Archive for June, 2013

The Authoritarians: Why Do Motorists Hate Bicycles and Bicyclists and Vehicular Cycling In One Book

June 27, 2013

If you ride a bicycle for more than recreation and you talk to enough people, you’ll find that most Americans especially those outside of big cities have their heads filled with all kinds of silly and uniformed notions of bicycle commuting. I had explained previous articles on how I thought that the media did bicycles a disservice by using a bicycle as a symbol for loser as well as using lazy and cruel anti-cycling humor, only, instead of giving us a more balance, well researched, and more interesting view of cycling.

But the media can’t be the only driving force, can it? After all, bicycling is one of the oldest forms of transporation which is still extant and thus it is far from being a radical and new idea. If we have a conservative hankering for the past, we would all tolerate cycling especially those who are most conseravative. Instead of an old timey feel about bicycles, like we get about antique cars, there’s this passionate hatred which goes beyond a metal frame and two little rubber wheels. What’s going on.

Recently, I had a huge break through when I began reading the book _The Autoritarians_ [http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/]

It talked about how there’s this subset of people who are uncontrollably obsessed with authority. At once, I found an explanation for both a rabid cycling hatred as well as Vehicular Cycling. All in one book!

Who are these authoritarian followers who hate bikes. There are three measurable characteristics: conventionalism, submission, and agression.

First is conventionalism which means that they want to appear “normal”. Since there is no cycling infrastructure and there are few people cyling, cyclists are NOT seen as normal. The fact that there are silly things like naked bike rides and Tour De Fat Bike Beer festivals which encourage even more crazy looking behavior, it’s easy to see that someone who rides a bike is doing something transgressive.

This explains such phrases that they say when they see me riding a bike to work, “You won’t get me a bike.” I did NOT say to them, “you won’t get me in your SUV” because I don’t think their choices affect mine nor do they undermine my choices.

The reason why they think that they want them to ride a bike is because they want ME to drive a car. Since they go around trying to impose their lifestyles on others, it’s natural to think we are all like them. We aren’t.

Second is submission, where they submit to the “authority”. In this case, since the government spent almost a trillion dollars of public money and we spent billions of private money creating a system which is optimized for one form of transportation, only, this is the “authority”.

Finally, there’s the notion of agression. This means that authoritarians are quick to see an ambigious threat as a serious and grave one. This explains how one motorist thought that cyclists were threatening his existence by (foolishly) “taking the lane” and why they thought that cyclists standing up to go faster was actually taunting “shaking their asses at him.”

They also are quick to excuse any violence done by an authority EVEN IF IT’S ILLEGAL. And they are more prone to victim blaming saying things like “Roads are made for cars. If you ride a bike, you swim with sharks and you’ll eventually get bit.” That is, if someone does something transgressive (in their mind) like riding a bicycle, they are not likely to have sympathy when something bad happens to the person. “Never should have worn that dress,” is something that only an authoritarian would say.

Finally, Vehicular Cyclist leaders tend to be authoritarian. They know that cycling, which is really a mechanical way of walking a bit faster and not so much like motoring, is strange. Thus, they seek to get everyone to believe that “cycling works best when cyclists act and are treated as operators of motor vehicules.” In other words, cyclists are normal because they drive vehicules. And vehicules are normal, right?

This explains the VC obsession of keeping the word “bicycle” out of the law. They are often in favor of laws which just “happen” to help cyclists, but they don’t say the dreaded word. Instead, they like us all to be under the uniform of vehicle which legally doesn’t mean that much because there are distinctions fo all kinds of “vehicles.” I can’t drive a semi with my driver’s license, for example.

But under the VC regime, we must be “expected and accepted” or “part of NORMAL traffic”. See the urge to disappear into the mass instead of standing out? See why the are so ungrateful when the state recognized and celebrates our difference by building instrastructure just for us? This expains while Cycling Savvy confusingly advocates for mixed use paths (for all of us normals, no weirdos here) and is against bicycle, only, paths and lanes.

There’s far more in this paper, but this is a good start. I feel a whole lot better now that this case is cracked.

Guest Post: Her First Ride

June 26, 2013

My friend/neighbor convinced me to try a long bike ride out of the city on Saturday. We took our bikes to Angel Island via the ferry which seemed like a really long and nauseating ride – too many drunks on a sunny day. Oh well.

So I took my bike out of my room, down 4 flights of stairs and rode from North Beach to the ferry terminal. It was my first time riding in the city. I was terrified but my friend is very experienced and knowledgeable so she led the way. It was a little scary navigating in between cars who were trying to park or speed up so I steered to the side and waited till they passed. I even rode from the ferry building back home to part of North Beach. Decided to walk my bike on the really crowded and busy streets for peace of mind. In all we did all the trails twice on Angel Island Saturday which probably was 10 miles.

