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Re: [rootsradicals] Re: Car-lite and assuaging an octogenarian parent's fears.

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  • 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 1 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
      > 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 2 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
        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 3 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
          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 4 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
            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 5 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
              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 6 of 12 , Jan 7, 2007
                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 7 of 12 , Jan 16, 2007
                  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/
                  > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  >
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