[*BCM*] Horrifying editorial in the TAB

Anne Wolfe goannego at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 19 17:07:32 EDT 2004

Ok, so the guy's entire logic (after his "I hate cycling/fitness/pineapple on pizza" weirdness) is that cyclists deserve to get hit by lunatic drivers because he's an unfit, car driving slobbo?
Max, honey, April fool is in April........ ;)

Max Harless <mharless at wesleyan.edu> wrote:
Can someone please respond to this? I have to pack. It appeared in 
last week's Allston-Brighton TAB (and maybe other TABs as well?)


Steer clear of two-wheeled treachery
By Dave Gradijan
Friday, July 16, 2004

Ready or not, it's time for a pop quiz.
If you find yourself sitting at the back of a miles-long 
traffic jam, the cause of the backup is most likely:
A) A multi-car accident.
B) One of those rare Massachusetts earthquakes that opened up a 
22-foot chasm in the roadway, and in the process revealed Whitey 
Bulger's hideout.
C) A band of raucous youth that stole an ice cream truck and 
finally got nabbed by police, who are waiting for backup officers to 
get the chilling scene under control.
D) Seven bicyclists who are riding along the street, side by 
side instead of single file, thereby occupying each lane of the 
heavily traveled road.
Certainly answer A is a logical guess, and I could hardly blame 
you for going with B or C because, hey, weirder things happen every 
day, like when people cheer for the New York Yankees.
But in my own experience, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the 
final answer, as Regis Philbin would call it, because nary a day 
passes in this wondrous summer season when I don't see some dude 
riding a bicycle who doesn't appear to realize that it's unadvisable 
to play chicken with a FedEx driver who absolutely, positively has to 
be there overnight.
Kudos to anyone who can pedal away for miles on a daily basis, 
because to me the activity is only a wee bit more enjoyable than 
jogging, which in my book is almost as silly an idea as putting 
pineapple on a pizza. Think about it: Have you ever seen a jogger 
giggling or even breaking a subtle smirk as he huffs and puffs his 
way into physical oblivion? More likely, he appears as if he is being 
jabbed in the gut with an ice pick.
But I digress. What bicyclists need to realize is that, even 
without their presence, the roads are already replete with legitimate 
hazards such as potholes, Whitey Bulger hideouts and drivers who 
believe the turn signal is supposed to be saved for emergencies.
Alas, many fail to understand that it simply isn't safe to use a 
bicycle to navigate your way along a narrow, winding road that can 
barely fit two average-sized go-carts. All it takes is one zipperhead 
with a driver's license to come barreling around the corner at 60 
mph, and the cyclist who is occupying a third of the skimpy lane is 
likely to get himself killed, maimed, or at the very least see his 
Schwinn Super Sport land in that Great Bicycle Rack in the Sky.
Worse still are the biker groups who ride two or more abreast, 
casting aside those all-important "single file" lessons we were 
taught in elementary school on our way to the cafeteria to consume 
our peanut butter and jelly du jour.
Even if an accident doesn't result from this neglectful 
strategy, a lengthy line of frustrated drivers who are unable to pass 
the cyclists most certainly will. Cars that are capable of going from 
zero to 60 in 2.7 nanoseconds will instead be progressing so slowly 
that you'd think they worked in state government.
Occasionally I spot a bicyclist actually using the sidewalk, 
where one is present, to ensure his or her own safety, which I 
usually respond to by giving that biker dude a thumbs-up or a 
pumped-fist "Rock On" sign to demonstrate my approval. Most also 
deserve credit for wearing bright-colored, albeit dorky-looking 
apparel and being sure to use a helmet, which virtually nobody on a 
bicycle wore when I was just a little lad.
Summer is prime cycling season, to be sure, and no amount of 
whining on my part is going to deter enthusiasts from taking to the 
streets, so we drivers have to be all the more aware as we motor our 
way about town, especially on those narrow roadways where you often 
can't see beyond the oak tree 8 feet ahead.
But the bikers themselves also need to remember that, while the 
activity can be fun and serve as excellent exercise, it is important 
not to strap that helmet on so tightly that your brain ceases to 
exercise common sense as you're pedaling away.
If you actually take my advice, well shucks, I might even foot 
the bill so you can get some cooler-looking clothes.
Dave Gradijan can be reached at dgradijan at cnc.com.
Boston Critical Mass mailing list
list at bostoncriticalmass.org

"If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music...and of aviation." --Tom Stoppard



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