July 3, 2011

"Despite the city’s efforts to become more bike friendly, male cyclists in New York continue to outnumber female cyclists three to one..."

Because they made it safer but it's still not too safe, and that's how much more women care about safety than men do.

Also, they're more fussy, it seems, about getting sweaty in clothes they're wearing to work.
To avoid sweating much when cycling, [Emilia Crotty, Bike New York’s operations director] advises women to put more things in their baskets rather than their bags, to wear A-line shaped skirts rather than pencil skirts and to choose heels with traction over pointy stilettos.
Heels with traction? A-line skirts? Ridiculous biking clothes... and I don't see how they're going to cut down sweating. And do you really need a government bureaucrat to advise you not to wear "pointy stilettos"?!

I used to bike to work in Manhattan back in the 1970s, and every time I did it, I felt I was putting my life on the line... and I was. I had an accident only once, when a woman impulsively but deliberately flung her car door open as she stood in the space between the parked cars and the traffic. I was about to go around her, but I guess she didn't trust me and she just wanted that extra measure of safety that women crave.

And:
Retired Manhattan Supreme Court Special Referee Marilyn Dershowitz - the sister-in-law of legal giant Alan Dershowitz - was struck and killed by a postal service truck as she rode her bike in Chelsea Saturday afternoon...

"The cars behind me said two cars tried to make it through the light," said Nathan Dershowitz, "and neither wanted to give, and she was caught between a car and a truck."

136 comments:

Michael K said...

A favorite patient of mine was killed when her bike slipped in loose gravel along the road in Laguna Beach. She was thrown into traffic. Riding bikes should be limited to routes that are not shared with cars. Beyond that, you are placing your trust in luck.

Methadras said...

I was mountain biking on a trail that was clearly marked, but because of dirt and previous biking, there was a rock jutting out right in the middle of the trail that I didn't see and my front wheel hit it just right and it stopped me dead, dropped my whole front end and I somersaulted right over the handle bars and my right forearm took the brunt of the impact and I had a radial head fracture. I didn't know it at the time. I just brushed myself off, the arm felt a little sore, but I got back on and peddled another 3 miles to the end of the trail until I couldn't move it anymore.

It's a shame about Mrs. Dershowitz. New York is a giant death trap and unless you have extensive biking experience, you should not be out there on one.

pst314 said...

"The cars behind me said two cars tried to make it through the light," said Nathan Dershowitz, "and neither wanted to give, and she was caught between a car and a truck."

I see a lot of recklessly aggressive driving in Chicago.

(To be fair, I see just as much reckless and irresponsible behavior by pedestrians and cyclists.)

Mel said...

Biking? Not only dangerous but way too much exercise. I'm sweating just reading Althouse today.

Random Arrow said...

Lake Tahoe this weekend looks hell-crawled with human ants, drunken, on narrow, twisted mountain roads, schizo mix of street bikes plus mountain bikes blowing out of wilderness blind corners where mountain bike paths cut trails across vehicle roads ...

Ann - congrats on your stats! Is your blog less congested than Manhattan streets? – less sweaty? (I don’t wanna know!) ... I just watched “Apocalypse Now” with Aguirre and his rhesus monkeys (“who is with me”?) wrathfully in the back of my mind – love and hate the repeated lines by Brando and by Sheen about hating the lies, I think that’s right, the lies were worse than the war, the lies as congested as bikes on NY streets ... for which (sorting out the lies) I do thank you as often as I lurk ...

Cheers

Jim

Mel said...

@ Methadras, my brother-in-law had a similar accident years ago, only it happened on cement. After all the plastic surgery to repair the broken bones in his face, he looked like a totally different person.

TML said...

That is terrible, terrible news. My cousin's husband, a noted jazz bass player, was killed on his bike last year in Manhattan. Really dangerous. I've been racing bikes for 25 years, so I know cyclists can sometimes be idiots. But this is on the drivers, folks. Too impatient and clueless about the force of of their vehicles.

A. Shmendrik said...

Mel:

So, you're saying like the before and after versions of Montgomery Clift?

Lincolntf said...

On a completely unrelated note, if any of you tools, knobs, dickwads or snarksters wants to "friend" me on Facebook, you are welcome to. I'm "Lincolntf" there just like here. Not trying to be "besties", just trying to find new people to bullshit with on FB.

Clyde said...

My brother is a musician who plays on a dinner cruise that sails from Chelsea Pier in Manhattan. He lives on the northwest end of the island, and in the past he sometimes would bike to work along the parkway on the west side of Manhattan. One time, some dude just reached out and punched him and knocked him off his bike, for no reason whatsoever. You bike in the Big Apple, you take your chances.

Down here in Florida, my main worry is the idiots who bike at night with NO LIGHTS and clothing that makes them hard to see. It's like, WTF? Are you people suicidal? I'm surprised that there aren't more of them killed than there are.

Lem said...

Aside from gender differences.. whats a retired Manhattan Supreme Court Special Referee doing on a bike in the city with the best public transportation infrastructure in the planet?

I'm not saying anything about her possible Jewishness.. other than.. that penny pinching can get you killed? .. or something.

Random Arrow said...

" ... down here in Florida ... bike at night with NO LIGHTS and clothing ... "

Now ... when you say “no lights and clothing,” do you mean no lights and no clothing?

It’s a wonder more Florida motorists are not crashing into each other.

If texting and cell phone use is banned while driving in Florida (like California, Nevada’s on the way), then how can you photo from your cell phone and send your wife all the photos she wants of nude Florida bikers? Do you pull over, or what?

John Lynch said...

Are there any traffic death statistics for cyclists? I've wondered whether riding a bike is so unsafe that the government should step in to regulate it.

edutcher said...

Unless they want to create a special lane, bikers have no place in traffic. Either that or let'em ride on the sidewalk.

It may feel very Green or counter-culture or whatever, but it's the next best thing to being the new head of Al Qaeda as far as suicide is concerned

bagoh20 said...

If you have ever been somewhere like Ho Chi Minh City, then you understand that these problems are livable. There they have much more variety of transportation and all types are pretty common. Lots of bikes, scooters, cars , trucks and buses all running side by side together, weaving in and out. It looks like chaos and maybe it is, but it keeps moving and seems to move more people faster than what we have in our cities.

We have a long ways to go before this is really a big problem. Every body just wants everyone else to sacrifice for their particular choice. When I'm in my car, I hate bikes, and when I'm biking, I hate the cars. On my motorcycle, I hate you all.

Today I'll be hang gliding, and none of you will be in my way, so just for today, I love you all!

Get out there in whatever you want, and run with the bulls. At least you reduce your chances of dying a slow death in some nursing home wearing diapers. The important thing is to get out there and keep moving. Everything will go exactly your way after you're gone.

Clyde said...

And a slightly ironic story from the NY Post, via the AP:

"ONONDAGA, N.Y. — Police say a motorcyclist who was participating in a protest ride against helmet laws in upstate New York has died after he went over the handlebars and hit his head on the pavement.

...

"Troopers said Contos would have likely survived if he had been wearing a helmet."

They don't call it a brain bucket for nothing.

nevadabob said...

Biking in the city isn't safe because the bicyclists aren't safe operators. They deliberately do not observe traffic laws and therefore, they are a danger to everyone around them.

As this video so shockingly demonstrates.

nevadabob said...

And now, let's take a critical look at New York City bicyclists in action violating every traffic law known to man at just one intersection in Manhattan.

Our roads will never be safe for bicycles because the people riding them are fucking dangerous morons.

Trooper York said...

Look, the bike lanes and the emphasis on biking is just another fucking stupid elitist scheme that Nanny Bloomberg and his bunch of out of touch bureaucrats came up with to torment working class New Yorkers. This bike cunts think they can do whatever the fuck they want. The ride against traffic, run down little old ladies, ride on the sidewalk where they hit toddlers in their strollers and generally are more of a nuisance than the Norway rat. The dumb twat that is the Commissioner of Transportation is trying to put bike lanes and plazas everywhere and causes more traffic jams than the Jug Eared Jesus when he decides to go out for a waffle when he is visiting the UN.

