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The Monday Roundup: Pinarello propaganda, the reciprocity myth, Vancouver’s success, and more

Posted by on November 27th, 2017 at 9:57 am

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Welcome back! Hope your long holiday weekend was everything you hoped for. Here are the best stories we came across last week…

This week in car culture: Fox News show host Jeanine Pirro was cited for driving 119 mph in a 65 mph zone and said she “didn’t realize how fast she was driving.”

Housing for people or for cars?: Portland’s very own Michael Andersen and Tony Jordan report for Mobility Lab that California is set to sample some of our parking policy successes.

Pinarello’s busy week: The legendary Italian bike maker launched a new road model with an electric motor, then they pulled the ad campaign after people felt it was sexist.

Amanda Batty isn’t having it: This pro mountain-biker eviscerated Pinarello’s campaign by calling it the “pinnacle” of bro culture and what she thinks was intentional propaganda.

Edmonton knows: A place with much more snow and cold than Portland gets has found that all it takes to keep people riding through winter is a protected and connected downtown bikeway grid.


Curb lanes are so hot right now: Streetsblog breaks down why more cities are — very smartly — using curb lanes for more than just free parking for private automobiles.

Buses on the mountain: Oregon Business has a great piece on how a combination of new services has vastly improved bus service to Mt. Hood.

Don’t double-down, tear it down: That’s what some smart people are starting to talk about in Seattle. It’s been talked about in Portland too; but usually only as a “crazy idea” while our DOTs and our Mayor want to double-down and make it even wider.

Bike thieves suck: Portlander Patrick Weaver got a new bike on Saturday, only to have it stolen from inside his car a few hours later.

The Copenhagen of North America: We’ve recently shared Seattle’s transit success, now let’s go a bit further north and see how Vancouver has reduced drive-alone trips by improving transit service and building protected bikeways.

The myth of reciprocity: When it comes to people using roads with vastly different vehicles that’s based on a “system of automobility” it’s absurd to approach policy discussions as if all things are equal.

Video of the Week: As Portland works to take bigger steps to achieve our transportation goals, consider this video about L.A.’s road diet wars a cautionary tale:

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Jason Skelton November 27, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Watched the Reason video. You probably know but Reason is a libertarian ***deleted by moderator*** organization. What’s more, this video’s particular assumption is that driving by car is the default and least-cost way for people to travel. Any deviation from that should be measured by how it affects those preferring to drive.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy November 27, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Libertarians are delusional nutjobs? All of them? That’s strange, because the libertarians I know are all pretty intelligent people who lead non-nutjob lives.

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      • dwk November 27, 2017 at 12:17 pm

        Can you point out the successful libertarian governments besides Somalia?

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      • Jason Skelton November 27, 2017 at 2:44 pm

        I should clarify that libertarian people may be nice and productive, but libertarian policy ideas are at best unworkable. They tend to assume away transaction costs and externalities, or the ideas are just niave and unworkable.

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        • Middle of the Road Guy November 28, 2017 at 9:43 am

          Well, I am glad you clarified that. However, I do find your comments interesting because some people feel the same way about progressive policies. They can be overly idealistic, project values that others might not share and not take into account implementation costs or unintended consequences. LED light use in cities is a good example – in the name of energy savings, we end up having more light pollution, and not as much energy savings.

          Anyways, when I was getting my Masters degree in environmental policy analysis a long time ago I found it a terrific exercise to take the alternate/anti view, just to probe the weaknesses with a policy I might favor. Arguing against what one favors helps to make a better argument in the long run.

          So forgive me for calling you on out calling Libertarians nut-jobs. I feel that we all have something to learn from people who hold different viewpoints, even if we do not espouse that viewpoint.

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          • dwk November 28, 2017 at 10:24 am

            Libertarians would be against any government spending for any bike infrastructure…

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            • q November 28, 2017 at 2:30 pm

              Possibly, but not any more so than they’d be against tax breaks for businesses that buy heavy vehicles, tax write-offs for parking expenses, cities building parking garages, safety campaigns telling pedestrians to wear lights, etc.

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          • dwk November 28, 2017 at 10:27 am

            and if I could post a comment here, maybe you could explain why there is no (well maybe Somalia) libertarian government on earth?

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            • Middle of the Road Guy November 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm

              I think you leapt ahead a few steps. I don’t need or have to provide an example of a functioning government. Nor did I did see or read anyone advocating for such.

