An appeal to emotion.
Appeal to emotion or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy characterized by the manipulation of the recipient’s emotions in order to win an argument, especially in the absence of factual evidence.
Indeed Moose, there are certain roads your 7 yr old can’t bicycle on. Why would you want them to?
Even if all roads were designed with the intention that a 7 yr old could bicycle on it, would it still be ‘safe’? Your premise is that they would certainly be safe.
I disagree. Here’s why.
A 7 yr old is somewhere between a kindergartner and a 1st grader. (depending on your local school requirements for age placement in their respective grade).
Spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of oneself in space. It is an organised knowledge of objects in relation to oneself in that given space. Spatial awareness also involves understanding the relationship of these objects when there is a change of position. Occupational Therapy for Children
For the sake of argument, we’ll assume that your child is developing appropriately for their age group.
Question: How spatially aware are 7 yr olds?
Pre-operational Stage 2-7 years
Concrete Operational Stage 7-12 years
The child also begins to use the ideas associated with Euclidean Geometry such as distinguishing between straight and curved lines, specific shapes (like squares and circles), the length and number of sides and angles. These ‘measurement’ concepts allow children to bring objects and parts of object into relative proportion in their drawings.
The development of the co-ordination of horizontal and vertical planes is illustrated in the sequence of drawings below (McNally pp.45-46). Children ranging from 4 years to 10 years were asked to draw liquid in a tilted jar on a table, and to draw people or trees on a hillside. The youngest drawer clearly demonstrated Topological thinking, with the liquid simply shown inside the jar, and the people enclosed by the hill. Gradually, as spatial thinking matures, the co-ordination of vertical and horizontal can be seen.
Spatial awareness, for those who don’t already know, is the difference between a child recognizing another bicyclist on the road as a potential hazard or not.
To them, education is that thing ‘vehicular’ cyclists do because they don’t have infrastructure and thus need to know how to operate around cars. While bicyclists on separated bicycle specific infrastructure don’t have to worry about anything. Because they’re totally safe and will never experience an injury because ‘No Cars’!
Again, for arguments sake, we’ll presume that all roads are designed with 7 yr olds in mind and that no motorized vehicles will ever travel on these specially designed roads.
Does Moose Jr/Miss present a hazard to other bicyclists and do those bicyclists present a hazard to Moose Jr/Miss?
Here are a few examples of bicyclists being injured or killed on bicycle specific infra i.e. no cars allowed.
Did the bicyclist encounter a 7 yr old and swerved to avoid them? It’s what people do when a small child is weaving all over the road. They try to avoid them.
Most likely not. I suspect the bicyclist hit debris on the trail and lost control. Or even more likely, was going too fast and lost control.
Which then flips the script. Do other bicyclists present a hazard to a 7 yr old?
The following article is descriptive of an electric bicycle. But anyone who rides road bikes knows that you can achieve impressive speeds even without an assist. Those speeds prevent you from safely navigating a path where children are tooling around unsupervised. It could be argued that adults on bikes should behave sensibly around children on bike paths. But it could also be argued that adults in cars should behave sensibly around bicyclists.
Ultimately what we end up with is a the same situation that we say we want to avoid on public roads. It all boils down to education.
A 10-year-old child was seriously injured in a crash involving an adult on an electric bicycle in Fadden on Thursday morning.
Police are investigating the collision on a shared pathway near a primary school in the area about 8.45am. Read more here.
Unsupervised and uneducated children present a hazard to themselves and other road users. Period.
Which is why you don’t see Dutch children bicycling unsupervised.
And when the children are bicycling, they are under direct supervision of an adult.
I’m a certified bicycle instructor. But I didn’t always used to be. When I first started bicycling for transportation, like the Dutch do, I didn’t (and still don’t) have first class bicycle infrastructure. My child was significantly older than a 7 yr old. She was 15 yrs old. And very nervous about bicycling on a heavily trafficked public road. Having bicycled with her on low speed residential roads, I learned two things.
- If she was ahead of me she was totally exposed to anyone else around her. There is a YouTube video where we are being harassed. And in the video she is angry about the harassment and cycles fast and ahead of me. The driver then corals her against the curb with his car. When she was directly by my side she was protected from this maniac. After that incident we had a long conversation about staying by my side.
- When people are bicycling two abreast they can have an easy and relaxed conversation. As we navigated hostile roads, we discussed the way we would manage portions of the road before we arrived at them. This helped ease both our fears and provided safe and predictable passage. Not only for ourselves but also for those around us.
Predictability, even on a bike path, is crucial to road safety. And yes, bike paths are roads.
What makes these social media advocates trolls?
I’m so glad you asked.
No one is advocating for children to bicycle independently on roads with trucks or lorries. Literally NO ONE!
Trolls love memes. Especially false one’s that lead to wrong thinking.
The first tweet in this blog is the beginning of the thread. Moose was trolling someone who was arguing for or against something. We’ll never know because they deleted their tweet. Which I don’t blame them. Dealing with troll’s is exhausting.
I saw through her crap and called her out on it. Which then prompted the trolls to come crawling and scurrying out from under their rocks. They resorted to name calling, logical fallacies, specious logic, and everything else trolls do. Except actually have a conversation about why we don’t actually design roads for the exclusive use of 7 yr olds.
Jesus FUCKING Christ! Use some common fucking sense.
What makes someone a troll?
A troll is defined as someone who is trying to give you an emotional jerk. They often use logical fallacies and/or use specious ‘logic’ (such as the ‘logic’ used in the Google memo.) Specious logic has the appearance of logic, but isn’t logic. In the same way that ‘Creation Science’ isn’t actually Science. They make it sound good and give you interesting pictures to look at, but when you break down their argument, you see that it doesn’t hold water.
The presumption with the UK trolls is that everyone who advocates for education in bicycling is anti-infra. Or as they term them, a ‘Vehicular cyclist’.
Education is the foundation of all community action. People don’t know what they don’t know. And giving everyone a free for all on public roads doesn’t increase safety. Why do you think the Dutch have mandatory bicycling education? Do you think it’s because their infrastructure is so terrible?
But more importantly, the people we need to persuade, the movers and shakers in the public realm of transportation planning, aren’t going to be swayed by specious logic and logical fallacies.
UK social media cycling advocates are not doing bicycle advocacy any favors by behaving like trolls. You aren’t winning friends or persuading anyone, who isn’t already there, to your side.
Your pugnacious and repugnant behavior is giving the media fodder to make bicycling and bicyclists look bad.
The idea behind advocacy is to win friends and influence people. Not call them names or try to make yourselves appear superior to others.
Moose, Evo Lucas, Sw19cam, you’re common garden variety trolls and you’re ruining cycling.
You’re welcome. Assholes.