I was really proud of myself considering it was my first time in an urban environment. Most of my riding has been on paved trails or empty parking lots. So this was the real thing and it was really fun minus some hiccups and frustrations at Angel Island. Too many people who were walking and didn’t hear me shout that I was coming or kids who were just standing there and I was riding so I ended up turning to the side and waiting. I almost rode straight into the crowd – sunny days meant more crowds at the Island.

There are a lot more classes I want to take on city riding, safety and bike tune ups. There were also some strong winds Saturday and steep downhills so I’d like to add to my knowledge about riding in different weather conditions. I did fall after stopping on the trail. As I was getting off the bike my legs were tired and I ended up getting caught with the bike and landed on the trail. A slight bruised tailbone and some scratches on my knee but all is good. I have a good feel for when to shift gears and balance … only steep downhills scare me but otherwise I feel like I eased right into it nicely.

My friend told me her first time she was riding on trails she was so frustrated and angry because everyone else was ahead of her. She was so angry with herself she tossed the bike into the woods and sat there sulking. She decided to get back up later and start riding again. It’s good perspective knowing a lot of seasoned riders experienced challenges at first but overcame those and stuck with the bike.

You and Unbound are my inspiration for taking the bike on longer trips. I also noticed the owner of a Chinese restaurant in my neighborhood has a crate mounted to the back of his bike for take out deliveries. He delivers to all over the city on his bike.

I do wish there were less cars in the city especially big ones … that would ease some of my fears. But for now more practice and different terrains. Oh and the bike sharing program is coming to my neighborhood in August!

So in short I’m slowly building up my riding skills. I am really surprised at how quick of a learner I was from class to real life without any lengthy training or practice. I just dived right in.

Introducing Haddon: Vehicular Cycling and the Book of Job

June 24, 2013

Hands down, one of the best safety researchers ever, is William Haddon MD.

Good stuff. Let’s look at one of his papers: “Energy Damage and 10 Countermeasure Strategies”

[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1067540/]

Today, these finds are commonly know as the Haddon Matrix. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haddon_Matrix]

“The Haddon Matrix is the most commonly used paradigm in the injury prevention field.”

I’ll just summarize this but suffice it to say to call those in danger “stupid” or “uneducated” is not on his list. It mainly talks about controlling the agent (in cycling the “agent of death” is most likely cars) and controlling the interaction between the agent and the host (aka dedicated cycling infrastructure).

He also speaks of the Book of Job and divine punishment. It seems that Vehicular Cyclists believe in this kind of thing: “The suffering of oneself or some group is divine and well deserved punishment. Therefore sins can be expiated by appropriate change in behavior, it may be ‘too bad’, but there is nothing else to be done to ameliorate the personally or societally undersirable happening unless its an increase in efforts at human reform.”

Think about this next time you here Keri, from Savvy Cycling talking about changes in “beliefs” or “behavior”. Or when we hear about “scofflaw” or “uneducated” cyclists who “deserved what they got.”

Perhaps there’s more that can be done to make the future safer than to hope for the Great Pumpkin of an Educated Populace. Haddon thought so and he’s credited for saving over 5,000 a lives a year by changing things besides behavior, which he thought was of secondary importance, mainly because it does not work.

Bike Boxes: A Big Success

June 18, 2013

Wonderful news:

http://www.portlandmercury.com/images/blogimages/2012/10/16/1350403953-bike_box_letter_merc.pdf

The article notes that they installed 11 bike boxes in Oregon. In most locations crashes were reduced slightly or roughly stayed the same.

In 4 sites, the number of crashes seems to go up. However, all four higher crash sites are down hill. LTRS know that downhill cycling is twice as dangerous as flat ground cycling.

So it was predictable that these spots would be the trouble spots.

LTRS also know that infrastructure tends to draw out more cyclists. In this case this was true! However, there is apparently not accurate counts of the before and after cyclists which renders most of the research speculative. Further confounding evidence is the better reporting by the authorities of bicycle crashes. So there is some (good but confounding) reporting bias.

Not only that but 88% or a large majority of the crashes occurred while traffic is flowing aka stale green. BIKE BOXES AREN’T MEANT TO PROTECT YOU FROM FLOWING TRAFFIC. Thus, it’s a little inane to even focus on these crashes with relation to bike boxes at all.

The point of a bike box is for there to be a safe place to STOP during a red light and for you to be safe when starting up again. According to the linked research this goal was met.

Even more strange, the starting point for bike boxes places you WHERE VC CYCLISTS WOULD WANT YOU TO BE ANYWAY! Why VCers are so opposed to bike boxes is a mystery to me.

