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One Day Car Free. With small Child.

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One Day Car Free. With small Child.

Old 08-22-16, 03:42 PM
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One Day Car Free. With small Child.

The other day I "published my research" that suggested, after a few years of casual browsing the Bike Forums, that becoming car free with small children in the family is challenging. Of course, this being the internet, this observation was challenged, so today I attempted to rise to that challenge. It cost me two hours, twelve bucks, a near fist-fight and a ringing headache BUT me and my seven year old made it through the day with zero carbon emissions! We went to the park, which wasn't bad, but after that we went to drum lessons on the other side of town. That took a very, very long time. In the same plaza is a bike shop. That's where the twelve buck comes in. I had to bribe the boy with a new bell for his "good" bike. He picked out a nice black one with the image of an Eagle holding a wrench on it. It wicked loud! Ding! Ding!. The man put it on his handlebars for him, we went to his lesson and then we rode slowly home. Ding! Ding! He was ringing that bell and waving at every one who waved at him because they assumed he was ring the bell to say "hi". Thus the headache. He crashed into me a few times with all the waving. Somehow, the guy in the blue BMW that came sailing into the intersection was unaware of all the ringing and waving as he screeched to a halt just shy of the traffic on the main road and well over the crosswalk and way, way beyond where the stop sign was. My son did a great job reacting to the situation and I commanded him for his efficient evasive actions. I used it as a teachable moment to always use caution because "that guy had no intention of stopping. He would have run you right over and not cared at all". Which as, of course true. But Blue BMW guy got all puffed up like he had something he wanted to add but, given his physical location, half way out into the main street, he really couldn't add any thing productive so we rode on.

Overall though, it was good bonding time for the boy and me, good experience for him with many other, less dramatic, teachable moments. It took about an hour each way to go about 4.5 miles each way but he DID IT! I'm pretty proud of him and myself.

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Old 08-22-16, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
The other day I "published my research" that suggested, after a few years of casual browsing the Bike Forums, that becoming car free with small children in the family is challenging. Of course, this being the internet, this observation was challenged, so today I attempted to rise to that challenge. It cost me two hours, twelve bucks, a near fist-fight and a ringing headache BUT me and my seven year old made it through the day with zero carbon emissions! We went to the park, which wasn't bad, but after that we went to drum lessons on the other side of town. That took a very, very long time. In the same plaza is a bike shop. That's where the twelve buck comes in. I had to bribe the boy with a new bell for his "good" bike. He picked out a nice black one with the image of an Eagle holding a wrench on it. It wicked loud! Ding! Ding!. he man put it on and he went to his lesson and then we rode slowly home. Ding! Ding! he was ringing that bell and waving at every one who waved at him because they assumed he was ring the bell to say "hi". Thus the headache. He crashed into me a few times with all the waving. Somehow, the guy in the blue BMW that came sailing into the intersection was unaware of all the ringing and waving as he screeched to a halt just shy of the traffic on the main road and well over the crosswalk and way, way beyond where the stop sign was. My son did a great job reacting to the situation and I commanded him for his efficient evasive actions. I used it as a teachable moment to always use caution because "that guy had no intention of stopping. He should have run you right over and not cared at all". Which as, of course true. But Blue BMW guy got all puffed up like he had something he wanted to add but, given his physical location, half way out into the main street, he really couldn't add any thing productive so we rode on.

