: “Did you account for the different number in each group?” Yes].

I have tried to emulate women’s safer cycling abilities by choosing safer routes, and ignoring the nonsensical, macho nonsense that we get from uncycling thinkers. But I do dream of a day where just riding to work is more fun and less of a battle. It’s not that I don’t think that women can fight traffic, but I’d be an asshole if I urged them to do something that’s stupid and dangerous.

This is where the Cycling Chic movement comes in.

“Cycle chic or bicycle chic refers to cycling in fashionable everyday clothes. The fashion concept developed in popular culture to include the bicycles themselves and bicycle accessories.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_chic]

I love this movement because it takes something that is highly male gendered–see MAMIL: middle aged man in lycra–and it packages it in a way that is traditionally female.

Yes, I believe that despite being an illusion, gender differences should be used, when necessary for bicycle advocacy. And nobody does it better than Cycle Chic. This is because good advocates don’t challenge every belief we have ever had. Rather they fit cycling into our own current paradigms.

With cycling seeming so dangerous, it’s male by default. Most women, I know, don’t want to hide their beautiful hair under a helmet, exchange their fine clothing for lycra, and battle with trucks for their “right to the road”.

Normal men don’t want to do this either! Don’t mention the trans-gendered community which I am leaving out only because I know almost nothing about the individuals–but I am interested so if you have any info, please let me know. As a fan of Lou Reed, I definitely love transvestites as know how to properly enjoy playing with gender roles.

On the downside, here’s an example of advocacy for women we don’t need:

Here’s an example: http://isocrates.us/bike/2011/05/cyclingsavvy-first-report/

“Cycling is a dance where you must lead.”

Again, I don’t mind being led in a dance by a woman, but most women are going to expect me to know the steps and to know how to lead a dance. Sure dancing might be sexist, but the only complaint I have heard from a woman is when a man doesn’t know how to lead.

Now the cycling savvy people are telling women that they have to be expert dancers on bicycles leading a dance against bullies in automobiles? Plus, the photo of everyone wearing fluorescent yellow is awesome. Recall what I said about about the dismal unisex future? ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not a fan of clothing laws, but I do believe that if we made one, instead of addressing gendered head coverings and gang banger bandannas, we’d outlaw fluorescent yellow vests.

That’s right, I’d like to be fashionable also, and Cycle Chic is a movement that includes us all. It certainly appeals to me as I love to rock a cute basket, and I’d like to get some more bling on my bicycle. Also, I’d LOVE to wear a suit as soon as San Diego gets around to traffic calming the highway that I ride twice daily. I don’t wear lycra, but I’d prefer my built environment to reflect my values which is to create a place where riding in a suit is a lot less silly than it is now. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Cell Phone Bans Considered Harmful

March 29, 2012

Cell Phone Bans Considered Harmful

Here’s the inspiration for this post:

http://bikinginla.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/distracted-driving-playing-a-risk-for-drivers-and-cyclists/#comments

I was going to comment until I realized that it was turning into a post in its own right!

Basically, I am against cell phone bans for several reasons.

The first is because I don’t think that a ban would actually help make the roads safer. People will still text, but they will do so secretly which might actually INCREASE accidents slightly.

Actually not using a cell phone would make the roads safer, but a ban is not always the same as magically changing the values of all motorists.

Second, cell phones are not the problem–distraction is.

I really don’t see much difference between a motorist talking to a friend who is sitting next to her and one who is on the phone. Other distractions include the radio. I do suggest that one is safer when not listening to the car radio while driving. But most of us would not suggest making radios illegal in cars.

I have even heard that differing music causes differing rates of accidents with “Ride of the Valkyries” as the most dangerous song. ๐Ÿ™‚ *

Also, changing the channel of a car radio takes one’s eyes from the road.

Similarly, a motorist can be similarly distracted while turning around to check on their child who is in a car seat. If the child were allowed to ride up front, they might be less of a distraction. Sure, car seats save lives, but I am pointing out that there are few safety measures that have NO drawbacks at all.

Would we ban all children riding in automobiles? This would save many, many lives, but again, I am not seriously proposing this because I think that it’s absurd. Similarly, I feel a cell phone ban is also absurd.