They make cyclists safer, they get more cyclists riding, and they reduce ambiguity. A win, win, win.

They do not help sell crappy classes and they are not part of Forester’s American Dream (sic).

Most motorists, post bike box, yielded to cyclists even when they were passing on the right (98%). This means that bike boxes are actually giving us the “Rights to the Road” that CABO and Co with their American Dream start are all too happy to piss away by their insane and meglanomaniacal obsession with eliminating cycling infrastructure.

Not I almost NEVER pass on the right unless there is a red light and I feel it’s safe to filter forward.

Since there are four problem intersections, the engineers are doing what good engineers do, they fix the problem by making their product better. They do not give up and teach us to get back into the cycling equivalent of caves.

Some of their ideas are to ban right turns all together on these streets. That should make accident prone behavior illegal. Other ideas include intersection reconfiguration by removing parking in some cases. Another idea is a separate signal phase for bicycles.

Despite this some idiot VCer misread this as to “prove” that bike boxes make things more dangerous:

” Yesterday, the city released a depressing letter (PDF) to the Federal Highway Administration that shows the bike boxes may have actually doubled the number of crashes.” (sic)

Actually this is not true. The bike boxes reduced the types of crashes that it intended to reduce and got more people cycling. The increased crashes could be from many reasons but there’s no clear evidence that bike boxes caused crashes: “coorelation does not equal causation.”

“What is the city going to do from here?”

If this genius actually read the report it’s spelled out. See above. Or better yet, read the full report yourself.

Some people see only what they want to see which is fascinating to me.

Urban Futurism: Why Urban?

June 17, 2013

Previously, I have laid the groundwork for something called Future Urbanism, but now I will say what it is.
The urban part of Urban Futurism suggests that we feel that urbanism is good. Not to say that Rural is bad nor is Suburban bad. As we have stated before, I love humans, and both of these things are creations of the human mind and ought to be cherished. However, too often we see a contrast made between city and country as if there is some kind of opposition. In fact, both of them need one another.

Thus, for many purposes, it’s actually not a useful idea to make a distinction between rural, urban, and suburban. And it’s definitely foolish to hate urban development. The population is rising and we don’t have any population control. Eventually, we’ll need to put these extra humans somewhere. If they want to live closer together, do we need technocrats in Sacramento and at Caltrans forcing us to live apart?
Thus, one of the goals of Urban Futurism is to eliminate laws that restrict development such as CEQA, standards which induce road building such as level of service requirements, and parking requirements. Cities are not inherently environmentally bad, but in part due to the self-hatred of humans, we have made them seem this way.

Thus the idea is to divide the world into two regions: urban and park lands.

I know that there are many people who love the suburbs, and I think that suburban development should continue, but I don’t think that people living in the suburbs ought to dictate the lifestyle of those who live in denser areas. Thus, we should look to ensure that people who live in less efficient and more spread out suburbs actually pay their fairshare.
Ironically, the urban areas often fund suburban development which in turn bites the hand that feeds it by defunding the urban core.

If we put more money into our basic way of life in cities, people will want to visit and live there.
Think about it, even people who claim to not love cities will claim allegiance to the closest big city. The bigger the city, the more likely people are to be associated with it. This reaches absurb lengths when you hear someone from Cherry Hill, New Jersey claiming to be from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Also, when people go on vacation, they don’t go to a suburb or gated community, they go to cities. Even places like Disney are a facsimile of urban design. They could have put large parking lots next to each ride and have people stay in a hotel far off the freeway, but instead they promote walking and the monorail. Strangely, I never heard a suburbanite complain about what they’d call “socialism”. Nor do they whine that Disney will go out of business because there’s not parking in front of the tea cups.

Disney is clean and our cities tend to be dirty because we choose this.

We don’t value our fellow humans which is why we don’t solve the homeless problem which could be easily solved by continuing the benefits that we have paid to many of the homeless when they were in the military. The rest of the homeless could be housed, for the rest of their lives, for a fraction of the cost of our new freeways and the money we just gave away to bankers when they held our “economy” hostage.
Similarly, cleaning the streets is not that expensive, but it’s just not a priority. This is a shame and we should be embarrassed.

When people come to San Diego, they often come to our downtown. No matter how nice a house is out in the suburbs, this does not refect the glory of our city. If we don’t have a beautiful place for visitors to see we should be embarrassed.

Again, not that we should neglect the country nor our suburban areas, but we should ensure that these places are better integrated into the rest of our city. We should not turn our backs on the parts that we don’t like, but rather we should embrace them and make them better.

