David Bowie

David Bowie

Music is good. I’m not into it the way some people seem to be. So I declined from sharing my David Bowie story in the days after his death.

My most memorable David Bowie moment had nothing to do with music.

My step dad is a huge David Bowie fan.

I was about 8 or 9 years old.

It was a typical boring Sunday in our house. Nothing going on outside. Nothing on inside except a movie that my step dad was watching. I couldn’t make sense of the film. At first I thought it was an army movie. I liked those. But then it seemed to focus on this guy and elevate him to godlike status. I felt repelled by this glorification of one lone individual. I’ve always been repelled by hero worship.
As I’m watching the film, I’m trying to decide if I’m going to sit through the whole thing or put on my roller skates and go outside.
The scene shows a man laying in a bed. He has a bandage over his forehead. A man is near him and a woman stands over him. The camera zooms in on his face.
I see what looks like a red flash in one eye and get up close to the TV. The scene cuts to the woman. Boring. So I sit back. Then it shows the man laying in bed and there’s a brief showing of his face.
Excited, I tell my step dad “Hey! That guy has one big pupil and one little pupil.”
My step dad looks at me like I’m all kinds of stupid. “What do you mean one big pupil and one little pupil? He’d be dead if he had that.” Then my step dad launches into an explanation about how David Bowie has one brown eye and one blue eye. He explains that it’s a genetic trait.
I know I’m right. I just don’t know how to explain that I’m right.
I insist that if he were to look closely he would see some blue at the bottom of the colored part of the eye. “It’s his pupil that makes his eye look dark,” I explained.
My step dad told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and that I shouldn’t try to think so much on my own. Other people knew better and I should listen to them.

Only, I was right and he was wrong.

The memory of that stuck with me. I’d like to think that David Bowie is the type of person who would tell my step dad to shut his pie hole and thank me for being astute.

I’ll never understand why people who are wrong refuse to learn. Why they are content to stagnate in their ignorance. What motivates such people to stay stuck on stupid and tear other people down in the process?

I lost all interest in the movie after that.

The distaste that my step dad left with me wasn’t for David Bowie. Though it did set an unpleasant memory in my mind, which I would recall, every time I saw a David Bowie music video.

So after many years down the road. I came across an article discussing David Bowie’s eye condition and how he came to have it. I learned that I was right and my step dad was wrong.
I also learned that some people will blow a lot of smoke and make a lot of bluster when they think they’re right. I also learned that some people can make a lie sound very convincing and use unrelated facts to bolster their belief in their correctness.

I learned not to doubt myself.

An environment of learning is something I’ve always cultivated. If I’m wrong, I want to know why. How did I come to this conclusion erroneously? I’m not doubting you. I’m learning.

Bicycles

David Bowie has not been, to my knowledge, a bicycle person. So the story about my step dad, me, and a David Bowie film have nothing to do with bikes.

But there is a correlation and that correlation has to do with education.

There have been a lot of people over the years telling cyclists to hug the edge of a road for safety. Or that to be in keeping with the law we have to ride hugging the edge.

We don’t have to hug the edge. The law doesn’t require it.
We don’t have to hug the edge. It isn’t safe.
I will continue to explain why I’m right and they are wrong. I won’t always convince you with my limited explanations, but time will tell that I’m right and one day I will have a broader range of evidence to be able to explain it to you in a way that you will understand.

Until then put on your red shoes and ride a bicycle.

 

 

The day after I was killed

The day after I was killed.

I placed a linen napkin next to each plate and carefully filled the glasses with juice. I brought in the newspaper and spread butter over the toast.

I watched, my heart aching, as our youngest child clung to my wife, crying inconsolably any time she was set down. Her sobbing hiccups and wavering voice asking “where’s daddy?”

I felt my heart swell with love as my son sat on the front porch. Tightly gripping my old baseball glove, leaving crescent moons in the leather.

The day after I was killed.

I walked down a familiar sidewalk and kicked a few pebbles. Watching as they bounced over the gutter and onto pavement stained red with my blood.

