Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Car-lite and assuaging an octogenarian parent's fears.

Expand Messages
  • Bruce Alan Wilson
    My 83-year-old father told me today that he is scared to death when I go out on my bike, apparently because I m not encased in a steel cocoon. Although I
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 5, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Car-lite and assuaging an octogenarian parent's fears.

      My 83-year-old father told me today that he is scared to death when I go out on my bike, apparently because I'm not encased in a steel cocoon.  Although I still have a car, I use it only when I must, and for most errands I use my bike.  How can I reassure him that I'm safe? (It doesn't help that I've had some minor spills lately; an occasional wipeout is part of biking life, but he doesn't see it that way.)

      Bruce Alan Wilson

      "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

    • Ryano
      You think that is scary. My first converts as a result of my cycle evangelism were my wife, my 60yr old mother-in-law and my two kids (5 and 3). Ohhh
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 5, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        You think that is scary.  My first converts as a result of my "cycle evangelism" were my wife, my 60yr old mother-in-law and my two kids (5 and 3).  Ohhh 'eck... Time for safety tips. 

        Still, your father can take comfort from knowing that you are not likely to ever kill or seriously injure anyone else as long as you are cycling rather than driving. 




        On 06/01/07, Bruce Alan Wilson <bawilson@...> wrote:

        My 83-year-old father told me today that he is scared to death when I go out on my bike, apparently because I'm not encased in a steel cocoon.  Although I still have a car, I use it only when I must, and for most errands I use my bike.  How can I reassure him that I'm safe? (It doesn't help that I've had some minor spills lately; an occasional wipeout is part of biking life, but he doesn't see it that way.)

        Bruce Alan Wilson

        "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch


      • Tone
        Bruce, Do you think it would help to tell your dad there is someone in your Xtracycle mailing list, who has worked for several years in the heavy traffic of
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 6, 2007
        • 0 Attachment

          Bruce,

                      Do you think it would help to tell your dad there is someone in your Xtracycle mailing list, who has worked for several years in the heavy traffic of New York City on his own extended Xtracycle bike and never had any serious accidents? Before my cyclo-puter cable broke I already had over 20,000 miles on my bike and that was only covering a period of about two to three years.

                      I have of course gotten into a few accidents, but that was mostly when I was younger and before I ever became a full time messenger. Most of them, just resulting in scrapes and bruises, could have been avoided if I had a higher level of maturity at the time and the experience of using proper equipment like I have now. If I had something like the Rootsradicals mailing list to provide me with a source of advice on equipment and riding techniques back then I might now have a perfect record.

          _TONE_

           

        • slew_footing
          Bruce, My dad s the same way w/ me biking, his quote being I m not satisfied unless you are driving a M-1 Abrams . I m lucky in the sense that I mostly ride
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Bruce,

            My dad's the same way w/ me biking, his quote being "I'm not
            satisfied unless you are driving a M-1 Abrams". I'm lucky in the
            sense that I mostly ride late at night in San Diego,w/ little to no
            traffic out. I'm car-lite as well, sticking to the car when I can
            tag along w/ others in the same vehicle.

            Your best bet is to assure whomever that you are taking all
            precautions possible: visible clothing, lighting on your bike,
            riding predictably and following all applicable traffic laws, and
            assuming drivers in cars will act irresponsibly (and acting
            accordingly).

            It's the same as driving, if you think about it. You can get into
            accidents either way, but you can only handle what you do out on the
            road. Everything else is chance, and if you determined what life
            you lead on that, you might as well just stay home.

            And for all the dark-humoured people out there, if you get serious
            injured/killed while riding a bike, at least you go out doing what
            you love and what others dream about.


            Beth
          • Cara Lin Bridgman
            After reading some car-only opinions in response to an accident in Kentucky in which a car killed a biker, I m kind of with your dad. Especially, when I
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              After reading some car-only opinions in response to an accident in
              Kentucky in which a car killed a biker, I'm kind of with your dad.
              Especially, when I remember all the years I biked in the US and got
              cussed at and side-swiped by people in cars.

