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  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Eight advocacy/safety related questions

    Just some questions about your opinions. These are questions of personal opinion, so there are no right or wrong answers. This is meant to be only food for thought.

    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?
    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?
    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?
    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?
    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?
    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?
    7. Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?
    8. Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?

  2. #2
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    To #8:
    Any sharing of any road should be done in such a way so as not to impede same-direction motor traffic. Bike lanes help to keep same-direction motor traffic unimpeded, as do left and right turn lanes.

    That said, there are other ways to share a road with minimal to no impedement, but this question was about bike lanes specifically.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    1) Not much. It's not up to me to convince the world that cycling is a great thing. If people see that I enjoy riding for transportation and pleasure, and are curious, I am happy to answer questions and help them out. But I don't see myself as having a mission to convert the world.

    2) If I understand the question, I think it's okay.

    3) I think it's fine.

    4) I don't know. There is probably some effect, but how it's weighted in overall decisions I couldn't tell you. Now that it's cold and snowy out, most people comment on that when they express surprise when I commute by bike.

    5a) Very important.
    5b) Not really.

    6) Lane position is not very important for being noticed. It has been my experience that that is the case. (Lane position is important for other reasons.)

    7) In general I believe that they do. The why is that there is some infrastructure, maybe nothing more than a stripe of paint or a sign, that says "The gubmint sez you can be here." It would be hard for someone to tell me to get on the sidewalk in the face of such reinforcement.

    8) No more than I would, being a courteous rider, try not to impede traffic any more than is neccessary.

    Bike lanes are, for the most part, academic to me. They don't exist on any of the routes that I commonly ride. I think I would like some indication, signs, or striping, as a reinforcement of my right to be there on the busier roads. But I'm surviving okay without it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Just some questions about your opinions. These are questions of personal opinion, so there are no right or wrong answers. This is meant to be only food for thought.


    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?
    1. Not very important to me personally. I do what I do and I enjoy it. Trying to change the world is not what I do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?

    2. I think all new roads should be made bike friendly, whatever that means. Extra wide lanes seems good to me.



    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?
    3. I'm not quite sure what you mean by negotiate for the right of way. I just take what I need to be safe and try to avoid left turns. I don't mind if traffic has to slow for a short time, but I would rather stay out of the way when there is room.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?
    4. Very strong. Most people I talk to in this area (Deep South) ask me about how dangerous it is to ride and commute on the road. Many people think I'm crazy for riding in traffic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?

    5. It is very important to me that I retain the right to use the road. I have no reason to believe that I could lose that right in my city.


    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?
    6. I think drivers see us very well in daylight hours whether we are in the middle of the lane or riding in the broken glass on the edge. However, I have found, like many others, that riding in the right wheel track, or "taking the lane" makes the driver move over to the left more to keep from hitting us. I believe this based on personal experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    7. Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?
    7. I don't think bike lanes give any messages. Bike lanes just give us a "reserved space". Drivers know this, even though they move into the BL during times of inattention. What I don't like is the law not making the BL more strictly reserved for bikes. By this, I mean "no cars allowed." In my town, people park in the BL all the time. Of course, there are very few BL's anyway. By "belong on the road" you mean in the lane as opposed to in the bike lane, away from the more important automobile? I think this is established by the messages given by our city leaders, public info campaigns and laws made to protect cyclists more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    8. Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?
    8. Once again, I don't think bike lanes give off notions or messages. Drivers want us out of their way and they don't want to be slowed down by us. Drivers don't love to drive usually, they love what driving does for them. They get things done faster most of the time and they can bring lots of stuff with them and they can be relatively safe doing it.

  5. #5
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses so far. I, for one, find them to be interesting.

  6. #6
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?

    It is somewhat important to me because I think it would be nice to have more bikes and less cars on our roads.

    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?

    I think it shouldn't ever be a problem but some motorists don't seem to agree.

    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?

    I believe negotiating lane changes in busy high speed narrow lanes can be tricky, and most motorists have never seen a cyclist attempt it. (at least in my experience) It is definitely an advanced cycling skill that may be a little easier in some area's where there's a higher percentage of cyclists.