I wandered over to our local pub and sat with my friends as they held a vigil. Their eyes wandering from their full glasses to the television, where my face was prominently displayed. The newscaster looked grave as he reported my death.

I watched silently as my best friend hung up his bicycle and vowed never to ride again.

One week before I was killed.

A woman walked out of the local police station. Tears of frustration in her eyes. Her attempts to report a dangerous driver unheeded by police. The officer stared dispassionately as she described the driver and their actions which killed me. Firmly the officer turned her away, saying “since you weren’t hit, there is nothing we can do. No laws were broken.”

One week before I was killed.

A stranger tried to save my life.

 

Extremist thinking is hurting cycling

189.300 Vehicles to keep to right.
(1) The operator of any vehicle when upon a highway shall travel upon the right side of the highway whenever possible, and unless the left side of the highway is clear of all other traffic or obstructions for a sufficient distance ahead to permit the overtaking and passing of another vehicle to be completed without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle being overtaken. The overtaking vehicle shall return to the proper traffic lane as soon as practicable and, if the passing vehicle enters the oncoming traffic lane, before coming within two hundred (200) feet of any approaching vehicle.
(2) The operator of any vehicle moving slowly upon a highway shall keep his vehicle as closely as practicable to the right-hand boundary of the highway, allowing more swiftly moving vehicles reasonably free passage to the left.

I present to you exhibit A

A more misunderstood statute, I have never seen.

Depending on which extremist camp you are in or have a foot in. And you do have a foot in it; even if you think you don’t.

There are definitions to KRS 189. The purpose of the definitions; to clarify any word or phrase which is misunderstood. Let’s see how far we can understand the statute without having to refer to the definitions.

Let’s start with the title.

Vehicles to keep right:

  • Vehicle; This is any legally defined mode of travel which is not pedestrian. A train is a vehicle, a horse and buggy are a vehicle, a bicycle is a vehicle, a motorcycle is a vehicle, a car is a vehicle, a truck is a vehicle.

We need to take note that it specifically does not mention “motor”. This means that the statute applies to all vehicle types. Motorized or not.

  • Keep Right; We drive on the right hand side of the road. Some countries, such as England, drive on the left side of the road. They have a “Keep Left” law. Ours is keep right. Propel your vehicle, but do so on the right side of the road.

This is the beginning of the statute and should help us understand the body.

Now we move on to the body.

189.300 Vehicles to keep to right.
(1) The operator of any vehicle when upon a highway shall travel upon the right side of the highway whenever possible,

  • The operator, this means you, of any vehicle. Do you see it? No matter your vehicle type, if you are the operator of a vehicle, you as the operator are incumbent to keep your vehicle on the right side of the highway.
  • Whenever possible.

Whenever possible? You mean that I don’t always have to operate on the right side of the highway?

You are required to operate your vehicle on the right side of the highway. Allowing for the ever changing dynamics of said highway you are only required to keep right when it is possible.

Why possible and not practicable?

  • What is PRACTICABLE?

    Able to be done or put into practice successfully:
    Any idea or project which can be brought to fruition or reality without any unreasonable demands.

  • What is POSSIBLE?

    Able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or something:
    Capable of existing or happening ; feasible.

Definitions via Black’s Law Dictionary and Oxford Dictionary.

Practicable isn’t always possible depending on how the word is used. Possible has a higher demand on the operator then practicable.

The statute requires you to always operate on the right whenever possible.

By using “possible” they have created uniformity with the other statutes. It isn’t always practicable to operate on the right; like when there is a vehicle moving slower than you would like to go. But it is always possible to operate on the right. You can slow down and stay behind the vehicle until it is possible to change lanes and pass.

189.300 Vehicles to keep to right.
(1) The operator of any vehicle when upon a highway shall travel upon the right side of the highway whenever possible, and unless the left side of the highway is clear of all other traffic or obstructions for a sufficient distance ahead to permit the overtaking and passing of another vehicle to be completed without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle being overtaken.

