Re: Yeah, yeah, hit by a car. Cry me a river.

1

I'm not quite sure if you think the crowd's anger actually was somewhat different or it was all your perception. If the former, I think you're probably wrong that a non-crunchy crowd would behave differently. It's a situation where people can feel important, as you did, with whatever role they're taking (chasing the car, taking care of her). People like to feel important, they like feeling like they're responding well to a crisis, and I think people like situations where they're aren't any shades of gray.

(How's is Mother's after the renovation, by the way? I haven't been there yet.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:43 AM
horizontal rule
2

P.S. I never saw the Critical Mass video, and now it's been taken down, so I can't compare and contrast.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
3

Also, 1! And 2! And 3!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
4

My instinct is like Sir Kraab's--people are especially annoying when they're trying to act like a hero.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
5

1 - right, I think they were responding exactly appropriately (and normally.) And yet it still had a whiff of insincererity or whatever-it-is from the Critical Mass video.

So I'm saying that I have this knee-jerk roll-my-eyes response to crunchy people, because when their cause is totally justifiable and their actions reasonable, it still seems insincere or off in some way to me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
6

4: Oh, maybe that's it. I hadn't read 1 that way.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:50 AM
horizontal rule
7

(Mother's seems to be back on it's feet. There's a new, larger garden with new plants and fountains, and the food and menu haven't changed.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
8

7: I don't think most of the food at Mother's is great, but it satisfied my occasional craving for stroganoff (mushroom, for the uninitiated; Mother's is all-vegetarian) and the garden is a beautiful place to have dinner.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
9

satisfieds


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
10

That's pretty much how I feel. Given the boatloads of heartburn I have these days, bland vegetables over brown rice sounded heavenly, so I campaigned to eat there last night.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:57 AM
horizontal rule
11

Every time I've done something like that -- called 911, or stopped to see if somebody needed help, or whatever -- I've had that same weird mix of emotions: kind of proud of myself, but kind of embarrassed to be proud of myself for doing what any normal human would do, and kind of second guessing myself, but kind of glad I did it, darn it!

When you get a group of people all feeling that way, together, and you all know you're right, then the second-guessing can kind of fade away, I suspect, and you're left with the annoyingly self-righteous parts.

When you further find somebody who's really into that sort of group-reinforced self-righteousness, well, I don't think there's any question that's an odd thing to be into, no matter how right you might be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
12

I feel like there's some way I could have made 11 sound more equivocal and squishy, but it's not leaping immediately to mind.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:04 AM
horizontal rule
13

People who stand around feeling self-satisfied with themselves for having done the bare minimum (I mean, really, who wouldn't have called 911?) are annoying. One can get this in a crowd of hippies, college students, or conservative Christians (the last praise Jesus, too.) It's a weird dynamic and a weird rush of feelings.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:20 AM
horizontal rule
14

I keep trying to construct an analogy to better explain why cyclists are so prone to self-righteousness, but it isn't really coming together. Something about imagining that most people who used the moving walkways in airports smoked cigars and whirled knives around, and while you could use the walkways without smoking a cigar and whirling knives around you, people would yell at you and try and hit you with their knives. But, eh, doesn't quite capture it.

Anyhow I wanted to say, and have said before that [ bucolic southern California erstwhile GOP outpost ] seems remarkably free of the problems between drivers and cyclists that I've experienced other places, I think largely because there are a lot of bicyclists, they're generally in a much higher socioeconomic bracket (more 60 year old orthodontist/triathletes than 20 year old hipster dishwashers) and form a relatively heterogeneous population with the people in the cars.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
15

re: 11

Yeah, that all seems right.

re: 14

I'm starting to come to believe that a lot of cyclists are just dicks. I cycle, and I don't [at the moment] own a car, but Jesus, a lot of people riding bikes are just wankers. At least once a week some fucker nearly runs me down on the footpath walking to work.

Oxford doesn't really have a particularly aggressive antagonism between drivers and cyclists. There are just so many cyclists on the road that you either get used to it or go nuts. But what it does have is a lot of cyclists who've clearly never ridden bikes in traffic before and have no clue how to do it.

So you get the classic 'girl-in-summer-dress-and-flip-flops riding straight across a crossroads, while the lights are red, while simultaneously texting on her mobile phone' thing.* Someone died outside my office not that long ago, in just those circumstances.

So cyclists here split into three groups: people who are a danger to themselves [traffic ignoramii], people who are cocks who need a good slap [men on road bikes, normally], and a swathe of perfectly sensible cycle commuters.

* pretty much constantly, everywhere. It's like someone's turned a bunch of 4 year-olds loose just after they get their first training wheels.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
16

I kinda figured some of the stagy-seeming indignation from cyclists is the result of hearing and telling so many stories about hit-and-runs and near-misses where you don't get to confront the person. Virtually every bike commuter I know has a bunch of stories about getting knocked off their bike, or forced into a dangerous situation by cavalier motorists. And as a mostly-bus-and-foot commuter, I've got a number of similar stories (hit 3 times by cars so far). So you save up all that indignation, and rehearse what you're going to scream at the next asshole who nearly kills you, and yeah, it ends up sounding like canned outrage.

||
Austinites: What's the current status with the Rhizome Collective? Looks like they got evicted mid-week. Does anybody even care now that the big hullabaloo is going on?
Move heaven and earth to defend Rhizome!
||>


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:36 AM
horizontal rule
17

13: And that judgment of "self-satisfaction" is almost one-hundred percent in the eyes of the beholder. And understandably so. In a situation like that, almost everyone initially has a complicated and completely "uncontrolled" emotional/physiological reaction that in most cases (and apparently including this one) is ultimately an "overreaction"*. Coming down from that and reestablishing your normal self-image is tricky and certainly happens at different rates , leading to the newly calm harshly judging those not there yet. My personal tendency is to overcompensate by being sheepish. As DS said in the thread to the post that Heebie linked, I dunno, I'm kinda willing to give some credit for human dramatic instinct (e.g. the sort of thing that makes spectators to a car crash absolutely sure that someone's been killed until they've been proven wrong). Bottom line: the aftermath is a situation in which everyone should be cut some slack. Including those who use it to recoil from some aspect of the location and/or gathered crowd that irks them to begin with.

Also having once as a teenager underreacted to a situation of that nature, I can tell you that that really fucking sucks and can mildly haunt you for the rest of your life.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
18

So cyclists here split into three groups: people who are a danger to themselves [traffic ignoramii], people who are cocks who need a good slap [men on road bikes, normally], and a swathe of perfectly sensible cycle commuters.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

As far as some significant proportion of cyclists being dicks: I just think some significant portion of people are dicks, and there are just specific things about the combination of faster-than-walking and less-anonymous-than-driving that makes it obvious with bicyclists.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
19

(What's the current status with the Rhizome Collective?

I don't really know much. M/tch and Kraabie are probably better informed.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:48 AM
horizontal rule
20

As far as some significant proportion of cyclists being dicks: I just think some significant portion of people are dicks, and there are just specific things about the combination of faster-than-walking and less-anonymous-than-driving that makes it obvious with bicyclists.

Yeah, that was mentioned on the Traffic blog a week or two ago. In the study in question people got much more upset at bicyclists because the cyclists were clearly people, while with cars they tended to let many more offenses slide because the car isn't recognizable as a person.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:49 AM
horizontal rule
21

re: 18

As far as some significant proportion of cyclists being dicks: I just think some significant portion of people are dicks, and there are just specific things about the combination of faster-than-walking and less-anonymous-than-driving that makes it obvious with bicyclists.

