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Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 12:38 AM UTC


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A Poem About Bicycle Commuting

Biking ElsewhereThere once was a motorist in L.A.
Who drove to work every day.
Though he didn't live far,
He'd travel by car,
And swear at all who got in his way.

He tried to stay calm and genteel,
But each time he took to the wheel
He'd scream and he'd curse
As the traffic got worse
Until rage was all that he'd feel.

He never stopped to ask why or to think
That we all might be close to the brink.
He was truly a twit,
For he cared not a whit
About getting his life back in synch.

Then one day from out of the blue,
He flashed on just what he should do--
He'd give up his place
In this asinine race,
And adopt an alternative view.

No more would he just sit and stare
While his car kept on fouling the air.
At this moment in time,
With an insight sublime,
He dared to assume his fair share.

He found a new use for his bike
that was kinder by far on his psych.
On his daily commute
He now wears a gym suit,
And can park wherever he'd like.

Though his pace may not seem quite as fast
And his colleagues at first were aghast,
He's managed to cope
And inspire new hope,
For he seldom to work arrives last.

To those too blind yet to see,
He offers advice here for free:
Don't be a knave
Or petroleum slave,
You still have a choice--follow me!

Written by: R. Geary, A Cyclist

Found at:
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You’re Going to Kill Someone

Biking ElsewhereBy Albert McWilliams,

If you keep driving like that, you’re going to kill a cyclist. When you do, it’s going to suck as much for you as it does for them. When you drive by my head at 50 mph I can’t have this conversation with you, so I’m going to do you a favor and talk you through all of your arguments as to why you’re driving wrong (you are) and then you won’t end up killing a human. So read on; you’re welcome.

 It’s not if it’s when. You are going to kill or seriously injure someone. You are. Someone’s father, brother, mother, daughter - you are going to end their life, forever, like permanently dead. You’ll be a murderer.

You can save those lives. You need to do two things:

  1. Slow down.
  2. Move over.

A few facts you might not be aware of:

  • When you pass a cyclist without crossing the yellow line you are breaking the law.
  • When you pass a cyclist while oncoming traffic is present you are breaking the law.
  • When you pass a cyclist in a no-passing zone you are breaking the law (this should be obvious yes? Because it’s called a “no passing zone.”)

This law wasn’t made up because the state hates you, or cars, or getting places quickly. This law was enacted because squeezing by a cyclist in the same lane is incredibly dangerous – to the cyclist. It’s not dangerous to you, unless you don’t like jail, or fines, or being a murderer.


“But, I have places to go and people to do! You’re in my way! Too slow!”

[follow the link at the end for his response.]


 “But, you ride too far out in the lane, you’re supposed to ride single file, all the way to the right. You’re an asshole!”

Legally, you’re wrong...[follow the link at the end for his response.]


 “But, I pay taxes/registration fees/gas tax.”

This one is really dumb....[follow the link at the end for his response.]


 “But, Cyclists disobey laws all the time, they run red lights and stuff, so screw them!”

Yes, I do. I ride my bike safely. The rules say I’m supposed to pretend that I’m a car, but see, that’s dangerous if I’m the only one obeying that rule. I’m pretending I’m a car, and you think I’m a bike, and you run over me and kill me with your car. This is bad for both of us. So, the minute you treat me like a car, I’ll start acting like one. In the meantime the difference between when you break the law and when I do is that you’re endangering my life, and I’m endangering your … wiper blades? Maybe? Probably not even that.

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Updates to Drivers’ Education Reflect New Dangers on the Road

Biking ElsewhereBy KAREN ANN CULLOTTA, New York Times

DES PLAINES, Ill. — The drivers’ education simulator lab here seems straight from the 1970s:

“Technology has changed so much over the years, and with the old simulators, the students would laugh and easily lose interest,” Ms. Franzen said. “Now, if a student hits a guardrail, the new simulator will immediately stop them from continuing to drive, and they’ll hear sirens, just like they’ve had an accident. It’s really amazing.”;

[B' Spokes: I wounder how well the new system covers bicycle and pedestrian issues?]
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Biking Elsewhere-> According to an August 13th Times Free Press article, "Speed limits could be lowered, parking spaces added and more speed bumps installed in neighborhoods as part of Mayor Andy Berke's plan to improve transportation in Chattanooga. But with the city's rising reputation in the world of bicycling, the newly formed Department of Transportation is already studying where to add bike lanes...

"There are too many places where cyclists who want to bike to work or tourists trying to get around downtown have to share the road with trucks and cars. To avoid the traffic, some even bike on sidewalks, running the risk of hitting pedestrians...

