Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 151
  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    13,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If scuba diving had advocacy like bicycling has advocacy...


    • The focus of scuba diving magazines would be... how to make our oceans safer for scuba diving.
    • Almost every time someone died while scuba diving, the diving community would be dominated with talk about how inherently unsafe scuba diving has become. There would be very little interest in learning what if anything the diver could have done to prevent his death.
    • Whenever a scuba diver ascended into a boat anchored at the surface, scuba advocates would generally blame the boat captain (and not the scuba diver for not looking where he was going).
    • You wouldn't need to get certified to go scuba diving.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-13-05 at 04:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Near Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Three road bikes. Two track bikes.
    Posts
    9,317
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't get it... are we advocating SCUBA diving now? It would be safer if SCUBA divers could be protected from trolling nets...
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  3. #3
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    19,677
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Stay out of the shark zone!

  4. #4
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    13,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It just occured to me that the dangers of scuba diving are comparable to the dangers of cycling, but the approach is very different.

    In scuba diving, the focus is on how to be safe (get certified, always have a buddy, leave reserve air in your tank, etc. etc.)

    In cycling, the focus is on whining about how dangerous cycling is.

  5. #5
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    19,677
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is an interesting analogy. Diving and cycling are both assumed to be risky hobbies by most people. I would have thought that the dangers of scuba diving are much worse than the dangers of cycling. On a bike the laws of physics work for you so your bike usually keeps upright and moving forward, and you never have to worry about running out of air to breathe. When diving, physics usually works against you, with pressure, the nature of compressed gasses, water in the lungs, rapture of the depths, etc. The equipment for diving seems much more complex and prone to failure, compared to a simple bike. And diving takes us to a mysterious realm, while we usually cycle in our own neighborhoods.

    However, as Helmet Head suggested, divers are much more serious about safety. They study on land before they even take their first dive, and most continue to study and learn throughout their diving careers. They also take responsibility for their own welfare, rather than relying on strangers to make the seas safe for them. You will probably never hear a diver say something like, "It was like that shark never even saw me before he hit me."

    As cyclists, we often learn everything we ever know in kindergarten, and we love to blame any mishap on cagers, poor road design or an autocentric society. Like divers, we gather to brag about our adventures and our misadventures, but we rarely think about what we can learn when things go wrong.

  6. #6
    Insomniac djbrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Alabama
    My Bikes
    2004 Scattante R650, IRO Mark V, TST /w 2005 Camp. Centaur(RIP thanks to an F150), Specialized E5 TT bike
    Posts
    413
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Stay out of the shark zone!
    Or perhaps "The Propeller Zone"?
    Be Honest and Fear Not.

  7. #7
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Seattle Refugee in Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
    Posts
    3,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your analogy is missing the component of drivers, unless you want to talk about sharks?
    I know you are fond of insistintg that as cyclists we should focus most of our energy on the things we have control over, our behavior and not the behavior of drivers. But I would argue that education of drivers on our rights and responsibilities as cyclists would help alleviate some of the run-ins and accidents that cyclists encounter. Yes, we do a good job of educating by cycling well and acting like vehicles, but we still hear stories of motorists, "teaching cyclists lessons" by running them off the road and I would further argue that even one of these stories is one too many. In what other aspect of life is the penalty for inconveniencing someone bodily harm or death? A thought provoking analogy, but still missing a very important variable.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  8. #8
    Member Velo_Seth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    41
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    Your analogy is missing the component of drivers, unless you want to talk about sharks?
    I know you are fond of insistintg that as cyclists we should focus most of our energy on the things we have control over, our behavior and not the behavior of drivers. But I would argue that education of drivers on our rights and responsibilities as cyclists would help alleviate some of the run-ins and accidents that cyclists encounter. Yes, we do a good job of educating by cycling well and acting like vehicles, but we still hear stories of motorists, "teaching cyclists lessons" by running them off the road and I would further argue that even one of these stories is one too many. In what other aspect of life is the penalty for inconveniencing someone bodily harm or death? A thought provoking analogy, but still missing a very important variable.
    I disagree. If you generalize "drivers" as any "potential hazard which is out of the diver's/cyclist's control" then I would say that drivers (two r's) definately exist and are present on any scuba dive.

    But I think this is a very interesting analogy. If a diver somehow gets in trouble, they analyze what went wrong and try to fix or prepare for it so it doesn't happen again. Divers (or for that matter, anyone in a profession or hobby where risk is high - such as mountain climbing) put a LOT of effort into safety preparation. My experience is that with cycling this is not the case; risk exists but the preparation and thought about safety is often exiguous at best. It may be because cycling is thought of as a common activity and is endorsed by everyone, for everyone: What's the difference between cycling in my neighborhood and cycling on a traffic-heavy road? I know how to ride a bike - I've been doing it all my life - it'll be fine.