  • Unless the left side of the highway is clear of all other traffic or obstructions.
    Simply stated, you can not overtake, pass, another vehicle if there is traffic or obstructions on the left side of the highway.
    You are required to pass on the LEFT. This includes lanes as we will read further down the statute. i.e. Left Lane.
  • For a sufficient distance ahead.
    Sufficient distance is defined as 200 feet further down in the statute.
  • To permit the overtaking and passing of another vehicle.
    This is where you are legally allowed to overtake, pass, another vehicle. This is the exception to the rule. You may legally drive on the left for the purpose of overtaking or moving around an obstruction.

Obstruction: A thing that impedes or prevents passage or progress; an obstacle or blockage:the tractor hit an obstruction.

An obstruction is a stationary object. The word can not be used to mean bicycle. It can be used to mean a parked or stationary object; such as a car. A row of parked cars are an obstruction. A moving bicycle is not. See also KRS 189.390 (7) Impeding. 

  • To be completed without interfering.
    You have to be able to complete the maneuver without interfering. If you interfere with anything that is in front of or to the left of the highway then you have to keep right.
  • With the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle being overtaken.
    You can’t interfere with the operation of any vehicle approaching and you also can not interfere with any vehicle being overtaken. See also KRS 189.34o (8)  Interfering.

189.300 Vehicles to keep to right.
(1) The operator of any vehicle when upon a highway shall travel upon the right side of the highway whenever possible, and unless the left side of the highway is clear of all other traffic or obstructions for a sufficient distance ahead to permit the overtaking and passing of another vehicle to be completed without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle being overtaken. The overtaking vehicle shall return to the proper traffic lane as soon as practicable and, if the passing vehicle enters the oncoming traffic lane, before coming within two hundred (200) feet of any approaching vehicle.

  • The overtaking vehicle.
    This is the person operating the vehicle, which is operating on the left side of the highway. You are in the act of overtaking.
  • Shall return to the proper traffic lane. (1)
    You have to go back to operating on the right. Remember this is a keep right statute or law. You are required to continue operating on the right.

    What is SHALL?
    As used in statutes and similar instruments, this word is generally imperative or mandatory; but it may be construed as merely permissive or directory, (as equivalent to “may,”) to carry out the legislative intention and In cases where no right or benefit to any one depends on its being taken in the imperative sense, and where no public or private right is impaired by its interpretation in the other sense. Also, as against the government, “shall” is to be construed as “may,” unless a contrary intention is manifest. See Wheeler v. Chicago, 24 111. 105, 76 Am. Dec. 736; People v. Chicago Sanitary Dist., 184 111. 597, 56 N. E. 9.”.:;: Madison v. Daley (C. C.) 58 Fed. 753; Cairo & F. R. Co. v. Ilecht, 95 U. S. 170, 24 L. Ed. 423. SHAM PLEA. See PLEA. SHARE 1082 SHERIFF Via Black’s Law Dictionary

Shall as explained in Black’s Law Dictionary can mean the more permissive “MAY” unless there is an impairment of public right. And in the case of KRS 189.300 you “SHALL” return to the right because if you don’t, you are impairing the “RIGHTS” of oncoming traffic.

  • Shall return to the proper traffic lane. (2)
    Notice the word “LANE”? A highway is made up of lanes. These lanes are defined in the definitions. So in this case we are going to take a peek at our definitions for the chapter.

Definitions for KRS Chapter 189

Highway vs Roadway

(3) “Highway” means any public road, street, avenue, alley or boulevard, bridge, viaduct, or trestle and the approaches to them and includes private residential roads and parking lots covered by an agreement under KRS 61.362, off-street parking facilities offered for public use, whether publicly or privately owned, except for-hire parking facilities listed in KRS 189.700.

(10) “Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder. If a highway includes two
(2) or more separate roadways, the term “roadway” as used herein shall refer to any roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively.

In the definitions for the chapter the word Highway is used to collectively refer to all roadway types. It could be an avenue. It could be a boulevard. It could be an alley. It could be a bridge. This is a general word and it is used in this statute not to discriminate against vehicles but to INCLUDE all roadway types.

KRS 189.300 means that no matter the type of roadway, you are required to keep right.

