ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010 (with periodic long breaks)
I’m browsing Eugene Weekly this past Thursday, and I come upon the “Lighten Up” feature:
Public officials should stop using the phrase “bicycle safety” when talking about bike lanes, warning signs and traffic laws unless they are on the Glenn Beck show. The phrase creates the false illusion that riding a bicycle on the streets — with cars and trucks whizzing by an arm’s length away — can be made safe. In reality, riding a bicycle in the street is an inherently dangerous activity. Like hanging out with Joran van der Sloot.
— Rafael Aldave, Eugene
OK, at the risk of taking something called “Lighten Up” too seriously, I’ll take the bait: What the hell is he talking about?
I have to admit I had to Google “Joran van der Sloot” before I was reminded he is a suspected murder, at which point the notion of “lighting up” didn’t leap to mind. And the only thing I really know about Glenn Beck is that my mom watches his TV show. I love my mother dearly, of course. But whenever we wander off topic and start talking politics, I become faint, sweaty and disoriented.
So maybe I’m missing the necessary background that would allow me to get the joke. Or maybe it’s a post-modern joke: Like, a joke that’s not really a joke at all and thereby making a joke of the reader who becomes confounded and anxious after reading an item labeled “Lighten Up.”
I will agree that, “riding a bicycle in the street is an inherently dangerous activity” — or at least it can be. But then so is … oh, I don’t know … riding a bike on the sidewalk while talking on a cell phone:
And so would it be inherently dangerous to be innocently out strolling along the sidewalk on a warm summer evening never expecting to cross paths with this dude.
I’m going to say that a “bike lane” is a nice place to start — not to mention “traffic laws.”
Man, High Street is a mess right now. If you haven’t been on High lately, I’d say stay the hell away until they get done repaving it. Or you could try it, especially if you like to engage in professional road racing fantasies, in which case it’s a good route for the day you are going to win on the nasty cobbled streets of Paris-Roubaix. Here’s Paris-Roubaix:
Here’s the current state of the “blacktop” on High Street:
In other news, I hit the Breakfast on the Bridge on Friday morning. I’ve long since lost the LiveStrong bracelet I used to own. But now I have one of these:
Gee, you ask, are you secure enough in your manhood to wear something that pink?
I’m not sure, actually. But I bet this guy is: