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  1. #1
    2GUD2BU philmcb's Avatar
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    Mandatory licensing to ride a bike legally?

    Even though I've been riding for over 30 years, I feel that anyone who uses public streets should be licensed for all the basic reasons and tested for the following basic riding skills like how to:

    - actually ride a bike without falling.
    - ride with one hand.
    - ride with no hands.
    - ability to look 180 degrees behind you in both directions.
    - how to swerve
    - how to bunny hop over obsticles
    - how to use the brakes properly and efficiently
    - how to take a corner effeciently without sliding out into the lane
    - ability to perform a panic stop without falling
    - ability to perform a evasive sprint... don't laugh
    - getting in and out of clipless pedals properly without lurching into traffic
    - how to fall properly.... because you're going to anyway.
    - how to get out of a mess (riding in gravel and sand, recovering from catching a small ridge.

    Hint: I just got a motorcycle, and I need to get training in order to get the license to ride it. I would do it even if it wasn't mandatory. It's made me keenly aware of the true risk of cycling, by comparison, to the motorcycle. and it's freakin' spooky.

    Bicycles aren't that much different except for the motor.... and the speed, which is relative to how careless and stupid you want to be.....

    Actually, motorcycles have two advantages over a bike:

    1. They're power can SOMETIMES get you out of a literal death trap (yes, I know.... as well as in one)

    2. For better or worse, at least your part of the "normal" traffic flow. It doesn't really buy you any less risk, I suppose, but at least you have a legal place on the road that isn't a debris filled bike lane up against the curb.

    Don't take this the wrong way. I love cycling... much more than the motorized counterpart. But I think people should have to pass a basic skills test, similar to the motorcycle test. I don't think anyone of sound mind would have a problem with a proof of skill test which would afford them a license.

    ALSO: A mandatory helmet LAW for bicyclist. No excuses.
    "I'm shakin' it, Boss. I'm shakin' it!"

  2. #2
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, though I don't think you're going to get a lot of agreement on either count. Have you thought about where the money for all this testing and licensing would come from? I'm a little murky on that part of it.

  3. #3
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    re: man. testing

    are you a socialist?

  4. #4
    genec genec's Avatar
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    The Coast Guard is recommending the same thing for recreational boat users.

    However rec boat users are saying that they have rights to the waterways, and that licensing is not the answer. When Driver's licenses are mentioned as an example, the response is that "driving is a privilege not a right;" sound familiar?

    Education is one thing, licensing is altogether different.

  5. #5
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    I think that pedestrians should also be required to pass a test before they can use the public roads, or operate a public restroom. I'd add a, "ride a wheelie for at least 25 feet", requirement to your list.

    Is this really a problem? More people drown than are killed in bicycle accidents.

  6. #6
    pj7
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    Well, if your suggested rules were in use, then that would disqualify many people, including the majorly overweight, handicapped, and the poor.

  7. #7
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    you show me how you do a bunny hop on a Harley, and I'll put it under consideration.

    otherwise, I wonder how long the OP has been biking, how populist the OP considers bicycling, who does it, who could be considering bicycling, what types of bikes will be used, the skill levels of average riders, and what direction the OP wants to see cycling go in this country.

  8. #8
    pj7
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    I can understand the OPs way of thinking. But I think there is a better way to go about it.

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    This will sound harsh, but pretty much all of those skills are to preserve the bikers safety, not anyone elses (a bike isn't going to hurt a person in a car, and those won't help bikes hitting pedestrians much). Since that's the case, I see it as pretty much up to the biker to ensure his own safety; if he doesn't know what he's doing and gets himself injured or killed, that's his own fault, and if he survives, hopefully he'll get the right training before trying again. Same with helmets; anyone who doesn't wear one is taking an awful risk, but not wearing a helmet won't hurt anyone else.

  10. #10
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    he just wants to ban overweight riders, kids, the special needs crowd, the elderly, and people on recumbents.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Philmcb, I feel the exact opposite about motorcycles and bicycles than you do. Motorcycles operate at a much faster speed, which in turn, give you and the other motorist less time to react to each other, You're going to put more miles on a motorcycle, and greatly increasing you're chances for a accident. Comparing my crashes between the bicycle and motorcycle, the motorcycle crashes were the hardest ones. Oh, they don't make you take a motorcycle test one handed or no handed, at least not when I took mine.
    Last edited by dynodonn; 02-26-07 at 09:50 PM.