              In Taiwan, everyone may drive like maniacs, but no one doubts my right
              to the road. In fact, there's even a tradition that the bigger
              vehicle pays damages (including hospital bills and funerals) to the
              smaller one. Although this latter tradition is changing (people are
              now much more likely to call for the cops), it still lingers in driving
              style. Bikes and pedestrians and dogs get swerved around, braked for,
              and waited for.

              I believe that the more bicycles, 50 cc motor scooters, and 150 cc motor
              bikes on the road, the safer it becomes for all of us. Cars and trucks
              and buses learn to expect small things on their right.

              Now, I think my main risk is going downhill, then I'm moving like a
              motorbike even though I'm on a bicycle. People don't expect bikes to go
              at motorbike speeds (30-60 kilometers/hour). So, I occasionally have
              oncoming cars and motorbikes turn left in front of me.

              I'm with one other poster in that you can tell your dad that at least
              you won't be killing anyone. It can also help to say that you always
              wear your helmet.

              CL

              Bruce Alan Wilson wrote:
              > My 83-year-old father told me today that he is scared to death when I go
              > out on my bike, apparently because I'm not encased in a steel cocoon.
              > Although I still have a car, I use it only when I must, and for most
              > errands I use my bike. How can I reassure him that I'm safe? (It
              > doesn't help that I've had some minor spills lately; an occasional
              > wipeout is part of biking life, but he doesn't see it that way.)
              >
              > Bruce Alan Wilson
              >
              > "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms
              > of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure
              > in heart."--Iris Murdoch
              >
            • David Chase
              ... I would be mighty careful. My worst accident ever was late at night, bad enough that I don t know how it happened but the guess is that either someone
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                > I'm lucky in the sense that I mostly ride late at night in San
                > Diego,w/ little to no traffic out.
                I would be mighty careful. My worst accident ever was late at night,
                bad enough that I don't know how it happened but the guess is that
                either someone didn't see me or was too addled to react properly. My
                most recent near-accident (haven't had an actual accident in decades,
                now) was at dusk, when someone misjudged my speed (15 whole miles per
                hour, maybe) and did a passing right turn.
                > Your best bet is to assure whomever that you are taking all
                > precautions possible: visible clothing, lighting on your bike,
                > riding predictably and following all applicable traffic laws, and
                > assuming drivers in cars will act irresponsibly (and acting
                > accordingly).
                Absolutely. Knowing your route is also useful; for my work commute,
                I know where the bad potholes are, where the parallel grates are, and
                where the habitually-run stop-signs are.

                David
              • murray
                I find other vehicles misjudeging my speed (as a couple of people in this thread have mentioned) to be the biggest danger for me on the road. I ride hard and
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  I find other vehicles misjudeging my speed (as a couple of people in this thread have mentioned) to be the biggest danger for me on the road. I ride hard and fast almost everywhere, and generally faster than the other cyclists around here (mostly kids and parents). I've had two incidents in the last couple of weeks where cars has pulled out in front of me, I have swerved around them to avoid a collision, then they blast their horns at me (for waking them from their sleep presumably).
                  My mother to, always worries about me on my bike, and I don't even tell her about near misses because it would just worry her more. On thing I have said to her is that even though I am risking my life on my bike (as is ANY road user) at least the health benifits of all that exercise may extend my life in the long run. :)
                  Murray
                  PS. I use all precautions like high-vis vest, helmet, gloves, air-horn and bell, and obey road-rules.

                  On 1/8/07, David Chase < dr2chase@...> wrote:

                  > I'm lucky in the sense that I mostly ride late at night in San
                  > Diego,w/ little to no traffic out.
                  I would be mighty careful. My worst accident ever was late at night,
                  bad enough that I don't know how it happened but the guess is that
                  either someone didn't see me or was too addled to react properly. My
                  most recent near-accident (haven't had an actual accident in decades,
                  now) was at dusk, when someone misjudged my speed (15 whole miles per
                  hour, maybe) and did a passing right turn.
                  > Your best bet is to assure whomever that you are taking all
                  > precautions possible: visible clothing, lighting on your bike,
                  > riding predictably and following all applicable traffic laws, and
                  > assuming drivers in cars will act irresponsibly (and acting
                  > accordingly).
                  Absolutely. Knowing your route is also useful; for my work commute,
                  I know where the bad potholes are, where the parallel grates are, and
                  where the habitually-run stop-signs are.

