Monday, February 4, 2008

A Soapbox

Got an opportunity to ride again Sunday. It was a splendid day - warm, sunny, breezy but not windy. This week I partnered with the Not-So-Little One, who doesn't do anything in a hurry. Turns out that riding very slowly uphill is a great workout!

I took the opportunity to teach her about drafting and attack (hills). She was a wiling student.

Remembered two vital pieces of equipment this trip: wrap around glasses and padded briefs. Much better!

Riding in town sucks. As is the case in most cities, it is not legal to ride on sidewalks. Sidewalks are for pedestrians. Bicycles are wheeled vehicles and belong on the road. Unfortunately, cars do not like to share the road with bicycles. And they don't stop on red before turning right. I watched in horror as the Little One barely escaped a collision.

So we relented and found the sidewalk. Which was littered with trash and overgrown bushes and trees and fence posts and broken beer bottles.

Daily we are bombarded with pleas to "go green." I would love to do my part by cycling, if only I didn't feel like I was taking my life into my own hands everytime I climbed in the saddle. As if the obstacles weren't enough, I have been honked at (from directly behind me), spit on, grabbed, slapped on the behind, and followed.

And what about those other two buzzwords, "childhood obesity"? My daughters would live outside if I allowed it. But the cars that speed down my block make wheeled recreation impossible. And let's not even talk about the sexual predators. Every parent I know agrees - we would love to send our kids outside, if we could.

Listen up lawmakers: make the roads safer and we'll all get out there and enjoy them. Without our automotive armour.

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