              Some libertarian policies or viewpoints frequently dovetail with progressive ones. Like “leave me the hell alone to be an individual”. It’s people are able to claim “No, liberals were for legalization of marijuana!” Um, you both were.

              It’s simply a way of looking at things and I’ll state again, knowing why someone disagrees with you is a good thing.

              For that matter, are there any governments that are truly “successful”?

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          • 9watts November 28, 2017 at 6:20 pm

            “a long time ago I found it a terrific exercise to take the alternate/anti view, just to probe the weaknesses with a policy I might favor. Arguing against what one favors helps to make a better argument in the long run.”

            Yes, that is a great exercise. But what I’ve observed to typically be your strategy in the comments here isn’t formulating a better argument, or engaging with folks who interrogate your posts, as lobbing provocative, contrarian bombs into the conversation and then refusing to engage with those who challenge you. Your participation in this conversation is a delightful departure from that pattern.

            “I feel that we all have something to learn from people who hold different viewpoints, even if we do not espouse that viewpoint.”

            Yes, especially when that person can (be persuaded to) articulate their thinking, their reasoning, what evidence they considered, etc., and are willing to engage. Fox news, and John Charles (to name just the most frequently mentioned Libertarian in these pages) however aren’t interested in a conversation, in matching wits, in learning; they are unapologetic idealogues with minds made up and a tenuous relationship to facts.

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            • Middle of the Road Guy November 29, 2017 at 10:27 am

              I disagree with your analysis.

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              • 9watts November 29, 2017 at 12:34 pm


                But to make this interesting, to learn from each other, it would be helpful if you troubled yourself to engage the substance of what we’re talking about, articulate how you disagree, make an argument, defend your position.

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      • 9watts November 28, 2017 at 8:25 am

        I inclined to agree with Jason. Can you provide a counter example? A sensible Libertarian platform position? Articulate and defensible?

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      • bikeninja November 28, 2017 at 10:35 am

        True Libertarianism is a legitimate political philosophy. But in recent years it has mostly been perverted and used as a justification for selfishness, and delusional views of how a complex civilization can operate. The shining example is seen on signs that read, ” The government needs to keep its hands off my social security.” Very few people are actual libertarians and most of those who express those beliefs would find they are actually Burkian Conservatives.

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    • John Lascurettes November 27, 2017 at 11:11 am

      I found the “lack of any evidence” argument troublesome in the video. There are plenty of places as examples where road diets have led to safer streets and a more robust community, including better retail. So this video found an example of where it didn’t work — but they’re holding it up as proof that road diets don’t work.

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    • Mike Reams November 27, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      I guess calling all libertarians “delusional nutjobs” is still within Jonathan’s threshold of civility.

      Hi Mike. Not it’s not. Sorry I didn’t moderate that comment sooner. I have done so now. – Jonathan

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      • Jason Skelton November 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm

        I will clarify that libertarian ideas are contradicted by reality or rational argument. They people holding those ideas can be perfectly nice while they work to undermine the effectiveness of our government.

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        • q November 27, 2017 at 7:40 pm

          Legalization of marijuana is a libertarian idea. Is that irrational? Contradicted by reality? Does it undermine the effectiveness of government?

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          • shirtsoff November 27, 2017 at 11:30 pm

            It’s also a communist idea. Rational and beneficial!

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          • Middle of the Road Guy November 28, 2017 at 9:44 am

            So is gay marriage.

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          • Dan A November 28, 2017 at 12:23 pm

            Is it? There was no legalized marijuana before libertarians?

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            • q November 28, 2017 at 12:30 pm

              Maybe it’s more accurate to say it’s an idea that the party supports. Legalized drugs have been around for thousands of years.

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        • Mike Reams November 28, 2017 at 7:08 am

          Contradicted by reality… like opposing the drug war and mass incarceration. Supporting same-sex marriage since the 1970’s. Opposing cronyism etc…

          Yes, totally contradicted by reality.

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        • Spiffy November 28, 2017 at 8:11 am

          every person that claims a political party says the exact same thing about the other parties… your parroting isn’t welcome… got some links to show than an entire slice of people with your specific political label are irrational? no, you don’t…


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      • Spiffy November 28, 2017 at 8:07 am

        not within mine… I stopped reading the comment right there and can’t get past it…

        no idea how such a divisionist comment got so many upvotes…

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    • Chris I November 27, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Delusional? Probably. Nutjobs is a bit over the top. They are just naive. Most Libertarians figure it out before they graduate college and stop going to weekly Young Republican meetings.

