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The Ten Commandments of Bicycle Advocacy

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The Ten Commandments of Bicycle Advocacy

Old 09-09-14, 04:01 PM
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VTBike
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The Ten Commandments of Bicycle Advocacy

For those who are new to this forum, I thought that I would list the Ten Commandments of Bicycle Advocacy.

1) Bicyclists never break the law. If they do break a law, it's merely because it was safer to do so. But they never break the law anyway. Ever.
2) Everyone on this planet, except for bicycle advocates, hates bicyclists and is out to eliminate all bicycles from the face of the earth.
3) Bicycle advocates have magic powers that allow only them to assess a risk of danger. The laws of physics are not applicable. Only these magic powers can be relied upon.
4) Bicycling infrastructure should only support the elite 5% of bicyclists. The thousands of families that enjoy bike paths and advocate for more paths are traitors to the bicycling community and must be ridiculed.
5) Automobile drivers must, at all times, accept being inconvenienced by bicycles. They may never complain when needless interference from a bicycle occurs.
6) Bicycles must, at all times, be free from interference from pedestrians. Pedestrians who needlessly interfere with bicyclists must be severely punished.
7) Anyone who criticizes a bicyclist for any reason is anti-bicycling. These people have forgotten Commandment #1 and must be ridiculed.
8) Bicycle advocates must blatantly disregard the reality that our roadway infrastructure was designed for automobiles. Instead of advocating for an infrastructure that can safely and properly accommodate both types of vehicles, bicycle advocates must always insist on operating on roadways as they currently exist.
9) Taking the lane is always the safest option. Always. If there is a toothpick lying on a seven foot wide shoulder, a bicyclist must take the lane to stay safe.
10) Bicycling is good for the environment and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, anything that can be done on, or with, a bicycle MUST be a good thing and the people who ride bikes must be good people. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Last edited by VTBike; 09-09-14 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 09-09-14, 04:09 PM
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Getting a little frustrated with the A&S forums are you?
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Old 09-09-14, 04:25 PM
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I think #10 conflicts with #4 and it's making my brain hurt.

Originally Posted by VTBike View Post
4) The thousands of families that enjoy bike paths and advocate for more paths are traitors to the bicycling community and must be ridiculed.

10) Therefore, anything that can be done on, or with, a bicycle MUST be a good thing and the people who ride bikes must be good people no matter what. There are no exceptions to this rule.
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Old 09-09-14, 04:38 PM
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I understand the frustration and I sometimes feel it myself. But my experience on the A&S forum is that it has been very helpful for me. I've gotten some great ideas. I see a lot of very passionate give and take on car vs. cycle issues and I suspect that is healthy, even if unpleasant. So I'm in favor of those who want cars off of our roads and in favor of those who want entirely separate infrastructure for bikes. I also appreciate all of you who give us suggestions for dealing with the reality we have right now.
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Old 09-09-14, 08:28 PM
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No, no no. You've got number one all wrong. It should be, "I never break the law. All those other People on Bikes (NOT cyclists) break the law and give me a bad name."

(In the spirit of A&S, I'm just trying to be argumentative and picking nits. Wait, is that an eleventh commandment?)
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Old 09-09-14, 08:42 PM
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....somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.
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Old 09-09-14, 08:58 PM
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That was pretty funny. Probably helps that I've seen each Commandment on display in A&S at some time or other. Well played, VTBike.
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Old 09-09-14, 09:47 PM
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Well played,

