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Boy, it's a good thing that we have a bona fide worry wart stessing out over BaBi riders.

I wonder if this guy worries about florinated water, sun spots, or the heart break of psoriasis.

I am no more worried about drunk CaBi riders than about drunk bike riders of any other sort. And I am a whole lot less worried about drunks on bikes than I am about drunks behind the wheel.

As for gaining competence in traffic, there is really only one way to do that: Ride in traffic.

My take on CaBi is that it is one hell of a cool way to get around town, with or without a helmet. If I lived in DC or Arlington, I'd join in a heart beat.

I'd even say I'm less worried about drunk CaBi drivers. I at least know that their bike:

a)has lights
b)is in good working order
c)is going slower than a road bike (It's hard to get those things going too fast)
d) is getting the rider to sit upright where they can see better and be seen better.

I usually just chalk that kind of pointless fretting up to the author being a "concern troll." But assuming this Gardala-Maria fellow is arguing in good faith, I have two points:

First, it's quite common for folks whose identity is closely tied to certain hobbies to exaggerate the dangers of that hobby. After all, it lends a certain air of excitement. "Look" the expert says, "I've ridden my bike across the country. It's extremely dangerous, but I kept my wits about me. You amateurs just jump on these bikes, without a care in the world. But you don't know, man! You don't know what it's like!"

Over time you cultivate the persona of "that crazy guy who rode across the country--and survived!"

But look, the proof is going to be in the doing. How many lethal accidents have CaBi riders been involved in, three months into the program? Anyone want to take bets on how many serious injuries CaBi members are going to sustain over the next year?

I'm guessing it's going to be lower than the biking population in general, for the reasons washcycle already enumerated, but also because the lethal accidents we see tend to be suburban, and tend to involve lower/working class riders.

There's no more likelihood of CaBi-related carnage on the road than the torrent of blood in the streets we've seen related to pedi-cabs.

One thing that will happen, though: if so much as one CaBi rider is seriously injured in the next year, we'll have a massive wave of concern trolls trying to shut the program down, facts be damned.

Tens of thousands of drivers get killed every year, and no one bats an eye; but if one CaBi member is put in the hospital for a few days, the experiment will be deemed a failure, and a major threat to public safety.

Just you watch.

Washcycle: ever been behind a CaBi? Those two little red dots are really disappointing. If I were to ever ride one at night,I'd want to bring my own lights.

I've actually been really surprised at the folks I've seen on CaBi's. Seems like most of them know what they're doing. Honestly I was expecting to see a bunch of salmons,gutter bunnys,and sidewalk cruisers. From what I've seen,the CaBi riders seem to be better than the Bike 'N Roll riders.

The concern/argument is pretty silly. Sure, we should expect the average skill of CaBi users to be lower than people who own bikes. Same with any tourist walking down the sidewalk, whenever I drive downtown on the weekend I am afraid to exceed 10 MPH in many places because there are so many people stumbling blindly into the streets. Whatever, it's DC, we deal with it.

That said I've seen quite a bit of buffonery on CaBi bikes already. Saw someone riding a CaBi bike on 395 across the 14th Street Bridge towards Arlington the other day. No, there is no bike lane or sidewalk on the spur I was on. It was not a place for anything other than cars. I have no idea how they got there.

Then saw a group of people riding completely on the wrong way down a street through a light near Dupont the other day. Of course they wouldn't have seen the light since they were going the wrong way.

Anyway, I don't blame CaBi or bicylists. The fact that people do stupid things isn't a good reason to not let anyone do those things.

By the way... as for drunk biking, well, we might as well admit that's one of the primary purposes of CaBi. It caters to bargoers.

Does anyone really think there would be a station at 11th and Spring if The Red Derby wasn't there? 11th and Kenyon if Wonderland wasn't there?

Anyway, it's better than drunk driving.

Wait a minute -- I missed the part about the wet bars being installed on the back of the Cabi bikes. How did I overlook that? After two months, you'd think I would have noticed something like that.

Maybe the writer thinks that college students will use CaBi as a way to avoid drunk driving after a night of drinking. Even if those people could manage to ride drunk, better that they're on a bike than behind a car steering wheel. But seriously, how far is someone going to get if he/she is in that condition? Riding a bike requires some basic balancing skills, something that is sorely lacking in most drunk individuals.

I'm not too worried about drunk CaBi cyclists. I haven't been hit by anyone on a CaBi bike this fall.

However, I have been forced out of crosswalks (while walking) multiple times by aggressive car drivers, even when I have the green light AND the cross signal and the driver can clearly see me and several other pedestrians in the crosswalk. I'm far more concerned about that.

Gee, I wonder if this logic was applied to cars. You know, people might do stupid things, so we shouldn't allow cars.

This guy is a college kid writing in a school paper!

Consider the source. Move on.

I'm inclined to go a bit easy on the author (as i think WC did), as he's an undergrad student, and we should allow students to explore issues like this with some latitude. And while I disagree with virtually everything he said, and he doesn't propose any valid solutions to this perceived problem, he did explore the topic without any over-the-top rhetoric.

I do share the "concern troll" concern though. I think/hope that CaBi and DC will serve as a great case study on the safety in numbers phenomena someday, but that's going to be a tough sell when the first rider goes down.

Anyway, it's better than drunk driving.

And that's the bottom line. Folks are either going to drive drunk, or they're going to ride drunk.

Personally, I prefer it when folks who've had a few and decide to go tooling around the city have some skin in the game.

I'm more concerned that we make the streets available for tourists in cars that have never driven in the city. These folks are too busy gawking at the capitol to remember to look for pedestrians when making a turn on red.

This too sounds like a valid concern. But reading over accident reports in DC, it seems that 99% of the folks involved regularly drive in the city. In fact, most of the time they're "professional" drivers like cabs or some government agent.

I'm guessing tourists are so concerned about their inexperience of driving in the city that they take extra precautions.

Cabi is the same. Mr "i'm a pro" might think riding along the center yellow line is just dandy, because after all, it's nothing compared to riding down the walls of the grand canyon. Mary from Kentucky? She's going to extra alert and take extra precautions to be safe.....which in many cases means she'll be on the sidewalk (most people think it's safer).

And one last thing

"Granted, D.C. law only mandates helmet use for those riders younger than 16 years old, but people in that age range can't even ride bikes through Capital Bikeshare."

Why does the genius writer think 16 was chosen?

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