Archive for April, 2012

Net Global Happiness

April 27, 2012

In many ways, I cycle merely from the force of habit. If I were actually from San Diego, and my parents bought me a car, I would certainly drive.

Now that the bloom is off the rose, and I see pollution and the violence of hundreds of motors passing me very closely rather than palm trees, I have thought about motoring to work. The more I learn about how our government operates, the more I see the ownership and daily operation of a motor vehicle being a prerequisite to being a full US citizen.

However, I still don’t want to drive.

One of the reasons is pride. I never realized that until recently.

The other reason is pride in my body. I get stronger EVERYDAY OF THE WEEK. While others are getting more and more flaccid by the minute, my body is getting harder and more sexy. I would hate to give this up, and I think I’d rather die than give up cycling.

This is a great feeling being able to say you are willing to give up your life for you mode of transportation.

Another reason is happiness, however.

Recently on Biking in LA there was an article on a cyclist getting assaulted.

This reminded me of a recent study which showed that if you are holding a gun, you are more likely to think others are holding a gun instead of a banana or a wallet.

I wonder if a similar study won’t connect road rage to the way that motoring is set up. If so, is it practical and human to put us in a system where we are forced to have our nervous systems primed for violence. Sounds like a cruel experiment created by a team of sociopathic scientists. 🙂

I do agree with Ted about letting things go in most cases. However, I wonder a few things. First of all, what does this mean for the next generation? Is this not the broken window theory in reverse?

“As a number of comments in the long, long thread made clear, stopping to confront an angry driver is never a good idea.”

Yes, Ted, I agree for so many reasons.

On the other hand, I wonder how things got so fucked up in our world. In almost any other case, I COULD confront someone and have a civil discussion, patch things up, and move along my way.

I feel that the reason that many people act so badly in cars is because it’s too easy. They are too detached from society in their car and they feel safe. This is similar to how cyber-bullies operate.

I had a friend who constantly trolled me on the internet but acted like a friend in real life. I finally emailed him to not email me again, and he was shocked and hurt. He was just having fun.

Fun for him, pain for me.

The funny thing is that motoring was supposed to make us happier, but it makes us sadder.

Many people report that the worst part of their day is the commute. On a bicycle, it’s easily one of my best parts of the day despite the fact that so many assholes want it to suck. It’s still fun, bitches!

Thus, since I am happier and not contributing to the general anger and sadness that comes with motoring, I’m contributing to global net happiness, and that makes me smile.

The tiny country of Bhutan wanted to measure net happiness rather than GNP or GDP. More happiness each year meant success.

I feel the same.

So no matter what bullshit people tell you, you _are_ doing a good thing by cycling. The haters of the world were shitty people before you took the lane, made them pass, delayed them two seconds, or made them feel bad about their lack of exercise or environmental concern.

So smile and enjoy your ride fellow cyclists or as a British friend dubbed you “Little Christs of the Road.”

You can kill us, but we die with a smile, bitches. Suck on that! 🙂

Safety Bullies

April 26, 2012

One argument that comes up over and over again in the cycling world is safety.

I have posted various posts where I alternately mock or condemn safety or where I propose some real solutions which will increase safety.

Like the TSA, there are a couple of plans for safety which have never been shown, in the real world, to increase safety. Like the TSA both of these are “safety theater” giving some people the feeling of safety but not actually making them safe.

We get ad nauseum how riding vehicularly and wearing a helmet are safer.

What we do NOT get are controlled experiments showing how, in the real world, these policies actually make us safer.

In fact, common sense tells me that both of these are stupid. I will change my mind when I get some data.

And NO, I do NOT have to prove that a helmet is UNSAFE. I can tell you that putting a plastic bag over your eyes and mouth make you safer. You won’t do it without proof. Likewise, I need proof before I wear something as silly a flimsy bicycle helmet. In fact, I still won’t, I will choose to be slightly less safe.

Through the years, rode my bicycle with no helmet and NON-Vehicularly (sic) and I have been almost 100% safe. We can only judge things on how they were and they were fine. Thus, there’s no point for me to change.

