Another season, another 100,000 words on bikes competing with cars. Krikey, now that 10 million Americans are looking at unemployment and foreclosure, you'd think we'd have something more interesting to yammer about, but still. Cars continue to weigh roughly 5,000 pounds, and despite some nominal weight gain during the winter months, my bike and I continue to weigh significantly less than that. Ramifications are clear: I can zip around pretty efficiently, using sidewalks and alleys and bike paths and beaver runs. But of course I can also be quickly reduced to ground chuck if my line happens to intersect with that of an automobile. The rest -- who's right, who's wrong -- is just blowing smoke up the ass of a Judeo-Christian God. We all bend and break the rules, and thank goodness you generally can't have guns and strong liquor at hand, or the Parkway would look at bit more like Faluja.
Car owners assign blame in collisions to cyclists not following rules of the road, yet one of the reasons some drivers refuse to bicycle is because they say it is dangerous. Why is it dangerous? Because of cars. Otherwise, people would say it was dangerous because they didn't trust themselves to follow traffic rules.
That's waterproof logic for you, but I realized that if I were being perfectly honest, I'd agree with that final premise. To wit, biking is dangerous because I don't trust myself to follow traffic rules while biking.
This falls under a whole category of activities that I don't trust myself to do intelligently, legally, or in moderation.
Things Pinchie Does Dangerously
- Rolls through stop signs and the occasional red light
- Tries to track stand in overtightened SPDs
- Rides alone with iPod
- Sometimes uses crosswalk to gain competitive advantage
- Wears lycra shorts
- Occasionally signals a right-hand turn with right hand
- Goes helmetless, like going condomless, sometimes just for the thrill of it
- Does not keep receipts
- Falls in and out of love almost every day with biker chicks
- Runs a Shimano 610 derailleur with XTR cassette on crossbike
- Plays lawnsports without first doing dog-poop duty
- Does not thoroughly separate glossy paper from newsprint in recycling
- Overloads door of fridge with little-used condiments
- Has used a wrench as a hammer and a screwdriver as a chisel
- Sometimes takes dog offleash in non-offleash areas
- Procrastinates in paying $120 ticket for taking dog offleash in non-offleash area