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Bike vs car, taking a long view

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Categories: bicycling, General

Just a thought too long for Twitter, not entirely thought out and probably totally obvious….

Re bicycles vs cars: infrastructure is key. If the facilities for bikes are poor, then it’s scary to ride a bike. Which means that the people who are going to ride will be people with a high tolerance for risk, thrill-seekers, or otherwise pretty agressive. And those are people who are likely to flout the law or otherwise be “in your face” about whatever they happen to be doing.

So motorists (and to a lesser extent pedestrians) see aggro law-breaking cyclists and think: fuck those guys.

Which means they’re less likely to support just the kind of facilities that us boring, cautious, law-abiding cyclists need to feel secure enough to ride.

And that’s a damn shame.

As a cyclist, I’d just ask (my fellow) drivers who are also voters to please just look past that jerk who’s doing dumb reckless stuff. If you support nice places to ride, nicer people will come ride there, and thrill-seeking jerks will have to find another outlet for their bad impulses.

Thanks. :)

Update, 9/15: More on bike infrastructure & lawful riding.

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2 Responses to “Bike vs car, taking a long view”

  1. jeff james says:

    Thanks for this. I just started biking to work and this is a nice perspective.
    - now, I just need to figure out how to safely and courteously navigate some of the tricky spots on my commute (notably east bound north street just east of the bridge over I-5 passing by the deshutes bike shop).

  2. Elaine says:

    I think one of my coworkers goes that way when he rides to work. I can ask if he has any tips.