It’s not just about safety, but about utility.

And I’m not just defending a motorist’s legal right to multi-task, as deadly as it is. I would like to decide, for myself, whether I can call someone while riding my bicycle or even listen to head phones. Usually, the answer is “no”, but isn’t it up to me?

Also, I’d like to add that there are positive reasons for using cell phones such as calling 911 to phone in accidents and crimes. I would not want these to be unreported just because a motorist is afraid of a ticket.

Incidentally, in San Diego, accidents are usually over reported which is why 911 is supposed to be all but useless especially on the freeway. Better response, I heard, is gotten by knowing, also, your local police station number so program that into your cell phone.*

Worse of all, though, is that a cell phone is a convenient distraction from the fact that our attitude towards motoring is totally off. Our built environment is too auto-centric which hurts enjoyment of the outdoors and cycling, divides up neighborhoods, steals money from the poor and gives it to oil companies, and kills us both quickly through accidents and slowly though chronic illness. Blaming a cell phone is a total waste of time as it takes us away from the bigger issues which is how our built environment is fostering alienation and oil dependence. If we had a safer built environment, collisions would be less deadly, and cell phone use would not be seen as big of a threat as it is now in our fast paced, high stakes transportation system which gives us the death penalty for a simple, normal human error.

In summary, a cell phone ban is only popular because cell phones are new. Other types of bans which can save more lives are seen as absurd, as they should be. Similarly, a cell phone ban is also absurd. A ban will not deliver on its promise of reducing collisions, but it will strip away benefits and comfort that we are accustomed to for no good reason.

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* I know I had a lot of rumors for sources here. Being a fun, personal blog and not a serious news site, that’s how I roll. I just hope that these colorful “facts” don’t get in the way of the main point.

Firefighters Against Cycling

March 28, 2012

First of all, not all firefighters are against cycling.

However, I do argue that firefighters who complain about increased response times to emergencies are not speaking with genuine data but rather they are expressing their own personal opinions, only. Unfortunately, due to their position of authority, who’d question their expert judgement.

Let’s get started.

Let’s look at a genuine problem which is hurting emergency response times right now: sprawl.

This is a major problem and has nothing to do with bicycle lanes.

I bring it up, however, as a litmus test to see how important increased response times are important to the local firefighters.

They are not.

There was no outrage about building these. In fact there are confusing
sprawl and cul-de-sacs all over San Diego. Often cul-de-sacs thwart my desire to take a quieter route on roads where it is actually quiet and slow enough to share space with cars.

Therefore, if we really had any concern at all, in a real way, of addressing the problem of response times, this is the place to start.

No, instead we’ll attack bicycle lanes. I posit that people who argue against bicycle lanes have no interest in response times of emergency services, but rather have personal anti-cycling views.

Here’s an example where this notion is taken to the extreme.

“The fire apparatus is basically triple parked,” said Murphy, the Uniformed Firefighters Association Manhattan trustee. “It’ll be harder to reach certain floors. Eventually somebody’s not going to be able to reach a floor because of the position of the rig and someone’s going to get killed. I’m not saying it’s going to happen next week, but it could happen down the line.”

Basically what he is saying is that the bike lane and the buffer served as extra parking, along with existing parallel parking.

If he truly thought that cars parked along the street hampered fire fighting efforts would he not have just argued for better enforcement? No, like many motorists, he assumed that there should be parking and that the bike lanes were there for additional private vehicle parking.

If he really wanted to maximize fire fighting efforts, to “save a life”, he’d argue against all parallel parking.

This space: a bike lane, plus space where cars used to park, plus a buffer is wide enough to drive a fire truck! He would have created an emergency lane which is shared by cyclists. This has been used in other countries like Korea to significantly reduce response times.

No, instead, he wanted parking for himself, a travel lane for his car, and the fire truck, well, he had NO provision for a traffic jam which is very common in NYC. I’d argue that more people died from sprawl, cul-de-sacs, and traffic than from bicycles slowing down fire trucks.

Bicycles can quickly jump onto a sidewalk in case of emergency while cars can not. So why come up with a plan that shafts the least offender?

Because he is personally against cyclists.