Bikes are another thing that white people like. Hipster doufus white people or commie fucks who are worried about global warming. Working class people don’t have time for that shit. They take the subway or the dollar vans that have sprung up to go on the routes where the city has canceled bus routes. The city doesn’t have enough money for firehouses but they got the scratch to draw bike lanes on half of the city’s streets. WTF. Leave bikes to cities full of nut sack commies like Madison Wisconsin or Ann Arbor Michigan or some shit like that there.

I just hope the next mayor is a sensible sort who will reverse all this bullshit and make the streets safe for gypsy cabs again. Abe Beame would never have allowed this shit I tells ya!

The Crack Emcee said...

Concerned about safety, my ass. The idea that women are as shitty at riding bikes as they are at driving cars is the unadmitted point.

Nobody could've doored you, Ann, if you had been riding correctly - on the opposite side of the street, toward approaching traffic, where you can see everything.

Trying to blame others for that is weak. But that's the whole deal we've been living with.

I've been riding bikes my whole life and never had an altercation.

bagoh20 said...

Nevadabob,

Unless I missed the crash, that video shows everyone ignoring the stop signs: cars, bikes, and pedestrians, with no effect other than improving the flow for everyone.

That show's what's wrong with four way stop signs rather than people.

timmaguire42 said...

Lem, in many cases, the bicycle is the best and fastest way to get around NYC. There's an annual media event consisting of a race from Williamsburg Brooklyn to Bellevue in Manhattan among three people--one goes by bike, one by train and one by taxi. The bicyclist wins every year.

It's dangerous--every cyclist gets doored now and then and every year a handful are killed. Nearly always through the carelessness of drivers who rarely get so much as a ticket for their negligent homicide.

But bicycling in New York is not dramatically more dangerous than most other activities. A handful of people get killed doing just about anything in this city, including walking on the sidewalk.

John Lynch said...

People stop for four way stops in my town- except for the cyclists.

Cyclists get in accidents so much because there are no traffic rules for them (they aren't enforced). They respect no rules, and as a result motorists don't respect them. Cyclists like it that way- until they get hit.

And we wonder why most of them are men.

Trooper York said...

Tim you are a nutjob. The safest and easiest way to get around the city is by train. Almost everyone hates the bike geeks except for the bike geeks themselves. From the Hasid's in Williamsburg and Borough Park to the Puerto Ricans in Bushwick everybody wants to throw something at the idoits speeding down the street and making a nusiance of themselves.

John Lynch said...

^^ what Trooper says.

Bikes are an affectation. There are some people who can't afford a car, but there's public transportation.

Mostly cyclists are young men, or middle aged professionals who like to show off their ridiculous clothes.

They are entitled, they are rude, and they get in the way of people driving to work.

I rode a bike for a while until I got hit by a truck that didn't see me. I took the hint.

Trooper York said...

I saw a bike messenger zip around a corner and hit a little old lady who was crossing with the light. She broke her hip and eventually died. You would think a little old lady could cross the street without having to worry about a bike going the wrong way down the street. It's bullshit.

You should only be able to ride a bike in the park or on the sidewalk if you are under 13 years old.

Trooper York said...

If Jimmie Walker were mayor we would all be going to jazz clubs and drinking cocktails and nobody would be riding bikes and killing nice little old ladies.

Ann Althouse said...

It's frighteningly easy not to see bikes when you are driving. They appear quickly and unexpectedly, and the bikers often seem to think they can slip in anywhere. Often they are also forced to try to slip through spaces where they shouldn't really be and aren't expected to be. It would be awful to be hit but also awful to hit somebody. It could so easily happen, especially as more and more people of all ages are encouraged to get out there and be good people by not using fossil-fueled vehicles.

Michael said...

Trooper has this exactly right. Elitist fucks who want the workers to get out of their trucks and to haul shit on their backs like the coolies they are perceived to be. They want us to make our urban centers into European cities and our suburbs into nothing. They like the idea of all those bike riders prettying up the squalid urban scene. I ride a road bike and am constantly asailed by rednecks who are pissed at life and at some old man in lycra working up a sweat when that is what they have been doing all fucking backbreaking day. Who can blame them? Biking is an elitist, snobby,sanctimonious pastime dangerous and show offy in every way.

CatherineM said...

They were bicycling from the bike/running path that runs all the way up the westside highway. However, you need to bike there to get there.

The stupid bike lanes Bloomberg put in are dangerous. He is putting more and more in and no matter what, if you are making a left, you may cross paths with a bike and it's this weird left turn lane with bad light directions (that confuse pedestrians).

There is SO much going on when you are driving in NYC - crazy ass taxis, distracted driver, drivers who are too scared to drive in NYC yet they are there going 5 miles an hour creating a danger-zone. You can easily miss a biker.

It is just not safe. Most of my driving in NY is anticipating the dumb ass moves of someone else. Last week, it was a woman (surprise surprise) driving the wrong way down 8th towards 34th and she had this oooops! My baaaaaad! Look on her face. During the morning rush. Thankfully a cop was right there to say, WTF are you doing? And got her off the road.

That said, I am sorry this happened.

Lem said...

The dumb twat that is the Commissioner of Transportation is trying to put bike lanes and plazas everywhere and causes more traffic jams than the Jug Eared Jesus when he decides to go out for a waffle when he is visiting the UN.

lol.. you killing me troop.

CatherineM said...

Also, Bloomberg allows these stupid Pedi-cabs that are so dangerous, but you know, green. They are "driven" by creeps who do not pay attention to traffic and their attitude is, "It's on you to stop if I bike in front of you." They weave in and out of traffic, peddling furiously with tourists in the back, but only going 5-10mph. I can't believe there hasn't been a big accident yet. You are truly taking your life in your own hands when you get in one of those.

Michael said...

Trooper. The messengers often ride "fixies" which are fixed gear bikes without brakes. They were adopted from European, naturaly, track bikes and have no business whatsoever on public roads. I have had brushes with them frequently in Manhattan where they used to employ whistles to alert one to dash or leap out of their way. I carry a larger than necesary briefcase for just these situations with the slimy messengers. I expect more pedistrians are injured by cyclists than cyclists by cars. I will not be one of them.

Trooper York said...

If John Lindsay was still mayor we would all be busy giving crabs to members of the Brady Bunch instead of having to deal with bikes.

I call dibs on Jan.

nevadabob said...

"It would be awful to be hit but also awful to hit somebody. It could so easily happen, especially as more and more people of all ages are encouraged to get out there and be good people by not using fossil-fueled vehicles."

I encourage all people to get out there and get on their bikes in NYC and be good Darwinists.

Fucking gene pool is too polluted as it is because our society rewards these morons. We need bike lanes to replace what the lions used to take care of for us.

CatherineM said...

And the pedestrians who want to save a few seconds and try to outrun cars when they are crossing against a light....

And the girl on her cellphone who doesn't notice the light turned and is all pissed that you nearly hit her for walking into traffic.....

And the motorcyclists who drive in between the car lanes between cars....

John Lynch said...

Yeah, I got hit by a truck that just didn't see me. I put a big dent in it with my head.

I've had two auto accidents in my life and didn't even get hurt.

I concluded from this that cycling is stupid and a good way to die.

Bicycles and city streets don't mix, and if government was honest and looked at the statistics they wouldn't allow it. Instead, they use statistics when it suits them and ignore them when it doesn't.

I don't really want government nannying us any more than it does, but I suspect that if they compiled the accident stats they would show that bicycles cause a lot of deaths. It's impossible to get good numbers because no one wants to admit the problem.

If they did actually pay attention, I'm afraid the result would be more regulation of motorists and pedestrians (which is already happened), which would make people hate cyclists even more.

