Roup & Coral Idiot(s)

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Noah Mustion
Participant
#

Something about that stretch of road. I take Coral every day as an alternative to Penn or Friendship. Two days in a row last week I encountered the kind of cyclist that non-cyclists use as reasons to justify aggressive behavior towards us. It was so stereotypical: nighttime, no helmet, no lights, dark clothing, and tearing ass through the 4-way without slowing down at all… this is why widespread bike education is necessary for both sides of the divide…


reddan
Keymaster
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and tearing ass through the 4-way without slowing down at all

It’s safer that way, donchaknow.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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i usually don’t stop at them. but i do slow down to the point where if i need to stop on a dime, i can, more or less depending on lines of sight.


Lolly
Participant
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Any ideas for how to do education with these cyclists?


dwillen
Participant
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Might want to visit them in the hospital and possibly go over what they did wrong.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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It’s hard to say. The commuting 101 guide is a wonderful tool for that. But someone has to want to learn to use it. It’s not as if one is required to take the same steps to get a bike as they do to drive a car, and even then look at how many drivers have any idea how to operate their machine safely.

Maybe hit local campuses. A lot of people start riding regularly while at college. But on a campus where most riding is done on sidewalks, why bother with a helmet, lights, etc.? And then take that to the real world. I did that and learned to change my ways eventually.

I honestly think it’s a cultural thing. A lot of people think helmets, lights, rules, etc. are lame, excessive, etc. I myself didn’t use any of that until a few years ago. Maybe it’s an age thing, I don’t know.


ejwme
Participant
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start young, in the schools. the older ones may be a lost cause, but if kids grow up with some idea for how to ride safely, they have a better chance.

I was in PPS from 2nd to 12th. I got talked to exactly ONCE about bicycle safety, and I remember basically the turn signals and the cop asking where it was safe to ride and no answer being correct. That’s ONCE in 10 years (at Linden Elementary in ~1987, if anybody cares). There needs to be a concerted effort annually to get once to every school in the county.

I listened to more “don’t do drugs” talks, probably two a year, thanks to the DARE program, than I can remember. We need a DARE for cycling.


cburch
Participant
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Might want to visit them in the hospital and possibly go over what they did wrong.

+1

also i bet encouraging things like cycling and helping kids overcome barriers to being able to participate would do more for drug prevention than the billions of useless dare assemblies they do now.


HoffmannJ
Participant
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“I listened to more “don’t do drugs” talks, probably two a year, thanks to the DARE program, than I can remember. We need a DARE for cycling.”

Except, we need one that actually works, since there is no real evidence that DARE is effective. There needs to be more to the education than just it being there, which is where the real challenge lies.


reddan
Keymaster
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I don’t think it’s a question of education.

Most cyclists know they’re not supposed to blow through lights and signs.

Most motorists know they’re not supposed to do 45 in a 25 zone.

Most pedestrians know they’re not supposed to cross the street against traffic in the middle of the block.

People who choose to behave differently do so because, for whatever reason, they feel they can justify it.

Education means little, when pitted against rationalization and the belief that rules are for other road users.

[Edited to add:] Jeez, I didn’t mean to sound quite so defeatist.


ejwme
Participant
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well… sort of reddan… it’s not just about the rules. it’s also about the culture…

see, if twice a year kids hear “when you ride your bicycle in the street, on your way to school or a friend’s house or to the store for your parents, make sure you

    ” that kid might then at some point think – I’m going over to my friend’s house because he just got this new [fill in wicked cool toy or game or whatever the latest is] and I SOOOOO want to see it immediately… I’ll ride my bike”

If kids don’t hear it, they’ll just whine at their parents to drive them. In the city they’ll walk maybe, but where I live, if it’s more than a block, it’s driven.

If there’s an assembly about bicycles and riding bicycles at school, chances are some kids and teachers will talk about it. Might talk about it to parents. It brings it up more.

with drugs, as with most plans emphasizing negatives, those stupid DARE talks did little good and potentially did lots of harm. “Hey little innocents, these are the street names and appearances of some substances that can really scramble your brains. so now you know what to look/ask for when you’re depressed and stole enough money from your parents. don’t do drugs!”

The biking talk doesn’t have to be “what not to do” it can be “check out what you can do safely on your bike!!!!”

There will always be bike ninjas. But there could be more ‘regular’ cyclists being safe.


Morningsider
Participant
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“it’s not just about the rules. it’s also about the culture”

When I took a psychology class, I was frustrated that all it was was definitions and discussions about research that is no longer allowed (something about ethics or whatever). When I got involved in OSHA type things with work, I realized that psychology has just not caught up to the rest of the industrial world.

The reason people still die on construction sites wearing their harnesses is the same reason kids still die riding their bikes through intersections. They know better, they just don’t understand the consequences of the bicycle-automobile collision. They do, however, understand the consequences of being the lame-ass that wears a helmet and stops at stop signs.

My physics classes made me a much better driver/rider/citizen than any other aspect of my education.


alnilam
Participant
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I run into that sort of cyclist in Oakland (north, south, and central) often enough. Setting those people straight is hard; they can’t hear you over their headphones.


ejwme
Participant
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when I was in school, absolutely nobody under 20 would have been caught dead _rolling_ their backpack down the sidewalk or hallway. If my parents had suggested that, I would have shat twice and died. Even wearing one’s backpack on two shoulders was to be reserved for times when nobody would see.

these days I still do a double take when I see gaggles of kids with rolling backpacks. apparently it’s acceptable in at least some schools, in at least some grades. I bet those kids don’t have a trick shoulder at 15.

if it is talked about, if it becomes part of the culture, if everybody is doing it, then everybody will do it. It just takes a concerted effort in their environment to expose them to the idea of it being universally accepted. It’s bike riding in general, safe bike riding specifically. And I swear if you make fluourescent retroreflective purples and pinks (fringed in faux fur and sequins), you will see a flurry of obsession over safety gear like you have never seen in your life among a certain demographic.

macho men, there may never be a cure for. biking? if rolling backpacks can be acceptable, biking safely can be.


Lyle
Participant
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+1 for changing the culture.

Next time I see an “urban biking movie” glorify terrorizing pedestrians and blasting through redlights, I’ll be the guy who stands up and shouts at the screen instead of just muttering about it.

Just so you know who it is…


reddan
Keymaster
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There will always be bike ninjas. But there could be more ‘regular’ cyclists being safe.

And that strikes me as the best form of education. People often respond poorly to involuntary instruction, but may not be able to avoid learning something via observation.

So, lemme amend my earlier statement to say that “I don’t think it’s a question of overt education”.


Pseudacris
Participant
#

Safe biking riding competition for the kids. Winner gets a swank set of lights. Sponsored by neighborhood bike shops.

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