Overall though, it was good bonding time for the boy and me, good experience for him with many other, less dramatic, teachable moments. It took about an hour each way to go about 4.5 miles each way but he DID IT! I'm pretty proud of him and myself.
Raising kids carfree can be torturous. I also have my share of moments where I see an accident almost occurring and wonder if it would be better to lock children inside cages until they're . . . 100. It actually angers me that there's not more concern for making 100% safe bike infrastructure for children, but since I know there are plenty of people out there just goading LCF parents to "get a car" and blaming us for putting our children at risk (as if we're the ones driving unsafely), there's no other choice than to either give in to the bully-gang or stand your ground and turn the other cheek. I know everyone's life is in God's hands, but it's hard to accept that my child might end up as a blood-sacrifice to automotivism one day, or I will and he'll end up without a father. Still, can I allow this fear to drive me into conformity to the bully-gang of drivers? No, so where does that leave us? Cringing and praying the driving masses will spare the lives of our children, brothers, and sisters each day.
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Old 08-22-16, 06:02 PM
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Kids who are raised in car-free households have very limited options. Most of them just spend all day playing video games, watching TV and sleeping because it's very difficult to get out of the house and go anywhere and see or participate in anything interesting without a vehicle...Extracurricular activities, team sport events and other fun activities require a vehicle...I just can't imagine stuffing 2-3 young kids or teenagers and all their hockey gear and other sporting equipment into a bicycle trailer and riding to the other side of town in pouring rain just so they can participate in some event or activity.
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Old 08-22-16, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
The other day I "published my research" that suggested, after a few years of casual browsing the Bike Forums, that becoming car free with small children in the family is challenging. Of course, this being the internet, this observation was challenged, so today I attempted to rise to that challenge.
I hadn't seen your other thread so I looked for it just now. You did sort of come in with guns blazing so I guess you were feeling a bit feisty to begin with, and some people responded in kind.

Of course it is challenging, and I hope you won't do it to score some kind of points in the forum - do it if you think it is necessary or for the best for your family.

Last edited by cooker; 08-22-16 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 08-22-16, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I hadn't seen your other thread so I looked for it just now. You did sort of come in with guns blazing so I guess you were feeling a bit feisty to begin with, and some people responded in kind.

Of course it is challenging, and I hope you won't do it to score some kind of points in the forum - do it if you think it is necessary or for the best for your family.
If I came off strong it was because I'm overwhelmed with green envy! The two biggest obstacles in my life to riding more (the thing that I find most "fun" in the "get healthy" department) are my schedule and rising a post-toddler. Today was a great success in that his lesson was at the farthest point of any of his normal activities. It proved to me that, given enough prior planning, I can seriously increase my physical activity level and reduce the amount of time I spend in a car. It was still challenging and a little nerve-racking but it was doable.

There's an old saying in retail that for every one complaint there are ten other unhappy customers. That's why I shared this story today. If I, a total doubting Thomas, with a very poor track record of car-reduction (despite a desire to do so) could pull this of the I'm sure that there are plenty of people more "normal" than me or who have advantages like bike-safe pathways and central location can do it to and if they are reading this forum, then perhaps sharing this story will inspire them to try too.
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Old 08-22-16, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
The other day I "published my research" that suggested, after a few years of casual browsing the Bike Forums, that becoming car free with small children in the family is challenging. Of course, this being the internet, this observation was challenged, so today I attempted to rise to that challenge. It cost me two hours, twelve bucks, a near fist-fight and a ringing headache BUT me and my seven year old made it through the day with zero carbon emissions! We went to the park, which wasn't bad, but after that we went to drum lessons on the other side of town. That took a very, very long time. In the same plaza is a bike shop. That's where the twelve buck comes in. I had to bribe the boy with a new bell for his "good" bike. He picked out a nice black one with the image of an Eagle holding a wrench on it. It wicked loud! Ding! Ding!. he man put it on and he went to his lesson and then we rode slowly home. Ding! Ding! he was ringing that bell and waving at every one who waved at him because they assumed he was ring the bell to say "hi". Thus the headache. He crashed into me a few times with all the waving. Somehow, the guy in the blue BMW that came sailing into the intersection was unaware of all the ringing and waving as he screeched to a halt just shy of the traffic on the main road and well over the crosswalk and way, way beyond where the stop sign was. My son did a great job reacting to the situation and I commanded him for his efficient evasive actions. I used it as a teachable moment to always use caution because "that guy had no intention of stopping. He should have run you right over and not cared at all". Which as, of course true. But Blue BMW guy got all puffed up like he had something he wanted to add but, given his physical location, half way out into the main street, he really couldn't add any thing productive so we rode on.

Overall though, it was good bonding time for the boy and me, good experience for him with many other, less dramatic, teachable moments. It took about an hour each way to go about 4.5 miles each way but he DID IT! I'm pretty proud of him and myself.
You made me laugh with your story of the tribulations of riding with youngsters, even though there were scary moments. We have to deal with the reality of poor infrastructure when deciding what to let our kids do on bikes.

