So there you go.
In other head-related news, I recently heard from a reader who participated in "online training" at work in exchange for a lowering of his health insurance premiums, and naturally the course included the usual helme(n)t propaganda. Here are some screen shots:
Note that the bit about helme(n)ts comes right after the bit about how it's important to be physically active:
So remember: despite the fact that "physical activity is important for good health," riding a bike without wearing a helme(n)t is the same thing as smoking:
I for one find it comforting that our crippling car dependency and our dysfunctional health care system have created an environment in which corporations now use the carrot of lower health insurance premiums to subject their employees to this kind of anti-cycling propaganda.
("You've proved to me that all this bareheaded cycling is wrong, wrong, and terribly wrong!")
Of course, none of this is to dismiss the dangers we face out there on the roads. For example, consider all those self-opening car doors for which no human is responsible:
Wow, leave it to the Canadian media to win the passive voice contest by a country kilometer!Kelowna, B.C. cyclist dies after bike hits door of parked car that opened suddenly: http://t.co/JYjo7WCazx pic.twitter.com/9KuP0u3MGA— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) July 20, 2015
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised though, since passivity is a national passion up there:
And in case you're wondering, YES, THE VICTIM WAS WEARING A GODDAMN HELME(N)T, YET SHE DIED ANYWAY:
Keenan, 38, slammed into the door and, despite wearing a helmet, sustained serious head injuries. She died in hospital two days later.
She should not have died--not because of the helme(n)t, but because we've gone way beyond the point at which governments should require cars to be outfitted with some kind of technology to prevent moronic drivers from heedlessly flinging their goddamn doors open into peoples' paths.
Yet, in the meantime, all we're getting is "connected helmets" and body paint:
Spraypaint yourself all you want, it doesn't matter if nobody's looking in the first place.
Same goes for this thing, by the way:
As illusions of safety go this is David Copperfield-caliber stuff, but it's not gonna to do a goddamn thing about all those doorings and right hooks.
Speaking of misplaced concern, remember the Long Island town of Southold, where they've banned all bike events from June to November?
Some might feel the new restriction might be “too draconian,” said Councilman Bill Ruland, but any time you put large groups in an area on bicycles or in vehicles, “there’s a large chance something can go wrong,” he said.
Absolutely, because everybody knows organized bicycle rides are a huge menace to public health and safety. That's why "THOUSANDS DIE AT CHARITY RIDE" is such a common newspaper headline all over America. In fact, you might recall that, according to Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley, cyclists are the community's "number one complaint:"
“I don’t know if our roads can support it anymore,” Flatley said. “The number one complaint we get now is about bicyclists on the roads, riding four or five abreast, not following the rules of the road.”
Well, it was hard not to think about all that when this Southold tragedy was all over the news last weekend:
At least four are dead after a horrific accident today on Route 48 in Cutchogue caused when a limo carrying at least seven passengers made a turn to head west and was struck by the westbound driver of a red pickup, resulting in the T-bone crash, police said. At least three died at the scene, Flatley said, and a fourth person died at Peconic Bay Medical Center. It was still unclear this evening if any others fatalities would be found inside the limousine, he said.
So what does Chief "I don't know if our roads can support it anymore" Flatley have to say about it?
In recent years, Vineyard 48 neighbors have cried out about limo operators, carrying patrons to the winery, driving dangerously on area roads and parking outside their homes.
Of the accident, Flatley said, “It was a dangerous move. This is what we’ve always been afraid of.” Limos making such turns take up two to three lanes and pose a danger on area roads, Flatley said, one reason why the town has been cautioning against potential tragedy on Route 48 for years.
Wait a minute! Limo operators?!? I thought the number one complaint in town was those damn bicyclists!
Even more incredibly, Flatley is saying that limos "pose a danger on area roads" AFTER ONE WAS RAMMED BY A DRUNK DRIVER!
So what's more dangerous: people hiring limos so they can visit wineries without driving drunk, or drunken drivers?
(Hint: it's a trick question, the answer is cyclists.)
As for this particular drunk driver, after murdering four people he attempted to walk causally away:
Romeo, he said, stayed at the scene of the accident, then, after about 15 minutes, walked 1,000 feet, where he climbed a six foot fence at the transfer station, located on the north side of Route 48, then walked down an embankment.
Police, Spota said, ordered him to stop, “but he continued to walk.” Romeo, Spota said, did eventually stop; police then administered field sobriety tests.
Well, if you ever visit Southold, you can rest easy knowing that bike ban is in place.
(Also, make sure you don't travel there by bike or by limo, lest you elicit the ire of Chief Flatley.)
Lastly, in the interest of keeping today's post morbid, you might as well trade your helme(n)t for a life jacke(n)t because we're all going to drown*:
Hansen’s study does not attempt to predict the precise timing of the feedback loop, only that it is “likely” to occur this century. The implications are mindboggling: In the study’s likely scenario, New York City—and every other coastal city on the planet—may only have a few more decades of habitability left. That dire prediction, in Hansen’s view, requires “emergency cooperation among nations.”
Firstly, New York City isn't even habitable right now, so how much worse can it get? Secondly, he says the sea level is going to rise ten feet in the next 50 years--but I'm at over 100 feet above sea level, which means I live atop a veritable mountain by New York City standards.
So bring it on, baby!
*Or else no we're not.