Trooper York said...

Marcia is a big bitch. Just sayn'

Hagar said...

5683/0.15 = 37,887 women riding their bicycles to work in NYC, if you believe these numbers.

(37,887/8,175,000)x 100 = 0.46% of the population.

Some time ago, the City of Albuquerque asked the Sandia National Laboratories how many of their employees cycled to work every day and was told about 700. The Traffic Engineer found this a little hard to believe, so he stationed City employees with counters in unmarked cars around the base entrances for a couple of days, and they counted about 70/day.

These people also lie a lot.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

especially as more and more people of all ages are encouraged to get out there and be good people by not using fossil-fueled vehicles.

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!

The Crack Emcee said...

I can live without such "encouragement," thank you.

Shouting Thomas said...

Perhaps the solution is for women to ride naked, like at the event in Madison?

Of course, this will probably only work for the attractive ones.

Paul said...

"Yeah, I got hit by a truck that just didn't see me. I put a big dent in it with my head."

Any good cyclist knows that it is potentially fatal to count on drivers to see them. He makes sure he is aware of every car around him and has an exit strategy in any contingency. A contest between car and bike is so one sided that a cyclist who relies on a driver's judgment for his safety is a fool. And of course this same fool now wants the government to step in and regulate more behavior and steal more freedoms. And he just KNOWS that statistics will bear him out.

They do not.

It's amazing how many "conservatives" become totalitarians at the drop of that hat when it suits their whims.

nevadabob said...

"Bicycles and city streets don't mix ..."

Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Same with bicycles.

There is nothing inherently wrong or unsafe about using a bicycle on a city street.

It's the GODDAMNED people on them. They simply do not believe they are required to follow the traffic laws that roads demand. And they simply refuse to accept the laws of physics.

How many times have you been at an intersection in a car at a red light that had no other cars approaching from any direction and yet you stayed still until the light turned green?

We are trained to obey the traffic laws if we are in cars because failure to do so is so expensive (in tickets, insurance costs, repair costs, etc.)

Watch the videos I linked to earlier. None of these people on bikes give one damn about the traffic laws. They go the wrong way up the street, weave through traffic when it suits them, dart through pedestrians. It's fucking amazing how brazenly unsafe they operate those bikes.

They deserve to be killed. In fact, we should be AIMING FOR THEM.

Bicycling is unsafe ONLY BECAUSE of the way the people on the bikes operate those bikes.

John Lynch said...

Nevada-

I agree. But if government is going to apply the same logic, they'd ban bicycles.

It's not honest otherwise.

Trooper York said...

If Ed Koch was still mayor none of this bike shit would be happening. Instead we would have massive corruption and gay guys getting married and having sex in the streets and...and...err...nevermind

HT said...

Here in DC, I am much more careful riding my bike than I used to be. That is partly due to age and partly due to increased driver hostility to the increased presence of bikes. There's just no comparison to the way it was 10 or 15 years ago. Nowadays, the streets are full of bikes. And what I occasionally hear now that I used to never hear are insults and people cussing at me for riding a bicycle. Never used to happen. And I am a slow lady-rider. I never ever wear bicycle Spandex. I am a firm believer in street riding as opposed to sidewalk riding, which I loathe as an insult and danger to pedestrians, children, the elderly and everyone in between. Ringing bells at pedestrians on sidewalks is especially to be avoided. What I'm most scared about riding in the street is getting doored, which I think happened to Ann. The prospect of that terrifies me. Cars are supposed to cede three feet of space to cyclists. If this happened regularly (I'm talking about the moving cars), I think I'd be less frightened of getting doored.

The wardrobe discussion is very important. I've toyed with the idea of not wearing a helmet because of hair issues in the morning. But then I get on the Internet, get terrified and decide that skull safety trumps my hair issues.

Fred4Pres said...

Are women pussies?

pst314 said...

Speaking of aggressive bicycle messengers: One of them murdered a pedestrian a few years ago here in Chicago. The pedestrian objected verbally to the messenger's aggressive behavior, so the messenger pursued him and pushed him down a flight of stairs. He died of his injuries.

Public outcry after that "incident" forced the city to crack down on aggressive messengers, but they remain very irresponsible and anti-social.

pst314 said...

"It's frighteningly easy not to see bikes when you are driving. They appear quickly and unexpectedly, and the bikers often seem to think they can slip in anywhere."

Yes indeed. I nearly killed a fast-moving cyclist who passed me on the right as I was starting to make a right turn. If I hadn't seen him out of the corner of my eye and braked suddenly, he would have been crushed beneath the wheels of my car. If it happened today, with the reduced peripheral vision of my middle aged eyes, I wouldn't see him until too late and he would become a Darwinian statistic.

pst314 said...

"You would think a little old lady could cross the street without having to worry about a bike going the wrong way down the street."

Here in Chicago, the bicycle messengers even zip down the sidewalks, weaving around pedestrians.

HT said...

Toward the tail end of my car-owning days, I started to drive much more slowly than I did when I first got a car. This is because of the unpredictability of pedestrians and cyclists. I really really do not want to hit one, and I figure if I drive the speed limit or slower, my chances of doing so are reduced, as are the chances that the ped or cyclist will be seriously hurt if I do hit him/her.

Something like 40-45% of DC residents do not own a car.

pst314 said...

It's not just the cyclists. I've seen lots of aggressive and irresponsible drivers, too. Favorite behaviors here in Chicago are: Play chicken with pedestrians in crosswalks. Run yellow lights. Run lights as they turn red, betting that you can get through the intersection before cross traffic gets a green light, or before they can get moving, or before they get moving so fast they can't stop for you. Drive into an intersection when traffic ahead is blocked, so that you know you will be stuck in the intersection and will block cross traffic when the light turns green. Jumping a red light to turn left(!) before oncoming traffic gets moving, and then come to a sudden stop to avoid hitting pedestrians starting to cross--and thus block traffic while waiting for those pedestrians. Turn right without yielding to pedestrians starting to cross, betting that they will see you and stop.

PatCA said...

Another dangerous obsession of the liberal NYC machine, and this poor woman had to pay with her life.

I saw a guy today on the street on a bike, clad in spandex and a helmet, whom I fear will not live to see the sunset.

Biking with traffic is dangerous. Jogging at night is dangerous. Opening your door to strangers at night is dangerous.

ironrailsironweights said...

Not many women riding bikes ... damn, hundreds of eager would-be seat sniffers will be disappointed.

Peter

John said...

Crack Emcee said:

Nobody could've doored you, Ann, if you had been riding correctly - on the opposite side of the street,

Bullshit, Crack. You are one of the moron bikers that everyone is railing about. Though probably not a moron otherwise.

The law is that bike riders are supposed to ride on the right, with the traffic.

So now you are advocating that bikers break the law? That is why people don't like bikers. They feel that they are entitled to ignore the law just because they are cool green, saving the planet or whatever BS they want us to believe.

John

ricpic said...

They [bikes] appear quickly and unexpectedly...

And there is simply no way around that problem.

Robert said...

More pedestrians will die from nut job bicyclists in the SadiKhan lanes than tourists will be killed on Christopher Street. She's taken out 20percent of major streets to benefit very few bicycle riders almost all young and male for what five months a year. Excluded from the lanes, the old, say anyone over forty five, the disabled, pregnant women, mothers with small children- unless they are totally nuts. A truly insane public policy. Everything said about this in these comments is absolutely right

Robert said...

More pedestrians will die from nut job bicyclists in the SadiKhan lanes than tourists will be killed on Christopher Street. She's taken out 20percent of major streets to benefit very few bicycle riders almost all young and male for what five months a year. Excluded from the lanes, the old, say anyone over forty five, the disabled, pregnant women, mothers with small children- unless they are totally nuts. A truly insane public policy. Everything said about this in these comments is absolutely right

HT said...

ricpic said...