Yet, there are those out there who insist on wearing a helmet.

Let’s get this clear for the dense:

I DON’T GIVE A FUCK IF YOU WEAR A STUPID HELMET. I AM NOT TELLING YOU HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE, DON’T TELL ME HOW TO LIVE MINE.

Yes, I am against helmet wearing for commuters. I am FOR wearing helmets for racers, mountain bikers, and other cycling risk takers.

Even though I am opposed to helmets, I do NOT bully others to follow my way. I NEVER tell people to not wear helmets on the street.

However, the facts on helmets are in. Helmets have not been shown to reduce injuries.

http://www.cyclehelmets.org/1068.html

Helmets DO hurt the popularity of cycling badly. See the Australian study.

End of story.

HELMETS ARE USELESS FOR SAFETY, BUT THEY HURT CYCLING.

THOSE WHO PUSH FOR MANDATORY HELMET USE ARE HURTING CYCLING POPULARITY.

What I really hoped to talk about today was bullying, a theme I see come up over and over.

Asking someone, one time, to wear a helmet is not bullying.

Pestering someone over and over again to wear a helmet does not make one a full scale bully, but it is using bullying style tactics to achieve a pointless aim. This is a gray area, and I am mainly talking about how I (and others who choose to cycle without helmets) feel.

“According to Pamela Lutgin-Sandvik,[5] the lack of unifying language to name the phenomenon of workplace bullying is a problem because without a unifying term or phrase, individuals have difficulty naming their experiences of abuse, and therefore have trouble pursuing justice against the bully.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workplace_bullying

I DO REALIZE THAT SOME ASSHOLE IS GOING TO CHERRY PICK SENTENCES HERE TO PROVE THAT I AM A BULLY. IF YOU FEEL THAT WAY THEN STOP READING RIGHT NOW. DO NOT COMMENT. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Discounted the person’s thoughts or feelings (“oh, that’s silly”) in meetings (64 percent).

“People who don’t wear helmets are stupid.”

“Harshly and constantly criticized having a different standard for the target (57 percent).”

For example, we have to wear helmets because they are slightly safe for minor falls, but we do NOT have to wear wrist guards which are much more effective for an injury which is more likely. Nor are we urged to wear flack jackets despite the fact that shootings are more common and harmful than minor head injuries that helmets protect us from.

“Overevaluation and manipulating information (for example concentration on negative characteristics and failures, setting up subordinate for failure).”

See the misquoted, flawed, and much abused study on helmets: “Helmets prevent 85% of deaths from head injury for cycling accidents.”

“Preventing access to opportunities”

You must wear a helmet or you can’t get credit for randoneering nor ride Bike the Bay.

“Having your opinions and views ignored”

Despite the fact that there are many reasons to NOT wear a helmet including a study which showed that one is less likely to be hit by a car from behind while NOT wearing a helmet, these are ignored and we are subjected to the continual verbal vomit about how one fell one time and their helmet broke and now they are really safe now.

“Being humiliated or ridiculed in connection with your work”

If you don’t wear a helmet for long enough you’ll see what I mean.

Overall, the problem is that of the helmet advocates being extremely ignorant of the big picture. They go around bothering those of us who have read all the studies and positions for helmets. We have gone over the history of cycling and the why’s and how’s of helmets. After all this, we have come up with an informed decision to NOT wear a helmet which should be a personal decision like how often to floss.

Instead we are harassed by cyclists who fear that we will “look bad” without a helmet.

I am bald, but if I had some nice long hair like most women, I would NEVER wish to bunch up my glory in a sweaty helmet.

And there are still men out there who wonder why their lovely wives do NOT want anything to do with cycling. We look around and wonder where all the female cyclists are.

Stop being a know it all. Stop bothering and harassing us for our personal decisions.

Oh, I don’t have time for this, but often wearing a helmet is a form of domination (as well as bullying). It trades a phony feeling of safety so that motorists feel better about themselves: “He wasn’t wearing a helmet [so he deserved to die].”

Thankfully, for some reason the San Diego media is wising up that obsessing over helmets after someone dies is unnecessary and disgraceful.