                  David


                • Bruce Alan Wilson
                  It might help. Thanks. Bruce Alan Wilson The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Re: Car-lite and assuaging an octogenarian parent's fears.

                    It might help.  Thanks.

                    Bruce Alan Wilson

                    "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

                  • richardofuller
                    Hi all, My first post. ... I don t know what Bruce might say to his dad, but I m really interested in learning how to talk about risks. When I figure out how
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hi all,
                      My first post.
                      >
                      > My 83-year-old father told me today that he is scared to death when I go out on
                      > my bike, apparently because I'm not encased in a steel cocoon. Although I still
                      > have a car, I use it only when I must, and for most errands I use my bike. How
                      > can I reassure him that I'm safe? (It doesn't help that I've had some minor
                      > spills lately; an occasional wipeout is part of biking life, but he doesn't see
                      > it that way.)

                      I don't know what Bruce might say to his dad, but I'm really interested in
                      learning how to talk about risks.
                      When I figure out how to do it, I'm sure my rap will have a spiritual
                      basis--I'm a believer in nonviolence--that is, that the world is a better
                      place when each of us is willing to knowingly put our own selves at risk
                      rather than threatening others, or trying to improve our fate by eliminating
                      others.
                      And it will be environmental: Yes, having a steel cocoon to drive around in
                      makes us safer (unless we try to travel faster than bicycles) but the
                      environmental consequences of this personal safety are too great. As
                      individuals and as a human culture, we need to be willing to accept more
                      personal risk--we have over-tipped the balance between personal safety and
                      system sustainability.

                      I haven't figured out how to say this to my 79 year-old mother-out-law who
                      used to stress about this to her daughter, till mother-out-law ran for
                      office on the green party ticket. I'm sure she worries just as much, but she
                      is more accepting of the risks her daughter and I take.

                      How do others of you talk (or think) about this?

                      Richard
                      St. Paul, MN
                    • David Chase
                      ... Something in this doesn t work for me, and I think it might not work for a lot of people. I tend to look at it from the point of view of game theory
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On 2007-01-07, at 6:20 PM, richardofuller wrote:
                        > And it will be environmental: Yes, having a steel cocoon to drive
                        > around in
                        > makes us safer (unless we try to travel faster than bicycles) but the
                        > environmental consequences of this personal safety are too great. As
                        > individuals and as a human culture, we need to be willing to accept
                        > more
                        > personal risk--we have over-tipped the balance between personal
                        > safety and
                        > system sustainability.

                        Something in this doesn't work for me, and I think it might
                        not work for a lot of people. I tend to look at it from the
                        point of view of game theory (prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt,
                        that sort of thing). At the high level, what game theory
                        tells you is not that it is a good thing to take risks
                        (because only suckers take risk -- you WILL lose the game)
                        but, if a good outcome requires people to take risks, then
                        the game is busted, and must be changed.

                        [ And it's worth noting, if you're not that experienced,
                        bicycling can be pretty risky. I started riding in a
                        big way when I was around twelve, and rapidly had quite
                        a number of the classic accidents (lots of slides on
                        slippery pavement, thrown off my bike by railroad tracks,
                        over the handlebars in several stupid ways). It's not
                        an easy education, and the people designing the roads
                        often haven't got a clue about how to make cycling less
                        risky. ]

                        In the short run, we don't have much choice -- too many
                        people are playing the drive-a-lot-not-too-responsibly
                        game, which leads them to buy larger and larger cars, and
                        not bicycle riding. I think that there are several things
                        that are likely to change the game for us;

                        - we'll definitely, unarguably, hit peak oil
                        - we'll definitely, unarguably, see the effects of global
                        warming In either case, this will change the landscape, in
                        terms of investment, etc. Imagine telling people that you
                        want to plow their neighborhood under for a new highway,
                        when everyone can see that cars are going to very soon be
                        much more expensive to drive. If you can solve a traffic
                        problem by waitinng five years, why bothering building a
                        road?

