Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Man Inadvertently Models Life According to Unknown Book

That guy Chris I blogged about yesterday? He wrote in. Read his comment below yesterday’s post. His story is the living example of that book I reviewed here last September called How to Live Well Without Owning a Car, by Chris Balish. He didn’t mention the book, so I don’t know if he’s read it, or he just learned it all from that amazing friend he mentions in his comment – who outdoes me by light years and whom I want to meet! I’m sending a link to this post to Chris Balish. He’ll be so thrilled that the idea is sprouting up all over, with him and without him. Soon after I wrote that review, the link to it was posted by an East coast commuter site and I got hundreds of hits through them. It makes my day to know that I helped spread the word about that book. So if you can, send someone you know the link to my blog for today, and maybe one more person on the planet will start weighing the alternatives. The book is excellent and fun to read. He covers it all, every obstacle you can think of that might impede your efforts to JUST SAY NO TO CARS.

PS: tomorrow I bring you fantastic news about Portland's bike status in the country.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Like a moth to the flame, they come to Portland

I arrived at my hideout this morning to find an unfamiliar bike locked to my rack. My first reaction was to ask myself. “Grrrr. Who the hell’s in my parking spot?”

To which my Self answered, Oh stop. Number one, there’s room for two bikes on those racks; and number two, you’re supposed to be happy when you see that more people are riding their bikes.

“Oh yeah,” I remembered. “Bikes good, cars bad.”

To me it seemed the kind of bike that was someone’s best friend, perfected over time with features acquired gradually and thoughtfully. The tubing bore a funny name I’d never heard, and the bike was a kloodged together mix of distinctive parts, including high handlebars on an already tall frame.

I saw a guy emerge from the side of the building and weighed a series of clues. 1, he was tall; 2, he wore a bike helmet; and 3, he was walking toward the bike.

“This your bike?” I asked him.
“Well, not really. I’ve rented it from City Bikes while I visit Portland.”

Is the world changing, or what? Usually the first thing people do is rent a car. This guy doesn’t even know his way around yet and he rents a bike. Not only that, it’s a really rainy day.

His name is Chris and he’s moving to Portland. He comes from what I think might be the only city in Texas that could produce this kind of person, namely Austin. (Am I being unbearably prejudiced? What would Molly Ivins say?)

Get this: One of the main reasons he’s moving here is so he can ride his bike around. He says that in Austin you get too sweaty. He’s visiting Portland in our worst weather to get the most realistic experience of it. Smart man. How many dodo-birds visit us in our spectacular summers and impulsively decide to move here only to slit their wrists by late February?

Word about Portland’s pedestrian-scale living is obviously getting around, and I’d be interested to know how. Maybe Chris can tell us. Are we totally famous for being a great biking city, or is this only going on at the word-of-mouth level among cyclists?

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Still crabby after all these months


I haven’t forgotten that I’m going to tell you all about what I wear on my head. Today, though, I was too busy with what’s inside my head – which I’m not going to tell you about right now – or in fact, ever. This isn’t the kind of blog in which me, me, me tells all, all, all to you, you, you.
(Aren't you glad? Would you not start snoring immediately?)

Today, in addition to riding the usual five miles to my secret hideout, which is in northwest Portland, I also rode another five miles to an appointment I had in southwest Portland, and then another five miles back home. Plus it was freezing the whole day, and rainy. What do I want, a medal? Yes. And not just A medal – I want a daily medal. At least till summer comes, which as we all know doesn’t happen here till the end of June.

These are THE worst days for riding. The. And if you’re out there riding too, we should all get some kind of award. Preferably money – forget the medal idea. We should be getting paid for this. How about every person in a car has to pay a per-trip tariff to someone on a bike? I could live with that. Even with all this rain gear it’s miserable. I recently spent a couple of hours strolling through the Portland Memorial Mausoleum. Eight miles of tomb-lined labyrinthine corridors on six or seven floors. You want cold, go there. But it’s like Hawaii in there compared to what it feels like outside today.