Yeah, I think that's it. Plus cyclists share space more intimately with pedestrians so there's a bit more scope for annoyance. I've only actually chased after a cyclist twice, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
22

Re 15 - Uncharitably, a lot of cyclists get into this I am ze road warrior thing and like to zip in and out around cars and roads and pedestrians on paths. Charitably, a lot of cyclists don't realize that a passing distance and speed that's quite comfortable for them on the bike will feel like fuckthatlangernearlyranmeover from the pedestrians point of view. Either way the bad experience is the same for the pedestrian.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
23

i don't envy the person who hit and run, s/he was better to stop and get his punishment whatever, just it's so understandable, one's first reaction would be that, to run away, now i imagine it's like hell for him/her with all that guilt and fear and shame and police hunt/ heavier legal punishment
if i was a bystander and not the nearest one i would prefer not to get involved, but if i was the nearest person to help i'd try to do what is expected in this kind of situations, just to not feel that guilty feeling afterwards
so it depends on the distance


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:56 AM
horizontal rule
24

Speaking for myself, my response to cars is generally what makes it least likely, in my opinion, that they'll hit me -- either intentionally or unintentionally. So sometimes that means cutting around them, sometimes that means intentionally placing myself in front of them, sometimes that means getting a jump through a light so I can get out of their way, sometimes it means riding in a turn lane, etc.

With pedestrians, it depends where we are. If it's a footpath, like ttaM mentioned, then I will generally go quite slow, walking speed or slightly above, unless there isn't anybody around. If it's somebody jogging in a bike lane, or somebody walking on a dedicated bike path with a walking path right next to it, well, you know, I'm not going to be unsafe, but it's fine with me if I startle them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
25

re: 22

Yeah, bit of both, I suspect.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
26

23: plus, they might have had a baby in the car.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
27

Link for 20. It was still on the front page of the blog. Guess I could have checked before posting here.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
28

f it's a footpath, like ttaM mentioned, then I will generally go quite slow, walking speed or slightly above, unless there isn't anybody around. If it's somebody jogging in a bike lane, or somebody walking on a dedicated bike path with a walking path right next to it, well, you know, I'm not going to be unsafe, but it's fine with me if I startle them.

Oxford has a fair number of 'dual use' paths. People cycle on the path along the Thames [which is how I walk in to work] and it's pretty narrow most of the time, so cycling faster than walking speed is unsafe except when it's obviously clear. This is particularly bad in the section I walk along as most of it is properly surfaced, so a cyclist can get a good head of speed up.

There are also some roads that are pedestrian only some of the time, but which allow cyclists after a certain time in the evening. You tend to get a small minority of people cycling through the thick crowds of people at speeds that are just stupid/dangerous.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
29

I just did some reading on the Rhizome situation. Freaky. It's exactly the type of thing that I worry about happening to the project I'm involved in. I wish the left could figure out how to use money better. And I wish there were more committment on the part of idealistic middle- and upper middle-class people to subsidizing the projects that really work. And I wish that we could really start to work out ways to organize that didn't get disrupted by the dominent culture's perversities of class and race and gender.

Kinda like the biking thing. I dunno what the situation's like in Blighty, but here everyone is very literally brainwashed into a Cars First! ideology from the time they're born. Very, very few people grow up even considering the possibility that they won't be part of the automotive (and what a misnomer that is, eh?) system. Being a cyclist or a pedestrian or bus-rider to the exclusion of owning (or having the use of) a car is just bizarre to so many people. Even poor people have cars here, and their cars wind up immiserating them further. So yeah, when those contradictions come to a head, it's like you're in a totally different space, where all your assumptions are up for dispute. Uncomfortable for most people, to say the least.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:03 AM
horizontal rule
30

re: 29

The UK has less of a car culture, I think, plus things are closer together so in much of the country there's no need to drive. Of course there's still high car ownership but I don't think owning a car has quite the same ideological value attached to it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
31

Kinda like the biking thing. I dunno what the situation's like in Blighty, but here everyone is very literally brainwashed into a Cars First! ideology from the time they're born.

I'm not sure what definition of "here" you're using, but it certainly isn't true everywhere in the US.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
32

I think minneapolitan is from minneapolis.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
33

32: I feel like there's strong evidence for that. I wasn't sure if he was using the same scale for "here" that he was for "Blighty".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:14 AM
horizontal rule
34

31: Outside of New York City and certain precincts of Sam Clam's Disco, where?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:14 AM
horizontal rule
35

34: well, it wasn't true where I grew up. Outside of the few American cities with good (well, anyhow, serviceable) public transportation, probably nowhere.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:16 AM
horizontal rule
36

Yeah, if only those bloody cyclists wouldn't get so angry when they get run down, ordinary people wouldn't hate them so much!


Posted by: Gdr | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:22 AM
horizontal rule
37

36 seems like it might be a fairly amusing example of not having read (either of) the thread(s).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:24 AM
horizontal rule
38

JP Stormcrow@13 wrote pretty much what I would have. Good going, JP. :)

Heebie jeebie, I've noticed in myself that it can be awkward when people you don't think well of, individually or collectively, do something genuinely good.

As for any staged feeling, it could very possibly be the case that many of those folks were already upset about other things and using this as catharsis for the lot. Like, the odds are good that a fair number of them have been fired lately, and of course they can watch the national news at least as well as I can. Several of my friends have commented lately on feeling like their outbursts of anger have been dumping grounds that way.


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
39

35: Okay, yeah, maybe I should have put another "virtually" in there. Beantown, Frisco, Gotham, Chi (to some extent), DC and maybe Philly would be the exceptions, moreso in the past I think, and mostly for the core-city populations.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:36 AM
horizontal rule
40

39: add in Seattle and Portland (again, to some degree, and yeah, mostly the core cities) and, yeah, I think that's about the size of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
41

I nearly ran into another cyclist on the golden gate bridge on Thursday because I was passing someone slow. Immediately afterwards I had visions of us colliding head-on and being flipped the one into traffic and the other into the icy depths of the Pacific Ocean.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:50 AM
horizontal rule
42

For some reason I thought the golden gate bridge had cyclists and pedestrians fully segregated. Maybe only on weekdays?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
43

Only on weekends. On weekdays there's a path on the west side that goes completely unused. It's really idiotic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
44

36. I'll be incredibly sympathetic to cyclists here in San Francisco the first time a week passes without me seeing one run a light or stop sign or ride at speed on the sidewalk*. The big mean cars seem to have those two basic rules down.

* This especially freaks me out when I'm walking a friend's small dog in the Mission. I keep the poor guy on about two feet of leash because I'm terrified I'm going to see him get crushed by some hipster's fixie**.

** Hey, hipster, maybe if your bike had some lower gears available you might be willing to come to a stop at the intersection because it wouldn't take all the strength in your malnourished little body to get moving again. Just a thought.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
45

Hamilton-Lovecraft: I'll bite. What exactly is it that good bicyclists should be doing, as you see it, to ever earn any respect or sympathy from you?


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
46

I prefer cats on bikes to dogs on bikes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
47

Has anyone ever forgetfully left an child to die in an infant seat on a bicycle?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
48

re: 45

Not presuming to speak for Hamilton-Lovecraft, but, they ought to obey the laws of the road.

That means stopping for lights, signalling properly, not riding on pavements, etc. I don't know about the US, but here in the UK there are codified rules about this sort of thing.

Also, fwiw, the majority of cyclists where I live are pretty good at that. There's a minority [as per earlier comment] who ride like idiots because they just don't know any better [ignorant but not malicious], and another minority who ride like idiots because they are wankers.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
49

I think it's wrong for to ride a bike without a seat for pleasure, even if the bike is properly compensated.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
50

I would argue that cyclists should obey the rules of the road except in those cases where not obeying the rules of the road (which, at least in this country, were not designed with cyclists in mind) makes things safer for everybody. Also I'll be damned if I'm going to sit and wait at a light with a sensor for 10 minutes just because the sensor doesn't notice that I'm there.

I'm also largely okay with cyclists riding on the sidewalk as long as (a) there isn't another good option and (b) they keep it to an appropriate speed.

But none of this is apposite to the flamewar that's about to erupt, so I will now cheerfully bow out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
51

re: 50

I can only speak for the UK, I have no idea what the road conditions and traffic light timings, etc are like in the US.

