Saturday, August 24, 2013

Court Elaine

This Lady of Shallot should have married name rhymed Gawain. Instead she pined unto death for unrequited love of Lancelot. Brit mayhem never ends. Elaine dies again, this time on her first anniversary, mowed down with impunity by a nonagenarian driver. Labann mourns her loss with inconsolable sadness.

Over a century ago girls flocked to bikes as a means of emancipation; got them out of the house, let them meet more suitors than cousins and dull locals, and probably expanded inbred gene pool in a healthy way. Today they hide in or loiter for motor vehicles. As Labann often remarks in passing to anyone waiting for busses, “If you had a bike you’d be there already!” With additional risk of pregnancy and double standards that trap them in situations, women must endure more risks than men to get anywhere. Despite CitiBike and other cycling promotions bumps and scrapes result. But such issues tend to get reported, rather than informing public of the much worse hazards of motoring.

A gender gap has become obvious. Men hesitate to recommend this simpler alternative to ladies, but it's not up to them to court involvement or grant permission. A persistent lack of infrastructure remains a huge deterrent, especially in cities but also in suburbs. Even lightly travelled country roads present safety issues. You can't reassure your frightened daughter when dogs roam loose, medical examiners report bodies found are usually females, and most incidents described occur because society doesn’t seem to give a damn about cyclists and pedestrians regardless of gender. As in all human endeavors, some still find the necessary courage to aim high and compete effectively.

Salute newly established Women’s Cycling Association. Old boss from 1994 to 2004 sponsored an all-girl racing team, so never reckoned that women’s cycling lacked support. Now that it's mentioned, always imagined that misses might have a harder time braving wackos, weather, and worrisome details. With distaff Olympic gold, girl teams garnered sponsors, yet roles remain subservient in premier events. Labann arrowed, designed, instigated and sagged rides to raise awareness and funding for breast and other feminine cancers. But sister participants were typically few. Boys will ride for challenges alone, middle age men out of stubbornness, but damsels are mostly deterred by fear and vanity despite fact that they will never be more alluring while blushing from mild pedaling.

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