"They [bikes] appear quickly and unexpectedly..."

And there is simply no way around that problem.

7/3/11 3:39 PM

____

When I had a car, I would try to cut down on my chances of hitting a pedestrian or cyclists by driving slower and more cautiously than I ever had. That was my way of dealing with the problem of darting cyclists.

Freeman Hunt said...

Northwest Arkansas has been investing in an extensive series of paved trails for cyclists and pedestrians. They get a lot of use. Now they're making a paved trail to connect several cities from north to south which will allow people to commute from city to city by bike. Much safer than having to bike with cars.

Kylos said...

Crack, as John noted, you're part of the problem.

Biking against traffic makes navigating intersections more dangerous, reduces the time a car driver has to spot and avoid you, and increases the speed differential between you and traffic. Additionally, unlike pedestrians, bicyclists cannot as easily hop off the road when a car doesn't give you enough space. I've had an extremely close encounter with a wrong way bicyclist late at night where there was a curb that prevented him from getting out of the way. As a driver and a cyclist the cyclists I hate the most are the wrong way cyclists.

virgil xenophon said...

following n bagoh20@1:47 I might note that traffic-flow/safety engineers say that when one grows up with mass bicycle traffic as in much of Europe and places like Saigon one develops a mental "minds eye" that easily registers such traffic on the brain, while in the US where high-density mixed auto/bicycle traffic is rare, the avg. motorist simply has a mental "blind-spot" about bicycle traffic which leads to increased accidents above the level of Europe, etc.

richard mcenroe said...

" I had an accident only once, when a woman impulsively but deliberately flung her car door open as she stood in the space between the parked cars and the traffic. I was about to go around her, but I guess she didn't trust me and she just wanted that extra measure of safety that women crave. "

Or you've met Justice Bradley and never realized it...

rhhardin said...

offers a women’s bicycle repair class

Guys are born knowing how to
repair things.

rhhardin said...

I've biked well over 300,000 miles without any problem.

It's not mostly in NYC however.

Michael said...

Bike riding against traffic is called salmoning

The Crack Emcee said...

Gawd, I hate having stupid arguments:

John,

The law is that bike riders are supposed to ride on the right, with the traffic. 

So now you are advocating that bikers break the law?

I've never been ticketed, never been in an accident, never been doored. I say, if you want to protect your ass, act like it and don't put yourself in a stupid situation.

Drive against traffic.

Kylos,

Biking against traffic makes navigating intersections more dangerous, reduces the time a car driver has to spot and avoid you, and increases the speed differential between you and traffic.

You do not know that of which you speak. Explain to me how being IN FRONT OF THE DRIVER "reduces the time a car driver has to spot and avoid you" - it's impossible. By driving against traffic, you see him and he sees you - automatically.

As a driver and a cyclist the cyclists I hate the most are the wrong way cyclists.

Hate all you want, but when I'm riding my bike, the guy wrapped in metal is the last person I'm thinking about protecting.

Shanna said...

We had a woman killed riding her bike in little rock a few months ago in a similar fashion. Two people who biked to work had accidents results in broken bones/major injuries.

On a personal note, the bikers on the trail this weekend were rude as hell, riding quite close to my cousin and I as we walked with no warning. I guess they are newbies.

rhhardin said...

Wrong way cycling is much more dangerous than right-way.

1. You're not looked for at intersections. You will get pulled out in front of a lot.

2. The closing speed is your speed plus the car's speed, instead of the car's speed minus your speed, which mostly doubles it. So you get half the reaction time needed from the driver.

3. Most important, if you're looking at the car and the car is looking at you, the rules about who gives way are not clear. This gets you hit pretty often.

If you're going the same way, it's clear to the driver that he has to give way because you won't. That decision is made automatically and immediately.

Get a nice mirror if you want to watch the cars. It's not necessary, but it's handy if you want to know when you can drift away from the curb line safely to avoid something without turning your head.

BT said...

I live in Chicago and I hate bike riders. I have no intention of harming them but very few obey the laws and many are now riding the wrong way down one way streets--that is a new trick of theirs I have noticed this summer, even dads with kids.

Since cities are dying to grab as much money as possible from their citizens one area where I would gladly approve of new fees, etc are from bike riders. How about a $50.00 per year license fee? How about the cops start ticketing bikers that don't obey the laws?

The Crack Emcee said...

What the fuck are you people talking about?

1. You're not looked for at intersections. You will get pulled out in front of a lot.

The point is I SEE YOU - that's safer than me trying to see what the guy APPROACHING FROM BEHIND is going to do.

2. The closing speed is your speed plus the car's speed, instead of the car's speed minus your speed, which mostly doubles it. So you get half the reaction time needed from the driver.

For what? We SEE EACH OTHER. There's not going to be an accident, because WE SEE EACH OTHER. We could both be going as fast as we want and as long as WE SEE EACH OTHER there's no problem.

3. Most important, if you're looking at the car and the car is looking at you, the rules about who gives way are not clear. This gets you hit pretty often.

That's why I've never had an accident. Because it "gets you hit pretty often."

Come on, guys, why don't you admit you've never done it and leave it at that.

If you're going the same way, it's clear to the driver that he has to give way because you won't. That decision is made automatically and immediately.

Who says? WE SEE EACH OTHER. It makes everything easier. Including negotiating right-of-way.

Get a nice mirror if you want to watch the cars.

I give up. This is madness. Go kill yourselves if you want to, I will not be joining you.

rhhardin said...

I deal in the laws of physics. Suit yourself.

PaulV said...

I was stopped at parking meter one time and waited for light to turn red for traffic to stop before getting out. While beginning to open door I saw bike passing cars on right in side view mirror and lucky for door I stopped opening it

MadisonMan said...

Hate all you want, but when I'm riding my bike, the guy wrapped in metal is the last person I'm thinking about protecting.

And to hell with other bikers.

How much time to you spend gazing at yourself lovingly in a pool of water?

Ann Althouse said...

"Nobody could've doored you, Ann, if you had been riding correctly - on the opposite side of the street, toward approaching traffic, where you can see everything."

In NYC, these were 1-way streets, with cars parked on both sides of the street, so your point cannot make sense.

The woman was walking around to a parked car, and she opened the door so that I was forced to collide with the inside of the door.

Does that help you see the picture? She wasn't even in the position of trying to get into (or out of) the car. She was deliberately whipping the door open to make it into a shield for herself.

nevadabob said...

Charles Darwin works in weird and mysterious ways.

Carol said...

What HT said. ..but I think biking in Manhattan would be insane, when there is so much public trans.

I bike to work about half the time here in flyover, in traffic through the worst intersection in our state. It can be done but it takes maturity and finesse.

The law in many states equate bikes to vehicles, and must obey the same rules and maneuver the same way, except for staying to the right when not trying to make a left turn. Sometimes I think NO ONE knows the law. Even a dipshit city councilman told me bikes should be on the sidewalk, which is against city ordinance for age 15 and over.

At the risk of sounding like a liberal, the answer is education.

nevadabob said...

"She was deliberately whipping the door open to make it into a shield for herself."

So, then, if she had not opened the door, you would have crashed into her, right?

Sounds pretty irresponsible of you to me, Ann.

Sounds to me like she did the right thing, otherwise you would have hit her.

Ann Althouse said...

This wasn't some inattentive lady. This was a woman who saw me and deliberately used the car door as a shield for her and a weapon against me.

And I was not inattentive. I also saw her and was ready to curve around her (in the space that I had on a busy avenue). She decided essentially to force me to collide with the door. It was no accident, and no amount of attentiveness by me would have prevented it.

PaulV said...

