Archive for May, 2013

Cycling Classes Have Failed

May 30, 2013

When people tell me that they like to “share the road”, I tell that I don’t want to “share the road”.

The whole phrase as well as the insidious VC propaghanda has gotten far enough to damage relations with cyclists and motorists, but not far enough so that motorists actually know anything.

Despite have written their religious dogma into motoring tests as well as into laws around the country and giving classes for over thirty, years, can we finally realize that MOTORIST AND CYCLIST EDUCATION EFFORTS HAVE FAILED.

“I never understand why there are cyclists in the street while there is a sidewalk.”


I totally would ride on that sidewalk save for a few things:

1. It’s illegal in many places.

2. It’s slow in many places (badly made have to merge back into traffic all the time and so on).

3. It’s dangerous due to the curb cuts. Somewhere along the way where they fought for our “rights to the road”, cyclists put out a huge stink about how cyclists are in danger while riding in the sidewalk. Where the fuck where these VC DBs when they allowed for curb cuts? CARS CAN LEGALLY DRIVE ON THE SIDEWALK!! Is this not dangerous? Why are curb cuts not being fought? You see over and over again how driveways and curb cuts are intersections. Why are pedestrians subject to this? It’s yet another totally inconsistent stance in the VC religion that drives me insane.

4. I scare pedestrians when I ride on the sidewalk. I’d rather get hit by a car then hit a pedestrian. I chose a bicycle because it’s the sweet point between the super-deadly motorcar (I’d never by able to live w/ myself if I hit someone with a car) and the relaxing but super-slow walking. Overall, I’d rather walk, but I don’t wish to spend the 4 hours or so it would take each day.

Otherwise, I’m happy to ride in a cycle track. All these motorists seem to want us in there. Most cyclists want to ride on cycle tracks. Why don’t we have the “choice”?

I defend the choice to “take the lane” though my research shows it’s foolish and dangerous. Where is the unity and back up from the VC/Saavy community? Why don’t they meet us in the middle instead of pushing for their views only?


Mohist Cycling

May 29, 2013

Not to be confused with “Maoist” though both notions come from China.

Who is Mo?

“It evolved at about the same time as Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism, and was one of the four main philosophic schools during the Spring and Autumn Period (from 770 BC to 480 BC)[1] and the Warring States Period (from 479 BC to 221 BC). During that time, Mohism (墨 Mo) was seen as a major rival to Confucianism (儒 Ru).”

Now I don’t think that Moism is perfect as he did believe in supernatural causes as a large basis of success or failure but to his credit his credit he did acknowledge a connection between one’s own actions and one’s successes and failures.

Again, for LTRs this seems obvious, but there’s an amazing amount of belief in fatalism today especially concerning cycling.

What is fatalism?

It is the belief that one’s actions don’t really have an effect to enact change. Here are some examples of fatalism:

“It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a safer solution for parking your vehicle when you visit your local gym.”

LTRs know that this is plain silly. Of course there are better solutions. One of them would not to have parallel parking in an area where the average traffic speed is 50 MPH. Duh! Yet, instead of looking for safer means, the AAA believes that there is a mystical reason for why roads are deadly.

This foolishness and sadness is killing many.

Here’s another example, Sierra Club, “It looks nearly hopeless to me…No one seems to care. Such is our climate predicament and its relationship to our young people. The gunman is currently at 400 PPM.”

Um, many of us care, but if the leading environmental organziation has all but given up what are we do to?

Many, many things.

First of all, we must defund these fatalist organizations. They are leading us to ruin.

From Mo:

“Instead of wealth, they get poverty, instead of large population, they got a small one, and instead of order, they got chaos. Fundamentally, is to lose what is desired but to get what is disliked. What is the reaon? It was due to the large number of fatalists among the people.”

I totally agree. Instead of understaing traffic collisions as preventable problems created by human activity, we call them accidents as if they are an act of God. I believe that God gave us our vast intelligence in order to make ourselves safe, and I don’t blame him when humans, working in a human designed system, hurt and maim other humans. Such a belief is to give all your power away.

