[lug] Commuting by bike with a laptop

karl horlen horlenkarl at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 13 14:13:48 MST 2010

--- On Wed, 1/13/10, Rob Nagler <nagler at bivio.biz> wrote:

> From: Rob Nagler <nagler at bivio.biz>
> Subject: Re: [lug] Commuting by bike with a laptop
> To: "Boulder (Colorado) Linux Users Group -- General Mailing List" <lug at lug.boulder.co.us>
> Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 8:13 AM
> karl horlen writes:
> > Davide writes:
> > > PS: being a dad, I don't bike when there is
> snow/ice on the
> > > streets, which means after Thanksgiving - but I
> don't drive
> > > either: I walk and ride the bus.
> > 
> > i saw a guy almost fall into traffic the other
> day.  the roads, bike
> > lane, sidewalks were all really in bad shape.  i
> would think it just
> > makes sense to put aside the bike for a day or two in
> cases like
> > that.
> > 
> > 5 minutes later i saw a guy toting his daughter in a
> carrier on the
> > back of the bike.  just seemed not very smart.
> It's funny.  Linux guys will argue about anything. :)
> This particular
> topic is extremely near and dear to my heart so I can't let
> it go.  I
> think the answer to this question is obviously very
> personal and is
> quite nuanced.  This is a long answer.  For a
> short and more
> structured answer, visit freiker.org.

i agree with your mental / physical health thing.  if biking gives you those benefits then great.  it's even fine with me if i hit you in a car and kill you cause you slid on the ice and it's *your* fault.  you died doing what what you love etc.

four things:

1) i think for most people, if it's dicey out, giving up a couple of bike days a year because of inclement weather is not going to make one's mental and physical health suffer that much.  i haven't eaten mcdonalds in 20 years but once or five times a year isnt' going to kill me if i had to do it.

2) in the examples i cited, the bikers (in particular the guy toting his daughter around on the carrier), didn't look like they knew what they were doing.  you have the guy with an improperly fit helmet hanging off his head and the daughter even worse in the back.  you've seen this.  you know exactly what i'm talking about.  that doesn't inspire confidence in me as a driver that they are comfortable on the bike.  but as you say, if they are fine with the risk, then it's ok if i hit them

3) however, the daughter has no say in the matter.  the father is putting someone else's life at risk other than his own.  if he wants to kill himself on a bike that's fine.  but he shouldn't put his kid at risk because biking is so important to him.  at least imho he shouldn't.

4) roads are treacherous.  no matter how careful i drive the roads have seemed more treacherous this year for some reason.  accidents happen.  if i should slide by no fault of my own and hit a biker i'd be devastated.  but when that happens, are you going to sue me and make my life miserable when you get hit?  or are you going to chalk that up to i was riding my bike i'll take the consequences?  my guess is probably not.  you  knew the risks of riding out there but you chose to ignore the increased risk of something happening in the conditions.

i guess there are nuances all the way around.  it will all play out how it does based on the choice you make and the choice i make and the choices the fates make in that moment.  

> I was in urgent care on Tue afternoon, because my son
> sprained his
> ankle getting off an RTD bus (my lawyers are already at
> work preparing
> a negligence suit ;-).  I certainly am afraid of my
> kids getting
> hurt.  It's my worst nightmare.  But there is
> more than one way to
> hurt your kid.

so when a kid twist's his ankle getting off a bus, is it negligence, did the kid just get off the wrong way, is the kid uncoordinated, was it just a freak thing, i don't know? .  who's fault was it *really*.  without knowing your situation i guess it could fall into any one of those categories.  

if it wasn't really negligence, i'm thinking that if you can accept responsibility for the outcomes of you yourself falling off your bike, maybe a kid getting off a bus should accept at least some responsibility for twisting his ankle getting off a bus.  in your case i hope it was really negligence versus just a freak accident.  because if it was an accident, then responsibility should be taken just like it was taken when you fell off your bike.

what people practice and preach in real life often differs when events actually happen.  the fact that you had a sarcastic emoticon after your negligence statement leads me to believe you ain't practicing what you're preaching.  it's all there in black and white.  maybe i'm interpreting that emoticon and the statement incorrectly.

only you know the answer to that question.  i won't discuss it any further.  

not trying to be malicious just making an observation.


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