(Yeah, like I'm going to pay money to read the Wall Street Journal.)
At the risk of triggering a helment debate, mandatory helment laws are a key component of the anti-cycling conspiracy in this country. Basically, the idea is that, instead of treating you like a human being and providing you with a sensible infrastructure, they force you to wear a foam yarmulke and tell you to ride your bike like you're driving a car--because, as the refrain goes, you have all the same rights to the road as a motor vehicle driver already so you don't need anything else except safety gear. (And of course cars and bikes are exactly the same anyway, right?) Then, once they get you used to having to wear your foam hat but your fellow cyclists keep getting killed, they'll shut you up by forcing you to wear some sort of padding, and then you'll have to get some sort of protective roll cage for your bike, and then maybe add an extra set of wheels so the bike is more stable, and then you'll be required to license and register your four-wheeled human-powered dune buggy, and it will take you an hour every morning just to get into your mandatory protective cycling spacesuit, and you'll have to pay for a parking space for your giant safe-cycle anyway, and eventually you'll just "get with the program" and say, "Fuck it, I'm leasing a Hyundai."
But of course they're not going to admit that. Instead, people like David Greenfield, the guy who's flogging this bill, says stuff like this:
"The best way to get killed if you're riding a bicycle is to not wear a helmet," Mr. Greenfield said. "We want to encourage people to be safe."
Actually, I can think of some better ways to get killed on a bicycle (or on foot) in New York City. How about getting run over by a reckless or careless motorist, who knows there are no consequences for their behavior? Or how about just getting "doored" by a driver who's too lazy to actually run you over, and who then leaves the scene because your death will make her late to a party? (There are no consequences for that scenario either, by the way.) But don't worry, I had a Twitter exchange with Greenfield, and he assures me he's got the whole dangerous driver problem licked:
Wow, a Tweet! Of course, the Deputy Mayor already realizes that Greenfield is what we semi-professional bike bloggers call a "putz." That notwithstanding, I was amazed to learn that a single Tweet actually counts as "doing something" in the world of law and politics--especially when that Tweet is issued by someone like Greenfield, who has about as many Twitter followers as a second-rate fixed-gear freestyler. Naturally, if Tweeting is really that powerful I figured I should try it too. So I took to my own Twitter account and proceeded to like totally end the economic crisis:
Then I raised a revered actor from the dead:
And then I figured I might as well share my feelings with a company called Spangler Candy, which is a leading manufacturer of the comestible known as the "Circus Peanut:"
Done, and done.
Of course, an anti-cycling conspiracy would be nothing without a media mouthpiece, and here in New York City we have CBS News, who famously suggested cycling terrorists might use bike lanes to blow up the Israeli consulate. Naturally, they're behind the proposed helment law too, and they had this to say on the issue:
Seattle is often held up as a place that gets bike policies right. So, the question beckons: what’s the law in Seattle when it comes to bike helmets?
They’ve been mandatory for all riders since 2003.
Obviously they're confusing Seattle with Portland, since Seattle is a paradigm of successful policies just like Kabul is a hotbed of wild and sexy spring break action. Actually, they're probably "confusing" them intentionally as sort of a bait-and-switch, since to the average non-cycling New Yorker all rain-soaked Pacific Northwestern cities are pretty much interchangeable anyway.
In any case, they say you can judge a man by the company he keeps, and Greenfield moves in auspicious circles indeed. In fact, he has a friend who can eat a whole pie!
(A pie, you say? Of pizza?)
I'd love to be around when David Greenfield rounds up his old college buddies for a night of partying. "Guys, you have to come over tonight, Doug's going to eat a whole pie of pizza again!" I imagine his friend who can eat a pie himself is a more nebbishy version of Will Ferrell's character in "Old School."
Anyway, Greenfield's district in Brooklyn now joins my "Places to Go Pee-Pee" list, just under Piermont.
Now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right then yaaay!!!, and if you're wrong then booo!!!--and also you'll see a tall bike.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and ride non-nonplussed.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
(I plugged "Outraged Canadian" into a popular search engine and this is what came up.)
1) Canadians were outraged when Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal was offhandedly accused of:
--Hawking his maglia rosa on Canadian eBay
--Undercooking his back bacon
--Hailing from the United States
(Another day, another revolutionary component group.)
2) Shimano's 2013 Dura Ace group will be:
("I am a little hungry.")
3) This man is:
4) David J. Greenfield has a friend who can eat a pie.
6) Which was not one of Marshall "Major" Taylor's "Dozen Don'ts?"
--"Don't be a pie biter."
--"Don't eat cheap candies."
--"Don't use intoxicants."
--"Stay the fuck away from Circus Peanuts."
(Seriously, how sad is that?)
7) It really doesn't get much sadder than:
--Children who have dropped their ice cream cones
--Cat 6 personal bests
***Special Bonus Essay***
For one trillion bonus points, describe your most "epic" ride that somehow involved cheese.