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Comment Re:so they should (Score 1) 233

I'm not leading an idyllic life. Are you?

It's not about "idyllic", it's about relative levels of psychological damage.

And you can "like to see" sex delayed until 40, for all most teens care. They may not be making mature decisions, but they're still making them.

Idyllic? No. Pretty good? Yes. Far better than my life would likely have been like 1000 years ago. Very good chance I wouldn't have even lived this long.

Would you prefer to be living back when it was common for girls to be having kids by the time they were 14? How many sane women would want that?

My son has had "girlfriends" fairly regularly since he was 14. One of them from last year had to change schools when she was 12 or 13 because she had a "reputation" at her previous school as a result of various rumors. Some kid ended up groping her. This made her quite skittish around boys. Though you wouldn't expect any relationship among 15 year olds to last very long, the one she had with my son ended partially because of that. She's struggling. He goes to a small school. We know her parents.

I've seen many of his texts and unfortunately some of the pictures that have gotten exchanged between he and his friends. For the most part I consider it normal and harmless but it can very easily go too far and cause some real difficulties. He lost his phone for quite awhile because he made some bad decisions and we discovered them before it got worse.

So yes, they make decisions, and yes they should be allowed to make mistakes, - but there are times when parents need to step in.

Comment Re:so they should (Score 3, Insightful) 233

Just because we survived as a species does not mean that young girls lead idyllic lives when they were married off or sold into slavery at 13. When whole populations could be wiped out by disease, famine, or war, producing lots of babies was important to survival. Even then, there were pretty strict mores regarding sex. Violating them could mean a death sentence or being ostracized.

Typically, as societies become more successful and wealthy, women have fewer kids and wait until later in life to have them. And even though we are physically able to produce children at young ages, it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Our brains aren't fully developed until around age 25 or so. Because of this many adolescents are practically wired to make crappy decisions. Sometimes the natural consequences are what's necessary to keep them from repeating the same mistakes. Other times some intervention or prevention is necessary. Lots of teens are definitely at risk for suicide. You don't always want to wait for them to work it out themselves.

I have a 15 year old son, and a 12 year old daughter so I'm right in the middle of this. Even though my son's hormones are raging and my daughter's are headed in that direction, they aren't even close to being physically or emotionally mature. They do not have the means to raise a child on their own. Of course, there is such a thing as birth control, but the chemical methods have bad side effects and potential health risks when used for a long time. Non-chemical methods tend not to be that reliable. So delaying full blown sex until their later teens or early twenties is something we'd like to see. Definitely past 14. Past 17 is probably pushing it, but we can hope. 17 is the current average for when kids become sexually active.

Comment Re:so they should (Score 1) 233

There lots of stupid things that 14 year olds can do which can be harmful to themselves and to others without being criminal. This kid may have trouble getting employment when he's 24 because of what he did when he was 14. In my opinion, one 14 year old sending a naked picture of themselves to another 14 year old requires some parental intervention, but it isn't criminal (unless it's in violation of some restraining order) and shouldn't become part of any police record.

As a culture, it seems we need to take a deep breath and figure out what is truly damaging behavior for teenagers and what is normal exploration of sexuality. Technology opens the doors to behaviors that weren't open before. What are the real consequences for those behaviors? Like I said, I don't believe that one boy sending a naked picture of himself to one girl is going to destroy her under most circumstances. However, what if 15 boys in a class thought it would be funny to send a naked pic of themselves to the same girl and they kept doing it over period of weeks and months? That I could see as being extremely traumatic for her.

Comment It's good to have an end rather just withering awa (Score 2) 134

I used it a very long time ago and countless people have used it before and since. It's far better to have a definite end date rather than just sporadic updates that grow farther apart and less significant, - leaving people to wonder if it's being maintained or not.

Instead of the maintainer feeling the occasional pang of guilt over not doing anything, they can feel good about what was accomplished during the life of the project and move on to the next thing.

Comment Re:Amazing (Score 1) 258

I'm almost 30 years into my career and have had access to a shower in at least half of the places I've worked. In lots of situations you really don't need one as long as it's relatively flat and you're not killing yourself to get there. A lot of the time cycling takes no more effort than walking. It's just faster.

