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Jack Warman
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184 followers
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Feature Request: Ability to configure Page Flipping as the default behavior. Thx! 

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35° warmer when I bike home than right now?!?! There's gonna need to be some complex layering going on this morning. 
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Hey +Jerry Hildenbrand , your Z3 Compact is coming today, right? Can't wait to hear how you like it. After carrying the Note 2 for 2 yrs, I'm ready for something smaller and the Z3C is clearly the best option (on paper anyway).  And, I probably won't mind switching from Big Red, the GSM phones have always been more interesting.

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Friends, please take a moment to review and sign this petition. The Durham Transportation Dept has dusted off a decade-old design for Club Blvd that completely ignores the city's goals for supporting cycling as specified by City Council in our Comprehensive Plan, our Bicycle Plan and our Pedestrian Plan.  The cycling community is asking the city to revisit these plans and redesign them in a way that considers cyclists.

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If you are a bike advocate who fights for infrastructure, don't let yourself get caught up in the "something is better than nothing" mindset. Bad facilities are not better than no facilities. 

A cyclist was killed in New Orleans yesterday by a truck driver turning right. The cyclist was in the bike lane, which was to the right of the driver's right turn lane. Due to the lane configuration, the cyclist may not have even realized he was to the right of a right turn lane, and he pedaled right into the bike lane, and ultimately to his death. 

Sad, sad story.

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This week, a new advocacy organization focused on cyclist education was formed, the American Bicycling Education Association. There's a fantastic quote in the announcement linked here;

“Bicycling in traffic is safe and easy and does not require athleticism, speed or bravery. Successful bicycling does require an understanding of traffic dynamics and a belief in one’s equal right to the road,” says ABEA President Mighk Wilson. 

It's true. Ever since Geller's misguided typology, those of us who integrate traffic principles into our cycling the same way we do with our motoring are painted with some sort of broad stroke "strong and fearless" descriptor.  As Mighk notes, cycling in traffic does not require athleticism, speed or bravery. It does not require being "strong and fearless" (or else I simply wouldn't qualify). But it does require education and I am thrilled to see this group emerge and, as a Cycling Savvy Instructor, to participate with it.

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Let there be light! The American Tobacco Trail bridge over I-40 is now illuminated!
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Today was the closest I've come to being hit by a motorist while biking to work. Adult traffic cycling education is an overlooked part of advocacy in my opinion. I'm grateful for my Cycling Savvy education, it helped keep me alive this morning. 

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Why do people cycle in the Netherlands? Is it really the infrastructure?

I have recently read some comments in another online forum on the aspects of Dutch life that contribute to the transportation mode split in the Netherlands.  Keri Caffrey of Cycling Savvy said in a Facebook post;

"The Dutch have never had less than 15% mode share. They have different land use, different geography, intercity transit, a different culture, higher cost of fuel, huge taxes on automobiles, a very different driver education and licensing process..."

I looked up a lot of this information. In addition to the assumed liability of a motorist in a collision with non-motorized road users, which my anecdotal evidence strongly suggests impacts the cycling and motoring culture, it's also true that there are a number of characteristics that make car ownership undesirable, or at least less appealing, compared to the US.  For instance;

  -  Higher fuel costs:  When I looked it up last month, gas was over $8 USD/gallon.
  -  Huge taxes on automobiles: cars are taxed at 45%
  -  Very different driver education: The programs are more robust than here in the States, with many people who move to the Netherlands failing to pass the tests on their first try.  And, each cycle of education program and testing costs thousands of US dollars. I read accounts of people spending up to $10,000 before the passed their test (not the norm, but not unheard of).

Yet, the GDP per capita in the Netherlands is estimated to be as much as 10% lower than the US, implying that it takes a much larger relative financial commitment to own and operate a motor vehicle in the Netherlands than in the US. 

Additionally, the Atlantic Cities article linked here points to specific reasons why the US is more car-dependent than Europe, or the flip-side, why Europe is less car-dependent than the US.

Based on this information, do we really think it's the bicycling infrastructure that is motivating people to bike transportationally in the Netherlands? Do we really think that bringing European-style cycling infrastructure to the US alone, without implementing other measures to discourage car ownership and usage, is really going to make Americans start bicycling transportationally?  

Obviously, a number of participation advocates, the "butts on bikes" folks, do think developing similar infrastructure in the US will increase mode share, but why?  Why would advocates looking for a European-style mode share and infrastructure not also be fighting for European-style taxation, licensure practices and other cultural differences that also contribute to the bicycle mode share there?

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I like this note from BikeSD regarding the meme of the "scofflaw cyclist." The key takeaways, imo, are A) there are a lot of scofflaws on the road and most are not on bikes and B) it's not up to other cyclists or bike advocacy groups to defend or rebuke "scofflaw cyclists" any more than it is not incumbent on motorists to defend or rebuke each bad driver. 
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