Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

just published this in my college newspaper, thought I'd share..

Notices
Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

just published this in my college newspaper, thought I'd share..

Old 08-24-10, 02:40 PM
  #1  
DP1112
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
just published this in my college newspaper, thought I'd share..

Amidst the motorized mayhem of our roadways lies those people who shun the conventional. We choose a gentle form of transportation that suits our needs whether it is economical, environmental or quality-of-life justifications. Yet by making this decision, one must accept the grave dangers of becoming a cyclist. But why is this decision, simply choosing a certain means of conveyance, such a dire one? The answers to that question are central to this piece: the cyclist’s manifesto.
Motorists exhibit feeble thought on the subject, based primarily on impatience, small-mindedness and (most egregiously) a certain lack of humanity. It always leaves me dumbfounded when the average motorist talks about cyclists as if they are subhuman. Somehow, we are obstacles. We are but impediments to your important journey. We have no destination or sense of urgency. We are insistently trying to anger you. We can’t afford a car. We are lawless. We are godless. But most of all, we should ride on the sidewalk (which in San Marcos is non-existent or exasperatingly partitioned). These are but some of the asinine claims I’ve listened to. To those who believe and perpetuate these stereotypes, I hope to vanquish their ignorance. To those who understand the plight of the cyclists, I hope to galvanize our resistance.
A cyclist is a person — that’s important to remember — riding a bicycle in the road. A cyclist is not a person riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. People who ride their bicycles on the sidewalks are annoying pedestrians. The double meaning is intentional. But, as I will endeavor to explain to you, bicycles on the sidewalk are one of the outcomes of misconceptions that crystallize into misguided policy. That leads to bicycles on the sidewalk or the renegade behavior that produces those misconceptions. I hope you’re picking up on the “cyclical” nature of the problem.
To understand the manifesto, one must see the road from a cyclist’s perspective. Although cyclists and motorists use the same roadways, the shared experience could not possess a starker dichotomy. Even the smallest car poses a deadly threat to any cyclist. The slightest act of vehicular aggression (i.e.: tailgating, honking, close passes, etc.) is felt tenfold by the cyclist. And since we are in the God-blessed land of Texas, where everything is bigger, we all know there aren’t small cars or “slight” aggressive acts here.
The protection motorists are afforded, by their sheer power and size, is coupled with the protection they receive from bias within the law and its subsequent enforcement — or lack thereof. To explain this phenomenon, one must understand the real-world application of the current laws, which are vague about key aspects of cyclists’ safety. A prime example is the simple, but dangerous maneuver of passing. Thanks to Rick Perry and his veto of the law requiring drivers to give a cyclist 3 feet of space while passing (Bill White anybody?), many cities in Texas, San Marcos included, do not state a defined passing buffer. Instead, the law leaves cyclists’ safety at the discretion of drivers and police, both of whom (most typically) are in cars. I can tell you from experience, allowing motorists to define (on the fly, no less) a standard of safety for cyclists is foolish. Countless cars have passed me at 40+ mph with less than a 2-foot passing buffer. To them, that was a “safe” distance. Sadly, most police officers would probably agree. This translates into an extremely hostile environment for the cyclist; where laws are irrelevant because of a blatant disregard for safety or a lack of enforcement.
In the absence of law, to what does one abide? The rules, and they are quite simple. A cyclist can be in the road because of motorists’ most base acknowledgement of the law and human rights. However, a cyclist mustn’t impede, in any way, shape or form, a motorist’s journey. If cyclists do not adhere to these rules, their safety will quickly and drastically be put in danger. In a rule versus law situation, the cyclist is forced to obey the rules rooted in actual roadway experience.
The cyclist’s manifesto is based on the moral imperative to survive. I will not endanger myself to abide by laws that are one, not enforced, and two, meek in construction and shallow in thought as to render them useless. My advice to cyclists is not to abide by the laws but to live by the rules. And where the rule of the road is “get out of my way or allow me to put your life in jeopardy,” a cyclist’s best chance at self-preservation is to do all they can to maintain safety. “Safe” is a relative and ambiguous term that when applied to cycling says little. Lawful riding is clearly defined but will do little in the way of preserving your safety. I refrain from professing arbitrary and dangerous clichés like “Ride safe” or “Obey traffic laws.” Put simply, the cyclist manifesto is this: “Stay upright.”

