Being Authentic Is Not So Hard
A fellow cyclist made this observation regarding the article cited above:
My one gripe:
“Though her children wear helmets, Newberry does not.
“I feel like that is a personal choice and it’s one of my last holdouts of not giving in to the safety-obsessed lifestyle of our culture. However, I do always have my children wear theirs,” Newberry said.”
So, her personal choice is more important than her children possibly grow up without a mother !?!
Agree or disagree, go at it, people.
I look upon this sort of response as more indicative of ‘making a statement‘ than answering a question. Urban Cyclists seem wholly given over to this sort of thing because they allow themselves to be persuaded far too easily of an outcome long before they have had a chance to really think about it. Like their Tea Party counterparts they are far more interested in sounded ‘in step with The Movement‘ than in taking the time to think things through.
It is a bit like this prattle we often hear that cyclists break traffic laws because they want to ‘conserve their momentum‘. It’s a meaningless argument that is what one comes up with when trying to justify bad behavior. And in fact the largest proponent of the ‘no helmet‘ approach is a big fan of automobiles that have external airbags!
- External Airbags on Cars – Update (Copenhagenize)
Out of one side of his mouth he professes to believe that cycling is so ‘danger-less‘ that the only reason to ‘cave-in‘ to wearing a helmet is because you are ‘brain-washed‘ into the effort by the automobile industry. But then suddenly he ‘gets religion’ when a Dutch invention comes along to in fact provide the safety features of a helmet without the burden of having to buy one yourself. Of course one has to ask why a car would even need to provide protection for riders of bicycles, since the original premise was that cycling was to safe to require such accoutrements.
Of course if you are one of his faithful to know better than to ask why the ‘Emperor has no clothes‘.
If I Could Have One Wish
The one thing I could wish for with all my heart is for cyclists to become more ‘authentic‘ people. Urban Cycling Movement adherents are somewhat afraid to disappoint their fellows. There is no other way to view that absurd bit of puffery cited above.
It was meant as a ‘sop to the Faithful‘. Making that kind of statement at a cocktail party where no one else rides would be like trying to explain just how wonderfully exhilarating riding in sub-zero temperatures on a skinny tired bike is when the snow and ice are several inches deep. The folks there will look at you in wonderment (and not necessarily respect and awe) or roll their eyes and think dismissive thoughts. That would be my response.
Urban Cyclists are the masters of the self-congratulatory deprecating admission. Anything they say amongst non-riders is meant to shock and horrify with the hopes that a fellow riders is silently lurking nearby with a knowing glance. Urban Cyclists live for the glee they feel when pointing out the ‘bad behavior‘ of a fellow in a car running a red light while amber-gambling, but dismissive of any discussions about cyclists who murder pedestrians while hell-bent on speeding in Central Park.
And they take their cue from groups like the Active Transportation Alliance. You may indeed find a statement on the two deaths this past year in Central Park of pedestrians at the hands of cyclists buried somewhere deep on their blog site. But I promise you that it will be an almost dismissive bit of frippery. This is not a movement that gives a great deal of thought to doing anything other than keeping score with motorists.
They are playing a very dangerous game of ‘So’s Your Old Man‘. The sad thing is that they are doing it while holding out their palms for additional funding each year for supposedly aiding in their endeavors to bring ‘safety‘ to the transportation landscape.
But I know that they know that I know it’s a lie. Only an idiot or a Tea Party member would tell you that his efforts to save your mortal soul are predicated on killing you to prevent your sinning against God (at least according to his understanding of Scripture). That is the level of thoughtfulness manifest in the Urban Cycling Movement. To them ‘safety‘ is a fundraising term, the rest is a game.