The ‘Old Guard’, ‘Dumb As A Box Of Rocks’

Background Reading


Once again the ‘Old Guard‘ is busy trying to justify ‘bad behavior‘ on the part of members of the Urban Cycling Movement via the “So’s Your Old Man” defense. But try as you might it always boils down to what works on a reliable basis.

Because motorists or pedestrians do ‘stupid things‘ it is not true that a Karmic Bank Account goes up for Urban Cyclists. This is not nor will it ever be a ‘zero-sum‘ game.

Listen to this drivel:


‘Bending the Rules’ Can Never Work

The Germans are busy trying out a variant of the ‘Rules of the Road‘. There are as they reason only two viable working models when it comes to traffic safety:

  • Either everyone follows the ‘Rules of the Road‘, or
  • We allow ‘controlled chaos‘ to be the ‘order of the day

In actual practice the second of these two would mean that when approaching a stop sign you always treat it as a yield. And by extension ever other vehicle driver or pedestrians is allowed the same latitude.

The same would be true of stop lights except they have replaced these intersection controls with roundabouts where no one stops but all must negotiate them with a strict order of precedence:

  • Pedestrians always have the right-of-way, where cars and bicycles are concerned
  • Bicycles always have the right-of-way where cars are concerned
  • Motor vehicles must yield to both pedestrians and bicycles

As Tandemonium is learning in the absence of a universally declared change in the ‘Rules of the Road‘ you are always making assumptions about the physical and mental condition of the others negotiating a street alongside you. Both you and they can never assume that the other guy is alert and thus paying attention.

I watched an instructive episode of Chicago Fire tonight where two hook-and-ladder trucks collide because one claimed the other ran a red light. The interesting thing was that the fellow accused of running the red light was unable to remember whether he did or not. It turned out that he had. However, before the video proof arrived he was fairly certain that the light had been green.

Our brains play tricks on us all the time. Tandemonium is actually unable to prove that the pedestrians who collided with him were ‘in the wrong‘ he might in fact have been the offending party. As I have stated time and again, the ‘Old Guard‘ is in desperate need of replacement. Their judgment and world view where safety is concerned is skewed. And most importantly, they do not know this.