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Old 02-08-08, 08:55 AM   #251
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One of the biggest obstacles to making cycling more popular, perhaps the biggest obstacle, is the widespread myth that cycling in traffic is inherently dangerous - that it simply cannot be safe to ride in traffic. So a big part of cycling advocacy should be aimed at correcting that myth, not reinforcing it. Insisting that more motorist education is required before cycling in traffic can be safe, and that segregated cycling facilities are required in order to make cyclists safe, are arguments that reinforce this myth, rather than correct it. Such arguments are anti-cycling advocacy.
The application of basic physics tells us that your argument above is false. Mixing 3000-6000+ lb vehicles moving at speeds well above 20MPH with cyclists at roughly 200lbs is not a good combination. It is inherently dangerous, just as working in a steel mill is inherently dangerous.

The only reason traffic works is because of rules, and those obeying the rules.

If the rules are not well understood, then problems will arise.
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Old 02-08-08, 09:26 AM   #252
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The application of basic physics tells us that your argument above is false. Mixing 3000-6000+ lb vehicles moving at speeds well above 20MPH with cyclists at roughly 200lbs is not a good combination. It is inherently dangerous, just as working in a steel mill is inherently dangerous.

The only reason traffic works is because of rules, and those obeying the rules.

If the rules are not well understood, then problems will arise.
You say my argument is false. But my argument is that your argument above is anti-cycling advocacy, that your argument discourages cycling.. Now, you tell me how promoting the "inherent" danger of riding among 3000-6000+ lb vehicles moving at speeds well above 20MPH as being unavoidable, which is what your argument is doing, is encouraging people to take up cycling, rather than discouraging them. You can't, because there is NOTHING encouraging about cycling in what you argue, and only information that is presented in a way that is discouraging about cycling. My argument is false? Hardly.

To argue the above and call yourself an advocate of cycling is preposterous.

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Old 02-08-08, 09:39 AM   #253
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It's not meant to be discouraging. You need to respect the environment you operate in. Like surfers respect the ocean, skiers respect the steep, and racers respect the speed. To not acknowledge the dangers puts one in the fluffy bunny mindset that all will fine if I ride this way. Dude, it's a lie, b/c all of us can be wiped out in a blink, from something so far beyond your control as to be laughable, like a mirror clipping you in the back of the head at 60. So I still don't see how telling people it's not dangerous is beneficial. The first close pass or bad interaction they get will totally freak them out if they've been brainwashed into thinking everything is hunky dorry. Professional snowboarders die on mountains here, but yet it's a widely acceptable, accessible winter sport, and an instructor will tell you must be aware of the dangers and respect the environment.

Yes many, the VAST majority will ride a lifetime just fine, and every year, my city alone loses 4-10 cyclists.
To not be telling people it's not dangerous, rather than it can be potentially dangerous but here's something you can do to minimize the chances of it becoming so, IMHO borders on criminal.
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Old 02-08-08, 10:03 AM   #254
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That's a silly question since no one has argued against more motorist education.

See if you can follow this:

The argument I've made is against the alleged need for more motorist education in order to allow for safe, efficient, comfortable and enjoyable cycling in traffic. There is no such need, since safe, efficient, comfortable and enjoyable cycling in traffic is already possible today. Can being in traffic be made even safer with more motorist education? Perhaps. But that's beside the point, which is making it more safe is not required to make it reasonably safe, because it already is reasonably safe.

One of the biggest obstacles to making cycling more popular, perhaps the biggest obstacle, is the widespread myth that cycling in traffic is inherently dangerous - that it simply cannot be safe to ride in traffic. So a big part of cycling advocacy should be aimed at correcting that myth, not reinforcing it. Insisting that more motorist education is required before cycling in traffic can be safe, and that segregated cycling facilities are required in order to make cyclists safe, are arguments that reinforce this myth, rather than correct it. Such arguments are anti-cycling advocacy.

But that's not arguing against more motorist education. That's arguing against the lobbying for more motorist education (or segregated cycling facilities), especially by bicycling advocates, on the explicit or implicit grounds that improvements in motorist behavior and attitudes (or segregated cycling facilities) are required to make cycling reasonably safe.
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Old 02-08-08, 10:04 AM   #255
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You say my argument is false. But my argument is that your argument above is anti-cycling advocacy, that your argument discourages cycling.. Now, you tell me how promoting the "inherent" danger of riding among 3000-6000+ lb vehicles moving at speeds well above 20MPH as being unavoidable, which is what your argument is doing, is encouraging people to take up cycling, rather than discouraging them. You can't, because there is NOTHING encouraging about cycling in what you argue, and only information that is presented in a way that is discouraging about cycling. My argument is false? Hardly.