    I'm not a proponent of bicycle registration and license endorsements (as some are), but that analogy has got me thinking - it redefines the problem.

    (btw, kind of a side note - this came up in another thread: MA law puts bicycle registration in the hands of the towns and cities - the towns are allowed to adopt bicycle registration systems - as far as I know, none have)

  9. #9
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Seattle Refugee in Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
    Posts
    3,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Velo_Seth
    I disagree. If you generalize "drivers" as any "potential hazard which is out of the diver's/cyclist's control" then I would say that drivers (two r's) definately exist and are present on any scuba dive.

    But I think this is a very interesting analogy. If a diver somehow gets in trouble, they analyze what went wrong and try to fix or prepare for it so it doesn't happen again. Divers (or for that matter, anyone in a profession or hobby where risk is high - such as mountain climbing) put a LOT of effort into safety preparation. My experience is that with cycling this is not the case; risk exists but the preparation and thought about safety is often exiguous at best. It may be because cycling is thought of as a common activity and is endorsed by everyone, for everyone: What's the difference between cycling in my neighborhood and cycling on a traffic-heavy road? I know how to ride a bike - I've been doing it all my life - it'll be fine.

    I'm not a proponent of bicycle registration and license endorsements (as some are), but that analogy has got me thinking - it redefines the problem.

    (btw, kind of a side note - this came up in another thread: MA law puts bicycle registration in the hands of the towns and cities - the towns are allowed to adopt bicycle registration systems - as far as I know, none have)
    But drivers (two r's) are a hazard that can be mitigated (educated) in the same way that cyclists can be educated. IMO just making sure that they understand that cyclists have the same rights and responibilities as all other vehicles. The variables that a diver faces can not be mitigated by anyone but the diver, but cyclists can advocate for better bicycling education during driver licensing, increased bicycle signage (cyclists has right to full use of lane), and removal of unsafe cycling conditions on the roadways. Divers can't advocate for shallower oceans, or nicer sharks. I still see wheeleater drain grates in my travels.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    19,677
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    But drivers (two r's) are a hazard that can be mitigated (educated) in the same way that cyclists can be educated. IMO just making sure that they understand that cyclists have the same rights and responibilities as all other vehicles. The variables that a diver faces can not be mitigated by anyone but the diver, but cyclists can advocate for better bicycling education during driver licensing, increased bicycle signage (cyclists has right to full use of lane), and removal of unsafe cycling conditions on the roadways. Divers can't advocate for shallower oceans, or nicer sharks. I still see wheeleater drain grates in my travels.
    Please notice the words I put in Bold. I agree that it would be great if motorists understood our right to the road. In fact, this is the point I most often argue with cagers in the middle of the street. However, I don't understand how this could make us safer. Imagine that every motorist understands that cyclists have a right to the road, and they even agree with this point. How does it follow that we will then be any safer? I mean you can't be saying that motorists are deliberately running us down because they don't know we have rights? Treespeed, you got some splainin to do!

  11. #11
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Seattle Refugee in Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
    Posts
    3,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Please notice the words I put in Bold. I agree that it would be great if motorists understood our right to the road. In fact, this is the point I most often argue with cagers in the middle of the street. However, I don't understand how this could make us safer. Imagine that every motorist understands that cyclists have a right to the road, and they even agree with this point. How does it follow that we will then be any safer? I mean you can't be saying that motorists are deliberately running us down because they don't know we have rights? Treespeed, you got some splainin to do!
    I've had this discussion with Serge and it would seem unlikely, but it does happen. It is only a small percentage of the run-ins that any cyclist has with motorists, but it does happen. Motorists do intentionally hit cyclists, motorists also intentionally hit other motorists too. How it would make us safer is that it would lessen the few occasions when I have folks buzz me and yell at me to get on the sidewalk. I am a very experienced cyclist and I ride my own brand of self taught VC, but there are still drivers who feel they have a right to teach us a lesson for inconveniencing them for a moment. When motorists then proceed to tap or buzz a cyclist it cuts down on the room for error and increases the likelihood of a crash. It's bad enough with drunks and folks distracted by cell phones, but to also have a group of motorists who don't believe we have a right to the road makes our jobs just that much more difficult. So yes, we need to act like vehicle drivers and motorists also need to continue being informed that we have a right to do so and it seems like the only ones interested in spreading that word is cyclists. I certainly don't see how it can make us any less safe. Any time I've explained to a motorist the reason why I'm riding the way I am and they actually listen, they realize that it makes perfect sense. If I can educate someone at an interesection in a minute imagine what they could do if they started in high school drivers ed and at the DMV. I'm not talking bicycle safety classes, just the making sure that drivers know the laws as they pertain to cyclists. As I've said before on this forum, I've had run-ins with Los Angeles Police who were misinformed on the laws as they apply to cyclists. If a cop doesn't know the law, then what' the likelihood that an average motorist does? That doesn't make me feel very safe. And as a side note I've given up on paragraphs.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Near Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Three road bikes. Two track bikes.
    Posts
    9,317
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cycling and SCUBA diving are very different. All or most of the dangers of SCUBA diving are static and unchangable. So SCUBA divers do their best to adapt to the environment. This means classes and special equipment and preparation.

