Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On a Bike, You Can Smell Flowers

It was a strange week indeed.  I was doored, a car advocate delivered an anti-bike message, and it snowed, again.
Then, like a tulip emerging through the frost, the lists of spring rides for charity started to appear on the web.  The bike to work reminders flowed, and suddenly, lots of people began to appear in the bike lane.  Apparently, the armageddon will wait.  Especially since Chicago is now building a bike and pedestrian flyover.  They may even build a bike lane on the Tappan Zee Bridge.  #Whahhhh?

With that, here is a summary of this week's bike news for the cyclist who rides for transportation and not for competition.

Before we move into flower season, let's take a moment to remember the heroes of the punishing winter.  The bicycle delivery team at Flavor Cycling in Milwaukee delivered hot food through the worst winter in decades.  I feel like flying there and ordering some restaurant food to be delivered just to show my support.  #americanhero

Aware that the great polar vortex is gone for good now, you must want to give your bike a seasonal tune-up.  Here is how you can do that:

Rather not tune up your bike?  Prefer to use it's lack of chain oil as an excuse to get a new bike instead?  (We should have coffee and chat.  I feel I can relate to you.)  Check out Bike Radar's final words on the North American Handmade Bike Show.  See bikes like the "retro modern" from a small producer in Boulder.  Remember this handy formula: If you have enough storage there is no reason to stop buying bikes.  Or as one post read, the number of bikes you can own is always n+1, where n is the number of bikes you have right now.

Workman Industrial Cycles are still made in Queens, New York.  They make trikes for workers at Boeing to use to zip around the warehouse floors, and cruiser bikes for commuters like me.  I pose a Hamlet-like question that is obviously rhetorical.  How many bikes can you own before you can be diagnosed with a hoarding disorder?  I ask because I really want to see companies like this thrive and I can imagine buying one of their bikes.

Want to figure out what the best app is for the way you cycle?  There's a blog for that.

Would you like to read a lengthy academic study on the influence of a cyclist's appearance on drivers?  The researchers did not find that drivers won't door beautiful people or overtake them too close for safety.  This study concludes that what cyclists wear cannot influence most drivers to pass at a safe distance.  The study's methodology seems a little shaky to me.  However, like most American voters, I will interpret this study to support my own views and refuse to change my mind in spite of any facts.  My take away from the study: relax, wear heels, and worry less.  Nothing you wear can increase the IQ of the guy in the black SUV to your left.  #avoidunflatteringcolors

Interested in seeing old photos of Norwegians atop cycles?  Who isn't?  Well, perhaps embittered Swedes.  (BTW, get over it, Swedes, you may not have Norway's North Sea oil, but it is a finite resource that pollutes, whereas Ikea and H&M will live forever.)  See ibikelondon's great collection of photos of everyday Norwegians going about life on bikes.

Or, if you are feeling a love of things Norse, take a look at this bicycle ski list in Trondheim, Norway, a hilly university town packed with people who love bikes.  Can you imagine such a thing in the litigious U.S.?  It's like a shark fin protruding from the pavement.  I can hear the late night TV ads calling for class action litigants now.  "Have you been injured by the bike ski lift?  Had your shoe lacerated?  Experienced kidney failure, birth defects or rashes after using the bike ski lift?  Call this number right now to preserve your legal rights."

Prefer to look at 100 year old photos of bikes in Reno, Nevada, the Biggest Little City in the World?  The images are romantic and sad if you think about how quickly motorized transit changed Reno and other cities.

The Nay-Sayers:

Here he is again, Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear fame, showing an image of a smashed bike with the caption "Work harder, get a car."  I do not understand the appeal of this man.  He reminds me of Andre the Giant without the hearing impediment and charm.  And once, Jeremy was a legitimate and amusing writer.  That was before he contracted big-ego-arrogancia.  Perhaps in Natural Selection, some women are attracted to oversized, over-sure chaps, but I am not one of them.   Here are some possible replies to this toxic anti-bike nonsense: "Work harder to understand that no everyone thinks cars are great."  Or, alternatively, "You are a dreadful bore if you think the future is in the hands of motorized transit."  Or perhaps, "At some point the flat earth society howled with amusement at those who figured out the world was round.  Do you see any parallels between yourself and those non-seers of old?"  Really Jeremy, even Dickens saw the injustices suffered by cyclists.  Need to cleanse your karmic palate of the Jeremy Clarksons of the world?  Then look at this terrific blog on retro British-style bikes.  Or amuse yourself with a story of U.K. drivers who were outraged when their bad driving was captured on a cyclist's helmet cam and uploaded onto Youtube.


