August 26th, 2011

A dearth of open minded debate

Since I first launched the world non-critical mass ride movement, on July 2011, life hasn't been easy. Suspicious packages. Being hog-tied and thrown into car boots. (Go ahead, dismiss my claims if you will!)  But I tell myself no amount of boring objections mailed to to my gmail account, even slightly diminishes, an interesting scheme. In case you just joined me, I have argued critical mass rides will be more effective, if they take to the footpath, instead of the road. Waving our bodies at cars wins us temporary satisfaction when we hold up some traffic, and a moral victory every time a cyclist is killed by a car. And those are meant to be dividends?! When I made my case for non-critical mass rides, I drew on a principle of game theory, that in strategic engagements one should always use what are called "dominant strategies". Entering battles in which you and your opponent both know that you could be killed, and that they, at worst, might be inconvenienced... ah, game theory, says that is retarded. If we ride on footpaths, however, our new opponents (pedestrians) stand to lose just as we do. There is scope in that scenario, for a victory. Perhaps they'll give us bike lanes, so we go away? Machiavelli had a head for this shit: better to be feared than loved, was his famous refrain.

Lest any of you actually feared drivers would stop loving cyclists, all due to me, the video below should assuage your concerns: as with all my suggestions, nobody took any notice. We've actually witnessed a 25% drop in the roll-up, from 4 last month, now to just 3.

You can see I don't care a brass razoo about the non-critical mass ride movement—or that you all stood me up:(  What does concern me, is the simplistic level of discussion about any issue pertaining to cycling. Discourse in the field is mostly just cheerleading. Ra ra, another new bike path. Boo hiss, an inconsiderate road sign. It is a indictment on all bicycling advocates, that none can hold a candle to the wit and curve balls thrown at us by a part-time opponent, like P. J. O'Rourke. So go ahead and boo hiss me. Tell me P. J. O'Rourke got his facts wrong, or that I have some fact wrong. But you see, that is just cheerleading. And as history unfolds, cheerleading is proving to be getting us nowhere.