In the UK, I'd be pretty adamant that people should stop for lights, just like cars, and generally shouldn't ride on the pavement [except for shared tracks, parks, and things where it's expected that cyclists and pedestrians will share the space].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
52

re: 30

I agree (and also coincidentally live in and out of Oxford, and know exactly what you mean about the girls in summer dresses and flip-flops) -- but you should see the look on my family members' faces at Christmas, when I remind them I don't even have a driving licence. Does not compute. I suppose the difference with America I think they just think of me as suspiciously metropolitan (I've spent most of my adult life in London) rather than insane and/or an eco-warrior.

It should be said that the vicious cycle of public transportation is a huge factor. It's an extreme example, but the fact you can get from Oxford to London and back via 2 different coaches and a train line, and around both cities by competent transit networks, makes most daily situations completely achievable sans car. If I lived back with my family in the Essex commuter-belt, then I'd have been able to get to London and back, but actually getting around that corner of suburbia on an incompetent, unreliable and overpriced bus system would've forced me to learn to drive and buy a car like practically everyone does back there. And yet when my North American partner saw the very same transport network in my home town that I thought was a missile fired against the idea of comfortable living, she said that the frequency and coverage would be unthinkable in the equally commuter-belt section of northern Virginia where she grew up. At least she admitted it was overpriced.


Posted by: RobDP | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
53

47, 49 say something in my language, please
if you that itch to be funny at my expense


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
54

For to ride a bike without a seat for pleasure
Is heavenly beyond compare.
To sully the act with quotidian commerce?
Oh foul humanity, I do despair.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
55

45: The good cyclists? I do respect and sympathize with them. As a driver I slow down and give up a piece of my lane to pass safely when they're in the bike lane. I'm happy to drive slowly behind them when they take the lane.

Many drivers have poor situational awareness regarding bikes. This is a severe safety problem for bicyclists, I get that.

What I don't get is how failing to stop at intersections, riding on sidewalks at speed, and executing bike-lane-to-crosswalk-to-oncoming-to-traffic-lane left turns helps the situation. It's dangerous to cyclists and peds (and, less importantly, to the exterior of cars), it's childish, and it's epidemic in San Francisco.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
56

Say something in Mongolian about overinterpreting comments to be about you when they're not?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
57

53: Heebie's homones made me do it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
58

I'll be incredibly sympathetic to cyclists here in San Francisco the first time a week passes without me seeing one run a light or stop sign or ride at speed on the sidewalk

I'll be incredibly sympathetic to people who bitch about cyclists when they apply the same principle of collective guilt to motorists, whose disregard of traffic laws is at least as prevalent as well as more dangerous to others by several orders of magnitude.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
59

I've very rarely had any troubles with cyclists.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
60

56 you can say bah, it's the easiest thing to say


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
61

60: what does it mean?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
62

50. Yeah, I'm not talking about suburban or dead-of-night jaybiking because the sensors don't trip for bikes. I don't care what the bikes do when the road isn't full of cars. I'm talking about daytime business district heavy car traffic action.



Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
63

56 you can say bah, it's the easiest thing to say

I could, but I'm irritated. In 46, I made a joke referencing the cat/dog thread, but with bikes. In 47, JP followed up with a reference to a different thread, and in 51, I followed up with a reference to a third thread. Nothing to do with you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
64

59 - The only problem I really have with cyclists is when they suddenly only ever seem to want to talk about cycling and cycling accessories. Plus they start showing up to work or uni in lycra, which is just unsettling. I've seen too many friends go that way -- then become friends with each other, then disappear, presumably to some place you can't get to on foot.


Posted by: RobDP | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
65

re: 58

Again, not speaking for others, I do bitch about bad driving. I also ride a bike.

Again, speaking only for here, cyclists violate the laws of the road _massively_ more often than drivers. It's not even the same order of magnitude.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
66

даавар


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
67

61 it's means the same exclamation in English, though probably it sounds more like meh in my language


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
68

I'm also largely okay with cyclists riding on the sidewalk as long as (a) there isn't another good option and (b) they keep it to an appropriate speed.

Yeah, the problem is how expansive some cyclists' idea of (a) is. It makes me very grumpy, as I've mentioned here before, I'm sure.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
69

-'s


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
70

68: well, hey, just t'other day I was walking with my fiancee down a lovely suburban California street, and there was this dude on a bicycle riding on the sidewalk, making people get out of his way, when just three feet to the left there was a road, with bike lanes, without cars. Did I get grumpy? Indeed I did.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
71

Round here, the situation for cyclists is dire - round the corner from here, there's a 15 yard bit of road that the council have actually gone to the trouble of marking as a cycle path. I can't decide whether it's laughable or insulting. So most cyclists along the main road don't cycle on the road, they use the pavement. And most of them do it slowly and will say excuse me if necessary and stop if you're in the way, etc. Which is actually quite amazing considering the area. Some are fuckers, and will zip past you fast and close, making you wonder what would have happened if you had moved sideways a second earlier. It often surprises me just how many people do cycle in such a bike-unfriendly town.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
72

Sifu got it right upthread. Some cyclists suck because some people suck. The guy who ran a red light on his cruiser bike to turn right in front of me at 5 mph yesterday evening was an asshole. He's not representative of all cyclists.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
73

58: But that's my point -- in downtown SF, the cars are not disregarding the most basic traffic laws. They're stopping at the traffic lights. They're not driving on the sidewalk. They're holding their right turns to let pedestrians cross in the crosswalk. The most common car violation I observe is running the very start of a red light, and I see that maybe once a week. Given the ratio of cars to bikes on the road, bikes must be breaking those basic rules ten times as often per capita.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
74

Ah, this takes me back exactly one year...


Posted by: RobDP | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
75

The most common car violation I observe is running the very start of a red light, and I see that maybe once a week.

Huh. I see that maybe three times a day, during my short 10-minute commute to and from work. But maybe this is a regional thing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
76

I also think (and have said before, probably in the linked thread) that one of the reasons urban cyclists get singled out is that most people aren't urban cyclists. While there are unquestionably people who act like dickheads on bikes -- and I get annoyed with them, just like everybody else -- the fact that I've spent a good amount of time trying to get around on a bicycle in the more-or-less bike unfriendly world we live in makes me more sympathetic than would likely be somebdy who walks and drives, but doesn't really ride a bike for transportation.

I mean, similarly, growing up in Boston I used to have zero sympathy for drivers who had to deal with pedestrians crossing the street anywhere they damn well felt like it, usually without looking. Now, having done more driving in Boston, I can see that both sides are assholes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
77

On the post: isn't part of what's going on just that people tend to seem a little off when they're in unfamiliar situations, and maybe a little self-congratulatory when they realize they've handled things correctly? Which passes with age and experience. When I've had occasion to call 911 it's been a pretty matter-of-fact thing, but part of that is just having enough experience of crises to be pretty confident of my own reactions.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
78

Further to 77: one of the things I think it's hard to grasp if you don't ride in the city a lot is the level of apparent danger. Like, if you walk to work or drive to work, there's a presumption that if you pay attention and obey all revevant traffic laws, you are more than likely to get there without serious injury. That presumption doesn't really apply on a bicycle, and it generally doesn't apply for reasons having nothing to do with the bicyclist's good intentions or good habits.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
79

65: Yeah, there are a number of cyclists who should try to adhere to the common-sense rules of traffic more often. Part of the problem in the US, even in a comparatively bike-friendly city like this one, is that the deck is really stacked against cyclists when it comes to the official rules of the road, and the way those are interpreted by most drivers. As a frequent pedestrian, I'm empathetic to the desire to just go, even if you're not supposed to, because it's safer than trying to predict what a driver will do if you're being punctilious about the law. 2 out of the 3 times I've been hit by cars, for instance, I've totally had the right of way, and it was daytime. Bicyclists, traveling more miles on average than I do by foot, are put in that position far more often. One thing to say about Critical Mass -- it fosters a culture of allowing bikes onto the roadway, and keeps them off the sidewalks.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
80

17: Agreed.