To argue the above and call yourself an advocate of cycling is preposterous.
I am only addressing the truth which you have apparently chosen to ignore. You cannot deny physics... which you apparently ARE doing.

The environment IS inherently dangerous, just like a steel mill is inherently dangerous, but like the steel mill, proper controls render the result relatively safe... when was the last time you heard of a steel mill disaster?
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Old 02-08-08, 10:05 AM   #256
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Looking at bicycling around the world, bicyclists as a class of citizens and users of public transportation cooridors "fare best" when they DON'T buy into the engineering prejudices perpetuated by hypocritical, confused 'vehicular fools' led by an admitted carbugger.
fixed it for you

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Old 02-08-08, 10:10 AM   #257
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Making folks aware of the potential dangers we all acknowledge exist can hardly be considered anti-cycling.
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Old 02-08-08, 10:52 AM   #258
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It's not meant to be discouraging.
I know. But my argument is that the effect Gene's argument, regardless of the intent, is to discourage people from taking up cycling, and certainly does not encourage it.

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You need to respect the environment you operate in. Like surfers respect the ocean, skiers respect the steep, and racers respect the speed. To not acknowledge the dangers puts one in the fluffy bunny mindset that all will fine if I ride this way. Dude, it's a lie, b/c all of us can be wiped out in a blink, from something so far beyond your control as to be laughable, like a mirror clipping you in the back of the head at 60. So I still don't see how telling people it's not dangerous is beneficial. The first close pass or bad interaction they get will totally freak them out if they've been brainwashed into thinking everything is hunky dorry. Professional snowboarders die on mountains here, but yet it's a widely acceptable, accessible winter sport, and an instructor will tell you must be aware of the dangers and respect the environment.
I have no trouble acknowledging the dangers inherent in traffic cycling, especially in the context of what you can and should do to mitigate those dangers (best practices). Of course there are dangers. My objection is to calling something "cycling advocacy" that is based on the implicit message that the cycling environment is currently too dangerous, that best practices alone do not and cannot mitigate the dangers sufficiently to make it a reasonably safe activity. That is not cycling advocacy; it is anti-cycling advocacy (not to mention it is false as compared to the dangers of many other normal human activities considered to be reasonably safe).

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Yes many, the VAST majority will ride a lifetime just fine, and every year, my city alone loses 4-10 cyclists.
To not be telling people it's not dangerous, rather than it can be potentially dangerous but here's something you can do to minimize the chances of it becoming so, IMHO borders on criminal.
Again, TJ, our conversations would be much more interesting if you responded to something I was actually saying, rather than something that I'm not. The main point common to the thousands of posts I've made here can be summarized as: "cycling in traffic can be potentially dangerous, but these dangers can be mitigated with knowledge, skills and best practices such that cycling in traffic is reasonably safe".

The message implied by Gene's argument above is the opposite of that: that these dangers are so bad that they cannot be sufficiently mitigated by cyclist behavior enough to make cycling safe - the environment itself must be changed to make cycling reasonably safe." That's not cycling advocacy, it's anti-cycling advocacy. And it's wrong.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:03 AM   #259
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The application of basic physics tells us that your argument above is false. Mixing 3000-6000+ lb vehicles moving at speeds well above 20MPH with cyclists at roughly 200lbs is not a good combination. It is inherently dangerous, just as working in a steel mill is inherently dangerous.

The only reason traffic works is because of rules, and those obeying the rules.

If the rules are not well understood, then problems will arise.
What you seem to ignore is that, even if cyclists and pedestrians did not exist, the road system would still operate by " Mixing 3000-6000+ lb vehicles moving at speeds well above 20MPH with [people] at roughly 200lbs is not a good combination." As you say, "If the rules are not well understood, then problems will arise."