    The main threat in road cycling is the threat from cars. We like to characterize cars as objects - things which we have no control and who's behavior we cannot change. We forget that behind every car is a person just like us, who has responsibilities to maintain to continue the priviledge of driving on the road. As much as we prepare for our environment as cyclists, to leave out advocating driver education regarding cyclists is just plain dumb.

    Moreover, while education of cyclists is difficult because it has to rely only on outreach, we have the perfect vehicle for educating moterists: the driver's licence. Every driver in the US today has been through the DMV in their state to take both a written test and a driving test. If even two questions are added to the written test that pertain to cyclists, every driver in the US will be exposed to material explaining the rights and responsibilities of cyclists.

    There are two ways of increasing safety on the roads. We can adapt to our environment, and we can change our environment. To focus on only one or the other is to be extremely short sighted.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    22,380
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    And as a side note I've given up on paragraphs.
    No, not that... anything but that....

  14. #14
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    13,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wow. The posts of Roody and Velo_sleuth confirm that I'm not the only one who sees the connection.

    Treespeed, I agree that "[motorists intentionally hitting cyclists] is only a small percentage of the run-ins that any cyclist has with motorists, but it does happen.", but I suggest that motorist education would be about as helpful to solving this issue as education would be for taming sharks. If people are knowingly willing to endanger the lives of others, that's not an education issue.

    The main issue for me is how much, what percentage, of our emphasis should be on something that is extremely rare and practically impervious to our efforts. More on this topic as I reply to Brian...


    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Cycling and SCUBA diving are very different.
    Of course they are, but not in the ways you are about to describe...


    All or most of the dangers of SCUBA diving are static and unchangable.
    With this caveat, practically speaking and for the most part, most of the dangers of traffic cycling are also "static and unchangable" (in the way that SCUBA dangers are "static and unchangable" for divers). This is the point of this thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    So SCUBA divers do their best to adapt to the environment. This means classes and special equipment and preparation.
    And traffic cyclists should also do their best to adapt to the enviroment. For cyclists this is not so much special equipment and preparation (though a bit of both), but education (either from books or classes). Also, experience can be relied on a bit more by cyclists than divers because cyclists can pick different environments with gradually increasing levels of danger, whereas divers face most of their potential dangers in almost any diving environment. Still, just as novice divers keep to shallow depths as they learn so should novice cyclists keep to streets with lighter traffic as they learn, so the analogy holds somewhat there too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    The main threat in road cycling is the threat from cars. We like to characterize cars as objects - things which we have no control and who's behavior we cannot change. We forget that behind every car is a person just like us, who has responsibilities to maintain to continue the priviledge of driving on the road.
    Now this is very interesting. We agree the cars are driven by humans whose behavior we can influence. The difference is you're talking long-term behavior changes, through education, and I'm talking short-term behavior changes, through real-time communication while riding in traffic!


    As much as we prepare for our environment as cyclists, to leave out advocating driver education regarding cyclists is just plain dumb.
    Brian, you have a real annoying habit of misrepresenting a position, portraying as more extreme than what anyone is advocating, and then criticizing it (e.g., as being "plain dumb"). This is a strawman fallacy, and doing so is not conducive to constructive discourse.

    I'm not calling for leaving out driver education regarding cyclists - I'm calling into question the amount of emphasis we -- cycling advocates-- put on the "driver/traffic problem" overall, and looking for solutions outside of ourselves, rather than putting the emphasis on searching for solutions within ourselves (like divers do).

    As potential victims of drivers, we should study their behavior. But I think we could be much more effective at taking driver behavior as a given, like divers take their potential dangers as a given, and learn how to be safe in spite of that danger, rather than beating our heads against the wall trying to change that behavior. This is particularly true considering the vast majority of car-bike collisions involve little if any illegal or negligent behavior by the driver. We are spending the majority of our efforts on something that we can hardly affect, and even if we could, it would make cycling much safer anyway.

    Do you know the 80/20 rule - that says that 80% of the job can often be done with 20% of the effort. It's the remaining 20% that takes 80% of the effort. The way it applies to safe traffic cycling is that the 80% of the job that can be done with 20% of the effort is education of cyclists. The other 20%, which takes 80% of the effort, is perhaps mostly motorist education.

