Code And Cocktails

Bicycling Activities Involve risks... Of Serious Bodily injury...death

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I was going to join in on Boston's Bike to Work convoy at the end of May
and even was going to 'register' for it (I was on the
www.bostonbikes.org website finding out the routes etc) when the
registration brought up the 'waiver'.

I thought the waiver was going to be a simple "if you get hurt its not
our fault - take responsibility - blah blah" sort of thing. After
reading it I decided I could not agree to the waiver; and that this
organization unfortunately did not want me to join on their bike rides.

1. Section 2 of the waiver proclaims (in ALL CAPS) that: > "[I] UNDERSTAND that: (a) BICYCLING ACTIVITIES INVOLVE RISKS AND
> DANGERS OF SERIOUS BODILY INJURY, INCLUDING PERMANENT DISABILITY,
> PARALYSIS AND DEATH".
Really?! Wow I better stop riding my bike - that thing is a death
trap!.

Shall we make everyone buying or renting a car sign the same waiver?
What about people buying shoes or participating in walks (do those
walks have such waivers? I haven't been in a charity walk for many
years).

Yes, activities one undertake in life may be risky. I would hope all
adults know that. I feel that this is bordering on fear-mongering.

2. Section 3 is all about helmet wearing. I do not personally wear a
helmet. I don't care if you do. In my opinion it is up to each
person to how they wish to manage the risks of injury from whatever
activity they are undertaking. Walking on stairs, crossing streets,
using showers or tubs have all proven to be very dangerous activities;
helmet use there may be beneficial. Also clearly motor vehicle use is
VERY dangerous (to both the occupants of those vehicles and those in
their environment) so those persons should take strong precautions.

This section states (again all caps) > "I FULLY ACCEPT AND ASSUME ALL RISKS AND ALL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR
> ANY INJURY I incur as a result of my failure...to wear a helmet".
So if i am wearing a helmet and smash my face on the pavement after
failing to properly dodge a pothole/road debris I don't have to assume
the responsibility? (The waiver does go on to close this loophole in
another section).

This section more importantly state that > "I fully understand that failure to wear a helmet while riding a
> bicycle at any point during the participation in Boston Bikes is
> strictly prohibited and will result in my expulsion from the event."
Since I don't want to make a fuss, nor make anyone on the ride be
forced to 'expulse' me I must not join the ride (sadly).

It seems to me that through this waiver (which must be 'signed' to join
in these rides) that Boston Bikes wants to encourage helmet use more
than bicycling. I, myself, would like to encourage more (safe) bicycle riding, so for
now, I will lead by example. I ride my bike nearly everywhere. I
signal my turns and lane changes, I stop at red lights and stop signs, I
yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. I ride carefully, for my sake and
for the sake of the other road users around me. I hope that the other
road users take this example to heart and do the same.