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Old 06-26-08, 04:36 PM   #1
genec
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Pob.

From time to time in various threads we discuss newbies or Persons on Bikes verses Cyclists.

Now while it may sound elitist to separate the terms... in reality there is a difference between a cyclist and a POB. Much of it comes down to the learned skills of how to deal with traffic and how to use a bike.

Here is a little blog from Dave Moulton who writes about POBs.

http://davesbikeblog.blogspot.com/20...-and-pobs.html

It is worth reading and discusses some of the fundamental differences between cyclists and Persons on Bikes.
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Old 06-26-08, 04:41 PM   #2
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The blog is about 98% correct in its distinctions. The only real mistake is his statement that "POBs are getting killed [by cars], not cyclists." More POBs than cyclists get killed, but too many cyclists are also getting killed.
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Old 06-26-08, 05:40 PM   #3
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What a load of arrogant nonsense!

There are all kinds of groups of bicyclists who think they're better than other bicyclists. Nothing changes.

Dave Moulton: "These are a splinter group known as APOBs. The “A” is for Anarchist, Arrogant, or *******, pick any one."

Obviously, I'm no better than Dave Moulton's when I sink to his level of name-calling by noting that there is obviously another splinter group: SOBs, Snobs On Bicycles.

Sadly, there are competing groups of SOBs. I have often noted that cyclists are the most disparate group I've ever been associatated with.

Dave Moulton: "I get tired of my reputation being tarnished by another group who should not even be categorized as cyclists."

Tough cookies, dude. Deal with it.

I take it that Moulton considers himself a real cyclist.

Bully for him!
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Old 06-26-08, 05:43 PM   #4
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Can I be the first to sign up as a Vehicular POB?
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Old 06-26-08, 05:57 PM   #5
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Old 06-26-08, 06:01 PM   #6
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What a load of arrogant nonsense!

There are all kinds of groups of bicyclists who think they're better than other bicyclists. Nothing changes.

Dave Moulton: "These are a splinter group known as APOBs. The “A” is for Anarchist, Arrogant, or *******, pick any one."

Obviously, I'm no better than Dave Moulton's when I sink to his level of name-calling by noting that there is obviously another splinter group: SOBs, Snobs On Bicycles.

Sadly, there are competing groups of SOBs. I have often noted that cyclists are the most disparate group I've ever been associatated with.

Dave Moulton: "I get tired of my reputation being tarnished by another group who should not even be categorized as cyclists."

Tough cookies, dude. Deal with it.

I take it that Moulton considers himself a real cyclist.

Bully for him!
+1

Everyone who rides a bike is a cyclist. That's what the word "cyclist" means, notwithstanding the attempts of a few elitists to try and reserve the word for only people who ride like they do. Other cyclists may be bad cyclists, or dangerous cyclists, or poor cyclists - but they are still cyclists.
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Old 06-26-08, 06:07 PM   #7
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pure semantics from someone who should know better. now how much bandwidth can we waste parsing it out 12 ways 'til sundown?



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Old 06-26-08, 06:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JRA View Post
What a load of arrogant nonsense!

There are all kinds of groups of bicyclists who think they're better than other bicyclists. Nothing changes.

Dave Moulton: "These are a splinter group known as APOBs. The “A” is for Anarchist, Arrogant, or *******, pick any one."

Obviously, I'm no better than Dave Moulton's when I sink to his level of name-calling by noting that there is obviously another splinter group: SOBs, Snobs On Bicycles.

Sadly, there are competing groups of SOBs. I have often noted that cyclists are the most disparate group I've ever been associatated with.

Dave Moulton: "I get tired of my reputation being tarnished by another group who should not even be categorized as cyclists."

Tough cookies, dude. Deal with it.

I take it that Moulton considers himself a real cyclist.

Bully for him!
I think what he is really saying is that all that finger pointing by motorists is often due to POBs setting examples that regular cyclists would probably never do... of course, in that same breath... it is the regular cyclists that I see often running the red lights... not the sidewalk cruising POBs.
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Old 06-26-08, 06:20 PM   #9
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pure semantics from someone who should know better. now how much bandwidth can we waste parsing it out 12 ways 'til sundown?



Should I just invoke some Nazi reference and kill the thread now...

Oh wait, I think I did.
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Old 06-26-08, 07:24 PM   #10
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Sssssssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhiiinnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg!!!

That's the sound of my sword sliding out of its scabbard in preparation for me cutting through the accumulated B.S....