Looking for feminine clothes that work on a bike?  Who isn't?  Allthatiwant has now opened their online shop.

Here's another electric bike review from a messenger who learned to stop complaining and love the assist.  Hauling two kids?  Groceries?  Live at the top of a steep hill?  Consider an electric bike.

Want a bike-car hybrid that can get 1800 miles to the gallon, is made in North Carolina, and looks like those little plastic bubble cars toddlers drive around?  This car can't door a cyclist.   I support that.  Especially after the events of last Tuesday, where, for the first time, I was doored not by a parker, but by a car in traffic to my left.  #sandwichedbynudniks


With a bailout and some other tweaks, Montreal's Bixi bikeshare program has been given a second life. Whew.

Liverpool, home of the Beetles, a lot of coughing, spewing industry and some dubious grammar, is getting a bike share.  Gor crikey.  What next?  Manchester?  Sheffield?  Or do they already have bike shares?
Guardian U.K.
Social Rides:

Join Black Women Bike and you will suddenly find a whole gaggle of girlfriends who will hit the roads with you.  It beats pleading with your friends who may drag you down with complaints of chaffing or allergies.  And I know for fact that many of the organizers are wonderful people.  Join.

Joincycle has launched an app to help people connect for rides.  This is great until it gets in the hands of a serial killer who connects to his victims.  Kidding . . . somewhat.

Bike to Work Day is Friday May 16, 2014 in Washington, D.C.  Try to encourage a friend to ride that day and let's see if we can make a show of force. The more cyclists, the more lanes.  If you are like me and have four or five extra bikes around the house, offer to loan one to a friend to make them ride.  Just don't loan your best one.

And now, the tulips:

Some of you know that one of our heroic members has supported his wife through cancer treatments that have lasted months.  She wore chemo bags under bike clothes, and cared for three children. He held it together and kept riding his bike to work and posting regular positive messages.  It would be only right if you could ride to raise money for colon cancer research, or at least support his ride.  Yes, I will mention this again and with more particulars.

Bike MS's many rides are beginning again.  The events will occur across the country starting in April. Sponsor someone or ride.  You'll feel better afterwards.  If you live in Alexandria, Virginia, contact me in a hangout and I will give you some local party/fund raising details.;jsessionid=3B128B395EC65E147679626BCB67FC66.app306a?pagename=BIKE_ms_all_events

Bikefest DC will be in the Eastern Market North Hall on June 13.  It is a Washington Area Bicycling Association find raising event.  Everyone who can possibly come should.

If I see you in the bike lane, let's be smug and well-dressed,
Elisa P.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Spring and the Return of the Fair Weather Cyclists.

The blog for people who ride to get around, think the Tour de France is just a chance for a picnic in Grasse, and who love the film "The Triplets of Belleville."  

According to Market Watch, the cost of owning a car is pretty high.  On average it costs over $9,000 a year for a smaller Toyota.  Subtract $150 a year for bike share from your bank account instead.  Pay $300 a year for Cars2Go or some other car share service.  The net savings is very high, even after you subtract the price of a few tubes and an annual tune up.  You will still have money left over to spend on clothes, vacations, or meals out.  Is this why millennials are making the shift away from cars?  The Atlantic seems to think it has something to do with money, and a lot to do with where you live.  If you can get access to mass transit, bike or walk, the savings are high.  To park a car in Manhattan can cost $12,000 a year.  #easymath4lowSATscorers

So can a movement in favor of protected bike lanes shift cycling into the mainstream?  Apparently the trade association that makes road signs and cones and traffic thingies seems to think so.  I'm not sure I have ever previously agreed with the position of this trade association, but on this, I do.

Bike Share Alert

There is only one Bike in Bloom, a pink Capital Bikeshare bike that you can rent.  But return it if you do.  Let's not find it on eBay.