I also feel a little sad about the passage of time and that my kid is an adult now and even my grandkid is pretty much grown now. We still ride and have fun together, the three of us, but it's very different now. Stopping to pet every dog and play at every playground is a thing of the past. It won't be that long before they're looking out for me and worrying about me!

This thread gives me a nice feeling that your last one didn't. Thanks for starting it, and sorry if I overreacted to the last one. I can't wait to read other stories about happy (if exasperating) stories about riding with young ones as well as thoughts about involving kids with traffic in our imperfect street system.

Last edited by Roody; 08-23-16 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 08-22-16, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Kids who are raised in car-free households have very limited options. Most of them just spend all day playing video games, watching TV and sleeping because it's very difficult to get out of the house and go anywhere and see or participate in anything interesting without a vehicle...Extracurricular activities, team sport events and other fun activities require a vehicle...I just can't imagine stuffing 2-3 young kids or teenagers and all their hockey gear and other sporting equipment into a bicycle trailer and riding to the other side of town in pouring rain just so they can participate in some event or activity.
Downer man! Sorry you never got to have good times with kids on bikes. 😕
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Old 08-22-16, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
If I came off strong it was because I'm overwhelmed with green envy! The two biggest obstacles in my life to riding more (the thing that I find most "fun" in the "get healthy" department) are my schedule and rising a post-toddler. Today was a great success in that his lesson was at the farthest point of any of his normal activities. It proved to me that, given enough prior planning, I can seriously increase my physical activity level and reduce the amount of time I spend in a car. It was still challenging and a little nerve-racking but it was doable.

There's an old saying in retail that for every one complaint there are ten other unhappy customers. That's why I shared this story today. If I, a total doubting Thomas, with a very poor track record of car-reduction (despite a desire to do so) could pull this of the I'm sure that there are plenty of people more "normal" than me or who have advantages like bike-safe pathways and central location can do it to and if they are reading this forum, then perhaps sharing this story will inspire them to try too.
Yeah just do what you can now and the rest will come in good time. LCF with kids does get easier pretty quickly for two main reasons:

1. You get better at it, rapidly gaining skills and knowledge.

2. The kids magically get older, bigger, stronger, and more cooperative. This really doesn't take too long. Even by 8 or 9 they can pretty much keep up on their own bikes, and a couple years later they will outride you and carry their share of the load.
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Old 08-23-16, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Kids who are raised in car-free households have very limited options. Most of them just spend all day playing video games, watching TV and sleeping because it's very difficult to get out of the house and go anywhere and see or participate in anything interesting without a vehicle...Extracurricular activities, team sport events and other fun activities require a vehicle...I just can't imagine stuffing 2-3 young kids or teenagers and all their hockey gear and other sporting equipment into a bicycle trailer and riding to the other side of town in pouring rain just so they can participate in some event or activity.
I have encountered this mentality and I find it rather frustrating that people can't see the benefits of combining sports with biking/walking warm-ups. You have to warm-up before doing sports anyway, so why not make the warm-up an A-to-B warm-up?

One of the things that made me want to raise my child car-free was the way that driving-dependent kids just seem to sit around like princes and princesses until their chauffeur is ready. I don't want him looking at the world as a collection of compartmentalized events separated by rides in a car. Of course, now he's getting so independent on his bike that I've having to worry about making sure he exercises adequate caution when riding alone, but at least he is empowered to transport himself instead of feeling like he has to be toted along by an adult to go anywhere.
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Old 08-23-16, 03:33 PM
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I guess I should have had more respect for my neighbors who transitioned to car-free while raising four children, then aged 3-8, one of whom is a special needs child. Who knew it was so hard to spend time with one's child(ren) outside the home and car?
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Old 08-23-16, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
... Of course, now he's getting so independent on his bike that I've having to worry about making sure he exercises adequate caution when riding alone, but at least he is empowered to transport himself instead of feeling like he has to be toted along by an adult to go anywhere.
That's a good point. I think with young adolescents, especially boys, "The Talk" needs to be about more than just sex. When my son and grandson were about 11 or 12, I explained that the biopsychosocial changes include a tendency to take more risks and be more impulsive. I tried to teach them to take a moment to think about consequences before jumping into something. It worked with the grandson but not so much with the son. You teach them the best you can and then you worry anyways!