Urban Futurism

June 14, 2013

Since I started this blog, I have been thinking of how various values of mine have been perverted by groups which pretend to be in favor of these things.

For example, SOHO isn’t really about saving “heritage” but rather property values. The Sierra Club is basically looking for a good place to camp.
And both of their agitation has made things worse for cycling.

I have all ready talked about how CEQA is a nightmare with it’s stupid LOS “suggestions” which impede good urban design. At the end of the day, kowtowing to these organizations is not only bad for our cities and bad for nature, but it’s also bad for our imaginations and bad for the future.

When we enact something like CEQA or we preserve a building, we need to think of the long, long term. What’s going to happen to this building, which is made of fragile materials, in the far flung future? What benefit does it have, ultimately? And when do we stop? When do we decide that we have enough old buildings? If we continue to create “historic sites” we’ll eventually cover our entire country with buildings, from different eras, which we consider to be “jewels”. We won’t have anywhere to live nor can we make anything better, ever again.

Same thing with in filling which we are against due to our urban phobia. If we keep growing our population and we keep taking up open spaces, what happens when we “fill it all in”.

Why are we not asking these questions now rather than later?

And why do we keep creating denser and denser urban spaces and they say that we “hate” them? If everyone hates them, why do we build them? Why don’t we keep a single house in the woods? Why do we follow this person and build our houses until we wind up with a dense environment? Either we’re stupid or perhaps we’re onto something good?

The downtown is a reflection of the collective values of a given city. If most people say they “hate their downtown” and “never go there”, what does that say about our self-worth? A city is a creation of the human mind; the center of a city should reflect her highest values.

I think that too much, we hate ourselves and each other. This is why we hate the cities which are products of our values; why we don’t think that it’s a good thing to spend public money to make ourselves comfortable outside of our autos. It’s why we cling to the past and to the work of the dead rather than trusting ourselves to build better buildings. The building of tomorow should be more worthwhile than of yesterday. And humans should be trusted to be an active partner in making nature and the environment _better_ than if we restrict human’s visting hours and try to “lighten our footprint.”

Vehicular Cycling A Way to Keep Cycling Useless So More People Drive

June 13, 2013

For years, people have been suggesting that Forester and his ilk (Saavy and otherwise) have pushed vehicular cycling because they want to promote motoring and VC is a way to get people to NOT ride and to deceive the government that people don’t want bicycle infrastructure.

I HATE conspiracy theories as they are stupid among other things.

To my surprise, it turns out that this is true:

http://www.americandreamcoalition.org/forester.html

“Summary: John Forester is a transportation engineer and author of Effective Cycling, which educates cyclists about tools and techniques for safe cycling on roads and streets. Forester’s research has shown that many supposedly bicycle-friendly street designs actually make conditions more dangerous for cyclists.”

That’s cool, they want bike friendly streets, right? No conspiracy here.

Wait! There’s more:

http://americandreamcoalition.org/automobility/automobility.html

“Mass-produced automobiles and their kin, trucks and tractors, are arguably the greatest invention of the last two centuries. Indeed, automobility is a major reason why the United States is the wealthiest nation on earth.”

Not only that but he knows that a behavior drive approach such as vehicular cycling will FAIL.

http://americandreamcoalition.org/pollution/pollutioninfo.html

“Behavioral methods have been and continue to be a costly failure, (yet they] are still popular, because they serve anti-suburb, anti-automobile, and energy-rationing goals of policymakers and activists.”

Hmmm, since he knows that behavior methods fail why is he pushing changing cyclists behavior aka Vehicular Cycling which is another “costly failure”?

He has admitted, to that “bicycles are not going to take the place of much automotive travel that’s being made.”

Chief Quisling not only works for the other side, but he’s proudly on the website that says so. I wonder why this isn’t talked about more often when we hear about VC/Saavy or whatever these classes are.

In his speeches and online, Forester tries to pretend that the “market” just created suburban life, in reality, he’s in favor of massive government intervention and social engineering that will take away all choices but the automobile.

If the “market” wanted freeways, it would have build them. It did not because they are a big waste of money and no developer is dumb enough to waste their money on it. Instead they get the tax payers to build them then they profit from the open land. When their induced motoring (75% of traffic is induced in San Diego which means that it’s generated because things are so spread out) they turn to the government, once again, instead of having personal responsibility for problems their developments caused.

Thus, Forester, while pretending to care about our “rights to the road” is really in favor of making all our transportation decisions for us.

I’m in favor of cycling infrastructure because I feel it is one more choice. I like infill development because I like to walk around like a normal human every once in a while. I don’t fear suburban development will take my rights away. I like the fact that people who have means (without government subsidies) can live in the open country. We have the lane to “take” by crazy cyclists and we have cycle tracks for the rest of us. Choices. We have the suburbs and the city. Choices.

