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  1. #1
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Red Light Running Desensitization (VIDEO)

    I just put together a little commuting highlight reel from my helmet cam videos for 2009. After watching it several times I realized that it might be useful in loosening some of the A&S sphincters about useful cycling techniques that are...(ahem)...not 100% kosher.

    Keep in mind the cultural aspects of my home town (New Orleans, USA). Bicycles here are an expression of freedom. We can pretty much do whatever we want to. So even though laws exist, cyclists are waaaay under the radar. Lets even say we are OFF the radar. We all run red lights and stop signs, motorists expect it, and for the most part accept and receive this behavior well.

    My favorite moment is 2:26 - 2:30 where my camera picks up an unknown cyclist and pedestrian crossing against a red, and then a contraflow cyclist about to run the red in the opposite direction. SOP around here.

    I am happy to be 51 years old. I started riding my bike downtown at 15 and figured out (in one day) that stopping for a red light endangered me unnecessarily. I run roughly 16,000 red lights and stop signs each year without problems. Enjoy the video evidence.

    This vid also makes a pretty good clinic for bicycle lane positioning in downtown grids. It is my hope that someday lawmakers will realize that bikes are not cars and discard the silly laws that diminish the usefulness of the bicycle in areas of heavy traffic congestion.

    The Very Best Of Joey Brooks 2009 (14:33)

    As for doing good; that is one of the professions which is full. Moreover I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution.
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    Last edited by JoeyBike; 10-21-09 at 08:21 AM.
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  2. #2
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    i thought the new sheriff in town was cracking down on bicyclists. Haven't gotten that ticket yet have you joey?

  3. #3
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    i thought the new sheriff in town was cracking down on bicyclists. Haven't gotten that ticket yet have you joey?
    The cops are REALLY cracking down on just a couple of the more "touristy" streets and parks where bike+ped=trouble for tourists. The cops can't expect tourists to pay J-walking tickets, so they attack the "problem" where they have clout - locals (cyclists). I avoid those congested Zombie Zones at all costs anyway.

    All the rest of NOLA...still free and clear.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  4. #4
    fleur de clé
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    My buddy Mark watched the vid and asked if a motorcycle was filming? Like a motorcycle would fit through traffic that well.

  5. #5
    fleur de clé
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    Ehem..

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    OK, so Nola is like that -- congrats, enjoy it. The rest of the continent operates under rules and laws of civilization. The 'no-running-red-lights' thing is a protection for the idiot who thinks if he CAN do something, everyone else on the bloody planet needs to stand back and make room for him to do it. Whether in a car or on a bike, or even on foot, tell some fool it's OK to do something, and this is what you get. Never mind the fool dying and removing himself from the global gene pool, what about the one who gets to remember the incident for life? What did he do, except be the instrument of a fool's demise?

    Keep your anarchy where it's at, it's not something the rest of us want. To advocate the very #1 thing that these frickin' drivers kvetch about is irresponsible in the extreme.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    OK, so Nola is like that -- congrats, enjoy it. The rest of the continent operates under rules and laws of civilization. The 'no-running-red-lights' thing is a protection for the idiot who thinks if he CAN do something, everyone else on the bloody planet needs to stand back and make room for him to do it. Whether in a car or on a bike, or even on foot, tell some fool it's OK to do something, and this is what you get. Never mind the fool dying and removing himself from the global gene pool, what about the one who gets to remember the incident for life? What did he do, except be the instrument of a fool's demise?

    Keep your anarchy where it's at, it's not something the rest of us want. To advocate the very #1 thing that these frickin' drivers kvetch about is irresponsible in the extreme.
    And it's that kind of action that has motorists calling for us cyclists to be licensed and regulated just like them.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    OK, so Nola is like that -- congrats, enjoy it. The rest of the continent operates under rules and laws of civilization.
    Actually, in my part of the continent it is also very common for cyclists and peds to ignore red lights and stop signs (although I stop at all lights). People on bicycles are basically invisible to police- I have never seen, or heard of, police ticketing people on bicycles here either. Jaywalking is also largely ignored as far as I can tell.

  9. #9
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    I live in NOLA. NO riders ride like that-heck, ride like that you don't usually live 51 years. He and his buddy are the only people who ride like that.
    Yes, some folks do run red lights on bikes-BUT NOT LIKE THAT!! They stop, put their foot down,take a good long look-and then go thru(frequently they actually get in the pedestrian walkway and push their bike thru, ... strange, but true).