This discussion is precisely about that problem. The rules of the road for drivers of vehicles operate well enough to make road travel reasonably safe and reasonably efficient. However, American society has the view that motorists don't want cyclists to obey the rules [Stay out of our way or we will crush you!], while bicycle advocates fear to obey the rules [We must have special protection or they will crush us!]. Both of these problems were initially created by motorists' self-serving discrimination against a politically impotent group, child cyclists, but now they have been physically implemented by bikeways that affect all cyclists. Bicycle advocates should be arguing for the right, implemented by the skill, to operate according to the rules of the road, rather than by advocating systems that contradict the rules of the road and lead to the confusion that creates otherwise avoidable dangers.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:03 AM   #260
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I am only addressing the truth which you have apparently chosen to ignore. You cannot deny physics... which you apparently ARE doing.
Gene, I am not denying the inherent dangers in the environment of traffic cycling. I'm denying that the only way to make cycling reasonably safe is to eliminate those dangers in the environment (motorist training, facilities), which is the implication of your argument.

Sure improved motorist education might make the environment a little bit safer. Of course having more bike paths would be nice. But none of this is necessary, needed or required in order to make cycling safe, efficient, comfortable or enjoyable - and any argument that implies that it is, such as yours does, is not advocating cycling, but is anti-cycling (in terms of encouraging more people to take up cycling, as opposed to discouraging them).

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The environment IS inherently dangerous, just like a steel mill is inherently dangerous, but like the steel mill, proper controls render the result relatively safe... when was the last time you heard of a steel mill disaster?
The environment being inherently dangerous does not mean it is not possible to be reasonably safe in that environment without changing the environment. That's the point of steel mill disasters being unheard of these days, which can be attributed to the best practices utilized in that industry (and many others) today. That's also the point of learning and employing best practices in traffic cycling.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:06 AM   #261
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Making folks aware of the potential dangers we all acknowledge exist can hardly be considered anti-cycling.


Thank you. You're catching on.

However: Implying that because of those potential dangers it is not possible to be reasonably safe on a bicycle can be considered anti-cycling, because it is.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:13 AM   #262
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Is Genec saying it's too dangerous? As for cycling in traffic being reasonably safe, well it certainly becomes debatable when risk assessment is upto the individual now isn't it? Just the chance that one could be killed by an inattentive driver while riding to work is enough in our safety heightened/paranoid times. Or, in Toronto's case the typical spring killing of cyclists' by dump trucks passing/right hooking cyclists.

It only takes a couple of those stories on the 6 O'clock news to ruin the expansion of cycling in our city for the year. Maybe, just maybe if the "wanting to cycle" folks saw active action on trying to make sure motorists were being targeted in an education blitz/PSA's/billboards etc regarding the roads and all it's users', they mightn't be so afraid. Perception is reality in the general public's eye.

I wouldn't go so far as to say reasonably safe, seems like a broad term, when death is potentially right behind you putting on makeup in the rear view mirror. If I go down in the lane, there is a good chance I'm going to get run over. Now it might be a vary rare occurrence where I would go down but it doesn't negate the danger. The danger is ALWAYS there. Weither or not the horrible happens is upto many factors, not just how the rider rides. The rider is just one component of a system.

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Old 02-08-08, 11:27 AM   #263
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The message implied by Gene's argument above is the opposite of that: that these dangers are so bad that they cannot be sufficiently mitigated by cyclist behavior enough to make cycling safe - the environment itself must be changed to make cycling reasonably safe." That's not cycling advocacy, it's anti-cycling advocacy. And it's wrong.
Is that truly his message? From what I understand Gene actually has cycled quite a bit, and has a great safety record to boot. I would say he must be sufficiently mitigating the dangers of riding in traffic with his behavior and attitude. This is advocating by example. Just because someone thinks motorists could/should be doing a better job doesn't mean they are an anti-cycling advocate. I just don't see riders that behave and believe like Gene as a problem that needs to be fixed.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:36 AM   #264
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Thank God someone has better words than I do. I get so flustered in here.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:45 AM   #265
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Thank you. You're catching on.

However: Implying that because of those potential dangers it is not possible to be reasonably safe on a bicycle can be considered anti-cycling, because it is.
Jumping to conclusions???

I said in both statements that the environment is inherently dangerous, but that danger is mitigated by rules.

Forester has stated in the past (and on this thread) that vehicular cycling works because of traffic rules.

Mixing up the reality of inherent dangers verses the statistics of doing a particular activity is apples and oranges.