    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?

    I believe it is fairly strong. At least that's what I hear from people who know I ride in traffic "with the cars". That many people feel this way isn't really much of a surprise.

    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?

    Retaining our rights is of course very important. I do think there is some risk of slowly losing these rights. Hopefully we will do what it takes to prevent that from happening.

    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?

    I believe lane position makes a big difference in how much attention a cyclist gets from others, motorists especially. Even though a cyclist off to the side may be noticed, (s)he will never be considered as important to a motorist as one who's in a traffic lane. Being in a main traffic lane not only makes one more relevant to others, but it also makes it easier for the cyclist to exercise their right of way.

    7. Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?

    There are no bike lanes in my area so my opinion is only based on what I read. I seems to me it can go both ways. On one hand yes, there's the stripe and signs that say bikes belong, on the other, some people may then think that's the only place bikes belong.

    8. Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?

    Probably, but isn't that part of their design? Not impeding traffic is a good thing. I imagine most cyclists will try to stay "in their lane" and therefore motorists will become accustom to this and expect it even when it may not be practical for the cyclist.
    Last edited by AlmostTrick; 02-21-07 at 09:08 PM.
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  7. #7
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    #4: I think the belief that cars & bikes shouldn't mix has been deadly for bicycling generally in this country. Many people, including people who should know better, seem to think that riding in traffic is simply too dangerous. My own experience suggests that riding a bike among cars, if done with half a brain, is perfectly safe, but not everyone will believe this. And, to be honest, the Advocacy & Safety forum's tendency to paint every single accidental death of a bicyclist as part of a nefarious plot by motorists to cleanse the streets of our presence doesn't help, either.

    #5: As far as I can tell, every state in the US has it officially in their traffic laws that bikes have a right to the road. I don't see that changing. Where I live, in WA, such a development is completely impossible. In fact, the city of Seattle is currently trying to come up with ways to encourage the use of bicycles.
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  8. #8
    JRA
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    How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?

    Not very important because I am not out to save the world.

    What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?

    I don't think of those things much at all, even less than I think about balancing on a bike. All those things are just a natural part of bicycling.

    What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?

    I think if they practice enough they should be allowed to do it for real.

    How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?

    The relationship is weak. Bicycling is not more popular than it is because (a) it requires a person to get off their butt and (b) society takes a dim view of anyone who rides a bicycle for transportation (people think that the only people who ride for transportation are people who can't afford a car or can't get a driver's licence for some reason). Many bicyclists share this bias with the general public.

    How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers?

    It is extremely important, more important than all other considerations combined.

    Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?

    Because of the word "any" in the question, I think there's only one reasonable answer. Yes, there's some risk. The risk will be greater if bicyclists become so divided arguing over relatively minor issues that they cannot speak with one voice on the right to use the road. I do not think the risk is anywhere near as great as some would have us believe.

    With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?

    There is no simple answer to this question. Lateral lane position may, in some situations, somewhat reduce the likelihood of innattention blindness being a reason a motorist doesn't notice a same direction bicyclist, because motorists are lazy, often don't pay enough attention and may not even bother to look for something outside their intended path. Whether there is any practical use of this information is another question. Not really would be my guess. Other factors, such as clothing color and lighting, are considerably more important to being conspicuous than is lateral position.

    Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?

    Possibly. I don't know. If they do it, the do it by setting aside a place on the road for bicyclists to ride. I doubt that the effect is very strong, if it exists at all.

    Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?

    I think you mean "The Notion".

    The origin of The Notion is complex. I have no notion of what the long term effect of bike lanes on The Notion will be (just as I'm unsure of the effect on The Notion of "Share the Road" signs). Bike lanes will have secondary effects that are very difficult to predict and will be very difficult to measure. In any case, The Notion is widely believed and ingrained in the American automobile culture. The effect of bike lanes is surely much less significant than other factors.
    Last edited by JRA; 02-22-07 at 04:56 AM.
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  9. #9
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Just some questions about your opinions. These are questions of personal opinion, so there are no right or wrong answers. This is meant to be only food for thought.