Being a cyclist or a pedestrian or bus-rider to the exclusion of owning (or having the use of) a car is just bizarre to so many people.

In a lot of places in the country, not having a car means not going anywhere. Buses are too unreliable, there isn't good public transportation, and cycling just isn't on the radar (for no good reason.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
81

I also live in and out of Oxford. Last night I saw a dude step right out onto the road without looking in order to pass some people (it was on the High street and the sidewalks were crowded). A cyclist slammed right into him at a non-trivial speed, knocking both of them on their backs. To my amazement, they both sprang right up, and seemed more or less unhurt, so after a short pause, I kept on walking. Everyone else stayed behind to gawk though, and I couldn't help feel a twinge of guilt. Not rational, I guess, but there it is.


Posted by: JH | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
82

People are much more conditioned to, and forgiving of, motorists' infractions. Rolling through stop signs, barreling through crosswalks when there are pedestrians waiting to cross, accelerating through intersections as the light turns red, speeding, failing to signal turns—I see these every day, several times a day. But people much more readily gripe about cyclists as a group than they do about motorists, partly because drivers tend to feel entitled to use of the roads, and that itself is largely because you're more powerful and anonymous when you're in a car. And I say that as someone who these days does a lot more driving than cycling.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
83

re: 81

Yeah, one of the things to be wary of if cycling in central Oxford is people stepping backwards off the pavement while staring at the little screen on the back of their camera. Oh, and huge groups of tourists being led out into the road to get a better view of ... something or other.

That's the problem with living in a city with a medieval road layout and, often, medieval road sizes. It's not built in a way orientated for motorists at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists, but it is built in a way that makes it hard to motorists, and cyclists and pedestrians to co-exist. Add in a healthy smattering of gormless tourists, and a load of students, and it's a recipe for annoyance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:27 PM
horizontal rule
84

There's surely confirmation bias. On the other hand, a lot of the traffic laws don't make sense for bicycles. I wouldn't be surprised if there's more cyclist infractions just so they can stay safer.

Though bicyclists who go the wrong way down a one-way two-lane street just make us all look bad.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:27 PM
horizontal rule
85

cycling just isn't on the radar (for no good reason.)

Or for good reason. Its too cold. Things are too spread out. There are no roads safe to ride on.

When I first moved to west Cleveland I spent about six months determining that there was simply no good way to get from my house to my job without driving. Most annoying was the fact that there is no bicycle route that doesn't involve a stretch of road with no shoulder, no sidewalk, and traffic going 40+ MPH.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
86

84 is accurate in all of its particulars.

I got my picture taken by a red light camera the other day, I'm pretty sure. I was waiting for the left turn signal, at a light that (pleasantly enough) actually has a left turn bicycle lane. I stopped to wait for the light just past the crosswalk. This is my standard practice, as it allows me to get a little bit of a jump and get out of the way of the cars in case they feel the need (and somebody always does) to turn with a big wide radius. Apparently my little cyclist self hanging out a foot into the intersection was enough to trigger the camera.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
87

I think I have a pretty good perspective on things where I live, as someone who has walked, cycled and driven regularly there for nearly 10 years. I don't think any confirmation bias is there.

I see minor driving infractions pretty often: mostly people driving in taxi or bus lanes, and people stopping in 'yellow boxes' at junctions, in particular. Taxi drivers also seem to like throwing u-turns in inappropriate places. I see pedestrians being stupid pretty much constantly: mostly just completely failing to realize that roads exist and the the place they are walking isn't a theme park but a city centre. I see cyclists entirely failing to show even the remotest care or respect for road rules: totally ignoring lights, cycling while on the phone, cycling while carrying big piles of books, etc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
88

Though bicyclists who go the wrong way down a one-way two-lane street just make us all look bad.

This is what I'm on about. Why should cyclists have to worry about some dick making them look bad? AFAICT, drivers generally don't.

Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your, uh...well, you kind of need your chains. Something else, maybe.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
89

** Hey, hipster, maybe if your bike had some lower gears available you might be willing to come to a stop at the intersection because it wouldn't take all the strength in your malnourished little body to get moving again. Just a thought.

I think the more apposite point is that if the bike had brakes, it wouldn't take all the strength in his malnourished body to stop it in the first place.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
90

88: yeah I think if I were going to extend 77 even more, I would say that there's much more of a tendency to discuss "cyclists" as a class, with somehow homogeneous characteristics, than there is "drivers" (because, hey, everybody drives) or (most places) "pedestrians".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
91

88: Well,, I do curse the drivers, too, as in "Nobody in this motherfucking state can drive." But point taken.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
92

if i was a bystander and not the nearest one i would prefer not to get involved, but if i was the nearest person to help i'd try to do what is expected in this kind of situations, just to not feel that guilty feeling afterwards

Oddly, I'm motivated by something other then trying to escape feeling guilty.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 1:37 PM
horizontal rule
93

80: In a lot of places in the country, not having a car means not going anywhere.

But does it? Surely you're not suggesting that everyone who lives in say, rural Kansas, owns a car, has a driver's license and drives everywhere they go? That's where the brainwashing comes in. It's a social expectation in those contexts that, if you have the wherewithal and physical ability to maintain and operate a vehicle, you'll be giving rides to relatives, friends, neighbors, etc. 'Cause not everyone can drive themselves places. So we have a country of drivers, except what that really means is that we have a country with a significant enough plurality of drivers that these informal social networks of rides are created to get people around, rather than having a formal network that could be monitored by and respond directly to the community. Thus the expectation that everyone who can drive should.

Man, I shoulda gone into sociology. The informal social networks for rides in the rural US vs. public transit in parts of the urban US would make a hell of a dissertation. You could do participant observation just by getting a car, spending some time at a small town cafe and giving people rides. Too bad I don't have a driver's license.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
94

Further to 93, since I have a few minutes before the bus comes: I've lived in rural Maine, Omaha and Los Angeles without a car. It's not always convenient, but you can do it. The Amish, after all, get along okay.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:09 PM
horizontal rule
95

Surely you're not suggesting that everyone who lives in say, rural Kansas, owns a car, has a driver's license and drives everywhere they go? That's where the brainwashing comes in. It's a social expectation in those contexts that, if you have the wherewithal and physical ability to maintain and operate a vehicle, you'll be giving rides to relatives, friends, neighbors, etc. 'Cause not everyone can drive themselves places.

I kind of believe the hype, that 95% of those over, say, 18, who live in rural Kansas own a car and drive themselves everywhere they go. Sure, people pick each other up en route to social activities, but it's a giant pain in the ass to have to coordinate every trip to the grocery store.

(Or at least, live in a household and share a car.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
96

I've lived in rural Maine, Omaha and Los Angeles without a car.

And there wasn't a car in your household that you had access to?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
97

Screw the cagers! And their self-satisfied lives in front of their flat-screens in the burbs.


Posted by: Frostbite | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:18 PM
horizontal rule
98

that 95% of those over, say, 18, who live in rural Kansas own a car and drive themselves

Probably there should be some exception for those over, I don't know, 60 or 70 or something, who often get their children to drive them places.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:25 PM
horizontal rule
99

by something other
what that could be i wonder
oh, perhaps, kindness, how can i forget about that feeling, and how good person you are
well, i don't feel that way
i won't come running to save someone if it's too far from me and there are people there, but i would try to help if there is nobody around or i'm the closest b/c if i wouldn't, my guilty conscience won't leave me alone
sure, i say only what i know about myself


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
100

I've lived in rural Maine, Omaha and Los Angeles

At this point, your pseud is starting to seem like false advertising.