Tea Baggin’ Cycling

April 23, 2012

In the light of recent events, I am still mourning, upset, etc.

But let’s not let our emotions get in the way of the facts.

We are going to hear a ton of misinformation about cycling: blame bicyclist first, self-justification, empathy for the one most like us, etc.

Over and over, again, I hear the whining, selfish pleas of tea baggers who don’t want a dime of their gas money to go to cycling.

Guess what, it doesn’t and it won’t, but it should.

Item two, cyclist who own cars pay into the general fund. Where’s my transportation money?

So if anyone mentions gas money, let them know that gas money on pays for parts of roads, road costs are going up, gas money is going down. The difference is made up by taxing non-motorists and building roads that are very dangerous.

So one proposal I have is that if you think that it’s too expensive to pay for cycling infrastructure, stop maintaining roads all together. The easiest ways to get around San Diego have the cheapest roads. Conversely, the most expensive roads suck the most for cycling.

When thing break down, a little, cycling gets way better. So the issue isn’t that we want to take your gas money for our sissie bikes, but that we are being taxed, and having our money used against us.

Most of us are too polite to mention that, but I’m the impolite one who says what everyone else is afraid to say.

Let’s just stop building and maintaining all roads starting now. Shut down the street lights and lay off the traffic cops. Things will get worse before they get better, but ultimately, we will be riding on mountain bikes on trails that are hacked out by private volunteeers.

Another point is that cycling infrastructure always has to be decided by the “community”. Each tiny little strip of paint must be fought over with the dumbest, loudest, and most selfish community members.

At the same time, the freeways were built by fiat. If we had to argue over every single inch of freeway space (people lived and worked along most of what is now smelly, noisy, and economically bankrupt land), freeways would never be built. Or they would go at 60 MPH for a few blocks then suddenly disappear into a brick wall just like bikeways which dump you into the middle of an ocean of cars.

And if this doesn’t convince you note, that the founding fathers did not ride SUVs.

Even if they did, would their first priority be to steal (tax) money from those who did not have cars to give it, as an entitlement, to those who did?

Land Transport Safety

April 20, 2012

I really didn’t wish to go to “Woe are we” types of posts on cycling as this is supposed to be the unicorns (the person not the strange horse) and smurfing cycling blog. 🙂

However, in the wake of the recent accidents and the lame ass response that the police had which shows that they will not stop until they exonerate the criminals who run down cyclists something that was supposed to be done by private lawyers.

They are continuing to pretend that the “law ties their hands.”

I think that they enjoy being cuffed.

Basically, after 9/11 police powers have been vastly expanded to protect us. Overall, I think that this is great! More power to stop the bad guys. This seems to have been working, too. Unlike the last president, under Obama, there’s been not one domestic terrorist attack on American soil that killed anyone.

So far so good.

But what is terrorism and why is it so special?

I don’t know. I hate stupid arguments about vocabulary.

But we can all agree one thing that terrorist try to do is kill Americans. In response, we have spent a lot of money to stop this. I say good. But there’s a huge blind spot.

Why are we not targeting motorists?

Because they don’t drive cars, silly, you say.

Really? I retort. Did you know that the FIRST 9/11 bomb was via a truck? If they had been checking trucks in 1993, they could have saved some lives.

But we can’t target transportation for terrorism. To equate transportation with terrorism is silly.

They what’s the TSA all about?

Also, check this out:

http://transit-safety.volpe.dot.gov/security/Newsletters/html/Vol19/default_m.htm

“Land Transportation Antiterrorism Training Program. The Land Transportation Antiterrorism Training Program (LTATP) was developed by the U. S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). LTATP is unique in its design, recognizing that security at most land transportation systems is accomplished by a cooperative effort of Federal, State, local, and contract personnel. This program was designed to protect the land transportation infrastructure, which includes rail, mass transit, and bus operations. ”

So we are targeting EVERYTHING except for the thing that kills the most people. Sounds like a GREAT use of money.

But the _potential_ for harm is greater with other forms of transportation.