  • Roadway:
    a road or the part of a road used by vehicles.
  • Highway:
    (especially North American English) a main road for travelling long distances, especially one connecting and going through cities and towns
  • Lane:
    a section of a wide road, that is marked by painted white lines, to keep lines of traffic separate.

Whether it is a Highway or a Roadway you are required to keep right.
But in a LANE you shall occupy as much of that lane as possible. See KRS 189.340 (6) (a) Lanes.

This is a statute for drivers. This is not a statute for engineers. KRS has different chapters and definitions for engineering highways. This chapter is for everyone who drives. We can not apply engineering terms to the legal definition of how to operate a vehicle on the road. We are all drivers but we are not all engineers.

In this example the word lane is synonymous with roadway. See also; Lane Synonyms.

So this keep right statute also applies to laned highways but does it apply to lanes? We will explore this further down.

  • As soon as practicable. 
    There is the word practicable. We already showed that this word is not as imperative as the word possible. You can possibly return to the right, shoving the vehicle being overtaken further to the right, or forcing them to hit their brakes. But that wouldn’t be practicable. So once you have overtaken  the vehicle and it is safe for you to move back to the right, then you move back to the right. Remember you can not interfere with the operation of the vehicle being overtaken.
  • And, if the passing vehicle enters the oncoming traffic lane, before coming within two hundred (200) feet of any approaching vehicle.
    200 hundred feet is a lot of room. But it can be deceptive when you have a vehicle coming towards you at the speed limit. So if you can see a vehicle approaching you be very cautious when overtaking.

Now! Are we in the proper frame of mind?

I sure hope so.

We have thus far concluded that this statue is for the purpose of defining our state as a uniform whole of the United States. In the United States we drive on the right.

We also do not interfere with any traffic on the left, nor with any traffic we are overtaking.

We are required to operate on the right but it isn’t always mandatory under certain exclusions. And as long as all of those exclusions are met, we can safely operate on the left but only for a brief amount of time.

We have also obtained a firm grasp of “Practicable” as used in the statute.

Extremist thinking is hurting cycling.

Before we proceed to the next paragraph of this statute, let’s revisit the title of this blog.

Extremist thinking. It is hurting cycling.

Camp A:

An extremist will tell you that it isn’t safe to operate in a lane. They will tell you that you have to operate on the shoulder. They will point to this law as proof.

Camp B:

An extremist will tell you that this law is designed to keep cyclists far right. They will tell you that this law mandates you to operate on the shoulder. They will point to this law as proof.

But what does the statute actually say?

Let’s proceed to the hotly contested “Keep Far Right Law.”

189.300 Vehicles to keep to right.
(1) The operator of any vehicle when upon a highway shall travel upon the right side of the highway whenever possible, and unless the left side of the highway is clear of all other traffic or obstructions for a sufficient distance ahead to permit the overtaking and passing of another vehicle to be completed without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle being overtaken. The overtaking vehicle shall return to the proper traffic lane as soon as practicable and, if the passing vehicle enters the oncoming traffic lane, before coming within two hundred (200) feet of any approaching vehicle.
(2) The operator of any vehicle moving slowly upon a highway

  • The operator of any vehicle.
    The operator is the person in control of the vehicle. Any vehicle means “ANY VEHICLE.” That’s right, this law applies to all vehicles equally.
  • Moving slowly.
    This is a subjective term. In KRS 189.390 (7) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at a speed that will impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
    A vehicle which is capable of operating at its top speed but at a speed which is less than the speed limit is not impeding. If it is a motor vehicle operating at less than its capable speed but under the speed limit it still isn’t impeding, if other conditions come into play, such as road conditions. i.e. inclement weather, other traffic upon the highway, approaching a hill, and any other variable.
  • Upon a highway.
    This means any road type. The use of the word highway in this statute is to include all the variable road types. It is not used to include the shoulder.

