Fat Lad's 2nd biking topic:
We don't need
no stinckin' bike lanes
Fat Lad's weekly cattle prod question:
Are dedicated bike lanes protecting you from cagers or treating cyclists as 2nd class road users?My answer, based on three folks way smarter than me, is that bike lanes don't ghettoize nor protect bikers. First, Russell Kirk, the intellectual icon of American Neo-Cons, once referred to cars as mechanical jacobins. By referring to the extremists of the French Revolution, I believe he was saying that cars have utterly and violently transformed the way we experience each other and the world. Perhaps he was the one who inspired the Hells Angels to coin the phrase cagers for drivers imprisoned in their rides? What does this have to do with bike lanes? They are merely one of many tools the velotariat is using to utterly and PEACEFULLY transform the way we experience each other and the world. Rather than ghettoizing us from the world, they are inserting us into it.
Second, Groucho Marx, the consummate icon of outsiders, famously stated I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member. Now, consider that cagers are a Kar kultur club that you would never want to join. In fact, you're dedicated to utterly destroying it. Have you ever seen the words Two Wheels Good, Four Wheels Bad emblazoned on the back of a Critical Mass t-shirt? Such an attitude isn't likely to endear you to the hearts of the four-wheelers. In fact, it's bound to make most downright hostile, particularly when they're being corked during the Friday evening rush-hour.
This hostility means, on the one hand, that bike lanes won't necessarily protect you. On the other hand? Bike lanes aren't really meant to protect you. They're meant to stick the velotariat right up in the cagers' faces. If we're really serious about breaking the kar kultur club, the we have to accept the risks that come with it. So finally, as my father used to say,
You can't have your cake
and eat it too.