And, with Heebie, I'd assume that the people in rural Kansas without a car wish they had one, and/or rely on someone with a car to get them where they need to go.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
101

but i would try to help if there is nobody around or i'm the closest

Sure, just like in Bocce.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:42 PM
horizontal rule
102

(Or at least, live in a household and share a car.)

That's the key, really. You have to look at households, not drivers. Few households have one car per driver, but almost no households in a place like Kansas have no cars.

One car per driver in the family is definitely perceived as a luxury around here. You certainly can't say that there has to be one car per driver in your house in order to say that you own a car.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
103

Surely you're not suggesting that everyone who lives in say, rural Kansas, owns a car, has a driver's license and drives everywhere they go?

I don't know from Kansas, but this is certainly the case in rural Missouri. Maybe one car per household as others have suggested. But yes, everyone has a driver's license, barring medical reasons that bar them from getting one.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
104

in Montana we ride ponies. And wear bandanas. And our spurs are silver.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
105

a


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:01 PM
horizontal rule
106

35: Portland, Oregon, is one of those bicycle-friendly cities. I rode over 1,600 miles last year (commuting and pleasure) with only one close call. A few unfriendly drivers (nasty comments shouted at me), but most went out of their way to avoid me. I feel comfortable riding even in heavy traffic and/or narrow roads (a lot of those out in the country).

Of course, I help out by obeying traffic laws, being highly visible, signaling changes in direction, having lots of lights at night, and slowing around pedestrians. Unfortunately I see a fair number of bicyclists who are not so careful and give the rest of us a bad reputation.

Portland also has a great mass transportation system (bus, light rail, and heavy rail) which is even now expanding. I don't have a car, and I rarely feel a lack of one.


Posted by: Alan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:02 PM
horizontal rule
107

I have to admit that I'm amused that 24 minutes and 6 comments elapsed between 99 and 105.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:06 PM
horizontal rule
108

As a bicyclist who occasionally breaks traffic laws (oh noes!) may I remind you that traffic laws are entirely built around cars. So, for instance, the amount of time it takes between intersections, how green lights are timed, etc: all car-based. Some roads have bike lanes; some don't. So yeah, I'll make an illegal left-on-red occasionally, when there's no fucking traffic, just as I'll jaywalk under the same circumstances.

And if a driver isn't willing to make room for a cyclist on a non-bike-lane road, it's quite dangerous for the cyclist. I don't think you can *really* get too bent over people who choose to ride on the sidewalk, given that fact. They can be irritating, but they're not likely to kill you. (I don't ride at speed on sidewalks, but lately, as I've been biking PK to and from school while he learns the route on his scooter, yes, I am riding on the sidewalk with him on stretches of road where obeying the laws would put me four to six lanes away on the opposite side of a divided road with no left turn at the appropriate corner.)

Mama self-righteousness for the win!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:11 PM
horizontal rule
109

why, i went to read that jezebel post fyi, can't i
and Unfogged is my English drill place, so
but it's frustrating that i still can't master articles nohow i try, yes


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:14 PM
horizontal rule
110

the


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
111

The trailing letters and words amuse me in general. That one especially so. It's not a bad thing, and I'm not making fun of you for your progress in learning English, which seems to be going very well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
112

Given the ratio of cars to bikes on the road, bikes must be breaking those basic rules ten times as often per capita.

I'm a bike commuter and a cycling supporter but I have to agree with this. Cars and drivers are frequently annoying, but I think that the frequency with which I see a cyclist or driver do something that makes me think "that was just dumb" is about equal. Which, in turn, suggests that cyclists are dramatically outperforming their share of the population when it comes to dumb behavior.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:19 PM
horizontal rule
113

111 oh, thanks, i'm glad
i respond that, irritatedly, when i kinda sense that people making fun of me, sorry for the mehs
i was to respond to the montana comment, but somehow managed to hold myself, i don't know the commenter that much and to the total strangers i'm kinda insensitive, and went to reread my own to find mistakes, it's like a routine


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:25 PM
horizontal rule
114

And have relationships with sheep.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
115

114 to 104.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
116

the reason i try like to popularize all things Mongolian, people don't know much about my country or have a very biased view, so i try to informally tell about my kind, don't know whether it helps or hurts though
maybe it sounds like 104, but, well, i don't care


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:33 PM
horizontal rule
117

and our luck never changes! It's good to be a Montanan.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
118

good for you


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
119

ever since somebody upthread blamed something on Heebie's hormones, I have had the Anguish Languish version of "home on the range" stuck in my head-

Harm, hormone derange,
Warder dare enter envelopes ply,
Ware soiled'em assured adage cur-itching ward
An disguise earn it clotty oil die.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
120

(I wasn't talking to or about read or Mongolia. I was quoting a song. http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/ballads/Ohr001.html. If that wasn't clear)


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:41 PM
horizontal rule
121

oh, i went to your site and you are really a Montanan, that changes everything, i really shouldn't be this self-centered
sorry


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:45 PM
horizontal rule
122

whoops. I don't know why that doesn't work. http://disc.yourwebapps.com/discussion.cgi?disc=168101;article=1519;title=Cowboy%20Songs%20Forum

maybe.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 3:45 PM
horizontal rule
123

Read, if you visited Montana or Wyoming I'd be interested in what you thought about it. I think that some of the landscape might seem familiar, though more chopped up. Or maybe Alberta in Canada.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
124

Surely you're not suggesting that everyone who lives in say, rural Kansas, owns a car, has a driver's license and drives everywhere they go?

Pretty close to it, yeah. I'd probably put it at "one car per household" or "relatively easy access to a car." There tend not to be light rail systems or heavily-used, accessible bus systems out in the middle of nowhere. (Which is why people don't need cars in cities.)

Out where shiv grew up his town was the big town around, because it had 10,000 people and an IGA and a Canadian Tire. People drive there. They sometimes drive really crappy cars, but they drive.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:14 PM
horizontal rule
125

i've never been to Montana or Wyoming, i will go to Colorado this April, so far i've been to 8 states and DC only
would have loved to watch this this but alas it's held too early
i read about Montana being very similar to our country


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:17 PM
horizontal rule
126

only to 8 states i meant,
this


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
127

My neighbor here buys $1000 cars and always has two or three. There's a mechanic / used car salesman here he trusts, and so far so good.

Everyone drives here except the oldest poorest old people, blind people, and long-time drunks who've lost their licence. If you see an adult on a bicycle, it's usually a drunk.

In MN ferocious drinking meets tough DUI laws, and hilarity ensues.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
128

A couple of years ago I found myself in central Florida on a short trip, nearly completely out of money and with no credit card. I had the cheapest possible rental car but was worried about paying for gas and food, waiting for my next paycheck to come through. As I drove among the strangely spread-out little towns, from garden-apartment complex to mini-mall to NASA installation, I started to imagine actually living there, paycheck to paycheck, and having a car break down that I couldn't afford to pay to fix, and I got an awful sense of claustrophobia. Maybe I'd just have to adjust my middle-class expectations of autonomous mobility, but maybe I'd be stuck and lose my job. In any case, it's a reason I feel comfortable in New York.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 4:59 PM
horizontal rule
129

In general I'm sympathetic to cyclists' efforts to get around in a very car-centric culture. It's somewhat thwarted by the fact that I've heard cyclists give belligerent defenses of why they should be allowed to break traffic laws in ways that I have never heard drivers do it.

On the other hand, there has never been a cyclist yet with tinted windows, which I hate more than possibly any other consumer object in existence. Point for bicycles!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 6:30 PM
horizontal rule
130

Cars and drivers are frequently annoying, but I think that the frequency with which I see a cyclist or driver do something that makes me think "that was just dumb" is about equal. Which, in turn, suggests that cyclists are dramatically outperforming their share of the population when it comes to dumb behavior.

Bicyclists have the ability to mentally convince themselves "I am now going to transform myself from a motorist into a pedestrian". This is especially helpful when it's convenient to go the wrong way on a one-way street.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:27 PM
horizontal rule
131

I'll be incredibly sympathetic to people who bitch about cyclists when they apply the same principle of collective guilt to motorists, whose disregard of traffic laws is at least as prevalent as well as more dangerous to others by several orders of magnitude.