https://star.txstate.edu/content/cyclists-manifesto
DP1112 is offline  
Old 08-24-10, 03:01 PM
  #2  
chris902
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Suggestion: Simplify your writing. It comes across as overly flowery which is a problem with any type of writing but even more of an issue with something like this. When you're writing a piece for publication and trying to convince people of your own opinion it's probably best not to risk alienating them by coming across as pretentious.
chris902 is offline  
Old 08-24-10, 03:18 PM
  #3  
noisebeam
Arizona Dessert
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Posts: 14,966

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex

Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4975 Post(s)
Liked 1,642 Times in 979 Posts
Stop adding to this creation of a battle between roadway users and instead work toward shared responsibility for everyone safety. This article is not in the best interests of cyclists.
noisebeam is offline  
Old 08-24-10, 03:51 PM
  #4  
crhilton
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 4,568

Bikes: '07 Trek 1500, '08 Surly Cross Check, '09 Masi Speciale Sprint custom build

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Seems romanticized. People don't communicate that way anymore and will probably take this as being from a holier than thou zealot. I'm guessing you just made more trouble than you helped.
crhilton is offline  
Old 08-24-10, 04:31 PM
  #5  
SBRDude
Godfather of Soul
 
SBRDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,517

Bikes: 2002 Litespeed Vortex, 2010 Specialized Tricross Expert,2008 Gary Fischer Hi Fi Carbon, 2002 Specialized S-Works hard tail, 1990 Kestrel KM 40

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sure there are lots of bad and thoughtless drivers and they are a menace to cyclists (and other drivers, btw), but let's not pretend that all drivers look poorly on cyclists or treat them as subhuman. In my experience, MOST drivers DO make an effort to drive safely around me. The ones that don't get my attention and sometimes hurt me, but stereotyping all drivers as thoughtless neanderthals makes you look like nothing than an idealistic and misinformed zealot. By publishing this in your paper, have unfortunately helped to create or reinforce a very negative stereotype of cyclists and their relationship to motorists.
SBRDude is offline  
Old 08-24-10, 04:33 PM
  #6  
KD5NRH
Senior Member
 
KD5NRH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Stephenville TX
Posts: 3,697

Bikes: 2010 Trek 7100

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 697 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by chris902 View Post
Suggestion: Simplify your writing. It comes across as overly flowery which is a problem with any type of writing but even more of an issue with something like this. When you're writing a piece for publication and trying to convince people of your own opinion it's probably best not to risk alienating them by coming across as pretentious.
When you're done with that part, write where it will do more good; your state Senators and Representatives. The Texas Health and Safety code provides for bicycle safety education, but doesn't require that it actually happen. At least some of the funding should go to a "share the road" lesson for motorists to be added to defensive driving and driver's ed classes.
KD5NRH is offline  
Old 08-24-10, 04:42 PM
  #7  
zeppinger
Senior Member
 
zeppinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,014

Bikes: Giant FCR3, Surly LHT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
I don't agree at all that cycling is vastly more dangerous than driving. By making it seem that way all you have done is to keep further people afraid of riding their bikes on the road which makes the road less safe for everyone. This might be a nice piece in a cycling magazine or on this forum where the majority of readers can at least relate to it but most people at your University are not going to get it. They are going to think your an A-hole and assume that most other cyclist they see on the road are like you.
zeppinger is offline  
Old 08-24-10, 06:58 PM
  #8  
Wanderer
aka Phil Jungels
 
Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Posts: 8,234

Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 202 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 56 Posts
With your wordiness, you made a lot of people think you are an a$$.

You would do much better using normal, everyday, language.........
Wanderer is offline  
Old 08-24-10, 07:08 PM
  #9  
cc_rider
Calamari to go
 
cc_rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,113

Bikes: Trek 750

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just the facts, man.
cc_rider is offline  
Old 08-24-10, 07:51 PM
  #10  
rustybrown
Senior Member
 
rustybrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: DeSouf
Posts: 2,145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
B-B-B-Bored. Sorry. There was simply too much of a lead. Shorten your nut graph and get to the point.

And don't get me started on the question----big no no.

Last edited by rustybrown; 08-24-10 at 07:52 PM. Reason: tighten your copy
rustybrown is offline  
Old 08-24-10, 10:28 PM
  #11  
sdold
Hi, folks
 
sdold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It sounds like you're trying to impress with lots and lots of fancy words.
"I hope to vanquish their ignorance." Don't write stuff like that. Seriously.
sdold is offline  
Old 08-25-10, 12:16 AM
  #12  
whitecat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 450
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Nicely done. At least you tried to do something, to make a difference. Do not pay attention to those criticizing everything and anything, let their actions speak for themselves; when they do write anything on the subject, then they are welcomed to our opinions on it. Until then...
whitecat is offline  
Old 08-25-10, 12:26 AM
  #13  
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by chris902 View Post
Suggestion: Simplify your writing. It comes across as overly flowery which is a problem with any type of writing but even more of an issue with something like this. When you're writing a piece for publication and trying to convince people of your own opinion it's probably best not to risk alienating them by coming across as pretentious.
This. It reads as if your principal aim is not to convince the reader, but merely to demonstrate how clever you are - which is never very clever.