“But FDNY headquarters said there was no evidence to support the claims. [That bike lanes increased response times.]

The department doesn’t track response times on a neighborhood level, but response times citywide for the first 10 months of 2010 were better than they were last year, said FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer. The northern stretch of Columbus Avenue bike lanes were installed in late August.”

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20101117/upper-west-side/fdny-split-over-whether-uws-bike-lanes-hamper-firefighters#ixzz1pazOwflm

Here’s another
paper which lists increased parking for emergency vehicles as a reason for installing bicycle lanes.

Also, this question has been answered by complete streets.

“Complete streets and emergency vehicle access can go hand-in-hand, if the design process is collaborative and done right. The Congress for the New Urbanism, working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyโ€™s Smart Growth program and fire marshals from across the United States, has created the Emergency Response and Street Design Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to pursue common ground and strategize how narrower, more walkable streets can serve โ€“ and even improve access for โ€“ emergency vehicles. More resources can be found on the Initiativeโ€™s website.”

I am all for reducing response times for emergency vehicles, and I have shown, with five minutes of google and a moment’s thought, a low cost plan which can help. Why I have to spend my time on this is beyond me. Why all the more brilliant people who are paid to do this have not come up with something better befuddles me.

The Aliens Made Me Do It

March 27, 2012

Note, I just got back from DC where I feel that lobbying really makes a difference!

I’ll write more later on the lobbying efforts as well as the VAST cycling improvements on DC and Philly. As for now, I am speaking of others when they feel that their lives are controlled by aliens…

Notice how often when people speak of cycling, they talk as if our entire legal system and built environment is held hostage by aliens?

This is the opposite of the truth. The government is full of people who crave to have active citizens to allow them to kick off the projects that they know that we, the citizens, want.

Don’t believe me? Stop reading this, get out of your house and talk to some people in government. I’ll wait.

No cheating. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ah, you’re back. I’ll assume that everyone agrees with me now.

Anyway, the point is that you often hear people act as if we live in the Soviet Russia of transportation systems. “I _need_ my car because everything is so far away.”

Really? Who put it “far away”? The aliens? Why is shit so spread out?

Because of zoning. Ah, I see so there are laws made in a democratic society which hurt us all. Well why is that? Because of politicians. But who do they listen to? Corporations. Who do they listen to? Aliens, just kidding, consumers. Not “consumers” is a way of talking about the public in a way which acknowledges their power, but only a little. Consumers only responsibility is to maximize their own happiness by selecting from a very limited number of choices put in front of them. Coke or Pepsi.

I prefer the term citizen because it acknowledges that we have more responsibilities (and power) than we are told.

Zoning laws can be changed. In filling can occur.

Changing a law is slow. But there are exceptions all the time.

For example, what’s the maximum legal road grade allowed from a mesa to Mission Valley? Eight percent.

But why are all the hills so steep then?

Because they got an exception. That’s right, one doesn’t have to follow the law when designing the streets, we can get an exception. So the whole notion of deferring to standards, as if they were send down from on high by our Alien Overlords, is nonsense.

Any excuse from building infrastructure is a lie.

Look around. Everything you see is the work of human hands. Before humans made it, it was the product of the human mind, usually a single person’s mind.

The whole traffic mess of malls in Mission Valley was a grand vision in a humans mind. Anything you don’t like was probably created by humans who _decided_ to create it.

There’s no alien race making laws.

Effective Motoring Class

March 25, 2012

OK, I wrote this before DWF wrote the excellent comment regarding the esteemed John Allen’s taking of a motoring “safety” class by a race car driver.

My class idea was much different, however. I was not going to teach one to push one’s car to the limit nor keep oneself on one’s toes. Rather, I was after a class which was analogous to the savvy cycling classes which have the tone that most cycling accidents are the cyclist’s fault, only.

I figured if a motoring class existed, we’d be able to push the blame back on to the one who had the machine most capable of killing: “with great power comes great responsibility”, a cliche that is not repeated enough in the cycling “safety” realm.

Since I never saw anyone else step up to the plate, I thought that I”d posit a new form of class called “Competent Motoring.” (CM)

Basically, it would go beyond the basics of a driver’s ed class and teach a more in depth understanding of the laws and rules of the road for effective motoring.