Another consideration: who says that it's any safer to drive than to ride--whether you're a child, a teen, or an adult?

Last edited by Roody; 08-23-16 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 08-23-16, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
When my son and grandson were about 11 or 12, I explained that the biopsychosocial changes include a tendency to take more risks and be more impulsive. I tried to teach them to take a moment to think about consequences before jumping into something. You teach them the best you can and then you worry anyways!
Yes, and that habit causes us to take things for granted, like the driveway or side street we pass everyday without any car being there until one day. Luckily, I was riding behind my son one day and saw him stop on a dime as a college student flew in front him in a car. That was reassuring and I commended him for his good response.

One thing I emphasize a lot is to make sure you look at a driver's face and see that they see you. The only time I've ever been hit by a car, it was because they were turning right on red and were thus looking at oncoming traffic without checking the sidewalks. Somehow before that accident, I always just looked at their headlights (maybe I was a deer in a past life). Luckily, I wasn't hurt and the bike was only mildly harmed. I consider it a blessing to have been warned with so little damage.
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Old 08-23-16, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
...there's no other choice than to either give in to the bully-gang or stand your ground and turn the other cheek. I know everyone's life is in God's hands, but it's hard to accept that my child might end up as a blood-sacrifice to automotivism one day, or I will and he'll end up without a father. Still, can I allow this fear to drive me into conformity to the bully-gang of drivers? No, so where does that leave us? Cringing and praying the driving masses will spare the lives of our children, brothers, and sisters each day.
...without getting into a loooong exchange, with some of your well practiced wall of text stuff tossed into the mix, do you mind if I ask you if this sort of martyred rhetoric is how you really feel about the idea of cars and bicycles in the current urban paradigm ? Because as someone who has transported himself around for quite a while by both methods, and ridden bikes as a commuter in three or four different cities, beginning way back in the 70's, I don't.

The bike versus car thing here is dangerous, and certainly there seem s to be no general urgency on the part of local government to make it less so. But hyperbolic rhetoric about "the bully gang" of drivers and "blood sacrifice" seems at best misplaced, and at worst counterproductive. To me, anyway.

Drivers kill a lot of other drivers, too. It's just in the nature of not particularly well qualified humans operating heavy machinery at high speeds. If I really felt as you seem to, it would be hard to hop on a bike at all.
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Old 08-23-16, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
Drivers kill a lot of other drivers, too.
There's at least a notable minority of drivers who specifically target cyclists for abuse. They may rage at each other as individuals., but not as a whole class the way some of them rage at cyclists in general. As well, even well-intentioned drivers don't try to talk other people out of driving for their own good, as they often do to cyclists.
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Old 08-23-16, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...without getting into a loooong exchange, with some of your well practiced wall of text stuff tossed into the mix, do you mind if I ask you if this sort of martyred rhetoric is how you really feel about the idea of cars and bicycles in the current urban paradigm ? Because as someone who has transported himself around for quite a while by both methods, and ridden bikes as a commuter in three or four different cities, beginning way back in the 70's, I don't.

The bike versus car thing here is dangerous, and certainly there seem s to be no general urgency on the part of local government to make it less so. But hyperbolic rhetoric about "the bully gang" of drivers and "blood sacrifice" seems at best misplaced, and at worst counterproductive. To me, anyway.

Drivers kill a lot of other drivers, too. It's just in the nature of not particularly well qualified humans operating heavy machinery at high speeds. If I really felt as you seem to, it would be hard to hop on a bike at all.
I think it is a good idea to be nice on the road, especially considering the unwarranted viciousness of a small minority of motorists. But being nicey-nice in the political arena only gets us so far. Impassioned rhetoric about the blood shed by innocent cyclists can be convincing (at least to a point) when trying to push through bike projects and better infrastructure.
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Old 08-23-16, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
One thing I emphasize a lot is to make sure you look at a driver's face and see that they see you.
I agree completely. But don't count on that too much. I made eye contact with a woman that still pulled her car out right into my path as we looked at each other's faces and then I smacked into the hood of her car and trashed my front wheel. I went flying over the hood and rolled and was hardly hurt. But it taught me to slow down in congestion and always be ready with an escape plan based on the people ahead not behaving as expected.