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      • Jason Skelton November 27, 2017 at 2:39 pm

        This guy gets it.

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      • q November 27, 2017 at 7:42 pm

        Many Libertarian views are the opposite of Republican views.

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      • q November 27, 2017 at 8:04 pm

        I’d say it’s the opposite, and that few people start out as Libertarians.

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      • GlowBoy November 28, 2017 at 2:14 pm

        I started out Libertarian. But by the time I was a young adult, I was starting to see how the world actually worked, and that the idea that we’d have a better world if gubmint would just get out of the way was just a delusional fantasy.

        You could say I lost my libertarianism along with my youthful idealism.

        I’m still a civil libertarian, but that’s a VERY different thing from capital-L Libertarianism. Both types support marijuana legalization, for example, but not necessarily banking and business deregulation.

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  • Charles Ross November 27, 2017 at 10:37 am

    I would have greatly enjoyed seeing pirro in handcuffs. She is just about the biggest phony out there and considering whom she supports and hangs out with that’s a considerable dis

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    • wsbob November 27, 2017 at 11:17 am

      I’d never heard of this person before today’s roundup. I don’t watch fox news. The story, and what she’s quoted in it saying, is wild. Says she didn’t realize how fast she was driving (119 mph) How many mph over the posted 65 mph she imagine she might have been driving?

      Says she didn’t realize because she’d been driving hours to visit her ailing 89 year old mom. That’s some serious hoping for empathy. But, and least Ms Pirro is contrite: “I believe in the rule of law and I will pay the consequences.”. It’s pathetic for someone that’s been a prominent officer of the law, in her case, a county district attorney, to have allowed herself to be so blatantly oblivious to the law regarding safe and responsible use of a motor vehicle on a public road, for the reason she cited. She said her mom was ailing, rather than on her death bed. No justifiable cause for the big rush.

      This isn’t really a subject to be laughing about, but the story says Pirro is a tv star of sorts. Hosts a tv show, which by the description, sounds as if she’s the judge, passing judgment upon people that come before her. Show’s name: “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” . Hmm. Since she’s in the business, why not have Pirro’s case brought before another tv star judge? How about Judge Judy? Judy Sheinlein, I think it is. I kind of wonder what that tv judge would think of Pirro’s conduct on the road.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy November 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        You should check out other news sources once in a while, assuming you don’t. I occasionally pop over to Fox to see what they are saying as well as the comments.

        It helps to understand where people are coming from, even if one does not agree with them.

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        • wsbob November 27, 2017 at 6:47 pm

          I’ve never been a fan of people using extremist tactics, regardless of the person’s political affiliation or philosophy. Rather than reason and logic to help people think and understand different perspective surrounding topics, they do things to taunt and rile up people, exploit their receptivity to subordinating their logic and reason to base emotion and bias.

          This Pirro person certainly does seem to have the responsible citizen jargon down. Ordinarily, that kind of thing could be kind of handy in making a favorable impression on someone given the responsibility to decide the degree of whatever offense or violation a person has committed. Someone trying to use very much of that language to try talk their way out of a 118 mph speed violation, close to twice the posted speed limit of 65, might find it backfiring on them.

          That’s why I jokingly suggested Judge Judy should maybe be the one to review and decide on her violation. Never going to happen, just an idea that came to mind when I read about Pirro. I have watched Scheinlien’s show occasionally. Maybe it’s just my impression, but it seems to me that she’s got a pretty good sense of when someone is shoveling BS.

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          • Pete November 28, 2017 at 12:30 pm

            …and I thank you for the entertaining respite from the extensive political discourse (on a bike blog).

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          • Middle of the Road Guy November 28, 2017 at 1:45 pm

            I agree with you. Ever notice that it is always the other guys who use “extremist tactics”, but not my side?

            Everyone is either “Alt-Right” or “Left Wing Extremist”. Whatever happened to the moderates? We’re still here.

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      • John Lascurettes November 27, 2017 at 12:45 pm

        She’s a Fox troll and angry talking head, using situational ethics to publicly eviscerate those she doesn’t like. She’s also a lawyer, thus the “I don’t know how fast I was going” to avoid any admission of guilt.

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  • Erleichda November 27, 2017 at 10:47 am

    It’s official. We can stop having debates and planning and inaction. Vancouver did it. Just copy their efforts. It won’t be perfect, we may have different challenges. But perfect is the enemy of good. Good grief. Portland suffers from too many opinions, too little action.