Yet, if you read their site, they are against infill. Why?

It will create a motoring monopoly created by government intervention to force us to spend our money on over priced automobiles.

Thus their version of the “American Dream” is to steal our money by government intervention both by taxes and higher costs of living in motoring.

If people want to live in the suburbs, they should. If they want to motor. They should. I am all for the free market. I am not for the American Dream of Totalitarian Government Intervention.

Manipulative Cycling Advocacy

June 12, 2013

Recently, when I wrote my four part series to defend the great unwashed masses who wanted bike lanes and cycle tracks, I noticed that the Saavy VCers (sic) had used a great number of manipulative techniques.

Wanted to get in on the fun, I loaded up the wikipedia page:

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

“Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics.[1] By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at another’s expense, such methods could be considered exploitative, abusive, devious and deceptive.”

This is something that I can not do as I seek to be honest as well as to give more than I take.

Damn! 🙂

I know that this is a big charge to be making. Why would they want to do this?

The reason is because they know that most people want bike lanes and that most people are not reponding to traditional VC propaghanda. The one thing that is refreshing about Forrester is that he is actually quite honest in his approach. Many see this as off putting, but I actually do like his honesty. He’s also fun in that he creates funny situations like calling people “unthinking cyclists” which is awesome since he’s an “uncycling thinker.”

But cycling saavy has gotten to the next level in propaghanda. They are not going away; they are getting more clever.

Let’s unmask some of what they are doing. Note, I like these things and don’t think that the list below is sinister:

1. Get some older people, younger people, minorities, and more attractive people to ride bicycles, in traffic with normal clothes and sans helmet. Note that they are still working on a few things on this list. 🙂

2. Stop pushing the notion that a child can ride in high speed traffic. (Yes, this is a great step forward).

3. Approach people from the point of view of their feelings and beliefs instead of boring us with loads of facts.

But here’s where things go dark. Since they are not getting results on getting many people to ride in a world in which they allow the traffic engineers to ride rough shod over common sense and basic human decency, the Saavy are turning to manipulation to fill the gaps.

1. “Lying by omission: This is a very subtle form of lying by withholding a significant amount of the truth.” Example is not telling us how many people die in door zone accidents. Another is saying that one is for “some types of infrastruture” then we learn that, behind closed doors, they torpedo all infrastructure projects that does not match their imaginary “conflict points” theories.

2. “Minimization: This is a type of denial coupled with rationalization. The manipulator asserts that his or her behavior is not as harmful or irresponsible as someone else was suggesting, for example saying that a taunt or insult was only a joke.” When we hear that the VCers are getting rid of Forrester, or the groups are “turning over a new leaf”, we have to forget the years of damage that cycling has suffered. We just need to “forgive and forget” even while they NEVER APOLOGIZED FOR THE DAMAGE THEY DID. Nor do they have any plans of doing things better in the future. And yet, outsiders insult us by insisting that we “work together” with these Quisling assholes.

3. “Selective inattention or selective attention: Manipulator refuses to pay attention to anything that may distract from his or her agenda, saying things like “I don’t want to hear it”.”

Anytime there’s a valid argument against helmets, vehicular cycling, or any other kind of nonsense, these objections are NEVER addressed as if by ignoring things they will go away. (Hint: they won’t.)

4. “Diversion: Manipulator not giving a straight answer to a straight question and instead being diversionary, steering the conversation onto another topic.”

Again, this is done in so many ways, I can’t even start to name them.

5. “Covert intimidation: Manipulator throwing the victim onto the defensive by using veiled (subtle, indirect or implied) threats.”

When I first attended some advocacy meetings, I recall biking away from the meeting thinking that if we weren’t “careful” then cycling would be totally banned. Later, I learned that this was bullshit. Nobody said it, but I somehow felt this impression anyway.

6. “Guilt trip: A special kind of intimidation tactic. A manipulator suggests to the conscientious victim that he or she does not care enough, is too selfish or has it easy.”

We often hear how we are “elitist” or that most people agree with us all ready when we fight for infrastructure. If things are easy and people like what we say, this is a good thing. Instead, they try to make us feel guilty for it.

We also hear, ad nauseum, how they fought to defend “rights to the road” as if by letting road conditions to deteriorate for cyclists while pushing for us to ride on dangerous and high speed roads, they did something we should not be grateful for.

7. “Shaming: Manipulator uses sarcasm and put-downs to increase fear and self-doubt in the victim. Manipulators use this tactic to make others feel unworthy and therefore defer to them. Shaming tactics can be very subtle such as a fierce look or glance, unpleasant tone of voice, rhetorical comments, subtle sarcasm.”