And cycling does not involve "grave dangers". Saying it does is both inaccurate, and deters people from doing it.
chasm54 is offline  
Old 08-25-10, 05:41 AM
  #14  
ItsJustMe
Señior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 446 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Who is your target reader? It seems like you're targeting non-cyclists, but the first thing you do is to call non-cyclists feeble minded. I doubt anyone reads this past the 2nd paragraph.

I agree with the comments above - the writing seems entirely ***********y - it's done for your own pleasure, to show everyone how smart you are. I doubt you could convince anyone with this piece. I absolutely don't mind that you're using words with more than two syllables either, that's not my complaint. The entire tone of the article is incredibly smug and condescending.

Also, the manifesto you speak of is bullcr*p. I am a full-time rider and I don't think that way, and I'm sure it's nowhere near as universal as you make it out to be.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 08-25-10, 06:00 AM
  #15  
DX-MAN
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,788
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Everyone else pretty much covered what I wanted to say. I will just add one thought.

I'm not trying to make you feel bad when I say THIS, but it's how it comes across to me:

The state of education in this country has been eroding for a long time, I know that; but truthfully, this wouldn't have made the HIGH SCHOOL paper 35 years ago. Sorry if that wounds you, but it's what I see. I washed out of a journalism course at about your age because I couldn't tighten up my writing. So take it from one who knows.
DX-MAN is offline  
Old 08-25-10, 07:25 AM
  #16  
Namenda
.
 
Namenda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: "The Woo", MA
Posts: 4,830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I'll join the minority here, and say that I actually quite liked your article. I didn't find your prose to be at all superflous, but rather well-thought out and directed. Will it change the minds of anyone? Likely not. Unsafe/inconsiderate/rude drivers tend to stay that way until something happens to force them to change. Sadly, by that time, its usually too late.
Namenda is offline  
Old 08-25-10, 07:04 PM
  #17  
DP1112
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well, basically it seems that the main criticisms stem from my writing style, assertions about danger and my intended audience. I won't make any excuses for my writing style. I have been described as "flowery" many times and I can be more concise but I choose to be more descriptive. I also won't apologize for using words that are more "average" or everyday. I will admit that it does go overboard sometimes and like I said, this is in my college newspaper, so I'm obviously learning.
Based on the feedback, I would love to ride where you guys ride. I'm not sure how many of y'all are from TX, but trust me I am NOT embellishing on the dangers I face everyday on my bicycle. I will stand by ANY of those assertions I made and I would invite anybody to ride a bicycle with me in San Marcos, Texas and you'll realize, very quickly, that I'm not romanticizing anything. If you feel very safe on the road, that must be a remarkable feeling or your in complete ignorance.
As far as my intended audience and message...Namenda said it better than I could have "Will it change the minds of anyone? Likely not. Unsafe/inconsiderate/rude drivers tend to stay that way until something happens to force them to change." I realize this was probably the wrong forum to post this in, because I'm not really advocating as much as I am describing.
DP1112 is offline  
Old 08-25-10, 08:03 PM
  #18  
SBRDude
Godfather of Soul
 
SBRDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,517

Bikes: 2002 Litespeed Vortex, 2010 Specialized Tricross Expert,2008 Gary Fischer Hi Fi Carbon, 2002 Specialized S-Works hard tail, 1990 Kestrel KM 40

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DP1112 View Post
I'm not sure how many of y'all are from TX, but trust me I am NOT embellishing on the dangers I face everyday on my bicycle.
I live and ride just up the road in Austin, TX. I have also lived in Dallas, TX and ridden extensively in the area.
I will stand by ANY of those assertions I made and I would invite anybody to ride a bicycle with me in San Marcos, Texas and you'll realize, very quickly, that I'm not romanticizing anything.
I haven't ridden in San Marcos, so I can't speak to your environment.

I have also lived and ridden in Southern CA, SF, and Tucson, AZ. None of them were ideal and I have been hit by cars numerous times and have had broken bones from the experience and still have scars from road rash 20 years ago, so I'm no naive novice when it comes to the dangers of bikes vs. cars. At best, I just don't think your little manifesto does anything positive, except for allowing you to vent some personal frustration.

