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Re: “Vicious Cycle

Although the laws governing cyclists and motorists are the same, the context of experience for both are vastly different, and I believe this significantly influences the attitudes and therefore the behavior of each. Cars are weigh upwards of 3000 pounds, are powered by fuels and motors, and can accelerate to speeds that are faster than humans can achieve through their own power. Cars are enclosed, sheltered from the elements, and often boast a sound system that further isolates the operator from the environment of the street it travels upon. As Mr. Bricker noted, THOUSANDS of people irregardless of age, economics, or behavior, are killed by or in automobiles every year. By contrast, a bicycle is a human-powered machine, and while capable of speeds nearly equivalent to automobiles, only highly trained racers on exclusive bicycles ever attain speeds of over 20-25mph for sustained distances. Most city cyclists average about 10-12 mph for a commute or errand by bicycle. At this speed, cornering, signaling, responding to automobiles, making eye contact, and (gasp) yeilding to pedestrians is all within the bicyclist's control. Moreover, being on a bicycle puts the operator in close contact with the road surface, requiring constant vigilance, attention, and response to varied conditions including cracks, bricks, potholes, sewer grates, parked cars with opening doors, hills, and once again, pedestrians. The bicycle rider in traffic must concentrate on how to behave according to laws AND conditions, including weather (rain, wind, heat, darkness), which are all very real factors that influence the operation of the machine. So, poropatichb, keep in mind that while you call for adult consequences for the adult actions of choosing a human-powered machine as transportation, that the very adults who make the decision to ride a bicycle have already done just that. The consequences of bicycling? How about awareness of our surroundings, incidental excercise, increased vitality, improved cardiovascular health, reduction or elimination of spending on insurance/loan payments/maintenance/fossil fuels, reduced crowding of streets, elimination of parking issues, and the list goes on! And the virtues of the automobile? Faster capabilities, yes, but in gridlock traffic, still fast, or not so capable and kind of frustrating? Convenient, sure, but then how long did it take you to find a parking space? Zero excercise potential for the driver - but you can smoke and drink coffee and make a phone call at the same time! While we could argue all day long about freedom of choice and personal opinon and how that relates to movement from place to place, it is necessary that drivers of automobiles learn to view bicycle riders simply as people - living human beings. Same roads, same laws. VERY DIFFERENT VEHICLES, and very different connections between the operators and the machines. Truly the only thing we have in common is that we are alive. And I hope that we all can respect each others' right to be here, to be alive. Mac Howison

Posted by Mac Howison on 05/17/2007 at 12:41 PM

Re: “Jerry's Records welcomes new neighbors

Vinyl Rules!

Posted by Mac Howison on 01/05/2007 at 9:53 AM

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