05 April 2010

Go Green, Go Dutch, Go Die!

Copenhagener Going Strong
Here we have a couple of Copenhageners who are partipating in a "strenuous activity beyond the capability of some people and that may cause minor, severe and/or permanent injuries or death to people who are not in sufficient physical fitness, training and/or experience."

La Famiglia
And here we have two individuals who have "Acknowledged that some Bicycling is a test of their physical and mental limits and carries with it, regardless of physical fitness or experience, the potential for death, serious injury and property loss. They have assumed the risks of participating in Bicycling. They certify that their level of fitness is appropriate to participate in Bicycling which they are voluntarily undertaking."

What am I on about? One of our readers, Dottie, is a lawyer in Chicago and she loves urban cycling. The Dutch Embassy and Consulates in the US and Canada have a bike ride roadshow called Go Green, Go Dutch, Go Bike! wherein they promote cycling and the wonderful Dutch bicycle lifestyle. So far, so good.

Dottie thought she'd sign up for the Dutch bike ride in Chicago on May 8th, 2010, co-sponsored by the Active Transportation Alliance.

After filling in name and address and 'emergency' telephone numbers, she ended up at the Waiver and Release section which takes up two-thirds of the webpage. As Dottie wrote to Copenhagenize.com:

"I thought you might be interested in the following "waiver and release" I was required to agree to when registering for the Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike! event that the Dutch Consulate is sponsoring in various North American cities. The Chicago ride is being hosted by the Active Transportation Alliance, a bicycling and pedestrian advocacy organization, and this is their language.

I'm a lawyer, so I understand the importance of participants signing waivers, but this language seems extreme and unnecessary, not to mention ironic considering the message of the ride. Anyone who stops to read the language should be scared shitless. Also, note that we are apparently required to wear helmets, even though the ride will be on a lakefront bicycle path, completely separated from motorized traffic.

A lot of this language is legally unnecessary, especially this bit that bothers me the most - "Bicycling is a test of a person's physical and mental limits." Ridiculous. I'm hopeful that the helmet rule will not be enforced."


I've included the entire text at the end of this post. But first, here's another intense action shot of highly-trained, risk-taking persons participating in Bicycling. Taken from the 4th etape of the Tour de France last year:
What a Ride
Right... take a minute to recover from THAT intensity... okay... ready?

I wonder what the Dutch Consulate makes of all this? At a similar event in Vancouver, all the participants were clad in Roadside Garbage Collector Chic in the form of hi-viz vests. So much for celebrating the relaxed world of Citizen Cyclists in the Netherlands.
This much be, for example, how the French feel when, after a couple of centuries of exporting excellent cheeses, see 'Cheese in a Tube' in supermarkets in other countries.

"Um... excusez-moi... that's not what we meant..." Lost in translation, indeed.

It's perhaps one thing that the hotel I stayed at in Portland (yes, THAT Portland) had a hellfire and destruction waiver release for guests to sign if they wanted to borrow a bicycle. [The text is in the middle of this previous post.] I would, however, expect more from an advocacy group dedicated to cycling.

So here comes the Waiver and Release text for the Dutch Bike Ride in Chicago. Ambulances will be standing by along the route. And remember to enter to win the Gazelle bike with a top speed of about 12.4 km/h!

What you're about to read is not just a silly, unecessary legal form. It is, quite simply, the death knell for the future of urban cycling in America. Choose a song from this site to listen to whilst you read the text.

If this is the way cycling is marketed, presented to the public - both cyclists and the 'bicycle curious' - and branded - and by an advocacy group to boot, then I firmly believe there is little hope for a sea change in urban cycling.

And before the usual "you don't understand... this isn't Copendam/Amsterhagen... we don't have bike lanes and all that..." comments roll in, just let me say that a sea change IS afloat in many a country without adequate infrastructure (yet) and with a all-dominant car culture. The marketing... the marketing is right on the money. Urban cycling is being sold properly and effectively and those countries will start reaping the societal and health benefits in no time.

Waiver and Release
By clicking below, I hereby acknowledge that bicycle riding, bicycle racing and bicycling events (“Bicycling”) are strenuous activities beyond the capability of some people, and may cause minor, severe and/or permanent injuries or death to people who are not in sufficient physical fitness, training and/or experience. I have made my own determination as to whether I am able to safely participate in Bicycling. I recognize that the Active Transportation Alliance (“Active Trans”) has not evaluated my ability to participate in Bicycling. I also recognize that advice dispensed through Active Trans may not be appropriate for me, and it is my responsibility to make this determination.