“Fatalists say that when fate decrees a country will be rich, it is rich. When fate decress a country will be poor, a country will be poor.”

See the similarity between the notion of accidents and the idea that they “just happen”?

“[With belief in fate,] what use is there in exerting effort? With this doctrine [fatalists] tried to persuade the rulers to preventcommon people doing their work. Therefore, they are not men of humanity.”

Again, like Mo, I believe that these do nothing organizations are not only useless to solving the problems they pretend to want to solve, but they are actively getting in the way by not demanding strong action because they decieve us into believing that we can’t stop these very human created problems.

Let’s stand up to fatalists and instead of listening to their time sucking and energy draining nonsense, let’s think big and implement some real change. Fatalists have the choice of either following us or by shutting up and getting out of our way.

Real change happens in our minds first; if we are afraid to dream big, to plan big, and to spend big, we’ll be poor and impotent.

Cycling Safety Classes Are Tripods

May 28, 2013

When I was young, one of my favorite cartoons of all time was _The White Mountains_. It appeared in “Boy’s Life Magazine”, the official magazine of Boy Scouts. It was a cartoon version a wonderful trilogy written by John Christopher, a British author who specialized in young adult post-apocolyptic fiction. Great guy!

It chronicled the tales of young boys who lived in a post-apocolyptic society which was controlled by “the masters” which were known only as giant tripods which could suck people inside with tentacles.

The children’s parents worshiped the masters and did whatever they said, believing that the masters were benevolent.

The children had their doubts, but they were eager to get “capped” which is where they had a metal mesh surgically implanted in their heads.


Complete Cartoon.

What does that have to with classes and vehicular cycling?

I feel that my friends are likewise being brainwashed by these classes. In fact, once sensible fellow cyclists somehow are totally transformed by their classes in a sinister and freakish way.

It’s just like the teenage boy who says, “that’s nonsense” when we talk about infrastructure.

This is why I fear classes so much.

Please resist getting sucked up into a tripod and getting them to do some surgery on your head.

Run to the White Mountains where the weather’s cool, and the cycle tracks are ample.

Are Cycling Classes Siphoning Money Away From Infrastructure?

May 25, 2013

Are Cycling Classes Siphoning Money Away From Infrastructure?

LTRs need not read.

Time and time again, I hear the same tired arguments.

1. We have to teach people to vehicular cycle (or ride in today’s traffic)
2. Classes don’t hurt infrastructure, they get people riding now who will support infrastructure later.
3. There’s no good reason to oppose classes.

Actually, it is either or.

Cycling “safety” classes (sic) put on by those who don’t know anything more about cycling safety than whores know about STDs. Just because you fuck all your life doesn’t make you a gynecologist. Nor does riding for 50 years make you an expert on cycling safety.

So here are some real world ways where if classes did not exist at all, we’d have more infrastructure. Note that these are actual quotations from organizations:

1. Sierra Club
“Projects to Improve Bicycle Access, 40% of the Total Allocated to Bicycle Transportation
League of American Bicyclist Certified Instruction of “Traffic Skills 101”, 60% of the Total Allocated to Bicycle Transportation”
The Sierra Club wants to siphon almost half the money from infrastructure into classes.

2. AAA

When I asked for help in traffic calming a high speed road, here was what I got:

“It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a safer solution for parking your vehicle when you visit your local gym….We suggest visiting the League of American Bicyclists website for more information on safety techniques for riding in the traffic situations your faced with daily.”

Full email is here: []

Note how he went straight for classes when I asekd for traffic calming? If classes did not exist, he would be against cycling still (in reality not in theory, everyone’s for cycling in a vague way but they oppose everything that would actually make a difference).

3. Cycling Safety Classes are anti-infrastructure propoghanda

I have never seen someone take a safety class who didn’t immediately get soft on infrastructure. After taking a class, they gain this suicidal and bizarre fetish for riding in high speed traffic. It reminds me of religious extremists who forego medical care due to their “freedom” for their children who then die of easily preventable diseases. []

So if you are going to get involved in cycling advocacy, please don’t take any classes. If you know anyone who is going to take them STOP THEM.

