An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More on Crushed-Helmet Boy: Blaming the victim

Astonishingly, the excitable and earnest fellows at are making a strong case against bike lanes, and blaming cyclists themselves for whatever may befall them on the biways of America. John Ardelli blames Crushed-Helmet Boy for an inability to "modulate" his front brakes and a native, delusional stupidity about what a bike lane is and does.

This was obviously an inexperienced cyclist traveling too fast for his experience level. The fact that he flipped himself over the handlebars suggests he didn't know how to modulate his front brake in an emergency stop and, if he was unable to stop in time, he should have executed a quick turn with the truck to avoid the collision instead of trying to stop, anyway. The cycle lane only made things worse by encouraging him to stay too far to the right.

I maintain, and I will always maintain, that there is only one way to increase the safety of cyclists on North America's roads: education.

Dude, take a deep breath. Accidents happen all the time. If they happened only to smart people obeying the laws and observing all niceties at all times, they wouldn't be called accidents. They'd be called "surreal unexplainable anomalies in an otherwise perfect world." Sorta like Spontaneous Human Combustion or leprachauns.

The fact of the matter is that this kid is now an international celebrity and testimonial for the utility of bike helmets. We're betting 5:1 that he ends up on Leno or Letterman before the week is out.

And a city with no bike lanes makes it a helluva lot easier for motorists to believe that bikes do not belong on paved roads--and more frighteningly, to behave that way.


Ed W said...

Oddly enough, there are no bike lanes along my daily commute, yet somehow I've managed to survive. Maybe that has something to do with taking the lane and educating both myself and those motorists sharing the road with me as to the best way to ride a bicycle.

Ardelli did have some valid points. Bike lanes breed complacency in cyclists and motorists, all of them viewing that magic paint stripe as an invisible wall that will never be breached.

Dr. Logan said...

I'll take a bike lane over none any day. I take the road when I need to for safety, but I don't trust the average motorist as far as I can throw him, so I prefer my own lane.

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