That was a long time ago but still I think some people underestimate how fast a bicycle might be going and think they can "make it" when they can't.
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Old 08-23-16, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
There's at least a notable minority of drivers who specifically target cyclists for abuse. They may rage at each other as individuals., but not as a whole class the way some of them rage at cyclists in general. As well, even well-intentioned drivers don't try to talk other people out of driving for their own good, as they often do to cyclists.
...and you know this how, exactly ? I've certainly been riding a bike long enough to have had "encounters". Those guys are, IMO, ******** no matter your mode of transport at the time you cross paths.

And I personally have never, ever, had someoe try to talk me out of cycling for my own good.

I don't thin you can take the incendiary comments in the newspaper comments section that follow every bike fatality story as representative of anything but basement dwellers, trolling the internet. Certainly I've had occasional run ins with people driving who feel very strongly that I ought to be in the bike lane. I used to chase them down at red lights and berate them, but except for momentary release of anger, I'm guessing it did little good.

At any rate, such rhetoric has absolutely zero impact on your proposed minority group of motorists. And as someone who has tried in the past to do some bike infrastructure advocacy here, it does, indeed, make the advocate's job more difficult. If anyone on the city council has seen it, they write you off as another whack job.

Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I think it is a good idea to be nice on the road, especially considering the unwarranted viciousness of a small minority of motorists. But being nicey-nice in the political arena only gets us so far. Impassioned rhetoric about the blood shed by innocent cyclists can be convincing (at least to a point) when trying to push through bike projects and better infrastructure.
...see the above statement immediately before "whack job".
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Old 08-23-16, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...and you know this how, exactly ? I've certainly been riding a bike long enough to have had "encounters". Those guys are, IMO, ******** no matter your mode of transport at the time you cross paths.

And I personally have never, ever, had someoe try to talk me out of cycling for my own good.

I don't thin you can take the incendiary comments in the newspaper comments section that follow every bike fatality story as representative of anything but basement dwellers, trolling the internet. Certainly I've had occasional run ins with people driving who feel very strongly that I ought to be in the bike lane. I used to chase them down at red lights and berate them, but except for momentary release of anger, I'm guessing it did little good.

At any rate, such rhetoric has absolutely zero impact on your proposed minority group of motorists. And as someone who has tried in the past to do some bike infrastructure advocacy here, it does, indeed, make the advocate's job more difficult. If anyone on the city council has seen it, they write you off as another whack job.



...see the above statement immediately before "whack job".
I was commenting on the existence of hostile or paternalistic anti-bike attitudes, not on what to do about it. There is absolutely no doubt that many drivers see cyclists as second class road users who are either: interlopers/guests on the roads paid for by motorists, who ought to feel grateful for being allowed there, or should get on the sidewalk; losers who can't afford a car or lost their license for DUI; or, misguided souls who shouldn't be putting themselves in such danger. I'm not sure how all that flew over your head, but most of us have experienced it, surprisingly even in this forum.
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Old 08-23-16, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I was commenting on the existence of hostile or paternalistic anti-bike attitudes, not on what to do about it. There is absolutely no doubt that many drivers see cyclists as second class road users who are either: interlopers/guests on the roads paid for by motorists, who ought to feel grateful for being allowed there, or should get on the sidewalk; losers who can't afford a car or lost their license for DUI; or, misguided souls who shouldn't be putting themselves in such danger. I'm not sure how all that flew over your head, but most of us have experienced it, surprisingly even in this forum.
...how does it relate to the rhetoric of martyrdom, to which I originally referred in asking my question.......of someone else, I might add. Is this another argument about faith, @cooker ? Should it be moved to P + R ?
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Old 08-23-16, 10:02 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...and you know this how, exactly ? I've certainly been riding a bike long enough to have had "encounters". Those guys are, IMO, ******** no matter your mode of transport at the time you cross paths.

And I personally have never, ever, had someoe try to talk me out of cycling for my own good.