The only way to survive Oregon winters in even a reasonably good mood is to take the middle out of them, i.e., go to a tropical country for a couple of months between November and March. I did that one year, and when I got back the rest of the winter lasted about ten minutes. I’m planning that in for the creaky future that probably awaits me. And I'm taking my bike with me.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

We're not that far away

What’s going to happen to these hundreds of Portland cyclists during the next fifty years as our little legs get all used up? Are the city planners paying attention? Hellooo? Widen the bike lanes! We WILL NOT resort to cars!

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Three Bears of Warm Fuzziness

Regarding the shoe covers I discussed last week: Someone wrote in with a link to a mail-order site that carried this very thing, after I just finished telling you they’d been discontinued. Confused, I emailed Burley. Burley wrote back saying they had exactly one pair left, size small. (No word about why they decided to stop making them.) So, the mail-order site may still carry them, but they won’t for long, since the source has dried up.

As for the Novara rainpants, you can get them at REI. They usually cost around forty dollars.

My commitment to riding shifted up several notches when I obtained these three essentials: the booties, the rain pants, and the helmet cover. Until then, I just didn’t realize how miserable I was. Or why. I’d lived in Oregon so long that like the boiling frog, I had become accustomed to the unacceptable.

When I first arrived in 1974, I’d just come from a country where people run for cover at the first raindrop, and scramble urgently for newspaper, briefcase, or bag of groceries -- anything at all -- to hold over their head, as if the rain were going to bore holes through their scalp. The natives of that land believe to this day that the common cold and just about any other malady you can name is caused by foolishly letting your head become damp while in the path of moving air.

I noticed the people here didn’t even use umbrellas. I wanted to be like them. I thought it was un-Oregonian to mind drips on your head. So I learned to ignore the rain. It helped that I have duck hair, which repels the first gallon or so that falls on it. It also helped that Oregon rain wasn’t really rain, then – it was mist. Now, however -- now that we’ve screwed around with the world’s weather -- it’s serious rain at least half the time. Now I’m older. Now I’m less willing to be miserable when an alternative is available. Now I mind drips on my head. Misery is not my friend.

If you’ve been reading my blog since I started this project, you may recall that I didn’t make it through the first winter on my bike. I gave up in November. The second year, I got these three items, and winter came and went without daunting me. Tomorrow I will present: The Helmet Cover. Up until I got the helmet cover, I thought that the few holes in my helmet didn’t matter. I was wrong. Holes matter.

Monday, February 19, 2007

And now the Rain Pants, as promised.

Brand: Novara.
Color: Black, no choices – fortunately, they have reflective tubing up both sides.
Good for wind as well as rain.
Super waterproof.
Breathable: which technically means that we can inhale them into our lungs. However, in the world of sportswear the word “breathable” is being used to describe fabric that allows air to move through it, thus sparing us the unbearable irony of becoming damp from the inside (from our own sweat) while engaged in the very effort of repelling dampness from the outside.
The general consensus seems to be that sometimes we have to overlook glaring misuse of the language in order to move forward. If we got bogged down in such petty matters, the president we have now would never have made it out of the starting gate and we wouldn’t be stuck in the quagmire of Iraq. So there you have it.

The best part about these rainpants is that they zip practically up to the knee, so that you can get them on over the frankensteinest of shoes. Then when you zip them back down there’s a little velcro strap to cinch the cuffs with so they don’t get caught up in moving bike parts. The right leg even has a reinforced panel at the bottom where you know it’s going to hit the chain eventually.

Be sure and get them super-roomy because obviously you’ll be pulling these on OVER what you’re already wearing. Here's how it happens: you’re riding along, it starts pouring, you stop and pull your rainpants on over your jeans and shoes. Don’t expect a little dressing room sitting there in the middle of Tillamook Street with a bench to sit on and a valet to hold your things.

The one criticism I have of these rainpants is that the sizing is way off. I wear the largest size they make, which is called: Large. In reality, I’m size Medium, so I don’t know what the genuinely large people do, not to mention the extra large people. I guess they don’t get to keep dry in the rain. Think of that next time you dis a fat person for not riding their bike in the Oregon weather.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Join a Whine Club and educate yourself about fine living

Forget everything I said about Wednesday being the worst day of the year. Thursday was worse, and today is worse still.