Glad you lightened up some, and I agree the "us" vs. "them" routine gets tiresome.
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Old 09-10-14, 05:37 PM
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Such incongruity on display for the benefit of newcomers or people looking at cycling as an legitimate outlet...you do not serve anyone well with this mish mosh...
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Old 09-10-14, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jeichelberg87 View Post
Such incongruity on display for the benefit of newcomers or people looking at cycling as an legitimate outlet...you do not serve anyone well with this mish mosh...
No need to insult the intelligence of the readers here. I think they understand sarcasm and comments such as "That was pretty funny," and "Well played." If you want to take your personal vendetta out on me, at least keep it in the proper thread.
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Old 09-10-14, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jeichelberg87 View Post
Such incongruity on display for the benefit of newcomers or people looking at cycling as an legitimate outlet...you do not serve anyone well with this mish mosh...
It might be a stretch, but I'd file this one under #7 .
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Old 09-10-14, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Oxley View Post
It might be a stretch, but I'd file this one under #7 .
Yep...and then get hammered by the OP for following his commandments...
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Old 09-10-14, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Oxley View Post
It might be a stretch, but I'd file this one under #7 .
LOL!!!! Too true!!!!
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Old 09-10-14, 07:15 PM
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This thread only serves as evidence as to why bicycle-riding needs to be licensed. Sarcasm or not, there's a seed of truth in every line.

So much conflicting responses and ignorance about the law that, unfortunately, contribute to cyclist accident rates and confused/angry motorist responses.

If cyclists can't even agree among ourselves - in hopes of improving safety for all - what is the right way of conduct, what hope does a poor motorist have of interpreting our actions?
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Old 09-10-14, 07:18 PM
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All going to demonstrate there bicyclists are just people, no different that motorists.
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Old 09-10-14, 07:25 PM
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Beautiful. Well thought out and nicely written.... oh yeah and funny. So rare to see humor in the A&S area.

Trends come and go.... and it will almost be nice to see cycling return to it's (American) tradition of a lesser sport.
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Old 09-10-14, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
All going to demonstrate that bicyclists are just people, no different that motorists.
Hey now. This is A&S. Take your common sense elsewhere.
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Old 09-10-14, 08:26 PM
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Perhaps another commandment is in order:
If you are a professional bicycling advocate, you must grow a salt and pepper beard, and chase ambulances to supplement your meager income gained from doing what is good (or should that be what is right, perhaps even what is constitutionally right) for people who ride bikes.
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Old 09-10-14, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by VTBike View Post
For those who are new to this forum, I thought that I would list the Ten Commandments of Bicycle Advocacy.

1) Bicyclists never break the law. If they do break a law, it's merely because it was safer to do so. But they never break the law anyway. Ever.
2) Everyone on this planet, except for bicycle advocates, hates bicyclists and is out to eliminate all bicycles from the face of the earth.
3) Bicycle advocates have magic powers that allow only them to assess a risk of danger. The laws of physics are not applicable. Only these magic powers can be relied upon.
4) Bicycling infrastructure should only support the elite 5% of bicyclists. The thousands of families that enjoy bike paths and advocate for more paths are traitors to the bicycling community and must be ridiculed.
5) Automobile drivers must, at all times, accept being inconvenienced by bicycles. They may never complain when needless interference from a bicycle occurs.
6) Bicycles must, at all times, be free from interference from pedestrians. Pedestrians who needlessly interfere with bicyclists must be severely punished.
7) Anyone who criticizes a bicyclist for any reason is anti-bicycling. These people have forgotten Commandment #1 and must be ridiculed.
8) Bicycle advocates must blatantly disregard the reality that our roadway infrastructure was designed for automobiles. Instead of advocating for an infrastructure that can safely and properly accommodate both types of vehicles, bicycle advocates must always insist on operating on roadways as they currently exist.
9) Taking the lane is always the safest option. Always. If there is a toothpick lying on a seven foot wide shoulder, a bicyclist must take the lane to stay safe.
10) Bicycling is good for the environment and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, anything that can be done on, or with, a bicycle MUST be a good thing and the people who ride bikes must be good people. There are no exceptions to this rule.
1) Bicyclists break the law no more than motorists. Motorists who complain about cyclist scofflaws are usually hypocrites.
2) In any given ride of sufficient length in the presence of motorists, a cyclist will experience disregard for his/her safety and/or outright hositility
3) Cyclists are more vulnerable, more exposed, and have fewer barriers between their senses and the surrounding environment; out of a need for self-preservation they typically develop better abilities to recognize dangers and risks
4) Bicycling infrastructure as it is commonly implemented in the U.S. often creates new risks that offset much of their advantages
5) Many automobile drivers react reflexively to the very presence of cyclists as an inconvenience; in those cases, their complaints are not valid
6) Many pedestrians often do annoying, heedless, oblivious, and dangerous things, especially on MUPs. Cyclists who vent about these encounters are not arguing that pedestrians do not have a right to use the roads or MUPs, while many motorists argue that cyclists do not have a right to the road.
7) Motorists are the cause of the vast majority of cyclist-motorist accidents. Criticizing cyclists is virtually useless as even "perfect" behavior of cyclists will not significantly change the risks that face cyclists.
8) Many cyclists do advocate for better infrastructure. However, cyclists can still assert their right to use existing roadways even if they do not engage in advocacy.
9) In jurisdictions where taking the lane is legal, a cyclist has the right to choose it if he/she determines it is the safest course of action
10) People in general are better off on bicycles than in cars. A drunken cyclist poses less risk than a drunken driver, so even a bad person is less bad on a bike.