    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?
    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?
    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?
    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?
    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?
    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?
    7. Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?
    8. Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?
    Forst, HH, My compliments on a good thread!
    1)Extremely!
    2) I do it all the time, I just remember that I am less visible to the driver and ride with the idea that for some reason I am invisible, just like if I was truck or motorcycle and am prepared to react accordingly to another road user screwing up.
    3) I try not to interfere with traffic flow if possible and if the risk is too high, I've been known to pedestrianize and walk the crosswalk if I have no other option. If I can and the process is doable in a safe way for all, I'll occupy the lane and merge to the turn lane. In a situation where I might get right hooked on the right lane at a light, I WILL move to the left in a lane as I won't impede traffic more than a few seconds at most getting through the intersection.
    4) I think it's fairly strong, if you take the responses of my friends and family as an example. This Summer, I am planning a tour in Indiana and my friends and family are aghast that we're going to ride 700 miles with NO CAR along for support. Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of an unsupported tour?
    5)a)Extremely
    b) Not very likely!
    6) THis is totally situation dependent. We've disagreed in the past with my belief that you should ride like you can't be seen for one reason or another. I prefer to think of it as riding defensively without impeding the faster traffic. This doesn't mean being a gutter bunny, by the way, but it does mean I ride with the viewpoint that I may need to react to another road users mistake because they didn't see me. I do try to maximize my visibility though.
    7) I don't believe that they convey the message that they SHOULDN't be there. Frankly, I'd prefer a totally separate infrastructure useful nationally, not for reasons of safety, but instead, so I could ride coast to coast without breathing exhaust if I want to do it!
    8) No, but someone needs to remind the auto users from time to time!
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  10. #10
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    1) I consider it rather important. Overuse of cars has reduced the amount of physical activity of our country in general, and I feel that is a significant contributor to the obesity problems here.

    2)Sharing roads where practical, yes. Sharing freeways, hell no. I believe there should be reasonably accessible alternate routes in place for slow moving vehicles of some flavor. Having folks ride on 55mph+ freeways is just dangerous....that's a 40mph speed variance if the rider is really moving...the thoughs of a collision with that speed variance gives me the chills.

    3) if the law is on their side, and the rider is clearly signaling, no foul. If the driver's can't handle it...then that's their problem. Impatience is a character flaw, not a right.

    4) I don't feel that has much to do with it...I feel it more or less has to do with the misconception that successful people need cars, and that riding to work, shop, etc on a bike implies you don't own a car (which is also a often innaccurate and ignorant line of thought).

    5) I believe that we should have equal rights to the road, so long as an attentive and law-abiding driver can easily react to our presence without causing risk to either party. Since most roads are designed around the magical 45mph number...which puts the speed variance almost on par with a ped in a residential neighborhood...I think we will not lose that right anytime soon. That is so long as we don't act like tools and alienate the people who would vote on such measures.

    6) Honestly, I think that center lane positioning is worse, since at least over here it inspires road rage. I found using the right 1/3rds of the lane does the best for me. That puts me close enoughto center to get the driver's attention, but far enough over to let them easily pass me....best of both worlds. Sharing the road means being fair to each other....and if I'm slower, I might as well make it easier to let them get by. HOWEVER...if I hit a pot I know I will get buzzed at, I WILL take the LEFT 1/3rds of the lane. This puts a quick stop to that.

    7) Yes and no both. After all it is a lane on the road, much like carpool lanes....does a carpool lane mean carpooler's aren't allowed on the road?

    8) I fele the goal of the lane was to reduce trafic impediment. Since they are sharing the road, yes it does support that, although in a manner I feel is less than ideal. I prefer wide outer lanes over bike lanes.
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  11. #11
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Just some questions about your opinions. These are questions of personal opinion, so there are no right or wrong answers. This is meant to be only food for thought.

    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?

      Very important, for fitness and recreational reasons.

    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?