I have a friend that was on Navy ship delivering supplies to troops in Somali. They went to port in a neighboring country for R&R. He and a bud had bikes on board so they could go to bars away from the tourist traps. A truck was coming so one went to the left and the other right. My friend ran head on into another bicyclist. That guy got up and continued on. My friend cracked his skull open. He was sent to nearest hospital (Mogadishu) Doctors were not busy at time but he could hear the nearby mortars. He was sent to Frankfurt and 9 of the 10 doctors said he was ok and one did not. He had to sign a release to get his discharge.

Chip S. said...

Unless "bike" is a typo for "dyke," I don't see what the ratio of males to females has to do with anything here.

PaulV said...

another friend got to collect on his bike helmet warranty when it got hit by the wide side window on the truck. No warranty for his concussion

nevadabob said...

"This wasn't some inattentive lady. This was a woman who saw me and deliberately used the car door as a shield for her and a weapon against me."

You have dodged the question, counselor.

If she used the door as a shield against you to protect herself, and you crashed into the door she opened, then if she had not you would have crashed into HER.

Ergo, YOU were riding irresponsibly and she protected herself.

So of course, she was RIGHT to do it, since you were riding irresponsibly and would have hit her except for the door protecting her from you.

You shouldn't be anywhere NEAR her door if you are riding in a way to follow the traffic laws.

HT said...

Nevada Bob,

This is what scares me. I usually ride to the right of the lane. The way you describe things, the only way Ann could have avoided being doored was to have ridden in the middle of the lane.

Is that what you saying she should've done?

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann, this is so dumb:

The woman was walking around to a parked car, and she opened the door so that I was forced to collide with the inside of the door.

Now, imagine you had been riding towards her - instead of from behind - you would've seen her every move, she also would've seen you (you'd be in front of her) and you would've been able to swerve around the opening door with ease - and with less risk of being seriously injured, because of the door's angle, while catching it from behind is not only an abrupt stop but you risk the top of the door impaling you.

To do otherwise makes no sense at all.

HT said...

To do otherwise makes no sense at all? To not door someone makes no sense at all? To require drivers and passengers to look behind them before opening a car door makes no sense at all? If the passenger is elderly or infirm, the driver could do this for him. I'm not sure, is riding against traffic legal or illegal?

I'd like to know if there was a conversation after Ann was doored?

timmaguire42 said...

Sgt. York, you're right that most non-bicyclists hate the bicyclists, but that says a lot less than you want to think it does.

This is New York, overcrowded and dysfunctional. The pedestrians hate the drivers and bicyclists, the bicyclists hate the pedestrians and drivers and the drivers hate the pedestrians and bicyclists.

And they're all right to do so. Most pedestrians are retarded, they don't watch where they're going and make sudden unpredictable moves. Most drivers think they own the road and will kill you to save a couple seconds (sometimes even if you have the right of way) and some bicyclists see the other people as objects in an obstacle course.

But the terms you use to talk about all bicyclists actually describe about 10% of them. Most are just regular people trying to get somewhere, much like everyone else.

Meanwhile the drivers, who make up a small percentage of the overall population have an outrageous amount of the transportation infrastructure dedicated to them.

Your statement about bicycles being "stuff white people like" is absurdly ignorant. A New Yorker saying that is like an American saying there are 57 states. How could you know so little about your own city? Ever ordered a pizza delivery?

nevadabob said...

"I usually ride to the right of the lane. The way you describe things, the only way Ann could have avoided being doored was to have ridden in the middle of the lane. Is that what you saying she should've done?"

No.

There is another way Ann could have avoided the collision.

To understand this, there are some general principles that can be brought to bear on this situation.

In automobiles, there is a general principle that if you hit someone from behind, then it was AUTOMATICALLY your fault. You could have avoided the accident by driving slower, driving defensively and leaving yourself time for braking.

If you have an accident in a car and you hit someone from behind you will ALWAYS be ruled at fault by your insurance company. ALWAYS. No matter what your lame excuse is.

I think the same principle exists here in Ann's accident. If Ann had been riding defensibly, and in control, she could have braked to avoid hitting the car door.

The woman (according to our witness Ann) opened the door and then hid behind it in an attempt to protect herself from a collision. And yet, Ann still crashed into the door. So, it stands to reason that if the woman hadn't opened the door, there's a good change Ann would have hit the woman instead of the door.

Ann says the woman used the door as a weapon. I say she used it as a very sensible shield.

So who was wrong here? The woman who protected herself from Ann's irresponsible and out-of-control cycling? Or was Ann wrong for failing to anticipate, riding too close to parked cars, riding too close to pedestrians, riding too fast to control her bike?

I think it's painfully obvious.

And I'd gladly represent this woman in court against Ann serving as her own attorney. She's not very good at it.

But as they say ... those who can't do ... teach.

Trooper York said...

"Your statement about bicycles being "stuff white people like" is absurdly ignorant. A New Yorker saying that is like an American saying there are 57 states. How could you know so little about your own city? Ever ordered a pizza delivery?"

Of course. And Chinese food too. But those are poor immigrants that have to do that to make a living. Not rich entitled dingbats who think riding a bike will save the ozone. Every single one of those delivery guys would rather have a car. Which would be even worse because all those Chinese guys in cars would be an even bigger health hazard.

Those delivery guys are a menace. They will ride you down in a minute. Don't try and point to them as a reason for bike lanes. That's pure and utter bullshit.

Face it. Everybody in New York hates bike riders except the bike riders themselves. I bet in your fancy bike ride in Williamsburg the Hasids will be out there throwing rocks at them. Tell me they are not hated there?

HT said...

Nevada Bob,

Something about the way you framed the argument leads me to believe that this will not be a very useful discussion. But.... Ann said she was going to go around the person. So in your mind, it would seem that the only way for the woman to be assured of this was for Ann to be riding well out of range of car, door, woman, whatever, which is more or less the middle of the road or lane; or two, to get off her bike thereby signalling to the woman that she was in fact not out for blood and meant no personal harm to the woman. I hardly think we know enough about the situation then to come to such a firm conclusion that you have.

I do not know about NY. But in DC the reason most people ride their bicycles is to get from point A to point B. It is faster than the bus, and walking. That it saves the ozone is something people will add secondarily. No one I know rides to save the ozone or environment or what have you. They will cite it as a reason to build up the bike infrastructure. I'm not all for bike lanes as a reflex. On some streets they can work. But they also have ruined the aesthetics of a street.

nevadabob said...

"So in your mind, it would seem that the only way for the woman to be assured of this was for Ann to be riding well out of range of car, door, woman, whatever, which is more or less the middle of the road or lane; or two, to get off her bike thereby signalling to the woman that she was in fact not out for blood and meant no personal harm to the woman. I hardly think we know enough about the situation then to come to such a firm conclusion that you have."

I'll grant you that. Ann has been forthcoming with her side of the story only.

So, naturally I don't think we have enough information. But from the information provided, this accident was definitely Ann's fault.

She's riding OUT OF CONTROL. She collided with a vehicle from behind (essentially) which means she was failing to anticipate.

The woman saw Ann coming, and maybe Ann's plan was to avoid her, but the woman clearly could not have known that and was correct to protect herself.

Ann was in the wrong here, clearly. If she struck the door, and the woman was using the door as a shield, then if the door wasn't there, the woman probably would have been hit.

This is the problem with many people who ride bikes. They're doing things no car or other vehicle would ever do. Ann should have been in the middle of the lane, avoiding pedestrians and parked vehicles, just as any other person using a road would do.

But the most telling thing here is Ann's insistence that she was in the right. In her own mind, there's NO WAY she was wrong or culpable here.

That's both telling and sadly disturbing. It's a character flaw.

HT said...

You're certainly provocative. I'll grant you that.

I understand what you mean about the insistence that she is right. I just don't think it applies in this situation. At all.

And what you said at the end of one of your posts was rude. Here you are getting on this blog over and over, and then come here and pollute it with an insult.

nevadabob said...

"And what you said at the end of one of your posts was rude. Here you are getting on this blog over and over, and then come here and pollute it with an insult."

