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  1. #1
    Senior Member bmthom.gis's Avatar
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    The problem with Bike to Work Week

    Pretty good article in TIME from BSNYC about Bike to Work Week.

    "Alas, if anything, the greatest hope we cyclists have for Bike to Work Week is that it might make a few people into more considerate drivers. Sure, most of these riders will probably return to their cars next week anyway, but perhaps some of them will do so with a little empathy and a better understanding of their own behavior behind the wheel."

    Bike To Work Week: BikeSnob: The Problem With Bike to Work Week
    "All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies."

  2. #2
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Pretty accurate assessment, but I am less cynical. I started bike commuting 8 years ago around BTWW, with the intent of doing it every now and then, and pretty soon was biking to work almost every day. However, I was already an avid cyclist. In that respect, the biggest impact of BTWW might be to get more recreational cyclists biking to work. In my experience, very few weekend warriors and group-ride aficionados bike commute or even attempt it. There seems to be this mindset that bike commuting is more dangerous than participating in the average group ride, which is actually the opposite of the real situation, IMHO. Some of the local bike clubs around have regular crashes on group rides, sometimes with serious injuries, yet I have had no casualties in 8 years and 32,000 miles of bike commuting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bmthom.gis's Avatar
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    I agree! I started as being a group rider and couldn't fathom going for a ride all by my lonesome. A friend tracked down a great bike to start commuting with at a great price, helped me get it set up and working (he worked in a bike shop at the time) and I gave it a go. Quickly learned that being alone was fantastic (I was a bit put off of group riding for a bit after a fatality in one of the larger clubs and since then I still don't like to be in the middle of the pack). It also gave me more time to spend with the wife...instead of getting home and jetting out to a group ride and being gone all evening, I got in those miles while going to/from work.

    At the time, I don't think I even know Bike to Work Week was a thing. And it is sure to get a few converts, but for many it is a novelty. "We don’t want it to be something people do once a year out of a sense of obligation, like paying your taxes or calling grandma on Mother’s Day." - sums up my feelings.

    BikeSnobNYC is always fairly cynical....I read his blog daily.
    "All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post

    BikeSnobNYC is always fairly cynical....
    Don't forget smug, and pretentious too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bmthom.gis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Don't forget smug, and pretentious too.
    In good ways, though!
    "All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies."

  6. #6
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    Wow, that writer is a tool.


    "No, it’s just that in much of America, spring is when all the fair-weather cyclists emerge from their hidey-holes after cowering inside all winter. This means that before Bike to Work Week even begins, the bike paths and greenways are already clogged with overzealous, wobbly-legged cyclists splayed out over their aerobars like baby giraffes."

    Yeah, God forbid people view riding a bike as a seasonal activity.
    He goes from saying he want more inclusion to ripping on those that are active riders just because they don't bike as much as he would like them to.

  7. #7
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
    Wow, that writer is a tool.


    "No, it’s just that in much of America, spring is when all the fair-weather cyclists emerge from their hidey-holes after cowering inside all winter. This means that before Bike to Work Week even begins, the bike paths and greenways are already clogged with overzealous, wobbly-legged cyclists splayed out over their aerobars like baby giraffes."

    Yeah, God forbid people view riding a bike as a seasonal activity.
    He goes from saying he want more inclusion to ripping on those that are active riders just because they don't bike as much as he would like them to.

    He's funny and sarcastic. That's his style. Lots of people read his blog for a laugh, including me. Maybe you just don't get it.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
    He's funny and sarcastic. That's his style. Lots of people read his blog for a laugh, including me. Maybe you just don't get it.
    Lots of people watch "reality" TV too.....Nope, don't get it.

  9. #9
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    I get it, and ive read his stuff before. Truthfully, his writing is how I would write. But I recognize that I am sarcastic and use irony too much for most people's taste- I would just sound like a tool.
    I just figured getting something written in Time, even on their website, would be restrained more.

    Wanting more people to ride then ripping on people who ride is...odd, even if he is sarcastic.

  10. #10
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
    I get it, and ive read his stuff before. Truthfully, his writing is how I would write. But I recognize that I am sarcastic and use irony too much for most people's taste- I would just sound like a tool.
    I just figured getting something written in Time, even on their website, would be restrained more.

    Wanting more people to ride then ripping on people who ride is...odd, even if he is sarcastic.

    Yeah, but he's not some kind of ambassador for biking. He can say what he actually thinks: a lot of cyclists are annoying. Even when things are good overall for bike advocacy, they can still be an annoyance to the guy who's already riding. The overall takeaway from most of his posts (including this one) is positive, but that doesn't mean he won't poke fun at others. I enjoy it.
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 1973 Raleigh Gran Sport, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  11. #11
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Lots of people watch "reality" TV too.....Nope, don't get it.

