Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday musette

I just put a Musette post over on the Examiner. It includes a snarky pot-shot at helmet nannies, a brief mention of a new law in Missouri allowing cyclists to ride through red lights, and a piece about scorchers in Nashville.

Also - while I'm thinking about it - I should mention that there are two web albums hosting photos I've used here. One is on Picasa. The other is on Flickr. They both have pluses and minuses. Flickr offers a rudimentary photo editor. Picasa does too, if you download their photo application to your computer, but the web albums allow you to re-size photos in a batch.

In the last couple of days, I've been playing with another batch re-sizer called FastStone photo resizer. Most of the shots I've taken are 4 megabyte files. I like this because I can take a section and enlarge it to a usable image. This is most useful when shooting wide angles without actually looking at the viewfinder or the rear screen.

This was cropped and straighten in Picasa. It was taken from a moving Jeep as I held the camera out the window and guessed at aiming it. And it helps that the Canon keeps taking pictures as long as I hold the button down. My older Kodak only takes 3 or 4 shot bursts.

Storage gets to be a problem with all these photos, because as I said, they're 4 megabyte files. Resizing them reduces the storage space needed, and I can keep the originals on CDs or other media.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Study claims cyclists at fault in only 10 percent of crashes

I was hoping to put this off until tomorrow, but it's breaking news right now on the NYT, Freakonomics, and the LCI list.

A few days ago, the University of Toronto released an interview on it's website with Dr. Chris Cavacuiti. Here's an excerpt:

Dr. Chris Cavacuiti of the department of family and community medicine is a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and an experienced cyclist who commutes on his bicycle and races competitively. He was recovering from a serious cycling accident when he began his research on cycling health and safety.

...While there is a public perception that cyclists are usually the cause of accidents between cars and bikes, an analysis of Toronto police collision reports shows otherwise: The most common type of crash in this study involved a motorist entering an intersection and either failing to stop properly or proceeding before it was safe to do so. The second most common crash type involved a motorist overtaking unsafely. The third involved a motorist opening a door onto an oncoming cyclist. The study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents in this study.

The available evidence suggests that collisions have far more to do with aggressive driving than aggressive cycling.

On Wednesday, the university added this correction:

Dr. Chris Cavacuiti has informed us that his interview contains a factual error.

In the interview, Dr. Cavacuiti is quoted as saying “The [Toronto Collision] study concluded that cyclists are the cause of less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents”. Dr. Cavacuiti has asked us to make readers aware that the Toronto Collision study was actually designed to look at the cause of bicycle/motorist collisions but not culpability.

It is actually several studies conducted by the Charles Komanoff and member of the Right of Way organization in New York that concluded that concluded that cyclists were strictly culpable for less than 10 per cent of bike-car accidents.

Dr. Cavacuiti would like to apologize for any confusion this error may have caused.

Komanoff's study - if that's the right word for it - is available on the Cars Suck website. A reasonable person would be hard pressed to expect unbiased, objective information from an organization with such a name, and in fact, Komanoff's study is little more than an anti-motoring diatribe laced with emotionally loaded phrases. For that matter, the study itself is called Killed by Automobile. If you really want to read it, follow this link to Cars Suck, then click on Research/Killed by Automobile. Please wash your hands afterward. This is a raw exercise in fear mongering, as in riding-a-bike-is-a-horribly-dangerous-experience, and as any rational, experienced cyclist knows, it's totally wrong.

• Right of Way systematically analyzed a full year’s fatalities (1997) for cause and culpability (neither city nor state authorities do so). Our criteria for culpability are largely based on New York State traffic law, and are detailed below, beginning on p. 17. Driver culpability could not be ascertained in 22 percent of cases; drivers were clearly not culpable in only 7 percent, they were strictly or largely culpable in 58 percent, and partly culpable in an additional 13 percent; combining the two latter categories, drivers were at least partly culpable in at least 71 percent of all New York City pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities.