Are you going to convince your students that moving cars are not inherently dangerous? Good luck. Your credibility will plummet dramatically at that point.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:50 AM   #266
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Is Genec saying it's too dangerous?
He's not saying it's too dangerous explicitly, but his argument clearly implies it:

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Originally Posted by genec
Mixing 3000-6000+ lb vehicles moving at speeds well above 20MPH with cyclists at roughly 200lbs is not a good combination. It is inherently dangerous, just as working in a steel mill is inherently dangerous.

The only reason traffic works is because of rules, and those obeying the rules.

If the rules are not well understood, then problems will arise.
Gene says, "The only reason traffic works is because of rules, and those obeying the rules."
But we know that not everyone obeys the rules all of the time.
Therefore (according to Gene's argument), traffic does not work.

Gene says, "If the rules are not well understood, then problems will arise.".
Gene has also argued, countless times, that the rules are not well understood by drivers. Therefore "problems will arise". Note that there is no wiggle room here for mitigating these problems by the cyclist - they are, per his argument, inevitable. So the implication is: "problems will arise for you, the cyclist, regardless of what you do."

And, of course, there is the blanket assertion: "It is inherently dangerous". In other words, you, the cyclist, are a sitting duck out there, vulnerable to being mowed down at any time by "3000-6000+ lb vehicles moving at speeds well above 20MPH", and there is nothing you can do about that. After all, "it is not a good combination", so it must be a bad combination.

So, do you feel encouraged by his argument to go out there now? Of course not. This is blatant anti-cycling advocacy.

I don't mean to pick on Gene. This is the implied message of any so-called bike advocate promoting the "need" for motorist education and/or segregated facilities. That's false and anti-cycling advocacy.


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As for cycling in traffic being reasonably safe, well it certainly becomes debatable when risk assessment is upto the individual now isn't it? Just the chance that one could be killed by an inattentive driver while riding to work is enough in our safety heightened/paranoid times. Or, in Toronto's case the typical spring killing of cyclists' by dump trucks passing/right hooking cyclists.

It only takes a couple of those stories on the 6 O'clock news to ruin the expansion of cycling in our city for the year. Maybe, just maybe if the "wanting to cycle" folks saw active action on trying to make sure motorists were being targeted in an education blitz/PSA's/billboards etc regarding the roads and all it's users', they mightn't be so afraid. Perception is reality in the general public's eye.
Now you're paying attention. Good.

I agree that the perception out there right now is that cycling is inherently dangerous, and that the cyclist is putting his life in the hands of total and complete unpredictable strangers behind the wheels of multi-ton killing-machines if he dares to go out there. But the solution is to change that perception, not feed it.

Look, drivers of big trucks have blind spots, and they don't expect to be passed on the right as they are turning right from the right lane. They don't expect anyone to be there. This is a world-wide problem. The solution is not to change the behavior of truck drivers because, realistically, that's just not going to happen. And feeding into the false perception that that is where the problem is, and so that is what needs to be solved, is never going to change anything. The perception will remain, and the collisions will continue, and the perception will remain. There is no way out of that loop. And it's anti-cycling.

The only way out is to change the perception. Get people to realize the role of the cyclist in each and every one of these tragedies, and how the cyclist has total and complete control to avoid it. I am here to tell you I am never ever going to get right hooked by a big truck. I just won't let that happen to me. And if I can do it, anyone can. That's the message that we need to get out there, not that truck drivers have to change before it will ever be reasonably safe to ride a bicycle in the streets - that's absurd, and it is just not going to happen.

Consider what happens when people hear about others being mugged at 3am in questionable neighborhoods. It's sad, but we have come to understand that you shouldn't walk around alone in certain areas in the middle of the night. That's why we have the line, "let me walk you to your car, and you drive me to mine". That doesn't mean that walking is dangerous, or walking at night is dangerous, or walking in that area is dangerous, or even walking there at night is dangerous as long as you are not alone. It means that walking alone at night in that area is dangerous. It's the combination of factors that make it dangerous, the danger is not inherent to the activity.

So that's what we have to get across. It's not that bicycling is dangerous. It's not that big trucks are dangerous. It's not even that bicycling past big trucks is dangerous. What's dangerous is bicycling to the right of big trucks, and stopping to the right of big trucks, at places where they can and might be turned right. It's the combination of factors that make it dangerous, the danger is not inherent to the activity.

Gene's argument, and the argument of any so-called "bike advocate" promoting the "need" (Randya's word) for better motorist education and segregated facilities makes it sound like ALL bicycling in any kind of traffic is simply too dangerous, period, and will remain so until the environment changes.

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Old 02-08-08, 11:52 AM   #267
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Is that truly his message? From what I understand Gene actually has cycled quite a bit, and has a great safety record to boot. I would say he must be sufficiently mitigating the dangers of riding in traffic with his behavior and attitude. This is advocating by example. Just because someone thinks motorists could/should be doing a better job doesn't mean they are an anti-cycling advocate. I just don't see riders that behave and believe like Gene as a problem that needs to be fixed.
Disclaimer here... while I have cycled quite a bit, I have also experienced three bike/car collisions... so my safety record is hardly spotless.

Two of the collisions involved motorists violating my ROW after they left stop signs; one was a minor right hook.

My point is that Helmet Head seems to be dancing around that even a minor collision between a cyclist and motorist, based on simple Newtonian physics, can be detrimental to the cyclist... and denial of that truth is ludicrous.

Whether it happens or not, statistically, is another issue.

Apparently Helmet Head is trying to deny the laws of physics and refuses to acknowledge them... and plans on telling his students the same thing.

Any one that has played billiards knows very well what happens when two objects collide.

If the environment was not inherently dangerous, why are so many laws and rules written to govern it?
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Old 02-08-08, 11:55 AM   #268
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Is that truly his message? From what I understand Gene actually has cycled quite a bit, and has a great safety record to boot. I would say he must be sufficiently mitigating the dangers of riding in traffic with his behavior and attitude. This is advocating by example. Just because someone thinks motorists could/should be doing a better job doesn't mean they are an anti-cycling advocate. I just don't see riders that behave and believe like Gene as a problem that needs to be fixed.
I agree that the message Gene sends while cycling is a good and positive one for bicycling advocacy.

I am talking about the message implied in the arguments he puts forward, and statements he makes, on this forum (and elsewhere). It is anti-cycling.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:57 AM   #269
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Jumping to conclusions???

I said in both statements that the environment is inherently dangerous, but that danger is mitigated by rules.

Forester has stated in the past (and on this thread) that vehicular cycling works because of traffic rules.

Mixing up the reality of inherent dangers verses the statistics of doing a particular activity is apples and oranges.

Are you going to convince your students that moving cars are not inherently dangerous? Good luck. Your credibility will plummet dramatically at that point.
No I'm not jumping to conclusions.
I'm recognizing the implications of your argument; apparently you do not.
I explained this in #266 in the first half of my reply to TJ.

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Old 02-08-08, 12:06 PM   #270
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Disclaimer here... while I have cycled quite a bit, I have also experienced three bike/car collisions... so my safety record is hardly spotless.

Two of the collisions involved motorists violating my ROW after they left stop signs; one was a minor right hook.

My point is that Helmet Head seems to be dancing around that even a minor collision between a cyclist and motorist, based on simple Newtonian physics, can be detrimental to the cyclist... and denial of that truth is ludicrous.
I have not saying anything that even hints at denying the fact that even a minor collision between a cyclist and motorist, based on simple Newtonian physics, can be detrimental to the cyclist.

Where do you get this stuff? So much time is wasted here by total and complete misrepresentation of what I'm saying.


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Whether it happens or not, statistically, is another issue.

Apparently Helmet Head is trying to deny the laws of physics and refuses to acknowledge them... and plans on telling his students the same thing.


What part of "Gene, I am not denying the inherent dangers in the environment of traffic cycling. I'm denying that the only way to make cycling reasonably safe is to eliminate those dangers in the environment (motorist training, facilities), which is the implication of your argument." do you not understand?



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Any one that has played billiards knows very well what happens when two objects collide.

If the environment was not inherently dangerous, why are so many laws and rules written to govern it?
I mean, I explicitly state that the environment IS inherently dangerous, and here you are asserting that I've argued the opposite. Communication is not possible like this.
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Old 02-08-08, 12:08 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by master debator
I know. But my argument is that the effect Gene's argument, regardless of the intent, is to discourage people from taking up cycling, and certainly does not encourage it.