      It is Ok with me provided cyclists realize they are secondary road users.

    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?

      Negotiating for the right of way is acceptable (if not easy) under most circumstances; 'taking the lane' is unacceptable.

    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?

      Cycling would be much more popular if the rabid "I own the road" cyclists would stop with their endless stories about how rudely they are treated by cars and other vehicles. In my 30 years and 250,000 miles of cycling in the US and dozens of other countries, I have found motorists to be courteous and professional under almost all circumstances.

    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?

      Since I don't think bicycles are 'vehicles,' I can't really answer this question.


    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?

      Whatever your lane position, the more professional you are as a rider/driver, the more you will be 'noticed' and accomodated. If you dart in and out of traffic willy nilly you can, will, and probably should be ignored.



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  12. #12
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?
    I don't think it's a good idea to try to make cyclists out of people who don't want to do it. That's just misguided. There are some people who will never enjoy cycling, no matter how much I think they should.

    But on the other hand, there are probably many, many people who would be enjoying cycling that aren't, simply because there are some hurdles in the way. I'd love to see these people start riding. Why should anyone be robbed of something they would enjoy, just because of some things that are in the way of them starting? People who already enjoy cycling should do what they can to remove those obstacles.

    What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?
    I don't see how anyone can get anywhere on a bike without sharing the road with cars.

    What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?
    Again, it's impossible to get anywhere on a bike without having to negotiate with motor traffic.

    How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?
    There is a relationship. The solution is many-sided, and needs to include a variety of approaches. But there are many people who will never want to mix with motor traffic.

    How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?
    Again, a cyclist needs access to the road to get to all destinations. High-quality bicycle facilites can enhance this ability, as can greater awareness of road rights of cyclists.

    Cyclists, like all citizens, can never take for granted their rights will never be abridged. That does not mean our rights are in imminent danger of being lost, but we must always be ready to work to keep our rights intact, even if it means doing so in communities far away, helping those who live there (if they want our help.)

    With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?
    The key effect of proper lane positioning is in communicating intent. If I position myself too far right, I am saying, "Squeeze by me, it's ok." If I move to the left, I'm saying, "This is my space. Go around."

    The driver that sqeezes by a curb-hugging cyclist notices what he's doing, but the cyclist is put in danger. When driving, I don't have a problem noticing even dark-clothed pedestrians at night. I don't avoid them unless they appear to intend to move toward the road, or if they are already in it, or especially crossing it.

    Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that? Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?
    Road users are responsible for knowing the law about cyclists, whether in a bike lane or a regular lane. Whatever else bike lanes might communicate to road users is clearly up to each person's individual notion, but has nothing to do with what the law says.

    Road users are legally responsible only for what the law says, not for what their individual notion is.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 02-22-07 at 09:04 AM.
    No worries

  13. #13
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Ok I'll bite.
    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?

    It's very important to me, although I don't actually do a whole lot other than donate money and show up for a few events here and there. My reasons for this involve wanting to make my community a better place (having more cyclists around and less traffic congestion makes it seem better to me anyway), wanting to do something positive for the environment, and wanting people to find healthy activities they can do for life (I also advocate for hiking). I think a healthy population will cost less money in the long run, as will having a healthy environment. Plus a healthy environment is just nicer.


    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?

    It works better in some places than in others, and among certain populations than others. It doesn't work very well when people are very wealthy and think they are more important than others. Works pretty well in the poor sections of town. The experience is mixed in middle-class neighborhoods. It seems a little iffy to try in places where people won't be watching the road (like in a national park for example).

    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?

    It's just something you have to do in some places. I think that in areas where there is a strong bicycle advocacy presence you have less of this to deal with. edit- by less of this I mean they build roads wider to begin with.

    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?

    On the surface it seems like a direct link, but I'm not so sure. I think most people drive because that's what people do, not because they're afraid to ride a bike. I think when you present bicycling to them as an option to driving they tend to use the safety thing as an excuse because it's an easy excuse.

    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?