189.300 Vehicles to keep to right.
(1) The operator of any vehicle when upon a highway shall travel upon the right side of the highway whenever possible, and unless the left side of the highway is clear of all other traffic or obstructions for a sufficient distance ahead to permit the overtaking and passing of another vehicle to be completed without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle being overtaken. The overtaking vehicle shall return to the proper traffic lane as soon as practicable and, if the passing vehicle enters the oncoming traffic lane, before coming within two hundred (200) feet of any approaching vehicle.
(2) The operator of any vehicle moving slowly upon a highway shall keep his vehicle as closely as practicable to the right-hand boundary of the highway

  • Shall keep his vehicle as closely as practicable.
    Do you recall Black’s Law Dictionary legal definition for “Shall” Do you recall that the word can be used synonymously with the permissive “May” as long as no one’s rights are being impaired? When you read the statute, does it say anywhere that it is your right to operate on the left? No. Does it say anywhere that it is your right to pass traffic moving slower than you? No.

    Passing is not a right.

    So it can be inferred that that the use of the word “shall” in this instance is synonymous with the more permissive “May.”

    We can also further verify that this is indeed the correct definition when we see also that the word “Practicable” is used in the same sentence. It isn’t always practicable to be far right.

  • To the right-hand boundary of the highway.
    This statute applies equally to all vehicle types. When we read KRS 189.340 we see that driving off the roadway is illegal and this statute applies to all vehicles. So we have to figure out what the boundary of the highway is, as it applies to this chapter. So we go back to the definitions.
    KRS 189.010 (10) “Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder.
    So we drive as close to the right as practicable but we do not operate on the berm or shoulder.

189.300 Vehicles to keep to right.
(1) The operator of any vehicle when upon a highway shall travel upon the right side of the highway whenever possible, and unless the left side of the highway is clear of all other traffic or obstructions for a sufficient distance ahead to permit the overtaking and passing of another vehicle to be completed without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle being overtaken. The overtaking vehicle shall return to the proper traffic lane as soon as practicable and, if the passing vehicle enters the oncoming traffic lane, before coming within two hundred (200) feet of any approaching vehicle.
(2) The operator of any vehicle moving slowly upon a highway shall keep his vehicle as closely as practicable to the right-hand boundary of the highway, allowing more swiftly moving vehicles reasonably free passage to the left.

  • Allowing more swiftly moving vehicles reasonably free passage to the left.
    And that’s it folks. We are only required to operate as far right as is safe and which allows more swiftly moving vehicles reasonably free passage to the left.

    It only has to be reasonable because each vehicle is going to be a different type. What may be reasonable for a 3 ton wide load tractor trailer isn’t going to be reasonable for a twenty pound bicycle.
    The statute applies to all vehicle types on all types of roads. It is intended to advise people on the basic principles of our highways, the safe use of our highways, and the courteous use of our highways.

    This section of the statute does not mention lanes. The reason it does not mention lanes is because this portion of the statute does not apply to lanes. If there is a lane of traffic per KRS 189.340 (6) (a) that vehicle “SHALL” occupy as much of the lane as “Possible.” And in the use of both the words “shall” and “possible” and with the understanding that by not being fully in a lane interferes with the rights of other road users, this statute is imperative.

As a cyclist, as any road user, you are required to occupy a lane of travel and this statute has nothing to do with driving on the shoulder. It is only because of a lack of education on this subject that we have fools in both camps. Worse, we have fools on the public roads, police stations, and courtrooms.

The idea, that this law requires a cyclist to operate on the right third of a lane of travel,needs to be burned with fire!

It doesn’t even apply to two lane highways. As can be seen in KRS 189.310 

189.310 Vehicles meeting other vehicles and animals. (1) Two (2) vehicles passing or about to pass each other in opposite directions shall have the right-of-way, and no other vehicle to the rear of those two (2) vehicles shall pass or attempt to pass either of those vehicles.
(2) Vehicles proceeding from opposite directions shall pass each other from the right, each giving to the other one-half (1/2) of the highway as nearly as possible.
(3) Every person operating a vehicle on a highway and approaching any animal being ridden or driven, shall exercise every reasonable precaution to prevent frightening the animal and to insure the safety of the person riding or driving it.

Get educated!

As a cyclist you should be educated on all the rules of the road. As a cyclist you should be educated on all the safe operations of movement on the road.