You know, people don’t like you when you arrive on the scene spewing fluids. And I mean spewing, not dripping. The nice civilized people are all indoors and toasty warm and dry, and then you show up like a wet dog about to shake itself. Of course I don’t do that, but that’s the expectation -- you can feel everyone in the area recoiling in anticipation of shared dampness. Today I stopped by to get allergy shots on my way across town, and I could tell exactly what everyone was thinking.

“Oh please,” thought the receptionist. “Would you mind not dripping all over the paperwork?”

“Ew!” thought the people in the waiting room. “You’re all wet. Don’t sit next to me!”
“Yuk! You’re going to drip all over my magazine.”

Indeed, a wet cyclist needs a row of three or four chairs just to dismantle herself. I try to choose a row off by itself, when possible. I need places to put down my day’s cargo, plus my jacket and my helmet, and lastly, my own but (which I’m spelling with a single “t” on purpose for enhanced refinement). After I leave, even if I've managed not to drench other people, no one else can sit in any of the chairs I used unless they don’t mind getting all soggy.

Oregon buildings need special drying halls for people coming in out of the rain. There could be two big fuzzy rollers you walk through as you enter a building – sort of like you see in carwashes, only for people. That’s my proposal for the day to make life more conducive to biking.

I’m out of time. I’m still going to tell you about my fabulous rain pants, but that’ll have to be tomorrow (though since I rarely post on Saturdays, it might be Monday). I used up today’s time slot for a much needed whine. Thanks for listening!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

How I Stand the Rain, Part 1: the feet

One of the laws of economics is that the minute you find the perfect product, they quit making it. Such is the case with the perfect rainproof shoe covers I finally found last fall. Now listen, no fair scrolling ahead to the photo because when you see what I’m calling 'perfect' I’m going to lose all credibility and you’re going to stop reading immediately. I’m telling you right up front that these are the oogliest items ever to be listed under the category of clothing; and now, before you prejudice yourself against them forever by seeing them, I’m going to tell you what’s perfect about them.

One, they fit over my clunky gym shoes, which are regular “running” shoes, or kick-around shoes and not some kind of high-falutin bike shoes. Like everything “bicycle,” biking shoes are slim and trim and sleek and streamlined and aerodynamic. All the shoe covers on the market except these are made to fit over those kinds of shoes and no other.

My gym shoes are the clunkiest shoes I own, so if these things fit over my gym shoes they’ll fit over any other shoes I may wear. Since they zip all the way down to the sole, they’re super easy to put on – I can do it while standing on one leg in the middle of the street if there's no nearby signpost or tree to lean on. They’re very waterproof, though in an absolutely diluvian downpour a little leaking will happen around the zipper but who cares. The zips are on the “out” side of the leg, which keeps them and the little closing straps at the top away from getting caught in or dirtied up by the chain.

They don’t get too hot or make my feet sweaty. I even forget I have them on, which isn’t ideal since I sometimes walk into a place of business without preparing myself for the possible reactions to my abominable appearance. (Wait! I said no looking!). They also serve to keep my feet plenty warm when it’s not even raining but really really cold out.

The soles of them are made of some type of cordura or something that is of course much thicker than the rest of them. But walking over blocks and blocks of pavement isn’t what they’re made for, so if you do that, they’re going to wear out a lot faster. I’m trying not to do that, because when I bought them they were among the only three pair left in the world. I should have bought all three pairs, but I didn’t feel like shelling out sixty more dollars on something I might not wear till two or three years down the road.

They were made by Burley, those inventors and builders of the amazing Burley bike carts located right in our back yard down in Eugene. They also made bike apparel –until recently, when they decided to pare down to making only the carts. Bummer. Here they are, you can look now. Was I lying? Are they not hideous? But know this: the other kinds of cycling shoe covers are equally weird looking.

