Way To Go ‘Team’! One Step Closer To Transportation Parity

Background Reading

Summary

Bicyclists pedal north on Dearborn Street at Kinzie Street in Chicago. (John J. Kim, Chicago Tribune)

Bicyclists pedal north on Dearborn Street at Kinzie Street in Chicago. (John J. Kim, Chicago Tribune)


TakeAways

Sooner or later you knew we were due our chance to reach parity with our motoring cousins. We have already learned to BUI with the best of the DUI felons. And it goes without saying we are no longer down in the column where we used to be the only ones who had not killed a pedestrian. Now we have nearly a dozen scalps on our belts.

So now we need to up our game and get into the ‘reckless behavior‘ column. Great showing folks! We will win over the hearts and minds of America, real soon now.

God Bless The Fixed Gear Riders!

Detroit Native Junior Bashi rides on a Michigan Avenue sidewalk near the Art Institute. Photo: John Greenfield

Detroit Native Junior Bashi rides on a Michigan Avenue sidewalk near the Art Institute. Photo: John Greenfield

It would seem that in addition to be unable to bring our numbers up faster on the lowly Divvy bikes we are however making strides with the lowly fixed gear bikes.

Michael Anderson, Iban Mendez and Joey Lopez outside Wheel of Time Bikes. Photo: John Greenfield

Michael Anderson, Iban Mendez and Joey Lopez outside Wheel of Time Bikes. Photo: John Greenfield

Our cycling advocacy leaders ride them. But they like to call theirs ‘single speeds‘. But whatever clever name you give yours, hiding the fact that it does not have a braking system is difficult.

It was this kind of bike that plowed into the lady in the pedestrian crosswalk on Dearborn. So our concerns about pedestrians feeling endangered by our presence on streets like Dearborn in the Loop are probably justified. And what is our lame response?

It is usually akin to the old saw that “Cars Kill, Bicycles Don’t“. But that lie has been laid to rest. We now know that when it comes to hitting and killing pedestrians we can hold our heads high having met the burden of proof of our lethality.

But since killing pedestrians is not yet as popular as some of our tribe would like we simply come back with the rejoinder than cars kills far more of them than do we. Clever response, right?

One Final Note

I came across an article by one of my favorite writers:

One of the most confounding questions in cycling is this: Which hand should control which brake?

One of the most confounding questions in cycling is this: Which hand should control which brake?

What I found wildly ironic was that anyone would be discussing the proper design for braking wheels when here in Chicago we avoid the problem altogether. We don’t use either hand to ‘brake our fixes‘. As John Greenfield notes this approach leads to greater numbers of young riders joining our ranks. Sweet!

Surely that doesn’t mean that pedestrians have just that much more to worry about? Nah, perish the thought!