    Not a great comparison, since "reality" TV is objectively bad.

    This is more like, I find Louis C.K. funny, and you don't. You find Ben Stiller funny and I don't.
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson), 1973 Wes Mason, 1973 Raleigh Gran Sport, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  12. #12
    Senior Member bmthom.gis's Avatar
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    Yeah, you either like BSNYCs sense of humor or you don't. There isn't much in between. Apart from making fun of everyone else, he usually adds a lot of self deprecating humor to his writings.
    he makes fun of himself in todays blog post
    Bike Snob NYC
    "All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies."

  13. #13
    Senior Member rmfnla's Avatar
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    Hell, I'd take a few more considerate drivers...
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  14. #14
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    Love bikesnob. People who can't understand being poked fun at by a dude who pokes fun at everyone, but mostly himself usually don't get the humor though.
    He usually raises very good points which are shrouded in cynicism, another thing many people don't get. I think he's actually a lot less cynical than he comes across.

  15. #15
    Senior Member jfowler85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
    He's funny and sarcastic. That's his style. Lots of people read his blog for a laugh, including me. Maybe you just don't get it.
    Nope, I don't get it. He just seems like an ass as usual.

  16. #16
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post
    Nope, I don't get it. He just seems like an ass as usual.
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  17. #17
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    Biking isn't for everyone, and nobody should expect it to be. We are creatures of habit and convenience.

    Some of us would walk or bike everywhere if we could, but the majority would rather take the easy way out.

  18. #18
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    Maybe we'd get more takers if we called it Bike From Work Week.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fitftw View Post
    Biking isn't for everyone, and nobody should expect it to be. We are creatures of habit and convenience.

    Some of us would walk or bike everywhere if we could, but the majority would rather take the easy way out.
    I think Bike to Work Week can possibly open up someone to the possibility that biking or walking is the easy way. But I think we should really not focus so much on the work trip, locally we have a bike to shop day! I think this is an even easier gateway to biking for transportation. No matter how far you live from work, most people do their regular errands within a few miles of home. And many errands are easy to convert to a bike trip!

  20. #20
    Senior Member jfowler85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post


    not really
    Trolling helps me pass time at work when the ER is slow.

  21. #21
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    There are problems with everything. Dinosaurs lasted for 600million years and who's going to say that's a perfect world? Anybody want claim that driving to work everyday doesn't have problems?

  22. #22
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    ...it's bike to work week? Do i get a free breakfast somewhere?

  23. #23
    Senior Member snow_echo_NY's Avatar
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    i don't read his blog, but i did read the enlightened cyclist and often busted out laughing in the middle of the night. i found it awesome, my husband who gifted me the book for Christmas read it and thought it was in a word "stupid"

    to each his/her own

  24. #24
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    I like BikeSnob because he's like me - he tells it like it is. No sugar coating, no pandering. Just straight up. Lots of people don't like that because either they are a) easily offended when they shouldn't be, b) part of the group being talked about.
    In college people always said I was just a pessimist - but I'm not, I'm a realist. I observe the world, and see it how it really is.

    I read his article, and agree with pretty much the entire thing. If you stop for a moment and hop off the "omg someone dropped a dime on the sidewalk i'm so offended lets crucify him" train (which runs rampant in this outrage-a-day world), you'd realize his summary of cycling activity is pretty spot on.

    His jab at cyclists hiding in the winter and only coming out now while it's nice may seem harsh, but you have to remember that someone who rides year round is already committed to cycling being their main mode of transport. Whether to work, or otherwise. But folks who wait for the sun and 70s - and only riding during this one week - aren't really changing their view about anything. It's just kind of like going camping for a week in a tent without running water and a bathroom, and then going back to your 5,000 sqft house with 6 bathrooms.

    I think this was my favorite paragraph:
    If anything, cyclists are cynical about Bike to Work Week because we want bicycle commuting to be more inclusive. We don’t want it to be something people do once a year out of a sense of obligation, like paying your taxes or calling grandma on Mother’s Day. We want people to discover the joy and practicality of cycling, and for riding a bicycle to become a default mode of transport for lots and lots of people in cities and towns all over America.
    Bike to work week should be about trying to get others to drop their cars, and get on the bike. But, I agree with him, that it doesn't really do that. It's like the camping trip. It's a fun thing you do once a year.

    Don't get me wrong, I want bike week to work. I want more people to stop driving. It's just never going to happen, and I've accepted that. I'll continue to advocate for people to do it, and for awesome bike infrastructure, but, like I said, I'm a realist, and I have already accepted that the majority of Americans will never, ever, ever, consider riding a bike - anywhere - except for recreational outings for a few hours. They won't give up their cars - they simply cannot conceive of such a thing. It's really that simple. They just don't want to. And you can't argue with someone who has already made up their minds.
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