Archive for March, 2014

Inner Ape Cycling

March 20, 2014

I’m reading an excellent book called _The Inner Ape_.

In it, I found some parallels to cycling advocacy.

One of the them is more detail on how a young upstart chimp challenges the tribe’s alpha male. He doesn’t have to attack the alpha. Just refusing to bow and maintain the proper level of deference will often enrage the alpha male who will later single out the disrespectful upstart for violence.

Similarly, those who ride bicycles must defer to the all powerful transportation alpha, motoring, by paying them the proper level of kowtowing.

Thus, instead of doing what’s intelligent and sensible, and making motoring safer, those who oppose cycling LOVE cycling helmets as the panacea for all road danger. This is because donning a helmet, to a primitive part of the motorist’s brain, is kowtowing. As is wearing neon yellow.

This why “share the road” will NEVER work. There’s an unspoken, and too often spoken, notion that a motorist can kill a cyclist. Until we totally emasculate our normal human minds, the powerful will take advantage of the less powerful.

This also explains why many people have no idea why one would ever want to ride a bicycle. Why roll with the beta class transportation when you are a credit check and a monthly payment away from alpha status?

We can rise above animal instincts through logic and reason, but we must do so in the city planning stage and NOT while cruising through space at 50 MPH plus.

The punishment for not kowtowing, aka not wearing a helmet is the same for not kowtowing in the ape world: the threat of violence. The only difference is that for cyclist’s the threat of violence is veiled. We don’t want cyclists to die, they get hit by “accident”. But if you notice the readiness that anti-cyclists are quick to point out a cyclist’s potential risk, without consulting statistics first, you can see that the violence against cyclists isn’t to be mitigated, it’s to be relished. It needs to be a constant reminder.

We need to constantly hear the danger that cyclists are in because this way, we can keep the threat of violence alive.

I have seen this happen time and time again during debates where I’d flip the script, and I point out that most children die INSIDE cars.

The same people who are quick to protect my poor brain from a high speed car with a piece of Styrofoam are so disinterested at the thought of their own vulnerability, they completely ignore it. This is because the notion of safety is actually a masquerade of subtle threats to control cyclist’s behavior. To dominate. To keep the alpha mode in alpha place.

One who truly cares about safety, as I do, will focus on: triage (the biggest number of deaths need to be focused on first), statistics (bike haters don’t know and don’t care), good design (bike haters blather about “not invented here” nonsense). The jury is in the solutions have been found, but this will restrict motoring a little bit, and as I said above challenge the alpha. Taking away parking isn’t merely refusing to kowtow, but it’s a punch in the face to the motoring ape brain.

Like nearly every other American, I motor, too. But I realize that the only way to win the struggle is by aiming for the heart of the alpha transportation beast. And this means directly attacking the notion that all is well in motoring, We need to stop concealing from ourselves the massive direct carnage and the even less noticeable but more pervasive destruction of human health that is a result of our kowtowing to the motoring alpha.

Thus, to win, we must be able to make people uncomfortable, to put up with some bad feelings, to argue, and yes to “fight”.

Unlike anti-cyclists, who continually blame the victim in an attempt to terrorize the rest of cyclists to start motoring, only, cyclists fight by pointing out the hypocrisy of the government that has money to make the streets dangerous and to victim blame, but not to make cycling safe. We fight by publicizing the shameful amount of deaths that those who design the roads would rather brush under a rug. And we fight at the ballot box. All of this is democratic, civil, legal, compassionate, and moral unlike the underhanded and unethical (and potentially illegal) tactics that anti-cyclists use daily at our places of work, at parties, and on comment forums. How many times are we going to read that “roads are for cars”? This is alpha muscle flexing and yes, a subtle death threat.

The beta who bows and refuses to raise one’s voice and refuses to fight is the eternal beta. The advocate who act beta and urges “peace at any price” sabotage it for the rest of us; they are worse than do nothings; they are counter-advocates.

Put on a helmet. Wear neon. Share the road. (sic)

Lies That Anti-Cyclists Tell Us: Part I

March 5, 2014

For years, I have been trying to get anti-cyclists to speak up and tell us, the normal people of the world who hold rational and balanced views on cycling, what the anti-cycling fuss is? Why so much hate over a guy with a piece of metal between his legs?

All the reasons that anti-cyclists give for their opposition to cycling infrastructure turns out not to be true.

So what is it?

This post won’t answer this question, but it will go over a few lies that anti-cyclists tell us.

1. The biggest lie is that “I’m in favor of cycling, but…” Again, I can only speculate on why people say this.

My best guess is that they consider themselves nice people who don’t want to be called out on their bullshit.

The thing is that while they smile, they’ll stab you in the back with their anti-cycling daggers.

See the word “but” often negate what is said before it. If there’s a but, we don’t hear the first part.

Thus, if you say, “I’m in favor of cycling” the next bit you should say is that for real infrastructure experts to build the infrastructure. That’s it.


Is that what these “cycling lovers” do?

Hell no.

The proceed to take back all they gave us.

“I’m in favor of cycling, but I won’t give up a single parking space.”

“I’m in favor of cycling, but I won’t give up a single travel lane.”

“I’m in favor of cycling, but I listen while I tell a story that makes cyclists out to be criminals.”

“I’m in favor of cycling, but I don’t favor better legal protection.”

“I’m in favor of cycling, but I’d like them to register their bicycles and wear helmets.”

And so on.

Guess what?

This is lie number one. Those who oppose things that will make cycling safer, more convenient, or more comfortable are anti-cycling. Also, those who want to make cycling more difficult, more dangerous, more expensive or less convenient are also anti-cycling. This includes mandatory helmet laws, increased cycling ticketing, and even “education” which tells cyclists how to ride. (I’m looking at you Cycling Saavy/VC/LCI). This does NOT include education which helps someone who isn’t confident to ride such as the courses taught in SF because they are voluntary and they don’t use the existence of their classes to blame people for their deaths. (If he only took the lane). (sic)