You have the right to be safe. Use it. Exercise your right.

images (9)
This is where cyclists keep as far right as practicable. This is what it looks like. Memorize it. Use it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All those pesky details.

I have cancer.

My health care was interrupted by Nicholasville Police Department and their ticketing campaign against me.

I was a cyclist fighting for her rights.

But I wasn’t fighting for the rights of cycling.

I was fighting for the right to keep my job, my home, my health insurance.

I was fighting for my kids.

My posts on bicycle safety was a response to the backlash.

I wasn’t doing anything illegal and I was cycling safely.

So why should I have to defend my right to commute to work by bicycle?

I think it is because cycling advocates have pushed so hard and for so long to make cycling appear scary and dangerous without special infrastructure or equipment.

We need laws to keep us safe!

We need bike lanes to keep us safe!

We need all these shiny things so we’ll be safe!

And you still get killed and I’m still alive.

Even with my healthcare interrupted.

The year my story hit the news was the year my doctor told me my cancer was in remission but that I still had to come in for regular check up’s.

I remember putting the lab results on the fridge with a magnet. Right next to the ticket I’d received for “Careless Driving,” because I rode a bicycle in the travel lane.

I haven’t been able to go in for regular check up’s since everything happened.

I, like any other good mother, put my kids needs before my own. I put all my energy into keeping my commute and my job. Then I started getting death threats.

People were intentionally driving their cars at me. People were laughing about what “bad drivers” their spouse is and how he commutes on that road every day. “It’s just a matter of time. Ha ha.”

 

It really is just a matter of time if I can’t go in for a check up.

The reporter who first broke my story nixed the idea of mentioning cancer. I have no idea why. Maybe it humanized me too much? Maybe it didn’t make for a neatly packaged story? Who knows?

I doubt it would have mattered anyways. Arrogant motorists and their thugs a.k.a Nicholasville Police Department didn’t want me on their roads. Period.

Nobody should have to struggle in the aftermath of a full on assault of their civil rights.

But I am.

I hate car culture. It destroys lives in more ways than one.

 

 

 

Victim blaming is rape culture and why we need to stop!

A cyclist was killed in Ohio.

Officials reported that Prater was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

“Preliminary information suggests that he was doing everything correct,” Drifmeyer said. Via Cincinnati.com

Humor me as I give this a creative rewrite.

A woman was killed in Ohio.

Officials reported that Prater was wearing a turtleneck at the time of the attack.

“Preliminary information suggest that she was doing everything correct,” Drifmeyer said.

When a person is killed by the intentional acts of another person, why do people feel they need to defend the actions of the victim; if the said victim is a person riding a bicycle?

Typically, when the media reports whether or not a person was or was not wearing some safety device i.e. high vis. clothing and/or helmet, it is because there is some type of legislation specifying its use or someone is trying to push legislation pushing its use.

When I lived in California, every news article and t.v. spot always mentioned whether or not the person was wearing a seat belt. They most frequently reported on those collisions in which someone was injured or killed and NOT wearing a seat belt.

There is ample scientific proof that wearing a seatbelt in a motor vehicle collision provides the user protection.

The same can not be said for the bicycle helmet.

Let me repeat that, in case you missed it.

There is ample scientific proof that wearing a seatbelt in a motor vehicle collision provides the user protectionPhysics; Georgia State University

The same can not be said for the bicycle helmet. I couldn’t find a corresponding link to a science based article so here’s a Google search instead.

The cyclist was wearing a helmet.

He was wearing a helmet and he still died.

He may not have suffered any head injury due to wearing the helmet. Or he may have suffered severe head injury in spite of the helmet. The evidence isn’t presented in the media.

Stop legislating mandatory bicycle helmet use and stop making a point by reporting the use or nonuse of a bicycle helmet by the victim.

A bicycle helmet is no more protection to a cyclist against a 2 ton motorized weapon than a turtleneck is to a woman being attacked.

They are both the victims of an intentional act by an outside force.

The police suspect drugs were involved.

The use or nonuse of drugs, alcohol, cellphone, discipline of screaming kids in back seat, and the ever faithful “sun was in my eyes,” excuses are just that; excuses.

