Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You're Blind and Wet. If only there was a way to prevent that.

What month is it, now?  December?  Right.  Get your living room tree adorned with various ornaments and "tencel" (which we all know is robot-jizz) and hunker down for the end of the Mayan Calendar.  I predict a major upset in Middle America when nothing happens, along with the usual fit of blame-throwing at Fox "News" that inevitably comes after every major non-event.

Onward to bicycle wankery.

As I mentioned earlier than now,  it is December.  Those of us riding our bikes in North America, whether for fun or transportation, are all stuck in the same rut as the rest of our local pedal-pushers.  We're all wading through the same crap as every other cyclist we see during our daily ride/commute. It gets dark early, the sun comes up late, and it's usually some kind of wet out.  We all have to ride in it.

Over the past month, this has raised two questions.

1) What does everyone have against being able to see and be seen after dark? 

Every night I ride home amidst a sea of lemmings who seem self-assured that their invisibility will somehow protect them as they run . . . every . . . single . . . red light and stop sign.  For the love of Coppi, if I can't see you, we're going to hurt each other and our helmets can't stop that.  Lights are cheap.  Get some.
2) How is it that, given the known toxicity of storm runoff (a.k.a. the stuff you ride across in the rain), so many cyclists seem to think that all they need for the wet season is rain pants? 

Fenders aren't there merely to prevent the wet stripe up your ass.  Water on the road is contaminated with motor oil, anti-freeze, roadkill, dog shit, and a lot of other substances I'd rather not think about.  A good set of well made, properly installed fenders keep that toxicity not just off of your clothes, but also off of your face and out of your mouth.  Fenders.  Yeah.

**Steps down from soapbox**

Please consider these things, because there can be no respect from non-cyclists if we do not respect ourselves enough to light our own way and keep shitty road-water out of our mouths.