Every time I hear about how my questions and facts are a “temper tantrum”, I realize that they are trying to manipulate me into silence. (Note: does not work on me.)

8. “Vilifying the victim: More than any other, this tactic is a powerful means of putting the victim on the defensive while simultaneously masking the aggressive intent of the manipulator.”

We often hear about how “scofflaw cyclists deserve to die.” This is also blame bicyclist first (BBF).

9. “Playing the servant role: Cloaking a self-serving agenda in guise of a service to a more noble cause, for example saying he is acting in a certain way for “obedience” and “service” to God or a similar authority figure.”

We hear about how some people “served on committees for years because they care about the community.” To quote the Clash, “if you’ve been trying for years, we’ve heard your song.” So shut up.

10. “Feigning innocence: Manipulator tries to suggest that any harm done was unintentional or that they did not do something that they were accused of.”

For years, I have complained about racist comparisons between infrastructure, and real world harms to groups of people. Each time they are called out on it, they pretend to not understand what all the fuss is about. Guess what group is being used by old white guys to promote their insane and dangerous cycling “rights” (sic).

11. “Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else’s behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another.”

We see this when those who fought infrastructure for years now flaunt their years of service and their old age as if they are some poor innocent victim rather than someone, for years, who has spoken, in secret, against the wishes of the community, all the while knowing that this is wrong. Now we are supposed to feel sorry for them because they are miserable failures at getting people to ride in their crazy style which nobody wants. Boo-hoo. You should have embraced the community, been honest about what you wanted, and more trusting that the government was going to work with you to create a better world of cycling. Or you could have STAYED HOME AND WE WOULD HAVE NICER THINGS.

There are many more tactics.

Overall, what I’d prefer, instead of all this nonsense is:

1. Better studies with better data for how to get cycling to be more efficienct, more comfortable, and safer.

2. An honest statement of one’s intention. If one wants to ride in traffic because it’s faster, personally, and to keep cycling marginal and unpopular so one can feel like a special super hero, just say so. I’m perfectly honest about wanting my world to be set up so I can meditate all the time and not really pay too attention to what I’m doing safety wise.

I don’t want to wear a helmet because it’s uncomfortable and it’s a mood killer. Let’s get others to just as honest!

3. Leave people alone who want to be left alone.

I don’t know how many people told me to wear a helmet, take a class, get off the sidewalk! Give me a break. I like the way I ride. I’m perfectly happy the way I am. I would like to see a cycle track from house to my job. THAT is the type of help I need. If you can’t offer that to me then buzz off.

Savvy Cycling/Vehicular Cycling Exposes People to Liability and Even Criminal Charges

June 11, 2013

For years, I have been pointing out Vehicular/Saavy and whatever name they are repacking this very old and sour wine in, is extremely dangerous.

Now, we find out that, ironically, Vehicular Cycling has created a legal nightmare for those who practice it.

This is especially funny because for years, as per the _Effective Cycling_ playbook, VC DBs have been using vague legal threats to crush any kind of safe cycling infrastructure. Also, they love to whine about minor transgressions that cyclists have done like rolling stop signs. Many of them accost cyclists who they feel are not riding “properly” or “legally.” Most of them are in favor of higher penalties for things like riding sidewalk and they are in favor of more ticketing of “imporper cyclists.”

Now they are on the other side of the legal barrel and they are responding like they respond to everything that does not go their way. Like whiny bitches.

http://iamtraffic.org/enforcement/the-enforcement-of-imaginary-laws/

Notice the title all ready shows that they have disconnected themselves from reality “imaginary laws.”

For years, I have stated that there are two sets of laws. The first is the written word and what we feel is our interpretation of the law as it is written.

The second law is what I call the real law. This is the interpretation of the law by enforcement agencies such as judges and the police. Intelligent people ignore the first law is it is confusing, and only pay attention to the second.

To put it another way, IF POLICE AND JUDGES PUT YOU IN JAIL FOR BLOCKING TRAFFIC, BLOCKING TRAFFIC IS ILLEGAL. End of story.

Each time, I hear about these kinds of things, I feel very, very happy, and I hear this song in my head:

“Velvet Goldmine, naked on your chain
I’ll be your king volcano right for you again and again
My Velvet Goldmine”

Or in this case, the VC DBs are not in chains, but they are in prison:

“The charge is unsupported by TX statute [sic], and yet he was convicted of reckless driving and sentenced to time served (20 days).”

Here’s where they prove that “Sharing the Road” is a phrase which is corrosive to cycling and ought not to be said:

“Nowhere is the bias more glaring than when an officer pulls a cyclist over for using one lane on an empty six-lane road on a Sunday morning. Then, during the stop the officer repeatedly asserts that the cyclist is failing to share the road by not riding at the far right of that lane. This might raise the question, with whom exactly is he failing to share the road?”

