Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ef Bicycles

The Urbanite Magazine is trying to start a flame war between bicyclists and internal combustionites. No one wanted to write anything dogging bicycles, so I gave them this. Enjoy (or not).

My one time home, Portland OR, is a wealth of innovative transportation solutions. One of my favorites is bike racks on the busses. Anything to keep those things off the roads. Bicycles, or fleshy speed bumps, like rickshaws, roller skates and pogo sticks, are a quaint technology best left in the 1950s or Asia.

Many folks believe there is something about two wheeled transport that amplifies the self-righteousness in human beings, something about gravitational harmonics intermingling with the brains snoot receptors. I ride a two wheeled conveyance and have been unaffected by this blight. Of course, my two wheels came with a motor making them fit for travel on public roads. I think a more rational explanation is that spandex doesn’t allow excess arrogance to radiate naturally through the body and instead squeezes it out the mouth.

By the way, I love Batman and the power rangers too, but I don’t feel the need to dress like a low rent super villain with a foam hat and tap shoes. Does all of that gear make a difference for you? This isn’t the Tour De France, its rush hour (or it is for the rest of us). I’ll get behind anything that makes you less slow, but that 3/100th MPH you’re gaining don’t seem to be worth the CFCs generated shipping your space suit from Indonesia.

Listen, I ride 695 on a 400 pound motorcycle surrounded by crazy cagers talking on their cell phones and text messaging their friends to complain about the guy shaving in the Honda next to them. I understand the frustration and danger of autos, but it is nothing like the frustration of sitting behind a herd of bicycles creeping along at a pace that would anger the Amish.

When I am on the road it’s because I am trying to get somewhere. It’s great that this is play time for you and you have time to kill, but some of us have places to be. A two lane road caught behind the Wyman Park Pedalphiles or whatever you call yourselves is the first circle of hell. The rest of us are burning 50 times the fossil fuels and getting a head start on an aneurism fighting the urge to pass over you.

The bicyclists will whine that they are riding a legitimate form of transportation. Well so are kayaks and we don’t allow those on Charles Street either. I personally like to make my way around my house on an office chair using a plunger oar. It’s clean, efficient and keeps me in shape, but I don’t think I should get my own office-chair-plunger-oar lane on the freeway. Ban bicycles from the roads today! If they were in a hurry, they’d be driving anyway so put them on the sidewalks where they can battle pedestrians. That’s a fairer fight anyway.


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