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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 13, 2011 11:30 AM. The previous post in this blog was Go by streetcar, lose your pension. The next post in this blog is It gets spookier. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

The wrong message entirely

This video by Portland's Bicycle Transportation Alliance is troubling. The militancy is bad enough, but the depiction of numerous folks out riding without helmets -- including at night -- is really irresponsible.

A man who was doing just that on Division Street at 1:00 the other morning is now dead.

Comments (30)

Yes Jack, all that you said and more!
And how many folks over the age of say, 35, does one see riding around?
And how come there are no scenes where it is raining, which as I recall, even at my advanced age, it does in Portland pretty steadily from mid October through mid June?
Too bad about the guy who is dead; maybe Darwin was right?
OK everyone...have at me!

You have to be careful here. It was not the dead rider's fault that he was hit. He was hit by a drunk driver. But he likely died of head injuries, and he wasn't wearing a helmet. Especially at night, when the risk of collision seems higher, that was a bad choice.

Look at Joey Harrington -- without his helmet, he might be dead too:

http://www.katu.com/news/local/127623678.html

Would a Bird help?

Yesterday I had to go to city hall for the first time in months.

Low ceilinged, torpid, and sloppy, the entryway had the dirty tarped front of an old car exploding from barn wood in the wall. Surrounding it were 50 gallon oil drums with pink tops set in a pseudo sea. At least that is how I recall it.

It was a"sculpture" of hate for cars and oil. It was a poorly educated sophomore in high school's dynamic attack on the now of life and locomotion.

To me, it said ignorance, ugliness, and childishness. City hall actually reminded me of the backwater towns in the deep South that I worked in while employed by the Illinois Central Gulf. Right down to the point that at least 50 per cent of the employees I spoke with weren't comfortable with English.

These people aren't the vanguard they think themselves to be. They are, however, a disheartening harbinger.

You've got a good point about the helmets, Jack, but other than that, I thought it was a good video. "Portland native," I'm 55 and I ride a bike, and I wear a helmet!

"cycle drivarians"? god, who wrote that crap.

"'cycle drivarians'? god, who wrote that crap."

The same people who came up with "inventing better", I presume. Adverbs, direct objects, who can tell the difference?

BTW, did you all see this news? http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/08/12/139577887/woman-dies-one-month-after-being-hit-by-cyclist-in-san-francisco

The header for the O's coverage -- deadtree edition -- of this casualty is:

"SUV kills rider in bike lane"

Another murderous SUV. No human at the wheel.

I am not being flip, but I missed the "militancy" part of the video...

I agree about the showing a video without bike helmets, but this was more "meh" than "ARRRGG" to me.

If riders don't want to wear helmets then I hope their health insurance policies are large. The impact of non-fatal injuries can be shocking. If you have ever visited a medical rehab facility for those with head injuries it will sober you up pretty quickly.

I applaud the BTA for showing riders who aren't afraid, who ride safely, helmet-free. There is no reason to wear such a silly, useless device that offers the illusion of safety while perpetuating the myth that cycling is dangerous.

What arrogance. Having spent some time in ICU at St. Vincent's earlier in this year, I know what a serious head injury can do to you - and while mine wasn't cycling-related, recovery can take months, if it happens at all. Eight months out of the accident, my eyes still occasionally go haywire. Fools.

And what, exactly, does Portland "invent better"? Loos?

Mass wins.

Good grief! Are some of those contraptions even legal?!! I mean a kid in a wooden box on a bike?

Nice to see Joey H. giving back to kids in need of helmets donating to "Nut Case" an apt moniker for those who ride without one.

I played hockey without a helmet and it didn't affect me, I played hockey without a helmet and it didn't affect me, I played hockey without a helmet and it didn't affect me.......

I ride my bike fairly often (work commute and light grocery shopping weather and sunlight permitting) and for the life of me can't understand why anyone would ride without a helmet. My attitude is even if I'm in the "right" on my bike, if I am struck by a car I still lose. Helmets offer a valuable, often lifesaving protection to cyclists - I'd rather live than have my estate enjoy the remnants of a wrongful death suit.

My ER doc nephew says, "heads are just like a mellon".
No doubt about it, helmets save lives, and those who do not wear them if they are young enough, become possible organ donators.
I am glad that you, Isaak, are still mobile enough to ride a bike. For those of us who are not, through no fault of our own, other than our bad genes, bike riding is just not an option any more. With the general population aging rapidly to foresee a future where everyone will ride a bike in the USA is just absurd.
And the rule of tonnage always applies.

Another martyr for the Waffen BTA, who are just ony about one peg above the Earth First Ecoterrorists.