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    • GNnorth November 27, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Unfortunately people keep believing Vancouver is special, it isn’t. Vancouver is in its own little bubble and the rest of the Lower Mainland here is doing an even better pace at installing more roads and cars than back in the US. PDX has nothing on Vancouver for pushing the car identity as the main way of life.

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  • bikeninja November 27, 2017 at 10:48 am

    When I was in kid back in the 70’s we always took the bus to the mountain. There were buses that left from a dozen places around the metro area that went to Timberline, Ski Bowel, Government Camp and Meadows. Left at various times also. Interesting that in the intervening years ( till now I hope) they mostly faded away leaving just the private motor car, no wonder we have so much congestion.

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    • Rain Waters November 27, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Has population increased or is it just that now everyone owns 3 or 4 evil cars? Wasn’t there a freeway project that never happened ?

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      • Pete November 28, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        We have three cars but only the German one is evil. Want to buy it?

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    • mark November 27, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      We’ve taken the bus to Timberline for the last three or four years. Tri-met to the Gresham Transit Center, Sandy Transit from there to the east edge of Sandy, and the Mt. Hood Express all the way up to the lodge. One way trip is only $5.50 for all three tickets. For us, it’s way more convenient than driving in winter conditions.

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    • rachel b November 27, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      Me too! Took the bus to Ski Bowl as a teen. We used to ski in jeans and flannel. 🙂 p.s… is Ski Bowel somewhere in the middle of Ski Bowl? HAR! 😉

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      • bikeninja November 28, 2017 at 10:29 am

        Slip of the tongue, back in the day the place had an unsavory reputation so we in fact did call it Ski Bowel.

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        • rachel b November 30, 2017 at 2:58 am

          🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!

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  • wsbob November 27, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Mentioned in last weeks roundup, the NYtmes story on why the city is having problems keeping its subway system trains able to stay on schedule, is I think, very worthwhile reading. Basically…over years, decades, city and state gradually cut back the budget for regular scheduled maintenance to the point where the trains are breaking down with increasing frequency.

    A public transit system on the scale of New York City’s, is the dream of many people that ardently believe in the superior practicality of such systems over relying to far greater level on personal motor vehicles to meet population travel needs. New York’s subway system was heralded in the 70’s, after a lot of needed repairs and upgrades. But, obviously, the budget for such systems is gargantuan, and extraordinarily tempting as a target for budget cutbacks by government officials seeking to please their constituency by reducing taxes by some means. Even if inevitable negative consequences aren’t readily apparent to everyone that needs to know about them, at the time the tax reductions are introduced.

    Portland’s mass transit system continues to grow and grow larger. As does its maintenance requirements. If that system can continue to be a viable form of mass transit, hopefully for a greater number of the people that are using personal motor vehicles for travel on streets and highways, maintenance of the system has to be top notch.

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  • vs November 27, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    To echo wsbob, DC is seeing significant challenges on the metro system, also as a result in deferred maintenance.

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  • Jason Skelton November 27, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I should clarify that libertarian people may be nice and productive, but libertarian policy ideas are delusional and nutty. Their policy positions tend to assume away transaction costs and externalities, or the ideas are just niave and unworkable.

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    • q November 27, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      Libertarian policies include legalization of marijuana, continued legalization of abortion, and opposition to the death penalty. Why would you say those are delusional and nutty?

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      • bendite November 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm

        Legalization of marijuana in its current form is a liberal idea. And I see a lot of Libertarians say they want abortion to be illegal.

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        • q November 27, 2017 at 9:22 pm

          Decriminalization of pot epitomizes the Libertarian view of limited government. It, and abortion rights, were both part of the Libertarian party platform in 2016:

          There may be people who call themselves Libertarians who support making abortion illegal, but that’s not the party’s position.

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          • Mike Reams November 28, 2017 at 7:11 am

            there are some libertarians who oppose abortion because they believe a fetus is a person and, taking the life of a person is wrong. There are others who believe it should be legal because a woman is the owner of her own body. Either way it is upholding a principle rather than just playing team politics.

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            • bendite November 28, 2017 at 7:36 am

              Or it’s the typical libertarian response to specific policy issues, which tends to boil down to wanting an individualized government that aligns with their personal values and wants. When they want something to happen, they call on the government as much as anyone else. To me, it’s mostly an ideology to provide comfort to frustrated white guys needing something to blame.

