His perspective was completely the "bicycle as vacuum cleaner" one- he said it's not unusual to get your bike stolen once a year, so why would you customize and get attached to it. He thought I was a little silly to have named my bikes, although when I mentioned that I had 4, and that several of them were all the same color it seemed to make a bit more sense.
|Vacuum Cleaner Parking|
We talked a bit about how the attitude is so much different there- the strict liability to which drivers are held there prevents a lot of the hazards that drivers inflict on bikers here. Interestingly his pet peeve here wasn't close passing, but people opening their doors carelessly. He said twice that if someone opened their door in front of a biker in the Netherlands, angry bikers would pull the driver out of the car, and the driver would never do it again (implied some kind of smackdown). He said that he had had several angry exchanges with drivers here who had almost doored him. I suspect that if he rode further out in the lane, he'd complain instead about close passes and people honking at him.
He had only a loose concept of US biking laws and said he runs red lights all the time (so much for the concept that getting more people out on the streets will make them more law abiding). He doesn't "blow lights" but he said since he's being environmentally responsible, he feels like the laws shouldn't apply as rigorously. Unfortunately, we ran out of time before we could talk about separated facilities vs riding on the road.
I'm feeling better, but still a bit weak and slow, and I was longing for separated infrastructure (or any infrastructure) as I biked home at rush-hour this evening.