Occasionally, the host needs to be slapped upside her fucking head so she don't get too big of one.

She voted for Barack Obama, after all. So all let's remember that she's capable of making a huge fucking mistake that she's reluctant to admit.

I'm not here to suck Ann Althouse's clit for her.

I think she knows that.

HT said...

Ann Althouse said...

And I was not inattentive. I also saw her and was ready to curve around her (in the space that I had on a busy avenue). She decided essentially to force me to collide with the door. It was no accident, and no amount of attentiveness by me would have prevented it.

7/3/11 5:56 PM


___

Just think, what if she had seen a car approaching close to the cars on the right side of the street instead of a 20 something year old female on a bicycle. For one thing, she probably would have known to either wait for the car to pass or to scooch along very close to the side of her car.

I'd still like to know about the post crash conversation.

Nevada Bob, gross. If you think you have it within your power to take her down a peg and make her behave, then that must not be a character flaw afterall.

nevadabob said...

"I also saw her and was ready to curve around her (in the space that I had on a busy avenue). She decided essentially to force me to collide with the door. It was no accident, and no amount of attentiveness by me would have prevented it."

This is the type of sentence said by a woman to justify her actions.

If she saw the woman ahead, and realized space was tight and that it was a busy avenue, why didn't Ann just stop?

Why not just brake, instead of trying to go around? Or force the issue?

Every statement Ann made on this issue just buried her case even further. It's embarrassing.

If you hit someone from behind, it is ALWAYS your fault. ALWAYS. No matter what your lame ass excuse is.

Ann should just be a man and admit she made a mistake and get on with her life.

But instead, she can't admit she made a dumb error. Even on this.

I've been reading this blog for a long, long time. I haven't read every post, or every comment. But you know what I've never seen Ann Althouse do? I've never seen her admit she made a dumb fucking mistake.

I think she can't admit her mistakes.

It's a character flaw.

Ann Althouse said...

"Now, imagine you had been riding towards her - instead of from behind - you would've seen her every move, she also would've seen you (you'd be in front of her) and you would've been able to swerve around the opening door with ease - and with less risk of being seriously injured, because of the door's angle, while catching it from behind is not only an abrupt stop but you risk the top of the door impaling you."

Read my description. I was riding toward her, and I did see her every move. (And of course I had room to get around her or I would have been stopping. Nevadabob assumes the woman was as wide as a car door! Also the door was in front of where she was, so had more time to curve around her.)

If she had been coming around behind me (that is, if I'd been going in the other direction, she wouldn't have caught up to me).

I really don't get your point about the direction. I'm talking about a pedestrian woman walking up to her parked car. I has nothing to do with the direction of the traffic other than as the relates to the direction the parked car was pointing.

Ann Althouse said...

"you would've been able to swerve around the opening door with ease"

The reason that didn't happen was she waited until I was right in front of it, then suddenly and impulsively flung it out. It was impossible to avoid hitting it. And keep in mind that there was traffic. This swerve you're picturing would be a swerve into traffic. If I'd had an instinct like that, I could have been hit by a moving car.

Your dream world of bike safety is a delusion in a world of human beings.

HT said...

"she waited until I was right in front of it, then suddenly and impulsively flung it out."

____

Then, she herself was behind her car door, even slightly? Because if she wasn't, by the logic you say she was using (fear, need for security), she would have been hit by you because she would have been in front of the car door.

Michael said...

Crack. Riding against traffic on a bicycle is new age in the extreme. You are quite wrong about the safety of this method notwithstanding your survival rate.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

Your dream world of bike safety is a delusion in a world of human beings.

Hey, I'm not the one describing being in an accident.

Incredible.

The Crack Emcee said...

Michael,

Crack. Riding against traffic on a bicycle is new age in the extreme.

Lordy, it's a slow day. Go on - explain.

Jeff Gee said...

As described, the 'accident' doesn't sound like an accident at all. Sounds pretty much like what would have happened if the pedestrian had suddenly held up a garbage can lid, or clotheslined Althouse with a baton. The fact that the object was a car door is irrelevant.

I would also like to know the details of the conversation that followed.

bagoh20 said...

1st, Black guys love bicycles. Here in L.A., I see them running in herds often nearly 100 at a time, and they seem to love the associated fashion a lot too. They look good in spandex with those round ample buttocks and large packages.

Although my experience says that Blacks are the worst at following traffic laws, the brothers on bikes seem to be especially law abiding. They must all have uncles named Tom. Regardless, I deal with their herds and appreciate the fun they seem to be having in that spandex.

I ride to work from the beach to Compton (28 miles round trip, no spandex). I have for years and after four decades of biking, I've never hit or been hit by a car, and I don't personally know anyone who has.

I disagree with Crack on riding against the traffic. It freaks drivers out and makes every car an encounter which makes drivers do stupid things, and I don't appreciate it when I'm driving the car.

Overall, this thread sounds like a bunch of hand wringing nannies, so afraid of slim risks that they can't go out of the house without a helmet.

Life has risks, and you're gonna die anyway no matter what you do. We don't all need to travel the exact same way, and your particular choice is not real important to me unless you want to step on mine.

I'm sure we all would like to have the road to our selves so we could dose off all the way to work, but tough, I pay taxes too.

You will deal with me, just like I deal with all the wasted money following your pussy-ass rules that only exist because pussies are numerous and loud.

I do think Crack should be banned from wearing spandex. I hear he stuffs.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

One of these days we're going to get an fMRI on somebody driving a pick-up truck and find that his brain has transformed itself into t. Rex functionality. Our hospital is adding a ward which addition has been delayed by the need to transform an area of the building into showers for people who bike to work. Overwhelmingly people arrive via freeway and tollway. This a 'green idea.' It would be more green if they would put a scrubber above the furnace where we burn the money.

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jamboree said...

My brother-in-law was slammed by a car as was a good friend (male). One required surgery on his foot, the other on his shoulder.

Dude, the guys can that one, you know? ...along with the Three Stooges and fart jokes. It's not a problem until no one is allowed to drive, the elite jet and helicopter in, and women are left walking 20 miles every AM to the the freshwater stream with balancing enormous earthenware pots on their heads.

Lionheart said...

I can understand the logic behind riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the street: oncoming traffic is in front of you, no one can creep up from behind and mash you.

What makes that argument silly is the fact that no one is looking for a wrong way biker (especially lane-changers and right turners) and the closing speed does cut your reaction time greatly. If you bike at 15 mph and cars are doing 30 mph, the closing speed is 15 mph. Crack, going 15 mph backasswards, has a closing speed of 45 mph. Yes he can see them, no, they are not looking for him, yes eventually Crack will be hit head on by a car he saw coming...but just too late.

The Crack Emcee said...

What makes that argument silly is the fact that no one is looking for a wrong way biker ,...

How many times are you guys going to insist on this impossible scenario?

When you ride against traffic, no one has to "look" for anyone - that's why it's safer - everyone can see each other. The cyclist can see the drivers, the drivers can see the cyclist, the driver is in the street, the cyclist is in the bike lane - what's the problem?

You guys are talking nonsense in a herd.

rupert said...

Speaking as a cyclist in London, I'd say that Ann's experience of the car door unexpectedly opened is the most dangerous. Seeing it as a bike related matter is not entirely fair either, any passing car would instantly rip off the door (London streets are narrow).

My motivations revolve around fitness and speed. London has made the use of cars nearly impossible, but the trains, tube and buses are stupidly slow, so it's far faster to cycle 10 miles than take public transport

hoyden said...

I bike between 30-60 miles per day. I live in Minneapolis and can do 95% of this riding on a bike path. When I am on the street I ride with the traffic and I use a rear view mirror to stay aware of what's happening behind.

I dislike riding with traffic and avoid it whenever possible, sometimes by riding on the sidewalk. There are plenty of challenges from traffic, other bikers, and peds.

