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it is refeshing to read that Lance sees the obvious need for spearated and auto-protected bikeways.

Too bad that so many prople who follow him do not have his wisdom and learning- that is- the hostility towards new bike infrastructure that in the eyes of some would restrict the "right" to bicycle at high speeds in the roads with the car and truck traffic. These people should listen to Lance.

sure wish that the vehicular cyclists and road warriors around here had as much common sense as Lance Armstrong has;
" Well, for people to feel the safest...let's go back to this lady. She's 40 years old. She's gots three kids. She says, 'you know what I want to lose 10 pounds'. She goes and buys a bike. She goes out for a bike ride. She gets brushed by one car, she never does it again, trust me. Now, if she was in a bike lane that was a designated bike lane and it was either separate or elevated, so she doesn't fear that that car can get anywhere near her, that would make her happier. I mean, that would make her feel safer and she would continue to ride and acheive her fitness goals. But again I don't have the magic wand and I don't have the money tree, so it's not possible to just snap your fingers and have bike lanes all over the place and have elevated bike lanes and things like that. That again is a process that we as cyclists and as a cycling community have to go through with the advocacy groups and make sure that when people are building roads in cities or states or communities or countries that they think about the bike, that they think about alternative means of transportation. I mean if you think about it...so many times people get in their car and drive a mile, why wouldn't you just get on your a bike? That's actually good for all of us."

w, who are these people you're talking about? Specifically. Name names. Who opposes facilities because they think it "would restrict the "right" to bicycle at high speeds in the roads with the car and truck traffic"?

many many many times over the years I have read comments from your readers oppossing dedicated bike infrastructure.

Why do you turn a blind eye to this fact?

Just in a recent posting this topic was debated at length.

in any case- I really liked what Lance had to say.

And thanks for posting it !!

Technically, you're right. Some people are concerned (I think hostile might be too strong a word) about the addition of bike lanes and cycletracks and about being forced to use them. Though the real concern is that they think they are less safe. So they don't want to be forced to do something (ride in a bike lane) that they think is less safe. Certainly you can relate to that as you have often expressed that you don't want to be forced to do something (ride in the road with cars and trucks) that you think is less safe. Few people are dead set against all bike lanes and cycletracks. So the best solution, I'd think, it's not for you to attack your fellow cyclists, but to look for common ground. Work to get bike lanes and cycletracks added, but also work to make sure that no one is required to use them. If they're so great, then other cyclists will come around and choose to ride in them. If they're not, then you still have what you want, and they still have what they want.

So you're factually correct, but you're leaving out the critical motive.

By the way, nice article in the Post this weekend.

I think the perfect place for the "tour de tony" should be on the new bike lane on Pennsylvania Avenue.

w, I would not confuse the promotion of vehicular cycling techniques while riding on the road with an opposition of bike lanes.

Most people who oppose bike lanes (including certain members of congress) also oppose all types of cycling. Vehicular or otherwise.

That's a better summary, Washcycle, thanks!

As one who comments on this blog about this topic, I can say it's not that I am outright hostile to bike lanes - it's because I'm concerned about safety for the cyclist as well as resource issues.

I have read many many anti- bikeway comments on this very blog. These seems to represent a group of people who do not care at all if bicycling is made a domain of the few and select. I have sent this statement by Lance around to a number of lady friends of mine- including one lady who said that Lance really hit it on the head. She gave up cycling because she did't wish to cycle with the car traffic.

I do not feel as though I have "attacked" anyone on this blog any more than I have been attacked for my own views. You need to re-read some of the comments over the years. There is a kind of amnesia going on here- and it is very selective.

I had written a more lengthly response to your comment, and somehow it got wiped out...

Oh well- what I was getting into was the fact that not even 10 years ago things were a lot different around here if you were into using a bicycle as primary transportation. For instance- I suffered a debilitating lower back injury and could NOT ride on a bike that forced me into "pretzel posture". Going around to numerous bike shopsI was not able to find any sit up posture bikes at all. Finally someone told me about a stem riser for the handlebars and this made a world of difference. In the late 90's it was almost unheard of for people to have a bike that was sit up. I was told all manner of horror stories-"prostate cancer" comes from sitting up on a bike, etc...this is not too removed from the kind of ignorance that promulgates that bikeways are somehow more dangerous than riding with cars..well- I guess I must concede apoint here- if you are going FAST on a bicycle a bikeway is definitely dangerous.
OK- after resolving the ergonomic concerns I had the opportunity to go overseas and witnessed how bicycling is done over there... I travelled all thru Denmark & Germany ad saw the dedicated bike infrastructure- much of it on SIDEWALKS that were "bumped" out- and I realized how friggin backwards we were here in the USA.Over "there" you see everyone biking- not just young guys in skintights like we have here. Women are cycling there- and OLD women and OLD men are cycling. I still dont see much of that here yet.