The premise is that if cycling is so complicated that we need to teach a 24 hour class, since an automobile has about 10x the parts of a bicycle and there are 10x more laws governing motoring, perhaps the class should be 240 hours? ๐Ÿ™‚

I think we can do it all in two hours including the on street motoring.

Some of the ideas I have are:

1. Teaching the finer points of the traffic laws that are actually enforced. Also talking about laws that can be enforced, but are usually ignored. This is to create a more realistic view of motoring which is in contrast to driver’s ed classes which teach unrealistic goals which students realize are BS and thus they ignore EVERYTHING that they have learned.

2. Opening a car door with one’s right hand which forces one to look for cyclists.

3. NEVER ride in the gutter. Take the outer part of a curve at all times.

4. NEVER enter a bicycle lane except when one is turning, then look back and carefully enter the lane where the dotted lines are.

5. Look both ways even on a one way street for cycling salmon.

6. Give at least 5 feet of space while passing a cyclist and slow down. Also, never trail a cyclist by less than 12 feet in case the cyclist falls.

7. Overall, treat a cyclist like a slow car NOT a handicapped person. Being overly cautious is just as annoying as not paying any attention at all.

8. If a motorist breaks a traffic law such as running a stop sign or speeding, chase him down and give him a stern lecture.

9. Never tell a cyclist not to ride a bike. How about if every time you drove your car someone ordered you about telling you to ride a bike. You’d be super-annoyed.

10. Never get started immediately after a light turns green. Not all cyclists can make the light. Look first then go.

11. When coming out of a driveway, stop short of the sidewalk. ALWAYS. And look. There could be child running in front of you because he feels safe on the sidewalk.

There’s much more, but you get the idea.

I envision this class signed off by government lawyers, engineers, and so on and the instructors licensed by the government.

Rights to the Road Leads to Anomie

March 19, 2012

One who is an artist, knows that sometimes constrainst themselves can free us.

How so?

Let’s consider the opposite: doing art with no rules. Instead of being liberating, as one might assume, no rules in art can lead to a feeling of hopelessness. When everything is possible, nothing seems worth doing.

In 1897, “Durkheim used the term anomie to describe this temporary condition of social deregulation, and anomic suicide to describe the resulting type of self-inflicted death; but in one sphere of life, he added, anomie is not a temporary disruption but rather a chrome state. This is the sphere of trade and industry, where the traditional sources of societal regulation — religion, government, and occupational groups — have all failed to exercise moral constraints on an increasingly unregulated capitalist economy.”

http://durkheim.uchicago.edu/Summaries/suicide.html

What this means, is the Durkheim, in his research found that the people most likely to commit suicide were those who were disconnected from society. One thing that can make one feel disconnected is lack of boundaries that is unlimited freedom.

Thus, those people who speak only in terms of unlimited freedom unwitting advocate for mimizing one’s chance at happiness and even laying groundwork for conditions where one is likely to commit suicide.

I feel that in the United States, the Left is especially lost regarding morality, and that they have given away any chance of moral authority by fearing limits to freedom and fear of talk of morality itself.

I feel that this fear has allowed people to feel that cycling itself is immoral. I feel this way because people sometimes find cycists “disgusting” and primitive morality came from feelings of disgust.

What does this have to do with cycling?

Well, for one, the whole notion of fearing environmentalism is wrong because this is a form of morality which everyone can relate to. Whether or not God created the Earth, the Earth has created us, and we’d be stupid and ungrateful AND IMMORAL bastards to ruin the planet.

When I see people who hate the environment, I wonder if they’d slap their mother around because the Earth is mother to us all.

Also, I feel that the whole idea of “rights to the road” and “freedom to ride everywhere I want on the road” is creating a feeling of anomie where if we can ride everywhere, we wind up riding not at all. Look at how often those who whine the most about Rights, ride. Not testing these “rights” much.

If we are “restricted” by cycle tracks, I feel that this is a healthy restriction. A cycle track means that the government and society in general is inviting us all to cycle. When I see a six lane road with no shoulder, I don’t feel this invitation.

