Thursday, July 31, 2008
1 week of biking
I biked to work every day this week but one so far. I have not run any stop signs or stop lights I have a helmet on and plenty of lights on my bike. I love it even if the ride home is a pain.
So here is my latest Bike Spotting encounter.
I stopped between third and fourth on main at the park. I relaxed there in the shade and I learned a few things about Portland.
1. Way up in the tree in the middle of down town Portland is a family of Racoons. I saw them way up there peeking down at me. No one else was looking so it's my little secret.
2. Idiots on bikes don't like this entire LANE system. Walking down to the corner of salmon and fourth and looking back up into traffic towards PSU I was able to see just how many bikers were using lanes and how many thought that the white line was a lane unto its own.
Twice I saw a bus and once a delivery truck hemmed in on both sides by bikers squeezing between moving vehicles. One incident a bike pulled over in front of a bus making it stop had that driver swerved even a fraction the bike on the other side of the bus would have been knocked into the bus stop on the corner.
You have got to love bikers forcing 20 ton vehicles into other bikes. How safe is that.
So a three lane road is really a 7 lane road when you throw in the bikes. Nothing to fear there. No possible problems to the biker.
During this week I have interviewed a few fellow bikers to get their opinions of things. Lets see how they break down.
1. Functional Biker: Small distance commuters, day time. They admit that bikers are a problem but give that issue a pass. They focus on what they do and for the most part they do follow the law. They are not part of any bike movement, push, gatherings. These are just people riding bikes. They will attend a bike rally or two. They believe that it would be nice to see more bike lanes and bike racks but they are happy as things are.
2. Bike Enthusiast: This biker is in love with biking. Though not an overt crusader they fully embrace only the good image of bikes. They bike out of preference and constantly spout things about pollution and saving the earth. They acknowledge that bikers break the law but they believe that education and love will change what bikers do. They want more of everything for bikers. Many of these people own cars, maybe even have many cars.
3. Bike Activist: This is a bikenazi JR. Grade. This person feels that biking is their way to save the world. They reverse every point you can make to some other form of transportation. In other words "They break the law so we can break the law" They dismiss any proof that bikers don't comply with the law. They believe that bikers are all on the crusade and if you question this then you are part of the problem. They believe that bikers don't have to change the city has to spend more money on bike roads. They don't just want more like a number 2 they are demanding more. This person will admit they are into the bike culture of Portland. They frequent bike gatherings they read bike post they are a "True Believer" A few of these people have cars but most do not.
4. Bike Anointed: Watch out cause here is the high priest of biking. They believe that human law can circumvent the laws of physics. They don't turn arguments around they dismiss them out of hand. They do not believe that bikers have any issue, it's all everyone else's fault. They are organizers of bike gatherings, blogs, what have you. They act as if every one else who drives (non-bike) vehicles have their hand around a kids throat and is strangling them and only BIKE'S can stop this. To them its not about educating bikers its about educating everyone else in the world. They believe in the pure innocents of bikers and the automatic guilt of everyone else, they will not admit this but all their arguments are from this point of view. full on bike Nazi.
I am still talking to bikers to see if there is another classification but so far four seems to cover it. Here is the problem most bikers give a pass to Biker's abusing the rules of the road, either by focusing on their own issues or denial or by being an apologist. That that are active in the Bike Community are more focused on the world changing for them, rather then having bikers follow the law.
bike True Believer argument
1. Bikes save the world
2. We are going to use political activity to attain more for bikes
3. If you oppose us in any way you do not want to save the world
They suppose that anything and everything they want is right and that if you oppose them in any way you are Wrong.
I say lets let Portland and ORegon decide.
Lets put some of this idiotic things up for the voters to have their say on.
Like those silly green boxes. Lets let voters have a say on those.
Now that would be interesting.
Lets see if Portland and ORegon really loves bikers or are they fed up with them.
Well that's it for today. Have to run.