    I don't think we are at risk in California, and definitely not in Santa Barbara where we have such strong advocacy. Even the Bank of America sees cycling as a positive economic force for the future. I think it's important to retain the right and I don't see much risk of losing it.

    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?

    I don't think there's any problem being visible off to the side unless there are things like bushes or parked cars blocking the view of you. In those instances then you simply move left a little bit. I don't think you need a lot of attention while riding (and in fact my life as a woman would tell you the less attention the better), you simply need to be visible.

    7. Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?

    Yes they do. They do this by conveying the message to sidewalk cyclists that they belong on the road. In fact, I believe they are designed for this purpose to some extent.

    8. Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?

    I think all of us here hold the belief that if we are to share the road we should not impede same-direction motor traffic. Why else would HH suggest to people to use a mirror and move over when faster same-direction traffic approaches? It's also codified in the law that slower traffic keeps right.

    My understanding of "Share the Road" signs is that this is an indication to motorists to put that belief aside and expect cyclists to impede them for a stretch.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  14. #14
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    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?
    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?
    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?
    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?
    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?
    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?
    7. Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?
    8. Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?




    1. To make cycling more popular?
    I neither don't mind nor don't care. It would be important for the sanity of our cities and the sake of our planet to make sure people make wiser transportation choices. That is walk or cycle short distances, use public transit if possible (i.e. available, efficient...), combine transportation with others... and use personal car only when appropriate.

    2. Sharing the road ?
    That's the way it ought to be. And with very few exceptions, I don't think there should be limitations for slow moving vehicles, especially for narrow ones. It is strange to see the major Provinces and many U.S. States banning bicycles and other slow moving vehicles on motorways and Interstates when there is a 12-15-ft paved shoulder, and ask them to use local 2-lane roads that often have gravel shoulders or none at all. Riding on motorways may be dull and noisy, it may be horrible in a headwind, but it is actually quite safe (because of the wide space), except for debris. Entrances and exits are a different matter, however.
    As for sharing a lane, it depends a lot on local conditions. Two factors come in: the width of the lane and visibility. The latter might actually be more problematic because car drivers don't like to hit cyclists, so they will do their best to avoid them: too much paperwork.

    3. Negociating right of way
    Like everything, it has to be done with respect. In other words, we also need to share the road. So I find it's a good practice to take the lane when necessary (as long as one is seen) and in most circumstances it's better for everyone to turn left from the left turn lane.

    4. Lack of popularity for cycling vs avoiding mixing cars and bikes
    I think those are two very different issues.
    The lack of popularity is not a real change in North America. I think the car replaced the bike for transportation... in the early 1900s. Back then, gravel and mud made the horse and car more popular than the bike; now it's suburban life and the scarcity of practical all-around bikes. Basically, if all low-cost bikes (i.e. those sold in department stores) were designed like a touring bike or a Breezer or similar hybrid, with rack, fenders and lights, many more people would cycle.

    We have more adult cycling than we ever had, except for a brief stint in the early 1970s. But these people have learnt cycling in the village or small town they were born, didn't cycle for 20-30 years, then buy a racy road bike (too small frame, too low handlebars, no rack...), or a beach cruiser (so heavy it doesn't do steps), lack a bit of balance and throw themselves in suburban traffic which is made of dead-end streets and fast-pace arterials. So they are afraid, they ask for "special considerations"... and traffic engineers want more car fluidity. Same principle that make them ban on-street parking, for example.