    Only a freakin' moron would blow by parked cars that close.One opened door, and....

    This is just some BS video he put out to get his 15 minutes.
    I kinda doubt he is from NOLA.We have our faults, but unbelievable rudeness isn't one of them.
    What a stupid ***-DMF

  10. #10
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    I live in NOLA. NO riders ride like that...
    Every cyclist that I know personally rides like that. I have filmed at least 5 different people, been filmed by another, and know at least 4 more well enough to call them friends. As acquaintances go I can think of 20 other people.

    No one who currently lives in NOLA stops for red lights on a bike, or on foot, unless flow of traffic mandates a stop. If you do, you may be the only one. I have never seen one person wait for a green when the coast is clear. And all of the contraflow bikers cant be stopping for stop signs or red lights because the cant SEE anything but the BACK SIDES of them. I have nearly 80 vids online. Nearly every one shows wrong-way cyclists and J-walking peds galore.

    Do you really live in NOLA or Metry? Big difference.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  11. #11
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    To advocate the very #1 thing that these frickin' drivers kvetch about is irresponsible in the extreme.
    The #1 thing they kvetch about in my world is being in their frickin' way. When I drive a car, I want every cyclist I see to run red lights and stop signs so I don't have to wait for them to cross or get rolling. So, at least ONE driver is not kvetching about it.

    When motorists start obeying speed limits and stop yacking on their phones and endangering everybody, I may entertain notions of joining your Church of Constraints. Until that day comes, I couldn't care less what motorists whine about.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    The #1 thing they kvetch about in my world is being in their frickin' way. When I drive a car, I want every cyclist I see to run red lights and stop signs so I don't have to wait for them to cross or get rolling. So, at least ONE driver is not kvetching about it.

    When motorists start obeying speed limits and stop yacking on their phones and endangering everybody, I may entertain notions of joining your Church of Constraints. Until that day comes, I couldn't care less what motorists whine about.
    Fine, JoJo -- do wtf-ever; just don't be a guest preacher.

    I don't do 'church', btw, I ride.

    I happen to agree that drivers need to practice what THEY preach at us, but the day that happens, I'm making peace with the Almighty, cuz He'll be coming the next DAY!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    Every cyclist that I know personally rides like that. I have filmed at least 5 different people, been filmed by another, and know at least 4 more well enough to call them friends. As acquaintances go I can think of 20 other people.

    No one who currently lives in NOLA stops for red lights on a bike, or on foot, unless flow of traffic mandates a stop. If you do, you may be the only one. I have never seen one person wait for a green when the coast is clear. And all of the contraflow bikers cant be stopping for stop signs or red lights because the cant SEE anything but the BACK SIDES of them. I have nearly 80 vids online. Nearly every one shows wrong-way cyclists and J-walking peds galore.

    Do you really live in NOLA or Metry? Big difference.
    So because "everybody" is doing it, that makes it right?
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    The #1 thing they kvetch about in my world is being in their frickin' way. When I drive a car, I want every cyclist I see to run red lights and stop signs so I don't have to wait for them to cross or get rolling. So, at least ONE driver is not kvetching about it.

    When motorists start obeying speed limits and stop yacking on their phones and endangering everybody, I may entertain notions of joining your Church of Constraints. Until that day comes, I couldn't care less what motorists whine about.
    By running red lights, stop signs, as well as riding the wrong way you are NOT doing anything to encourage drivers to obey the laws. Haven't you ever heard of the saying "Lead by example?"

    Show the drivers that bicyclists can and do obey the law then they may start obeying the law themselves.

    Here's another good question for you Joey, "IF everybody jumped off of the Empire State Building, would you also jump?"

    The "everyone is doing it" isn't a defense, and the sooner that you learn that the better off you will be.
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  15. #15
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    So because "everybody" is doing it, that makes it right?
    No. Everybody (here) does it (under certain circumstances) because it IS right. There is a pattern. There are rules. Luck does not exist. We are not flying by the seat of our pants. We are following a proven method for taking a tool (bicycle) and using it to it's full potential (nearly anyway) under inner city circumstances. Before this system can work, a rider must remove the brainwashing about how bicycle traffic should "behave". Use YOUR head, think it through, watch the vids. The cyclists getting killed here are the ones NOT using these methods. My friends and I are doing just fine.