    But also consider how few units of effort we have to work with. Say it takes 10,000 units of effort to solve 100% of the "cyclist safety in traffic" problem, and we have about 1500 units to work with. Well, the motorist education part is only 20% of the problem, but it takes 8,000 units (80%) to solve it. The cyclist education takes only 2,000 units to solve, but that's 80% of the whole problem. How do you think we should distribute our efforts? How do you think we are distributing our efforts?

    What I see is that the vast majority of our effort (say 1400 of our 1500 units) is going towards motorist education, but 1400 is just a drop in the buck of the 8,000 units required to solve the motorist education problem. That 1400/8,000 (17.5%) of 20% of the problem. So we're using 93% (1400/1500) of our effort to solve 3.5% (17.5% of 20%) of the total problem!

    At the same time, we're only spending 100 units against cyclist education. That's about 6.5% of our effort trying to solve 80% of the problem, or it solves 5% more of the total problem. So, by distributing our efforts mostly on motorist education we're solving only about 8.5% of the total problem.

    Now consider if we refocused our efforts, and put all 1500 of our available units against cyclist education. Now we're solving 75% of 80% of the problem, or 60% of the total problem! Doesn't spending an effort to solve about 60% of a problem make a lot more sense than spending the same effort so solve only about 8% of the problem?

    I don't care if some of our effort goes to motorist education, I just think it should be a relatively small percentage. Most importantly, the vast majority of cycling advocacy should go to cyclist education, because that's where we get the bang for the buck! And the first step in that direction is conveying the information about how important cyclist education is, and combatting the idea that most cyclists seem to hold, that we're like sitting ducks out there no matter what we know or how we behave.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-13-05 at 01:03 PM.

  15. #15
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Seattle Refugee in Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
    Posts
    3,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Serge,
    you do have to admit though that Brian is correct in that there is already an infrastructure in place to educate drivers and it would not be such a huge leap to get a bit more info out to the driving public in High School Driver's Ed., the DMV, and private driving schools. I would argue that you have your 20/80 ratio mixed up. Where is the infrastructure for educating cyclists, especially those past school age? As Brian stated what is the difficulty in adding a few questions, a few more paragraphs of instruction, a few more road signs.

    Reaching out to and educating cyclists, especially those who don't feel a need to be educated would be prohibitively expensive. Conversely most cyclists are also drivers, so what better place to reach cyclists. Yes, the cyclists have the most control over their behavior, but we need to choose the best place to educate both ends of the spectrum of road users.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  16. #16
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Boise, ID
    My Bikes
    Giant TCR 0, Lemond Zurich, Giant NRS 1, Jamis Explorer Beater/Commuter, Peugeot converted single speed
    Posts
    2,345
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Interesting analogy Serge, and it made me think of another. When an accident occurs in rock climbing, the discussion is along one of two lines. The first is the level of operator error that might have occured. The 2nd is the level of objective hazard (falling rocks, etc out of the climber's control) that the operator elected to subject himself to.

    I tend to look at riding in traffic much like climbing. I personally believe it is unreasonable to expect drivers to behave in predictable manners all the time and that every time we get on the road, we expose ourselves to a certain level of objective hazard. Usually, we know roughly the level of objective hazard from past experience on that road and make a relatively informed decision to accept that level of risk.
    Although drivers are humans and can make choices and are regulated by rules, they don't always follow them. To expect them to do so at all times and to fail to prepare for the incident wherein they don't follow those rules is to invite trouble upon oneself, IMO.

    I personally see Serge's position as valid; we cannot ignore any posibility that an accident could have been avoided by actions of the cyclist regardless of the liability of the driver. We should look for learning oportunities in every situation. We don't learn a thing by simply blaming the driver and leaving it at that.
    Troy

  17. #17
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    13,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It might be relatively easy for society to "educate" the motorists, but what EFFECT would that "education" have in making cycling safer? I say slim to none. How do you "educate" caring about the lives of other humans? You can't. And when motorists are doing nothing wrong in most car-bike collisions, what good can motorist education do for preventing those? None. So, at best, the effect of even very effective motorist education could hardly make a dent in making traffic cycling safer. I mean, if there was nothing else we could be doing, I agree it would still be worth pursuing. But that is not at all the case.

    Why should cycling advocacy spend a relatively large percentage of its precious resources trying to get the rest of society to spend a relatively small percentage of its relatively vast resources to educate motorists when all that would have slim to no effect on improving cyclist safety?

    Why not intead spend those same precious cycling advocacy resources on trying to get the rest of society to spend a different relatively small portion of its relatively vast resources to educate cyclists on how to ride safely in traffic, something that could vastly improve cyclist safety?

    The issue is about where cycling advocacy should be focused, and why.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Near Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Three road bikes. Two track bikes.
    Posts
    9,317
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    I'm not calling for leaving out driver education regarding cyclists - I'm calling into question the amount of emphasis we -- cycling advocates-- put on the "driver/traffic problem" overall, and looking for solutions outside of ourselves, rather than putting the emphasis on searching for solutions within ourselves (like divers do).