Bike Lanes

Recycled plastic dividers are set along Pennsylvania Avenue for only a block.  This cheap alternative is fantastic and can cause damage to a car if it breaches the bike lane.  Nothing says deterrent like an upside-down taxi in heavy traffic.  We need more of these.  Lots more.  #stupiddriversensor

In Alexandria this week the news went like this:
60% of residents support Old Town Alexandria bike lanes.
There is a culture clash over bike lanes.
The City Council has now approved bike lanes, and they plan to build more along Royal Street.
If you build them, they will ride.  If you build more, more will ride.
Was that the controversy that wasn't?  #newsoutletsstruggletomonitize

And days later, Virginia passed a law requiring motor vehicles to pass bikes no closer than three feet.
Wow.  The Commonwealth is moving forward in spite of itself.

Cultural Shifts

Metropolitan Police London took to Twitter this week to catch a hit-and-run driver that hurt a cyclist.

Even the DC police are tweeting reminders to watch for pedestrians and cyclists.  This is progress.  They are usually tweeting lookouts for shooters.

And in California, people are growing less reliant on cars.  What?  Can this be true?  I question this data.  I cannot help myself.  Just think of the lyrics to Randy Newman's "I Love LA."  It's all about streets:  "Century Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard, Sixth Street, we love it, we love it."  #skeptic

Ah, the French.  The fashion, the history of repeated surrenders to Teutonic occupiers, the food, the xenophobia, the bad bathrooms, and the wine.  They never really made a good car.  I'm just saying.
Ironically, Paris has banned cars on alternate days to fight smog.  The City of Lights is now the City of Stinky Stuff that is Not Stinky Cheese, Unfortunately.  However, the beautiful women of the French President's Cabinet, the Ministers of Justice and Culture, are cycling through it all . . . in heels.  I find this to be tres wonderful.

Meanwhile, back in the states, consider this: Your fat is why you're not as bright as you should be.  The next time someone asks you, "Does this dress make me look fat?"  Reply "No, but if you dropped a few lbs, you would be smarter."  Then get them a bike.


A bill suspending the licenses of drivers who hit and run, even if they don't cause injury, has passed in . . . California.  Hey, what's going on there?

A Supreme Court decision may threaten rails to trails.  #depressingopinions

Arlington's new plan doesn't address Rosslyn's intersection of doom.  Call me whacky, but I think plans should accomplish some improvement. They should not just accomplish employment for the drafter of said plans.  #someonescousingotthisjob


The deep south is the most deadly region for cyclists.  Insert your own joke here.

I know we are at odds with Russia, or maybe even headed into another cold war, but how cool is it that police in Belarus set up a phony accident scene to see who would stop to render assistance to the cyclist?  I'm not saying I like this idea so much I would agree with Putin's actions in Crimea, but this is a very cool idea.  While in Brazil a poster showing bike handlebars as hunting trophies is supposed to be reminding motorists to watch out for cyclists.  There must be something cultural that is missing here for me.  Don't men like to get trophies: hunting trophies, trophy wives?  #gofigure

So a cyclist gets hit by a truck carrying a mattress.  The mattress falls off the offending truck and the cyclist lands on it.  I think this is too random to consider as a safety option.  Ordering bad drivers to carry mattresses that are positioned to fall off and save cyclists is probably not a solution.  But the video is here for your enjoyment.

Electric bikes

If I were a venture capitalist, I would probably invest in the best e-bike company I could find.  In the future I suspect we will see more and more of these bikes on the road.  I am not the Oracle of Omaha, but I might be the Sage of Lower Northeast DC.

Mando Footloose has made a cool digital lock for the electric bike.  I will still take my chances with my Knog U-lock and my common sense, but the idea is nice.  I'd never have to root around in my handbag for my keys again.  #saveamanicure

The Xtra Cycle with a sidecar is pretty appealing.  It's not a Gestapo-type of sidecar, but more of a groceries and hardware store kind of sidecar.  How it will fit in dedicated bike lanes, I cannot tell.

This week has seen the launch of yet another concept electric bike.  It reminds me of a Huffy I once used while the owner of a bike shop in East LA fixed my Mongoose.  #crappybikecontest

Non-electric Bikes, Gear, Stuff

Do you need a bike that glows in the dark?  Neither do I, but I covet it just the same.  It would certainly be easier than always charging that headlamp in a USB port. flow

Here are the top American handmade bike award winners from last week's show, that I missed, and that I have remained bitter about since.

"Need" some lockable bike luggage with a beer cooler for your bike?  Coincidence!  Me too.

Are you looking for women's apparel that appears shaped for women and not boxes?  I call that my regular clothes, but apparently some women want bike clothes.  So this is for them.