Also, if you're going to write a manifesto about cars and bikes, you should at least point out that there are probably a higher percentage of cyclists who don't follow the law or respect the etiquette of riding on the roads than the percentage of dangerous motorists. Those cyclists are usually the ones that create a bad image for the rest of us.
SBRDude is offline  
Old 08-26-10, 12:24 AM
  #19  
DP1112
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm not trying to write to change minds because frankly, I don't know what changes minds. I've done the whole, sit-down-and-exchange-ideas-thing, to no avail. I like the point you make because it is exactly what this column is about, frustration. I'm venting. I am. I sound self righteous, but I'm not, I'm just explaining how I feel, with the understanding that I'm just an idiot, but my views are just as valid as the next idiot's.

If I had the option of lengthening this column another 400 words, I would definitely explain that those renegade cyclists add to the negative stereotype of cyclists. BUT, I feel that this renegade behavior is brought upon by the environment of the roads themselves. Look at the cagers, nobody feels like a renegade or rebellious in a car. But the bicycle's unconventionality (prolly not a word, but just trying to communicate) and the environment of the roadway produce this stark dichotomy within the bicycle community: the purists (obey all traffic laws) and the rebels (cyclists who don't adhere to any laws). The in-betweeners are the ones that ride on the sidewalk, and I address that phenomena in my column.
DP1112 is offline  
Old 08-26-10, 02:19 AM
  #20  
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by DP1112 View Post
Well, basically it seems that the main criticisms stem from my writing style, assertions about danger and my intended audience. I won't make any excuses for my writing style. I have been described as "flowery" many times and I can be more concise but I choose to be more descriptive. I also won't apologize for using words that are more "average" or everyday. I will admit that it does go overboard sometimes and like I said, this is in my college newspaper, so I'm obviously learning.
You should think more carefully about this. I have worked with academics for a lot of my life, and many of them make the same mistake you are making - "I know a lot of big words, they mean a lot to me, and I'm not going to lower myself to the level of those who don't like or understand them". They are always the least successful. They, and you, miss the point of writing, which is to be read. The aim of any sort of published writing is to communicate effectively, and if you think being less concise is the same as being more descriptive, you could not be more wrong. Ever read any Hemingway? Astonishingly concise, but extremely descriptive because he chose arresting phrases and images that evoked a response in the reader. You say you're learning, but in the same breath choose to ignore the advice you say you have received. Not learning very much, then...

Based on the feedback, I would love to ride where you guys ride. I'm not sure how many of y'all are from TX, but trust me I am NOT embellishing on the dangers I face everyday on my bicycle. I will stand by ANY of those assertions I made and I would invite anybody to ride a bicycle with me in San Marcos, Texas and you'll realize, very quickly, that I'm not romanticizing anything. If you feel very safe on the road, that must be a remarkable feeling or your in complete ignorance.
Or, maybe, yours. This is a ridiculously arrogant statement. San Marcos is a smallish town. I've ridden a bike for forty years, a lot of the time in cities with populations in the millions and traffic to match. And I feel safe because I understand the potential hazards and know how to keep myself safe.
chasm54 is offline  
Old 08-26-10, 04:55 AM
  #21  
SBRDude
Godfather of Soul
 
SBRDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,517

Bikes: 2002 Litespeed Vortex, 2010 Specialized Tricross Expert,2008 Gary Fischer Hi Fi Carbon, 2002 Specialized S-Works hard tail, 1990 Kestrel KM 40

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DP1112 View Post
If I had the option of lengthening this column another 400 words, I would definitely explain that those renegade cyclists add to the negative stereotype of cyclists. BUT, I feel that this renegade behavior is brought upon by the environment of the roads themselves. Look at the cagers, nobody feels like a renegade or rebellious in a car. But the bicycle's unconventionality (prolly not a word, but just trying to communicate) and the environment of the roadway produce this stark dichotomy within the bicycle community: the purists (obey all traffic laws) and the rebels (cyclists who don't adhere to any laws). The in-betweeners are the ones that ride on the sidewalk, and I address that phenomena in my column.
Although I failed to be specific, I was actually thinking of novice and/or clueless cyclists rather than the experienced ones who willingly choose dangerous techniques.

For example, last night, around 6pm, I was driving across town and some lady was riding her bike in the left lane of 4 lane road that gets a fair amount of traffic (2 lanes going each way). She wasn't riding very fast, so I figured she was getting ready to make a left turn onto a side street, and when she passed the first street, I raised my eyebrows. She continued in the left lane for at least half a mile before finally making a left. Then, as she finally approached the left turn, it was at a stop light and traffic was backed up. She crept up on the left edge of the left lane between the cars and the center divider by pushing the divider with her left foot (kind of like skating while riding the bike). The difference between her and the renegade riders you describe is that she didn't seem to have a clue about how to ride in traffic, and perhaps more importantly, she didn't seem to be a strong rider nor express any confidence to the motorists that she had any idea what she was doing. These are the types of knuckleheads that easily frustrate motorists and give the rest of us a bad reputation.