FIFY
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Old 09-10-14, 10:18 PM
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I think the original version is more accurately reflective of the advocacy champions seen in the A&S forums.
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Old 09-10-14, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
I think the original version is more accurately reflective of the advocacy champions seen in the A&S forums.
But the modified version more accurately reflects reality.
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Old 09-10-14, 11:31 PM
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Spot ON there OP 1000%

Oh ... #11 .... Cycling is safe, but ONLY if you are wearing a foam pillow hat.
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Old 09-11-14, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
I think the original version is more accurately reflective of the advocacy champions seen in the A&S forums.
It did capture the perceived victimization quite nicely. His #1 was also a perfect example of deflection and a prohibition of criticism - as if a hypocrisy trumps factual correctness in regard to the bicyclist's behavior. Most successful people I know don't care if someone is a hypocrite. They care about their own performance and seek excellence at all times. When they were kids they weren't the ones saying, "I know you are but what am I?"

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Old 09-11-14, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by VTBike View Post
It did capture the perceived victimization quite nicely. His #1 was also a perfect example of deflection and a prohibition of criticism - as if a hypocrisy trumps factual correctness in regard to the bicyclist's behavior. Most successful people I know don't care if someone is a hypocrite. They care about their own performance and seek excellence at all times. When they were kids they weren't the ones saying, "I know you are but what am I?"
Actually, no. You are continuing to miss the point. When cyclists roll through a stop sign, they rarely endanger anyone else. So criticism about cyclists breaking the law isn't about safety, or practicality, it's about principle. Yet the same people who carp about cyclists on principle alone fail to meet their own standard. So a commonly held attitude that cyclists are lawbreakers and "this needs to stop" is the demon child of hypocritical prejudice and should be rightly dismissed as irrelevant to the conversation about safety.
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Old 09-11-14, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus View Post
Actually, no. You are continuing to miss the point. When cyclists roll through a stop sign, they rarely endanger anyone else. So criticism about cyclists breaking the law isn't about safety, or practicality, it's about principle.
Setting aside the fact that this was never meant to be taken seriously, I was not aware that "rolling through a stop sign" was the only law on the books that applied to bicyclists. Nor was I aware that "rolling through a stop sign" in a state other than Idaho is not, and cannot, be a violation of the law - even though it is a violation of the law. Whether or not the ends justify the means, the means stand on their own. It appears as if you are looking at this rather myopically, no? At the very least you have affirmed Commandment #7 .

At its core, here is your logic:
- There is a law on the books prohibiting rolling through a stop sign.
- Bicyclist rolled through stop sign.
- Bicyclist did so in a safe way.
- Therefore, bicyclist broke no law regarding stop signs and can, therefore, never be in violation of any other law pertaining to bicyclists.

I am quite sure a grade school student would see the logical flaw in your argument. I appreciate your assessment as to the efficacy of the law as written, but that does not entitle you to demand that I pretend that the law does not exist. Rather than wasting your time arguing an absurdity, your resources would be better spent advocating for a change in the law. That's at least what I have done in my jurisdiction.

Last edited by VTBike; 09-11-14 at 06:15 AM.
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