• If we exclude the 22 percent of cases in which culpability could not be determined (because police accident reports were missing, incomplete, illegible, or contradictory), the proportions are: driver strictly or largely culpable, 74 percent; driver partly culpable, 16 percent; driver not culpable, 10 percent.

Right Of Way frames crash culpability primarily in terms of driver action rather than that of the pedestrian or cyclist, though the pedestrian’s actions may be relevant to the collision and should be considered in any case.

Let's reiterate that last - Right Of Way frames crash culpability primarily in terms of driver action - it's telling us that Right of Way draws conclusions, then looks for data to support those conclusions. That's not advocating for better conditions for cyclists. It's political gamesmanship and nakedly partisan. This does nothing to improve conditions on our roads. It merely serves to increase conflicts.

Please don't fall for this.


Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm in that holiday mood once again

Yep. Halloween, that major religious holiday here in Oklahoma is creeping up on the sly. Oh, sure, the cicadas are singing their brains out, and it's still a hundred and forty-leven degrees outside with a relative humidity to match. The skeeters carried off one of the neighborhood kids. And ticks deflated our dog.

But I'm getting into that holiday mood, lemme tell ya.

Mary and I were in the library this afternoon, when the great god Yog Sothoth chose to leave a book from the children's section lying provocatively on the table where I sat. It was a young adult's book on zombies. And it fell open to this page, a still taken from the movie "Shaun of the Dead."

At first, I wondered if this was really just a documentary photo or one from a news magazine depicting a bunch of people waiting for the latest iPhone, perhaps. But no, they're zombies.

Then this little detail caught my eye.

What's this? There's a guy wearing cycling gloves, a cycling cap, and a jersey with some odd stripes on it. Odd stripes? Why, those are world championship stripes! These guys are trying to imply that ALL cyclists, regardless of their competition level, are a bunch of zombies! I won't have it I tell you! This has gone entirely too far!

We're called rude names by passing motorists. We endure the cold, the rain, and the wind because we love to travel on two wheels. We get little or no respect from the media, and now, we're being compared to zombies. It's simply too much. We are not flesh-eating brainless zombies!

I'm going to write a stiffly worded letter of complaint to both of our Senators from Oklahoma, despite the fast that they're both, um, brainless, and um, may be zombies too.

On second thought, who writes a kids book on zombies?


Sunday, August 23, 2009

A quick question about health care (OT)

So which would you rather have, a government run program that offers a choice between cheap public insurance and more expensive private insurance, OR continued reliance on a private system priced out of the reach of many Americans? Do you think it's right that our nation has the very best in military equipment, the premier space program, and the most expensive health care while denying that care to some of its citizens? Are we to allow the politics of fear and divisive ideology to dictate who gets medical treatment?

Talk amongst yourselves.

We return you now to the regular level of snarkiness.

Cash for Cooters

Image from voteprime on Flickr

Irritated Tulsan came up with a wonderful idea he calls "Cash for Cooters". The idea is to take those annoying people we dislike and trade them in on newer, hopefully more positive ones. He wrote of his own office cooter, saying that "he's one happy meal away from a heart attack." It's an adorable phrase and one I will undoubtedly steal.

I have my own office cooters, of course, but I think of them in conjunction with, oh, the Spanish Inquisition, pliers, blow torches, and the never ending hell of television game shows.

We cyclists have our own version of cooters, too. They're often the ride nanny, the one who yells, "Car back!" in ascending tones when riders ignore him, until only local dogs can hear his squeaky voice. They get genuinely angry when their authority isn't heeded, and heaven forfend one of us should question them or even exhibit any intelligence or reason.

One local club insists that everyone participating in their ride must sign a liability waiver. My thought was that if they're not planning to do something genuinely stupid or illegal, it's not necessary. They also insist that everyone wear a helmet, despite the absence of a mandatory helmet law in Oklahoma. There was some serious tut-tutting going on when two guys rode sans helmets. But these rides take place on public roads, so unless they're shoved aside bodily, there's no way to stop them.

