Wednesday, August 17th, 2016: I'm out, no post!
Thursday, August 18th, 2016: I'm out, no post!
Friday, August 19th, 2016: I'm out, no post!
Saturday, August 20th, 2016: It's the weekend, get a life!
Sunday, August 21st, 2016: (See Saturday, Augusts 20th)
Monday, August 22nd, 2016: I'm back, post!
So there you have it.
You can also expect me to vanish again sometime before Labo(u)r Day, but we'll bridge that cross when we come to it.
Moving on, some guy running for Supervisor in San Francisco wants mandatory bicycle licensing, and he's written the world's dumbest editorial to explain why:
(This person has a Subaru and a dumbass hybrid, so he deserves to be taken seriously.)
Bicyclists in San Francisco should have to register their bike, obtain a license and carry a minimum amount of liability insurance — the same requirements for driving a car.
Sure, that makes sense. Bicycles weigh thousands of pounds and cause tremendous wear and tear on our infrastructure and environment. They also travel at speeds well in excess of 50mph and are often used to carry multiple passengers, so naturally riders should receive standardized training and carry liability insurance. And of course bicycle crashes result in over 30,000 deaths every year in the United States alone, not to mention large-scale property damage like this:
Oh, wait, sorry. I was thinking about cars. Bikes are the innocuous human-powered machines that are completely benign, right? It's so easy to get confused.
But it's not really about any of that. It's about cyclists having to "put some skin in the game:"
We have one set of roads long dominated by automobiles. But as a growing number of bicycle commuters assert political power to get their own lanes, they need to put some skin in the game. If cars and bikes are going to share city roads — which is where the future is headed — the responsibility for safe co-existence should also be shared.
Wow. Them's fighting words. I'd say cyclists have plenty of skin in the game--you know, the skin we leave on the street when the morons pictured above hit us, you fucking moron.
But like most bicycle licensing advocates his main concern is that we help make the poor, persecuted motorists feel better, because, you know, it's not fair that they should have to go through all the trouble of getting a driver's license when the cyclists don't have to:
Mandatory registration, license and insurance could ease ongoing resentments between cyclists and motorists. Cyclists will get more protection while motorists will be glad they aren’t alone in being held accountable on the road.
Whoa. Where's this accountability he's talking about? Licenses and insurance are pretty much designed to eliminate all motorist accountability, and they've done a great job. After all, as long as you've got a valid license and some insurance and aren't drunk you can pretty much run over and kill anybody you damn well please. In fact, here in New York City you don't even need the license most of the time.
And what other completely unnecessary inconveniences should cyclists be forced to deal with just because drivers have to do them? Should we be legally required to buy a certain amount of gasoline a month? Do we need to start feeding the meters? How about smog inspections?
Drivers fly into a rage when they have to slow down for even a moment because there's a cyclist ahead, but I'm sure the knowledge that the cyclist is licensed will restore the drivers' patience and end their maniacal sense of entitlement once and for all.
I'll get a bicycle license to make a driver feel better when that driver has to get a pilot's license and be trained to operate a 747.
By the way, if you're waiting for the "Some of my best friends are _____" part, here it is:
Before protesters on bikes jeer at me for suggesting this idea, they should know I’m pro-bike. I even rode my bike 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles for charity. I share a car with my husband but mostly take public transportation and walk — and we live on the westside, in the “suburban” part of town near Stonestown Mall where cars and parking spaces are still abundant.
Okay, that makes sense: you're automatically not anti-something if you once did something for a charity. So if I make a donation to Dachshund Rescue of North America does that mean I get to fire a wiener dog out of a cannon, is that how it works?
Good to know.
("Get ready to get airborne, Wilhelm!")
And as for the insurance, he's only looking out for our interests:
Currently, bicyclists experience a lot more risk than well-insured car drivers. Seaman recently hit a car door that had opened into a bike lane he was riding in. His injury required 34 sessions of physical therapy. His bike had substantial damage. Yet his auto and home insurance didn’t cover his bike accident (not all policies do). He was on the hook for thousands of dollars in expenses.
Uh, he didn't "hit a car door." That's not how it works. The driver hit him with a car door. Saying a cyclist "hit a car door" is like saying an assault victim walked into a baseball bat. It's clearly the driver's fault, and and the driver's insurance should pay. If it didn't, something's fucked up, and it's not that cyclists aren't carrying their own insurance policies.
Anyway, now that you have your bicycling license, are you bewildered by all the different styles of bicycle available to the 21st century consumer? Are you unsure as to whether you need a cargo bike, or a fat bike, or a folding bike, or an e-bike? Well, no, of course you're not. Nevertheless, you no longer have to grapple with this nonexistent dilemma, because you can now buy a bike that is all of those things--and more! Yes, meet the RadMini electric folding fat bike:
As far as I can tell, the target market for this bicycle is yachting enthusiasts in hilly cities who own small dogs:
So if this describes you then you'll want to give this bicycle a serious look.
This could also be the ideal bicycle for the Olympic Games mountain bike course, which appears to have caught fire:
"The UCI is aware that there was a fire this afternoon in the vicinity of the Rio 2016 mountain bike course," it said in a statement. "It is understood the fire is now under control. Assessment of any potential impact on the mountain bike course will be made [on Tuesday]."
Why is this even a problem? Why not make it a course feature? It seems to me this is just the sort of excitement the Olympic mountain bike race needs:
I know I'd watch.
And with that, I'm gone. I'll see you back here on Monday, August 22nd, and in the meantime I'm sure we'll all be working on your bicycle licensing test.
--Wildcat Rock Machine