I don't thin you can take the incendiary comments in the newspaper comments section that follow every bike fatality story as representative of anything but basement dwellers, trolling the internet. Certainly I've had occasional run ins with people driving who feel very strongly that I ought to be in the bike lane. I used to chase them down at red lights and berate them, but except for momentary release of anger, I'm guessing it did little good.

At any rate, such rhetoric has absolutely zero impact on your proposed minority group of motorists. And as someone who has tried in the past to do some bike infrastructure advocacy here, it does, indeed, make the advocate's job more difficult. If anyone on the city council has seen it, they write you off as another whack job.



...see the above statement immediately before "whack job".
Sorry but either I'm not understanding you, or you've contradict yourself a couple times in this one message. And it's interesting that that you talk about the importance of being nice, but you don't sound very nice in the posts I've read recently. Or maybe I'm just having comprehension problems? If so, I apologize.

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Old 08-23-16, 10:52 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...how does it relate to the rhetoric of martyrdom, to which I originally referred in asking my question.......of someone else, I might add. Is this another argument about faith, @cooker ? Should it be moved to P + R ?
I wasn't commenting on your characterization of tandempower's style of communication as the 'rhetoric of martyrdom' (which was pretty 'rhetorical' in its own way), I was commenting on what seemed to me to be your denial of the existence of bullying of cyclists by drivers. You then gave some examples of that bullying, so I guess you don't deny its existence after all. My bad.
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Old 08-23-16, 11:52 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Sorry but either I'm not understanding you, or you've contradict yourself a couple times in this one message. And it's interesting that that you talk about the importance of being nice, but you don't sound very nice in the posts I've read recently. Or maybe I'm just having comprehension problems? If so, I apologize.
...look @Roody, I just asked what appears to me to be a reasonable question, and then elaborated on how it appears to me that this sort of rhetoric of victimization makes it more difficult in the long run (and often in the short run) to make any progress in changing the overall perception of cyclists by the public as whiny crybabies who need to HTFU. My particular city has a terrible infrastructure for cycling that includes many miles of substandard, dangerous bike lanes that go nowhere. they are there because that's the direction my local cycling advocacy group decided to go many years ago......so it's hard for me to hold motorists responsible for that fiasco.

Whether I'm nice or not nice has little to do with asking the question and replying to it in a rational manner.

For the record, I don't know whether I'm "nice" or not. I don't know whether you are either. It's just a question, man. I really do see the world as a different place than this, and I don't buy that there's a conspiracy of motorists.

There are certainly some guys who shouldn't be driving. But they drive anyway, and I worry more about my wife driving around on the same roads with them than I do about myself on a bike. Like I said in the initial post, if I felt that way (blood sacrifice, bully group, etc.), I'd probably just sell my bikes and use the money to buy guns.
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Old 08-24-16, 01:52 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...look @Roody, I just asked what appears to me to be a reasonable question, and then elaborated on how it appears to me that this sort of rhetoric of victimization makes it more difficult in the long run (and often in the short run) to make any progress in changing the overall perception of cyclists by the public as whiny crybabies who need to HTFU. My particular city has a terrible infrastructure for cycling that includes many miles of substandard, dangerous bike lanes that go nowhere. they are there because that's the direction my local cycling advocacy group decided to go many years ago......so it's hard for me to hold motorists responsible for that fiasco.

Whether I'm nice or not nice has little to do with asking the question and replying to it in a rational manner.

For the record, I don't know whether I'm "nice" or not. I don't know whether you are either. It's just a question, man. I really do see the world as a different place than this, and I don't buy that there's a conspiracy of motorists.

There are certainly some guys who shouldn't be driving. But they drive anyway, and I worry more about my wife driving around on the same roads with them than I do about myself on a bike. Like I said in the initial post, if I felt that way (blood sacrifice, bully group, etc.), I'd probably just sell my bikes and use the money to buy guns.
I don't think bullying by motorists is a major issue for carfree people. At least I don't see much talk of it on this subforum. A lot less than on the other subforums, as far as I can tell. I never even see words like cager or JAM on the LCF forum.

Personally, I'm a lot more concerned about crappy infrastructure than crappy drivers.