I acknowledge that some Bicycling is a test of a person’s physical and mental limits and carries with it, regardless of physical fitness or experience, the potential for death, serious injury and property loss. I assume the risks of participating in Bicycling. I certify that my level of fitness is appropriate to participate in Bicycling which I am voluntarily undertaking. I certify that I have sufficiently trained or prepared for the Bicycling I am undertaking and I have not been advised against participation in such activity by a health care professional. I agree to wear an ANSI, CPSC, or SNELL approved helmet properly at all times while participating in Active Trans bicycling activities.

56 comments:

Elliott@ Austin on Two Wheels said...

Automobile crashes are the number one accidental cause of death in America. How come you don't have to sign one of these when you buy a car or get your driver's license? How about when you rent a car?

Kelly D. Talcott said...

"We need a waiver."

"Why?"

"What if someone gets hurt? We'll get sued."

"Call the lawyers. We need a waiver."

Weeks pass. Hundreds or thousands of dollars exchange hands.

"We have the waiver!"

"Did you read it?"

"No, why would I do that? The lawyers said it was okay."

"Fine, let's use it."

"Wait a minute. It says we have to wear our helmets. I don't have a helmet. Do you have a helmet?"

"Of course not. I'm Dutch. Why in God's name would I wear a helmet?"

"Well I guess we can't participate."

"Ah well, too bad. Let's go drink instead."

"Good idea. We'll ride our bikes."

portlandize.com said...

I've never gone on a group ride that was organized by a sort of official organization, and have therefore never seen a waiver like this, but I was aware that basically any group ride organized by an official organization or company here requires you to wear a helmet, which excludes me from participation, as I'm certainly not going to buy one just for a group ride.

There is no question that we do a horrific job of marketing cycling - even the bicycle companies themselves make their bikes sound like if you look at the bicycle funny, it will suddenly throw you 20 miles into the jaws of a waiting Indian tiger, to be chewed up and spit into a pit of boiling lava.

In my opinion, there is no question that a lot of people are getting a lot of money in order to portray things that way.

Though, I have to say - I'd much rather get some friends to ride to a local brewery and have drinks any day. Much better use of a bicycle than a group ride to promote "being green".

wee folding bike said...

A local council here in Scotland has organised a ride for bike week. They require helmets for kids. They didn't seem to have any clear idea of how that could be enforced given that the ride was on public roads. I could follow along behind them with unhelmeted kids.

Elaine said...

Elliott -- IIRC from the last time I rented a car (van to pick up mom and her luggage), you DO have to sign a ginormous waiver. They also prefer that you pay for a bunch of extra insurance. :\

(I had to sign a waiver last summer to help a friend assemble an art installation on city property. Basically: if you fall off the ladder, it's your own damn problem. It is what it is.)

Elliott@ Austin on Two Wheels said...

Elaine- I rent cars often, and the thing I sign is about financial responsibility to the car and others involved in an accident. Their form is about money and damage to the car, not your life and limb.

bjsmith said...

Fortunately, one does not need to sign anything when bicycling to work, out for a little exercise around town or pedaling around the countryside with a few friends.

Yes, "organized" rides often require participants to sign a waiver. It's hardly the death of urban cycling in the U.S.

Brent said...

I don't understand the rant. The waiver has less to say about American bicycle culture than it does about the American legal culture. The language, although perhaps more detailed than most, tracks closely to documents I've signed many times for other such events, whether fun-runs or serious amateur races. Helmet use has been mandatory at all U.S. bicycle and inline events in which I've participated for the past twenty years. (Even back in the 1980s, I had to wear at least a leather hairnet in races.) This waiver won't stop people from riding, just as similar waivers haven't stopped us from running or skating, or swimming, or doing all of the activities we enjoy.

Amsterdamize said...

the same kind of waiver was applied for the NY400 rides this summer, the Dutch consulate had to comply. There was an item about it on a Dutch tv show and the interviewed guest who had planned to participate thought it to be pretty ridiculous and all the 'arrangements' for "just a simple ride" quite a hurdle, so declined.

It won't come as a surprise when I say all of this doesn't do cycling promotion and/or Dutch cycling promotion for that matter any good.

portlandize.com said...

@Brent: it may not stop people who *already* cycle from cycling, but it just helps to present a picture to the person who hasn't ridden in 30 years (or ever) that cycling is dangerous, you would be crazy to do it, and that it's nearly guaranteed that you'll come away with some kind of injury if you try it.