                        - drive-by-wire will get really good
                        Automated driving will not happen for a good
                        long time, until it happens really well. For
                        liability reasons, no way will any company deploy
                        it, until it works rock-solid. However the heck
                        it works, there will surely be some way to tickle
                        it to say "don't you dare run into me", and
                        whatever that thing is will spread like wildfire
                        through the regular cycling community (much as
                        flashing high-intensity LEDs spread -- you see
                        one, you want it, now)

                        - Health, maybe.
                        I'm not too optimistic about this. As a nation,
                        our health care SUCKS. We spend tons of money (30%
                        more than #2, 40% more than #3, is the general
                        pattern) and we die YEARS early after spending a
                        greater fraction of our life sick. It's very very
                        likely that this is a combined result of our
                        boneheaded system for delivering health care, PLUS
                        the fact that we're all FAT. (Other effects might
                        be that we don't consume enough olive oil, fish,
                        red wine, and tea.) I'm on the trailing edge of the
                        baby boom, so I would have expected to see other
                        people already doing things to fix their weight,
                        blood pressure, cholesterol, etc, and one of the
                        most time- and cost-effective things to do is to
                        ride a bike. It hasn't happened yet, at least not
                        in a way that I can see. I do think, if we ended
                        up with a national health care system, that it would
                        then make sense to the people running it to encourage
                        people to get more exercise.

                        In terms of explaining to other people why I ride
                        my bicycle, I find that it is easier to say "it
                        is very good for my health, in ways that can be
                        measured with a blood test" (and it is -- its value
                        in medication avoid exceeds the cost of the gasoline
                        saved by a factor of five to ten), than to say
                        "I think cars are inherently antisocial, especially
                        the way we use them" or "I'd like to send as little
                        money as possible to actual Islamofascists (i.e.,
                        Saudi Arabia)", or "I think our foreign policy is
                        completely screwed by our dependence on oil", or
                        "I'm pretty sure global warming is happening, and
                        I'd like to do something about it".

                        No, most people understand self-interest, as near
                        as I can tell. Talk about that other stuff, they
                        think you're a weirdo.

                        The neat thing will be when we're running diesels
                        on vegetable oil, we can then make head-to-head
                        efficiency comparisons. The other other reason to
                        ride a bike, is that we get about 1000 miles per
                        gallon. It's the most way efficient to move
                        people that there is -- how cool is that? (That's
                        like 50 people carpooling in a 20mpg car.)

                        So, to return to your original point about "taking
                        risks" -- no, I hate that part, if I could eliminate
                        all the risk in riding my bike, that would be great.
                        However, to compensate for that risk, is the risk of
                        not getting enough exercise, and all the politcal and
                        environmental stuff. I don't like it that I'm contributing
                        to global warming, I don't like it that I'm sending money
                        to Saudi Arabia and Iran and Russia (Putin gives me
                        the creeps).

                        David
                      • Cara Lin Bridgman
                        Amen! Unfortunately, most folks already think I m a weirdo just because I m on a bike when I could be on a motorbike or in a car. At least one person has
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Amen!

                          Unfortunately, most folks already think I'm a weirdo just because I'm on
                          a bike when I could be on a motorbike or in a car. At least one person
                          has asked "Why are you torturing yourself?" Well, most of the time I
                          don't quite see it that way...

                          Health, planet, politics, oil -- all to the good.

                          A member of the Christian Peacemaker Team reported on being asked how to
                          help solve the problems in Iraq. The answer was 'Ride your bike.'

                          Meanwhile, the former Shah of Iran said 'Oil is too valuable to burn.'
                          He's right. We need it more for medicine and fertilizers and water
                          bottles (i.e. tools & containers), than we need it for transportation.