I really doubt it. And I doubt that this is going to reach its potential any time soon.

Fact is that we are INUNDATED WITH MONEY TO STOP MOTORISTS FROM TERRORIZING CYCLISTS. We have the money, we have just decided to conveniently exclude motoring from the list.

If you think I’m cherry picking, you can go on and google for this. Only motoring is excluded from anti-terrorist spending.

But there’s more:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=20&ved=0CHsQFjAJOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fops.fhwa.dot.gov%2Fpublications%2Fetopr%2Fbest_practices%2Fetopr_best_practices.pdf&ei=vmaMT_36EKSdiALR-6jtCw&usg=AFQjCNFU80DeYnzkLa0jy2KAadVsh7U6tw&sig2=q5_E91xLEXZccYouXCJKsw

Notice what they do:

“Use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) to
Monitor Freight Rail Movement—One region’s
TMC can monitor freight rail movements on one
rail corridor to see direction of travel, length of
train, etc. The major city in the region also has
cameras on railroad tracks throughout the city so
they can see when a train is blocking a street.”

Makes sense. If someone gets run over by a car and dies, it’s not terrorism. But if a train blocks traffic and nobody dies? That’s what we are looking to remedy with our government dollars.

So we totally ignore motorists?

Nope. We help them:

“Motorist Assistance Patrol (MAP)—Several
regions have established motorist assistance
patrols on their highway systems, to assist
motorists with vehicle troubles.”

Note who they do not help? Those who are too poor to have a car at all. If you don’t have a car, they are not there for you.

Furthermore, if you have a car bomb, they won’t know because they are not checking.

But if you WALK, you are really a threat:

http://w2.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/Terrorism/antiterrorism_chill.html

Dissent, Public Safety Core of Debate
Ed Whitfield and his followers just wanted to hold a peaceful demonstration during President Bush’s recent visit to the Triad, making it clear that not all Americans are gung-ho for the war on terrorism. Police, sheriff’s deputies and the U.S. Secret Service simply wanted to protect the nation’s chief executive in a time of great national tension. The two goals met head-on during Bush’s July 25 visit, when the protesters were stopped as they walked along a public road on which motorists traveled freely. They had to discard their protest signs before being allowed to proceed along Grandover Parkway in southwest Greensboro, News & Record, August 04, 2002

Great, but our “civil liberties” protect us from rounding up and detaining anyone who drives a white Lexus, right?

The U.S. Justice Department must release in 15 days all the names of those it has arrested and detained in its investigation of the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks. “The federal government’s power to arrest and hold individuals is an extraordinary one. Here, the government has used its arrest power to detain individuals as part of an investigation that is widespread in its scope and secrecy,” U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said in the 45-page ruling, Reuters, August 2, 2002

Nope, they can. They just choose not to.

The point is that the government has unlimited powers to protect the 700 cyclists and 33,000 motorists who die each year, but they choose not to.

Most killer motorists have a record of bad behavior. They often brag about how they are going to kill people before they do it.

Seldom do you see someone snap.

After a motorist attack, it’s very possible to round up all the suspects and check them out, but instead authorities are there, in lock step to protect the criminals.

My suggestion is to pressure your public officials to use the powers that they have been granted to start targeting the real threats and stop lying for and otherwise shielding those who choose to kill their fellow Americans.

They have the power, but they choose not to use it.

We All Mourn

April 19, 2012

Recently, there were two San Diegan cyclists who were killed.

These recent events got me feeling sad, and they got me thinking.

All cyclists are like sisters and brothers to me and each of their deaths is a tragedy.

I believe that most cyclists agree with me.

Today, I am going to set aside the usual brilliant humor and cutting insight to allow for silence so that we can mourn.

Cycling Humor: New York (and California) State Traffic Enforcement Exam

April 18, 2012

In the light of cycling humor, I came up with some of my own. It’s better and more original than the motorist’s One Joke.

