This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

If you've ever apologized for cyclists...stop!

Back on November 2nd, another blog, "Lets Go Ride A Bike!" published by Dottie in Chicago, ran a comment about a very disturbing video shown on a local Chicago newscast.  You can find the newscast here:

        What's disturbing is the fact that the news anchor addresses the infractions of cyclists as if they alone are guilty.  They focused on the kind of behavior that used to make me apologize, but this video motivated me--to sit down and have a cup of coffee.  As luck would have it, I sat down outside a coffee shop where one busy street terminated at a very busy commuting route; Whites Rd and Oakland Dr here in Kalamazoo.  Since Whites Rd terminates there, not only was every car required to make a legal stop, they also had to turn and use a turn signal.  I counted 50 cars to see how many did.
      The results were even more disturbing than the video.  I waited until I had a chance to come back at a different time of day and do it again.  The results were the same and I tried to make a video of the intersection but unfortunately either my equipment or my knowledge is keeping me from  uploading it.

Of the 100 cars I counted;

17 made a legal stop(coming to complete rest before reaching the marked crosswalk),

18 made illegal stops (stopping after crossing the crosswalk and entering the intersection),

the remaining 65 did not stop at all.

Each of the motorists who did stop were in immediate danger,
nobody stopped unless there was oncoming traffic- even though the law requires they do.

Although every driver had to make a turn, only 50 used their turn signals.
          Obviously the only thing the motorists are worried about is their own safety, not the law.
 How is this different from cyclists?  Only that the motorist represents a 2 ton projectile traveling at high speeds creating great risk to everybody around it while the cyclist represents possibly 200 pounds traveling at low speeds and creating much less risk.  That is probably the rationale behind Idaho's bike laws, where they allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and stop lights as stop signs.
           I'm going to pass this along to the TV station what kind of response do you suppose I'll get?

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