When I hear about the whining of the “nanny state” I wonder who raised these poor people. Nannys are loving and helpful. It’s arrogant to feel that we are so independent as to be totally disconnected from all of society and as Durkheim pointed out, these people who hate their nannies are so disconnected from society as to have a much higher suicide rate.

So I say, if we are going to be restricted, let’s do it all as a society, riding side by side in cycle tracks as riding off the road is the Right thing to do.

Those who go off on their own, we’ll give them their space, but also let them know that the door is still open, there’s still room in the fold. And if they kill themselves we’ll be sad, but mostly we’ll have the proper amount of love and equanimity.

Ninja Cycling

March 16, 2012

So many readers have whined at me as if I were some kind of Oprah of the cycling world just waiting to help people.

“What have you given us,” they complain, “that Mr. Forrester has not given us? At least he has given us a way to cycle in places where cycling is not encouraged.”

It was as if Forrester and his devote followers have kept cycling alive, during the dark ages of the 70’s and 80’s like Middle Age monks keeping writing alive.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

As I said, before, nobody rides VC.

By nobody, I mean less than half a percent of cyclist, who make up 1% of commuters nationally. This is a very small number!

Where did I get this number? From counting. If Forrester can do an experiment where he is the only subject, and the experiment can be conducted once, in secret, and we all have to hear about the results for decades after, I can do my own personal experiment where our number (n) is much higher, and I’ll blather on about it. In my commuting for 3 years, I have seen only 2 people riding VC: 1 gorgeous, androgynous Godzilla, and a homeless person.

All the roadies were on shoulders or riding in pelatons on the OB bicycle path which is supposedly super dangerous, but nobody tells them that. They very happily drive their bicycles (for VC nuts, this means that they actually load their bicycles onto their car and drive the car–welcome to Normal SpeakTM aka English). As I was saying, they drive their bicycles to the end of the path then they race up and down the bicycle path. I almost NEVER see them the entire stretch of my ride to the beach on the 50 MPH roads which is supposed to be AWESOME for taking the lane. When they do ride on Pacific Highway, they are on the BUFFERED BIKE LANE. Haha.

Anyway, what has kept the flame of cycling going?

Ninja cycling (or NC for those in-the-know).

NC is almost, but not quite everything that VC is not.

NC is not anything specific, but it’s everywhere; it’s all pervasive. Chances are you probably did some NC as a kid until you took a class that taught you to be thick.

NC is not a hard and fast set of rules, but it is fluid, adapting oneself to the circumstances.

VC cyclists want to be seen; NC cyclists want to be invisible. If you are invisible, you don’t get harassed by police or otherwise.

Hear someone getting harassed? They probably didn’t ride NC.

VC wears flourescent; NC wears black.

VC blames the cyclists, always; NC takes the cyclists side.

VC has a book or hard and fast rules, NC has no books. NC cyclists are too busy cycling to read a book on cycling.

VC is a limited path ridden by the very few; NC is for everyone with a bit of common sense.

VC has a limited view of transportation; they can only count to two. NC has an unlimited view. There are many, many ways of getting around and cycling might not be the best. You might need to put your bike on a bus, for example.

VC thinks that bicycles are either motor cars or pedestrians. NC knows that cycles are a third category, they are neither, but they are also BETTER. But not always.

NC allows for riding on the street, sidewalk, with traffic, against traffic, in malls, through alleys, bike lanes, cycle tracks. NC cyclists are safe anywhere.

VC teaches one to ride in traffic to “stay alive”. NC teaches you to ride only when you are inherently safe. If you aren’t safe, don’t ride.

VC teaches you to ride in the street according to rules of the road. NC knows that riding a bicycle in the street where you are much slower, forcing faster vehicles to slam on their brakes and then squeeze by you is a total violation of the rules of the road.

VC has hard and fast rules. NC makes up rules as it goes along, it innovates and contradicts itself.

VC claims to teach one to ride logically and consistently. NC knows that humans are inherently illogical, and those who claim to be logical suffer from MORE illogic than most because they are blind to their basic nature and don’t account for it.

NC teaches on to ride based on one’s perceptions, feelings, and in touch with one’s environment.

VC teaches on to fight for their “rights to the road”. NC will always have rights because it is invisible. Something that can’t be seen can’t be taken away.