More dangerous yes, more prevalent no. If only because it's less dangerous for cyclists to treat red lights like stop signs or like "slow down to see if any cars are coming, but don't stop" signs, cyclists are far more likely to do such things. Which I have little problem with, really.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
132

Tinted windows recapitulate the metaphysics of the subject.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
133

Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:53 PM
horizontal rule
134

132: That is very cute, ben.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
135

131: it might be profitable, when comparing bicyclist and driver behavior, to separate out "obeying traffic laws" and "behaving dangerously and/or recklessly". Self-serving on the part of the cyclist, perhaps, but maybe profitable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:07 PM
horizontal rule
136

133: So you're currently carrying a small nocturnal egg-stealing proto-mammal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
137

She's got the cutest duckbill.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:26 PM
horizontal rule
138

It might be profitable, when comparing bicyclist and driver behavior, to separate out "obeying traffic laws" and "behaving dangerously and/or recklessly". Self-serving on the part of the cyclist, perhaps, but maybe profitable.

I see much more reckless behavior on the part of bicyclists (in the city) than drivers. They meander erratically through traffic, randomly stopping and starting, veering unpredictably across three lanes, and so on. It is only through significant paranoia on the part of other users of the road that most bicyclists manage not to get killed. The only class of vehicles less predictable than your typical urban bicyclist is empty cabs. Even then you can look on the sidewalk for someone trying to hail one and have a chance of anticipating the illegal u-turn and avoiding the t-bone.

This is why Critical Mass angers me so - the unjustified sense of victimhood expressed via assholish behavior.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 8:55 PM
horizontal rule
139

See, I think part of your reaction, water moccasin, is not having a lot of experience riding in cities (I think; if you do have that experience never mind, I guess). For one thing, a lot of bicyclists act unpredictably as a conscious strategy to remain visible -- if you are predictably ensconced in your little lane at the side of the road, it's much more likely that cars will ignore you or forget about you. Inculcating that sort of paranoia in drivers can be a very effective survival strategy.

As far as unpredictably stopping and starting, the braking/acceleration characteristics of a bicycle are way different than those of a car. It takes longer to get up to speed, you have to anticipate more, hills make a huge difference, braking takes relatively longer, etc. etc.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:04 PM
horizontal rule
140

I bet you dollars to donuts if you looked at the profile of bicyclists who got killed of seriously injured in traffic, predictable, nominally safe, law-abiding cyclists would take up more than their share. If you obey the rules of the road and act predictably at every turn, you're at more risk of getting seriously injured or killed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:06 PM
horizontal rule
141

I'll give an example of 140: say you're riding your bicycle on the right shoulder of a relatively busy road, coming up to an intersection where approximately 50% of the drivers are taking a right turn on red. How do you approach the turn? You could 1) stay on the shoulder, and hope that turning cars notice you. This involves assuming that any car that wants to turn will be looking at you, potentially in their blind spot, instead of off to the left, at oncoming traffic. It also assumes that any cars in front of you will use their signals rather than just cutting you off, an assumption I can tell you from experience is completely unwarranted. You could 2) signal that you're going to move into the traffic lane and then merge with the cars. This involves taking one hand off the handlebars, reducing the control you have over the bicycle and reducing your braking power by half. You could 3) accelerate and then veer into the next lane over, doing something scary, and seemingly random, but that keeps you in control of your bicycle, gets you out of the way of turning vehicles, and is reasonably likely to be noticed by the car behind you.

Me? I'll pick 3 every time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:13 PM
horizontal rule
142

As a pedestrian, however, I have recurring nightmares about being mangled by a bicyclist who came out of nowhere to run a light as I was jaywalking. Bad behavior all around, sure, but I just don't see bicyclists very well a lot of the time.

(I do get seriously annoyed about cyclists on the sidewalks around here. It's not like suburbia where barely anyone is on the sidewalks! There are already double-wide strollers and kids on wheelies and hordes of pedestrians with giant parcels clotting up the sidewalks---no room for adults on scooters! no room for cyclists!)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:15 PM
horizontal rule
143

Depends on what you mean by "a lot of experience", I guess. I have some bike experience in SF, and a lot of motorcycle experience in a pretty wide range of cities (Vegas, SF, Tokyo, Udiapur), so I think my traffic sense is fairly well developed.

Gratuitous unpredictability may make some people more likely to notice you, but it's going to piss off the people who are already paying attention. I just want to get by without hitting them and continue on my way, and it really pains me to have no clue whether or not the bicyclist on the right edge of the right lane is suddenly going make a sharp left mid-block.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
144

Perhaps I did not make myself clear: Say you have 500,000 people in rural Kansas. How many of them (a) have a valid Driver's License, (b) have sole ownership of a working car and (c) can afford to drive it? The number does not approach 500,000 too closely. Some people are too old, some people are too young. Some people are too drunk, some people are too disabled. Some people are too broke, some people are too disorganized to keep their old beater running. This is where the informal networks come in. People, often but not always family, take responsibility for driving each other around. Also, if I do not miss my guess, there are a number of people who move in and out of categories a, b and c with relative frequency throughout the course of their lives. Hence what I was saying about the expectation that if you can drive, you should. So, after a fashion, this dependence on private transportation is made to work. But you'll often find people having to say, move into a nursing home early, or work three jobs, or call in too many favors in order to get where they need to go. Or, in fact, they just don't go anywhere, sometimes for awhile, sometimes forever. And that's the social problem I was attempting to highlight. I.e. because of the expectation that "everyone" drives, few to no resources are allocated to any type of public transit. That's the brainwashing.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:19 PM
horizontal rule
145

Gratuitous unpredictability may make some people more likely to notice you, but it's going to piss off the people who are already paying attention.

Better annoying than dead, I think would be the premise.

I mean, like I said, I try not to annoy people, partly because I've had cars try to intentionally run me down before. But I can understand where people who are less than concerned about that are coming from.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:19 PM
horizontal rule
146

There are several intersections on my commute with the feature Sifu describes in 141, even though its entirety takes place on marked bike lanes. Extremely aggravating.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:19 PM
horizontal rule
147

Oh, and in your example, choice 2. Signal your freaking maneuver. It's not that hard to put your hand back on the bar if you have to brake. I've had to deal with something fairly similar going East on Sneath Lane here.

Better annoying than dead, I think would be the premise.

aka Loud Pipes Save Lives aka questionable at best. But I can respect this stance; just not when combined with the aggrieved victimhood.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:28 PM
horizontal rule
148

Eh, motorcycles are different from bikes. For one thing, they can match cars speed-wise. For another, you can signal without literally taking your hand off the handlebars. Braking is an issue, yes, but mostly the issue is being able to swerve out of the way of the car that's no doubt going to cut you off.

Eh, I mean, I'm not going to be able to convince you of this if you haven't experienced it. Just, believe me, the last thing I'm trying to do is make drivers mad at me. I just want them not to hit me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:35 PM
horizontal rule
149

An addendum to 148: if I'm going to be executing my strategy as described, I'm probably going to need to stand up in the saddle to get enough acceleration to be safe, which means I have to keep my hands on the bars.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:39 PM
horizontal rule
150

o, after a fashion, this dependence on private transportation is made to work. But you'll often find people having to say, move into a nursing home early, or work three jobs, or call in too many favors in order to get where they need to go. Or, in fact, they just don't go anywhere, sometimes for awhile, sometimes forever.

Counterpoint: shiv's 80-year-old grandmother lives on her own acreage. She still drives. She is far enough out in the boonies that they had to pay in the 1980s to have a phone line put in. Her ability to drive has kept several of her friends in their homes and out of nursing care, because she drives to their houses and brings them their meds and groceries.

