a quality of life issue

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between Jimmy John & John Forester

April 21, 2018

with some discussion of vehicular cycling in a previous post Alistair sent me a copy of the letter Roger Durham wrote to VeloNews in 1982 that was  then reprinted in the Rivendell Reader in 1995. Durham's letter sums it up and says it better than I can say it myself. 

when you google "the Roger Durham letter to VeloNews" you can find all kinds of discussion and cyclists yelling at each other, saying things like "you're making us all look bad" which I feel is a bunch of horseshit.

Durham is right on when he says watch how bike messengers flow through the city and learn how to limit your exposure time. 


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Alistair said...

I think the key thing is that cyclists need to walk before they can run. I see plenty of examples of cyclists who don't have the chops, trying to emulate the moves of pro messengers/experienced urban cyclists who have years of experience. It rarely ends well. In my opinion that's what can end up giving us all a black eye. Yes, some car drivers are assholes, distracted by all the technology that modern cars have to offer. That, in my mind, has become a fucking joke, and a dangerous one. However, I see similarly selfish behavior on the Burke Gilman trail, exhibited by clueless cyclists. It's not like car drivers have an exclusive when it comes to thoughtless and dangerous behavior. I don't have the answer, and I don't get into confrontations about this stuff like I used to. That doesn't change anything in my experience. I just do my own thing, and try to set the best example I can. Be fair. Be considerate. Pay attention. Exhibit good roadcraft. It's not like I have it all figured out, still learning every ride. Maybe someone will notice and follow suit?

Posted April 21, 2018 11:31 AM | Reply to this comment

. said...

I dig/appreciate the pronoun construction of the letter from first person singular, to third person plural and in the end driving the lane with second person singular for the dunk on the point. It's a well crafted letter. Art on its own. A relief read in this era of selfie social media, hey check me out because my parents never did horseshit the only pronoun heard or written is the first person singular: I,I, i

Posted April 23, 2018 01:56 PM | Reply to this comment

pilder said...

jeopardy before and after style like --- what is Jimmy John Forester? the world wide web is great for finding like minded folks so you can huddle up and form a tight circle and pat each other on the back. which is what we're doing here but at least it's not on facebook. I don't think I would have stumbled upon the Roger Durham letter in my very constrained habitrails if Alistair did not pass it along. And for that I am grateful for the fiber optic information exchange.

Posted April 23, 2018 09:28 PM | Reply to this comment

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