ModelCarGuy said...

portlandize.com

Respectfully, I disagree. First most people ride when they are kids so it's pretty rare to find someone who has never ridden a bike. Second, if someone hasn't ridden in 30 years, they aren't going to assess risk based on the legaleeze in the waiver - they more or less expect the legaleeze, and probably don't read it very carefully anyway.

People will probably assess risk based on their local riding conditions.

I know the helmet requirement is despised in some quarters. Though I'd opt to wear one, I have to say it seems unnecessary as no US state makes helmets a requirement for anyone 18 or over. (Though some municipalities do have their own helmet ordinance). It's difficult to see what the organizers are worried about when state law doesn't require a helmet.

Anonymous said...

Welcome the the U.S. legal culture. Everything not forbidden is compulsary...

Glenn

dr2chase said...

It is more the US legal culture. I don't recall the exact details, but when I wanted to use the shower at the work gym after cycling to work on a hot day, there was all sorts of waiver nonsense, never mind that I had just spent 45 minutes riding in to work, the last two miles of it through nasty traffic on a road filled with debris.

Kelly D. Talcott said...

I have skipped any number of charity rides because of their helmet requirement. I let them know it, and spend my time and money elsewhere.

There is no legal reason for a waiver to recite each and every danger that might befall the person signing it. I know exactly how the one in this case was written: some young lawyer in a law firm somewhere found a form that he or she thought looked comprehensive and decided to copy it and use it. I guarantee you that little or no thought went into the task beyond the lawyer wanting to write something that was as airtight as possible.

This is a perfect example of legal work that ignores the client's real needs. It's possible to write an effective waiver without scaring the bejeezus out of whoever has to sign it.

Sigrid said...

That's America for ya.

Herzog said...

"Roadside Garbage Collector Chic"

Hahahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

Remove all the warning labels and let nature take its course, I say!

Same goes for all these silly waivers.

I refuse to cycle with a helmet here in Australia and so miss out on organised rides as you have to 'agree' to abide by the laws (not sure why they need to rub it in...).

...not that I'm losing any sleep over it. The organised rides are like flypaper for tour-de-france wannabes.

Paul Martin
Brisbane, Australia

Andy B from Jersey said...

I'm not a lawyer but a bicycling expert. I've read some bicycle legal release forms in my time and this one is surely WAY over the top.

For God's sake, it literally reads like your going into heavy combat by riding a bike!

I agree with Mikael. Reading this waiver, it sounds like one shouldn't expect to comer home alive!

wee folding bike said...

Heck I refuse to cycle in Australia altogether because of their helmet laws... I'm in Scotland so this probably doesn't bother them too much.

Kevin Love said...

Every so often I'll go on the official rides put on by the City of Toronto. I've never signed any sort of waiver.

The most recent one was the "Coldest Day of the Year Ride" back on January 30.

I see that the details are still on the City's official web site at:

http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/bikewinter/coldest-day-ride.htm

An excerpt:

"No need to register and there is no fee, just show up with your bike!"

Thank God I live in Canada where we don't have the sue-happy culture of the USA.

True fact: In the USA there are more lawyers than engineers. That makes it easy to predict the future of US industry and innovation.

Dottie said...

This is hilarious. I'm sending all of my grievances to Mikael from now on. He cuts right through the bullshit.

Although it's true that America is a litigious culture and most group rides require waivers, this waiver is extreme and disappointing to see from an advocacy organization. I've written them about it and am waiting to hear back.

Matt said...

I would hope this isn't a death knell! I'd like to give cyclists here more credibility than that. After all, they (we) are the ones who need to drive its growth.

It's a waiver -- a ridiculous waiver -- but one which is presented to people at the end of the signup process, after someone has agreed to participate, not one which is printed on the posters stapled to utility poles. It's really nothing to do with the marketing.

It's laughable and it serves to feed our unique culture of fear in the States, but I can only hope people are accustomed to tuning out this kind of overboard language the way we do ads on TV.

Unfortunately, it's bigger than cycling. As Dottie said, we are a litigious culture, no way around that. These kinds of group rides necessarily require liability insurance for the host groups, which mean people have to sign ridiculous waivers.

Just look at what happened with the RAGBRAI in Iowa in 2004, for example. A man struck a crack in the pavement, was thrown from his bike and died. A terrible accident, but one in which man's wife felt the need to sue the county over a crack in the road.

Certainly the language doesn't have to be as scaremongering, but if the advocacy group wants not to be sued out of existence, they really have no choice.

John Romeo Alpha said...