They look much better with the rain pants down over them. Tomorrow I’ll discuss the pants, which are the most perfect biking pants in the known world.

PS: I know you looked ahead. I saw you.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Worst Day of the Year finally shows up

Sunday was supposed to be the annual Worst Day of the Year bike ride, which I did not participate in but I can tell you that the weather didn’t cooperate with the theme, bringing us no rain at all with mild temperatures and even some intermittent sun. I saw them riding by at various parts of town throughout the day, hundreds of them, clumps at a time being assisted across busy streets by tall, traffic-stopping women dressed up as inspirational figures, among them the Statue of Liberty and a cowgirl.

I don’t generally go on these marathonic expeditions. If I did, I would be last. Why do I need to sign up for a ride with hordes of other people when I can be last all by myself any day of the week?

Barring tragedy and misfortune and speaking strictly of weather, a good example of the Worst Day of the Year would be today. It’s pouring its darndest out there. I’m only now realizing that I’ve wasted about twenty years of my life feeling sorry for all those people who live in cold climates, because wet cold is a lot more miserable than dry cold. It seeps into your marrow and stays there for the season. So I am taking back twenty years’ worth of misappropriated pity and directing it back onto myself right here in Oregon and am wallowing in it heartily. Feel free to join in if you’re from the area.

I noticed in all that sunny cold weather we had, even while it snowed, how much easier life seems when you’re not covered in spewing, sopping drippiness all the time, and when the world isn’t reduced to an array of grays and browns. When my sister came to visit, the first thing she said after we hugged in the airport was “Everyone is grey here.” And then I knew I hadn’t just been imagining it all these years.

How I Stand It: My Rain Gear, with photos

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Ghost Bike for Nick

Here’s Nick's ghost bike. His funeral was last Friday. I actually thought about going, but I also wondered if it’s ok to go to a funeral of someone you don’t know or is that considered weird in some way. But as a committed transportation cyclist, I’m acutely aware that I could have been in his place.

Even though I didn’t know Nick, I’ve been looking at his picture and reading what’s been said about him. I think it’s the saddest thing in the world that he was killed. The unfairness of this kind of thing is absolutely incomprehensible. I can think of plenty of slimey people without whom the world would be instantly so much better, and yet this happens to someone like him -- not only a really good person but on the springboard of his adult life. I feel so bad for his family.

It isn’t known yet what caused the accident – they haven’t finished the investigation. Probably it was a combination of things. But this doesn’t make me want to quit riding my bike. It just makes me want even more to vastly reduce the number of cars on our streets. Especially, any driver with a history of serious driving infractions (which I believe was the case here) should be prohibited from operating one of these moving metal deathtraps. And not after someone is killed , but before.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Cool Neon for your Bike

And here’s my second idea for side lighting -- possible even 360 degrees lighting -- though I haven’t tried it yet. I got this idea when I attended the bike light parade last November, where I saw it in action on the bike of the person who runs around Portland giving away free bike lights to the lightless. If anyone knows this guy or even his name or how I could reach him, please let me know because I want to talk to him about his work. In fact I want to see if I might join him in some way. He is the Mother Theresa of bike lighting, and I want to be like him. When I ride by other cyclists who are unknowingly on a suicide mission because of their inadequate lighting, I want to accost them, grab their shoulders and shake them thoroughly for several minutes, and then force them to let me install a front and back light on their vehicle. (I'm not sure this is exactly his approach, but that's how I'd do it.)

Anyway this guy was at the parade on the most amazing contraption of a bicycle, which as you might expect was the most lit up vehicle on the streets of Portland, even way more than any cars. In and out of his spokes, in big circles around his wheels, he had woven this illuminating plastic cord. And I don’t mean illuminating when hit by car lights, I mean illuminating in the pitch dark all by itself.

No doubt at one time or another you’ve been to some kind of outdoor music event at night and seen people wearing lit-up plastic halos of orange or some other bright color. The trouble with those is that (1) they’re disposable and I don’t like to buy disposable items and add more junk to the land fills; and (2) what I’ve always wondered about those things is What on earth are you putting on your head? What kind of radioactive hell are you so happily exposing yourself to? Do we have any idea? I don’t. Call me chicken, but I’m not adopting any glow-in-the-dark wardrobe items till I get more information.

