Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Madman Befouls Bike Share Seats and Americans Still Ride On


Some things were meant to shared and some things were not.  Bikes - shared.  Library books - shared.  Poop - not so much.  A madman smeared feces on the seats of bike share seats in Manhattan last Friday.  Some bloggers assumed he did this in protest of bike sharing.  My guess is that he was in a full, scatological, psychotic episode.  But then again, I have accused Dorothy Rabinowitz, bike share enemy, of being, well, berserk too.  Whatever I might think about Dotty, a verbal tirade against bike share is protected First Amendment activity, however loathsome.  Befouling bike share seats is a crime.  A super gross crime.

Want to take a wildlife adventure by bike somewhere between Baltimore and Washington?  See Christina Sturdivant's nice explanatory blog on how to do it, complete with practical advice about where to use the bathroom, get water, and take in the view.  Her approach is accessible, and probably not for A-type Strava addicts who are right now grinding the enamel off of their teeth as they try to pass the time between long rides.

Policy and Advocacy:

No idea whose photo this is.

Washington. D.C. has the greenest commuting pool, including a increasing number of cyclists.  We may have any number of Frank Underwood aspirants, gaggles of lobbyists, and hoards of bureaucrats, but they are the greenest in the country.

Found on Google and Washcycle

The Brookings Institute reports that Americans are driving less.  While a lot more are working from home thanks to broadband access, many are cycling or taking mass transit.

Delloite's U.K. office promotes cycling by employees  Does your office?  Deloitte encourages employees to get vaccinated again influenza too.  Isn't cycling getting vaccinated against obesity-related illness?  Is there a clever actuary out there who can estimate the health-care cost savings from this sort of reasonableness?

Turning away from cars and towards cycling, a growing number of Europeans under 30 do not want to own a car.

This shift in world-views may throw a wrench into a plan by a certain massive rail company to ban bicycles from its trains starting next year.  A better choice may be to ban those who are angry, sedentary, and full of cycling malice.  This would leave more room for bicycles.  [For a different view of bicycles on rail, see below.]

Getty Images

A certain Frenchman asked me why I would go running if I weren't being chased.  Then he lit up a cigarette and smiled through tobacco-flecked teeth.  It left a certain impression in my mind about the French view of exercise.  But in France, large numbers of people are turning to cycling, or turning back to cycling.  This shift is affecting public policy in a country that has long feigned a lack of interest in fitness.  The French census now includes a category for bicycle commuting.

In the United States, cycling has made it into elementary school curriculum in Connecticut.  I have a friend who was never taught how to ride a bike because her father was out of the picture and her mother had grown up without learning to ride herself.  She wondered aloud why she had not learned to ride a bike in school.  Well, here you go, a number of decades too late.

And Amtrak Capital Corridor now has no reservation bike racks.  You have to pass an I.Q. test.  If you are smart enough to find the train and get your bike up on the rack, you can bring your bike for free.

So, if I see you in the bike lane, and you have not had a full psychotic break, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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