1. Recently, a motorist hit a cyclist. The motorist said that the glare blinded her.

The State of New York usually gives blind motorists:

A. Driver’s license
B. Acquittal from killing someone due to disability
C. Commendation for killing the “enemy” in the war against motorists
D. All of the above

2. In what cases are cyclists solely at fault for their deaths while the motorist in the vehicle is totally innocent:

A. Rode bicycle on the sidewalk
B. Rode bicycle on the street
C. Rode bicycle on the bike path
D. Rode bicycle on the bike lane
E. No lights
F. No helmet
G. No bell
H. Driver had a bad day and hit the cyclist on purpose
I. Cyclist was smug and self-righteous
J. Cyclist had children on the bicycle
K. All of the above

3. In #2, if we fail to find criteria to exonerate the motorist, who is blamed for the accident?
A. Motorist
B. Bad road design
C. Fate
D. Cyclist’s mother for giving birth to her.

4. If an officer hits a cyclist, will he be punished?
A. Always
B. Never
C. Only if they scratch the paint on police car

5. The New York State House debated a bill to make it open season on cyclists. The bill:
A. Failed to pass due to humanitarian reasons
B. Failed to pass because cyclists are too tough of a target for guns, hitting with a car is more convenient
C. Passed
D. Failed to pass because it’s more fun to and satisfying to hear the crunch of the cyclist beneath a truck

6. A motorist confesses to killing a cyclist. You:
A. Toss out confession
B. Lie to media, blaming cyclist anyway
C. Visit cyclist, against her wishes, in the hospital and try to coerce her into claiming that she “fell off her bicycle”
D. Cook up a story about anonymous officers who were there to see her fall of her bike, but somehow were not there afterwards to help her
E. All the above

7. Based on the two prosecutions out of the twenty eight cyclists deaths in New York last year, one motorist equals how many cyclists
A. One. We are all US citizens who deserve equal protection under the law
B. Less than one tenth. (Do the math).
C. Zero. (Unless the motorist is poor AND the cyclist is rich, famous, or a judge. In this case, do more for a cyclist than you’d do for ten motorists.)

Cycling Humor 101

April 17, 2012

I know that there are a great many people out there who have no sense of humor so if you are part of this group, you can stop reading now.

The whole point of this is to amuse and to inform.

After all, the worst thing that a motorist can do is to suggest that I, as a cyclist, have no sense of humor.

Just because I don’t laugh at the motorist’s One Joke does not mean that I have no sense of humor.

You know the joke, “I’ll try not to hit you. Just kidding. Haha.”

The reason we don’t laugh at the joke is not because we are thin skinned, humorless weenies. If we were like this, we wouldn’t ride because you need a thick skin and a sense of humor just to stay sane. And if I’m not sane, why are you joking around with a crazy person? Try clowning around with the mentally unstable and see what happens. Haha.

The real reason that we don’t laugh at the motorist’s One Joke is because it’s over used. If you want to clown around with a cyclist do a few things first: ride a bicycle so you actually have some perspective, learn how to tell a joke, and most importantly of all, TELL AN ORIGINAL JOKE. IF YOUR BIKE JOKE IS NOT ORIGINAL, DON’T TELL IT.

If your joke is funny, I’ll laugh. If I don’t laugh, stop the wise act. You can’t fake funny.

I don’t care if you want to round up all the cyclists in the county and shoot them in the face. If that’s part of your joke, and you can make it funny, I’ll laugh. So it’s not “sensitivity” or any of that PC nonsense. I like offense humor. I like insult humor. I love being teased. Just get some new shit instead of recycling other people’s trash.

The other reason that I don’t laugh at the One Joke is because it’s not a joke. A “joke” isn’t a way of cowardly stepping away from your position. If you want to run me over, do it. Don’t say something offensive then say “just kidding”. A joke has to start out as a joke. Plus, “I’ll kill you” is something that a terrorist says, not a comedian.

So by all means, tell some jokes. God knows we need more laughing in this cruel world. But make it good or don’t make it all.

New Rules For Advocacy: Newbie Edition

April 16, 2012

When talking to a Newbie, Do:

1. Tell her what kind of bicycle to get. If she’s really unsure, LISTEN to her needs and TELL her what bike to get. Don’t say, “I can’t really say.” If you read this site, you are smart enough to help. Go with her to the bike shop if you have to.