I graduated and started programming in 1987. I drove a car with no A/C and vinyl seats. I was sweatier getting out of that thing on some mornings than I would be after biking at a moderate pace.

Comment Re:Trailer weight limit (Score 1) 258

So then there's probably traffic going 40.

No, the traffic is probably going 20 to 25. At least where I would ride with them. Suburbia might be different.

Bicycle trailers are difficult for cars to see in many situations. They're not a good place to drag a child. You can tell yourself whatever you want, but there's just no way to make that safe. In certain limited circumstances the risk may be comparable to other stuff you do daily, but for the most part, it's just a bad idea. I mostly see them in places where it's a very bad idea, that may be confirmation bias, but obviously plenty of people are using them that way.

Describe for me a situation where you can't see a trailer and would be likely to collide with one? The idea that you could see a kid on a bike easier than you could see something taller (the adult), wider, and over twice as long makes no sense. Think about it. I'm not saying it's a risk free activity, but we are far more likely to die doing something else that we wouldn't think twice about. You've decided they're unsafe because they were relatively uncommon until recently and because many of us are no longer used to seeing anything but cars on the streets. The fact that kids used to ride their bikes on the streets all the time has been lost from collective memory since we as a society have started driving them everywhere along with ourselves.

Comment Re:Trailer weight limit (Score 1) 258

Getting thrown doesn't mean the kid will not get injured or killed. Hitting the pavement or curb is where a lot of serious bike injuries come from.

With a bike trailer, the kids are buckled in and protected by a metal frame. We had our kids wear helmets as well. The trailers are brightly colored and have big orange flags the stick up for visibility. Plus there's an adult on a bike immediately in front of them. They're pretty hard not to see.

Have you ever ridden a bike carrying a bag full of newspapers? It's not particularly maneuverable, stable, or fast. Not sure that kid has any more chance of avoiding an accident and maybe less.

I wouldn't expect the metal frame of the bike trailer to protect a child from a car hitting it at 50 mph or even 30. At the same time I never had a trailer on a street where the speed limit was above 30. In practice, traffic is either light or moving a lot slower.

One of the most likely scenarios for getting hit is a car pulling out of parking spot or lot and not seeing you. As a cyclist you learn to be wary of that potential and act accordingly. Even so, if there is a collision, the cars aren't moving all that fast. Another common collision between bikes and cars is the "right hook". It is where a car will pass you as you approach an intersection and make a right turn in front of you not realizing you were there. In that scenario, it is your momentum that would lead to any injury and it would be the adult that gets hit and not the trailer.

Comment Re:Trailer weight limit (Score 1) 258

What do you mean by "city streets" ? I live in a city and there's some streets I'd take a trailer on and others I wouldn't, but I could get most places I'd want to go. Speed limits are slower in the city and drivers are used to watching for pedestrians crossing and bikes in the road.

It wasn't that long ago that a common job for kids was delivering papers and they'd do it on their bikes, sometimes on the sidewalk, sometimes on the street. Bikes were a common way for kids to get to school or anywhere else they wanted to go. I used to ride across three towns to get to a shopping mall on roads far more dangerous for bikes than anything near here.

I'm not sure where it happened but somewhere along the line, our fears have gotten way out of proportion with reality. Somewhere between 700 and 800 people are killed on bikes in the US each year and a small percentage of them are kids. So yes it can happen. About 5,000 teenagers die every year in car crashes. About 400,000 are seriously injured. About 700 kids drown each year. There are 246,000 medically treated trampoline injuries each year.

I'm far more worried about the prospect of my 15 year old driving next year, than I am of his riding his bike around town. Statistics would seem to support my concerns.

Comment Re:Trailer weight limit (Score 1) 258

We have a Burley D'Lite. It's about 15 years old now and our kids have long since out grown it. We still use it to haul stuff. Anyway the capacity of the new models are about 100 pounds I'm not sure what ours is. It was expensive but we got our money's worth. It doubled as a stroller. There are lots of choices now that weren't available then.

I'm not an expert on bakfiets but they come in various sizes. I've seen some with a listed capacity of 80kg in the front and another 25kg in the rear.

