Paul Andrews

News Cycle: Facebook protest tomorrow, How you can help, Discriminatory Portland cyclists & more

In Bicycle advocacy, News Cycle, Obama Bikes on January 22, 2010 at 2:13 am

Reminder: Facebook anti-cycling hate page protest is tomorrow at FB headquarters near the foot of California Street (and Bowdoin) in Palo Alto. Gets rolling at noon.

Protests are good. Action is even better. What you can do today to actually combat anti-cycling mentality is to click on over to Cascade Bicycle Club’s advocacy page and contact your legislative representative re Washington State’s proposed “vulnerable user” law (SB 5838). It’s a nicely automated system that takes mere seconds. I know. I timed myself.

BTW, New York state is considering similar legislation.

Have bike riders in Portland become so intimidating that they scare automobile drivers? A new report says the “biking community is so strong that motorists sometimes feel discriminated against.” Yes, it’s a real problem, how bikes hold up cars, even extremely busy and important Bimmers and Mercedes, on uphills, and how they take up valuable parking space with bike racks and oh, don’t forget, cause the dreaded “driver squint” at night with their blinkies and bike lights. But the worst is, bikes leave scratch marks on car paint when motorists run them over. Yeah, we feel real sorry for that most persecuted of all minorities, Portland motorists. Next thing you know bike riders will be demanding use of the full lane! (On a serious note, congrats to BikePortland.org for topping the list of local blogs.)

And hey, Portland isn’t the only place where motorists feel discriminated against. From Florida:

Who are you honking at? from Keri Caffrey on Vimeo.

Jacquie Phelan unearths one of her earliest bike writings, an essay in the not forgotten and still lamented Bike Tech. Interesting that she cites the Gary Klein piece, one of the ones I most remember. I also remember riding one of the earliest aluminum road frames from France — and yes, thinking Budweiser. The thing was actually glued together. I purchased one of Gary’s first road frames, which I still have, and was a big Klein fan back then so naturally assumed he was right to sue. Oh the stories the old guard can tell. And how they pale compared to the backstories.

And how far we’ve come. The latest issue of Mountain Bike Action magazine, drawing from its annual reader survey, notes that “a staggering 86 percent” own aluminum bikes. Carbon fiber at 6 percent and steel at 5 are distant trailers, as well as ti at 3. Quick calculations tell me that of the 32 bikes I own or have owned, 6 were steel, three carbon and 1 ti, so my ratio is not too far off.

Cozy Beehive takes a detailed look at the Kolelinia, which we derisively thought was the scientific term for temporary insanity.

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  1. Minor nitpick, but the link from Cascade is to contact your LEGISLATIVE delegation (in Olympia), not the Congressional delegation (in Washington DC). This is a state-level issue, not a federal issue.

    Other than that, everyone who cares about this issue should contact not only their legislators, but also the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. At this stage in the game, those 8 members get to decide if your Senator will ever get to vote on the bill in a full Senate session. The home pages for each member of the committee are from my article on this page: http://gettinaroundpnw.blogspot.com/2010/01/vulnerable-user-bill-in-committee.html

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