Staying safe requires constant vigilance. Without the bike paths I would not consider biking a viable activity.

wv: bidensou

SDN said...

"the idiots who bike at night with NO LIGHTS and clothing that makes them hard to see. It's like, WTF? Are you people suicidal? "

Clyde, this is what makes evolution function as a species improvement tool.

wv: under. As in under the bus.

Kylos said...

Crack, as I mentioned earlier, the only time I've ever come near to killing a bicyclist was a wrong way bicyclist. I was perhaps 50 feet from him before I noticed him, traveling at 45 mph, so ou closing speed was likely 55 mph or greater and there was a curb so the cyclist had no out. Freaked me out.

You seem to be under the impression that the driver can see you better when you're facing him. That's absolutely not true. They have less time to scan that area of road adequately because of the greater closing speed. And at intersections a driver is especially unlikely to see you.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you have your bike under control, you don't need to see the car to be safer. The most important thing is that the person navigating several tons of steel has time to see you and react accordingly.

On my bike, I will scan ahead so I have time to carefully move away from the shoulder if there are obstacles such as bad pavement, gravel or parked cars. By law I'm allowed to use as much of the lane as needed under the conditions. I don't mind forcing the occasional driver to wait for opposing traffic to clear or the shoulder conditions to improve. That also means I avoid roads where I'll be antagonizing drivers frequently because of poor road conditions or traffic levels.

HT said...

So your solution to feeling scared on the street is to inconvenience pedestrians? Why don't you lobby your local government for stricter enforcement of the law when there is a car-bike collision and the car driver is at fault? The people of the midwest I can only imagine have got to be one hundred thousand million trillion gazillion times nicer than those in DC. Are the streets really so tough in Minneapolis? In DC, I, a slow lady rider, reluctant helmet wearer, ride in the street. When I do have to get on the sidewalk, it's empty or else I get off my bike.

HT said...

My post above was to Hoyden.

Milwaukee said...

Hagar: the count reported, of 700, wasn't because they are liars, which is a matter of integrity, but because they are stupid, which is a matter of intelligence. Stupid honest people exist.

Ann: In your first telling, I recall you reported her as "impulsively" and "deliberately" opening the door. So, you can determine her motives? And, how can one be both impulsive and deliberate at the same time? I think your "girls stick up for girls" instinct was kicking in. As posters assign the blame to you, the modified accounts paint the "perpetrator" in a worse light than you wanted to ascribe in the first place.

HT said...

Milwaukee - some good points. I still wait word from Ann about any post crash conversation. I think she (and Meade) enjoy not answering a direct question, from time to time.

Milwaukee said...

Back when we still worried about global cooling, Scientific American ran an article on bicycles. Only light airplanes are more efficient at moving kilograms-per-meter-per-second than bicycles. So the irony is this: for a fixed distance, i.e. from home to school, brisk walking is a better exercise than biking. For a fixed time: i.e. exercising for an hour, biking is a better exercise than walking. Fixed gear bikes are even better exercise than regular bikes, as one must pedal down hill to control the speed. With regular bikes one can coast down hills. Stationary bikes, the exercise equipment, wasn't discussed in that article, and while great exercise, don't move. Thus they are incredibly fuel inefficient at getting people where they want to go. The best reason then for biking is speed.

My annoyance at pedestrians is when drivers have a left turn arrow, and they have a Don't Walk, and they walk anyhow. Didn't they learn to take turns in pre-school?

HT said...

"The best reason then for biking is speed."

That's exactly right!!!!!!!!

But no amount of typed words can convince those hell-bent on seeing it as part of the green conspiracy though.

Miriam123 said...

I haven't (yet) read through all of the comments, but I find it necessary to point out that the dangerous bikers (cyclists) in NYC are not elitist whiteys - it is the bike messengers and deliverymen (non-American by birth most commonly) who are the ones speeding around, weaving in and out and disregarding all and sundry (because the faster they go, the more they make). This is also true regarding cars - the most dangerous and most blithe are the taxi-drivers - who are often people who learned how to drive in 2nd and 3rd world countries where concern for pedestrians is not a high priority.

The white, male, elitist, priveleged mofos (and no, I'm not defending them because I'm one of them) tend to be alot more careful and considerate.

Just saying.

The Crack Emcee said...

Kylos,

Crack, as I mentioned earlier, the only time I've ever come near to killing a bicyclist was a wrong way bicyclist. I was perhaps 50 feet from him before I noticed him, traveling at 45 mph, so ou closing speed was likely 55 mph or greater and there was a curb so the cyclist had no out. Freaked me out.

You guys aren't listening to yourselves. That time you came "near to killing a bicyclist" is not the time you did so - and we're comparing to a time Ann actually did get into an accident, doing it your way. A freaked out driver isn't my concern - not getting into an accident is.

You seem to be under the impression that the driver can see you better when you're facing him. That's absolutely not true. They have less time to scan that area of road adequately because of the greater closing speed. And at intersections a driver is especially unlikely to see you.

I am not going over your first point again, it's silly. And your second point assumes I'm looking to you (the driver) for my safety. Sorry, but I'll leave that to the helmet-wearing crowd. As long as I can see you, my safety is assured, and I can't do that when you're behind me.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you have your bike under control, you don't need to see the car to be safer. The most important thing is that the person navigating several tons of steel has time to see you and react accordingly.

That's the key: if I have my bike under control. Fuck the person navigating several tons of steel - I am not leaving my life in that dumbshit's hands.

On my bike, I will scan ahead so I have time to carefully move away from the shoulder if there are obstacles such as bad pavement, gravel or parked cars. By law I'm allowed to use as much of the lane as needed under the conditions. I don't mind forcing the occasional driver to wait for opposing traffic to clear or the shoulder conditions to improve. That also means I avoid roads where I'll be antagonizing drivers frequently because of poor road conditions or traffic levels.

See? Listen you yourself: you "don't mind forcing the occasional driver to wait' or whatever - why should I? Even more important, that's you talking - it's not how I have to go about my ride. I force no one to do shit because we all see each other and the whole thing is more intuitive. All this "who has the right of way" crap is done easily. I usually give it to the metal.

After this discussion, I really think the reason bicycling is so dangerous is because y'all don't get it.

The Crack Emcee said...

Some arrogant bastard, with no protection, thinking he's going to dictate what someone wrapped in steel is going to do, is always going to be more vulnerable than the guy who can see what the driver does and allows him to do so.

hoyden said...

HT: So your solution to feeling scared on the street is to inconvenience pedestrians?

Actually, not so much. I am fortunate to only have to use the sidewalk for about half a block to my driveway. Folks ride in the road but the road is very busy. I trust the pedestrians more than the drivers. The inconvenience is slight compared to the relative safety.

gutless said...

"John Lynch said...

Are there any traffic death statistics for cyclists? I've wondered whether riding a bike is so unsafe that the government should step in to regulate it."

According to the Al Gore Center On Reducing Unnecessary Exercise and Related CO2 Emissions over 30 million Americans are killed on bicycles each year.

The Crack Emcee said...

over 30 million Americans are killed on bicycles each year.

Doing what everyone here is advocating.

I was just thinking about this as I was cooking my breakfast, and this is a fine demonstration of cultish thinking or groupthink. You are collectively advocating for something that isn't in your interest, like the folks who let Scientologists beat them, or who didn't leave the sweatlodge. And you have a myriad of reasons for doing so, like the laws:

I say if there's a choice, between a law and the possiblity of finding myself prone on the street, that's a law I'm jettisoning.

You guys, not so much.

You really ought to think about that, because it's probably not a good sign about how you operate in other areas.

Tim Peterson said...

I bike to work once or twice a week, from Sunset Park Brooklyn to the Financial District in Manhattan. Previously, I had commuted by bike in Boston and San Francisco. I've been doing this on and off for twenty years (I am now 40). I have been in exactly one accident in my life (hit by a cab), and all it did was throw me off my bike. I brushed myself off and caught him at a taxi stand a few blocks later. I was peeved.