So maybe we can cash in the ride nannies, the cooters who take on that awesome responsibility of annoying the rest of us. Maybe we can work out some sort of ratio, like maybe 10 cooters for one hot babe in spandex, one that's just a little bit faster than me. It would clearly elevate my heart rate, and as Mary points out, I wouldn't know what to do with her if I caught her anyway. That is, unless she could cook.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday morning before dawn

On my way to work this morning, I was southbound on Main Street in Owasso. The street is 4 lanes wide with a 35mph speed limit until it reaches the business district. It becomes two lanes with dedicated left turn lane in the middle, and the speed limit drops to 25. I was approaching the 25mph zone when I noticed a car coming south very rapidly. That's not unusual because the police station is on Main Street. But this car passed the PD and caught up to me quickly. It moved left, going through the left turn lane for opposing traffic, and stayed just behind me while maintaining the same pace. At the red light on 76th Street, it moved up alongside and stopped. It was an OHP patrol car. The driver was intent on his cell phone, either texting or dialing with the phone on the bottom side of the steering wheel!

There are times I really need to have a camera ready, and this was one of them. It was just before dawn, so there wouldn't have been enough light. Still, it's one hell of an image - a cop disregarding traffic markings apparently because he was so distracted by the phone.

Later, since I have an advanced case of staircase wit, I realized I should have yelled, "Hey! Put the damned phone down and pay attention to driving!" In Kenosha, that would be enough to get me arrested.

In other news around Tulsa:

Texting teen driver plows into power pole

No, I didn't write the headline. It's straight out of the Tulsa World.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A bit of mindless fun...

Do you see the Feedjit Live Traffic Feed over on the right? Scroll down to it and click the 'watch in real time' link to go to Feedjit's page. Then click the 'play sound' over on the left. Every time someone arrives or leaves, it plays a 'doink' sound!

OK, so I'm easily amused.

But besides the cute little 'doink', I can see the search terms that lead people to CycleDog. Most of you are pretty straight forward folks, though it's a little scary to see just how many are looking for something about Z-E-R-O W-A-T-E-R. Honestly, since so many are looking for that information, maybe I'll write another snarky post about it. Sure, I'm a traffic whore too.

I'll call the good Doctor Crankset and see if he can look into it for me.

The wall of shame

(UPDATE) Shortly after I posted this, sure enough, a comment spammer hit on it! He was terminated immediately.

Spammers are the scum of the Earth. Comment spammers are the dingleberries on the butt end of spammers. Honestly, it's a lot of work for damned little return. But even worse are those companies who hire comment spammers to clog up our blogs.

So there's something we can do about it.

I'm introducing the CycleDog Wall of Shame where those companies that hire comment spammers will be listed (sans hyperlinks, of course) as a means of informing people about the unsavory advertising practices they use. It's not any different from those annoying "car warranty" calls that were flooding cellular phones this summer. I was wishing for a button that would make their phones explode.

On to the list! It includes (so far) comment spammers here on CycleDog as well as those who've engaged in this unsavory practice on other blogs that forward comments to me. cheesy website devoted to selling shoes. same cheesy website as above. by 'Jessica' with a link to a loan shark. Jessica, you're a whore. by 'Sahara Thompson' with a link to a discount Viagra site. Someone, perhaps Sahara, has issues with the ole Johnson.

Why bother? It's like playing whack-a-mole. I'm tempted to turn on comment moderation, but since I can't access CycleDog during the day, it would slow down the process. For now, I'll leave the comment settings as they are, but please be aware that if this turns into a tsunami of spam, I'll change it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oklahoma bicycling news

I came across two items of local interest. The first is from the Enid News and Eagle.

Excerpts follow:

Enid police say cyclists, pedestrians also must be just as vigilant as motorists on city roadways

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Sat, Aug 15 2009

People using Enid’s roadways are urged to exercise more caution and abide by the rules of the road.

Four fatalities have occurred on Enid roads this year, two this month.