And if people think that you can be “liberated” to get around by a bicycle in San Diego right now, tell them to shut up. The few VC San Diegans who don’t pick their routes carefully are miserable due to frequent harassment. Some of them have even been rear ended! Yet they continue their mad religious practices of taking insane risks and inconveniencing motorists to prove some shitty point about their “rights”.

We have many important groups who’s sole knowledge of cycling safety and infrastructure is based upon a few people’s misperceptions of the real safety issues. It’s as if prostitutes, only, are quoted on public health issues for safe sex. Just because a prostitute is not dead of AIDs doesn’t mean that back ally sex with strangers is safe.

Confusing German Paper on Bicycle Safety

May 16, 2013

The other day, I got this paper, and I did not comment on it because it was in German and I only have five minutes a day to write rebuttals to the various VC morons.

I will say that it is sad combination of desperate and abusive to post an article to (mainly) English speakers in German, with no translation or analysis, instead of explaining the paper (including translating relevant details) in detail and why there’s no study in English.

It’s also bad to use a single source. When I was doing my crash analysis, I found it hard to find good data, but I did manage to have data from four sources. I find it troubling that VCers seem to google around until they find a single paper that roughly says what they want then post it without reading. Often when I did deeper, I find that the author intends the opposite of the VC conclusion. This practice of misrepresenting research extends back to the original VCer himself, thus it seems like it’s a tribal custom or religious sacrament.

I scrounged up some more break time and I used google translate:

This seems like a German vehicular cyclist. Yes, the disease is spreading, I wonder if it’s because Germans can often speak English well?

Let’s get started:

“The opinion “bike paths are safe!” Is common, so common that it has almost no longer questioned, but tacitly assumed. There are a number of studies have refuted this dogma.”

Nice! Just like other vehicular cyclists, they assume that anyone who wants separated infrastructure is an idiot who has done no research.

I guess this is as bad as my feelings that those who fight hard for “rights to the road” are idiots who have taken a class which tells them to ride their bike in traffic because it’s “counter-intuitive”.

And as usual, usually I’m right and they are wrong.

Let’s continue:

“Nevertheless, the results presented here are clear: the risk of accidents at intersections is multiplied by cycle tracks, such as at intersections without traffic signals (traffic lights), roughly five times.”

This conclusion is based upon two more papers which are not in English and one of them is behind a paywall.

Usually I do the same tactic and either charge people for the a profit the data in which I argue with people or send people to buy their way into paywalls in order to read how brilliant I am.

Just kidding because I’m not that kind of asshole. I don’t tell people to waste time and money, but rather I link to both pro and con papers to every topic and if I will also personally email people pdfs as well. I urge all my readers to read all of my original data which is all in English.

“Also there are cycle paths not prove as reducing accidents on average.It can best be determined a tie and a shift to other types of accidents.”

I’m not sure if this is a translation glitch or I’m reading this wrong, but above they said that collisions in intersections is increased by five. Now they are admitting that cycle tracks cause no more collisions than riding on the road. If this is true, then cycle tracks are still a win because most would-be-cyclists prefer them. They increase mode share as well as increasing comfort greatly as well as efficiency by getting out of the way of traffic.

But there’s more:

“In particular, dominate when driving on the road accidents between cyclists and stagnant traffic, which could be significantly reduced by appropriate security clearance to parked vehicles. The simple measure to recommend cyclists to keep a distance to the right would make driving much safer on the road again.”

So this paper, which the VCer endorsed said that cyclists should stick to the right. This is similar to what Ken Cross said. But their recommendations, “take the lane” (sic), say the opposite. As usual, I don’t know what to make of this. Certainly the poster did not read this paper in depth as he didn’t feel it was necessary to explain this obvious contradiction.