2. Go on rides with her, if she wants you to.

3. Say hello to every cyclist that says hi to you. Stop to help everyone if they need it.

4. Let the slower cyclist lead unless you are leading someone into unfamiliar territory. Otherwise, you’ll constantly leave her in the dust, get frustrated, and so on. She knows when you are frustrated even if you are trying to cover it up. If you can’t stand to watch her go slow and make mistakes while you shut up, don’t ride with her anymore, it’s not worth the aggravation. And keep your eye on the road not my ass. 🙂

When talking to a Newbie, Do Not:

1. Pressure them to ride a bicycle. Pressure them to buy a bicycle. #1 above assumes the person wants to ride on their own. If they are your spouse, STFU about cycling and find out what he wants to do instead and do that with him. If he loves you, he’ll ask to go ride with you. If he doesn’t get it, dump him. 🙂

2. Don’t complain about motorists or safety. Don’t talk about how much cars pollute. Don’t complain about being treated unsafe or having inadequate facilities.

3. Suggest that the person needs to take a class to ride a bike. A bicycle is really simple and a child can do it. It’s an insult to imply that a cyclist is dumber than a child which is what you are doing here.

4. Criticize her bicycle. No matter how stupid you think it is, she loves it. It’s part of her now and if you mock her bike you mock her. Do NOT give her suggestions on traveling lighter or any other kinds of advice at all. Unless she asks. Then answer her question, only with a sound bite. Don’t go on and on about it.

5. Offer to help someone if the problem is beyond your skill level. Many women can change patches better than any dude. This is a fact. So don’t think that just because you have nuts you can fix a flat.

6. Tell the cyclist to ride on the street when they want to ride on the sidewalk. Warn them about the door zone. Don’t lecture any cyclist on safety at all. Don’t talk about helmets. If you think any of these things are important you probably don’t know what you are talking about anyway. An LCI is not a degree in public safety.

Let’s Ban Cycling

April 13, 2012

I don’t think I have ever seen this one before so if you have then I guess I’ve been scooped.

The notion is that if you are as dumb as I am and spend more than a few milliseconds on message boards, you’ll notice some posts that seem to make sense, but are fucking stupid. So stupid that I believe that these people should be tracked down and their driving licenses revoked because they are too dangerous on the road.

First of all, here’s one of my own ideas.

Idea #1:

If we know that profiling works because we spend a lot of money on it for terrorists, how come we don’t profile dangerous motorists? I mean people are being arrested because the authorities can’t read tweets properly so why don’t we track down the real killers. By this, I mean drivers who threaten cyclists even as a joke?

I don’t know why but my only two conclusions are:

1. The profilers are not smart.

2. The profilers have no real concern of keeping us safe.

Motor vehicle accidents kill as many people as 9/11 each month.

If we had ignored the 9/11 threat, and focused on motor vehicle accidents there could be over 300,000 Americans alive today. That’s the size of Buffalo or Pittsburg or three times my home town.

I have a better idea:

Idea #2:

Let’s ban cycling.

Before we do this, let’s get a cost benefit form. First of all commute times will speed up a lot. Instead of an annoying cyclist that takes two seconds to pass, you’ll be sitting behind that same cyclist, the whole trip and looking at his smoke belching in your face. Since he’s driving a truck, it will take you more than 2 seconds to pass him, but you can’t because that other cyclist is in the passing lane. They are both driving really slow because they are not good at driving. But you can’t say anything because they are not dirty cyclists any more. They are gas tax paying citizens and we know that these people are the best. Those who don’t pay the gas tax should be killed–but I’m getting ahead of myself.

OK, let’s run the numbers. Even if a ban were free because we can pay the extra bicycle police salaries with the couple of bucks that we get from the handful of suckers who actually did cycle commute. What about obesity?