A cyclist is a person who rides because they choose to, to follow a passion; a POB is a person who rides because they must -- they have no other alternative.
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Old 06-26-08, 08:33 PM   #11
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I still think it's fair to point out that there is a learning curve for any new vehicle. Does anyone doubt that teenage drivers get in more accidents? People take kayaking classes, and skydiving lessons, but seem to think it's elitist to suggest the same for cyclists, or if not a course at least some time on the road. I don't claim to be a "real" cyclist, but I do claim to be more way more experienced than about 90% of the riders who cross my path on my daily commute.
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Old 06-26-08, 09:08 PM   #12
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Moulton wrote: "Sadly, statistics show that when a bicycle rider is killed on the road, it is often the victim’s fault. Running red lights, riding against traffic, or suddenly entering a road without warning in front of an oncoming car. This gives a false impression that cycling is dangerous. It is POBs that are getting killed, not cyclists."

Moulton's statement above is misleading but very typical. Like many bicyclists, er cyclists, whatever, he seems to harbor a deep need for his particular type of cycling, lawful cycling, to be defined as 'safe,' and seems to want to will it to be so by invoking statistics that he doesn't seem entirely familiar with. If bicyclists are out there getting killed and injured, it must be that Other Guy. Maybe the great psychoanalyst J. Forester could tell us what makes so many bicyclists devour this wish sandwich. Usually it is a rider much less experienced than Moulton who we find verbalizing this brand of wishful thinking.

It's true as M. says that 'when a bicycle rider is killed on the road, it's often the victim's fault.' But when an adult bicyclist -- a group that includes all those horrible lawbreaking anarcho-POBs -- is killed, it is most likely to occur when the bicyclist is behaving lawfully, not while swerving like a mad anarchist. Not while going through a red light; while going through a green one. Etc.

Lawful cycling does not equal 'safe' cycling. No matter how badly we wish or need it to be true. People like Moulton will have to recognize this reality before they can deal with it. It's very important. The path to actual safe cycling goes through truth. There are no alternate routes or shortcuts.

My unsolicited recommendation to Moulton and other judgmental cyclists is to worry about yourself, and let the Other Guy worry about himself.

Robert
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Old 06-26-08, 09:15 PM   #13
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It's true as M. says that 'when a bicycle rider is killed on the road, it's often the victim's fault.'
are you sure you really mean this?

by most statistical analyses, pedal cyclists are 'at fault' in at best half of all injury accidents and fatalities, by most counts it runs about 60% motorist at fault, 40% cyclist at fault. and what about all those perhaps less skilled cyclists who unwittingly succumb when they are led down (shall we say) a primrose path by dangerous bike lane designs, like Tracy Sparling in Portland, Oregon, Oct 2007?
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Old 06-26-08, 10:13 PM   #14
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are you sure you really mean this?
Yes I really mean this. But I don't think you bothered to read the rest of what I wrote. Which was, concerning adult cyclists injured or killed in car-bike collision, they are more likely to be obeying the law than breaking it when the collision occurs -- the driver is more likely to be found at fault.

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by most statistical analyses, pedal cyclists are 'at fault' in at best half of all injury accidents and fatalities, by most counts it runs about 60% motorist at fault, 40% cyclist at fault.
When people want to show that cycling is particularly dangerous for scofflaws and not for good law-abiding powdered wig-wearing citizens like themselves, they include kid-cyclists in the count. When kids are taken out the inconvenient reality is more like you say above.

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...and what about all those perhaps less skilled cyclists who unwittingly succumb when they are led down (shall we say) a primrose path by dangerous bike lane designs, like Tracy Sparling in Portland, Oregon, Oct 2007?
I'm with you on the general lameness of Portland's downtown bike lanes, but we can't really say for sure that the bike lanes led her down that path, especially considering that the truck was sitting at the light with its hazards flashing for over a minute before it moved. Consider that there were probably multiple factors leading to this or any fatality.

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Old 06-26-08, 10:49 PM   #15
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I would be happy if we could just get people to use the term cyclist and reserve biker for people riding motorcycles.
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Old 06-27-08, 03:48 AM   #16
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Here is a little blog from Dave Moulton who writes about POBs.

It is worth reading ...
No it isn't. Unless the reader likes to read silly BSing from an arrogant SOB.
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Old 06-27-08, 10:58 AM   #17
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No it isn't. Unless the reader likes to read silly BSing from an arrogant SOB.
There was a time when I used to come on this forum and contribute on a regular basis, but it was exactly this type of comment that stopped me doing that.

The POB article is not about elitism, it is about safety. It is also about obeying the rules of the road. The biggest complaint that drivers of automobiles levy against us is that we run red lights and stop signs, ride the wrong way one-way streets, etc. etc.