“Motorists need to devote and pay attention when approaching slow-moving traffic, such as pedestrians and bicycles,” Enid Police Department Lt. Eric Holtzclaw said.

...People riding bicycles on Enid roads are required to follow the same rules as someone driving a car, he said.

Law requires bicyclists to “ride as close as is safe to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.” The law allows for exceptions such as debris or surface hazards, pedestrian or animals and parked vehicles.

...Oklahoma law requires vehicles passing a bicycle in the same direction to leave a distance of no less than three feet.

Holtzclaw said bicyclists need to ride on the far right of the road, with the flow of traffic, and in single file, not side by side.

Being the curious type, I went to the City of Enid website and found their local ordinances. As it turns out, Enid does have a mandatory sidepath law (Ord. 2004-28, 9-7-2004). In Oklahoma, this is a local option, not a state wide requirement.

But then we get to that pesky 'as far right as practicable' language. Enid's is just slightly different.

"A. Due Care: Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practical, exercising due care in passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction" and "C. Riding Two Abreast: Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles."

Let's give the good Lt. Holtzclaw credit for actually getting the intent of the law right when he said that cyclists are to ride as far to the right as is safe. This is a better choice of words than the unfortunate "practicable" or Enid's "practical" and it's the current form of the Oklahoma state law. "As far to the right as is safe" means every cyclist is entitled to ride in the lane in such a manner as to maximize his own safety. This doesn't mean he hugs the fog line because that is most definitely an unsafe position.

But then the good Lieutenant blows it by saying cyclists need to ride on the far right of the road and they must ride single file. They cannot ride two abreast. Enid doesn't have a law that prohibits riding two abreast. It says we cannot ride more than two abreast. If an overtaking motorist has to slow down or cross the centerline in order to pass a cyclist safely, he's not going to be more inconvenienced by cyclists riding side-by-side as opposed to single file. He still has the obligation to slow down and pass only when it's safe. When cyclists ride single file - especially if they're on the far right of the road - motorists will pass without changing lanes or straddling the center line. This is certainly convenient for motorists, but it's a hazard for cyclists. Safety always trumps convenience.

Like many in law enforcement, Lt. Holtzclaw seems to place a higher priority on traffic volume or throughput rather than cyclist's safety. It's not uncommon for motorists to be unaware of cycling laws, and indeed some of them are quite capable of inventing imaginary ones. But its unfortunate when law enforcement is ignorant of bicycling law and the best practices that cyclists can use to improve their safety on the road. This is not meant as a condemnation of Lt. Holtzclaw and the Enid Police Department. Instead, it's an indicates the minimal penetration of cycling law and best practices throughout the public. It tells those of us in advocacy there's a long, steep climb ahead.

This next piece was in today's Tulsa World. It's a small excerpt from a story about bridge and road improvements. Two of them - Old North Road and Avery Drive - are part of the Wednesday night ride route. Recently, that ride has been producing some conflicts between area residents, motorists, and cyclists.

Bridge, paving projects touted
West Tulsa County should have two new bridges and two repaved roads by year's end.

By GAVIN OFF World Data Editor

By the end of the year, west Tulsa County residents should welcome two new bridges and two newly repaved roads, one of which would have a bicycle lane, officials said Friday.

...Crews will repave the Old North Road from Adams Road to 81st West Avenue, just north of Sand Springs. The project will continue south on 81st West Avenue to about 10th Street.

Jordan said the repaving, which will likely begin next month and be finished within 30 days, is estimated to cost between $180,000 and $200,000.

It includes a 6-foot-wide bicycle lane, he said.

"Old North Road is very crooked," Jordan said. "It winds, and when you have people driving faster than they're supposed to on a crooked road, they can come up on bicyclists real quick."

A final west county project will repave Avery Drive from Chandler Park to Oklahoma 97. Jordan said that project should start in October and cost about $225,000.

This immediately caught my attention:
"Old North Road is very crooked," Jordan said. "It winds, and when you have people driving faster than they're supposed to on a crooked road, they can come up on bicyclists real quick."

