You might be asking what does asymmetric warfare have to do with bicycle commuting. You might also be asking what the bloody blue blazes is asymmetric warfare? Well, in one of my previous careers I did military things, and asymmetric warfare is using a small, quick reacting unit against a much larger and more heavily armed unit on the tactical level, or on the strategic level it is a conflict between two groups with one group that has much better arms and larger forces than the other. Recent US examples of asymmetric warfare are the Vietnam conflict, the Panama conflict, and Iraq I and II, and Afghanistan. Vietnam was our first long-term experience with asymmetric warfare, and the results were rather unspectacular for the US as Charlie basically kicked our butts. So what does this have to do with bicycles? Well, in traffic with cars and trucks bicycles are like bringing a BB gun to a tank battle, so to survive we must employ the tactics of asymmetric warfare. The first rule of asymmetric warfare is to never engage the enemy on his terms, or in other words no direct contact. As cyclists this means not mixing with cars, because people in cars want to kill us. There aren’t very many of them who do, but it only takes a few to destroy cycling in a community. This means that segregated infrastructure is required to protect cyclists from homicidal drivers. The second rule of asymmetric warfare is that control of the narrative is imperative to survival, you have to make the backers of the superior force feel bad about their war. For cycling this means we have to wrest control of the media from car companies and oil cartels, not an easy task, or divert public attention from media controlled by them to media that is friendly to us if not controlled by us, also not an easy task but possible. The third rule of asymmetric warfare is to find where the enemy is weakest and concentrate on that until he falls or protecting that exposes another weak point. Right now the weak point of car culture is it kills the participants by the thousands in the US, of the 33000 people that died as a result of motor vehicle wrecks only about 5000 were not using a motor vehicle in some way, also Americans are dying of diseases related to our car culture in the millions per year, either from pollution from the vehicles or creating the fuels for the vehicles, or from diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle. The leading cause of death for those under 35 is the motor vehicle wreck, for those over 40 it is diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle and pollution. If the motor vehicle was recognized as a disease there would be telethons to raise money for a cure. Instead we spend an average of 25% of household income on buying, caring for and feeding our cars, and then throwing them away after an average lifespan of 10 years. If one was to use some other way to get around and invest the difference the average person would have $2M by 60 even at current rates of return on savings, I will return to this theme at a later date.
Up first is an update on a hit-and-run in FL from last year. Mom seeks justice for son killed in hit and run Now after a head on wreck, wouldn’t you consider that this might have been on purpose, especially after a hit-and-run? So shouldn’t this be a murder investigation? Just another data point to prove that if you want to kill someone at random and get away with it in the US just run over someone on a bicycle, particularly in FL. Even when you commit a second crime and leave the scene unless you left a ton of debris or a license plate, even if they identify the vehicle you’re still highly unlikely to face arrest, much less prosecution.
More on the cyclist hit-from-behind in FL on his way home from work. Friends Raising Money for Bike Accident Victim Still nothing on the status of the first driver that hit the cyclist, rumors of intoxication notwithstanding.
Moving up the Right Coast a bit, a cyclist ends up next to a partially consumed can of beer after a wreck so is assumed to have been drinking. Man critically injured in bicycle accident I don’t think anyone made the connection about how unlikely it would be for a partial can of beer to remain in close proximity to a cyclist after a wreck as violent as the one described in the article…
North of the first article but south of the third, what may be a case of assault with a deadly in NC. Avery County cycling incident: Car swerved to hit cyclist, says coach Yeah a car crossing the yellow stripe to hit you head on (even a grazing head on) sounds like assault to me.
And a hit-from-behind wreck just across the river from my former duty station. Man dies, wife injured in wreck on Banks Mill The victims were signalling a left turn when they were hit-from-behind by a car whose driver was too impatient to wait until the turn was completed to continue their journey. There was nothing the cyclist could have done in this case to avoid this wreck, it was more than entirely the responsibility of the driver of the weapon vehicle. More Couple Riding Tandem Bike Struck; Husband Killed another link Aiken man, 68, dies after vehicle strikes tandem bike Another one Aiken Man Dies After Being Struck By Vehicle While Riding Bicycle last link Couple riding tandem bike hit by car, man dies
On the Left Coast a cyclist gets left crossed and seriously injured. Bicyclist injured after being struck by truck in North Park Intersection protocols might have helped if there was time for the cyclist to react to the left cross. More Bicyclist injured in North Park crash
Moving up to OR, a cyclist fails to stop at a red light and has a painful encounter with a semi. Bicyclist hit by semi-truck in North Portland Intersection protocols, the most basic of which is to obey traffic controls. While I feel compassion for this man as a fellow cyclist, he was riding with a companion who managed to stop for the red light, he should have also.
The cyclist hit by a drunk driver in front of LEO investigating a previous wreck caused by the driver is still alive, so far. Cyclist remains in critical condition This was the driver that was charged with 7 criminal offenses last week that won’t have a chance to make bail until Thursday at the earliest.
Infrastructure! news from the UK. MP calls for all new bicycles to be fitted with lights [UPDATED]
A DC cyclist and journalist condenses what I have been saying all these years in WoaB wherever I have been posting it. Assumptions, Part 1: The Dangerous Kind This article is kind of a generalized statement about what I have been saying for individual wrecks, but with less advice. Does that make any sense?
That’s all the news that gives me fits today, I’m going to find a nice brick wall to pound my head against now and make it feel all better :P
Billed @$0.02, Opus