Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Hump day

It's Wednesday and I'm feeling humpish. There are a few interesting bits in the news, and I feel compelled to make fun of some of them. It's that or go barking mad.

First up, this bit from the Visalia Times with the headline "Bike lanes get big boost in Visalia."

A cyclist cruises along Noble Avenue west of County Center Drive in Visalia on Tuesday. It is one of many proposed bike lanes in the city. / Ron Holman

(For some odd reason, Blogger insists on doing the rest of this in italics. I've tried to change it, but I've given up in frustration.)

I didn't make that up. If the caption is to be believed, this sidewalk is about to become a bike lane. If so, it's worse than that 3 foot wide door zone bike lane that was in the news last week. Visalia city officials should be given some credit for saying that every lane is a bike lane, and their plan to include bicycling education as part of the expansion of bike facilities is certainly laudable. Then there's this:

"Largely, the plan proposes new bike lanes for almost every new and proposed subdivision around Visalia's city-limits perimeter — but ignores many core traffic areas where bicyclists, often illegally, proliferate."

So they're saying that the heavy traffic areas and those streets that serve numerous and popular destinations aren't going to see any bike lanes. OK, cyclists can deal with that by riding in the lane - that same lane that the city says belongs to them in the first place since "every lane is a bike lane" - and they can reach their destinations.

Moving on...

CBS News has a piece titled "Bicycle Safety: 11 death-defying rules." You just know where this is going from the title alone, but here's the first paragraph:

"Bicycling is dangerous. How dangerous? Each year, cycling-related injuries send more than 500,000 people to the hospital - and more than 700 to the grave. Kids are at special risk. But everyone who rides a bike - child or adult - should be acquainted with basic bicycle safety rules. Here, with help from the National Traffic Safety Administration, are 10 of the most important ones...."

The first 'rule' is the universal wear-your-helmet admonition with the usual unattributed nonsense that it will cut the risk of head injury by 85%. By these standards, taking a shower, walking down a flight of stairs, or eating high-fat foods is a terribly dangerous undertaking.

Finally, down around the eighth or ninth rule, they get around to telling cyclists to obey the rules of the road. Well before that point, however, many will have given up reading the stultifying material.

And lastly...

Larry said that some new guy has been in the cafe a few times looking for Wally and me. Larry said his name is Andy Clerk, or something like that, and from his accent, he may be Canadian. I doubt that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police would come all this way looking for us, especially since the event in question involved nothing more than some lake trout, copious amounts of Canadian whiskey, and some brief public nudity, but we're not taking any chances. Wally and I will be up in the mountains on a fishing trip.


Blogger Steve A said...

WRT the Visalia Times and CBS News - is it really WORTH the time to make fun of either article? I'd actually read the CBS piece and I think I got down to #9 before I got to anything relevant to the marathoner's death. I routinely violate at least three of their rules that will surely keep death away from my door. In retrospect, I don't know why I bothered to look at ANY advice that CBS or the US Government might choose to offer on cycling safety.

AS FOR THE LAST ITEM - the RCMP in Oklahoma sounds like there's an international incident in the making! That incident is namely that it's "Canadian Whisky," not "Canadian whiskey." I think whiskey is from Ireland and Kentucky.

7:17 PM  

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