    As potential victims of drivers, we should study their behavior. But I think we could be much more effective at taking driver behavior as a given, like divers take their potential dangers as a given, and learn how to be safe in spite of that danger, rather than beating our heads against the wall trying to change that behavior. This is particularly true considering the vast majority of car-bike collisions involve little if any illegal or negligent behavior by the driver. We are spending the majority of our efforts on something that we can hardly affect, and even if we could, it would make cycling much safer anyway.

    Do you know the 80/20 rule - that says that 80% of the job can often be done with 20% of the effort. It's the remaining 20% that takes 80% of the effort. The way it applies to safe traffic cycling is that the 80% of the job that can be done with 20% of the effort is education of cyclists. The other 20%, which takes 80% of the effort, is perhaps mostly motorist education.

    But also consider how few units of effort we have to work with. Say it takes 10,000 units of effort to solve 100% of the "cyclist safety in traffic" problem, and we have about 1500 units to work with. Well, the motorist education part is only 20% of the problem, but it takes 8,000 units (80%) to solve it. The cyclist education takes only 2,000 units to solve, but that's 80% of the whole problem. How do you think we should distribute our efforts? How do you think we are distributing our efforts?

    What I see is that the vast majority of our effort (say 1400 of our 1500 units) is going towards motorist education, but 1400 is just a drop in the buck of the 8,000 units required to solve the motorist education problem. That 1400/8,000 (17.5%) of 20% of the problem. So we're using 93% (1400/1500) of our effort to solve 3.5% (17.5% of 20%) of the total problem!

    At the same time, we're only spending 100 units against cyclist education. That's about 6.5% of our effort trying to solve 80% of the problem, or it solves 5% more of the total problem. So, by distributing our efforts mostly on motorist education we're solving only about 8.5% of the total problem.

    Now consider if we refocused our efforts, and put all 1500 of our available units against cyclist education. Now we're solving 75% of 80% of the problem, or 60% of the total problem! Doesn't spending an effort to solve about 60% of a problem make a lot more sense than spending the same effort so solve only about 8% of the problem?

    I don't care if some of our effort goes to motorist education, I just think it should be a relatively small percentage. Most importantly, the vast majority of cycling advocacy should go to cyclist education, because that's where we get the bang for the buck! And the first step in that direction is conveying the information about how important cyclist education is, and combatting the idea that most cyclists seem to hold, that we're like sitting ducks out there no matter what we know or how we behave.
    Okay, now we have something to work with. Your OP did not have a position, but rather it was a troll net. I'm not sure about the 80/20 rule. It's a rule of thumb and no more and has no real bearing on the topic except as a generic explaination as to how a hard problem can take much effort but make little gain. I don't know if this is directly relevent without evidence that cycling follows this generality, but okay...

    You contend that a large portion of the problem is with cyclist's behaviors, and that it will take a small amount of effort and resources to fix. I respectfully disagree. A fairly sizable portion of the problem is with cyclist behaviors, but it will take a much greater amount of money and effort in the way of outreach to fix. A vast majority of cyclists do not subscribe to a forum or a group. The person you pass riding the wrong way on the road is not likely to ever set foot in the office of the League of American Bicyclists. The person riding home from the swing shift without lights will not have heard of John Forester and will balk at spending $100 for a decent lighting system we consider necessary for riding at night.

    The point of my post was to illustrate that we have a perfectly acceptable distribution network for drivers of cars, but no such network for cyclists. Driver behavior is the cause of almost all of the problems you hear on this board. We hear of right hooks, left hooks, lectures by drivers on how we are not supposed to be riding in the road. We get buzzed (I guess most of us... apparently not Serge) and we get abused. This is all driver behavior and it keeps people away from cycling. All this indicates that the behavior of drivers is also a sizeable portion of the problem.

    Here is how it stands as I see it:

    1) The cyclists who would benefit most from a formal, mandatory cycling education program are the ones hardest to reach and hardest to persuade.

    2) The cyclists who are easy to reach only need minor behavior modifications to increase their safety in traffic.

    3) The environment on the road, affected mostly by the behaviors of car drivers, is hostile to a new cyclist who is toying with the idea of commuting by bicycle.

    4) The behavior of drivers is easily modified in the long term by using the drivers licensing process.

    5) Since both the behaviors of cyclists and drivers contribute greatly to the problem, focusing on the low hanging fruit, ie. drivers, can eliminate their contribution to the problem. This results in more people considering cycling, and it results in less bicycle-car accidents of the type that the cyclist cannot control.

    6) Moreover, the proportion of the cycling population which will be easily receptive to education can easily be educated by a driver's licensing program, even if it is targeted toward drivers.