The extremity of this waiver does appear to represent the views of a non-bicyclist here in the USA, and is probably intended to impress upon a similarly-minded jury that the participant was fully aware of the inherent dangers of this event, as others have mentioned. The absurdity of this waiver, though, can be seen by substituting a similarly dangerous pastime, "walking, walk racing and pedestrian events (“Walking”)" into it, and reading the result. I was planning to attend an Art Bike Ride this weekend with my daughter, but was puzzling about the "registration" before the event. Now I am considering not going, since the "registration" is probably a waiver-signing intended to scare the living crap out of anyone so bold as to sign up, and that's not exactly the experience I wish to press upon her impressionable mind. Probably we'll just ride to a nice park for a picnic instead, throwing caution to the wind.

Yvie said...

Well, we do have waivers in Canada that are equally restricting. Here is some wording from the waiver for the Tour de Grand, in Cambridge Ontario Canada:
"...hereby release and forever discharge the Cambridge Tour de Grand from all claims for damages and death....I am also aware that the ride contains some risks from falling, collision with other bicycles, motor vehicles and stationary objects, the effects of weather conditions and the conditions of the road...I understand that bicycle helmets can prevent serious injury thereby agree to wear one..."

We are liability obsessed in this country as well, I'm afraid.

Brent said...

The waiver I remember most fondly was the one I signed -- and then read into a video camera -- before going parachuting. There were a bunch of us in the room, gallows humor and all, trying to keep serious as one after another we read, "I understand I can die."

Of course, most people would say that a waiver for parachuting is obvious and necessary, because it's a "dangerous activity." But on the other hand, I've read statistics showing parachuting to be safer than driving...

Kenney said...

"I recognize that the Active Transportation Alliance (“Active Trans”) has not evaluated my ability to participate in Bicycling."

I have an amendment to this line. It should read:

"I recognize that a beautiful, practical Danish woman ("Smukke") -- of the grace, elegance and overall bodily and facial structure oft captured by the camera lens of one Mikael Colville-Andersen (father of two beautiful children, marketing guru, and an overall kick-ass Dane to boot) -- has not evaluated my ability to participate in Bicycling. However, I promise that I will submit to such an evaluation by said Danish woman immediately upon request (her request or mine, but more likely mine)."

Green Idea Factory said...

Tactical -
Dottie and crew: What if people who don't want to wear helmets, sign waivers etc. just follow this fake Dutch bike ride at a bit of a distance, making sure to not intermingle? Or will the path be closed to others, and will The They stop people who are not with the ride?

Micro-tactical -
Do all things you can legally do in the Netherlands on a bike:
+ Talk on your cell
+ Have a friend ride on your rack, side saddle (Dutch style).
For more inspiration, see here.

Legal -
Isn't this also about the insurance companies requiring huge policies for these organized events? It would probably have to be solved at the state level, but how about looking into something different for non-competitive events? Perhaps some materials at Nolo Press can help.

Strategic -
I like the Active Transportation Alliance, but I did a search for "helmet" and found that they teach things to children like "...important bike riding skills such as proper helmet use, signaling, and basic bike handling skills...". Strange grouping of tasks, no? That search gets you six pages of hits about helmets.

About 5 years ago one of their main dudes - actually a nice guy - was in Prague, acting like The USA urban bike guru. He was giving away some kind of designer-made reflex-o-vests as prizes, and I criticized wearing these things, and he said to me "You're right. Dead right."

Clever said...

we own a bike shop in portland, oregon. while we do sell helmets, and freely offer to loan them, we do not require their use for test rides, rentals, or even rides we organize, including those after dark involving alcohol. we do require proper lights in the last instance. rentals do require a waiver, but it's worded sanely to emphasize who's liable in the event of injury or property damage (you) without exaggerating anything. not a boast, just a point of reference that we're not all crazy over here.

Lila said...

its the US. what do you expect? not getting sued takes priority over pretty marketing.

im american, used to live in philly and i used to bike a lot in center city/south philadelphia when i didnt have a car. and based on that experience (i.e. having been hit by one car who didn't give a damn, almost being doored about 5,000 times and basically riding around with a death wish - not just from cars but from other bikers, who don't follow traffic signs), id be making people sign some hefty, hefty waivers.

James D. Schwartz said...

I thought about doing the Five Boro Bike Tour in NYC - they close the roads to motorists and I thought it would be neat to bike around NYC with 30,000 other cyclists..

Then I saw the photos.. 30,000 helmets (mandatory) - and probably some sort of fear mongering waiver too..