                          CL

                          David Chase wrote:
                          > On 2007-01-07, at 6:20 PM, richardofuller wrote:
                          >> And it will be environmental: Yes, having a steel cocoon to drive
                          >> around in
                          >> makes us safer (unless we try to travel faster than bicycles) but the
                          >> environmental consequences of this personal safety are too great. As
                          >> individuals and as a human culture, we need to be willing to accept
                          >> more
                          >> personal risk--we have over-tipped the balance between personal
                          >> safety and
                          >> system sustainability.
                          >
                          > Something in this doesn't work for me, and I think it might
                          > not work for a lot of people. I tend to look at it from the
                          > point of view of game theory (prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt,
                          > that sort of thing). At the high level, what game theory
                          > tells you is not that it is a good thing to take risks
                          > (because only suckers take risk -- you WILL lose the game)
                          > but, if a good outcome requires people to take risks, then
                          > the game is busted, and must be changed.
                          >
                          > [ And it's worth noting, if you're not that experienced,
                          > bicycling can be pretty risky. I started riding in a
                          > big way when I was around twelve, and rapidly had quite
                          > a number of the classic accidents (lots of slides on
                          > slippery pavement, thrown off my bike by railroad tracks,
                          > over the handlebars in several stupid ways). It's not
                          > an easy education, and the people designing the roads
                          > often haven't got a clue about how to make cycling less
                          > risky. ]
                          >
                          > In the short run, we don't have much choice -- too many
                          > people are playing the drive-a-lot-not-too-responsibly
                          > game, which leads them to buy larger and larger cars, and
                          > not bicycle riding. I think that there are several things
                          > that are likely to change the game for us;
                          >
                          > - we'll definitely, unarguably, hit peak oil
                          > - we'll definitely, unarguably, see the effects of global
                          > warming In either case, this will change the landscape, in
                          > terms of investment, etc. Imagine telling people that you
                          > want to plow their neighborhood under for a new highway,
                          > when everyone can see that cars are going to very soon be
                          > much more expensive to drive. If you can solve a traffic
                          > problem by waitinng five years, why bothering building a
                          > road?
                          >
                          > - drive-by-wire will get really good
                          > Automated driving will not happen for a good
                          > long time, until it happens really well. For
                          > liability reasons, no way will any company deploy
                          > it, until it works rock-solid. However the heck
                          > it works, there will surely be some way to tickle
                          > it to say "don't you dare run into me", and
                          > whatever that thing is will spread like wildfire
                          > through the regular cycling community (much as
                          > flashing high-intensity LEDs spread -- you see
                          > one, you want it, now)
                          >
                          > - Health, maybe.
                          > I'm not too optimistic about this. As a nation,
                          > our health care SUCKS. We spend tons of money (30%
                          > more than #2, 40% more than #3, is the general
                          > pattern) and we die YEARS early after spending a
                          > greater fraction of our life sick. It's very very
                          > likely that this is a combined result of our
                          > boneheaded system for delivering health care, PLUS
                          > the fact that we're all FAT. (Other effects might
                          > be that we don't consume enough olive oil, fish,
                          > red wine, and tea.) I'm on the trailing edge of the
                          > baby boom, so I would have expected to see other
                          > people already doing things to fix their weight,
                          > blood pressure, cholesterol, etc, and one of the
                          > most time- and cost-effective things to do is to
                          > ride a bike. It hasn't happened yet, at least not
                          > in a way that I can see. I do think, if we ended
                          > up with a national health care system, that it would
                          > then make sense to the people running it to encourage
                          > people to get more exercise.
                          >
                          > In terms of explaining to other people why I ride
                          > my bicycle, I find that it is easier to say "it
                          > is very good for my health, in ways that can be
                          > measured with a blood test" (and it is -- its value
                          > in medication avoid exceeds the cost of the gasoline
                          > saved by a factor of five to ten), than to say
                          > "I think cars are inherently antisocial, especially
                          > the way we use them" or "I'd like to send as little
                          > money as possible to actual Islamofascists (i.e.,
                          > Saudi Arabia)", or "I think our foreign policy is
                          > completely screwed by our dependence on oil", or
                          > "I'm pretty sure global warming is happening, and
                          > I'd like to do something about it".
                          >
                          > No, most people understand self-interest, as near
                          > as I can tell. Talk about that other stuff, they
                          > think you're a weirdo.
                          >
                          > The neat thing will be when we're running diesels
                          > on vegetable oil, we can then make head-to-head
                          > efficiency comparisons. The other other reason to
                          > ride a bike, is that we get about 1000 miles per
                          > gallon. It's the most way efficient to move
                          > people that there is -- how cool is that? (That's
                          > like 50 people carpooling in a 20mpg car.)
                          >
                          > So, to return to your original point about "taking
                          > risks" -- no, I hate that part, if I could eliminate
                          > all the risk in riding my bike, that would be great.
                          > However, to compensate for that risk, is the risk of
                          > not getting enough exercise, and all the politcal and
                          > environmental stuff. I don't like it that I'm contributing
                          > to global warming, I don't like it that I'm sending money
                          > to Saudi Arabia and Iran and Russia (Putin gives me
                          > the creeps).
                          >
                          > David
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots radical.
                          >
                          > To Post a message, send it to: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                          >
                          >
                          > ride to believe.
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >

                          --

                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          Cara Lin Bridgman

                          P.O. Box 013 Phone: 886-4-2632-5484
                          Longjing Sinjhuang
                          Taichung 434
                          Taiwan http://web.thu.edu.tw/caralinb/www/
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        • Susan
                          About the zillionth time I caught myself actually answering falsely because I knew the person asking really wouldn t identify with my answer, I decided that I
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jan 16, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            About the zillionth time I caught myself actually answering falsely
                            because I knew the person asking really wouldn't identify with my
                            answer, I decided that I was doing a real disservice. Why not
                            challenge that idea that it's okay to be self-serving? And if fifty
                            people a day do it, maybe they'll start thinking *they're* the weird
                            ones.
                            I do emphasize that it is not painful and it is not torture, and
                            that I started out with just a little bit and figured even a little
                            bit was a good thing... and generally people think I'm an insanely
                            happy person so they are a little jealous. I know I've made people think.


                            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Cara Lin Bridgman <caralinb@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > Amen!
                            >
                            > Unfortunately, most folks already think I'm a weirdo just because
                            I'm on
                            > a bike when I could be on a motorbike or in a car. At least one person
                            > has asked "Why are you torturing yourself?" Well, most of the time I
                            > don't quite see it that way...
                            >
                            > Health, planet, politics, oil -- all to the good.
                            >
                            > A member of the Christian Peacemaker Team reported on being asked
                            how to
                            > help solve the problems in Iraq. The answer was 'Ride your bike.'
                            >
                            > Meanwhile, the former Shah of Iran said 'Oil is too valuable to burn.'
                            > He's right. We need it more for medicine and fertilizers and water
                            > bottles (i.e. tools & containers), than we need it for transportation.
                            >
                            > CL
                            >
                            > David Chase wrote:
                            > > On 2007-01-07, at 6:20 PM, richardofuller wrote:
                            > >> And it will be environmental: Yes, having a steel cocoon to drive
                            > >> around in
                            > >> makes us safer (unless we try to travel faster than bicycles) but the
                            > >> environmental consequences of this personal safety are too great. As
                            > >> individuals and as a human culture, we need to be willing to accept
                            > >> more
                            > >> personal risk--we have over-tipped the balance between personal
                            > >> safety and
                            > >> system sustainability.
                            > >
                            > > Something in this doesn't work for me, and I think it might
                            > > not work for a lot of people. I tend to look at it from the
                            > > point of view of game theory (prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt,
                            > > that sort of thing). At the high level, what game theory
                            > > tells you is not that it is a good thing to take risks
                            > > (because only suckers take risk -- you WILL lose the game)
                            > > but, if a good outcome requires people to take risks, then
                            > > the game is busted, and must be changed.
                            > >
                            > > [ And it's worth noting, if you're not that experienced,
                            > > bicycling can be pretty risky. I started riding in a
                            > > big way when I was around twelve, and rapidly had quite
                            > > a number of the classic accidents (lots of slides on
                            > > slippery pavement, thrown off my bike by railroad tracks,
                            > > over the handlebars in several stupid ways). It's not
                            > > an easy education, and the people designing the roads
                            > > often haven't got a clue about how to make cycling less
                            > > risky. ]
                            > >
                            > > In the short run, we don't have much choice -- too many
                            > > people are playing the drive-a-lot-not-too-responsibly
                            > > game, which leads them to buy larger and larger cars, and
                            > > not bicycle riding. I think that there are several things
                            > > that are likely to change the game for us;
                            > >
                            > > - we'll definitely, unarguably, hit peak oil
                            > > - we'll definitely, unarguably, see the effects of global
                            > > warming In either case, this will change the landscape, in
                            > > terms of investment, etc. Imagine telling people that you
                            > > want to plow their neighborhood under for a new highway,
                            > > when everyone can see that cars are going to very soon be
                            > > much more expensive to drive. If you can solve a traffic
