Multiple Personality Disorder Cycling Advocacy

LTRs can skip this one without missing anything. Here I rehash some old ideas.

Often people think that my ideas are radical or whatever, but what they don’t realize is that often their own stances doom them to weaker or more inconsistent policies.

One example is where on one hand many advocacy agencies encourage the 6 E’s which includes engineering and education. But if you buy into the myth of the educated cyclist who is virtually immune to injuries then engineering is less important. If you believe we can engineer our way to Cycling Nirvana (I do) then education won’t be that useful at this point.

You can’t have both views and have a coherent and strong position, too. At one point, it’s going to be one or the other.

The same goes for safety.

You can’t advocate that “helmets save lives” (they don’t), “you never know” (but I do), or “it’s better than nothing” (usually a helmet is WORSE than nothing) and at the same time fight a mandatory helmet law.

As the Wash Cycle points out, some are discovering this super simple idea the hard way. [http://www.thewashcycle.com/2013/02/maryland-lawmaker-defends-mandatory-helmet-bill.html]

“It is really an awkward position and one that is difficult to explain because we are fully supportive of the use of helmets and encourage everyone who rides a bike to use one,” said Shane Farthing, executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. “We’re just not convinced that a mandatory helmet law is going to improve safety. In fact, we fear that it will undermine overall ridership by limiting the safety-in-numbers effect, [that it will] actually have the opposite impact.”

Super weak, guys!

Much better to say that a helmet is totally useless; the main thrust of helmet laws is motorists who don’t really care about cyclists safety. They are too cheap to do anything useful so they put the SOLE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MOTORIST’S BEHAVIOR ON CYCLISTS. This is a totally unfair transfer of power and blame. It is wrong for the government to create dangerous conditions which discourage cyclists and then to add insult to injury by harassing cyclists by making them wear something which is as useless as it is degrading.

PRO-HELMET, MOTORING, ANTI-CYCLISTS WILL NEVER SUPPORT REAL SAFE CYCLING BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO CHEAP. There is nobody to offend. There’s only the “public” which is all ready misinformed.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says helmet use reduces head injuries by 80 percent.”

As I stated earlier the CDC is full of shit. By the way “reduce head injuries by 80%” means nothing. Does it mean that of 100 helmetless people who get hurt in a bike crash, only 20 will be hurt if they wore helmets? Does it mean that 100 will still be injured, but each injury will be 80% less?

If I actually believed that helmets saved 80% of cyclist’s lives, I might (just might) be for a mandatory helmet law. But I have never seen a real world example where this law has done anything but to suggest that cycling is dangerous and stupid.

I feel that the advocates who are for these absurd helmet laws really do believe that helmets help.

So, like I said a million times, it’s OK to be in favor of dorky helmets and boring classes, but don’t pretend that you can be for these and have a strong stand on why it is paramount for infrastructure to be built.

I feel like I wrote this post a million times, but I’m still reading silly things like this:

“An avid cyclist herself, McIntosh said she has been surprised at the opposition to the bill by bike groups.”

Just search and replace helmet with “a totally useless insult”:

“An avid cyclist herself, McIntosh said she has been surprised at the opposition to the bill which makes mandatory something which is totally useless and and insult by bike groups.”

Update (fantastic testimony against the MHL):

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2013/02/hearing-for-mandatory-helmet-bill.html

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