So, the 'solution' is to attach a bike lane to one side of the road in order to facilitate those drivers who choose to speed? They're still going to overtake too fast. Maybe a better solution would be to spend the money on speed enforcement, you know, those people we pay to enforce the law for the safety of the general public. Also, I suspect this 'solution' will only increase the friction between cyclists and motorists. You see, the bike lane will be installed on just one side of the road. This lures cyclists into wrong way riding, and we can be certain that some area motorists will 'encourage' cyclists to use that lane regardless of their direction of travel.

You can attack a problem like this from the engineering end by making the roadway less amenable to speeding. Make it more narrow and winding. Throw in some bumps and potholes. Add those engineering features that serve to calm traffic. But putting a bike lane in so people can drive faster is simply asinine.

Or you can attack it from the law enforcement end. Isn't that one of the first complaints about cyclists - that we don't follow the law? Here's a wonderful opportunity to demand that motorists obey the law, rather than spend a big chunk of public money to enable them to go even faster.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ask Doctor Wally

Dear Dr. Crankset

There's a guy in my workgroup who has a new xPhone. He uses it to play the same idiotic YouTube video over and over for any passerby. At lunch, he's watching music videos that blare (badly) from those tinny speakers. What can I do about this tool?

Annoyed in Atoka

Dear Ann,

You're right. He's a tool. Get some good earplugs for yourself and go buy a boom box. Then play ABBA's Greatest Hits over and over again until insanity sets in. It normally takes as much as several minutes. Call security to have him carted away.

Dear Dr. Crankset,

Recently, one of the cyclists in our club purchased an xPhone which he attached to his handlebars. On training rides, he checks his email, plays music for the rest of us, and uses an application that makes the xPhone into a bike computer. He babbles on about it without pause and it's getting on my nerves. What should I do?

Peeved in Poteau

Dear Peevy,

I've been told that xPhones make lovely gift suppositories, and while your fellow club rider already has one, imagine how thrilled he'd be with another! Chances are, the other club riders would be very willing to assist in giving him that gift.

Dear Dr. Crankset,

Here's a first! My workplace uses golf carts and heavy duty bicycles for moving people and small packages. Most of the bikes are the heavy, balloon-tired newsboy style, but today someone rode down the hall on a fast, sleek road bike! By fast and sleek, I mean pedestrians had to dodge out of his way. This moron was sprinting through a hallway lined with doors that can open in an instant, allowing an unsuspecting pedestrian to step into the path of a vehicle. This was a problem with some cart drivers, so my co-workers installed 'speed bumps' - two inch thick planks that forced the vehicles to slow down. Management made them remove the planks, saying they were a 'safety hazard' for the cart drivers. Does someone have to get hit before they grow some sense?

Ticked in Tulsa

Dear Ticked,
By any chance, is that first xPhone guy one of your management people? My first thought would be to carry something liquid, like maybe a big cup of hot coffee, and accidentally dump it on the jerk when he startles you. That would be wrong, though. Instead, bring up the subject as a possible safety violation and see that your management is informed IN WRITING of the incidents. Keep copies and let them know that if a crash occurs, they have previous notification of a safety violation and they've chosen to ignore it. Plaintiff's attorneys love that.

Next time on Ask Doctor Wally: Wild vampire monkeys attack cyclists in Pennsylvania - Threat or Menace?


Monday, August 10, 2009

The aliens have landed!

Run! Run for you lives! We've been overrun by a bunch of really stoopid aliens from outer space!

Sure, you've wondered why a civilization capable of intergalactic, faster-than-light travel would cross the stellar void only to arrive here and abduct people from Arkansas. How smart could they be?

As it turns out, not very. They've given up the whole abduction and anal probe thing in favor of that truly American pursuit, cold hard cash. Maybe they're thinking that by scraping together a big pile of money, they won't have to abduct people anymore. They'll go willingly. It goes a long way toward explaining Donald Trump's appeal.