Things change. Thank god or whatever is controlling us..Now people all over the place are riding sit up bikes and every other city is promoting cycling and bike ways. Who would have guessed ?!?!

In years past there most definitely were outright hostile comments rasied against dedicated bikeways on this very blog . People seem to forget and also have short memories.People also can bend with the wind and change- and I have seen this on your blog too. That is why I have not given up on Washcycle .

Be careful - you cannot take the infrastructure in other cultures, plop it down here, and expect it to be just the same.

Unfortunately, nuance isn't sexy, and those of us who support bike lanes and paths, but want to make sure they're designed properly to make their use safe and efficient, can be seen as opponents.

Some bike lanes have already been built in our region that do nothing to enhance safety or comfort and are better off not used. For example, the far too narrow bike lane on Clarendon Blvd in Arlington, especially on downhill sections. Ride that at 25mph, and a sudden open door is likely to kill you. Or consider the bike lanes in Thomas Circle. They're pointless, since cars in a traffic circle won't be moving fast, and dangerous if used - you risk a right hook.

It's important to think critically about a proposed cycle track, lane or path and how well it'll actually work. If we just say, "Yay, bike lanes!" and act grateful to get anything at all, we may end up with more like the above examples.

That's perfect, Scott F - I couldn't have said it better myself!!

w, part of the problem of your previous posts was the inflammatory language you use in reference to "racing" cyclists. I've noticed that you seem to think that "athletic" cyclists are maniacs on the road.

Personally I'm not opposed to the idea of dedicated bike infrastructure but I don't agree with some of your comments that we need to have that or else. Even if we were to get that built up in the D.C. area, it would take quite a long time. What are cyclists supposed to do until then? We have a pretty good trail network in NoVa and CCT (up to Bethesda) but in town, there aren't many options yet for riding apart from car traffic.

I skimmed through the transcript. Lance sounded very reasonable, exactly what was needed. That will help greatly in dispelling the myths that all cyclists are granola-crunching, hippie-freak, radical and hostile lawbreakers.

I'm also glad to see that Lance focused on "regular" cyclists, i.e., those who aren't training for the Tour de France or the triathlon championship in Kona. Though I spend much of my cycling time as race training, I also enjoy just riding around and seeing the sights in this area.

It's important to have general awareness of the diversity of the cycling population, that there's a broad mix of bike commuters, casual riders, sightseers, kids out for fun, road cyclists, triathletes and bike messengers.

I agree with Scott F. too. Right now, even some decent bike lanes are unusable because they are still covered with dirt and debris from recent rains and the snow removal efforts of the winter. The road lanes are clear while the bike lanes are not. It's just not safe to be riding in 1/4" or more of sandy dirt for long stretches on road tires.

Some bike lanes also have manhole covers and metal grills, which makes it hazardous to stay in the bike lane at those spots, especially when the road is wet.

none of what I have said is unreasonable- actually I am being quite diplomatic.
Most people in NoVa are car drivers- so they have no concept of using a bicycle for anything other than commuting or recreation. My whole point is making cycling easier and safer for those of us who use bicycles for PRIMARY transportation- not just as a hobby or techno- fixation type of thing.

If I am heard to be critical- well- many of you are possibly a lot younger and are not old enough to recal when it was heresy to want to buy & ride anything other than a racer or mountain bike. It was , before the rise of the web, really difficulat to find ergonomic bikes- and people who needed them were basically shut out- and I also see a very corporate type of sales gimmickry associated w/ the whole aura surrounding the athletic cycling and all of the equipment one "must" purchase. None of this junk serves the average Joe or Jane who just needs a bike. I ran into outright HOSTILITY myself back in the 90's and early 20's trying to find sit up bikes. I am not at all alone in this- it is just that many of you are the outspoken few - and dedicated- that bother to comment so you are probably not aware of the MANY who would love to bike but see it as too damn dangerous. To make fun of these folks- and I have READ this kind of ridicule in this blog- is downright elitist and snobby. As I am suddenly reading above- and this is NEW- we must all try to compromise. I have seen very little of that in this blog.It is apparently still dominated by the male athletic set of cyclists.

w, calling others snobby and elitist doesn't exactly fit within my definition of being diplomatic.

More to the point, you need to understand that whether or not one belongs to a "male athetic set of cyclists" does not define one's concern about bicycle safety. Speaking for myself, I'm a 44-year old Cat 3 bike racer, but I'm also a daily bicycle commuter. I understand both of those worlds, and will not be pigeonholed like you've done.

You need to get rid of that chip on your shoulder and understand that others have have the same interests as you, regardless of what kind of bike they ride.

w, many of your claims about what you read on this blog, whether in the posts or the comments, do not ring true with me. It would help if, instead of just saying "I have this kind of ridicule on this blog...", you could cite specific examples of this behavior. Please show me where someone, anyone, on this blog ridiculed people who want to ride but are too scared to. And do not just respond with "it happens all the time. Look it up."

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