Is Walmart selling a Mongoose fat tire bike for kids?  That is: 1) awesome, and 2) affordable.

Things to Watch

A short film of cycling in central London, one of the most wonderful places on earth.

"I worked at Raleigh," a remembrance of a worker's time at the former British factory.

A cute Youtube greeting from Timothy Broas, the new US Ambassador to The Netherlands, and a cyclist.  He makes Rick Steves' accent sound excited.   But it's a wonderful slice of career-diplomat-nerdiness at its best.

So if I see you in the bike lane, and now that the weather meets your tough standards, I will, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Thaw: A summary of This Week's Bike News

Bike Events

A group of cyclists left Newtown, Connecticut four days ago to protest the epidemic of gun violence that has afflicted the country.  They arrived here in Washington yesterday.  I salute these good people since I am both against gun violence and in favor of cycling.  So for just a few seconds, I will pause to be serious.  [Pause here.] Sometimes the quiet movement becomes a groundswell.

Remember that demoralizing Sadie Hawkins Dance from your high school days?  The one where you dressed like the folks on "Hee-Haw" even though you were studying irony in Greek mythology.  The one dance where you got to ask the boys instead of doing strange things in an effort to be asked.  Well you can live it anew, and for an unquestionably noble cause.  And remember, you now have some distance from your pimply phase, and you have developed an understanding of the how unimportant ancient mythological structure can be in real life.  The Washington Area Bicycling Association is holding a Sadie Hawkins Dance to raise funds for their Women in Bikes programs.  The dance is Friday, March 14, 2014.  You should go.  There will be beer.

So we need more cyclists in order to keep bike lanes, get more bike lanes, and have better laws to protect cyclists.  Not weekend warriors, but commuters.  May 16, 2014 is bike to work day.  For many of us, every day is bike to work day, but some people need a special date to remember the freedom and ease of biking to work.  And we need those people.  After all, if they bike a little, chances are pretty good that they will bike a lot later.  So if you need to start wearing down your friends and colleagues until they would rather bike to work than listen to you any further, start now.  You only have two months.  Perhaps you can use Cycling Surgeon's statistics and medical findings to persuade them.  (Feel free to deploy these:  "Okay, sit around in traffic if you want a bum ticker."  "No, I don't need to diet, I ride my bike.  It burns calories like an arsonist in a national forest.")  You can show them George Hahn's excellent video on how to arrive at work looking fresh and lovely during bike to work week.  Here's a hint.  Folded shirts in your desk drawer and a relaxed attitude.  If women ask you about hair, say that you know it will look perfect if they twist it into a ball on the top of their heads, and then put on their helmet.  I speak from experience.

The second Wednesday of every month, the DC Bike Party used to meet in Dupont Circle at 7:30 p.m.  Since their Valentines Day ride, the party has grown less festive, and is maybe even dead.  Can someone please resurrect this thing?  The tulips are coming up already.  Cyclists normally assembled at the statue of the Rear Admiral.  (No, I did not make that up.)

On June 7, 2014, the Air Force will host a two-day ride to salute wounded heroes.  It is free but the message will be valuable.  A lot of people have lost limbs, normal brains, and their capacity for optimism.  Take any chance you can get to show your appreciation for their service.  Even if you have opposed the conflicts, support the people who went there.  They need it.

Bikelanes and Cities and Progress:

Is there a Bikelash against cyclists and bike lanes?  It seems that a number of contrarians are still out their, rattling their sabers, or remote controls, or Hermes handbags, to protest bike lanes.  Some of them have adopted the rhetoric of the very groups they criticize for being too right-wing.  It's becoming amusing to read about them.  This group is a bit hysterical, predicting the demise of civilization, or the triggering of the Armageddon if bike lanes and bike sharing programs are built.  They are still shocked that modern society prefers the Bill Cunningham photos of fashionable women walking on the streets of NYC to the over-taut faces of The City's rich people at galas at the Met.  Despite the bike hysterics, the Republic will persevere.

Is bikelash causing cities to react so slowly to the demand for bike lanes and better mass transit?  Grist reports that Cities are still afraid to make driving unappealing.  In fairness, there may be secondary and tertiary consequences to moving too quickly to make drivers feel guilty and unwanted.  They may take their businesses elsewhere, for example.  It is also possible that most commuting Americans live where they can afford a house that seems to meet the [now outdated] American Dream.  And it is also possible  that cities fear that their mass transit systems are not sufficient to accommodate a drastic uptick in riders.  Still, the municipal tendency to move slowly may impede the expansion of sharrows.