We all know that motorists break the law too, but pointing the finger at them does little good as there is more of them than us. When you are a minority, you tend to be labeled by the worst in a group.

Here is some more silly BSing:

Watchdogging Blogging.

Watchdogging Follow-up.

Dave Moulton, Ex-framebuilder and arrogant SOB.
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Old 06-27-08, 12:12 PM   #18
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I make the distinction between those who know how to ride a bicycle vs. those who know how to drive one.
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Old 06-27-08, 12:28 PM   #19
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The POB article is not about elitism, it is about safety. It is also about obeying the rules of the road. The biggest complaint that drivers of automobiles levy against us is that we run red lights and stop signs, ride the wrong way one-way streets, etc. etc. ...
That is how I read it, as well.

The one time I was struck by a motor vehicle, I was cycling lawfully, and the motorist violated my right-of-way and readily admitted guilt, with the default "I didn't see him" cover story. The experience has put me at odds with the folks who say we should focus strictly on improving cyclist/POB behavior (which, of course we should), without getting "distracted" by trying to make motorists more accountable for their actions or trying to make traffic engineers more bicycle- and pedestrian-conscious. As in many other social situations, we need a multi-pronged approach.
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Old 06-27-08, 12:31 PM   #20
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I see plenty of 'real cyclists' running stop signs and occassionally red lights as well. Safety is not about blind obedience to traffic control devices designed for motor vehicles.
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Old 06-27-08, 12:42 PM   #21
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Robert - Great replys. I could not agree more. I love "wish sandwich." I can't wait to plaigiarize that one.

And contrary to Moulton's post, I think the majority of this thread contains thoughtful, polite (and sometimes funny) arguments. Notice I said thread.
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Old 06-27-08, 12:53 PM   #22
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There was a time when I used to come on this forum and contribute on a regular basis, but it was exactly this type of comment that stopped me doing that.

The POB article is not about elitism, it is about safety. It is also about obeying the rules of the road. The biggest complaint that drivers of automobiles levy against us is that we run red lights and stop signs, ride the wrong way one-way streets, etc. etc.

We all know that motorists break the law too, but pointing the finger at them does little good as there is more of them than us. When you are a minority, you tend to be labeled by the worst in a group.
[...]

It seems to me that motorists complain at least as much about 'cyclists' 'blocking the roads' as they do about 'POBs' running lights and stopsigns. I believe a good citizen 'cyclist' who follows the law but delays a motorist will generally cause much more bleeting and complaining than the anarchist who travels independent of the traffic code and delays nobody. So we need to be careful about using motorist complaints as a reason to change cyclist behavior.

As for the safety issue, there are as many or more adult 'cyclists' getting hit while following the law as there are adult anarchists getting hit while breaking it. So the least we can say about the safety issue with respect to law-following or law-breaking is that it is muddled and unclear, and possibly complex.

I too wish cyclists would reign themselves in with respect to the rampant law-breaking. I have often said that the only people who should be attempting to ride like messengers are the actual working messengers and then only because they generally have to in order to complete their required tasks. But I won't hold my breath. For many reasons, cultural and physical, the bicycle lends itself to that kind of riding. Wagging fingers isn't going to change it. As the cycling population enters its growth explosion we are going to see a great deal more anarchic cycling, imo.

I personally am much more embarassed by the noticeable uptick in clumsy, unsmooth and rickety cycling than I am by scofflaw cycling. It is possible to bust a light or carve a traffic jam in a way that is elegant, smooth and even pretty, as well as safe. When I see that guy on a too-tall fixed wheel conversion, struggling and straining to slow his rig, wobbling all over the place and completely at odds with his machine, overreacting to traffic and peds due to bad awareness, swerving and lurching and infecting everybody with his lurchiness, smashing into potholes, it's not the bare fact that he ran the light that makes me cringe. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

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Old 06-27-08, 01:38 PM   #23
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The blog post is an exercise in semantics. How ever you look at it there are people who know how to ride a bike and those who don't.
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Old 06-27-08, 01:41 PM   #24
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As the cycling population enters its growth explosion we are going to see a great deal more anarchic cycling, imo.
I think that's true, but I think it's because trend-setters set that example, and new cyclists who admire and look to them for cues follow, your elegant traffic-carving messenger archetype being one example.
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Old 06-27-08, 01:43 PM   #25
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I think what he is really saying is that all that finger pointing by motorists is often due to POBs setting examples that regular cyclists would probably never do... of course, in that same breath... it is the regular cyclists that I see often running the red lights... not the sidewalk cruising POBs.
Flip it. All the finger pointing we as bike riders do to those who drive cars, the majority of whom are happy to coexist.
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