    7. Bike lanes?
    No single solution is perfect in all situations. I think well-designed bike lanes (according to ASHTO guidelines) are good in a few situations and neutral or bad in others. Good ones include:
    – fast speed and very long distances between intersections, because conflicts are fewer and motorized drivers may more easily get into "auto-pilot" mode;
    – roads with severe visibility problems: winding roads, roadside trees creating shady areas (there are a couple of roads with bad records because of that) or roads that one may ride into the sun.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  15. #15
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?
      Important. Not many know just how much fun it is and all the benefits. With better acceptance, cycling will be safer and even more fun.
    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?
      I don't have a problem with it, but some seem to. Slow down and wait for a good time to pass safely, and give plenty of room
    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?
      Well, if it were a car making a left, they'd have to slow down anyway. Just because the bike is smaller doesn't mean drivers are supposed to crush it.
    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?
      If cycling were as popular here as it is in Europe, I have no doubts that the roads would be safer for cyclists and motorists alike. The bike path doesn't go everywhere, so if the rider must ride in traffic, nothing should stop him from doing so.
    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?
      If it came to a vote, cyclists would lose. Justifying the ignorant thought that bikes don't belong on the road would just make things worse.
    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?
      It is more important when the cyclist needs to make a maneuver soon such as a lane change. It is also important on narrow lanes where passing can't be done safely. Other than those conditions, ride on the right side so you can be passed easily.
    7. Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?
      Yes, they are a part of the road, unlike a sidewalk which is separated by a nice barrier and grass
    8. Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?
      Yes, the idea is to give cars and bikes enough room to maneuver. I don't think bike lanes are a necessity. Wider lanes would be better.
    Quote Originally Posted by TechKnowGN
    San Jose has to be the most boring place I've ever been. And I live in Ohio.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?
    I believe there is a correlation between places that are bicycle friendly and those that have a large number of bicycles on the road. That is to say, if there were twice as many cyclists on the road, there would be a similar increase in road safety. And once there is a critical number of people on the road, the government likely would support better roads for bicyclists. And increased safety increases the number of cyclists.

    Therefore, my argument is that increased popularity ultimately benefits my cycling experience.

    The question then becomes, how might the goverment encourage more cycling:

    1. No sales tax or tax credit for cycle used for commuting. There is a Hybrid Vehicle tax credit, why not one for a bicycle?
    2. Regular school bicycle trips around town, on surface streets. Students can then learn about proper road safety.
    3. Cities discouraging parking of cars or on busy roads, for more room and cycling safety.
    4. Road improvement projects that consider cyclist usage.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genman
    I believe there is a correlation between places that are bicycle friendly and those that have a large number of bicycles on the road. That is to say, if there were twice as many cyclists on the road, there would be a similar increase in road safety. And once there is a critical number of people on the road, the government likely would support better roads for bicyclists. And increased safety increases the number of cyclists.

    Therefore, my argument is that increased popularity ultimately benefits my cycling experience.

    The question then becomes, how might the goverment encourage more cycling:

    1. No sales tax or tax credit for cycle used for commuting. There is a Hybrid Vehicle tax credit, why not one for a bicycle?
    2. Regular school bicycle trips around town, on surface streets. Students can then learn about proper road safety.
    3. Cities discouraging parking of cars or on busy roads, for more room and cycling safety.
    4. Road improvement projects that consider cyclist usage.
    All good ideas, but.........

    A tax credit on cycle used for commuting

    How do you differentiate between a bicycle used for commuting/transportation, and one where the owner will drive 20 miles then ride on a path?

    School bike trips

    How do you convince parents that it's going to be safe?

    Discouraging/reducing parking

    Tends to go over like a lead balloon, with autoholic residents, and businesses, so you get a big fight, after all if it comes between somewhere to ride a bike, and somewhere for an autoholic to park their "precious", the bikes usually lose out. Transitways usually suffer the same fate, so cyclists and transit operators are fighting the same battle.

    Road improvement projects that consider cyclist usage

    Yes, and that doesn't always mean bike lanes either, sometimes the answer is a road with a 30km/h, 20MPH speed limit, using things like speed humps to make sure that drivers aren't, being reckless.

    You missed one.

    Make sure there is safe, secure bike parking, it makes no sense to ride to work, or ride to the store, if you have nowhere to park, once you get there. This means that it should be close to the door, and secured, preferably roofed over, where each bike fits into a locked, individual stall.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Just some questions about your opinions. These are questions of personal opinion, so there are no right or wrong answers. This is meant to be only food for thought.

    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?

      not critical but it would be nice - the more the merrier.

    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?

      Not a problem - I'm beginning to think that pedestrians shouldn't be segregated to the sides of roadways - can't we all get along?

