Happy #piggate Monday to you!
Did you know the NYPD are ticketing you in order to save you?
In August, officers from the 24th Precinct handed out 135 summonses to cyclists for violating bicycle laws — such as running red lights, cycling the wrong way and riding on a sidewalk — up from 52 citations during the same period last year, police said.
That vigilance is paying off, with 12 injuries from collisions involving a bike or a car last month, compared to 20 during the same period last year, according to the precinct.
My first reaction upon reading this was to drop to my knees and thank the NYPD for saving us from ourselves. But then this thing I have called a brain kicked in, and I found myself asking the following questions:
1) Statistically speaking, does the difference between 12 injuries and 20 really mean shit?
2) If summonses are indeed the key to preventing injury, might this tactic be employed to better effect against drivers, who are the ones causing the majority of traffic-related injuries and deaths?
3) If this precinct is seeing fewer cyclist injuries, is it worth considering this may be the result of bike lanes and other street enhancements?
Nah. See, it's not about safety. It's really just about winning and losing:
When bicyclists run red lights, they could get seriously injured and are putting themselves in "unnecessary harm," said 24th Precinct Capt. Marlon Larin at a meeting Wednesday.
"I don’t think bicyclists should be able to [run] a red light. A car’s going to win," he said.
Thanks for clearing that up. So next time I run a light I'll be sure to do it in my car.
But hey, if you've ever gotten pulled over by the police, you know they're Just Doing Their Job:
The precinct gets a high volume of calls from residents complaining about cyclists who aren't adhering to the rules of the road, Larin added.
"We also have to take heed to the complaints we get," he said.
This I believe. See, people complain about cyclists because there aren't that many of them, but they don't complain about drivers because they've been beaten into submission by them for generations. That's why it's easy to kvetch about the new Citi Bike rack that just popped up, yet nobody complains about the murderous drivers who at this point are an accepted part of New York City folklore.
It's also unfair to say the police don't ticket drivers, because they certainly do. Unfortunately the problem is at they ticket drivers the same way they ticket cyclists, which is to say they park themselves at an intersection where everyone commits the same relatively benign infraction, flip open their ticketing pads, and let the ink fly. And in the NYPD's defense, what choice do they have? The most dangerous drivers are speeding, but the NYPD isn't allowed to go chasing after people and go crashing through fruit stands like they do in the movies. So instead we get the "Sitting 'round the ol' fishin' hole" method.
Nevertheless, let's take a look at some fun-tastic driving here in New York City this past weekend:
A man and a pregnant woman were both struck by drivers in separate collisions which occurred a block apart in the Bronx on Saturday.
In the first incident, police say a 26-year-old man was crossing over Union Avenue at East 155 Street around 3:30 p.m. yesterday when the driver of a black Ford Taurus intentionally hit him then fled. Witnesses told the News that the driver, 25-year-old Josue Gago, had been arguing with the victim before the incident. One witness said Gago "just got in the car and ran him over," then left the scene.
That's brilliant. Gago obviously follows the news closely and knows there's virtually no way he'll get in trouble. It's a total "gimme."
In the second incident, which occurred one block away and about two hours later, a pregnant woman was struck by a driver on E. 155th Street and Prospect Avenue. Witnesses say that the driver was distracted by television news trucks who were there to cover the earlier collision. “He was looking the opposite way at the news lady," witness Gina Tirado told the News. "He wasn’t paying attention."
Also brilliant. "Ogling the hot news lady" is a completely acceptable excuse for running over a pregnant woman, right up there with "she came out of nowhere" and "mistook the gas for the brake."
And of course, according to the New York Post, both of these were "accidents:"
See that? It says so right here:
No word on whether the pregnant woman was wearing a helme(n)t.
Moving on to more cartoonish injustices, retired classics star and Hair Club For Men president Johan Museeuw doesn't think it's fair he gets crap for doping:
“I took drugs because everyone took them back then. But is it fair that only me and other familiar faces like [Lance] Armstrong and [Michael] Boogerd now serve as sinners? I think not. It makes me feel wronged. Even today I see riders in the peloton who also rode back then, but they remain silent,” said Museeuw in a Q and A with De Zondag.
He has a point. Plus, it's not like anybody didn't know he was doping at the time:
Nothing fishy about that.
And let's not forget #gangrenegate:
Speaking of leg injuries, BMC has won the men's world TTT championship in Richmond, VA:
The 38.6km course in Richmond, Virginia, took riders from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden through Richmond’s historic Northside neighborhoods, then continued east of town down rural Route 5 before returning to the city for a 300-meter climb to the finishing straight.
I'm not sure why people get excited about time trials. They're the mathletes of the cycling world.