  12. #12
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by philmcb
    Even though I've been riding for over 30 years, I feel that anyone who uses public streets should be licensed for all the basic reasons and tested for the following basic riding skills like how to:

    - actually ride a bike without falling.
    - how to get out of a mess (riding in gravel and sand, recovering from catching a small ridge.
    - how to fall properly.... because you're going to anyway.
    This one won't fly because: **** happens, falls happen, accidents happen, sometimes there isn't enough time to react. What the hell is falling properly? Why should it be a legal requirment to ride a bike. This has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever seen posted here.

    Quote Originally Posted by philmcb
    - ride with one hand.
    Not a good idea. What happens when you have to brake suddenly & shift suddenly & you only have one hand on the handle bars? This is also more difficult on certain syles of bicycles. Like short wheel base recumbents. I should know I ride one & have tried this. Or would you exclude 'ben't from riding on the roadways & only allow wedgies in your exclusive little world?

    Quote Originally Posted by philmcb
    - ride with no hands.
    Can not, not more difficult, but can not be done with certain types of bicycles. Like recumbents. Again are you planning on only allowing what you deem fit as a bicycle on the roadways in your exclusive little world?

    Quote Originally Posted by philmcb
    - ability to look 180 degrees behind you in both directions.
    Again see above about recumbents. Are you noticing a pattern here? Are you purposly trying to exclude what you deem as a bicycle?

    Quote Originally Posted by philmcb
    - how to swerve.
    Don't think needs to be a requirment to legally ride a bike on the roadways. Granted it is a good idea to have this skill. It does work when used properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by philmcb
    - how to bunny hop over obsticles
    Again can not be done on a recumbent. Why are you trying to only include what you deem as appropriate as a bicycle?

    Quote Originally Posted by philmcb
    - how to use the brakes properly and efficiently
    - how to take a corner effeciently without sliding out into the lane
    - ability to perform a panic stop without falling
    - getting in and out of clipless pedals properly without lurching into traffic
    - ability to perform a evasive sprint... don't laugh
    If you can't do this you should not be riding a bike period, never mind making it a legal requirment.

    Quote Originally Posted by philmcb
    Bicycles aren't that much different except for the motor.... and the speed, which is relative to how careless and stupid you want to be......
    I don't agree. I do not think the speed at which you travel makes you any more or less careless on a bicycle.By this logic when I go riding down a hill at 40 mph, when the speed limit is 45 mph, I am being careless. When I have complete control of my bike & am holding my line, not swerving all over the place, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by philmcb
    For better or worse, at least your part of the "normal" traffic flow. It doesn't really buy you any less risk, I suppose, but at least you have a legal place on the road that isn't a debris filled bike lane up against the curb.
    So now you're saying bicycles are not part of the normal traffic flow? Then what is? Only vehicles that can travel at the posted limit or faster? If we let you be in charge you'd exlude us all from the roadways with this stupid logic, never mind only exluding recumbents because they can't bunny hop or be ridden with no hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by philmcb
    Don't take this the wrong way. I love cycling... much more than the motorized counterpart. But I think people should have to pass a basic skills test, similar to the motorcycle test. I don't think anyone of sound mind would have a problem with a proof of skill test which would afford them a license.
    A proof of skills test, maybe. But not the one you propose & not with you in charge or having anything to do with it. What kind of idiot says you can't legally ride a bike on the roadways if you can not bunny hop or ride with no hands? What if the person has a recumbent? Oh let me guess you're going to say because they are lower to the ground they are dangerous & should never be ridden on the road, right?

  13. #13
    pj7
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    hahahahahhaha
    good job N_C, I needed a laugh right now

  14. #14
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    hahahahahhaha
    good job N_C, I needed a laugh right now
    Glad I could make you laugh, but I wasn't joking.

  15. #15
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    lame.

  16. #16
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    Glad I could make you laugh, but I wasn't joking.
    Oh I know you were serious.
    It's just the way you had a retor to every_single_thing that I found amusing... not in a sarcastic way, but an actual "I agree totally" kind of way.

