Sunday, January 25, 2015

Is the South Warming up to Cycling?

Image from the Bangor Daily News.

As cyclists living on the east coast of the United States stare down the barrel of a possible blizzard, it is important to keep a little perspective.  #Wintercycling is growing increasingly popular to the north in Canada.  As the Scandinavians say, there is no bad weather, just inadequate clothing, poorly plowed lanes, and enough salt on the road to rot a chain made of diamonds.

We can all use a little refresher on how to cycle in winter.  Take the lane, have adequate lights, have the right tires, and have enough courage to admit when a multi-model route is better for your health and safety.  And don't double dog dare some cycling buddy to do anything too dangerous in bad conditions.  Or, if you cannot help yourself because that's just the sort of former frat boy you are, at least pair up with the person whose life you might place a risk so there are two of you.  Two cyclists being more obvious to motorists than one, unless the motorist is a drooling idiot, in which case you're in serious trouble no matter what.

Those of you in the nation's capital should think kindly on the owners of Pleasant Pops coffee shop.  Pleasant Pops will give #cyclists who brave the cold a free cup of Joe.  Not sure it will be the lush flat white you crave, but it might be a bold Sumatran that will warm your bones.

The winter won't last forever, and when it does end, we should consider this nice outline of what is needed to advance urban cycling: wear your normal clothes, have cities charge for parking, building infrastructure, account for the saved money in healthcare costs, and a few other common sense points.  #notrocketscience.

I am calling upon the Illustrious Potentate, the Superior Emperor, and citizenry of the Democratic Society of Decent Cyclists to expel the following individual from the superior culture of cyclists, following some sort of due process of course:  one Sidney Williams who cycled to a number of cash and carry businesses so that he could conduct an armed robbery spree.  Williams' targets included Dollar Stores and Wendy's . . .   Really dude?  Dollar Store?  Get help.  And stay away from bikes until you have fully reformed.  We will consider your application for re-entry into the superior culture of cycling upon the completion of your term.

R.I.P. former Chicago Bears player, Christopher Dyko, a 48 year-old father of two, who was killed while riding his bicycle.

On an up note, Southern Alabama now has a bicycling plan.  #notatypographical error.  No, I am absolutely not kidding.  Sweet home Alabama, where the . . . cyclists may someday be free, and Alabama may no longer be last.

So if I see you plowing the bike lanes, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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