    If we are not protected by the Law, why should we follow the Law? In NOLA, you can kill a cyclist by telling a cop you were tuning your car radio and didn't see him/her. No problem.

    They can eat their laws with ketchup.
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  16. #16
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    Show the drivers that bicyclists can and do obey the law then they may start obeying the law themselves.
    Right.

    And to show their appreciation for my compliance they will shower my grave with flowers on All Saint's Day.

    A law is worthless unless it is enforced. Enforce the speed limit. Put drunk drivers behind bars and hard labor. Outlaw telephone use in cars and trucks and enforce it. Ticket all of the J-walkers. Lock up the thugs that will punch me in the throat and take my stuff at the stop sign/red light. Then, if there is any time left, go after cyclists who are just trying to survive under the above circumstances.

    If I lead the way, I'm will likely get run over, shot, or stabbed. It can't start with cyclists. That is a ridiculous notion. I would be a sitting duck in this town.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  17. #17
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    No. Everybody (here) does it (under certain circumstances) because it IS right. There is a pattern. There are rules. Luck does not exist. We are not flying by the seat of our pants. We are following a proven method for taking a tool (bicycle) and using it to it's full potential (nearly anyway) under inner city circumstances. Before this system can work, a rider must remove the brainwashing about how bicycle traffic should "behave". Use YOUR head, think it through, watch the vids. The cyclists getting killed here are the ones NOT using these methods. My friends and I are doing just fine.

    If we are not protected by the Law, why should we follow the Law? In NOLA, you can kill a cyclist by telling a cop you were tuning your car radio and didn't see him/her. No problem.

    They can eat their laws with ketchup.
    Yes, there are and you and your friends are breaking them. From what I've seen in your videos luck appears to have more to do with your so called "success" then any "rules" that you claim to be following.

    Uh, because it IS the law, and it applies equally to everyone. Then you and your friends need to make sure that that is not a valid "defense."
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    Right.

    And to show their appreciation for my compliance they will shower my grave with flowers on All Saint's Day.

    A law is worthless unless it is enforced. Enforce the speed limit. Put drunk drivers behind bars and hard labor. Outlaw telephone use in cars and trucks and enforce it. Ticket all of the J-walkers. Lock up the thugs that will punch me in the throat and take my stuff at the stop sign/red light. Then, if there is any time left, go after cyclists who are just trying to survive under the above circumstances.

    If I lead the way, I'm will likely get run over, shot, or stabbed. It can't start with cyclists. That is a ridiculous notion. I would be a sitting duck in this town.
    Then again you and your friends need to make sure that the laws are enforced. Write letters to your elected officials. You do vote don't you? Let them know that the laws are not being enforced, and that if they don't do anything to change that that you will see that they are voted out of office. Hit 'em where it hurts, and you'll start to see things change.

    You and your friends need to show up at court when someone is arrested and tried for striking a bicyclist, put a face on the cyclists. Let them know that we are someone's father, brother, mother, sister, aunt, uncle, son and daughter.

    Make your voices heard, and that you are not going to accept the status quo, and that you want things to change.

    Work with the system to change things.

    Don't do anything to help change things, and nothing will ever change.
    Last edited by Digital_Cowboy; 10-24-09 at 10:39 PM.
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  19. #19
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    Uh, because it IS the law, and it applies equally to everyone.
    Ever hear of the Spanish Inquisition? 300 years of laws that were WRONG.

    Not long ago, women and black people could not vote BY LAW.

    A black person had to sit in the back of a public bus BY LAW and could only drink out of certain public water fountains.

    Trying to make a cyclist behave like a motor car in heavy traffic is criminal. Call it a LAW if you want. Follow it like a good little sheep if you want to. That nonsense must change some day.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  20. #20
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    Ever hear of the Spanish Inquisition? 300 years of laws that were WRONG.

    Not long ago, women and black people could not vote BY LAW.

    A black person had to sit in the back of a public bus BY LAW and could only drink out of certain public water fountains.