Did he think that we wouldn’t read the paper and that he could just say that he “did research” by posting a single paper? As I said before, if there’s a body of literature which says the opposite of what you propose, you should at least post that data if not explain why you came to an opposite conclusion. Also, if there’s a range of numbers, you should put the whole range rather than cherry picking a single number from a single paper which bests suits your case.

Also, I noted that the VCers are up to their old tricks again where they blindly count collisions with no regard to whether the collisions are harmless, serious (require hospitalization), or fatal. We have often found that fatalities and serious injuries fall as minor collisions rise. But VCers are either unwilling or unable to make this critical distinction.

I’d also like to note that this paper quotes studies that are mainly in 1992 and 1997. This is before the major bicycle boom in the United States. We have more relevant data from these programs of building cycling infrastructure and the results are promising: building infrastructure increases both mode share and reduces serious collisions and fatalities. Why these big bodies of data were ignored by the original poster and instead we got crusty data from an old German VCer, I may never know.

I can speculate. When a VCer sees data that contradicts his beliefs, his whole nervous system seizes up and the tape loop of his brain rewinds to the time before they saw the data and the ERASE button is pressed. This is why after having shown data to VCers over and over again, they continue to blather nonsense with no recollection of our prior conversation.

“Then there are the findings of the Berlin police in 1986, after the streets with bike lanes took place almost half of cyclist accidents there. But the share of these roads was only 18%. Also, the severity was higher on the streets with bike lanes…

…From 1981 to 1985, the number of accidents on the bike path routes there by 114%, while in the other streets they fell by 9%. The length of the routes has increased in this period, but by only 20%, the number of cyclists barely.”

I’ll let this stand for now as I don’t have any other raw data, other than to say that a long time ago, a German researcher put together some data that said that cycle paths (or cycle tracks, hard to say what is lost in translation) are more dangerous than road riding.

There is plenty of contrary data in the United States, and cycling will continue to be safer due to incremental infrastructure improvements despite the misleading blather by our very minor but very loud Vehicular Cyclists.

Bicycle Lanes Make Intersections Safer

May 16, 2013

Once again, nonsense is spread around the web and once again, I have to debunk it.

First of all, I’d like to mention that I became disenchanted with looking at crash data when I found that things varied so much from city to city to country that comparing things was a waste of time. Also, I learned that making vast generalizations was also usually a waste of time.

Furthermore, it has been my position from the beginning to work towards SEC: safety, comfort, AND efficiency and that infrastructure is the only thing that provides all of those in the lowest cost way.

But each time we get cherry picked data:

Here’s the new VC DB:

“The danger of being hit from behind or being “clipped” by a car passing too close is very small. It accounts for less than 5% of car-bike accidents.”

This leads to this site:

Which in turn leads here:

First of all, you see some strange things which is on the graph there are three data sets, but only a single city Austin has reported motorist overtaking. Note that it is a small amount, n=7 collisions. This is in contrast to the “right hook” where there’s 12 (for Austin).

Thus, overtaking accidents are rare and should not be worried about at all?

I knew that there was something fishy so I dusted off an old chestnut, the VC capital’s assessment of cycling:,d.aWM

“Table H shows how law-abiding, daytime, with-the-flow sidewalk and roadway cyclists come into conflict
with motorists.”

There are a few numbers which are significant, but for now, let’s look at “motorist overtaking”. For bike paths AND shoulders (yes the author combined them together in order to inflate the numbers of “edge riding”), we find that there is a grand total of one crash. ONE CRASH FOR OVERTAKING IN THE BIKE LANE. While if we look riding in the road, that’s 19! For every single person who got hit by a car by “edge riding” we have 19 unlucky cyclists who got the “lane prize”.

From the original article:

“Any barrier that separates the cyclist visually from other traffic effectively hides the cyclist. This is counterproductive to safety. Moving cyclists out of the roadway altogether, on separate bike paths, is even more dangerous, because drivers don’t look for (or cannot see) cyclists off to the side.”

What? Why the fuck would you need to see the cyclist if you can’t physically hit her because of a barrier?