This idea struck me as I wandered around a local flea market over the weekend. I went there looking for the usual goodies: old tools, old books, old cameras, and the odd bicycle or two. The key word is old. "Valuable antique" is not in my vocabulary. I look for stuff that's usable, not pristine.

But there's been an undeniable effect from E-Bay and the Antiques Road Show. E-Bay allows the biggest idiot in the world to set prices for the rest of us. And the antiques shows give every Nimrod with a garage full of junk the idea that it's all valuable junk. Prices at the flea market were breathtakingly absurd.

I have some old tools like these Crescent wrenches. They belonged to my Dad and possibly my grandfather before him. I wouldn't dream of parting with them, but on the other hand, I wouldn't hesitate to use them either. Tools are meant to be used.

At the flea market, I saw a 10" Crescent adjustable wrench priced at seventy five dollars! That's absolutely crazy!

Kodak box cameras that would normally cost no more than ten dollars in good condition were priced at fifty.

I saw a couple of bikes, a Dahon folder and a twenty-year-old Trek. I was afraid to ask their prices because my heart can only take so much. I guess they were 'vintage' bicycles, you know, like the thirty-year-old 'vintage' Huffy on Craigslist that was suitable for use as landfill back then and hasn't really improved with age. Or what about the 'vintage' Schwinn Varsity with a rusted chain and rotted tires, priced far more than any Varsity ever sold? What's wrong with these people?

Well, first, they're aliens from outer space. They got an initial toe-hold in our economic system by taking over all the dollar stores. Don't believe me? Go take a look at the clerks in a dollar store sometime and you'll come away convinced.

Second, they're stupid, as in mind-boggling, can't-find-the-prize-in-a-Cracker-Jack-box stupid. Seventy five dollar wrenches and piles of bicycle-shaped scrap metal cannot be worth their asking prices. Yet what does it say about us, since I have to honestly report they were doing a brisk business.

We're doomed! Run! Run for your lives!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

International win for Susan day

Here's an absolutely lovely idea from David Schloss on Bike Hugger. Let's observe August 23rd as the International Win for Susan Day. Wear your LiveStrong bracelet, Fat Cyclist apparel, or simply a homemade sign. Let's try to raise more money for cancer research in Susan's memory.

This was David's idea. Thank him for it.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Summary execution for spammers

It seems I've picked up a comment spammer. He/she/it has been terminated with prejudice. I hate spammers, but I'll still leave the comments open to registered Blogger users.

It's been a hard week in many ways. I'm sitting here just dog-tired right now. I'd really like to write something funny, but the brain feels like concrete. Even two cups of coffee and some chocolate were not enough to get it moving today.

Good news. Number One Daughter has a job interview at a local hospital next week. This is something she's worked toward for some time, and she's more than a little bit chirpy about it. I can dimly remember being excited about getting my job here in Tulsa after months of looking. The excitement was tempered by the stress of relocating and driving half way across the country with a wonderful pregnant woman sitting on the seat next to me.

Ahhhhh. Number One Daughter just returned. That means I'll have to go as I'm on chauffeur duty tonight.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Susan Nelson

Susan Nelson passed away on Wednesday. She and her husband Elden allowed us into their lives in a most intimate way as she struggled with cancer. Elden's posts brought me to tears more than once.

Please keep the family in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Anti-cyclist petition in Iowa (UPDATE)

Last week I wrote a short piece about a proposed ban on cycling in Iowa. As it turns out, the state of Iowa has no legal means for citizens to introduce legislation via petitions. Only elected legislators can do that.

The full details of what I learned are on the Examiner.

(I may add to this later, but I'm pressed for time just now. She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed wants her chauffeur!)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Dr. Wally's Crank Index (update)

(Yam pointed out something I'd missed, so I added to the list. It went from 10 items to 11, and like the amplifier in Spinal Tap, that means it's one better!)