VC teaches cycling according to the LAW. NC teaches cycling according to compassion. NC cyclists will yield when they don’t have to. If a tree falls when it’s not seen, who knows? If a stop light is run when nobody is there to activate it then what. Such are the NC koans.

VC wears funny clothes and shows off every time it rides. NC is too busy riding to brag. It wears ordinary clothes and walks among us. You won’t know an NC cyclist if you saw her off her bike. Perhaps she’s somebody that you know?

VC thinks that the narrow few should cycle, NC is for everyone: homeless, fixies, BMX, even wheel chairs can roll NC.

VC is fearful that it will lose it’s rights; NC is confident that it can adapt to any situation.

VC revels in its strength and courage, NC offers refuge despite fear and weakness.

NC cycling has been around for as long as there is cycling. Long after VC is a distant memory, we will still be here, riding NC.

Minding our Own Back Seats

March 15, 2012

This was a post I was supposed to write yesterday, but as always the blather overwhelms the blog post seed, and I wind up with more than one post. And I keep thinking I’ll be out of ideas because I’m just repeating myself over and over again. Whatever.

Jesus once said, “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Matthew 7:5 http://bible.cc/matthew/7-5.htm

This is how I feel about motorist’s whining about cyclists.

Not because we aren’t a pain in the ass. A few of us feel that “controlling motorists” and clogging up an otherwise fast moving lane with grandma–I ain’t no road warriah!–going at 5 MPH is the “safe and comfortable” way to be.

Though I am not one of them, I do have to say that these people are actively trying to make cyclists better.

Though I don’t agree with all their ideas, I’d be a small man indeed not to admit that groups like http://cyclingsavvy.org/ are actively trying to teach cyclists to follow traffic laws.

Since there are at least 100X more motorists than cyclists (and many of us cyclists are motorists), I feel that there would be at least a few people who actively tried to teach motorists to drive safer.

There are none.

Sure there are driver’s ed classes which teach children how to drive. That’s NOT what I’m talking about.

What about a class which says, you all ready know how to drive, let’s have you drive safer.

Not a one.

Sure there are required classes for repeat offender motorists who have broken traffic laws. That’s required.

I’m talking about VOLUNTARY MOTORING SAFETY CLASSES. Those which try to get 100% of motorists to comply with all traffic laws.

MADD is the best that we have which only addresses about 50% of the biggest causes of motoring fatalities. The other 50% is speeding which people brag about.

What other stupid, and dangerous crimes do people brag about? Not many.

Drinking and driving used to be macho before MADD. Now these potential killers are shunned. What about MAS (Mothers Against Speeding)?

Why doesn’t MADD want to get deeper into the underlying causes of vehicular deaths such as poor urban design such as bars with parking lots which practivally beg people to drink and drive? No, instead MADD is going down the anti-drinking route which is a gray world indeed.

How about a world with lots of happy and safe drunk cyclists? Why do we live in third world infrastructure which causes so many deaths unlike the First World which is starting to address silly problems like drunks running into poles?

Ug, I got off track again, here’s the point.

Cyclists are addressing their problems. There are cyclists that yell at cyclists to follow laws. There are motorists who yell at cyclists to follow laws. There are motorists who yell at cyclists to break laws “ride on the sidewalk”.

It’s illegal, duh! Cyclists have been yelled at far too much. There’s no sense of proportion, the world is out of wack!

Where are the motorists who voluntarily chase down speeders and yell at them? Why are not motorists shaming one another at killing so many kids?

A few years ago, we had a stupid “Lose the Roaditude” campaign which said, among other things, for cyclists to ride legally. This was paid for by cyclists.

Where’s the “safe motoring PSAs”. I NEVER saw a sign that says, don’t run stop signs, don’t harass cyclists, don’t speed. I’m sure they exist.

I feel like a bird watcher trying to track down a rare breed, a motorist who cares more about their own safety record than they do about harmless infractions by cyclists.

So here’s what I want. Let the cyclists take care of their own communities and stop pestering pedestrians, delaying motorists (get out of the road, idiot!), and to stop running stop signs.

You, motorists, can stop killing and maiming people. I won’t tell motorists how to drive if motorists don’t tell me how to ride by bicycle.