    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?

      slow down? where do you ride? Bikes are faster than cars in most situations that I deal with.

    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?

      not sure
    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?

      hah! I think maybe motorists could lose that 'right' if they're not careful - ped and bike only streets here we come!

    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?

      depends on the situation. If there are no intersections, then it kinda makes sense - if the bike lane is wide. Bike lanes are a hazard at intersections and should disappear a good distance prior to each intersection IMHO - maybe 100-200 m before (100-200 yards for you americans)

    7. Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?

      I think they do - but only if cyclists actually ride those roadways - if not the bike lanes are just an annoyance for everyone involved. read above re intersections

    8. Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?
    All vehicles impede same direction traffic, no matter what they are - it's just that bikes, motorcycles, rollerbladers, and pedestrians are narrower than most motor vehicles and therefore easier to pass.

    <edited to add bolds and spacing>
    Last edited by rajman; 02-24-07 at 07:36 AM.

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    These are all leading questions, Captain Queeg.

    however, i think getting more riders out riding should be one of the core goals of ALL bicycling advocacy groups;

    more riders in a community will further validate bikes as valid transportation.

    Bike lanes validate bikes as transportation on public rights of way, using the roads;

    bike lanes place the average rider in a more visible lane position than a wide outside lane and encourage more visible bicycling by average riders.

    bike lanes can also train riders to use more appropiate destination positioning, that carries over to unaccomodated intersections.


    chestbeating for the benefit of steely eyed cyclists, along roads engineered to the autocentric dystopian model, will further marginalize bicycling.

    marginalizing bicycling is anti-cycling. popularizing bicycling is pro-bicycling.

    There may be talk of a mutiny on the Bounty, captain Queeg. How ARE those strawberries?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #20
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    • How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?
      Mainly I want fewer cars. If that also means more bikes, better yet.


    • What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?
      This works well for me. It takes some practice and a little chutzpah, but many cyclists could develop the skill. Drivers usually respond well if they understand what you're trying to do.

    • How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?
      Very strong among cagers and cyclists who don't ride in streets. Probably the main reason more people don't use bikes for transportation in the city, an application they're actually well suited for.

    • With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?
      I think it's quite important. I base this belief on my experience as a driver. I notice cyclists more when they're in the mix.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  21. #21
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Just some questions about your opinions. These are questions of personal opinion, so there are no right or wrong answers. This is meant to be only food for thought.

    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?
    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?
    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?
    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?
    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?
    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?
    7. Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?
    8. Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?
    1) Unimportant to me. You can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink.
    2) I have no problem sharing a lane of adequate width with motor vehicles side-by-side. If lane is to narrow to be shared side-by-side, than in line is also fine with me.
    3) I negotiate with traffic all the time. Not an issue.
    4) I don't think the idea that bikes and cars should not mix is much of an impediment to more people cycling. I think the reason why average people don't bike is this: cycling is thought of as a low-status. Driving is seen as a divine right by Americans. Using an auto is so cheap and convenient that it makes all other forms of surface transportation irrelevant. Americans are by and large ignorant, loathsome, sloth-like gluttons who would have a hard time propelling themselves for a single city block under their own power.
    5) It's self evident that riding in plan view in front of an overtaking vehicle will get you noticed.
    6) Bike lanes tell faster motor traffic that you are there to be dominated and dismissed.
    7) Bike lanes reinforce the motor vehicle superior/bike inferior mindset of both motorists and cyclist but more importantly, they fail miserably at their stated claim: to increase the safety of cyclists.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Just some questions about your opinions. These are questions of personal opinion, so there are no right or wrong answers. This is meant to be only food for thought.