                            > > problem by waitinng five years, why bothering building a
                            > > road?
                            > >
                            > > - drive-by-wire will get really good
                            > > Automated driving will not happen for a good
                            > > long time, until it happens really well. For
                            > > liability reasons, no way will any company deploy
                            > > it, until it works rock-solid. However the heck
                            > > it works, there will surely be some way to tickle
                            > > it to say "don't you dare run into me", and
                            > > whatever that thing is will spread like wildfire
                            > > through the regular cycling community (much as
                            > > flashing high-intensity LEDs spread -- you see
                            > > one, you want it, now)
                            > >
                            > > - Health, maybe.
                            > > I'm not too optimistic about this. As a nation,
                            > > our health care SUCKS. We spend tons of money (30%
                            > > more than #2, 40% more than #3, is the general
                            > > pattern) and we die YEARS early after spending a
                            > > greater fraction of our life sick. It's very very
                            > > likely that this is a combined result of our
                            > > boneheaded system for delivering health care, PLUS
                            > > the fact that we're all FAT. (Other effects might
                            > > be that we don't consume enough olive oil, fish,
                            > > red wine, and tea.) I'm on the trailing edge of the
                            > > baby boom, so I would have expected to see other
                            > > people already doing things to fix their weight,
                            > > blood pressure, cholesterol, etc, and one of the
                            > > most time- and cost-effective things to do is to
                            > > ride a bike. It hasn't happened yet, at least not
                            > > in a way that I can see. I do think, if we ended
                            > > up with a national health care system, that it would
                            > > then make sense to the people running it to encourage
                            > > people to get more exercise.
                            > >
                            > > In terms of explaining to other people why I ride
                            > > my bicycle, I find that it is easier to say "it
                            > > is very good for my health, in ways that can be
                            > > measured with a blood test" (and it is -- its value
                            > > in medication avoid exceeds the cost of the gasoline
                            > > saved by a factor of five to ten), than to say
                            > > "I think cars are inherently antisocial, especially
                            > > the way we use them" or "I'd like to send as little
                            > > money as possible to actual Islamofascists (i.e.,
                            > > Saudi Arabia)", or "I think our foreign policy is
                            > > completely screwed by our dependence on oil", or
                            > > "I'm pretty sure global warming is happening, and
                            > > I'd like to do something about it".
                            > >
                            > > No, most people understand self-interest, as near
                            > > as I can tell. Talk about that other stuff, they
                            > > think you're a weirdo.
                            > >
                            > > The neat thing will be when we're running diesels
                            > > on vegetable oil, we can then make head-to-head
                            > > efficiency comparisons. The other other reason to
                            > > ride a bike, is that we get about 1000 miles per
                            > > gallon. It's the most way efficient to move
                            > > people that there is -- how cool is that? (That's
                            > > like 50 people carpooling in a 20mpg car.)
                            > >
                            > > So, to return to your original point about "taking
                            > > risks" -- no, I hate that part, if I could eliminate
                            > > all the risk in riding my bike, that would be great.
                            > > However, to compensate for that risk, is the risk of
                            > > not getting enough exercise, and all the politcal and
                            > > environmental stuff. I don't like it that I'm contributing
                            > > to global warming, I don't like it that I'm sending money
                            > > to Saudi Arabia and Iran and Russia (Putin gives me
                            > > the creeps).
                            > >
                            > > David
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > You're getting this message because you signed up to be an
                            Xtracycle roots radical.
                            > >
                            > > To Post a message, send it to: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > ride to believe.
                            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            >
                            > --
                            >
                            > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            > Cara Lin Bridgman
                            >
                            > P.O. Box 013 Phone: 886-4-2632-5484
                            > Longjing Sinjhuang
                            > Taichung 434
                            > Taiwan http://web.thu.edu.tw/caralinb/www/
                            > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            >
                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.