Point is, it would be great if there was public transportation for all of these people. But I can't imagine a public transportation scheme that reliably serves should be Amish is another matter altogether.

I did without a car for many years and I liked public transportation and bicycles. But I also know that I was able to do that because I lived in an area where I could walk to shops, populous enough that I could hop on a train or bus to get to an airport when I needed to leave town, and was in good enough physical health to ride a bicycle. I completely agree that people are dependent on cars, but I am perhaps less convinced that it's just brainwashing and partially that cars are useful for covering long distances.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:51 PM
horizontal rule
151

But I can't imagine a public transportation scheme that reliably serves should be Amish is another matter altogether.

should be "But I can't imagine a public transportation scheme that reliably serves fewer than 500 people, and "well, the Amish manage it" doesn't work so well because she isn't Amish, and neither is her community, and saying she should be Amish is another matter altogether.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:53 PM
horizontal rule
152

She's Doukhobor?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 9:57 PM
horizontal rule
153

I'm as happy to share my lane with a bike as I would be to share it with someone on a riding mower.

Read, try Montana in the Indian summer. Where are you going in Colorado?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:05 PM
horizontal rule
154

150: But that's precisely what I'm saying! If Grandma Shiv's being able to drive is all that's keeping several other people in their homes, then I think we have a serious problem that could reasonably be solved by collective, democratic, community-based processes. Obviously, I don't want to bring bad luck down on anyone, but what if some hypothetical person in that situation (linchpin for a small community of older, independent people) fell and broke his or her hip? Does everyone just move to a nursing home? Do they have to call in nephews or third-cousins from a couple of towns over to help them get groceries and prescriptions? If that was my life situation, I'd hope to have some better guarantee of my continued independence than the goodwill and continued health of another person in their 80s.

Once again, here is my point, hopefully stated with as much detail as necessary: The reliance of people, especially in the US, on private automobiles as crucial to their survival and happiness is a poor bargain at best and a fatal error at worst. The reasons behind this reliance are many, but one of the most pernicious, in my opinion, is the tautology that "everyone has a car because everyone needs a car."


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:39 PM
horizontal rule
155

84: I wouldn't be surprised if there's more cyclist infractions just so they can stay safer.

In my own case, as a cyclist whose big city kilometerage far outstrips that as an autoist, the rules are as follows: 1. do the safe thing 2. do the efficient thing 3. do the lawful thing. In that order and as I see fit. Which means that at one moment I'll be playing pedestrian and the next vehicularian.

I've had lots more occasion to justifiably flip drivers the bird than drivers have had to honk me down.

That said, it's when I get back in a car after a week of two-wheeled commuting and forget to swap 3. back to 2. that I start worrying my riding habits will get me in trouble.


Posted by: ahab | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 10:47 PM
horizontal rule
156

Also, very few motorists seem to have a clear conception of what riding a bicycle dangerously means. What is apparently safe from the wheel of a car can be highly treacherous from the seat of a bicycle, while a rider's twitch to avoid gravel or potholes or a tar seam may seem foolishly erratic to a driver. And as Sifu Tweety has pointed out, 220 pounds of cyclist and bicycle (with a max speed of, say, 60 km/hr) can come to a standstill a hell of a lot quicker than even 2200 pounds of compact car doing the same.

When I tested for my motorcycle license I learned the phrase, "assume every vehicle is out to hit you". A friend broke both arms when she launched over the hood of a car that pulled out of an alley onto the sidewalk she was riding down, and stories like that help to keep my eye weather.


Posted by: ahab | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:22 PM
horizontal rule
157

I think I agree with Sifu, but I'd call it "broadcasting your presence and intentions" rather than "acting unpredictably", and I don't think you have to be a dick about it.

One attention-grabbing move I use is to stand up on the pedals and look back briefly multiple times at the likely-to-offend car, trying to make eye contact to confirm the person sees me and is aware of whatever action I'm taking*. Is this the sort of behavior being described as unpredictable? Or are we talking more swervy stuff?

*That plus signaling. Drivers don't always seem to know exactly what signaling means, but if I'm pretty sure I got their attention with my standing-up-and-looking maneuver, they usually know I'm indicating something and they slow down a bit or at least keep an eye on me, which is all I want, really.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-21-09 11:49 PM
horizontal rule
158

Need some lighted gloves for the signaling. Some little white strobing leds should do the trick.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 12:28 AM
horizontal rule
159

153 I'm going to attend the meeting, in Denver, perhaps i'll take some city or area tour, so looking forward to travel coz it's only twice a yr, to attend some meeting and go home
actually i've been to more than 8 states i recalled NY, NJ, RI (Providence), MA(Boston), MD, DE, PA, DC, FL and CA, NV, AZ, WA, not sure whether i passed through CT&NH
i can't say i've seen them all, just try take the city tours wherever i go if i have time


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 7:03 AM
horizontal rule
160

154: They have a fairly tight-knit community, so yes, cousins and third cousins and kids who aren't actually related but are treated as such are the fallback system. Grandma shiv isn't paid care. It's just a tight-knit community that is spread out over several miles (and it's a farming community, so it's not as easy to move it to L.A.) And moving back to horses and buggies would really just make the process slower.

I think we're largely in agreement; my only point originally was that for quite a lot of people, the alternative isn't "take the efficient public transit system" but "don't go anywhere." On the other hand, a community spontaneously organizing to care for the infirm and disabled among them seems to the sort of thing that one would normally like. Surely you're not suggesting that the state should be in charge here...


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 7:10 AM
horizontal rule
161

to


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 7:23 AM
horizontal rule
162

then I think we have a serious problem that could reasonably be solved by collective, democratic, community-based processes

minneapolitan, I'm not entirely clear on what you're suggesting here. Are you wanting there to be more organized ride-sharing kinds of programs?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 8:06 AM
horizontal rule
163

I can't believe you all had the cyclists vs. drivers thread again while I was out (with both kids!) all day yesterday.

I just want to reiterate 77: drivers who complain about cyclists breaking the law more than drivers do are out of their fucking mindsinured to how drivers really act. Very few drivers make any trips at all without breaking at least one law. Tell me otherwise, and I'll call you a liar. Keep under 25 mph on even a city street, much less an empty suburban one? Bullshit. Full and complete stop at every stop sign? Grannies, sometimes. Signal every lane change? Some of us do.

This is what's so grating about the righteousness from the cyclist-complaining crew - it pretends that drivers are more law-abiding and safer, because it normalizes driving illegalities - someone will surely claim that a car going 30 in a 25 is safer than a cyclist doing whatever, because the cyclist is under the imaginary obligation to ensure that others see her and react appropriately, and also to be a Good Example Of Her Kind.

In short, y'all have planks in your eyes, and need to STFU about the motes in others'.*

* I'll concede that apparently Oxford is an anomalous place, although it seems to be because the stupidest segment of the population (teens) is largely on bikes, not in cars. TtaM's complaint largely boils down to "College students act stupidly," and doesn't generalize much to cyclists worldwide


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 8:39 AM
horizontal rule
164

I don't care about cyclists annoying motorists - if you're in the bigger thing that can cause more damage, you should be the one keeping an eye out. I get really fucking pissed off about cyclists annoying pedestrians, e.g. when I'm trying to cross a road, and the lights are giving me right of way, and I have to dodge a bike which just whizzes through the red. They're the bigger faster ones in this case, and they should be the ones being more sensible.

(Obviously things like JH described in 81 are not the cyclist's fault, and if it's possible to ride into the pedestrian without the cyclist hurting themselves, they should do that. Which was my technique to deal with the crowds of tourists when I was pushing a buggy around Oxford - shout excuse me a couple of times and then just push.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 8:40 AM
horizontal rule
165

No, in Oxford huge amounts of people cycle - I don't even know if students are the majority. My partner cycles to work there (from the station), his 2 closest colleagues cycle to work, etc. He's based at the hospital, and there's a man in a van who comes round every week to do bike maintenance in the carpark, there are so many of them.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
166

163: Really, no. I'm not thinking about hyperliteral obedience to the law, and overlooking normalized speeding while getting resentful about reasonable but not precisely legal actions by bicyclists.