A person who uses alcohol or drugs and then gets behind the wheel is committing an intentional act.

A person using a cellphone while driving is committing an intentional act.

A person disciplining screaming kids in the back seat while operating a 2 ton motorized weapon is committing an intentional act.

A person who can not see the road ahead of them, yet continues to operate their 2 tons of motorized weaponry is committing an intentional act.

When you choose to do something behind the wheel, you are making a decision which places the lives of those around you and the lives of those in the vehicle, including your own, at risk. You are committing an intentional act.

I know people who treat their bicycle as the legally defined vehicle it is and still get treated with scathing disrespect by people who operate their legally defined MOTOR vehicle as though it were a toy.

Your motor vehicle is not a toy. No matter what the auto commercials may show  you.

The road is not where you express your “spirit for adventure!”

The police suspect drugs were involved.

A sober person rapes another person.

A drugged up person rapes another person.

A sober person kills another person.

A drugged up person kills another person.

The use or nonuse of drugs isn’t a defence and it isn’t an admission of culpability.

THE ACT OF KILLING IS WHERE IT’S AT!

As a society we make too many excuses for wrong behavior based on the thought that “It could have been me.” It could have been me except “I don’t do drugs,” so my conscience is clear and I’ll keep driving distracted because that’s not nearly as serious as doing drugs.

Except that it is.
See; Top Ten Dangerous Driving Habits, I bet you’ve done at least five of them if not all of them.

By “suspecting drugs,” we are giving a clean slate for others to kill.

The whole “it couldn’t possibly happen to me” syndrome. Except that it does.

A cyclist was riding on the edge of the road and a woman driving an SUV killed him. He was wearing a helmet and she thought she was giving him enough passing clearance. Her side view mirror struck the helmeted cyclists head at 55 mph and killed him. She was not drunk or on drugs. The sun was not in her eyes. Via. Biking in L.A.

She saw the cyclist and still killed him. She killed him because she did one thing wrong.

She did NOT treat him as the operator of a vehicle and instead of changing lanes to pass, like she would any other vehicle (including a motorcycle), she instead chose to pass him with minimal clearance.

This was an intentional act on her part.

This article also states that the driver was 77 years old.

Aging drivers are less able to judge distance. They also have poor motor coordination and it is the intentional act of the auto industry to promote their product in such a way that they have intentionally killed public transport.

By now you may have noticed a theme.

Driving is an intentional act. There are no excuses for killing someone when you are behind the wheel.

If you don’t need to drive, then don’t do it.

If you do need to drive, then do it with the thought “Today, would be the day I kill someone if I don’t put away these distractions and focus solely on driving.”

There are a lot of distracted drivers out there.

Distracted driving is ultimately the excuse given by the driver.

She claimed that she was distracted by unruly kids in the back seat. It was after the fact that they found evidence of drug paraphernalia in her purse. We won’t know for sure if she was high at the time, until lab work comes back. And if it is found that she was not under the influence at the time, THAT SHOULD NOT BE AN EXCUSE FOR GOING EASY ON HER. SHE KILLED SOMEONE!

Defending his honor!

We shouldn’t feel the need to defend the victims honor. We can honor the victim but elevating them to godlike status isn’t doing anyone any favors.

It is enough that they are a human being who lost their life.

The counter effect to defending the honor of those killed by people driving auto’s is this; Anyone who is less than perfect, and you know that none of us are perfect, implies that they are somehow to blame in their own death.

Neither does it matter that the cyclist killed is in fact a father, husband, and all around swell guy. He could be a bachelor who’s a real prick and his death would be every bit as important.

But if you paint them as being somehow unsavory then the attitude of people will be less likely to support the victim.

That is where the problem is.

Facts are the only thing that should matter. The content of their character doesn’t matter; when someone intentionally operates an auto in such a way that they kill someone, who they are as a person doesn’t matter.

The driver could have been Mother Teresa; sorry bad example. The driver could have been Doris Day and she should still be charged with a felony manslaughter. Her only saving grace would be if she could prove that she did everything possible to avoid the collision. In which case she too would be riding a bicycle, walking, or taking public transit.

