Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Monday, June 12, 2006

Springtime Conflicts

It's spring, and that can only mean one thing. That's right: cars vs. bikes. Cyclists are out in force here in Boulder and tempers are starting to go up.

For example, Claudia Putnam of Jamestown wrote a letter to the Daily Camera editor complaining about the gang of cyclists that slowed down her commute. [Note: the accepted pejorative would be "pack".] Apparently the cyclists riding at 35 MPH down the canyon doubled her commute time and made her son miss his school bus. Of course, this means that she normally drives 70 MPH down that steep, windy canyon road, but best not to think about that.

She also suggested that cyclists ride in groups no larger than five. I'm not sure where that came from, but clearly she's not making many cyclist friends by telling them to not ride with their friends.

However, the most frustrating thing about this letter is the tone. Clearly, the writer believes that bikes are less important than cars, that anybody riding a car is doing something unimportant, and that they are just there to get in the way of responsible people doing responsible things.

John Flynt wrote a guest opinion published in yesterday's Camera. I'm not sure I follow his logic. However, cyclists are one the one hand the equivalent of vagrants and homeless people, while on the other hand they are no different than leaders of soulless corporations. Cyclists make too much money, shop in the wrong places, and of course dress in a manner showing their conspicuous consumption. Cyclists are chastised for throwing trash on the road, but anybody doing a trash survey along Lefthand Canyon would clearly see that the vast majority of it is of the type spewed by passing motorists. No cyclist I know throws cans, bottles, or cigarette packs by the road.

From what I can tell reading between the lines, John Flynt feels personally threatened in his artistic, non-consumer-based lifestyle by people who are not like him and do not share his values.

Lest you think I condone the behavior of thoughtless cyclists, consider that the most important value on the road is sharing the road. This means, cyclists, don't be road hogs, be predictable, and don't throw your trash on or by the road. Keep as far right as is safe and practical. Motorists, be patient, pass at a safe distance, and realize that cyclists have just as much right to be there as you do. Just as you wouldn't want some cyclist telling you what roads to ride on, you shouldn't tell a cyclist where he or she can ride. If you see a bicycle not all the way to the right, trust that there is a reason and be extra careful. There may be road debris, a pothole, high winds, or something else you can't see.

And for crying out loud, I thought judging people based on how they dress went out with high school!

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