    7) This has been put into practice in Oregon, and I have seen it work over the 5 years since I first started bike commuting in Beaverton. It has resulted in Oregon, and the greater Portland area in particular, becoming one of the best places for cycling in the US, despite the rain.

    Now, I have nothing but anecdotal evidence of my own and others, plus some very rudamentary studies I have read to back up these observations. I suspect that you are operating from the same level of ignorance. We will have to leave it as an agreement to disagree unless you have something to back up what you say. If you do, then present it and make your argument again.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  19. #19
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    13,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My favorite quotes from this thread so far, which has turned out to be more fruitful than I expected.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    However, as Helmet Head suggested, divers are much more serious about safety. They study on land before they even take their first dive, and most continue to study and learn throughout their diving careers. They also take responsibility for their own welfare, rather than relying on strangers to make the seas safe for them. You will probably never hear a diver say something like, "It was like that shark never even saw me before he hit me."

    As cyclists, we often learn everything we ever know in kindergarten, and we love to blame any mishap on cagers, poor road design or an autocentric society. Like divers, we gather to brag about our adventures and our misadventures, but we rarely think about what we can learn when things go wrong.
    ...
    I agree that it would be great if motorists understood our right to the road. In fact, this is the point I most often argue with cagers in the middle of the street. However, I don't understand how this could make us safer. Imagine that every motorist understands that cyclists have a right to the road, and they even agree with this point. How does it follow that we will then be any safer? I mean you can't be saying that motorists are deliberately running us down because they don't know we have rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Velo_Seth
    If a diver somehow gets in trouble, they analyze what went wrong and try to fix or prepare for it so it doesn't happen again. Divers (or for that matter, anyone in a profession or hobby where risk is high - such as mountain climbing) put a LOT of effort into safety preparation. My experience is that with cycling this is not the case; risk exists but the preparation and thought about safety is often exiguous at best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sawtooth
    I personally believe it is unreasonable to expect drivers to behave in predictable manners all the time and that every time we get on the road, we expose ourselves to a certain level of objective hazard. Usually, we know roughly the level of objective hazard from past experience on that road and make a relatively informed decision to accept that level of risk.
    Although drivers are humans and can make choices and are regulated by rules, they don't always follow them. To expect them to do so at all times and to fail to prepare for the incident wherein they don't follow those rules is to invite trouble upon oneself, IMO.

    I personally see Serge's position as valid; we cannot ignore any posibility that an accident could have been avoided by actions of the cyclist regardless of the liability of the driver. We should look for learning oportunities in every situation. We don't learn a thing by simply blaming the driver and leaving it at that.

  20. #20
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Seattle Refugee in Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
    Posts
    3,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    It might be relatively easy for society to "educate" the motorists, but what EFFECT would that "education" have in making cycling safer? I say slim to none. How do you "educate" caring about the lives of other humans? You can't. And when motorists are doing nothing wrong in most car-bike collisions, what good can motorist education do for preventing those? None. So, at best, the effect of even very effective motorist education could hardly make a dent in making traffic cycling safer. I mean, if there was nothing else we could be doing, I agree it would still be worth pursuing. But that is not at all the case.

    Why should cycling advocacy spend a relatively large percentage of its precious resources trying to get the rest of society to spend a relatively small percentage of its relatively vast resources to educate motorists when all that would have slim to no effect on improving cyclist safety?

    Why not intead spend those same precious cycling advocacy resources on trying to get the rest of society to spend a different relatively small portion of its relatively vast resources to educate cyclists on how to ride safely in traffic, something that could vastly improve cyclist safety?

    The issue is about where cycling advocacy should be focused, and why.
    So where would you be educating cyclists, and how would you reach them? As we've seen there are very few cyclists who regularly read these forums and attend clubs. Why not get both at once? I'm agreeing that cyclists need to be educated, but it doesn't conversely follow that drivers don't also need to be educated. It is not simply getting motorists to care about cyclists, but simply to educate them that we have a right to the roadway. How can getting out this simple fact not be helpful. I know your a big fan of the EC book, but the CA code is what a 5 minute read? How could it not be helpful to make sure that every driver and high school student in drivers ed. be taught and tested on these facts? I definitely don't agree that such a small amount of education would have, "slim to no effect on improving cyclist safety."

    That you are successful as a VC cyclist is because the drivers you encounter are familiar with the law as it applies to cyclists. I've done and do all I can every day to ride well and educate drivers through my example, the area where I can focus my energy and make a change is through further education of motorists. I've done the %90 for my safety, the only variable for me is the drivers around me.