“Imagine planning a right turn in the image above. You approach the intersection, the light turns green, you go. If you are vigilant, you can barely see the cyclist behind the parked car. Now imagine if the cyclist was still a bit further back. She’d be invisible. You’d turn right into her path. Let’s hope she has good brakes!”

Oh, so you are saying that the collision happened when the cyclist LEFT THE PROTECTED BARRIER! So this is the same thing as saying that riding in the street is dangerous. So we agree, right?

No! VC DBs like to make everything an argument and every improvement for cyclists becomes a reason to push their goofy (and deadly) religion.

“These are not hypothetical concerns. The police department in Berlin, Germany, found that on streets where “protected bike paths” were installed, the frequency of cycling accidents greatly increased.”

I’m not going to waste my time on this paper b/c it’s in German. Note how desperate this is where he had to find a paper in German?

But let’s look at the right hook that he mentioned (in Orlando):

Indeed the right hook is dangerous. For those on bike paths AND shoulders combined we get two, count em, two right hooks. So the right hook is twice as deadly as getting rear ended. Let’s look at the right turn for the intelligent vehicular cyclists who ride in a place that’s more visible to motorists: there are six right hooks.


Thus, my original point, riding in a bike lane is safer than in the road.

Let’s look at the grand totals: Total collisions in Orlando getting hit by any direction including their wonderful “door prize”: twelve cyclists. At the same time riding in the road led to 66 (sixty-six) collisions.


In fact there were also more collisions for road riders than for sidewalk riders. Thus, we conclude, riding in the road is the most dangerous place to ride.

The Three Marks of An Advocate

May 15, 2013

Originally, this post was going to be called the more offensive, “you are not an advocate,” but for once I’m not being offensive for the sake of being offensive.

The germ of the post started when a friend of mine was giving a speech talking about all the advocacy going on and my heart sank because I realized that a lot of energy being put into “advocacy” to me was not advocacy at all.

Unlike other posts (I’m looking at you e-scooters), I don’t wish to get into arguments over the meanings of words.

Thus, for now I’ll let people who talk to one person to get them to ride to work a few days a week think of themselves as an “advocates”.

Personally, though, I do NOT consider myself as an advocate. Not only do I refrain from individual advocacy, but I do not do the hard work that it would take to consider msyelf a full blow advocate. I do think of myself as a researcher for advocacy or if advocates are lawyers, I’m a paralegal.

But there are things you can do to become a real advocate.

1. Data driven: Real advocacy is based on facts and numbers. If you don’t do your research then you don’t know what you’re talking about. This is the main problem I have with VCism; it’s too much of a religion to do proper research. Even their papers are distorted by bizarre question begging that only a zealot can stomache.

2. It has measurable goals: It’s great that you want your friends to bicycle, but what’s success? One friend? All of them? How do you know when things are getting better? Cycling advocacy has been around for decades and mode share has been flat or declining for many years. IF MODE SHARE DOES NOT INCREASE THEN CYCLING ADVOCATES HAVE WASTED THEIR TIME. Weaker advocates avoid having goals because that way they don’t get called out on their lack of progress. When they are forced to make goals, they aim low as to pre-emtively avoid feeling like a failure. Good advocates look at what’s a hard goal then they aim higher. Often they exceed everyone’s expectations. Quisling advocates have vague goals like “rights to the road” that are not only not measurable, but they mean almost nothing which allows them to have a free hand to crush infrastructure under the cloak of darkness.

3. People skills: good advocates know that after one has goals and research on how to get there, the way to convince people is marketing. Poor advocates focus on facts and figures when making presentations. Good advocates work on getting their audience to have faith and conviction in their goals and their ability to get there.

I’m sure there are more things that make a good advocate, but off the top of my head, these are the top three.

Safe Routes For Seniors

May 14, 2013

Last Friday, I had the great luck to meet someone wearing a Velvet Underground t-shirt. Who does that?

Of course, I had to talk with her, and we had a great things to share including sharing our favorite bands; she likes the Sonic Youth, too. I wound up giving Mars Volta another shot!