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              • q November 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

                That’s not accurate. Take abortion or drug decriminalization. A Libertarian may be personally opposed to using drugs or abortions, but the party’s position is that that’s fine, but that those personal views shouldn’t lead towards the government preventing those who feel differently from having abortions or using drugs.

                Nobody can say what each person who calls themselves a Libertarian thinks in regard to calling on government to make things happen, but the party’s position calls for much less government than other parties.

                I disagree that “it’s mostly an ideology to provide comfort to frustrated white guys needing something to blame”.

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            • Middle of the Road Guy November 28, 2017 at 1:47 pm

              Actually, some liberals feel that way also. It’s just that there is a litmus test to be a Democrat.

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              • bendite November 28, 2017 at 7:16 pm

                What’s the litmus test?

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              • Middle of the Road Guy November 29, 2017 at 10:29 am


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              • Middle of the Road Guy November 29, 2017 at 10:29 am

                And for Republicans, it’s you can’t be an atheist.

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        • Middle of the Road Guy November 28, 2017 at 1:46 pm

          Confirmation bias?

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  • Toadslick November 27, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Step one: Start decades ago.

    The subtitle for that Vox article is unnecessarily defeatist. I don’t believe it has to take decades. All we need is paint, jersey barriers (or cheap planters), and political bravery to have bus lanes and connected, protected, direct bike routes across all of Portland.

    I know more people that want to bike commute, but are afraid to, than people that actually bike commute. I’m convinced that this city could see a huge shift in mode share, if only we had the infrastructure so that people felt safe.

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    • mark November 29, 2017 at 11:24 am

      The problem is that we often build new cycling infrastructure that makes people *feel* safe instead of designs that actually are safe.

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  • Terry D. November 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Did anyone else notice the irony in the photos of the smog-filled skies behind and above the roads?

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  • Jason H November 27, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Re: The bike theft, One thing I make sure to do if parking in a lot or garage with a bike inside other that lock car and set the alarm is back in to a spot with a wall behind and get very close so that the hatch on my vehicle doesn’t have clearance to open more than an inch or two. It would be nearly impossible to remove the bike through the hatch or any door and be VERY time-consuming and obvious to even try. Hopefully a factor that adds up to “move-on” to any would be thief.

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  • B. Carfree November 27, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    The Pinarello e-bike ad controversy was interesting to my wife and me. She has never been as strong a rider as me, but when we lived in the Central Valley she could just draft, even when we were riding 25-30 mph for hours at at time (being young was really fun). On our regular weekenders to the coast, I’d carry all the gear and just rest on the climbs. Eventually, we got a tandem for our longer rides and tours. (She rides captain so both of us can see the sights.) Problem solved.

    When we came to Oregon and found the motorists to be less accommodating towards people on bikes, we decided to not ride the tandem for a number of years. We simply did not wish to leave our child with zero parents if some clueless car addict took us out. We looked into e-bikes, but they weren’t ready for prime time. (She’s again considering one now that they appear to be fully functional.) Our child is now grown and so we are back on the tandem routinely.

    We’re practically the embodiment of the Pinarello ad: a couple who wants to ride together but one is much stronger than the other. Is it sexist to portray a female as the weaker rider when that’s the case in well over 90% of the couples who ride that I know? I guess it is, since sexism is an eye of the victim thing, but it’s not something that really jumped out for either of us. Like I said, we both find the controversy interesting. I guess we both have things to learn in this arena.

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    • rachel b November 27, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      My husband’s a strong cyclist and athlete but I’ve outpedaled him (when I was riding more, cough!). 🙂 He’s stronger than me, though–yes. I’ll tell you, though–it’s easier as a woman sometimes to let the boy win, because men have such a hard time w/ women winning in athletic pursuits and contests. I remember skunking a bunch of boys in foosball, ping pong and Around the World (basketball) at Senior Night in h.s. (I was an athlete and cheerleader but it was always the cheerleader label that stuck). They all just acted like it didn’t happen because it was apparently too humiliating to get beaten by a cheerleader.

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      • q November 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm

        Women can be sore losers, too. I beat a woman on my team in a swim meet–after years of her beating me–and she actually tried the excuse that she was pregnant (which she was). I didn’t fall for it. I told her, “Nice try–two against one and I still beat you.”

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        • B. Carfree November 27, 2017 at 10:58 pm

          I was uneasy about my comment. Then came yours, and I’m rolling on the floor laughing.

