Re: [CF] How to ride a bicycle
- --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Whitney Turner <wturner@...> wrote:
> Well, Jim, you've tried to kill a lot of birds with one missive; I'll
> reply to the bits regarding me. Please see my comments interlined
> with your text. Please also take a few moments to respond to what I
> previously asked, using simple language concisely if you would.
> At 02:08 PM 4/7/2009, Jim wrote:
> >Whitney Turner: "At 10:11 AM 3/4/2009, sail4free painstakingly
> >scrawled: While facing traffic, I can easily SEE whether the
> >caraholic morons are reacting to my presence -- and moving over ever
> >so slightly -- or not. If not, then I have an opportunity to take
> >evasive action . . . well before impact is imminent."
> >First off, I'm having trouble responding at all. I find your tone
> >("painstakingly scrawled") condescending. My first inclination is to
> >IGNORE outright anything you might have to say. As Thoreau observed,
> >"I can't HEAR what you say because what you ARE stands over you and
> >THUNDERS so!"
> You're entirely correct. I was intentionally being condescending. I
> do apologize,
TF: I wouldn't apologize. What Sail4free just did on you meets the exact definition of what an ad hominem attack is (although, admittedly, it was a relatively minor one of the at least four netiquette rules that he broke today).
Good luck with your project of bringing his cycling style into compliance with correct cycling principles. I predict that even if I succeed in my goal of keeping _my_ fingers out of it for a good long time after today, you'll still fail, because as Sail4free himself has spouted, the only language that he understands for dealing with opponents is stick and wallet.
When it's as obvious as it is to me in the case of Sail4free, that bending over backwards and trying to talk on the same 3rd-grade level that these types of Triad-haters are on won't work anyhow, why waste the time? It's much more succinct to simply 1) say that their driving style is in violation of the Bicyclists' Rights Triad http://www.newmilfordbike.com/Triad.htm , and 2) Plonk them (usually - but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances such as in the case of Sail4free's _libel_ attack on me this morning) when they do ad hominem attacks on us (including trying to invent an interpretation of the Triad as flame bait) for it.
_Critical_ _Mass_ is easier to talk to, and knows far more about how to ride, than Sail4free. One day last month, I was _very_ "condescending" to Binghamton Critical Mass, but I never apologized for it. A few hours later - when their first ride, surprisingly, largely _obeyed_ the Triad - I counted myself as a participant after all and drank with the leaders afterwards, in a bar of the type where a couple of my biggest (and I think of them somewhat as former, now) archopponents on this list would have been right at home.
Sail4free, on the other hand, isn't capable of changing.
- Tom Frost Jr.
- I think this is a pretty interesting topic and although I don't agree with you, that doesn't mean I think that you are wrong for your situation. You are right that because cyclists are the minority on the road we do have to ride defensively and sometimes is appropriate to ride in different ways. Reading back to what I said I can see now how it could have been taken as being harsh. It was more I really just didn't understand where you were coming from and why you did decided to ride that way. And why you were being so defensive about it. It seems it was a longer argument that I hadn't read the full history of.
This is a really great topic and while that can lead to things like "this guy is such an idiot" it can also lead to a great discussion.
I have a few questions and I would love to get the group's feedback on:
1. What is your riding style preference?
2. What are the riding laws like in your city?
3. For year round cycling, what's your best safety advice - both in riding style and gear.
1. I like riding with the flow of traffic, but on some street will go pedestrian and stay on the side walk - but only if it's not a frequently used side walk by pedestrians. I take bike paths to get where i'm going when I can and when it's safe. I don't usually ride against the flow. When I'm riding with the flow I keep my ears and eyes open, if I hear a car coming up behind me I look back and judge speed and distance and then look forward and check for parked cars and the like and make adjustments - either taking the lane so they see me if there are parked cars, or going more to the side if there are no parked cars.
2. Our laws in central iowa are pretty great. Because we have a lot of censor lights we too can stop and then go at red lights. If there are cars at the stop light, I wait in line behind them, going to the center of the lane behind them so they can see me and the cars behind me don't crowd me out. I also change gears so I can get a faster start. It's actually illegal to ride on any sidewalks here (I think they take exception to kiddos though).
3. The winters here are cold, icy, and bitter. I used to ride year round, but I don't think I will this year. We have great public transport here so I will get a bus pass for Dec - Feb. It's really January and Feb that are hard riding months. It can get to -30 below and it was down to -50 this last winter with wind chill. Cars aren't looking for riders in the winter, so keep your eyes open for break lights on parked cars, people in cars possibly openning windows, anyone who may have impared vision from not scraping/defrosting thier windows. Dress in layers. Get some long gloves. Make sure to get something that will cover up your ears. Wear your helmant. I know it won't do much if you get in an accident with a car, but chances of wiping out are greater when it's icy - and therefore the chances of smacking your head on the ground.
Even though now I live in a city that has bike paths that are
plentiful, where I lived for the last three years and road my bike was
horrible for riding. Narrow streets, narrow sidewalks, bad drivers,
college kids. And for me, riding with traffic was the best way to go.
It was illegal to ride on the side walks and to ride against the flow
of traffic for one thing - although not very strictly enforced given
the poor road conditions. And you are right, winter is the most
dangerous time of year to ride because drivers aren't looking for you
at all. You have to know where everyone is at all times or you will get
backed up into, doors opened on you.
And then just for fun, for the upcoming summer season, what are your bike riding plans? Are you going anywhere to ride? Commuting only?
My sister just went to florida and road everywhere on the island they were staying at, which was pretty impressive because she doesn't even own a bike, let alone ride regularly. For me, this summer I'm going to participate in a day of RAGBRI which will be a first for me and I'm pretty excited about it.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]