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Re: “Bike Rage

Three points:

1. What happened to cyclists like WheelieP is of course very sad and upsetting (really sorry to hear it, man), but is not in itself a reason for others to quit cycling (just as terrible car accidents are not a reason for others to quit driving). The many good reasons to cycle are well known.

2. To the posters above who are critical of cyclists: It trivial to say that *some* cyclists are unskilled/reckless assholes. No one is disputing this. The OP didn't claim otherwise. (Alas, as OceanChick pointed out, suckiness doesn't discriminate -- there are sucky people in all domains.) It seems to me that the OP is pointing specifically to cases involving skilled cyclists who consciously and carefully bend existing, inadequate rules in the name of safety.

3. OP has advanced an idea that I think really is worth considering: The inadequacy of cycling infrastructure/laws* combined with the disproportionate physical vulnerability of cyclists (not being "encased in a cabin of metal and glass") provide a kind of argument that (a) helps us motorists understand why cyclists are so sensitive and indignant, and (b) should encourage us, as Cranky suggests, to give the non-reckless cyclists the benefit of the doubt. For example, if a cyclist recklessly cuts you off, then s/he perhaps deserves a middle finger on the way by, but if, say, a cyclist *carefully* goes through a red light in order to get him/herself out of a dangerous intersection, then there is no need to pursue and berate that cyclist (as I have seen Haligonians motorists do).

As the OP suggests, our *primary* target of criticism should not be the individual cyclist or driver but rather those laws or policies (or lack thereof) that *enable* unsafe or otherwise reckless cycling (or driving).

* (e.g., potholes, convoluted and bike-unfriendly intersections, scant and disconnected bike lanes, bike lanes next to parked cars whose doors may fly open, the mistaken belief among a surprising number of motorists that it's illegal for bikes to ride in traffic, etc.)

Posted by YoThang on 04/06/2011 at 3:01 AM

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