The health care costs would likely off set any gains in–well, I don’t know. I don’t see a big financial win for banning cycling. Roads will break down faster. Commute times will be flat or even go up. Oil will be the same or higher. There’s actually no real benefit to this plan.
Health care costs would go up. Of course, we could just let these people die off by banning heart attacks and diabetes related complications from the ER, but this would hurt those who were faithful motorists their whole lives and not cyclists.

Basically, this is too expensive for no real gain.

Idea #3:

Instead of banning cycling, we could make it a pain in the ass. This is a “poor man’s ban”. This is by decriminalizing killing cyclists deaths. We could harass cyclists, and mock them in movies. When they die, we could blame them. We could make up some bullshit, useless safety ideas like plastic helmets that don’t really help against a crushing injury of a car, and basically make out anyone who cycles to be crazy. We could build things so you NEED a car then blaming cyclists for not buying a car with no job, you need a car for that, with no money as you need a job for that.

Basically make cycling a living hell, and tell them that they still retain the “right to the road” and that they should be treated “equally”–meaning a living hell–to any vehicle.

This is all ready done.

Idea #4:

Force cyclists to ride on the sidewalk so they stay out of the way of cars.

The problem is that sidewalk cyclists annoy pedestrians and thus this can never happen because pedestrians aka motorists who are walking to their cars–will not allow this.

Idea #5:

Since we did nothing for cyclists, let them ride in the road so they don’t bother pedestrians.

This is the original problem. Cyclists in my way. So annoying not to kill someone when it’s so easy like a little kitten or grandma on life support.

This idea fails because motorists are annoyed.

No.

Idea #6:

Let’s build special places for cyclists to ride where they don’t annoy anyone save for those who are too old or stupid–those who insist that idea 5 is a good idea.

No.

If we spend a dime on cyclists it’s too much. Our gas tax money doesn’t even cover roads, we have raided the general fund to get the extra money, but sshhh don’t tell a motorist or he will run you over.

This idea is a total fail.

Idea #7:

Let’s do the minimal possible so people think that we care. We can draw little lines on the road or pictures of bicycles either in aluminum signs or on the road from time to time. Let’s not get crazy; let’s make sure that the minor paths and lanes don’t connect up to anything, but leave cyclists as stranded as a road that goes off a cliff.

Let’s mourn cyclists from time to time, but mostly blame them, if they have no helmet, or flashing lights or so on.

Let’s say “yeah bikes” but do nothing of real substance.

Let’s offer classes that teach idea #5, but have no real enforcement for it.

Let’s create a system which is a hodgepodge of nothing which will save the maximum money. Cyclists will be unsafe, motorists and pedestrians will be pissed. It will be the worst of all worlds, but it will be cheap!

This, my friend, is what we have picked.

The worst of all worlds.

VC == FAST Riding

April 12, 2012

OK, I’m really sick of going over this nonsense over and over again.

Actually, I lied, I’m not. I can repeat myself all day, but I usually choose not to because it’s rude and the whole ad nauseum argument is a turn off and makes people hate you.

This is _my_ blog, however. 🙂

Here’s another recent debate on my comments:

Me: I never read a single VC rider suggest that perhaps a slower speed would make things safer in bike paths and cycletracks.

Trevor: Every time people write that European style bikeways may not be the total answer you’re looking for if you want to make a transportation network that serves everybody, the primary point is that those paths are only safe at very low speeds.

Me: I’m confused. The VC people keep changing the subject. For ages, they have married themselves to safety. Whenever Forrester talks, he speaks of safety.

Whenever we go to kill bicycle paths and cycle tracks it’s due to safety.

Now it turns out, due many, many studies, that cycle tracks are safer. There’s no getting around that. This is a fact. Bicycle safety has been studied to death in the US and abroad. In fact, bicycle safety regarding infrastructure that remains unbuilt in the US is much, much more studied the our vehicular roads despite the fact that bicycles riding on bicycle paths kill almost nobody while cars riding on AASTO approved streets kill more people than Super-Predator Children, terrorists, and insane people combined.

While the normal, “legal” streets continue to kill people, there’s no outcry from motorists. Meanwhile, we hear continual whining, threats, and even lawsuits to stop bicycle infrastructure.