    I agree, other cyclists need to be educated, but it does nothing for my safety if a hundred other cyclists start riding VC as there are still ten-fold more cyclists riding in the gutter and sidewalk so motorists don't know what to think is correct. You know I'm not arguing that motorists are to blame, but there is room for education and a difference to be made. It is not completely out of our control or unchangeable.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  21. #21
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    13,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Your OP did not have a position, but rather it was a troll net.
    Brian, are you aware that trolling is intentionally misrepresenting one's opinion or position in order to draw out reactions in others? I hope you're not implying that you think I was trolling, here, or in any other post.

    Sharing an opinion, thoughts or external material in order to illicit discourse is not trolling, or a "troll net", unless intentional misrepresentation is involved.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    You contend that a large portion of the problem is with cyclist's behaviors, and that it will take a small amount of effort and resources to fix.
    Sigh. Another strawman. I never said it would take a small amount of effort and resources to fix the cyclist behavior problem. I only contend that it would be much more effective, in terms of improving cyclist safety, to spend the same effort and resources on cyclist education rather than motorist education.


    A fairly sizable portion of the problem is with cyclist behaviors, but it will take a much greater amount of money and effort in the way of outreach to fix.
    It will take a much greater amount of money and effort to fix the sizeable portion of the problem that is with cyclist behavior than what? The amount of money and effort to fix the portion that is with motorist behavior? Do you really think you can make any significant effect on that? What percentage of cyclist fatalities do you think are even due to poor education of motorists? I would be surprised if it were more than 1%. Would you?


    A vast majority of cyclists do not subscribe to a forum or a group. The person you pass riding the wrong way on the road is not likely to ever set foot in the office of the League of American Bicyclists. The person riding home from the swing shift without lights will not have heard of John Forester and will balk at spending $100 for a decent lighting system we consider necessary for riding at night.
    I never said it was easy. I'm just saying that's where we should be putting our efforts. And I've said repeatedly in other threads, the first goal should be to get the concept across, in society in general, that cyclist safety is almost entirely in the hands of the cyclist. This idea needs to be popularized, rather than kept as a hidden secret of experienced cyclists. And it's not going to be popularized in society until cycling advocates stop keeping it their secret.


    Driver behavior is the cause of almost all of the problems you hear on this board.
    What!?!?! Almost none of the problems I read on this board are caused by driver behavior, particular driver behavior that could be improved with education.


    We hear of right hooks, left hooks, lectures by drivers on how we are not supposed to be riding in the road. We get buzzed (I guess most of us... apparently not Serge) and we get abused. This is all driver behavior and it keeps people away from cycling. All this indicates that the behavior of drivers is also a sizeable portion of the problem.
    Wow. Well, this is the crux of where we differ. Right hooks and left hooks are caused by driver behavior? Driver behavior that you think could be solved by motorist education? Do you really think it is or should be the responsibility of turning drivers to look for through cyclists passing them on the right as they are turning right? That left turning drivers should not only look for oncoming through traffic in the oncoming through lane, but off to the side in the right turn only lane, or the right turn only area of the oncoming road? Do you really think you could effectively teach drivers to start doing this more? Let me ask you this... why should they? They can make several thousand turns without all this overhead checking just in case for knumbskull cyclists, why would you expect them to start looking? Even the most conscientious driver is going to forget once in a while. Just like the most conscientious people forget to check back before opening their doors. You can't "educate" away this behavior. You can hardly make a dent in it. It's much, much easier for the cyclist to behave in ways that doesn't leave him vulnerable to these situations. I could go on and on, but I won't. I do hope you address my post #17.

    I thought I read that despite cycling fatalities decreasing in the rest of the country in recent years, they're going up around Portland, where the mentality that motorists, not cyclists, should be responsible for cyclist safety is reportedly rampant.

  22. #22
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Seattle Refugee in Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
    Posts
    3,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quick non-scientific poll of my coworkers in the lunch room of ten folks none knew that cyclists had a right to the lane and were allowed the full rights and responsibilities of vehicles. None of these people are the least bit angry at cyclists, but they all asked me, "why can't you all just be in bike lanes?" Serge, of all people this should upset you quite a bit.

    All I know is that I get no benefit from educating other cyclists, the only benefit I get is from educating more motorists on my rights and responsibilities. I see your point about our responsibilities, I just think there is much more we can do with driver education considering the incredible ignorance on the subject of cyclists' rights.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  23. #23
    Senior Member RocketsRedglare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Newport Beach
    Posts
    275
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Christ, you guys over ANALyze everything. I can understand certifing divers because there are variables and dangers that you can't learn from day to day living

    I would start certifying boaters and climbers way before before I would even think about certifying cyclists. After cyclists what else would you certify. skate boards, roller skates, skiing, sledding.