    1. How important is it to you personally to make cycling more popular in our culture? Why?
    2. What do you think of cars and bikes sharing surface roads (roads on which slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)? Sharing lanes side-by-side? Sharing lanes in line with each other?
    3. What do you think of the practice of bicyclists negotiating for right of way in narrow lanes, to make left turns, etc., which often requires motor traffic to slow down?
    4. How strong do you believe is the relationship between cycling not being more popular than it is, and the prevalence of the belief that bikes should avoid "mixing" with cars on the road as much as possible?
    5. How important to you personally is it that cyclists retain the right to use the road as vehicle drivers? Do you believe cyclists are at any risk to lose this right?
    6. With respect to a given cyclist getting noticed by others, how important do you believe is the factor of road and lane positioning? That is, if the cyclist is riding in road space normally used by vehicular traffic versus riding in space that is off to the side of that, do you think it makes much of a difference in terms of how much attention he or she gets? Whatever your answer, why do believe this?
    7. Do you believe that bike lanes convey the message that bicyclists belong on the road? How do they do that?
    8. Do you believe bike lanes reinforce the notion that if cyclists are to "share" the road, they should do it in a way that does not impede same-direction motor traffic? If so, how do they do that?
    1 I think it would be good -- more parking spaces for cars, less traffic congestion, less oil money finding its way to our enemies; a stronger, more daring America.
    2 Sharing roads, sharing lanes, no problem.
    3 Sometimes, it is necessary for safety. Cars turning left also have to negotiate with other traffic.
    4 People will drive as long as it is faster and or more convenient than other modes. Cycling will rise in popularity only as parking becomes scarce and gridlock becomes common. That means that there will never be an increase in cycling in rural areas.
    5 It's important to me, because roads are the backbone of surface transportation. However, the idea that bicycles are vehicles is deeply engraved in our highway codes.
    6 Lots of good reasons for lane positioning -- dynamic, destination, etc., but visibility is not, in my experience a key one.
    7 I think they convey the message that bikes belong on the road.
    8 I don't think that bikes should impede cars; I don't think that cars should impede bikes. I see bikes primarily as a means to increase traffic capacity in congested areas. It's easier to create a WOL, bike lane, or bike path than to build an additional car lane.

    Paul

  23. #23
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    I don't think it's a good idea to try to make cyclists out of people who don't want to do it. That's just misguided. There are some people who will never enjoy cycling, no matter how much I think they should.

    But on the other hand, there are probably many, many people who would be enjoying cycling that aren't, simply because there are some hurdles in the way. I'd love to see these people start riding. Why should anyone be robbed of something they would enjoy, just because of some things that are in the way of them starting? People who already enjoy cycling should do what they can to remove those obstacles.


    I don't see how anyone can get anywhere on a bike without sharing the road with cars.


    Again, it's impossible to get anywhere on a bike without having to negotiate with motor traffic.


    There is a relationship. The solution is many-sided, and needs to include a variety of approaches. But there are many people who will never want to mix with motor traffic.


    Again, a cyclist needs access to the road to get to all destinations. High-quality bicycle facilites can enhance this ability, as can greater awareness of road rights of cyclists.

    Cyclists, like all citizens, can never take for granted their rights will never be abridged. That does not mean our rights are in imminent danger of being lost, but we must always be ready to work to keep our rights intact, even if it means doing so in communities far away, helping those who live there (if they want our help.)


    The key effect of proper lane positioning is in communicating intent. If I position myself too far right, I am saying, "Squeeze by me, it's ok." If I move to the left, I'm saying, "This is my space. Go around."

    The driver that sqeezes by a curb-hugging cyclist notices what he's doing, but the cyclist is put in danger. When driving, I don't have a problem noticing even dark-clothed pedestrians at night. I don't avoid them unless they appear to intend to move toward the road, or if they are already in it, or especially crossing it.


    Road users are responsible for knowing the law about cyclists, whether in a bike lane or a regular lane. Whatever else bike lanes might communicate to road users is clearly up to each person's individual notion, but has nothing to do with what the law says.

    Road users are legally responsible only for what the law says, not for what their individual notion is.
    Your ideas here are thoughtful and quite sensible. Bravo.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  24. #24
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I think our rights as bicyclists to use the roads are in more danger of being taken away by individuals than by governments. Of course, by not training motorists adequately government is partially to blame for allowing such an outcome.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

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