I have no trouble acknowledging the dangers inherent in traffic cycling, especially in the context of what you can and should do to mitigate those dangers (best practices). Of course there are dangers. My objection is to calling something "cycling advocacy" that is based on the implicit message that the cycling environment is currently too dangerous, that best practices alone do not and cannot mitigate the dangers sufficiently to make it a reasonably safe activity. That is not cycling advocacy; it is anti-cycling advocacy (not to mention it is false as compared to the dangers of many other normal human activities considered to be reasonably safe).

Again, TJ, our conversations would be much more interesting if you responded to something I was actually saying, rather than something that I'm not. The main point common to the thousands of posts I've made here can be summarized as: "cycling in traffic can be potentially dangerous, but these dangers can be mitigated with knowledge, skills and best practices such that cycling in traffic is reasonably safe".

The message implied by Gene's argument above is the opposite of that: that these dangers are so bad that they cannot be sufficiently mitigated by cyclist behavior enough to make cycling safe - the environment itself must be changed to make cycling reasonably safe." That's not cycling advocacy, it's anti-cycling advocacy. And it's wrong.
The idea is not to spend a lot of time talking up the negatives with the public, but rather, to spend time with them working effectively for positive change.

and your first paragraph is a strawman, it's been clearly stated by JF himself numerous times here that his objectives do not include encouraging more people to bicycle.
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Old 02-08-08, 12:14 PM   #272
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I said in both statements that the environment is inherently dangerous, but that danger is mitigated by rules.
But the implication of what you argue is that because motorists often do not follow the rules, that danger is NOT mitigated.

Your arguments and statements leave the impression that the only way to mitigate those dangers sufficiently to make cycling reasonably safe is for motorists to obey the rules significantly better than they currently are... that the level of compliance with rule-following by motorists is currently not good enough to make cycling reasonably safe; that the current amount of non-compliance is "unacceptable" (not to mention "annoying" and "irritating"). Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is what I understand you to be saying.

In other words, (again, correct me if I'm wrong) I don't ever recall you saying anything that ultimately amounts to meaning that motorists currently follow the rules well enough for it to be reasonably safe to be a bicyclist out there, as long as you pay attention, and follow the rules and best practices yourself. That's my argument, and every time I make it, you disagree.
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Old 02-08-08, 12:20 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by anti-cycling advocate View Post
The idea is not to spend a lot of time talking up the negatives with the public, but rather, to spend time with them working effectively for positive change.
Again, that may be the idea, but the effect is to imply that the environment must change before cycling in traffic can be reasonably safe; that right now it cannot be.

I'm all for positive change, but not when lobbying for it sends the wrong message; an anti-cycling message.

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Originally Posted by apprentice debater View Post
and your first paragraph is a strawman, it's been clearly stated by JF himself numerous times here that his objectives do not include encouraging more people to bicycle.
What does Forester's position have to do with my argument being a strawman? It made no reference to him or his positions in the paragraph (or the entire post or even discussion here) that you are contending is a strawman.

I know that encouraging more people to take up cycling is not one of Forester's objectives. But it is one of mine. I am a bicycling advocate, and active in that area. I want to encourage more people to take up bicycling, and that's why it irks me so much to see so much coming out of the cycling community that implicitly and explicitly conveys the message that it is simply too dangerous out there to be on a bicycle. It's ridiculous.

Besides, Gene does want to encourage more people to take up cycling, and he's the one making arguments and statements that are discouraging.

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Old 02-08-08, 12:39 PM   #274
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"Gene says, "The only reason traffic works is because of rules, and those obeying the rules."
But we know that not everyone obeys the rules all of the time.
Therefore (according to HH's leap in debate logic), traffic does not work."

That's a leap, waaaay too many factors in a traffic system to be that b/w.
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Old 02-08-08, 12:45 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer View Post
"Gene says, "The only reason traffic works is because of rules, and those obeying the rules."
But we know that not everyone obeys the rules all of the time.
Therefore (according to HH's leap in debate logic), traffic does not work."

That's a leap, waaaay too many factors in a traffic system to be that b/w.
Well, if you paid attention to what Gene is saying, you'd understand that that is what he's saying.
He says we rely on motorists to obey the rules, but since they (often) don't obey the rules, relying on them to do so doesn't work. The implication is that we're sitting ducks, and that this is unacceptable, and must change, before cycling can be reasonably safe.

I've invited him above to correct me if I'm misunderstanding, and of course he is always free to do that with or without an explicit invitation.
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