C'est ridicule...

Dottie said...

@Lila - This particular ride is on a bicycle path, completely separated from cars.

spacemodular said...

Blunt Head Trauma when being thrown from a bike at high velocity after colliding with a motorized vehicle. The possibility of that happening is why I wear a helmet while riding in Chicago.

Should the state mandate this? If it means less people riding bikes, I would say no. But that doesn't mean I am going to quit riding without a helmet. At least not in Chicago. Most of my travel is on heavily trafficked streets.
Chicago has bike lanes (i.e. painted lines on the street) but by no means has the kind of infrastructure suitable for children or the aged to feel secure riding bikes. It is rugged/rough infrastructure at best.

There is no way in hell that I will ever let my son ride his bike in this town without a helmet.

My family is car free and believe in using helmets.

I hate riding in traffic with motorized vehicles, but I live with it. And I wear a helmet - hopefully I won't have to use it.

Yes - Active Trans has an extreme, scary sounding waiver.

You can always crash any of their public rides, but you won't get any of their schwag or contribute to their cause. They do alot of other good things besides the controversial promotion of bike helmets.

I don't see why helmets are such a big deal to wear for some people? They might save your life, they might not - but if you hit your uncovered head hard enough - forget it!

Are you afraid your going to mess up your hair?


laughs

Kelly D. Talcott said...

NO! NOT THE DREADED HELMET VS. NO HELMET DEBATE!!! MUST . . . NOT . . . GET . . . SUCKED . . . IN . . .

(Interesting that Illinois does not require its motorcyclists to wear helmets. I wonder what the waivers say for organized motorcycle rides . . . )

Michelle B. said...

Is there a similar waiver if you do a marathon or mini-marathon? People die during those things all the time, probably more than the number of bikers even hurt at an event such as this. In regards to the helmet, I think it should be a personnel choice to wear one or not. In most US states if you are over 18 you can choose not to wear a motorcycle helmet, it should be the same for bike helmets. Oh and remember not to run with scissors! LOL

dr2chase said...

re helmets and other activities. per-mile, the statistics I've seen for "walking" suggest it is much more dangerous than cycling, so some sort of waiver would be similarly (in)appropriate for any on-foot event. It's not clear that helmets would protect pedestrians, so perhaps we give them a pass on that.

As has been noted in this blog before, driving also carries a risk of head injuries, so any volunteer event that involves use of automobiles, has a similar need for a waiver and helmet requirement. I think that we need to get our hard-working lawyers on this ASAP.

And, as has been noted in several other places, not getting enough exercise is extremely dangerous compared to the risks of cycling (estimated to be 10-20x, the exact ratio depends upon how safe cycling is in your area -- closer to 5x in the US, probably 50x in Northern Europe), so any use of a car at all probably should be accompanied by a waistline waiver. Again, I think our lawyers can handle this one, if we bring it to their attention.

Velouria said...

I would say "hilarious" if it weren't so upsetting. I refuse to participate in group rides that require helmets, which eliminates pretty much most organised rides in my part of the US.

Furthermore, just today a policeman stopped me on the street in Boston, and - in a friendly way - told me it was illegal to cycle without a helmet. I told him this was only the case for people under 16. He was surprised and said "I'll look into it, but you should still wear one". Being me, I couldn't just let it go and began a discussion with him about flawed statistics until I wore him down. But I'm really getting tired of this stuff.

portlandize.com said...

@ModelCarGuy: the waiver may not influence the person who hasn't ridden for 30 years directly, but they will be influenced by their friends, children, etc who are influenced by things like those waivers, and who then tell them in order to ride a bike you need a helmet and reflective clothing and you have to ride on the side of the road and if you do anything wrong you'll really get hurt.

It's not so much that everything influences everyone directly, but contributes to an overall feeling that cycling is dangerous.

Nancy said...

There's an LA River Bike path ride that occurs during June. I was prepping for a triathlon last time I went, so I wore my spandex, bike helmet, the whole uniform that would be required by my upcoming race. I considered it a sort of dress rehearsal.

This time I wanted to take it easy, and go Dutch style. Unfortunately, I just looked at their web site, and discovered that helmets are required. Ugh. I'm thinking about wearing a costume helmet, like a Viking hat or something to follow the rule, but in a silent protest...LOL.

If I was forced to wear a helmet by law, or to do certain activities, I might wear the Yakkays - whenever they decide to sell their wares in the US.

Dottie said...

@Velouria - I can't believe the police officer told you riding without a helmet is illegal! That's scary.