On the other hand, if someone wants to get their ass out onto the road to _show_ me how to ride, I’m game.

My commute is lonely, and I want someone to ride with. ๐Ÿ™‚

I Follow All Traffic Laws

March 14, 2012

This is a response to those people who say that they have never seen a cyclist follow a traffic law ever.

Guess what? I follow all the traffic laws.

I only mean to put this out there for all the peope who say that they have never seen it. Now you have seen it.

Oh, you haven’t seen it with your own eyes? Take a ride with me. You will see me not only stopping at every stop sign, but also yielding to motorists when I don’t legally need to. This gets motorists to run even more stop signs. I can even get many motorists to break traffic laws with a wave of my hand.

See, even if I voluntarily yield, that does not take away a motorists legal obligation to stop at a stop sign. Yet, when I stop, when I don’t have a stop sign, the motorist breaks the law. No, I don’t hold it against them, but if you don’t believe me, come ride, and you, too, will enjoy the thrills of inducing motorists to break the law.

In the meantime, please stop talking about this becauses you know it’s not true.

Also, I’d like to note that I resent being put into a group known as cyclists because it’s unfair to motorists.

Why?

Because groups are defined by what they are not. And if I have to be bundled into a group of people who run stop signs and injure older pedestrians, motorists have to OWN THEIR SHIT.

Motorists kill far too many people. I resent the my good friends being grouped in with all those killers. I, too, am a motorist, so this is totally unfair.

So when someone says, “all you cyclists run stop signs”, it puts the image in my head of the speaker being a serial killer.

So if you want me to think you are a spooky serial killer, keep whining about cyclists as if we are part of some borg like group think rather than individuals all with differing hopes and dreams.

Oh, and while we are on the topic, I _do_ appreciatoue the notion that motorists are starting to worry about following traffic laws and traffic safety. Because some motorists do follow all the traffic laws, I just notice the many, many outliers.

But, as I said above, I don’t really care about motorists breaking laws. I mainly care about them getting hurt. So if they run a stop sign because they checked and it’s safe, I don’t care. I do worry when they do things to put themselves and others _regardless of what the actual law it_. That’s right, I care about real safety and not the whole song and dance about minimal legal complicance. That’s kid’s stuff.

To truly have compassion is to focus on the needs of others.

Yes, my compassion sucks, but I’m at least working on it one bicycle ride at a time.

Cycling and Harmlessness

March 13, 2012

This probably going to sound arrogant, but one of the main reasons that I continue to cycle is harmlessness.

This is, I feel like it has a good balance between convenience for me, and less harm for others.

The reason I mention this is because two things have been frustrating my ride lately and making me want to buy the longest, hugest, most gas guzzling truck ever. The first was because I’m getting really tired of getting harassed by motorists. After doing my experiments with holding out my bicycle lock, I realize that ALL motorists who have buzzed me did this on purpose.

This is a quite cruel thing to do, and it was making me really despise everyone who owned and operated a motor vehicle ever because they belonged to that group which treats other humans badly. Also, the VC morons really exhausted me mentally and just gave me a disgusting taste in my mouth regarding cycling in general.

I think that VC cyclists have hurt a lot of people throughout the years, but especially themselves. They may not be dead, but they are totally dead to cycling because they don’t ever ride except as some kind of exibition event with large signs proclaiming how awesome they are for riding.

Real cyclists don’t talk any more about it than motorists talk about NASCAR and motoring in general.

As I stated earlier, sidewalk riding saved me I am continuing to cycle and salmon more places and enjoy every second of it. I feel like a child again. It is SO, SO, SO much more relaxing and safer than riding in the street. Don’t belive the hype.

One of my visions for the future–don’t know how to get there–is for cycling to be more normal than motoring.

That is, you know the funny stares you get when you tell people you got someplace without a car (after they ask about your car, I never volunteer this)? I want motorists to have that. I want people to look at them really funny and ask them where their NASCAR costume is.

This isn’t because I want to humilate people, though this can be fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rather, I feel that if cycling were that easy, there would be a large benefit to people.

I believe this can happen. It has elsewhere, and it’s starting to here.