Monday, December 19, 2011

The Bicycle Safety Edition

Here I address good bicycling habits that keep you safe.

Blah blah blah signal, blah helmet, blah blah blah two lights, blah blah blah.


I'm exhausted by the number of articles about how bicyclists should follow x,y and z behaviors to avoid being turned into creamed corn by a passing car.  Bicycles don't kill bicyclists.  Cars kill bicyclists.  If you're still interested in covering bicycle safety I refer you here.   I think it's as good as many and better than most.  Their material on the right and left hook was useful to me. 

So why call this The Bicycle Safety Edition?  Patience.  I'm getting there.

Back in 1990 or so there was a proliferation of books with titles like 50 Simple Things To Do To Save The Earth and these books were filled with helpful suggestions about using less toilet paper and recycling water bottles.  A better title might be How To Feel Fine About Doing Nothing.  A friend of mine told me about a (much less popular) book called 50 Difficult Things To Do To Save The Earth.

1.  Bury your car.

I still find this pretty amusing and in that spirit I offer my Bicycle Safety Edition. 

1.  When you are driving a car, do not exceed the speed limit. 

I'll pause for you to get your jaw off the ground.  Yes I really just suggested that you follow the speed limit.  Seriously.  Yes.  Yes, I mean those numbers in white boxes with a black rim that you frequently see beside the road.  No I do not give a rat's ass if you are a Formula 1 driver.  No those white signs with the black numbers are not "suggestions." Drive the goddamned speed limit.  Thanks.

2.  When you are driving your car, do not talk on your phone, send text messages, listen to headphones, or snort heroin. 

I don't care if President Barack Obama awarded you the Congressional Medal of Honor for Distinguished Multi-tasking.  When you're driving your car, pay attention to the goddamned road.

There.  All done.  Wasn't that easy?  Two easy rules for bicycle safety.  Both of them are directed at cars because it is cars that hit bicyclists and not the reverse.  Attentive readers will notice that obeying the above rules also brings you into compliance with US law.  Like speed limits, US laws are not suggestions, they are hard and fast rules. 

I also have a suggestion for an improved road experience.  Each car will have mounted on front and side those diamond/triangle shaped plates that you see on tractor-trailers that indicate when a truck carries hazardous cargo.  You can flip the plates up and down to reflect an accurate picture of the truck's condition.  The car signs can be modified so that they can display the following messages:

1.  I'm Lost.  I May Do Anything.  Watch out!
2.  I'm Drunk.  You Should Pull Me Over.
3.  I Just Got Laid Off.  I'm Self-Destructive.
4.  Hormones = Raging!!
5.  Have Not Been Laid In ~18 months.
6.  My Dog Ate My Honor Student.

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