Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Zipping down a long decline had to brake hard to avoid a toddler walking a tiny bike at a 90° angle to path. Likewise, parents stood sideways astride their own taking up rest of pavement. No harm, no real foul, simply said, “No problem,” to their, “So sorry,” and resumed scorching. While nice every so often to forget traffic, recognize bike paths are bunny slopes and dog walks. When a friend bragged of his urchin taking to 2 wheels like a duck to water, shot back, “Whoa! Set limits.” Tykes don’t know any better than to ride trikes under trucks. Adults must supervise children until they’re ready to go solo or tragedies ensue.
Independent of age, all users of roadnet must know basic traffic code, personal safety protocols, and who to contact for help. Bikes need to be maintained. Pays to check carefully and clean before heading out, or you might wind up unsafely without or worse when far from nest. Trek recalled all bicycles with both front disc brakes and quick release hubs made from 2000 through 2015, which affects almost a million units sold in North America. Lever might jam in disc causing a sudden stop and endangering riders. Facial injuries, fractured wrist, and paralysis have resulted. For details go to www.trekbikes.com and click on "Safety & Recalls" at bottom of page. Who can say how many other makes might be similarly defective? Most are definitely not designed for wet weather. Global warming guarantees rainy days. You can wear a wetsuit but won’t keep bearings and chains from seizing with rust, or frames, handlebars and saddles collapsing from damage or rot.
Despite perceived perils, managed to bike over 100,000 miles alongside truckers with fewer close calls or mishaps than during 500,000 miles driven in about the same amount of hours. While motoring appears 5 times faster, always says that cycling is 20 times safer, walking 8 times, both more practical when trips are short. All cyclist and pedestrian deaths in recorded history do not equal what motorists sustain every year. Yet news neglects to mention this while hammering cycling for comparatively minuscule menace.
Cyclists continually encounter road rage of impatient motorists. Children’s book Ben Rides On depicts the inhumanity of bullies being transformed into bike repair and personal redemption. Ordinarily, Labann steers clear of juvenile literature littered with lessons intended to scare. But cartoonist Matt Davies does an excellent job describing situations to which anyone can relate.
“Any fool will load his bike so much that he can’t see; he rides on sidewalks, so what happens? A catastrophe! ...I play safe for you and me, ‘cuz I’m no fool. Show off is a stupid thing... He thinks it’s fun but what a sorry ending to his show.” – Cliff Edwards and the [Disney] Mouseketeers, 1956
Posted by Labann at 3:15 PM