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          • rachel b November 27, 2017 at 11:31 pm

            q. 🙂

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      • Dan A November 28, 2017 at 12:27 pm

        If I was playing foosball with a cheerleader back in high school, I definitely would have lost.

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        • rachel b November 28, 2017 at 11:54 pm

          Heavy sigh. These were guys I grew up with, on the same street. They were not impressed by my cheerleaderliness. 😉

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          • Dan A November 29, 2017 at 9:39 am

            As someone who grew up across from a popular girl from 1st grade through high school, all I have to say is ‘riiiiiiight’.

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            • rachel b November 30, 2017 at 2:59 am

              No, really. They were plenty popular and had no dearth of dates. 🙂

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  • Spiffy November 28, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Pinarello pointed out the obvious and now people are mad at them? look at the cycling records and you’ll see all the women’s records are lower than the men’s…

    do all women need this? no? but it’s a real market and those consumers should be targeted… word it nicer to not hurt feelings next time? not needed… would it have been better if the gender roles were reversed? are we no longer allowed to point out the differences between types of people?

    also, my better half got an electric bike specifically because she couldn’t keep up with me…

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    • Middle of the Road Guy November 28, 2017 at 9:48 am

      I saw the same thing in Italy. Dude was former racer going uphill (dusted me!) and his wife was keeping pace with an e-bike.

      There is a probably a market for it.

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      • Brian November 28, 2017 at 9:52 am

        When my buddy and his wife travel to other countries, they always rent an e-bike for her. He said it’s been great and now they can do longer rides together that they previously wouldn’t have attempted. She liked it so much that she bought one for at home, too. I’m excited about the potential with e-bikes.

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        • Middle of the Road Guy November 28, 2017 at 1:48 pm

          It’s almost like people have been conditioned to react when they see certain things 🙂

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    • Al November 28, 2017 at 10:39 am
      • Spiffy November 28, 2017 at 4:22 pm

        wow, they really work to make that ad misogynistic… it’s a horrible article that completely forgets that there’s another ad featuring a man… neither ad portrays the person as weak, yet they both do… at least the female only has trouble keeping up with a male, while the male has trouble keeping up with everybody… where’s the rage in typecasting a weak male? it’s sexist rage for the purpose of sexist rage…

        so women want to keep up with their boyfriends by using electric assist… I say advertise to them… many women here posted that they want electric bikes for the same reason… it’s the only reason we own an electric bike…

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        • Middle of the Road Guy November 29, 2017 at 10:31 am

          I felt like I was reading something from Alex Jones. So much conspiracy theory.

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      • q November 29, 2017 at 11:14 am

        Being a total devil’s advocate here, but is being a slower bike rider a bad thing? Or, what if the ad showed somebody 60 years old, saying now he or she can keep up with their 30-year-old friends? Older people are slower than younger ones when both are at the same relative fitness level for their ages, but older fit people can be much faster than younger less fit ones–similar to women vs. men.

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    • rachel b November 29, 2017 at 12:20 am

      Though it’s better nowadays, girls are NOT encouraged to be athletic and haven’t been, well, ever. It takes awhile to get up to speed when you’re starting from nearly scratch. If girls were encouraged and trained to know their real strength, who knows how they’d fare against men, in many sports?

      Women have bested men in athletic competitions, but of course they’re one-offs at this point in history. We STILL discourage women from being “masculine” (read: athletic) and encourage “vulnerability” and “femininity,” if less obviously/more tacitly, nowadays.

      It’s a little like a man pointing to all the works of art in a museum and concluding women are just not good artists, because–look! Ditto, literature! But….in a world where the curators, the gatekeepers, the critics have been, and mostly are, all men, and women have been discouraged from exercising those muscles (and encouraged, instead, to take care of men and children)–what else could possibly be the result?

      I’d love to see girls taught their own strength. I find it interesting that–as a three sports a year athlete throughout school, starting in 7th grade, who made jv basketball (point guard) as a frosh, I’m remembered most for being a cheerleader. I was really encouraged in that girly field, by everyone. Not so much in sports, which is sad because I loved them and was good at them.