  17. #17
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    I don't think I'd like the idea of mandatory licensing for bikes. First of all, as has been mentioned, bad bicycling skills and/or poor judgement are mostly just a menace to the bad bicyclist. Second of all, one of the real attractions of cycling for me is its utter simplicity and purity, and I'd hate to see that diminished by a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy. Finally, I don't want to pay for it. A fee for licensing bicycling would be the ultimate regressive tax, and the very idea of it gives rise to strong Bolshevik feelings within my soul. Let those SUV-driving fascists pay for licensing, not the poor proles on bikes!!! (OK, not very many workers are actually on bikes just yet, but give it time...)
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  18. #18
    Striving for Fredness deputyjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    I don't think I'd like the idea of mandatory licensing for bikes. First of all, as has been mentioned, bad bicycling skills and/or poor judgement are mostly just a menace to the bad bicyclist. Second of all, one of the real attractions of cycling for me is its utter simplicity and purity, and I'd hate to see that diminished by a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy. Finally, I don't want to pay for it. A fee for licensing bicycling would be the ultimate regressive tax, and the very idea of it gives rise to strong Bolshevik feelings within my soul. Let those SUV-driving fascists pay for licensing, not the poor proles on bikes!!! (OK, not very many workers are actually on bikes just yet, but give it time...)
    Personally I think mandatory licensing for breeding humans with drug and acohol testing would be a better gift to society as a whole, but I suppose that is for another forum.
    Monsignor: We must always fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil that we must fear the most, and that is the indifference of good men.
    Connor: I do believe the monsignor's finally got the point.
    Murphy: Aye.

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  19. #19
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    When would kids need the license? After the training wheels come off? For their first day riding to the first grade? Then where do you stop? Razor scooters next? Maybe a rollerbladers and skateboarders should get a license too?

    The beauty of bikes is their simplicity and ease of use. Let's not mess with that. I think this is very well the worst idea I've ever heard in my entire life.

  20. #20
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    I don't need a license to validate my cycling

  21. #21
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    " - getting in and out of clipless pedals properly without lurching into traffic"

    If you can't do this you should not be riding a bike period, never mind making it a legal requirment.
    Why are you trying to only include what you deem as appropriate as a pedal?

  22. #22
    Senior Member dmac49's Avatar
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    Good one. I give you +1 for guts on posting that.

    D

  23. #23
    Conservative Hippie
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    While I agree that bicycles and motorcycles share very much the same hazards, these are hazards that are often caused by other motor vehicles. Motor vehicles whose drivers are already required to be licensed. If the driver of the motor vehicle is required to have a license and the motorcyclist is required to have a license, but still has the highest crash rate of any vehicle, requiring the bicyclist, which is the safest mode of road transportation only behind school buses, to have a license not going to help anything.

    The mandatory helmet thing is rediculous. Both points would prove to be an unenforceable burden on individuals, law enforcement and the licensing entities.

    A consequence of mandatory licensing, and the adjoining mandatory vehicle insurance for a bicycle, would be that many riders and commuters would drop out. They might decide that it costs so much to ride they might as well scrap the bike and drive. I would certainly consider this. Casual riders who ride around the block once in a while on their K-Mart special wouldn't even own a bike.

    Sounds like another, "You should have to have one, because I have to have one."
    Last edited by CommuterRun; 02-27-07 at 02:37 AM.

  24. #24
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun
    Both points would prove to be an unenforceable burden on individuals, law enforcement and the licensing entities.
    Exactly. It is certainly arguable that as users of public facilities, it is in the interest of the public to require some kind of licensing for bicyclists; to 'ensure' they know the rules of the road and to 'ensure' the safety of other users.

    In practice, however, very little is gained by such a requirement. Just look at how well drivers' licenses 'ensure' the safety of others. Add to that the likelihood of a cyclist injuring others compared to getting injured him or herself. If enforced, it would place so large of a burden on bicyclists (as well as the 'controlling legal authorities') that bicycle use would plummet.

    Helmet laws...I won't go there...

  25. #25
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I would not say I favor licensing. But, I think it wise schools encourage alternative transportation like cycling. Why should not cycling be incorporated somehow into high school sports curriculum.

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