[Nothing on this blog should be confused for legal advice. I am not a lawyer, public official, or officer of the law. You, the reader, are liable for your own behavior and knowledge.]

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First Post

Why this blog?

First of all, it will not be a place to bash motorists. (It certainly won't be a place to vent about cyclists.) Instead, I hope this blog becomes a place primarily where motorists can learn from cyclists and vice versa, a place of open and civil dialogue. I got the idea to start this after posting a "friendly reminder" on Facebook for motorists not to honk at cyclists. (I'll cover this in a future post.) I was surprised when several friends were confused by this. "Really? Is that bad?" While virtually all cyclists are also motorists, most motorists are not cyclists. All motorists will eventually encounter cyclists, though. We need a venue to educate each other and to share concerns. This blog is, I hope, a step toward that.

To begin, let's put things in context. Think about what cyclists are doing. There are four reasons that most cyclists ride: transportation, recreation, fitness, and competition. Each is completely and independently justified in and of itself. Cycling offers at least three major social benefits. First, bikes are one of the few true zero-emission vehicles. They reduce greenhouse gasses and other kinds of air pollution. Unlike the internal-combustion engine, bikes don't emit carbon dioxide, and unlike the new electric cars, bikes don't rely on an electric grid that is powered predominantly by carbon dioxide-spewing coal. Second, cycling reduces the chances that people will become a burden on the already strained healthcare system. Active people, on average, are healthier people. Third, the presence of cyclists on the road makes motorists safer. It sounds counter-intuitive, but the more cyclists that are around, the more aware and cautious drivers are forced to be; we can't simply put it on autopilot.

There you have it. Happy riding! Happy reading!

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