Brent said...

@Michelle B.

"Is there a similar waiver if you do a marathon or mini-marathon?"

In a word, yes. And it's not just for marathons -- waivers are required for 5K-10K run-walk events, charity walk-a-thons, triathalons, swim meets, bike-run events, inline skating rolls, "century" bike rides, etc. Every organized event of its kind that I've ever done in the past 25 years has required a waiver, and the language has been very similar.

And it doesn't stop there. If you sign up your child for t-ball, soccer, flag (American) football, or any number of other athletic events, you'll likely have to sign a waiver. The same goes if you send your child on a school field trip. I've heard of birthday party hosts asking guests to sign waivers before allowing their children to play in the on-site "bouncy houses."

Health clubs require them when you sign up, as do martial arts clubs along with go-kart and amateur car racing tracks. If you bungee jump or parachute, you'll sign. Bicycle velodromes and paintball mazes mostly require them.

I could go on and on.

Green Idea Factory said...

So, okay, getting rid of waivers will be difficult, but how about finding an insurance company which doesn't require helmets, or which says something like "I have been informed and decline to use one".

Some time back Mikael mentioned different policies for complimentary bikes at two different hotels in San Francisco. Clearly both have insurance, lawyers and I would think have even more of a burden of legal responsibility since they would be supplying the equipment.

So what is the reaction of the Active Transportation Alliance to this soft protest?

Green Idea Factory said...

The other thing is that all these bike orgs. say they don't want mandatory helmets laws for adults BUT contradict this with imagery which does not represent true helmet wearing percentages and repeated guilt-inducing preaching to wear one.

Milo said...

Paul Martin in Brisbane, Australia, how do you get around not wearing a helmet in Australia where helmets, like voting, are compulsory?



Milo

Anonymous said...

Paul Martin in Brisbane, Australia,

How do you get around not wearing a helmet in Australia where helmets, like voting, are compulsory?


Milo.

Bliss Chick said...

I wish these waivers weren't necessary, but as long as people see an accident as a chance to win the lottery and they refuse to understand that bad things can happen to anyone, anywhere, these waivers will be necessary to prevent innocent people from frivolous lawsuits. I'm always shocked at what cases some attorneys are willing to take for the sake of another paycheck.

analogue cheese said...

Japan - cycling very much a way of life (a modern industrialised economy that never lost touch with its pedals), with 70, 80 and 90 year olds cycling in abundance.

Green Idea Factory said...

Hey, I wish I could help directly but too far away -- but I really think you need to do a "Real Dutch Bike Ride" at the same, in order to make things clear. The Active Transportation Alliance could have handled this differently. I would even argue that the official ride is a bad idea.

More inspiration: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mindcaster-ezzolicious/4467299785/

Anonymous said...

relax, it's just a waiver. welcome to the USA, where lawsuits are common for events like this. waivers are standard practice.

you're missing the point of the event by freaking out about a waiver.

Green Idea Factory said...

@Anonymous - Sure, the waiver might just be a symptom of a larger malaise, but the point is that this is a fake Dutch bike ride.

Anonymous said...

Relax people. In almost any US event of this nature - running, walking, cycling, etc. with sponsors such a waiver is presented. It is not an affront to cycling - it is the overlegalized US culture. It may be an affront to common sense, however.

Anonymous said...

cross out what you don't like and then sign it

Dottie said...

Popping in to say that the ride took place yesterday and no one bothered me about wearing a helmet. More details here.

Anonymous said...

Dottie, are you telling us that if you represented the organizer of this Chicago ride you would NOT insist on such a waiver?

If so, what kind of language would adequately protect your client?

Legally American

Step-Through said...

This is why I don't ride in groups.... It's so common though. How can we expect anyone to take part in life, especially riding a bicycle, when they are convinced that they will die the moment they try it? What will they teach their kids? The ironic part, of course, is how blithely they ignore many of the biggest dangers, including traveling in a car, falling at home, or just being sedentary. Risk perception.

AMOBIKE said...

Dear Friends Ciclysts,
congratulations!
Fantasticous!
We are starting an Non-Governamental Organization (ONG) to encourage use of bicycles in all its forms, types, for sport, leisure and utility.
Our blog is http://amobike.wordpress.com
Thanks.
Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that people will click "accept user terms and conditions" without so much as glancing at it but bitching about a clearly stated waiver becomes a hot topic. They are trying to promote a green lifestyle through bicycling and some idiot has to go and blow the whole thing out of proportion...get a life