A lot of bikers don't obey the law, including me, which is fine so long as you are paying very strict attention and you are not going too fast. If you go through a light, make sure you are listening for traffic and looking, with your hands on the brake in case you need to make a sudden stop. You wouldn't believe the number of bikers who roll through traffic signals at top speed without looking and wearing headphones.

The temptation to go through intersections against traffic signals is strong when no cars are approaching on the perpendicular street. Stopping and then rebuilding momentum after each light makes bikes particularly slow, and the slow bikes are probably more likely to be hit in the normal flow of traffic.

The bike lanes that Bloomy has painted all over the city don't really help in their intended purpose. Delivery trucks and other double parkers squat in them all the time, and I have never seen the lanes enforced. What the lanes do accomplish, though, is draw enough bikers to them so that cars know to be on the lookout. Whether this is accomplished at the cost of reduced attention paid by motorists on streets not marked by bicycle paths is unknown.

The area of greatest danger for me is the Brooklyn Bridge. There, pedestrians (mostly tourists) mindlessly wander into the bike lanes without so much as a glance. I don't ride particularly fast, and have nearly hit plenty of people who are simply clueless. The dog walkers, while rare, pose the biggest danger. One moron, playing fetch with his pit bull, threw a plastic bottle into my path on the Bridge. The dog followed the bouncing bottle in front of my speeding bicycle and stopped only when the bottle bounced into the traffic below. I nearly killed the dog and killed myself.

And while most cars are fine, there are some malevolent people out there. I once biked over a bridge spanning the Susquehanna River when the passenger door of a passing truck flung open, barely missing me. I could hear the laughter as the truck roared off, but had he connected, I would have fallen several hundred feet into the river.

And one other thing - I think Crack Emcee is right in theory but wrong in practice. The law is that bikers go with the flow. While salmoning helps with reaction time, you are outnumbered and end up swimming upstream against your fellow bikers. Most often, there is only room for one biker.

The Captain said...

The first result I got to a search on US bicycle fatalities was 643 in 2007, along with about 43,000 recorded injuries. At "over 30 million" bicycle deaths a year (as cited above), the country would reach a population of zero in 15 or so years. Although that's probably a worthwhile objective.

Milwaukee said...

Laws to require those of a certain age to wear bicycle helmets has had an unintended consequence. Teens would rather not wear helmets, and so they have abandoned bike riding. Whatever exercise they might have gotten is lost. So, which would we rather do: have lots of teens riding their bikes without helmets with a few suffering serious harm, including death; or, teens not riding and dealing with rampant obesity? (Of course realizing that lack of exercise is only a contribution to obesity and not the sole cause.) That's a societal trade off. I do remember at least one instance where a bike helmet saved my son's pretty face from a nasty encounter with black-top and gravel.

Kylos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kylos said...

Crack,

You guys aren't listening to yourselves. That time you came "near to killing a bicyclist" is not the time you did so…

That’s the only close encounter with a bicyclist I’ve ever had, and with at most two feet between us and a closing speed of 55 mph, by any criteria any extremely dangerous situation.

And your second point assumes I'm looking to you (the driver) for my safety.

It’s not looking to the driver for your safety, it’s increasing the odds that he’ll see you in time.

That's the key: if I have my bike under control.

Perhaps it hasn’t been clear, but as I’ve pointed out, in the close call I described, the bicyclist didn’t have an out. There was a curb restricting his motion and a car on the other side. You’re not a pedestrian who can easily hop the curb. With a closing speed of 55 mph there was little time for anybody to try to avoid a collision. Because you’re going the wrong way, you encounter more traffic and at a higher speed. So even if you’re under control, your odds of encountering a bad driver in a bad spot increase. And curbs limit your ability to control the situation.

I force no one to do shit because we all see each other and the whole thing is more intuitive.

That’s where you’re mistaken: you may see the driver, but the odds are much greater that he doesn’t see you. You have to realize that this is the true risk factor in bicycle-car collisions. It doesn’t matter how well you can see the car if he didn’t see you and made a right turn right into you.

Foobarista said...

My favorite encounter with a bike rider was when I was coming off the freeway onto an expressway. There was a merge lane with a large island and a bike lane (although a hugely dangerous one), coming off a steep hill. The island was overgrown with tall grass and bushes, so cars coming off the freeway had poor visibility into the bike lane (and vice versa). Also, it happened that this is in a "top five richest zips" area, with plenty of rich Hollywood lefties, complete with Spandex, mid-four-figure bikes, and plenty of entitlement.

Anyway, as I merged off the freeway onto the expressway, a bike going at least 35 mph popped out from behind the bushes as I was merging and I narrowly avoided hitting him. He decided he'd try to teach me a lesson and attempted to chase me down. Fortunately, I'm usually in less high-end neighborhoods so he went away after I waved my crowbar at him as he caught me at a light, yelling and screaming.

Kylos said...

...this is a fine demonstration of cultish thinking or groupthink. You are collectively advocating for something that isn't in your interest, like the folks who let Scientologists beat them, or who didn't leave the sweatlodge.

Sometimes statistics support the consensus, and the individual is actually the one engaging in wishful thinking.

Using the search term "bike statistic against traffic" I found this study conducted in Palo Alto, CA in the 80's showing that accidents were more than three times more likely to occur for wrong-way bicyclists than for right-way bicyclists.

While Table 1 shows that there were more collisions total for right-way bikers than wrong way bikers, it does not compare the numbers "per capita", that is, collisions per right-way bicyclist vs. collisions per wrong way bicyclist. Look at tables 2 and 4 and compare the risk factors reported (lower risk factor means safer).

Also check out these pages for more info:
http://bicyclesafe.com/
http://kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/wrong.htm

Crack, you're arguing against the facts and against safety. I don't often engage in lengthy debates, but your misinformed advice may kill someone and I hope this post will perhaps save a life or two.

hoyden said...

Kylos,

Thanks for the pointers to bike safety. I've spent the afternoon reading when the temp is way to hot for riding. Also, being a holiday, the bike paths will be loaded with the clueless and the entitled.

I appreciate learning the lessons learned from experienced cyclists.

The Crack Emcee said...

Kylos,

I looked but, sorry, but I don't buy it. I've seen how this all works - in practice - and it ain't ever been me lying by the side of the road waiting for help. You can claim I'm living on borrowed time or something, but I've made it clear I live by my wits, coupled with common sense, and they dictate that - like so many other things that are "encouraged" (to use Ann's word) for the "good people" in this society - what you are doing is dangerous.

Bicyclists are weird. I fell out of love with the whole thing around the time Critical Mass hit critical mass. That demanding biker ethos is bullshit. I was riding long before the professionals, or the self-appointed lifers came along, and I'm pretty sure I'll be riding long after many of them are gone.

I am not a follower. And the whole bike set-up looks like just another batch of groupthink, cooked up by a bunch of busybodies who are so unskilled at living they will always need to protect themselves with helmets and padding to do things the rest of us have always done with grace and caution.

I'll call 9-1-1 for you when you need it.

boinky said...

Add this to the list of biking dangers:Waterbuffalo collisions.

Even in the Philippines, we lost a friend in a bike/motorvehicle collision in Manila, and two of our farm employees have had minor injuries from "wipe out" injuries on the rural dirt roads.

mdgiles said...

"pst314 said...

It's not just the cyclists. I've seen lots of aggressive and irresponsible drivers, too."


America is a car culture, not a bike culture. In other parts of the world they're sensitive to cyclists because most people are on cycles (or motor bikes, for example). In America, even as pedestrians, we are mostly on the look out (when we bother to look) for cars. People who come from a bike culture (many of our delivery people) are at a distinct disadvantage. As are those who attempt to treat it like a bike culture (our green - often bloody red - types).