The Chainlink

From the "Virtually Impossible On A Bike, No Matter How Big A Jerk You Are" department: According to State Farm about 1 in 4 drivers admit to surfing the Web while driving.  

Don't take my word for it though... read more here.  Also, -1 Karma for the first Chainlinker who says they've seen a hipster texting as they ride.  Yep.  That happens.  The hipster who does this (a) is very rare and (b) does not weigh 3,000 lbs.

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Chi Lowe 12.5+ mi said:

Nope, but by the numbers, no where near as common as people driving 3,000 lb death machines while doing it.  No matter how common, it's not even close.

Mike Zumwalt said:

Well I get a minus 1 then. True anyone texting while biking will not kill anyone BUT they can be involved or cause an accident while riding  "fixed, no hands" up Milwaukee due to distraction or inability to avoid a pothole, car door, cabbie doing a sudden U-turn... and it's not that rare at all.

Amen.  It is not simply a question of who is coming into contact with who, this is a very high density urban landscape & the butterfly effect and law of unintended consequences also merit consideration.

AFAIC, if a car swerves to avoid a cyclist running a light and ends up injuring someone else in the process, it's that cyclist who is ultimately at fault.  No different than how if someone opens their car door and forces a cyclist into traffic the fault lies with the catalyst, the person opening the door, not the motorist who was behaving perfectly legally and had no time to react.


Jeff Schneider said:

It's nice to feel smug that as cyclists, having orders of magnitude less kinetic energy than a moving car, we don't pose much danger to anyone in a collision.  And it's clearly true that almost nobody is killed, and few are seriously hurt by collisions with cyclists.

But Mike makes a good point.  As a driver, you can only watch so many things at one time - cyclists, pedestrians, other cars, whatever.  A cyclist riding erratically/carelessly is an unnecessary distraction for drivers whose senses are already overloaded in city traffic.  We do need to keep that in mind.

Mike Zumwalt said:

Well I get a minus 1 then. True anyone texting while biking will not kill anyone BUT they can be involved or cause an accident while riding  "fixed, no hands" up Milwaukee due to distraction or inability to avoid a pothole, car door, cabbie doing a sudden U-turn... and it's not that rare at all.

Just out of curiosity, do you have a keystroke shortcut set up for "3000 lb death machine" or do you type it out each time? As long as you are treating "3000 lb death machine" as a defined term, I have some additional questions. If my car weighs 3400 lbs, is it still a death machine? If I have never actually hit a cyclist or pedestrian with my car, or been found at fault in an automobile accident, is my car still a 3000 lb death machine? If I ride my bikes each year more combined miles than I drive my car, is my car still a 3000 lb death machine? If I use my car to visit elderly parents in the suburbs, or take them to the doctor, or take them to the hospital, am I obligated to tell them that they are riding in a death machine? I just want to make sure I'm clear on the terminology.

Chi Lowe 12.5+ mi said:

Nope, but by the numbers, no where near as common as people driving 3,000 lb death machines while doing it.  No matter how common, it's not even close.

Mike Zumwalt said:

[snip]

Now you're just being pedantic.

Kevin C said:

Just out of curiosity, do you have a keystroke shortcut set up for "3000 lb death machine" or do you type it out each time? As long as you are treating "3000 lb death machine" as a defined term, I have some additional questions. If my car weighs 3400 lbs, is it still a death machine? If I have never actually hit a cyclist or pedestrian with my car, or been found at fault in an automobile accident, is my car still a 3000 lb death machine? If I ride my bikes each year more combined miles than I drive my car, is my car still a 3000 lb death machine? If I use my car to visit elderly parents in the suburbs, or take them to the doctor, or take them to the hospital, am I obligated to tell them that they are riding in a death machine? I just want to make sure I'm clear on the terminology.

Chi Lowe 12.5+ mi said:

Nope, but by the numbers, no where near as common as people driving 3,000 lb death machines while doing it.  No matter how common, it's not even close.

Mike Zumwalt said:

[snip]

Kevin C said:

As long as you are treating "3000 lb death machine" as a defined term, I have some additional questions. If my car weighs 3400 lbs, is it still a death machine? 

Yes, but it would technically be a 3400 lb death machine.  It is common practice in the death machine industry, however, to round destructive capacity to the nearest 1000 lbs.

Kevin C said:

If I have never actually hit a cyclist or pedestrian with my car, or been found at fault in an automobile accident, is my car still a 3000 lb death machine?

Yes; a machine doesn't stop being a machine even when one doesn't use it for it's intrinsic purpose.

Kevin C said:

If I ride my bikes each year more combined miles than I drive my car, is my car still a 3000 lb death machine?

Yes.  You might ask yourself, "If I microwave my bagels each year more than I toast them, is my toaster still a gluttony machine."  The answer of course is yes.

Kevin C said:

If I use my car to visit elderly parents in the suburbs, or take them to the doctor, or take them to the hospital, am I obligated to tell them that they are riding in a death machine?

No.  Only morally superior users would likely warn occupants of the machine's true nature, however, these users are mutually exclusive of users who operate the machine at its full potential.

these guys are playing in chicago on new years...

Interesting, thanks. Have there been any studies to help develop a standardized measure for describing the full killing potential of the machine in question?

BruceBikes said:


Kevin C said:

If I use my car to visit elderly parents in the suburbs, or take them to the doctor, or take them to the hospital, am I obligated to tell them that they are riding in a death machine?

No.  Only morally superior users would likely warn occupants of the machine's true nature, however, these users are mutually exclusive of users who operate the machine at its full potential.

Well, h' has ridden in my "death machine" twice that I can recall. Once to meet with police and recover a stolen bike; once to schlep stuff over to the Pulaski field house for a Bike Winter Swap. Both, without incident.

In other "death machine" news, my parents were able to attend the baptism of their first great grandchild last night. I guess they were just lucky.



h' 1.0 said:

Interesting, thanks. Have there been any studies to help develop a standardized measure for describing the full killing potential of the machine in question?

BruceBikes said:


Kevin C said:

If I use my car to visit elderly parents in the suburbs, or take them to the doctor, or take them to the hospital, am I obligated to tell them that they are riding in a death machine?

No.  Only morally superior users would likely warn occupants of the machine's true nature, however, these users are mutually exclusive of users who operate the machine at its full potential.

When will people realize that the whole militant anti-car thing is more hurtful to the cause of cycling than it is helpful?

Ever wonder why people think cyclists are smug assholes?  You're answer is right here.

I'm sorry that I am against the things that are taking the lives of 30,000 people annually, in the US alone; destroying communities; and polluting the planet.

Yes, because when a driver pulls over to ask for directions, or when a coworker complains about traffic on the expressway, or even when we see someone walking on the sidewalk with their car keys in hand, Chi-Lowe and I and the rest of our militia always make it a point to berate them for their deadly habit.

notoriousDUG said:

When will people realize that the whole militant anti-car thing is more hurtful to the cause of cycling than it is helpful?

Ever wonder why people think cyclists are smug assholes?  You're answer is right here.

You know exactly what I mean when I say that so stop it you big jerk.

Stop being a bully.

h' 1.0 said:

Yes, because when a driver pulls over to ask for directions, or when a coworker complains about traffic on the expressway, or even when we see someone walking on the sidewalk with their car keys in hand, Chi-Lowe and I and the rest of our militia always make it a point to berate them for their deadly habit.

notoriousDUG said:

When will people realize that the whole militant anti-car thing is more hurtful to the cause of cycling than it is helpful?

Ever wonder why people think cyclists are smug assholes?  You're answer is right here.

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