The Spokesmen 54 – Offend Everyone

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  1. Greg B
    November 7, 2010

    I’m an occasional mountain biker and listen to The Spokesman not because I’m a cycling nut but because it’s entertaining AND educational. In Episode 54 the subjects/discussions were both and I loved the back/forth banter. Unfortunately the content was often overshadowed by the sound of someone exhaling into their phone or an unidentified hollow knocking sound (listen to 42:15 – 43:15 for examples of both). It was bad enough at points I felt like I couldn’t listen to anymore despite my interest in the discussion of safety and how to get more people involved in the sport. If I were a first time listener, I probably wouldn’t have listened to another episode. Because I’ve listened for a little while, I know it’s an aberration.

    Note Lily’s commentary, which was both insightful and quite amusing, doesn’t fall into the annoyance category. Just the opposite!

    Keep up the good work and thanks for the great information.


  2. November 7, 2010

    Greg: We noticed the same thing during the show and tried to isolate it via back-and-forth text messages, but weren’t able to figure it out. I decided that it would be better to let it go and work on between this show and the next, rather than stop the show. Thanks for your understanding and the proper label of ‘aberration.’ πŸ˜‰

    And I totally agree! We need to get Lily on the show more often. She definitely took the show to a much higher level.


  3. November 7, 2010

    Lily clearly takes after her father- she’s already profound and insightful. When she speaks, it’s very meaningful. I’m proud.

    Thanks for listening Greg- we’re happy to have regular listeners to the show who push us to keep going and improving. Despite David not paying any of us very well and keeping all the advertising money to himself…

    … joking of course.

    Sincerely- thank you for listening.

  4. November 7, 2010

    Greg – thanks for the feedback. We appreciate you listening and understanding the technical difficulties. Listen for new show in 2 weeks without knocking…but, hopefully, with Miss Lily. How old do you think she’ll be before she tells us to talk to her people before she’ll come on the show? πŸ˜‰
    Ride safe.

  5. November 8, 2010

    I think you didn’t offend me in the least!
    Donna – with you there. Totally.
    Bikehugger – understood.
    Carlton – no Sasnta Claus? No St. Nick? What have you done to me? AAARRRRGGGHHH!!!!

    As for the Vail, CO story; I feel that this sort of “judgement” happens all the time. It just seems to be that this time was the most public. At least this guy got caught, unlike Tim’s prior incident. Yes I am as outraged as anyone about this but also somewhat cynical about the thought of justice in the U.S.

    As for the abberation, these things happen. It’s just the nature of the beast in such a collaberative effort. More than likely it won’t be fully controlled until all of the Spokesmen gather in a high-dollar studio with very nice E-V mics, pop filters, digital processors and a good engineer. As that seems to be about as likely to happen as Santa returning to my dreams (Darn you Carlton!) it just will be upon occaision.

    Thanks for the time, both for reading and for the show in general.

  6. November 9, 2010

    Thanks, J.D! We appreciate you listening and taking the time to join the conversation here. We also appreciate your understanding about the technical glitches. So…do you have one of those high-dollar studios we could borrow from time to time? We’d be more than happy to record there. πŸ™‚

  7. November 9, 2010

    I enjoy the show usually, and did for most of this one too, until The Segregation Debate.

    Look, I know you’re even less likely to get a comprehensive network of protected paths in the US than we are in the UK, but really, there’s no need to set up three massive straw man arguments, namely:

    1. “So you’ll refrain from cycling until the paths are built, will ya?” (actually, no, I ride on the road mostly because I have to, but off-road where I can. I’m no speed demon; it’s just more pleasant)

    2. “it’s not the segregation! It’s the strict liability!” (it’s both, from what I can tell)

    3. “but they still have to cycle amongst cars sometimes in Amsterdam!” (yes, but where speeds and volumes of motor traffic are low; there’s still a heck of a lot of good-quality segregated paths in NL, and it’s indivisible from mass cycling.”

    I just felt you guys dropped the ball on this issue really. I know it’s hard to look at it dispassionately, but your discussion seemed to be taking place through a massive bias filter.

  8. November 10, 2010

    Great show all, it’s always great to hear different opinions on contentious subjects.

    I’m the blogger who kick-started this “segregation debate” and take slight umbrage with the way in which Carlton has portrayed this argument as being “drop everything till segregation materialises.” This is not what the debate has been about at all and Carlton has done a great job of trying as hard as possible to shift the spotlight off the issue as it was originally posed. Regardless of your opinions of the wrongs and rights about Dutch-style infrastructure the question I have been posing is whether our 2 most prominent cycle campaigns here in London are actually out-loud committed to segregation where appropriate or not. You can see the posts here, if you want to see the other side of the coin:

    Since then there has been lots of talk about pie in the sky thinking and ‘do these guys think we should just not cycle till these paths are built, even if they are never’. This is nonsense and a wash. Of course people should cycle, and of course people should campaign for strict liability and 20MPH zones and bike maps and all the rest of it. What my question has been trying to ascertain from the start is whether our campaigns are committed to segregation in the right places or not and whether they are calling for this out loud or not? One wouldn’t think this wasn’t a difficult question but looking at the emotive fall out this has caused one might be inclined to think otherwise! An ability to discuss this issue dispassionately seems to be missing from the entire online debate about it so far, and I find that worrying in the extreme.

    All the best and looking forward to the next show.

  9. November 10, 2010

    Thanks for all the comments.

    My long – real long – piece on segregation is from a real world stance. Sad and bad but motormyopia is a disease that ain’t going to disappear any time soon.

    In the meantime we need to have a multi-partner, multi-aim approach and accusing cycling orgs of suppressing the demand for cycling is not a way to win friends and influence people.

  10. Carl
    November 10, 2010

    No cycling safety comments? Hmmmm…. I thought it was interesting that the focus was on the hardware and less on the choices cyclists make. For example, clothing – how many cyclists choose bright clothing that contrasts well with the road? Another is bike bag colors – I had to look hard to find something NOT black.

  11. Kirk
    November 23, 2010

    First and foremost, thank you all for the time and dedication to making this podcast – it is one of my favorite. One point to consider: please discontinue the use of profanity on the show. It seems to have become more and more frequently. As one who often listens to the cast in my car with my children present, it was a little embarrassing to have to constantly turn down the volume or just wait to listen another day. My 8-yr-old often comments on some of the topics presented as he loves cycling himself and is hoping that Santa (thank God I listened to that segment sans children) will bring him a Fuji 24in road bike for Christmas. Thank you for your consideration and keep up the great work. It is much appreciated!!!!

  12. November 23, 2010

    Kirk: Thanks for your kind comments and for the gentle reminder about keeping the show clean. We want to encourage parents to listen with their kids, so we will take your comments to heart. Thanks again!

  13. oboe
    December 7, 2010

    re: Cycling safety..

    “The only way more people will ride is if we build infrastructure.”

    True, but that’s nothing the bike industry could do.

    As far as tech fixes, motion sensors, etc, etc… That’s just silly. No way that could be effective. And essentially what you’d need to do is scare folks into thinking cycling is more scary than it is–then sell them the antidote.

    Bottom line: cycling is safe, the general public doesn’t think it is. The dumb way to deal with this is to tell the public, “No, you’re right, it’s incredibly dangerous. Here’s an ineffectual crash-warning system.”

    Better to inform the public of the fact that there’s not really any danger, and market to urban areas that *are* investing in infrastructure.

    The British guy did a fantastic job not getting irritated by the repeated attempt to scaremonger, or turn a bicycle into a BMW C1. Sheesh.

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