Monday, February 4, 2019

New Outside Column!

Ostensibly this is a bike blog, so here's a column about scooters!


It's sort of fascinating how, whenever a new non-car transit mode presents itself, the most pressing issue for policy makers and researchers is: "How do we make people wear little foam hats while they use it?"

Well, that and preserving car parking.

If we could travel back in time to 1925 and pass a nationwide motorist helmet law we'd be infinitely better off because nobody would drive.

It's the "killing baby Hitler" of bike advocacy.

23 comments:

Beck the biker said...

Get those dangerous vehicles off the roads! Those scooters have got to go! Wait...

Haywood Jablome said...

Scooter shenanigans, I've had enough of all this tomfoolery.
Oh,and podium.

And


Weed

Anonymous said...

Re: Killing baby Hitler- give him a box of crayons and a tricycle early on. He would've gotten into art school and having a bike could've released a lot of anger issues. Hateful world domination was just a fall back career. Reckless driving is accepted and glamorized in our culture and enteraientert, 40k annual fatalities on roads are fine, opioid abuse is a national "crisis" and "unacceptable". And we sure do love our guns, just get you kids a Kevlar school bag.

Anonymous said...

how likely is it the serious scooter injuries were not due to cars.
some are proposing seat belts on buses but i would have failed the logic test on how that relates to helmets on scooters.

pbate says: whats the best way to unload a truck of dead baby hitlers? pitchfork said...

Snoberdooda - nice work on that there article. DebunkingScienceSnob.

re: the photo from the article: how is it that every white male in certain regions look all like the same bearded dorks? guessing they are all on the way to pilates together.


@anon - re: the kevlar backpacks. they will technically stop the bullet from penetrating, but the shock from the impact will still typically stop the internal organs of a child, so they still die. morbid fun fact of the day that i recently learned while attending a large military weapons trade show.

its 72 here today. going for a ride on a non-black bicycle.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...did you fire your zany cartoonist for the Outside column? If so, was it because of that very honest depiction of you he did a while back?

STG said...

Speaking as a child of the 90's I have logged hundreds of razor scooter hours. They just kinda suck. You're perched high over a small wheel, and that gives you the handling characteristics of a penny-farthing. OK not equally as bad as a p-far but still pretty bad for: Rough pavement, potholes, debris, storm drains, downhill/high speed, emergency steering, or emergency stopping, or any combination of those. Even with an improved/motorized version with hydraulic dick breaks you still have those fundamental handling problems, which puts this into the category of skateboards, or riding around in a shopping cart. Although not a scourge on society, I don't think its wise to have a bunch novices riding scooters that are bad at avoiding accidents.

JLRB said...

Most people that hop on a bike-share Bike cycle have previously swung a leg over a Bike cycle - that does not seem to be the case with scooters

Anonymous said...

The amount of vitriol Directed towards Dockless bikes, Rental Scooters & Dockless E-bikes is Silly, but is no different then the reactions to Trolley Cars and Automobiles when they first appeared. Even Mountain bikes! I have heard SO much about not spooking horses, but never have I encountered a horse and "spooked" it.
The most common complaint we get around here is that these things are an eyesore scattered around on the sidewalks. Yet, never does anybody complain about the oceans of cars being eyesores!
As Tan has pointed out the injury stats are actually fairly minor in reality. This is especially amazing when you consider that people just hop on these things and zip around city streets and sidewalks that were never designed to accommodate them, with absolutely no training or instruction at all! A few public service pieces on the local TV channels would go a long way towards not only gaining acceptance for the new forms of transportation, but also give some much needed instruction to potential riders.
These modes of transportation are a totally new thing; instead of seeing what we can do to squash them, why don't we try and nurture them and give them a chance to grow? Just see what happens! If 5,000 people a day were riding these things in a year, then we would certainly have a better idea what the riders needs were and how to accommodate them. - masmojo

Comment deleted said...

I enjoyed mentally substituting all occurrences of "scooter" with "cooter" in your fine Outsidedness article.

"Cooter-related injuries"...

Crotchedy capitalist said...

I dread scooters, but it has nothing to do with their use at all.

It's just that in 1999 the Razor scooters and others came out and then, wham, in 2000 the Nasdaq dropped from 5000 down to , like 2300, or something. Coincidence? I think not.

Now we have start-ups pushing scooters on us again - I like them as transportation, but I fear they are a sign of a market crash.

skydave said...

The biggest problem I have with the scooters is finding one nearby when I want one!

HDEB said...

scooter indicator flashing market drop

babble on said...

Master Bateman? You said Snobberdooda!!

Yay!! I like to think I left my mark on the world somewhere, somehow. It's not Romeo & Juliette, but it's a start. :D

Scooters...? Ok. Especially when they show up with skyrocketing bonds and gold at the same time. They're not supposed to get high together, so perhaps they go and smoke a doobie at the skooterpark, and then mum'n'dad NoFun ground everyone.

and

If American Freedom were really a thing, then the Federal Reserve wouldn't be privately owned, forcing Americans and the rest of the free world to pay interest on every single fucking dollar printed. THEN recessions and depressions wouldn't be built into a misnamed Free Market Economy. It's bullshit. American Koolaid is poisonous.

babble on said...

Where is the petiton forcing lawmakers to insist every single motorist and their passengers, too, wear a fucking foam hat??? Because I will sign it, and insist that every single cycling human being I know signs it, too. I know lots of em, and I'll bug em till they do. Heh.
You forgot to mention that at least 70% of all head injury admissions to hospital are a result of motor vehicle crashes. Oh, AND that over a million people die in those same entirely preventable crashes on planet Too Stupid To Drive each and every single year. FERFUCKSAKE.

Anonymous said...

And so what is your solution?

babble on said...

Reduce and enforce lower speed limits. Build livable cities and stop subsidizing fossil fuel industries, make motorists pay the actual cost of driving. Make them wear helmets since they have the worst head injuries... I could go on...?

Anonymous said...

go on?

Anonymous said...

Is that how it works in the Great White North?

skydave said...

Snobby said:
"Scooter riders tend not to wear helmets, for the same reason most of us don’t change into work boots before we hop on the escalator."

I've just seen a scooter rider wearing work boots... does that count?

babble on said...

Anonychicken:people are not truly free when they can't afford basic HUMAN RIGHTS. You know, food, housing, education, HEALTH CARE...
Nah. Nowhere near perfect up here. That's each of us must do all we can to ensure a good future for the generations following in our wake...

Velik rider said...

Scooters? I saw one, he was riding at night without light on wrong side of bike path... He said oy when we almost colluded. Did I already said he smells pot?

John steve said...

It's kind of interesting that, every time a new mode of transportation other than cars presents itself, the most pressing thing for policy makers and researchers is: "How do they make people wear small hats while using it?" Well, that and the maintenance of car parking. If we were to go back to 1925 and pass the national motorcycle helmet law it would be better to go because no one is driving. To kill baby Hitler - give him a box of crayons and a tray right away. He could have gone to a technical school and having a bicycle was putting out a lot of anger issues. Hate world rule was just a return to work. Steady driving is welcomed and highlighted in our culture and enteraientert, 40k annual deaths on the roads are good, opioid abuse is a "problem" and "unacceptable". I never knew about at copycrafter.net now. And we're sure we love our guns, get the baby Kevlar school bag.