Friday, July 07, 2006

Locals Fear Marauding Cyclists; Safety of Deceased in Question

Thank you to the person who wrote in about Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (, which indicates that there are indeed cyclists taking full advantage of our nation’s available flatness. To be fair, I have begun to encounter somewhat more variation in landscape since I last wrote. It is not AS flat here in Minnesota as it is in Iowa.

I finally saw a couple of bikes yesterday, but only because I had the luck not to blink when they whizzed between one clump of shrubbery and another. We were in a boat out on a small lake and happened to be gazing at the shore at the right moment. Here’s a picture. (The color of the water isn’t quite right, but this is the best I could do with the supply of colored pencils I’ve managed to scare up. It’s sort of a deep, bottle green – much prettier than shown-- because the algae grows prolifically here. The fish must be happy about that.) My brother-in-law narrator pointed out various aborted plans to build bike paths around the lakes, so far voted down by some of the local citizenry who fear such amenities will attract riff-raff to the area. The cemetery is of particular concern. Can’t you just see it? Two-wheeled hoodlums stopping to overturn a few headstones on their way through. On the pro side, the argument is made that bicycle and pedestrian traffic would provide a steady stream of eyes on the cemetery, discouraging vandalism, which is more likely to occur in sparsely frequented areas. Further development of the paths is suspended till they can come up with the necessary vandal profiling criteria.


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