Sunday, May 31, 2015

Journalists Turn Against Cyclists and Other Cyclists News for the Daily Urban Rider

Sad to hear that John Kerry, Secretary of State, broke his femur in a cycling accident in France this morning.  Also sad that I am not cycling in France.  I wish him well and cycling again soon.  #kerrycyclingaccident

I used to think that journalism was based on facts.  But I also used to believe in Santa Claus.  Then as journalism became increasingly political, plagiarized and clearly motivated by the shrinking traditional news business, I imaged it had once had a golden age.  A time when it really functioned as the Fourth Estate.  Then I actually read about Hearst.  Now . . .  Ahem, Rupert Murdock.  Sorry, something stuck in my throat there.  Ackggghh, Fox/MSNBC spin.  Oops.  Perhaps a sneeze.  But when the NYT suggested, without any facts to support or even suggest, that the now-dead cyclist, killed by someone in a Mercedes who was fleeing from the police, might have been riding without a helmet, I was outraged.  Let me add, the dead cyclist was a gifted neuroscientist.  A helmet would not have made a difference as a matter of physics.  Most importantly, the death occurred during high-speed police chase and the cyclist, who was blameless, was hit from behind.  #cycling  #sergeimusatov

The Chinese news agencies are different.  One expects a degree of nonsense there since they are owned and controlled by the state.  This week Chinese news reported that a row house fire in Finland was caused by an e-bike battery.  This might have been true, but I am at least as skeptical as I would be if this were reported in the NYT.

Anti-cycling media coverage also hit a fever pitch in the UK last week after a toddler was struck on the sidewalk by a cyclist.  It is also interesting that anyone, including a journalist of even minimal bona fides could generalize about cyclists from a single incident.  But then again, this is country that managed to sustain (for decades) a newspaper that featured a topless woman on page 2 everyday.  Which totally freaked me out on the tube in the morning when I was a kid there.  I call upon those holding press credentials (which are given without any standardized test, aptitude, or moral assessment) to stop writing such nonsense and reclaim your profession.  There is no one type of cyclist any more than there is one type of Black person, or Jew, or Muslim.  Evolve.

While NYPD engaged in a high speed chase that contributed to the death of a cyclist and then insinuated the lack of a helmet might have cause said cyclist's death, Arlington County Police near Washington, D.C. introduced an electric bicycle to their fleet.  Oh, and their union does not allow them to have three drinks at lunch while wearing their guns and then return to the streets.  #arlingtonpolice  #electricbicycle
As a reader of Fast Company, Wired, and Ars Technica, I loved to hear about all the good and bad things that venture capitalists sink their money into.  Some are shockingly hair-brained, others could cure cancer.  But I hold a special admiration for these VCs who have started a line of fixies that will be sold - where else? - online.  #venturecapitalism   #fixedgearbikes  #fixies

Trouble for bike share in France, the country that really started the urban bike share movement outside of blond places (Holland and Denmark).  People there have begun questioning the costs.  Were that not bad enough, so have the blond countries.  Dear God, this is potentially worse than the Armageddon. 

Meanwhile here in humble DC, Capital Bikeshare is constantly updating its software and fleet placement to get bikes where they are needed.  I have taught my five-year-old to address the Bike Share workers as Mr. or Ms. Hero.  Over the top?  I think not.  #Capitalbikeshare

These venal cyclists and their fast moving machines.  So as it turns out cycling may help people with depression and other ailments more than simply prescribing them pills.  I am not shocked.  I am surprised that mainstream media has picked up on this.  #cylingforhealth

Helpfully Bicycle Magazine has published an article explaining how one can avoid getting numb feet on a ride.  I recommend the wearing of very high quality pumps.  Black patent survives the occasional payment scrape well.  If you can afford Manolos or Ferragamos, great.  Avoid spandex if your commute is short.  Always wear a lovely dress.  This should avoid the problem of foot numbness. #cyclinginhighheels.   #yesIamserious

So, if I see you in the bike lane, in pumps, or God-forbid spandex, and you are not some "creative" reporter or a fleeing felon, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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