Why is this?

Because VC cyclists are lying.

They say they care about safety, but once safety has been established, their mask comes off and it was all about speed all along.

Here’s the deal.

Next time, you want to kill a bike path or cycle track, go to a meeting, and SHUT UP ABOUT SAFETY. Talk, only, about how you like to ride really fast and you can’t stand to have dog walkers, children, and other slow cyclists in your way. Instead, you are solely interested in blocking traffic while riding a super-slow 18 MPH.

Trevor: I would not ride my bike to work if it took me four times as long as in a car. It works for me because at an average of 18mph I can write off the extra time as free gym time.

Me: I this, and I that. It’s all about you. What about the 60% of people who want to ride, sometimes, but are too afraid because you and your kind of have stopped many, many safer, more fun places to ride?

18 MPH is SLOW for a road. Even a road which is 30 MPH (rare in SD) this is really slow. It’s totally selfish to take a lane and make people pass. It’s also really dangerous, and it has been a total PR nightmare for cyclists. Telling people to do this is making motorists hate us to the point that they don’t want to give us anything.

We were offered quite a bit in the 70’s and Forrester shot all that down. Now they hate us and give us nearly nothing. Thanks.

Trevor: I started to ride my bike on busy arterials on the sidewalks. I knew from the get-go the only way it would be safe is to travel less than 10mph, and to stop at every intersection even if the light is green to check for people turning their car left or right across my travel path. Soon I became more fit, better skilled at spinning, and it was not so fun to do all that stop-and-slow.

Me: Me, too. But remember, you can have safety or fun but you don’t get both.

Trevor: People who like to ride in the road don’t want to take away the rights of people who don’t. They just don’t want their rights taken away any more than you obviously feel yours are by the opposition you hear.

Me: The whole “rights” debate is total nonsense. For one thing, my right HAVE been taken away. I do NOT have the right to ride in safety, comfort, and efficiently thanks to Forrester and others. I know this for a fact. There were plans for paths to go to my job. They have been killed by the VC community.

So, please, unless you advocate for cycle tracks everywhere, you very much are advocating against my rights.

I have written a whole post about rights. I wrote a whole post about how I WANT to divide the cycling community because it’s not really division, it’s revealing abuse of power and lies that have been going on for a long time. It’s also a way to recruit the 99% of the people who are not insane and drive in San Diego because it’s too annoying, difficult, and scary to ride a bicycle here.

Trevor: Also, bicyclists who like to ride with other smooth-flowing traffic are actually people, and they concerned about the health of other people who may not be aware of the hazards they have learned to avoid.

Me: Traffic flows smooth for you because you are the slowest thing on the road. What if you were the fastest? You’d be pissed off. VCers get pissed off when they have to yield to pedestrians. Motorists feel the same about you. They might not run you over, but they hate you. Some of this hate spills over to me.

Trevor: It is no surprise to me when I see many of the crashes that happen between car and bike, and it is sad when I know it is a missed opportunity to have explained to those two people how they could safely work together until the roadway is fixed to make it less necessary to have such expert training.

Me: Show me where the VCers are advocating for cycle tracks and NOT for classes and “education” and I’ll sign up for this.

Otherwise, we are going to work against each other.

Trevor: I wished I could keep my kids from falling down and getting “owies” just as much as I try to prevent them from more severe tragedies.

Me: Again, we disagree. I do NOT want anyone to be hurt, but pain is part of life, and small mistakes do hurt. These should NOT be high stakes and fatal. The whole notion of mixing with traffic makes what should be small learning experiences to be deadly.

Trevor: Please fill in your mental trench with mulch so it will grow some daisies to cover the hurt you may bury there. I suspect this writing isn’t cathartic, it’s only vitriolic.

Me: Too true. I’m really angry about the recent accidents and the failure of the police department to do anything about it.

I’m angry that the NYPD (and others I’m sure) has a policy of letting cyclists killers go if they can find any excuse for them at all.

Everyday I have to play the high stakes game of merging with 50 MPH traffic, I get pissed off at Forrester and his stupid ideas.

Everyday.