Once our kids outgrew the trailer, we got a Trek "Mountain Tram", - essentially it's like a kid's bike without a front wheel that attaches to the back of your bike. The kids can either help you by pedaling or they can just coast and make you do all the work. We had one from Trek but there are all kinds of them. Newer one's I've seen are almost like recumbents that have seat backs, etc. A child could ride a long ways in one of those in comfort. I've seen people attach one of these to their bike and then a trailer to the tram to put the smaller kids in.

Anyway, the main point is that there are lots of good options for bringing the kids along.

Comment Re:The street will become half as wide (Score 1) 258

I'm not sure I follow. Because it takes you 4 times longer to get where you're going that some how quadruples the amount of space you take up? If every cyclist rode single file and every car stayed behind every cyclist that might be the case, but that's not how it works.

And I agree that it seems unlikely that it takes you 4 times as long to get to work on a bike. The building I work in like many buildings in the city has very limited parking. Most people have to park somewhere and walk a few blocks. I can ride door to door. That saves me time. During the summer I can ride the 6 miles to work in 25 minutes or less. I'm very lucky if I can drive to work during rush hour and arrive in that same period of time.

Comment Re:wish this existed in silicon valley (Score 3, Interesting) 258

Lots of metro areas are becoming like this and so increasingly are suburbs. I live in Minneapolis and bike year round. We have a bike freeway that cuts through the middle of the city on an old railroad line. It's the quickest way across the city, especially during rush hour.

Lots and lots of people die in car accidents and it doesn't stop folks from driving.

Comment Re:I don't understand the opposing argument. (Score 1) 258

While a low income is associated with obesity, it doesn't mean that all poor people are fat. And being obese doesn't mean you can't ride a bike, - even if you weigh 500 pounds. Check out this story about a guy that lost over 300 pounds by changing his diet and riding a bike: Clearly this guy had some money in order to be able to afford a customized bike, but a 300 pound person has plenty of options in stock bikes. An older steel bike might even be better.

Again, I'm not sure how promoting a less expensive form of transportation hurts the poor, especially since other forms of transportation aren't being eliminated.

I ride my bike to work most days. It's 30 years old and I paid $75 for it at a garage sale. It's a simple fixed gear and probably costs less per year to maintain on average than a single tank of gas, - and that's in the US. I'm sure that operating a vehicle in London is a lot more expensive than it is here.

This seems like the kind of policy that has long term benefits for the poor and really just about everyone if you care about the environment.

Comment Re:I don't understand the opposing argument. (Score 1) 258

You really don't see it? They're going to create these bike lanes by taking a car lane and walling it off. Thus, more traffic and it sucks for everyone but bike riders.

I know that a lot of bike riders think of this as a positive, which is unfortunate. You can't ride a bike unless you're physically fit, which rules out the disabled, the elderly, the young, and much of the poor. Also to people who sweat a lot, and entirely genetic problem. It's like a giant middle finger to everyone in society. The attitude seems to be, "tough, now it's time for YOU to suffer!"

How physically fit do you need to be to ride a bike? It's not that hard and the beauty is that if you're not that fit now, you can get more fit by riding.

How does it hurt the young? If they're too young to ride there are lots of options for the parents to bring them along on a bike (via trailer, bakfiets, or whatever). The young certainly can't drive.

The poor? They're too poor to ride a bike, but they can own a car, pay for fuel, and for parking? Sorry, that doesn't make sense.

It's not like the road is going away completely or there aren't going to be trains or buses for people who aren't able to ride.

Take a good look around your city and notice how much space is devoted to the automobile. If you could take even 10% of the cars away by making it practical for people to get around by other means, imagine how much space that would free up. There might even be LESS congestion in lots of places.

Comment Re:Not just wearables but the basic cell phone too (Score 1) 202

Your wrist is an extremely handy place to have information available when you're on the move. That's why over time there's been so many specialty watches created whether for diving, sailing, training, etc. Ever notice what's on the wrists of quarter backs, running backs, and receivers during a football game? Not watches, but playlists.

The smart watch is in its infancy. We might be a ways off from ones that are truly useful and convenient, but the potential is definitely there.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.