Even experienced cyclists can be pretty rude, particularly in areas where they ride two abreast when there is car traffic. That happened quite a bit when I lived in Tucson. Like Austin, there were lots of cyclists all over the place and you'd frequently see club riders doing the two abreast thing. It was legal, but it was stupid to do with traffic and sends a bad message to motorists.

OK, one last anecdotal story from Tucson. I lived on a street near the bottom of a hill, so sometimes cyclists would go for the challenge. The problem with our street was that turning left onto it from the main road was a real PIA, even when in a car. The main road had fast traffic and it was slightly uphill onto our street. One time when I was in my car going home, I was getting ready to make that left turn and there were two cyclists in front of me getting ready to do the same. Seems like it was a middle aged couple or something and they had nice gear and clothes. Anyway, they started to make the turn and I crept slowly behind them in my car doing the same - the exact same thing you would do behind another car. The gal must have had trouble clipping in or something and kind of slowed down and got flustered. Then, she started screaming at me because she thought I was somehow making it more difficult or dangerous for her, which I certainly wasn't. I thought about pulling over and talking to her, but I just let it go. So, from her perspective, I was just another idiot motorist, even though I did nothing wrong and was very focused on the cyclists around me. If I hadn't been a cyclist myself, there is a good chance I would have been quite pissed about the whole thing and lost respect for all cyclists (remember, they looked like experienced cyclists and not some random knuckleheads on bikes).

My point with these stories isn't that cyclists are bad and motorists are good. I'm just pointing out that as cyclists, it's really easy to point fingers at motorists while failing to recognize the problems in our own circles.

Whatever type of argument or presentation one is making, it's always more persuasive to acknowledge the other side's perspective so that you can then explain why your position is more reasonable and credible.
SBRDude is offline  
Old 08-26-10, 12:45 PM
  #22  
DP1112
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
You should think more carefully about this. I have worked with academics for a lot of my life, and many of them make the same mistake you are making - "I know a lot of big words, they mean a lot to me, and I'm not going to lower myself to the level of those who don't like or understand them". They are always the least successful. They, and you, miss the point of writing, which is to be read. The aim of any sort of published writing is to communicate effectively, and if you think being less concise is the same as being more descriptive, you could not be more wrong. Ever read any Hemingway? Astonishingly concise, but extremely descriptive because he chose arresting phrases and images that evoked a response in the reader. You say you're learning, but in the same breath choose to ignore the advice you say you have received. Not learning very much, then...


Honestly, I'll take that to heart because that is a good point. I'll admit, I started to get a lil defensive about my me and my precious words.


Or, maybe, yours. This is a ridiculously arrogant statement. San Marcos is a smallish town. I've ridden a bike for forty years, a lot of the time in cities with populations in the millions and traffic to match. And I feel safe because I understand the potential hazards and know how to keep myself safe.
It is most definitely a smallish town. But really, I won't back down from the assertions I made about the dangers. I know I'm prolly going to get hit for saying this, but I understand the potential hazards and know how to keep myself safe too...thus far. But in the back of my mind I know that I'm just one instant away from a car-bicycle collision. Yeah, there aren't millions of drivers in San Marcos, but there are tens of thousands of bad, young drivers in a very small area.
DP1112 is offline  
Old 08-26-10, 12:58 PM
  #23  
Wanderer
aka Phil Jungels
 
Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Posts: 8,234

Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 202 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 56 Posts
I was taught, a very long time ago, that communication was getting the desired response - I think you missed!

We are all talking about your delivery, and not about your subject - fail!

Go easy on us, speaking at a 6th grade level, reaches a lot of people, concisely.
Wanderer is offline  
Old 08-26-10, 01:07 PM
  #24  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21,996
Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14670 Post(s)
Liked 5,618 Times in 3,217 Posts
Strunk and White are strong among the cyclists.

Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 08-26-10, 01:13 PM
  #25  
noisebeam
Arizona Dessert
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Posts: 14,966

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex

Mentioned: 73 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4975 Post(s)
Liked 1,642 Times in 979 Posts
Originally Posted by DP1112 View Post
Well, basically it seems that the main criticisms stem from my writing style.
It is rare to find a person who writing is better on an internet forum vs. a publication.
noisebeam is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.