Sunday, June 7, 2015

Bicycle Traffic Report: It's Here at Last!

So after pitching this idea over a year ago, I am happy to say the Jerry Edwards of WAMU 88.5, American University's NPR station, has agreed to do the honors.  If you live in or near DC - and that means you +BenFolsom - report downed trees crossing trails, flooded out lanes, or the kind of construction that blocks the lanes to reporter Jerry Edwards via Twitter.  Use the hatch tags #biketrafficreport and  #bikedc, and copy @jerryedwards885. +RickyAlbores had a hand in making this happen.  Yipee!  Report for other cyclists, and you will surely be a good American, a bearer of the trust.  Godspeed.

In the UK, a recent study attempted to understand why those over 50 years of age do not ride as often as others.  My guess is that years of the car habit and fear of injury, both of which can be conquered with a nice upright bike and a riding companion, have made fewer over 50 brave the streets.  This month's #MomentumMag discusses the benefits and joys of uprights.  For urban riding, nothing beats sitting up to see and be seen.

Looking for a book on the history of cycling?  The ups the downs, the highs, the decline in use, and the amazing resurgence?  On Yer Bike is just the book, with a serious UK focus.  Check it out.  #onyerbike.

Has there been progress in getting women to ride?  Apparently, according to piece in this week's Time Magazine.  But there is still a lot more that bike shops can do to attract women and get them coming in for bicycle maintenance. #Timemagazine #womenbikingtransportationchanges

No shock that the world's friendliest biking cities are still located in Europe.  But Copenhagen may have just displaced previous leader Amsterdam.  No one has quite matched the Dutch for amazing bike parking, though.  They remain number one.  #worldsmostbikefriendlycities

"I am a nasty, mean and bitter little man who has made a career out of trying to make people angry."

So Rush Limbaugh was just being himself, a dyspeptic, angry, bitter guy when he criticized Secretary of State John Kerry by saying Kerry was too old to be on a bicycle.  Kerry broke his femur last week in a cycling accident in France.  Limbaugh's typically rude comment prompted me to want to be nasty back.  I started to say that Rush is too fat to be on a bicycle, but that would not be true.  The absolute coolest guy on my commute route carries about about 70 extra lb.s, but he smokes me every day and sings entire songs while he rides.  He is not as mean as Rush, clearly.  So I can't say Rush is too fat, because I really don't think anyone is too fat to be on a bicycle.  Rather than take the cheap shot, Rush could have said some true things, but those comments don't get Zippo Lighters to sponsor your show.  For example, he could have pointed out that John Kerry has a punishing schedule.  Kerry often does not sleep a full or even a half night.  That Kerry gets exercise is amazing.  He could have said that Kerry might have been too sleepy to ride, though I do understand the impulse to ride when you are sleepy.  Rush went to the base, the bottom, the inane.  What else?
I do think you can be too mean to ride.  This is where Rush, not Kerry, would have a problem.  Yet, riding would make to make Rush less mean.  So I hope Rush chooses to ride.  He would drop a few lb.s, which is not necessary, but he might find he needs less medication and anger to plow through his day.  It must be terrible to wake up every morning knowing that you are a dreadful man.

So, if I see you in the bike lane, and you are very old, or very fat, and you are pausing to send a bicycle traffic report out of a sense of duty, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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