Also, note, that while VC DBs have yelled at me for riding on the sidewalk, I was, in many people’s minds riding “lawfully” while the VCers are the “scofflaws”:

“In the case of the cyclist who was told over the PA to get on the sidewalk, there is little recourse for dealing with the individual officer unless the officer stops.”

Um, if they tell you to ride on the sidewalk, ride on the sidewalk. And smile. Cycling is supposed to be fun.
By having fixed beliefs, “don’t ride on the sidewalk”, we run into legal trouble.

The only sad part of this story is that those who taught “cycling safety classes” remain unsued. Why are those who were taught the law not suing for their money back as well as damages for this misinformation?

I’m pleading with those who teach classes everywhere: STOP TEACHING PEOPLE TO RIDE IN THE ROAD. YOU ARE EXPOSING THE CYCLING COMMUNITY TO LEGAL JEOPORDY AND GETTING EVERYONE TO HATE US.
I ALWAYS ride to the side when there’s faster traffic and try to allow for cars to pass me. This behavior has gotten me zero tickets and no harassment from the police. Last time I was stopped by the police for what they said was “rolling a stop sign” for not putting my foot on the ground when I stopped–I did come to a complete stop–I did NOT get ticket. They said I should put my foot down. Now I do that.

I have to ask how does it feel, for Vehicular Cyclists, who for years have said that they were teaching us how to ride legally, it’s turning out that they are actually lying. They are promoting breaking the law.

If they had pushed for REAL infrastructure, not sharrows, it would be clear that they do belong in that cycle track instead of leaving the roads in their totally confusing state which has no signs that cyclists can follow safely and easily.

Worst of all is how the Quislings stabbed us in the back over and over again. When we had troubles with the law in San Diego, the “experts”, LCI’s, etc did NOTHING to help. The only people who helped with these questionable “right to ride to the left” was infrastructurists like in LA country, for example. How ironic. When we turned around and asked for reciprocation from the VCers, we got nothing.

Actually, nothing, would have been a welcome gift. In fact, what we got was VCers from all over the country who came to fight our infrastructure. True Quisling behavior.

But this was a necessary part of the VC Brezhnev Doctrine which states safe infrastructure anywhere in the US is a threat to all Vehicular Cyclists.

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

“When forces that are hostile to socialism [Vehicular Cycling] try to turn the development of some socialist country towards capitalism [infrastructure], it becomes not only a problem of the country concerned, but a common problem and concern of all socialist countries [Vehicular Cyclists].”

This is because if we get safe infrastructure in one place, we’ll accumulate data that shows that its safe and they argument that it’s “untested” and “unsafe” will be invalidated.

Also, if people see it, then they will want more of it. Finally, there will be legal precedents and their scary, but nonsensical “liability” arguments will go away. The only real legal “liability” is Vehicular Cycling.

So we have learned. Don’t help VCers, they are not grateful. They will not reciprocate, they will not listen, they don’t read science, and they will NOT help you. They will get you in legal trouble, and when you are there, they will not compensate you by at least giving you a refund for their “legal advice” given by non-lawyers which lands you in jail.

love,

Fred

//

Cyclists Aren’t Special; Cycling Is Special I

June 10, 2013

It seems like all the morons have decided that there weren’t enough posts and not enough bile in the Unbound world.

Here’s another poorly researched and badly thought out POS:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/05/bikers-dont-deserve-any-special-treatment/5565/

“Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced an ordinance that would double the fine for “dooring” a cyclist. Motorists who open their doors into the path of a person riding a bicycle, one of the most dangerous hazards that bike riders face, would have to pay $1,000. This is good. Dooring kills people, like Neill Townshend.”

In reality, many cyclists get hit by doors in Chicago, and yes, some die. But this is not the biggest threat to cyclist’s lives. Left hooks are more harmful, but VCer NEVER talk about the left hook because the cyclists are riding vehicularly. As I said previously, VCers don’t really care about safety, they just care about riding style. This is the _only_ thing that explains how incredibly inconsistent they are.

Getting good data is hard, Orlando has some of the best for the Cross style break downs:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.metroplanorlando.com%2Ffiles%2Fview%2Fbicyclist-crash-study.pdf&ei=7iuuUe20NaGFyQGc0oGIBQ&usg=AFQjCNGwTEaAQo2aLM40c9Ljj0OZh8Rvjg&sig2=eSvNlTKyqlfEEitpfKXUXg&bvm=bv.47244034,d.aWc&cad=rja

Note the there are zero deaths from dooring and a single death (1/17 total) for left hook. Yet, they recommend to “take the lane” when making a left turn instead of pushing the button. I suggest that in high speed roads, the person should hit the button and walk one’s bike, legally, in the cross walk. This also lowers one’s chances of getting tickets.