In NYC at least, the overwhelming majority of drivers are acting grossly reasonably most of the time (probably not as overwhelming a majority as in other places, but still an overwhelming majority). On the other hand, there are a lot fewer bicyclists, and a much greater percentage of them are doing grossly unreasonable things like riding fast through pedestrians on a sidewalk, riding on the wrong side of the street or the wrong way on a one way street, or running red lights where that means riding without pausing through a stream of pedestrians trying to cross the street (that one was coming home from work on Friday -- the guy swerved sharply so as to not hit me, and I felt momentarily guilty about having been in his way without having been aware that he was coming up. Then I remembered that I was the one crossing the street with the light, and he was the asshole.)

I agree that you shouldn't tar all bicyclists with the bad ones, and that things would probably be better if there were more cyclists and more support for cyclists. And I agree that as between cyclists and drivers, drivers have no standing for complaining about cyclists who are just trying to keep themselves safe; the stakes are incomparably higher for the cyclist. But at least in NY, at least now, there are more unreasonably incompetent or insane cyclists than there are drivers that bad, considered as a percentage of each.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
167

I'll thank you for not smearing me with the tar of a bad cyclist.


Posted by: ahab | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
168

The biggest problem I had riding my bike in city traffic other than asshole drivers was that traffic lights are not timed to the average speed or stopping distance of bicycles. E.g., there are some wide intersections where the lights are far back, and it's possible that I pass it while it's green, but by the time I get to the actual crossing of streets, I no longer have the green.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
169

In NYC at least, the overwhelming majority of drivers are acting grossly reasonably most of the time (probably not as overwhelming a majority as in other places, but still an overwhelming majority).


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
170

(Brace problem?) Lot of words doing a lot of work in that sentence, but I particularly like 'grossly'. Yeah.

Bicycles need their own lanes and preferably their own lights, because they're too much slower than cars and too much faster than pedestrians. Where this exists, I find everyone tends to be more reasonable, although this must partly be because bike-network cities were non-car-transport-friendly to start with.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 4:38 PM
horizontal rule
171

166 seems right. 164 also.

163 in the other hand is fucked up as a description of the reality in which I live. And that isn't some stupid mote/beam shite. I don't own a car. I've owned a car for a grand total of 18 months in the 20+ years I've been cycling in traffic.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 4:51 PM
horizontal rule
172

I ate at Mother's for the first time since the renovation this week and got the veggie reuben. I enjoyed it immensely, but I am a fairly crunchy vegetarian on the inside.

Fuck locomotion in all forms.

I am drinking my first Green Flash Brewing Co. West Coast IPA, and it is awesome. Absent from the list of thinks reviewers typically compare to the bouquet of a beer is kind bud, which is what this one reminds me of, powerfully.



Posted by: Pantene | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 6:39 PM
horizontal rule
173

things


Posted by: Pantenet | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
174

heh


Posted by: Pantene | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
175

I enjoyed it immensely, but I am a fairly crunchy vegetarian on the inside.

Yay! Heebie has weird ideas about so-called crunchy types, but she was talked down.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
176

Another thing to consider about NYC cyclists: while there are increasing numbers of sports cyclists and hipster cyclists, most of the absolutely insane dodging-into-traffic and knocking-down-pedestrian cyclists are delivery guys either from Latin America or from China. Those guys aren't even wearing helmets! And I've only seen a couple with reflective vests or lights---the exceptional safety-conscious few really stand out in my memory. The rest of them are accident-statistics waiting to happen. Whenever I see those guys on bikes headed my way, I flatten myself against a wall, hold still and think of community organizers.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 7:10 PM
horizontal rule
177

I've not ridden a bike during any of my visits to New York City (oh, except a Sunday afternoon rental around Central Park), but have each time been amazed that for all the insanity of locomotion and transportation the whole kit'n'kaboodle, uptown or down, runs so apparently seamlessly. Despite being keenly braced for it, not a single wrongspeed hipster did I see fresh off the fender of a diesel delivery truck.


Posted by: ahab | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
178

Sifu has convinced me that bikes should be outlawed in the city.

Also, while motorists should STFU about bicyclists, pedestrians get to bitch all they want.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 10:54 PM
horizontal rule
179

Sifu has convinced me that bikes should be outlawed in the city.

I was sort of wondering when someobody would come to that conclusion. It's a natural one, if you take as your first premise that cars are an excellent first principle for urban planning.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 10:57 PM
horizontal rule
180

I should avail myself of this opportunity to note that I for the first time ghost-rid (ghosted-ride? ghost-rided?) a bike today, if briefly. It was hard.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:16 PM
horizontal rule
181

Big ups, Stan!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:18 PM
horizontal rule
182

(Actually though in googling that last one? I found this one? Which is holy shit the adorable!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:22 PM
horizontal rule
183

181: Oh, I didn't mean like that (though I used the term "ghost ride the whip" with eekbeat on accident when describing the experience; by the by, I knew that term to refer to people doing that to cars, not bikes).

What I did was ride a bike while piloting a second bike with my right hand. Is there a different term of art for that practice?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:24 PM
horizontal rule
184

What I did was ride a bike while piloting a second bike with my right hand. Is there a different term of art for that practice?

"Stealing some dude's bike", I guess.

No, I mean, there's a term for that?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:25 PM
horizontal rule
185

"Stealing some dude's bike", I guess.

For the record, Officer Sifu, I was returning eekbeat's bike. But yeah, I was mildly concerned I'd be stopped for bike theft.

No, I mean, there's a term for that?

In Philly, I saw a guy doing that (riding a second bike alongside his) and it was described to me as "ghost-riding a bike". Could've been a one-off thing.

While I was doing it, some dude passed me on a bike and asked if someone got hurt.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:30 PM
horizontal rule
186

In Philly, I saw a guy doing that (riding a second bike alongside his) and it was described to me as "ghost-riding a bike". Could've been a one-off thing.

I think that guy (or whoever used that term) was being silly, is what I think.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:32 PM
horizontal rule
187

186: Totally possible. Or an in-group thing. The kids I sorta-know in Philly are waaaaaaaaaay into the fixie/house-show/basket-weaving-art-collective/let's-live-in-a-warehouse-till-we-get-kicked-out sort of scene*.

*No knock on it. It is what it is.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:37 PM
horizontal rule
188

house-show/basket-weaving-art-collective

The rest of it I comprehend/previously resemble, but what the hey does this mean?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:39 PM
horizontal rule
189

what the hey does this mean?

1. Hey! Band X is coming to town! Let's have a house show at House Y! (And then there's a house show at House Y, at which the band gains notoriety among 15 people, and it's great fun, and if shit takes off for that band, all the better, but in all likelihood, yeah, not so much.

2. The basket-weaving thing: not necessarily basket-weaving but some member of the collective has some project that just seems a bit off in terms of scale ("I'm going to knit socks for all the homeless people!") but also really sort of a good idea, so I'm not trying to mock.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:53 PM
horizontal rule
190

So, basically, I apparently hate homeless people and struggling bands, but hobos are cool, for those keeping score at home.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:56 PM
horizontal rule
191

Ahh! Okay, yeah, except for the basket weaving, my prior self resembled a prior version of those remarks. Except we didn't give a shit if somebody got notoriety, we just wanted people to play our house for free. Also, we were total frat boys. Natch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-09 11:57 PM
horizontal rule
192

Brahmin frat boys. Get it straight. Your frat house was in Beacon Hill.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 2:16 AM
horizontal rule
193

I thought hitting bikes and speeding away was the most popular amateur street-racing sport in Texas.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 1:23 PM
horizontal rule
194

192: it was on a hill! Not Beacon, though. And we weren't actually in college. But, yeah!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-23-09 1:25 PM
horizontal rule