I was present at the 2001 anti-war protests in Portland, when half a dozen of them (or their supporters) were arrested for throwing bicycles off a bridge into heavy traffic on I-405. It was done after dark. I was amazed no one was killed.

A good portion of them are bicycle thugs, nothing more.

I bike commuted for 6 years , and one day cruising on ne Broadway where the onramp for I-5 crosses the bike lane , a driver changed his mind and cut in front of me , I pinged off the rear fender , and went down. I was always convinced I could get my arms out in front of my head and break a fall. Guess what , you can't. I hit my head fairly hard on the road and shattered my helmet. It clearly saved my life , and I urge all you knuckleheads to ALWAYS wear your helmets.

I don't know about the rest of you but I encounter Bicylists Riding with out lights a lot. I think that if you don't have lights that show as well as a cars You should be required to gey back on the porch...

Portland native, I think there are a lot more over-35s out there than you think. I sure know a lot among the parents at my kids' school. Most of them are pretty fit; not sure you could easily tell their ages once they've got those helmets on and are moving. And yes, virtually all of them have the sense to wear helmets; if they don't they sure get some dirty looks from all the other playground parents.

My spouse is 51 and hauled out the bike and started riding in 2008 because his blood pressure and weight were up and he didn't want to take meds. The local cycling options definitely had him out enjoying it more often and for longer. Within about a year he had lost 35 pounds, which has stayed off, and his blood pressure is fantastic now. He does almost all travel by bike, including the grocery shopping, drugstore trips, etc. Now our 11-year-old son goes out with him and with his friends. Neither of them is the type to do organized sports or a gym, so it is a great health & recreational opportunity for them. They'll do the Providence Bridge Pedal tomorrow.

I used to figure my cycling days ended at about 16 but I have to admit they, and a lot of the other cyclists I know, make it look pretty rewarding. I'm one of those 25% (more?) of adults who are obese and I'm changing that now. But as a lifetime exercise habit, I'd rather ride a bike outside than do aerobics in my living room like I am now. (Well, not NOW, but daily.)

Is it worth the money we spent on it as a community? I don't really know. I still don't have a good feel for the costs and how many people benefit. But I do think a lot of people in Portland are healthier and having more fun because of the bike culture, and I say that as someone who has never ridden a bicycle on Portland roads.

I could agree with everything Julie said above if... we didn't live in a truly sucky part of the world climatewise 9 months out of the year for cycling. It just happens to be perfect at the moment and will likely continue to be for another 6 to 9 weeks. Come late October we'll all be regretting its absence for another 8 months or so.

Julie lives in SE, with streets on grids, through routes parallel to and off arterials, relatively flat topography, and places nearby to go to the grocery or the drug store.

It isn't the same everywhere.

Try doing that routine from say, SW 43rd and Vacuna.

Good luck.

Yet my tax dollars get spent on the se bike boulevards and sharrows, but PBOT can't find Southwest on a map. When PBOT accidently finds SW on a map, their response to everything transportation wise is "Its too expensive to build."

A little "equity" would go a long way west of the Willamette outside the downtown core.

The problem with your neighborhood is that there aren't anywhere near enough nose rings and bad tattoos.

A lack which we recognize. Sadly, we are over run with actual working taxpayers who provide the funds for the benefits and bright shiny toys constantly doled out by the City to the mostly unemployed and underemployed "creative class" hipsters.

Even more sadly, despite the staggering taxes SWers pay, PBOT no longer keeps our streets up (pot holes everywhere) or even pretends to care except for choice places where they meddle and remeddle. Just how many times do they need to "fix" the intersection of Vermont, Capitol Hwy, and SW 30th? Or fix the split of Vermont (to Bertha) and Capitol Hwy (and each "solution" there is consistently worse)? And why did it take nearly 2 years to fix the overpass bridge on Capitol Hwy just after it splits from Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. Hell, NW Natural left a barrier up (and a hole in an arterial) for over 6 weeks until I called it in. PBOT apparently doesn't even check on the messes the utilities make out here in SW. My friends around here joke that you can tell when you leave Portland boundaries in SW because the roadway is in better shape.

JulieInSE; Hooray for your spouse! Now try biking on hills with replaced knees and hips in about 10 years.

Triumph of the Wheel.

I bike commute to work daily, year-round. Because I need the exercise and relaxation. And want to burn less middle eastern oil. I couldn't see any militancy in this video. But I did see the smug, self-absorbed hipster message that those submerged in the Religion of Bike are more highly evolved than the rest of us. When you are under-employed, don't support a family, or don't manage a business that others depend on for wages/benefits I guess you'll have the free time to pedal everywhere. But the smugsters still don't have time to put on a helmet or hi-vis safety clothing, or install sufficient lights on their bikes. I pray this is not the future of our city.

America is watching.

And laughing!


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