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      • Pete November 29, 2017 at 8:36 am

        Thanks for sharing your viewpoint. As a (now older) dude mostly participating in ‘non-traditional’ sports, one difference I’ve noted with girls is technique. I know world-class female windsurfers, kitesurfers, and snowboarders, and their “cat-like” ability to approach moves and tricks seems to differ from the ‘brute force’ approach we men are prone to take. I was a windsurfing instructor, and I was always jealous of the prowess my female counterparts exhibited, and it seemed to take me so much longer to learn tricks like duck jibes, helicopter tacks, even loops. Power isn’t everything!

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        • rachel b November 29, 2017 at 6:11 pm

          “Power isn’t everything!”
          … many smaller, less than super-muscular pro athlete men could tell you, too! 😉

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          • q November 29, 2017 at 6:21 pm

            Yes. If you’re male, and want to learn technique in a sport, learn from women. They’re generally much better at incorporating their cores and large muscle groups because they can’t rely on brute force. Plus they often learn technique better because they actually listen to coaches. Plus, most men are much closer in strength to women who are good at a sport than they are to the men. The technique that works for powerful male athletes isn’t appropriate for most men, because they’re much weaker.

            Plus, power isn’t helpful in many sports, especially endurance sports, because the power usually comes in the form of carrying around more muscle mass. Women can beat even elite men in endurance swimming, long-distance running, etc.

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            • rachel b November 30, 2017 at 3:20 am

              Great points, q!

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          • BradWagon November 30, 2017 at 5:07 pm

            But this all started with road cycling… and in road cycling power to weight ratio is literally the defining metric in success. Why you continue to equate being smaller with being less muscular is a mystery to me.

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        • rachel b November 30, 2017 at 3:19 am

          …and thanks for your insights in the (foreign to me, except for skateboarding!) world of board sports and women, Pete! 🙂

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      • BradWagon November 29, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        “If girls were encouraged and trained to know their real strength, who knows how they’d fare against men, in many sports?”

        You do know that professional women’s sports exist right? In fact, there are even professional female cyclists that dedicate their lives to training and pushing their physical abilities just like the top level men cyclists. So… we know how they fare, and in the most not-taking-a-side way I can possible type these words: They fare slower.

        This doesn’t mean they are in any way less deserving of prize payout, media attention, etc… (in fact most UCI level cx racing this year the women’s races have been more entertaining and competitive than the men). I know that stating men have more testosterone than women is seen as bigoted and sexist nowadays. I love seeing more women get involved with the sport and think it’s awesome when their are women hanging with or even dropping me in mass start rides… but again, they are elite in the women’s field and I am pack fodder in the men’s.

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        • rachel b November 29, 2017 at 6:09 pm

          “You do know that professional women’s sports exist right?”
          NO! Please tell me of this world where professional women’s sports exist! 😉

          Good gud, what on earth would possess you to even write that? Yeesh! It doesn’t change my point. Girls, in the main, on the whole, are not raised, as boys are, to learn the confidence of our bodies. “Throwing like a girl” is still an insult, and, unfortunately, most girls STILL don’t learn how to throw. It’s not a sex-based or anatomy-baed defect, that–it’s simple teaching. THAT’s my point.

          There are testosteroney men who have to compensate for having less than ideal physical make-ups, in athletics. Lots of pretty wee men who manage to kick ass. Many of them are not any bigger or muscular than women (ideally–if we were allowed to get as strong as we can get–again; I speak broadly, culturally…not about those women now who exist in professional sports, which I know exist, thanks again). We really are still, as women, coming from a big deficit in physical condition and confidence, due to sexist cultural norms and conditioning over the eons.

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          • BradWagon November 29, 2017 at 10:20 pm

            I suppose I didn’t gather that aspect of girls not being encouraged athletically in general culture from your initial comments, seeing Jonathan tweet tonight about a week of women only commenting made me rethink how I worded that and cringe so apologies for any demeaning tone.

            I’m not sure if you mean “pretty wee men” to mean men with low T or men that are just simply physically smaller? If we are talking about cycling the latter are typically climbers but that doesn’t mean they have low T comparable to that of a woman… saying that a man is about the same size as a woman and therefore they should perform equally is ignoring a lot of what’s going on in the body haha.

            Regarding your larger point though, yes general cultural could and should do more to encourage women in endurance sports, just don’t hold your breath about them equally men performance. If that’s upsetting then I don’t know how else to discuss being content with ones own abilities.

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            • q November 29, 2017 at 11:35 pm

              Actually endurance sports are where women are coming increasingly closer to parity with men, especially in ultra-endurance events and some particular sports such as open water swimming:

              When I was younger, I could run the marathon faster than any woman in the world. Now, only elite men can do that. In my experience now in local sports–swimming and standup paddling–some of the top competitors are women. There’ve been several events in swimming, distance running and standup paddling where the overall winner was female.

