* PINCH FLAT NEWS *
An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.
Friday, May 29, 2015
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Here's another sign of the End Times: The thieving of ghost bikes. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, cyclists are scratching their heads at the theft of a ghost bike marking the intersection where Matt Trujillo was killed in 2011.
Here's the silver lining of the story, though. Ghost bikes in many other parts of the country are routinely removed by city workers or police for various reasons -- often because they become another distraction in what are often dangerous intersections to begin with (duh! chicken, meet egg!) and at other times simply because they can be an ever-expanding eyesore.
But the encouraging thing about the ABQ story is that it's a reminder to all New Mexicans that it's actually illegal to tamper with or move a ghost bike in their state. They fall under the category of descansos (ad hoc memorials similar to, say, a shrine by the side of the road marking the place of a violent death) and are protected. We'd like to see similar laws passed in other parts of the country.
Finally, as more than one person has pointed out, ghost bikes are rarely rideable -- at least by the living. So pinching a ghost bike seems like an especially mean-spirited thing to do, along the lines of desecrating a grave, which is sorta lowest of the low IMHO.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
|Guns and bikes: Why must they be mutually exclusive?|
If you will indulge us for a moment, though, we would like to point out that "More Bikes, Less Guns" is just as gramatically incorrect as "More Beers, Less Gears." (Hint: It's the same reason why the "Less than 10 items" express check-out at your local grocer is an abomination.)
With that anal grammarian moment behind us, I'd like to aver that for a small but vocal contingent of cyclists, guns and bikes are not in any way incompatible.
Friday, May 22, 2015
|This is an Amsterdam bike parking zone.|
Apparently with room for 1 million more!
That points to an especially interesting fact: This growth in bike use in an already bike-crazy culture is not due to population growth. Most Northern European countries, the Netherlands included, are desperately close to zero population growth, which is a real problem longterm because these highly socialized and progressive countries rely on new taxpayers to help pay for their famous social safety nets -- like paid maternity leave, and liveable pensions.