While cities like to move slowly to deter driving, a Baltimore survey of the best places to work found that people looked more favorably on their workplace it they could access a number of public transportation and bicycling options to get there.  Johns Hopkins was the winner in the Charm City.  Perhaps, as @rockstar tweeted this week, the cycling strategy debate has not focused enough on the long-term health, economic, and social benefits of cycling.

I love the Memphis sound.  Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, Sam and Dave.  I really like the food.  Never would I have thought of Memphis as a place to cater to cyclists and pedestrians.  Yet Memphis will get bike and pedestrian lanes on two sides of a major street by the river.  The home of Stax music, strikes by garbage workers, and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. appears to be turning a sustainable corner.

The  City of Beverly Hills has not nixed bike lanes that may connect Santa Monica to Mid-Wilshire and downtown someday.  I would have expected BH to erect a Rolls Royce dealership in bike lanes, or perhaps a salon with a French-sounding name of suspicious origins.  But no, they appear to be considering this.  Amazing.


Did you know that only 33% of bicyclists in San Francisco are women.  How can this be?  Progressive SF has got to fix this.

Women bicycling advocates numbers going up, which can only be good.

Scientific American ran an article in 2011 that posited: To boost cycling, figure out what women want.


Legislation that was intended to protect cyclists was scuttled in Virginia this week.  If you are interested in identifying the offending legislators, you might want to take a look at this article from the Washington Post.

The UK is running a provocative ad that insinuates that, if you use your mirrors, you will see a nude guy on a bicycle.  The point is made, that, if you don't look in you side mirrors, you could hit a cyclist.

Bicycle League of America is circulating a petition in support of nationwide bike safety legislation.

Alexandria street calming petition is also making the rounds.

Gear and stuff

Cycloc is an amazon product.  It's a bike storage system that mounts to the wall and looks great.  Now Cycloc has introduced another round of racks for different small space configurations.  It is an apartment dweller's friend.

Read a nice little review of the best fold-up bikes for touring.

Just Plain Weird

Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear making a film on cycling safety.  Yes, that's right, the Top Gear guy.  The one who worships at the alter of the automobile.  Go figure.  I'll wait to see if there isn't some buried message about how cycling is so dangerous no one should try it.

If I see you in the bike lanes, and we are both ignoring bikelash, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Way We Were. Fat.

While we still have snow on the ground and in the bike lanes, Spring is right around the corner, temporally speaking.

Events, News, and Jobs in Washington:

Since you will be riding your bike more often, you might want to figure out how to keep it going.  Learn how to maintain your bike at The Bike Rack on Q Street this Saturday, March 8 at 9:30 a.m.  The Cherry Blossoms will bloom in less than six weeks and you don't want to be the guy with the clanking chain who scares all the tourists.

Back in 2001, the New York Times covered the emergence of female bike mechanics.  Women, you don't have to be an actual mechanic, but you can at least be at least bike competent by attending a local clinic.

The Washington Area Bicycling Association (WABA) is hiring trail rangers.  You have to be able to ride 30 miles at a time (no problem), and not have a mortgage (problem).  But if you are carefree, why not apply?

Is the Federal Transit Administration going to cough up the dollars to finish the Capital Crescent Trail?  Some optimists think so.

Bike Heros:

The National Bike Summit kicked off and ended in a snow storm in Washington, D.C.  
The winner of the bike advocacy award was Laura Solis, from We Bike NYC.  This merits a woo-hoo.  Solis is from the Bronx.  When I think of bike friendly communities, I do not think of the Bronx along with Copenhagen.  Yes, I know the Bronx was named for a Swede, Bronck, but you take my point.
Solis and 10 women from We bike NYC rode from New York to Washington in frigid temperatures to attend the summit.  The group also included women from Black Women Bike in DC.  This undertaking was what is known as "too ambitious."  Let's face it, most of Jersey is bike hostile, and yet they peddled on.  It was a moment in history.  Like a walk on the moon.  Or a hoist over a trash pile by the side of the interstate.  They certainly deserve praise and support.

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx also regaled the crowd with stories of being hit by a car while jogging, and promises of more funds to pay for bike lanes.  That makes him one of my heroes on two scores.