But I would not say that motorist hostility doesn't exist. I've run across my share, as I assume every cyclist has (and every pedestrian, even). But it doesn't seem to be anything that benefits from talking about it.

As for cyclists being perceived as "whiny crybabies"--I've never heard that one anywhere. Is that even a thing?

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Old 08-24-16, 08:04 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...without getting into a loooong exchange, with some of your well practiced wall of text stuff tossed into the mix, do you mind if I ask you if this sort of martyred rhetoric is how you really feel about the idea of cars and bicycles in the current urban paradigm ?
When I am communicating with someone who doesn't seem to understand the way I look at something, it takes more writing and exchanges to communicate a point or idea. Since you seem to want to avoid such communication, why are you asking? And more specifically, if you want to avoid a long exchange and "wall of text stuff," why are you peppering your post with so many subtle jabs? Is it because you want to jab without a response? I.e. you just want me to take it and shut up? How is that fair? If you have criticism of something I or anyone else says, why don't you 1) confront the person in less hostile way, e.g. by asking them why they think the way they do or explaining the implications of what they're saying that bother you? or 2) if you don't want a discussion about it, just not bring it up in the first place?

As for the "martyred rhetoric," maybe you're just uncomfortable with that kind of language/thinking, but to me it's just a way of understanding the situation. Sacrifices are made universally to achieve things. Some people sacrifice time to make money, or sacrifice consumption of junk food for healthy. In the case of people dying on the roads at the hands of motorists, what else would you call it but a blood sacrifice for the automotive culture? Apparently, the convenience, speed, and power of driving overrides the investment it would take to make 100% safe cycling a reality, so most people just chalk off cycling accidents to cyclists not really being the intended users of the roads. I.e. if we don't stay off the roads except in MVs, it's seen as our sacrifice by many people, not a sacrifice in the interest of the automotive culture.

Sorry I couldn't type all that shorter. I hope you didn't have to sacrifice too much time to read it.

Because as someone who has transported himself around for quite a while by both methods, and ridden bikes as a commuter in three or four different cities, beginning way back in the 70's, I don't.
If you don't look at it that way, does that make it an invalid or wrong way of looking at it?

The bike versus car thing here is dangerous, and certainly there seem s to be no general urgency on the part of local government to make it less so. But hyperbolic rhetoric about "the bully gang" of drivers and "blood sacrifice" seems at best misplaced, and at worst counterproductive. To me, anyway.
It's just the truth. Part of being a bully gang is to bully complainers until they shut up. Many people shut up pre-emptively with the idea that they'll gain the favor of authority by doing so. I appreciate polite, constructive discourse, but I think it's fair to note that there is a bully-gang mentality among many people and 'blood sacrifice' just means paying for something with lives (or maybe just injuries, idk).

Drivers kill a lot of other drivers, too. It's just in the nature of not particularly well qualified humans operating heavy machinery at high speeds. If I really felt as you seem to, it would be hard to hop on a bike at all.
I used to waiver more than I do now. It would be harder for me to rationalize driving again after going LCF for so long. If I did, I would feel like I was giving in to the bully-gang culture, which I would resent. It would be different if I really felt like driving was just one transportation choice among others, but I truly feel it is pushed hard on us, and the mere fact of that makes me want to say no to it; sort of like wanting to tell a salesman 'no,' just because he's using aggressive sales tactics.
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Old 08-24-16, 08:11 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I agree completely. But don't count on that too much. I made eye contact with a woman that still pulled her car out right into my path as we looked at each other's faces and then I smacked into the hood of her car and trashed my front wheel. I went flying over the hood and rolled and was hardly hurt. But it taught me to slow down in congestion and always be ready with an escape plan based on the people ahead not behaving as expected.

That was a long time ago but still I think some people underestimate how fast a bicycle might be going and think they can "make it" when they can't.
Maybe that woman was just so magnetically attracted to you that she subconsciously drove toward you when she saw you

When I tell my son to make sure motorists see him, his response is that he usually communicates with them to get a thumbs-up or other hand-gesture that it's ok to go. You can never tell what's in people's heads, though. All we can do is minimize risk; we can never eliminate it completely.
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