Friday, July 10, 2009

Marc Evans Speaks. Well, Allow Me To Retort

In the comments to my previous post, Marc Evans - or should I say "cyclist, triathlon coach and Daly City resident Marc Evans" decided to drop down his collected wisdom on the peleton.

I would like to clarify some misconceptions about the Honor the Stop program addressed in the article and some of the comments herein:

Before we get started I will clarify one more thing from the article. It should say "narcissist, cyclist, triathlon coach and Daly City resident Marc Evans". Of course, perhaps the Woodside Almanac felt that including the word narcissist was a redundancy given the inclusion of the phrase "triathlon coach". In my experience being a "triathlon coach" requires a few things.

1) Being very good at triathlon but not good enough to make a living competing.
2) Establishing a cool nickname like "Coach Bill" or "N Squared". Call your students part of "Team Bleeper" or something.
3) Endless streams of self promotion.

Depending on your skill at #3, you might just scratch out a meager living and score endless amounts of fresh tail.

OK, that was uncalled for. Sue me.

1) It is NOT accurate to say these institutions “took over the idea”…I’ve spent hundreds of hours in meetings, handing out bands, attending town meetings etc at my own expense, working with the officers (CHP, Sheriff, Police, CalTrans etc) in the field showing them how to pledge, and paying for the wristbands. We have personally pledges a few thousand individuals (cyclist, pedestrians, motorcyclist and mortorists alike). Honor the Stop is for all roadway users.

2) And it was my idea to organize the enforcement scheme which was implemented. It is accurate that I was not informed of the specific date(s), but it was discussed at length a few months ago. The wristbands were donated to sheriff’s office from the Town of Woodside who purchased 5000 bands.

3)The idea for the wristband began a year before Kristy and Matt were killed. There was an article in the San Jose Mercury News about a concept I had be thinking of for some time with regards to the increasing tension among cyclists and motorist. As a coach, I have always required full compliance in obeying the roadways laws. And every client I've worked with knows my insistance on this is not casual.
The deaths of Kristy and Matt caused me to take the action of creating Honor the Stop.


4) The Honor the Stop program is a simple message for all roadway users. And unfortunately, many people attempt to categorize the program as anti-cyclist and a power play by the law enforcement agencies. The truth is the Town of Woodside and surrounding areas are a magnet for cyclists of all skill levels. It is however, my goal that everyone who uses the roadways display respect for one another by obeying the roadway laws. Cyclists for a vasy majority do not obey the laws and perhaps, no more or less than motorists, but it is my concern for their safety that I advocate obeying all roadway laws.

OK, time to get serious. If Mr. Evans were truly concerned about the safety of cyclists, he would marshall his efforts into an initiative that might improve the safety of cyclists. Unfortunately, promoting a jihad about driving safely would only fall into the noise and not achieve the goal of getting his name into the paper by playing to the meme that "Cyclists for a vasy (sic) majority do not obey the laws".

Additionally, Evans lives in Daly City (according to the article) or Gardnerville (accoring to his post) but he chose Woodside to be the focus of his efforts. Why not Daly City or neighboring San Francisco? Perhaps because in San Francisco his noise would be drowned out by Rob Anderson?

All he's really accomplished with his efforts is to reinforce the notion amongst Woodside residents that cyclists are merely "guests" on the road partaking in an inherently risky activity, and that if there is an incident it happens because the cyclist is participating in that activity. The net effect - motorists feel no inclination to take care on the road because if they hit a cyclist - the fault lies with the cyclist simply because the cyclist was on the road. The recent fatalities in Woodside occured on Sand Hill Road and on Woodside Road, nowhere near a stop sign. One self inflicted, one by driver error, and one by the dubious "Experienced Cyclist took a U-turn into the middle of a busy road and was run over by 87 year old driver, died and then refused to testify against the driver." Matt and Kristy were killed nowhere near a stop sign. The stings going on in Woodside are nowhere near safety hotspots.

I would like to offer to the pelotons for the locat bike clubs, teams and other groups of individuals who do not obey the laws a respectful challenge. That is, STOP and OBEY the laws and I believe we will all eventually find a way to share the roadways with courtesy for all users. The clubs, teams and groups of cyclists who regularly disregard the stop signs are setting a poor example for others and creating a environment whereby mortorist do not know whether you are going to stop or not. If the team, groups, and clubs agree to stop at ALL signs and lights then the not so fast riders will not not so inclinded to run the sign to bridge the gap to the peloton.

There are plenty of people in Woodside who hate the Noon/Valley/Spectrum rides. Question - if those rides suddenly started stopping at the stop signs on the route, would the Woodside Citizens start showing up at the corner of Whiskey Hill and Sand Hill with free lemonade for cyclists? No. They are just spiteful people who can't stand having to deal with legitimate road users who delay them a handful of seconds, so they grasp at any straw to demonize them. And here comes Marc Evans with a whole box of straws.

Those rides come to a full stop at Arastradero and Alpine and proceed with extreme care - because that is a real safety issue. At Portola and Alpine there is NO safety issue. At Woodside and Mountain Home, there is a four way stop and the clearance of that intersection is negotiated silently by the front of the peleton and the drivers at the intersection, and the rational choice is to let the entire peleton clear in one shot.

Again, Honor the Stop is a simple message and if children who I've pledged "get it" then, perhaps there's a chance adults will too.

I hope people will come together to obey the laws not matter what mode of transportation they use. Honor the Stop is NOT a divisive program, but rather an opportunity for everyone to respectfully share the roadways.

I disrespectfully disagree.

All the best,

Marc Evans

Founder, Honor The Stop
Gardnerville, Nevada



djconnel said...

If it had been "honor the right of way", I'd have had more respect for the program.

Yokota Fritz said...

and honoring the right of way, of course, is something most road cyclists already do.

Not so common for in town riding in some areas, though. Palo Alto seems especially bad in that regard.

ammon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ammon said...

And in today's tragic news, a certified defensive driving instructor who taught cycling classes since 1995, and was known as "a stickler for the rules, for motorists and bicyclists", was just killed by car:
story 1
story 2

Choice quotes from that last article:
"Police have also seen more complaints from motorists that cyclists are not following the rules of the road"
"In the past month, Stephens said, police have started a campaign to make cyclists aware of the dangers on the road and remind them that they are required by law to follow the same rules of the road as motorists."

So we see the same old blame the victim reporting around the nation. Just have a look at Bruce Rosar's website and I doubt you'd find a bigger advocate for bike safety and traffic coexistence.

Yokota Fritz said...

Bruce Rosar??? Dead?? This news hit me like a punch in the gut.

Cordelia in a Coffin said...

Remove this: Why are you being so childish? And why are you so jealous of Marc? What a silly topic to get your jock strap all twisted up over. You are nasty.