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It is possible to take the kids along in a bicycle version of an SUV. 

This death should never have happened. Because she should never have gotten behind the wheel if she was in fact found to be under the influence at the time of the collision. She should never have taken her eyes off the road, not even for unruly kids.

How to drive with unruly kids.

  1. Don’t have kids.
  2. Don’t drive with kids if you do have them.
  3.  If you do have kids and you do intentionally choose to drive with them educate them on how serious driving is and why they have to behave.
  4.  If you have educated them and they still choose to behave like typical kids, then you keep your temper, you keep your eyes on the road, you scan the edge of the road for a safe place to pull over, you pull over, and then you discipline the kids.

Only after the interior of the car is completely calm do you then resume operations.

You don’t belong!

Why elevating the victim to sainthood hurts other road users.

“She sounds like someone we can support, unlike those other yahoo’s.” Andy Clarke

I’m sitting in court and my cycling advocate friend is sitting next to me. He is looking at his phone and he shows me an email he just received from Andy Clarke (Former President of League of American Bicyclists). He shows me the email. This is his attempt to show me that this backwater town isn’t going to ride rough shod over a cyclist. We have the support of Andy Clarke “big man honcho” with LAB.

My immediate thought was “those other yahoo’s?” and I asked my friend about what he meant by that. My friend brushed my concern aside by saying “You know wrong way cyclists, people who lost their license for driving drunk.” Those other people. Yahoo’s. He went on to say “but they aren’t like you Cherokee, you are cycling correctly and for the right reasons.”

Classifying people as “other” creates a distance between us and them. It creates an US vs. THEM. They are “those” people but we are “these” people. “Those” people do it wrong but “these” people do it right.

You have to cycle correctly and for the right reasons?

Because, if you don’t then you could be held liable in your own death?

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Not according to already established case law. 

That’s right! If you are driving a motor vehicle and you injure someone else then you should be presumed at fault.

But this would discourage driving so auto companies have paid to influence our perspective.

Watch the news. Count the car commercials. Notice any collisions reported where the injured person is not in an auto.

I did.

Here’s what I found.

Roughly 80% of the placed ads were for auto’s. 100% of the ads implied that driving is exhilarating, for freedom lovers, and that public roads are personal playgrounds.

Of the injuries reported the vulnerable road user was painted as somehow at fault.

Except that legally they are not.

Except that since “Deputy v kimmell” there has been a push for laws to make it legal to find fault with vulnerable road users.

Imagine if we did the same thing for rapists? Or people who kill other people with guns?

Imagine a world where it is normal to assume the woman was somehow at fault in her own rape based on her clothes or lack thereof. We don’t really have to imagine because we do live in a world where such judgments exist.

But imagine if they passed legislation placing the woman at fault if she wasn’t wearing a turtleneck at the time of her attack.

Or imagine; they passed legislation placing fault of a mass shooting on the children killed because they were in school instead of adjacent to the school.

Such thoughts should be highly offensive to you.

but this is exactly what we are doing when we blame people for being assaulted by someone with a motor vehicle.

Why I take the lane.

I take the lane because it reduces risk. I’m a survivalist. I’ve put aside all the urban myths and studied the facts.

I found that wearing a helmet to protect you from car collisions is a myth. Or to reduce the severity of injury in a car collision, also a myth. (I would however wear a helmet to protect me from head injury if I were say; Mountain Biking or Group Riding.)

I found that cycling on the shoulder isn’t safer than taking the lane.

I stopped wearing a helmet because the social response from people driving cars was “Omigosh! She’s so vulnerable without a helmet!” and they give me more space by default.

I stopped cycling on the shoulder because I found that when I’m in the lane people notice me. When I’m in the lane and people don’t notice me, this has happened, they have space to the right to ditch out on.

Anyone who would blame me for being in the lane is victim blaming. Review the graphic on Deputy v Kimmell. Anyone blaming the cyclist for being killed while on the shoulder is victim blaming.

THAT SHIT HAS TO STOP AND IT HAS TO STOP NOW! 

If you would like to donate to the family’s GoFundMe account you can do so here.