Dr. Walter Crankset of the University of Northeastern Oklahoma extension campus at Broken Elbow, has developed a quick indexing system to quantify the ignorance and anti-cycling bigotry found in so many letters to the editor. He named it the "Crank Index." He quickly pointed out that despite the similarity to his own name, he did not name the index after himself. "No," he said, "this is more accurately used to describe the crank factor in the letter writer's post. Obviously, higher is crankier."

(1)Bicyclists need tags, licenses, and insurance. There's a reason motor vehicle operators need these, and that's due to the enormous damage they can do to people and property. Licensing supposes that all operators have a minimal understanding of the law and can pass a test proving they can safely control an automobile. If cyclists caused similar levels of damage, public outcry would demand they be tagged, licensed, and insured also. Riding a bicycle does not absolve the cyclist of responsibility for any damages he causes.

(2) All bicyclists are scofflaws. They run red lights and stop signs all the time! No one comes to a complete stop at stop signs unless there's cross traffic in the intersection. They're treated as defacto yields. While it's true that some cyclists will run a red light, there's undoubtedly a greater danger posed by motorists who do so, trying to rush through an intersection while the light is still yellow.

(3) Public roads are for the use of all, and it's clear that bicyclists have an equal right to that public space. But they shouldn't ride on busy roads when there are other, less traveled roads and parks nearby. Cyclists have to reach their destinations, just as motorists do, so it's nonsensical to insist they cannot ride in proximity to other traffic.

(4) Bicyclists don't pay taxes. Roads funding comes from the general fund and everyone pays into that. There isn't a piggy bank somewhere collecting your tag, title, and gas taxes. Our roads are largely paid for via income tax, sales tax, and real estate taxes. Riding a bicycle does not absolve anyone of paying these taxes. If it did, the roads would be clogged with bikes.

(5) They impede traffic. If a given roadway has a minimum speed limit and a cyclist cannot meet or exceed that limit, he is impeding traffic. If there's no minimum speed, he is not impeding. The law (in Oklahoma) states that when a motor vehicle is moving at less than the speed of surrounding traffic, he is impeding. Bicycles are not motor vehicles in Oklahoma. They are legally devices propelled by human power.

(6) They should ride on the sidewalks. Most bicycling law forbids bicycle travel on sidewalks in business districts, and some municipalities forbid it entirely for adult cyclists. Regardless, riding on a sidewalk offers about three times the risk of collision as compared to riding in the adjacent street. If traveling on a sidewalk offers greater safety, maybe motorists should drive there.

(7) They should stay on the trails. These are very popular amenities, yet they serve little useful purpose unless they connect with popular destinations. There's no trail connecting my house with my work or the local grocery. Roads do that.

(8) Motor vehicles must slow down to avoid cyclists, risking a rear-end collision. Pardon me if I'm a little perplexed at this one. Speeding is a factor is about 13,000 deaths on our roads every year, yet you're complaining about having to slow down? Owning a car does not confer a Divine Right to Speed, yet many drivers seem to believe that anything that causes them to let up on the gas pedal is sinful, anti-social, and possibly illegal.

(9) Bicycle travel is dangerous. You may be right, but you'll be dead right. More people die from falls in bathtubs compared to deaths while bicycling. Perhaps we should outlaw bathtubs in order to save lives.

(10) They just don't have any 'common sense.' This one is lovely because it implies that anyone riding a bicycle in traffic is somehow deficient in common sense. Such feeble minded people have to be removed from our roadways for their own safety since they cannot recognize the dangers inherent in riding on the road. To which I say - bunk! Road cyclists are more aware than their motoring counterparts, and those who commute regularly in traffic have some of the lowest crash rates.

(11) They wear funny clothes that make them look gay. The basic cycling clothes haven't changed for decades. Like most sports apparel, function is more important than style, so bicycling clothing is meant to keep the rider comfortable over many miles and many hours in the saddle. And judging someone's sexual orientation by their clothing is about as reliable as determining their politics. "You know, that shirt make you look, um, Republican."

Dr. Crankset developed this for the use of all cyclists, and urged that results be kept in a common format, i.e., if 6 out of 11 statements appear in a given letter, the score would be 6/11.