Appealing to the Humanity In Us All

Background Reading


A cab and a pedestrian at a Manhattan crosswalk (Dave Gershgorn/WNYC)

A cab and a pedestrian at a Manhattan crosswalk (Dave Gershgorn/WNYC)


There is a ‘safety myth‘ that is centered around the idea that what you wear (e.g. helmet, clothing, reflective gear and lights front and rear) can make you ‘safe‘. And the biggest lie of all is that the ‘bike lane‘ is what will get to you and from work ‘safe‘. At best these are all talismans. Having a pretty green bike lane makes me ‘feel safer‘. The Urban Cycling Community came up with an unfortunate name for it, Bicycle Comfort.

Whenever I think back to what really makes ‘safety‘ a reality it seems that a combination of all of the above is required. But the single missing ingredient is the person riding the bike or driving the car. If they are distracted or taking chances then safety is minimal.

For that reason I am dead set against videos that glorify biking skills over bike safety. Red Bull and the folks in the Urban Cycling Movement who feel that their ‘race against‘ videos are worthwhile are gambling with the lives of all of us.

We do not need to have cabbies and bike messengers testing their manhood in a frivolous competition to see who can get to the other side of town first. We do however need to have everyone looking out for everyone else.

It takes a village to raise a child and it takes that same village to keep him alive long enough to reach old age.

The Urban Cycling Movement needs to be better than we are at the moment.