It Will Take More Than A GoPro To Keep You Safe

Background Reading


Every time the ChainLink crowd decides to climb on its high horse about some infraction by motorists that they would like to raise to the level of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors‘ one of them always does something to remind me that they are simply an incorrigible lot. Part of this is due to the fact that very few of these folks have any training in the operation of a bicycle. They somehow confuse their fear and loathing of riding in traffic with an elevated position in the hierarchy of cycling, so of course training is ‘beneath them‘.

One female rider (who should know better) tried to make the case that not even the Tour de France riders had to endure the likes of what an Urban Cyclist did on their morning commutes. This was accompanied by a silly Venn Diagram which was later ‘clarified‘ by one of her drinking buddies. But the damage was done. When you come out and say something that stupid, there really is no room for recovery.

Anybody who watched this years Tour de France is more than aware of the dangers of even riding a race in which all motor traffic is banned (save the team vehicles). It turns out that cyclists are dangerous enough all on their own to not need automobiles to create havoc and injury.

Riding Along With His GoPro

A few months ago a bike shop owner from Bartlett decided to share with me his views on owning an action camera for the purpose of ‘staving off rear end collisions‘ . Of course what I imagine he was really advocating is being able to have a ‘weapon‘ against drivers who encroached his space from the rear. He could always sue the offending motorist, assuming that he survived and someone thought to check his camera for evidence.

I kinda sneer at this idea, simply because it is not very workable. The battery drainage alone would make it cumbersome to use and trying to recover the images and get them into something useful to be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo for distribution is an even more daunting task. But as a Capitalist why should anyone be dissuaded from keeping our economy going? So I just ‘roll my eyes‘, smile and listen with as much intent as I can muster.

So fresh from reading the latest blather ‘on why people parked in the bike lane are scum‘ I make a left turn onto Loomis off of Van Buren when I spot a young Hispanic male (in his mid twenties) on a fixie, riding along at a good clip heading southbound towards Taylor Street as was I.

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There is a stop sign at Bishop (?) Street. I stop and then proceed. He decides to continue through that intersection (on my right, between me and the parked cars) and passes me in the intersection and continues towards Taylor Street. I’d had enough of the sanctimonious drivel from the ChainLink Crowd to last a lifetime. What they lack in life experience they more than make up in arrogance.

What really steamed me the most was that he would have caused me to deliver a ‘right hook‘ to him because given his positioning on my right I could neither see or expected to see him there. But as I was regaining my breath from that near tragedy, I noticed that up ahead a driver was opening his door and I counted the seconds until a possible ‘Door Zone Collision‘. This was the Perfect Storm unfolding right in front of me (actually alongside me on the right).

At Taylor Street I leaned out of the driver’s side window and reminded him as politely as possible that despite his use of the GoPro Camera bolted to his handlebars he was still obliged to stop at those octagonal signs with the red background proclaiming in a single word ‘STOP‘. I cannot tell you how angry it makes me that all that seems to be present on the ChainLink is a floating party of ‘bitch sessions‘. And yet here was another clueless Urban Cyclist parading around with a GoPro camera on his handlebars just awaiting the moment when he could unveil that nifty video of someone either executing a ‘right hook‘ on him or causing him to slam into their open door.

And mind you because he was traveling alongside me he had absolutely no change to swerve to his left to avoid the opening door because I was there. And that was because rather than bringing his scrawny butt to a full stop, he decided to proceed through that intersection (after watching me come to a full stop and then start up again) not knowing whether I would make a right turn or even caring that riding alongside me while a driver was exiting his car was putting him in jeopardy.

Stop All The Finger Pointing Folks, Get Trained!

I will never enjoy the notions that ChainLinkers have about putting hard to remove orange stickers on people windshields who are blocking the bike lane. The chief reason is that for all their anger about being forced to ‘swerve to their left‘ the ride just like this fellow, oblivious to their doom or simply not caring. Or as I suspect hoping that a ‘big payday‘ will ensue if they can just get mildly injured, find a sleazy attorney and doctor to help them bilk the system and leave their low wage job for a year or so. Geez!

People, nobody out there wants to hit you purposely. I know they say that sort of thing in the heat of the moment in the same way that ChainLinkers ruminate aloud about how they would love to Taser somebody walking or running or in a wheelchair in the bike lane. But frankly it is my life and future that you are screwing with when you do not use your God-given intelligence to ‘do the right thing‘. And it is not enough for me just wish you harm since that will come back to bite me in the butt.

Randy Cohen

Randy Cohen

Randy Cohen should never have been hired as an ethicist for the New York Times. That was about as meaningful a placement as having a pedophile serve as the shower attendant in a grade school locker room.

All that he has managed to do in his absence (having correctly been fired) is lead a lot of really stupid people to take chances with their lives and that of ‘their victims‘ (the unsuspecting motorists just trying to get home after a long day at the office) despite the proclamation that the cyclist is ‘the only one with skin in the game‘. That is a bald-faced lie!

Stop making the simple act of getting from Point A to Point B so difficult. Take your time and stop relying to bike lanes to keep you safe and using GoPro cameras as weapons. Life is not all about you despite what the ChainLink ethos appears to be. Grow Up!