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              • BradWagon November 30, 2017 at 11:22 am

                That’s great and maybe some day at the elite level there won’t be much difference in certain sports… but for casual cycling I still don’t see recreational riders being equal across genders or OBRA combining the mens and womens categories any time soon.

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              • q November 30, 2017 at 1:12 pm

                I don’t know much about competitive cycling, but my guess is that women will narrow the gap over time, especially in long distance events, but that you’re right that the gap isn’t going to be narrowed as much or quickly as in some other sports. Swimming does rely heavily on technique, and fat adds floatation, like you said elsewhere, but also has even more factors that cancel out some other advantages men would otherwise have. Standup paddling is similar for other reasons.

                The nice thing about competitive adult swimming is that race heats are seeded by time, so genders and ages are mixed, and all events are open to everyone. No more restricting women to shorter events (which has been rampant in many sports over the decades, and ironic since the longer events are where women do better), or having more attention focused on the men’s races. And everyone gets used to seeing women beating men, old swimmers beating young ones, small people beating large, etc. which is all positive.

                Sports are objective in how they sort out who does well, so once generations of women are raised where they’re encouraged as much as males to be athletes, they’ll still run up against the same physical barriers men face–i.e. men with sprinters’ bodies will never be good marathoners and vice versa, etc.

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            • rachel b November 30, 2017 at 3:11 am

              “… just don’t hold your breath about them equally men performance. If that’s upsetting then I don’t know how else to discuss being content with ones own abilities.”

              I’d say the jury’s still out on women’s ability, ultimately, to equal and surpass men in athletic performance–wouldn’t you? Given where we are, and what women have been given in the way of discouragement and lack of support? Oh–and by “wee” I meant simply men who are not any bigger than women. And that’s a lot of men.

              Thanks, q. 🙂 Some interesting articles along those lines…




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              • BradWagon November 30, 2017 at 11:41 am

                So… you’re doubling down on the idea that physical size, no matter the gender, is a primary factor in physical ability?

                Those articles are interesting and it makes sense that women are close to or already outperforming men in ultra endurance sports where success comes down to energy efficiency over long periods of time, not necessarily peak muscular strength. Especially in swimming where technique and buoyancy are such large factors. Again though, if a gal doesn’t have the strength to perform at the same level as their guys and wants to use an e-assist is there some problem with marketing towards that?

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  • Al November 28, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Regarding bike theft and parking garages…. I feel like garages are the problem here.

    They want to have have their cake and eat it too. When I pay for street parking, at least I’m getting the value of having the spot under police surveillance in a way that any public spot in the city is. When I park in a garage, it’s a Walking Dead zone. Parking garages consider the limit of their responsibility for their business to be taking my money. After that, all bets are off as they matter of factly state on their “Secure Valuables” signage. These might as well read “Secure Valuables. Sucker!”

    Let’s not get into a litany of what I have witnessed taking place in parking garages. The fact is that these businesses have the capacity to cheaply secure their property AND yours but simply shrug off even this modicum of responsibility.

    When they continue to ignore a problem that is so obvious and most importantly easy to address, they start being culpable for it.

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  • GlowBoy November 28, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    As I pointed out above, there is a very big difference between civil libertarians (many of whom, myself included, support what’s often known as “big government”) and across-the-board Libertarians. The former want to limit government restriction of individual civil liberties; the latter also want to do that but further limit government, period.

    Pot legalization, abortion rights and abolition of the death penalty are common to both, and as such aren’t good examples of what distinguishes Libertarians (those without the word “civil” in front of the L-word) from everyone else.

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    • GlowBoy November 28, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      Oops, that was meant to go under the second libertarian thread above. My connection got interrupted as I hit “Post” and apparently that pushed it to the bottom.

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    • q November 28, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Nevertheless, those three things are Libertarian (of any type) positions. I do agree, “pure” Libertarian positions go too far for me and most people in regard to limiting government. The value of Libertarian thinking to me is that it’s a reminder to question government involvement in things.

      The cycling world would be harmed by less government involvement (and funding) of some components of the cycling world. But it would be helped by less government involvement (and funding) of some components of the driving world.

      Mostly, my comments are a reaction against the name-calling and dismissals that started popping up.

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