    Welcome to the Nanny Republic

  24. #24
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    AZ
    My Bikes
    Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
    Posts
    13,881
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Wow. Well, this is the crux of where we differ. Right hooks and left hooks are caused by driver behavior? Driver behavior that you think could be solved by motorist education? Do you really think it is or should be the responsibility of turning drivers to look for through cyclists passing them on the right as they are turning right? .
    HH, Some right hooks are 100% the driver fault. I have never once been right hooked by a vehicle from the same lane as I use dynamic lane positioning to prevent it, but I have been right hooked twice, the second time just this morning:

    I was heading down a multilane 45mph road, light ahead was red, a couple cars stopped in the right most lane. I positioned myself in the left side of lane and started slowing from my cruising speed of 25mph to stop behind the line of cars. As I was slowing a truck behind me accelerated hard, went most of the way into the lane to my left and then suddenly and unexpectedly right hooked me across my entire lane into a driveway that was about 10 yards before first car in line. The driver turned very hard and squealed tires and overshot driveway entrance and went up over curb, while I braked very hard and swerved into the lane to my left to just barely clear his rear bumper.

    This was 100% driver behavior and I know nothing I could have done to prevent this agressive and dangerous behavior. But the fact I was not riding to the far right did help me avoid a collision as I imagine the driver would have still done the right hook.

    The other time was a similar case of me going straight in center of lane at 28mph and a driver turned right into a side street from the lane that was to me left (i.e. the center lane of a three same lane direction road)

    Al

  25. #25
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Near Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Three road bikes. Two track bikes.
    Posts
    9,317
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Brian, are you aware that trolling is intentionally misrepresenting one's opinion or position in order to draw out reactions in others? I hope you're not implying that you think I was trolling, here, or in any other post.

    Sharing an opinion, thoughts or external material in order to illicit discourse is not trolling, or a "troll net", unless intentional misrepresentation is involved.
    Hmm... Perhaps I am mistaken. Aren't you misrepresenting the state of affairs with cycling advocacy in order to draw attention? Is there really no advocacy directed toward training cyclists? Are there really no articles in magazines about safety precautions for cyclists? Do we always not learn from the accidents that happen to some people? Do we always blame the car driver for collisions?

    Maybe I misunderstood.

    Sigh. Another strawman. I never said it would take a small amount of effort and resources to fix the cyclist behavior problem. I only contend that it would be much more effective, in terms of improving cyclist safety, to spend the same effort and resources on cyclist education rather than motorist education.
    Perhaps I misunderstood your 80/20 analogy. Didn't you say that 80% of the problem (cyclist education) could be fixed with 20% of the resources? Small is always relative. 20% sounds small compared to 80%, doesn't it?

    It will take a much greater amount of money and effort to fix the sizeable portion of the problem that is with cyclist behavior than what? The amount of money and effort to fix the portion that is with motorist behavior? Do you really think you can make any significant effect on that? What percentage of cyclist fatalities do you think are even due to poor education of motorists? I would be surprised if it were more than 1%. Would you?
    Yes. Did you read my post?

    I never said it was easy. I'm just saying that's where we should be putting our efforts. And I've said repeatedly in other threads, the first goal should be to get the concept across, in society in general, that cyclist safety is almost entirely in the hands of the cyclist. This idea needs to be popularized, rather than kept as a hidden secret of experienced cyclists. And it's not going to be popularized in society until cycling advocates stop keeping it their secret.
    So, we come right out and say it. On a microscopic level, a single cyclist and a single car, then each has the responsibility to obey the law and each has a responsibility for their own safety. On a macroscopic level, the population of cyclists and the population of cars, laws, enforcement, and education on all sides of the coin are what keeps everyone safe.

    What!?!?! Almost none of the problems I read on this board are caused by driver behavior, particular driver behavior that could be improved with education.

    Wow. Well, this is the crux of where we differ. Right hooks and left hooks are caused by driver behavior? Driver behavior that you think could be solved by motorist education? Do you really think it is or should be the responsibility of turning drivers to look for through cyclists passing them on the right as they are turning right? That left turning drivers should not only look for oncoming through traffic in the oncoming through lane, but off to the side in the right turn only lane, or the right turn only area of the oncoming road? Do you really think you could effectively teach drivers to start doing this more? Let me ask you this... why should they? They can make several thousand turns without all this overhead checking just in case for knumbskull cyclists, why would you expect them to start looking? Even the most conscientious driver is going to forget once in a while. Just like the most conscientious people forget to check back before opening their doors. You can't "educate" away this behavior. You can hardly make a dent in it. It's much, much easier for the cyclist to behave in ways that doesn't leave him vulnerable to these situations. I could go on and on, but I won't. I do hope you address my post #17.
    Don't confuse the inability to defend with the right not to be attacked. I think you do this a lot. I'll bet others agree.

    This discussion is about hot air and nothing else. There are people working both sides of the equation. Support which ever side you think is best and be content that others are working with you on the other side.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •