Sunday, December 13, 2015

Cyclists Comply With Climate Agreement Decades Before Nations

The Climate Summit ended this week in Paris with a deal.  A plan to voluntarily take steps to reduce emissions and otherwise fight climate change.  Sadly, for the children of India who subsist by collecting coal scraps and burning them to prepare food, the need to survive rules their actions.  They account for much of toxic smog in India's cities.  Add cars, you have a 120 degree planet in the works.  And as the world grows in population, fuel consumption and industrial waste will increase.  For the rest of us trying to do what is in our control, bicycle infrastructure and incentives to ditch cars are part of the solution, not all of the solution.  The timing for the United States release of Bikes vs. Cars, December 15, could not be better.  (See it at the Environmental Film Festival in March:  The documentary that focuses on the struggle to get bike lanes in Brazil's metropolis Sao Paolo. Will countries like China and India, with their growing middle class, come to learn from our mistakes?  Will they find ways as they grow to help the people in the slums who cook on open air coal pyres that dirty their lungs and shorten their statures and lives?  And will others be able to persuade their growing middle class that, when you make cars a symbol of success, you have a hard time undoing that myth?  Of course.  Immediately.  It's all obvious and solutions are easy.  Right?  #Bikesvscars #DCenvironmentalfilmfest

You sit at lights trying to be the bicycling equivalent of a Girl Scout just to impress drivers that you are not a miscreant and they should join you in the lanes.  Sometimes, when it's cold or rain is coming, this waiting game seems silly.  In Denmark they are trying out a transponder that cyclists wear to let traffic lights know they have approached so the lights can turn green.  I must have this.  Right now.  In my Christmas stocking.  First, traffic lights.  Next, world domination.

Here's a bit of guidance on how to select an indoor bike trainer, something I would not do since I cannot imagine training inside on a bicycle.  It conjures images of spin class and other follies.  But if you must, do.

Skateboards in the bike lanes are not an idea I could support.  Not hover boards, drones, fleets of Segways, people jogging with their shirts off in a sad effort to get attention, nor cars driven by myopics or the intoxicated.  These are all things that do not belong in the bike lanes.  I state my claim.

I am struggling with the idea that Schlitz Park has set the gold standard for bicycling.  The bikes that will make Milwaukee famous, again.  Schlitz conjures images of bad 1970s movies, or the underside of park benches in Washington, D.C. on a Sunday morning.  But a cycling haven?  Proving again that the only certainty is change.  #schlitzpark

Dany Macaskill has taken his bike fetes to the rooftops of Canaria, Spain.  This video will either elate you or make your stomach roil.  Watch it.  You must. #danyymacaskill
Electric bicycle brand Pedego is opening a series of retail stores.  At the same time a Korean company now claims that it can charge batteries wirelessly through spatial wireless charging.  Could we use electric bikes and eventually charge them as we go?  What about cars?  And what are the implications for the environment.  (Maybe we should consider that as part of or risk assessment from the get-go this time.) #pedego

So, if I see you in the bike lane, and you are not on a skateboard or behind the wheel of a car, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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