There were other winners too, all of whom are memorialized forever, or until the next major data destruction phase, in Bicycling Magazine.’s-choice-advocacy-award/?cm_mmc=Twitter-_-Bicycling-_-Content-Blog-_-peopleschoice

Bikes and Health:

Is fat fleeing? Fortunately, factors favor it is.  (Sorry.  I have tried the diet, but sometimes the alliteration comes back.)

What is making people slim down?  Allow me to use statistics to my own ends.
Estimated number of cities around the world that had bike-share programs in 2006: 25.  These were chunky times.
That have them today: 670.  These are slimming times.
Factor by which the number of U.S. Army soldiers dismissed for being overweight has increased in the past five years: 11.
Coincidence?  I think not.

Want to help your community lose the fat?  People for Bikes is offering tips on how to bring more bike lanes to your home town.


Need tips on how to be a nicer rider, including how to wave at other cyclists?  You have to be careful here because too much effusiveness in a cyclist can sometimes veer to creepy.

Lessons from Tokyo:

In Tokyo, it seems everyone rides a bike to do their errands, but they do not ride as commuters.  I like the idea of mamachari bikes that can hold two kids and bags of groceries.  Mamachuris are affordable and are marketed to people, not cyclists as bike blogger Byron Kidd notes.  Lest we should feel pea green with envy, know that employers in Japan forbid their employees to cycle to work.

Lessons from The Netherlands:

Is it possible that more people would bike if they could dress for their destination and not to ride a bike?  Well that's great if you live close and ride to work downhill, but sometimes people need a shower, not a clown suit.  The more cyclists there are, the more facilities for cleaning up at the office there will be.


Momentum Magazine has published a review of cargo bikes in case you want to replicate the Japanese experience at about five times the cost.  I would pay for a cargo bike over a small car any day for my city life.

Or you could make your own if you are handy with a blow torch and have a clear scientific understanding of metal fatigue.  I am intensely jealous of people who can create things like hand-made cargo bikes.  After the world turns to chaos and the fabric of society tears, they will lead us to the better times.

Road cc reports this month from the Madison trade show on bike boxes, ice bikes, and trailers.  I am not sure an ice bike could have helped the fine women of We Bike NYC navigate the interstates and debris berms they encountered in Jersey, no offense to Jersey.

And the Taipai bike show was this week too, with lots of new gear and bikes that were reviewed by Cyclingnews.

In the market for a modern rickshaw that looks a bit like a gazebo-run-amok?  This ride feeds into your deep, untapped desire to live in a fantasy world with white ponies, pink fountains and little ovens that bake cakes with dangerously hot lightbulbs.

Bike Share:

While I love bike share programs and seek them out in every city where I roam, there are some bikes I find a little over the top.  Dresden Germany's Conference bikes, that can hold an entire party of inebriates or sightseers, strike me as a bit of misguided Teutonic fun.

In what can be called the ironic note of the week, Portland, the one in Oregon, does not think it needs a bike share.  This is either odd or logical.  Could there be so many people who own bikes in the Copenhagen-does-weird capital of the United States that there is no market to support a bike share program?  The issue is not settled.

Bike Safety:

Remember the guy in Scotland who hit a cyclist because he was driving while eating cereal?  He was in a Maserati, not that banged up clunker you may have thought as you imagined him driving to his second/third low paying job while he struggled to feed himself.  There is now a video on the web showing him chowing down.

Sweden has reduced the number of road deaths through good planning, a zero tolerance policy, oh, and, lots of separate bike lanes.  Per capita, Sweden has less than half of the number of road deaths per capita than the United States.  Those Swedes, with their herring and clogs, and their pesky understanding of the public health implications of bad traffic design!

You gotta be kiddin' me:

Yes, the cyclists behind Biking in LA actually wrote an open letter to the Beverly Hills City Council requesting support for bike lanes.  I know you are picturing the hearing now.  The chairwoman: a coifed "blond" who looks like one of the Gabor sisters after yet another face lift, applying her lipstick with a bored expression.  The bike lane asker: a bearded, sensible  guy in cargo pants and a beige sweater, who reads from prepared notes on 3X5 cards.  Hopefully the one or two readers of this blog are cheering the guy in the beige sweater.

So if I see you in the bike lanes, even if you are perky bike ranger, or a guy headed to costume party dressed like Big Foot, let's be smug.
Elisa P.