"To that end, a Netherlands-based cycling group has been invited to Chattanooga to host a two-day workshop called Think Bike. The Dutch Cycling Embassy and the Royal Netherlands Embassy, which have studied how to improve cycling in Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Portland, Ore., will offer suggestions for the city's current projects that include a bike lane running the length of Cherokee Boulevard..."


from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Get on your bike and ride (like you are getting ice cream?) [video]

Biking Elsewhere
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Traffic Laws for Cyclists

Biking Elsewhere

By The Bike League
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Americans Growing Less Concerned about Dangerous Driving Behaviors

Biking ElsewhereVia AAA Newsroom

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 22, 2013) – Americans are less likely to perceive a serious threat from dangerous driving behaviors such as drunk, aggressive or drowsy driving, according to an analysis of four years of public surveys conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The decreased concern is accompanied by an estimated 5.3 percent increase in annual traffic fatalities, totaling more than 34,000 in 2012. This is the first annual increase in seven years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Motorists may be growing more complacent about potential safety risks behind the wheel,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “A ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude remains common with many motorists consistently admitting to engaging in the same dangerous behaviors for which they would condemn other drivers.”

Survey results during the previous four years show decreasing concern for dangerous driving behaviors:
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2nd-Grade Teacher Can't Believe How Much Fatter They Keep Getting

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I know it's the Onion but still. Our failure to provide a (perceivable) safe place for our kids to walk, bike and play accessible from where they live is having a huge detrimental effect on our kids. As cul-de-sacs once were touted to be safe places to live for families but eventually we found out that the scope of possible activities was too small so few ever left their homes under their own power. Likewise I fear what Maryland is planning with sustainable, smart growth Transit Oriented Development will be too small in scope. Or more precisely planning will be (electric) car first and biking and walking will be after thoughts with no real viable use.]
Via the Onion:

WASHINGTON, PA—With the 2012-2013 academic year beginning this week, longtime James G. Blaine Elementary School teacher Suzanne Pomponio, 39, expressed her astonishment Wednesday at how much fatter her second-graders keep getting.

"I honestly didn't think it was possible for this year's kids to be any fatter than last year's, but boy, was I wrong," Pomponio told reporters, explaining that her students have grown noticeably chunkier in each of her 15 years as an educator. "When they all came in on Monday morning, I really couldn't believe how huge they were. The first thing I thought was, wow, each student must be 8 to 10 pounds heavier than anyone in my 2011 class. And everyone in that class was pretty fat, too."

"The short ones are fat, the tall ones are fat—they're all just so fat," she added. "I didn't even know 7-year-olds could get that big."

Though she's only been back in her classroom for a few days, Pomponio said she has already witnessed nearly all of her young pupils struggle to hoist their overweight frames out of their desks when called upon to approach the blackboard. She also stated that this year's students wear sweatpants and oversized T-shirts almost exclusively, and seem to prefer sitting on benches or playing in the dirt at recess instead of running and climbing.

"I'd really like to address the value of eating healthy during parent-teacher conferences next month, but I'm afraid the message won't even get through to these families," Pomponio said. "The truth is, the parents keep getting fatter every year, too.",29253/
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Should cyclists face more serious charges than drivers?

Biking Elsewhereby Ted Rogers, LA Streets Blog

Make no mistake. He [the cyclist] deserved to be charged for his actions, just as a driver who ran a red light and injured a pedestrian should be. If we expect motorists to be held responsible for their actions behind the wheel, we have to assume the same responsibility.

But in most cases, the driver would only face charges for running the light, or maybe distracted driving.

Instead, Martin was charged with a felony count of assault with a deadly weapon. And pleaded guilty on May 31st of this year, sentenced to three years felony probation and 30 days community service.
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End “Share The Road”

Biking Elsewhere

Bike Delaware has asked the Delaware Department of Transportation to discontinue its use of the “Share The Road” sign. Here’s why.

If you have any comments of your own on the “Share The Road” sign, either positive or negative, please make them in the comments section below. After a week, Bike Delaware will collect any and all comments and forward them to DelDOT.


... As a marketing campaign, the phrase’s ambiguity also invites conflicting interpretations. ...

And related: “SHARE THE ROAD” [STILL] Stinks…

From the Washcycle Is it time to retire "Share the Road"?

From NHTSA NHTSA says "Share The Road Sign" sends mixed messages

[B' Spokes: I noticed on my return that Baltimore has put in a lot more "Bikes Share the Road" signs, as it it is cyclists and only cyclists have the responsibility to share the road. Our Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Access thinks I'm just being silly as nowhere else are two signs always mounted together that are meant to be read together. To that I raise my glass and toast the sign that is meant to be read on it's own "To Traffic in Circle." ]

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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