    Trying to make a cyclist behave like a motor car in heavy traffic is criminal. Call it a LAW if you want. Follow it like a good little sheep if you want to. That nonsense must change some day.
    The reason we have traffic laws, is that if all road users act in a predictable and consistent manner, the roads can be quite safe. When you violate those laws, the way you do in the first couple of minutes of the video, then you remove that consistency and predictability. That means your counting on luck to get you through, problem with luck, eventually it runs out. If you can hold onto a little of that luck, you will have relatively minor injuries, less, you end up in a pine box, if your luck really runs out, you break your fool neck when your head goes through the windshield of the Hummer that hit you, and you end up paralysed from the neck down.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    The reason we have traffic laws, is that if all road users act in a predictable and consistent manner, the roads can be quite safe. When you violate those laws, the way you do in the first couple of minutes of the video, then you remove that consistency and predictability. That means your counting on luck to get you through, problem with luck, eventually it runs out. If you can hold onto a little of that luck, you will have relatively minor injuries, less, you end up in a pine box, if your luck really runs out, you break your fool neck when your head goes through the windshield of the Hummer that hit you, and you end up paralysed from the neck down.
    Sadly, even then I'm sure that he'll say that he was "right" to do what he did. Or that it wasn't his riding style that caused his accident, but rather the driver who wasn't paying attention.
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  22. #22
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    One thing that is common in NOLA is for drivers to casually open their doors while stopped at a light, or while creeping to a stop.They do it to spit, vomit, pour a drink out, yell at a buddy, whatever.
    Only a fool would lane split at full bore like that with slow moving cars on either side.
    Same goes for passing so close to parked cars while hemmed in by the car you are passing on the right.Guy ducked down to fiddle with his floor mat suddenly pops up and swings open his door-WHAMMM! ANOTHER BEST OF MOMENT!
    Same goes for blowing by those cars -crossing the middle line-on the left on Decatur. You live here and trust our drivers to not suddenly swerve left because they want to steer around a pedestrian-instead of stop(just like you swerve around them)?The drivers will never know you are there??

    Ride like that just to post a video for a bunch of strangers you'll never meet?
    You trust our drivers waaaaay too much.

  23. #23
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    Ride like that just to post a video for a bunch of strangers you'll never meet?
    You got that backwards.

    I bought a helmet cam to record how we ride. I am not out to make a thrilling movie. I turn on the camera and then promptly forget it even exists until I get home.

    I am quite surprised by the results myself. I have almost zero memory of ride details after the fact due to some weird "stream of consciousness" thing that happens when under the influence of total concentration. When I get home and view the results, it is like I am seeing all that for the first time. All I know is that my riding style is adrenalin provoking. Now I (and you) actually get to see it.

    One interesting side note: To edit a vid, I have to watch it maybe 30 times. Through some strange mechanism in my brain, I am actually learning how to handle traffic BETTER by watching how I did it in the past. But it is generally not a conscious effort when riding the next time. Like muscle memory or something.

    I post these videos not just to entertain and anger people. I post them to help people. I get enough private messages (because they don't want to thank me publicly) from people who tell me some part of a video helped them during a rough stretch of their commute. Lane positioning issues in particular. Riding in the right gutter is really dangerous in the grid. Smart folks with some riding skill can easily lessen their risk under certain conditions by adopting SOME of my methods at one time or another. And if running red lights means that zero cars pass you on the way to work instead of 100, then you just might actually live longer.

    I like for cyclists to have ALL of the information. Not just what laws made by lazy lawmakers who don't ride bikes want us to do. They want us to have so many negative experiences in traffic that we quit biking altogether.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

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    Joey,
    You trust our drivers waaaay too much and give yourself no bail out position if they suddenly jerk into your path, or open their door to spit, puke, pour out their warn beer or melted daiquiri.

    I wouldn't care to pass those folks going down the overpass-Claiborne or St Claude??- either.

    I get your point(I think) you are trying/hoping to decrease your risk, by decreasing exposure time, but you increase your time in high risk positions-blind spots-to do it.

    Making the pedestrian dodge you-tourists or not- doesn't win any friends either(Canal street). If folks want to come to NOLA-great-they provide $$ and jobs(granted not the greatest jobs, but better than nothing).Why make fun of strangers who are coming to tourist around(zombies)? Kinda' mean spirited.
    Yes, it is dangerous to stop at redlights at night(in many places) but this was broad daylight in heavily trafficked areas.

  25. #25
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    Why make fun of strangers who are coming to tourist around (zombies)? Kinda' mean spirited.
    That is something that develops over time after about a million of them stroll out in front you without regard. Don't get me wrong. I J-walk too. But just like running red lights, I do it when the coast is clear.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

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