Back to the article:

“At the same time, Emanuel proposed increased fines for cyclists who break the law, bringing them from $25 up to $50–$200. This is also good.”

Note that this is a mark of a Quisling. As I said before, if you are an “advocate” you give your side the benefit of the doubt no matter what your side does. Let the other side cheer higher fines for cyclists. But no, cyclists, only, seem to be insane control freaks who care more about impressing motorists with how “law abiding” they are and forcing us to ride in their particular style no matter how stupid and dangerous it is as well as wearing stupid, identical yellow vests and plastic hats.

“It was a move that the Chicago Sun-Times referred to as “even-handed.”

How is it even handed when motorists kill hundreds of us and we don’t get properly compensated for this blood? How is it “even handed” when motorists get >99% of the budget and we get zero percent of the “real estate”? We only get space on the roads if we can somehow convince them to “share the road”. Pretty, please.

“”Too often we see people on foot, on bikes and driving cars traveling recklessly,” wrote Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance, Chicago’s largest and oldest cycling and pedestrian advocacy group.”

Why are we “reckless”? Because there are high speed cars that can kill us. Remove the high speed cars and our behaviors will be seen as instinctual and normal. We evolved for millions of years to walk. We don’t need a code of rules to do this safely unless people are creating a super-dangerous situation. So thanks, Quisling, Ron Burke, for stabbing us in the back.

“”Active Trans supports increased traffic fines as an important way to improve safety (along with better education and infrastructure).””

None of these things work.

“Some people commenting are mad. The ordinance should have included a provision for “Idaho stops” that would have allowed cyclists to slow at stop signs and red lights before cruising on through! Cars cause more damage when they hit people than bikes do! It isn’t fair!”

Why is it fair to constantly rewrite the rules aka the 85% percentile rule but not for normal and expected cycling behavior? Everyone I know says, when they find out I cycle, that ALL CYCLISTS RUN STOP SIGNS. OK, then this is a lost cause, why are we fighting it. (Note: Please do not run stop signs unless it is legal where you live. UNBOUND LEGAL RECOMMENDS AGAINST BREAKING ANY LAW. EVER. Also, I personally, follow all stop signs.)

“What’s happening in Chicago is the same thing that’s happening in cities all over the country: Bicycling is becoming mainstream. According to the city’s figures, 20,000 people now ride their bikes to work in downtown Chicago on a regular basis. That’s up 200 percent since 2005.”

Bicycling is becoming slightly more popular but to double a small number in 8 years is hardly “mainstream”. Let’s be real here. Until we break 33% mode share we’re not really mainstream. We’re really niche.

“Riding a bike in the United States has long been perceived as a statement. Being a bicyclist has been an identity, burdened with its own identity politics. The cyclist as renegade, outsider, maverick, or outlaw – that has been the image, or self-image, depending on where you stand on the “issue” of cycling.”

Notice how there is no subject here? Really irresponsible. Who feels this way? I don’t. I wrote a few articles on how I hate my bike to be a symbol of anything. I realize that other people believe this, but I’d like to know who they are.

“The flip side is that in places like Chicago, they have also been ticketing bicyclists for violating laws. In New York, the Department of Transportation has deployed safety officers on busy bike routes to remind people of the right way to ride. Ticketing blitzes seem to be happening more regularly.

This is what has to happen for things to get to the next level.”

No, this will make cycling less attractive. Following traffic laws is not the same as being safe. Most people ride to be safe, not to avoid tickets. Cyclists kill almost nobody so what problem are tickets trying to solve?

Try building a few bicycle only freeways, if you’d like to “mainstream” cycling.

“In New York, the city where I live and ride and walk and drive (which, yes, I do sometimes), cycling manners remain appalling, despite advocacy campaigns like “Biking Rules” to change that. Take as an example Court Street in Brooklyn, a hundred feet from my front door. I walk up and down this busy street several times a day, and on almost every trip I see people riding their bikes against the one-way traffic. It’s stupidly dangerous for them, for other cyclists who are riding with the traffic, for pedestrians, and for drivers of motor vehicles who might be forced to swerve to avoid a crash.”

Haha, forcing drivers to swerve to avoid a crash is called Vehicular Cycling which I am against. All “bicycle safety classes” that I know about teach this form of riding. So if you are against this type of riding, like I am, you are against education.

Yes, cyclists get ticked for “taking the lane”. I am against this, also, because unlike VCers, I am for ALL cyclists.