The best thing about it was that she, too, had a data driven approach. This is super-important in the world of advocacy. I’ll talk more about this in another post.

Later, I got an email which has some great ideas on advocacy.

I had all ready talked about how we should get young children cycling safely with infrastructure in order to delay childhood obesity. Clearly, the current system is destroying our children’s health and their chance at a happy future.

However, we shouldn’t for get the seniors or “the other end of the spectrum.”

Here’s what my new friend said, “…the other end of the spectrum is a perfect storm of opportunity for bolstering support.

Considering that the population of seniors 65+ in SD is projected to skyrocket 104% by 2030 and we are living longer, now is the time to start focusing on health interventions that promote exercise (i.e. cycling) and fostering an environment safe for cycling.

After all, what good is a longer life expectancy if our quality of life is poor?

Remaining active is a key factor of healthy aging and helps to prevent a host of negative health outcomes, which is crucial for maintaining a high quality of life into old age. Furthermore, there are studies that prove it’s never too late to begin exercising to see positive health benefits.”

Repost: Brilliant Allies in the VC Nonsense Fest

May 13, 2013

I love this blog and I wanted to comment for a long time:

“Exactly. Bicycles are not cars and should not abide by the same rules because the same rules do not work for two things that function differently. Gotta change the stupid vehicle code that forces people to become “vehicular cyclists”.”

I thought, yes, my prayers are answered. Finally, finally, I don’t have to hear stupid shit like: “Forester had good ideas for his time” or the insipid: “I see things both way” or “I want infrastructure, but we need to ride vehicularly now!”


As my friend said, “I rode for two years, and I followed every traffic law to the letter. Now I do what _feels_ safe and I have not had an accident in five years.”


Then the silly enemy piped in: “Vehicular cycling works once you fully understand and utilize it.”

“I hate those dumb commentors who just talk about their personal experiences. I didn’t even say anything to provoke some personal response from some random probably old guy.

but, yeah, seems i did with the term “vehicular cycling”. gyahhd these stupid old men still exist (ie. john forester and his cohorts).”

YES!! Fills me with joy!

Here’s the best point at last: “If you fully understood vehicular cycling, you would know that it exists to prevent bicycle infrastructure from being built.”


Tell it like it is.

Finally, I feel like I’ve been release from my echo chamber!

Savage Cycling: A New Group To Hate

May 10, 2013

This morning, I was thinking a lot about hate for cyclists and that there’s no group that I belong to which can get hatred.

Thus, I have created a group of my own to be despised by all: savage cyclist!

Savage cyclists are not to be confused with hipsters. Savages think of their bicycles not as a fashion accessory but as their very life itself.

All the men have beards and are sweaty. All the women can fix every aspect of their bicycle.

We aren’t vegan and don’t ride because “it’s good for the environment”, but we’ll toss that out there if it will tweak someone who doesn’t like us.

We don’t follow traffic laws. We don’t harass other cyclists for their behavior and we don’t see ourselves as representatives. We just ride. We’re on bikes, which equals dork in Hollywood. If we really cared what motorists thought of us, we’d just get cars.

Savage cyclists are practical.

We wear whatever the fuck we want. This being said, we usually aren’t too pretty. We don’t really care what you think about our appearance. Hell, I ride around with a garbage bag bungied to my bike, do you think I care?

Savage cyclists are often fast and always proud.

We aren’t vegan: we have no dietary restrictions and have been known to kill our food with our bare hands. We eat bare handed, too.

What did you expect? We’re savages.

Savage cyclists are very close to being homeless and sometimes we are, but unlike homeless, we don’t cycle because we have to. We don’t hate cars and we don’t see our bikes are replacements.

We don’t hate anyone. We don’t judge anyone.

We’d rather ride then sit around, but when we do open our mouths, it’s probably something you never heard before and thus is considered “offensive” by both the softer cyclists and softie motorists.

When we ride, we ride Ninja Style. We are happy riding everywhere; it doesn’t matter if it’s a high speed road or cycle track, if there are peddles, we’ll turn them.