And we all know what a time-consuming proposition “getting more information” is. Anyway I asked this guy at the bike light parade where he got the amazing glow-in-the-dark tubing. All the bikes were milling around and I didn’t have time to talk to him about it in detail. But I can’t believe he’d go to all the trouble and expense to weave miles of it into his spokes if it only lasts a couple of hours. So maybe there’s a new kind that you can at least turn on and off and make it last longer. And if it is toxic, maybe I could live with it, since presumably wearing it on one’s bike would be much less risky than wearing on one’s body. You have to weigh whether it's more toxic to ride around on an underlit bike, or implement toxic accessories. On the other hand if it's toxic, why is it even being maufactured? All this is what I have yet to find out. When I asked him about it, he only managed to call out to me as we rode by each other “

I’ve visited the site briefly, but I have yet to explore it enough to answer all my questions. I’m a little short on time right now, but you go right ahead.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

One solution to side lighting

I found these illuminating leg/arm bands at Bike Gallery. I don’t have the brand name with me right now, so I’ll fill that information in later. They’re a little spendy - thirteen dollars for one – so I’ve only bought one so far. Thor knows I've already spent half a million dollars on other lights. Here it is modeled by Joe the Cat. I’ve seen them used on other animals outdoors. In the pitch of night I’ll see one of these things trot by on some animal's neck – just the orange band I'll see floating along, as if by itself. Meaning of course that without it I would see nothing – which is why our poor little animules get run over by cars. So if you have a furry friend you let outdoors at night, this is a good gadget for them too.
I wear mine on my upper left arm, but I want to wear four of them for complete side-visibility. (I’m saving up.) The thing is unbelievably brilliant orange. You can set it to blink or not blink, and the battery is replaceable for about five dollars. (I made sure of that – I ain’t buying no disposable stuff that wears out in two weeks and then goes into the landfill.) I even take mine with me if I’m out walking. As a driver I’m acutely aware of how invisible pedestrians are, and how, like many cyclists, they’ll dress all in black and dart around thinking they’re safe because the cars have headlights. The unpopular truth is that no one over twelve should be driving a Moving Metal Deathtrap in the dark.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Cirque de Soleil appeared to me on NE Broadway

I was on my way home and had just come over the Broadway Bridge toward the East, and had just crossed over to the wrong side of Broadway like I always do so I can take the sidewalk and turn left on Flint Street.

What comes sailing down Broadway toward the bridge but a woman performing some kind of circus stunt? It all happened so fast there was no way I could pull my camera out in time.

She stood on one pedal – a feat most riders can accomplish, but the similarity ends there. Her other leg was raised high behind her, toe pointed, while she bent forward at the waist and spread her arms out in front of her like….. like a bird in flight.. ok never mind, birds don’t even have arms, what am I saying? like some kind of flying super-hero figure.

And you know what else, speaking of safety, speaking of SLIGHTLY RISKY BICYCLING? As if this lunacy were not enough, I’m quite sure she was without a helmet. Dressed in some kind of bloomer pants and a sweater or something. Hippie clothes, kind of. Definitely not bike clothes. There was no mistaking she was a girl and she had braids flying behind her.

This was last Thursday at about a quarter to four in the afternoon. She was sailing right through that part of Broadway where the bike lane turns blue and merges in and out of the car lanes. Fortunately there did not seem to be many cars on the road at that moment, at least not going in that direction. And at least it was still very light out.

I must admit I enjoyed watching her. Had she sailed past my window while I was driving a car, I might have felt quite differently. Instead I pulled my bike over and gaped in astonishment. I felt lucky, as if I’d been given a free ticket to a sudden impromptu circus. At the same time, I feared for her life.

Since I couldn’t possibly move fast enough to take a picture, I tried to draw her when I got home. She looks naked in the picture but in reality she was fully clothed, as I explained above. In the drawing I was mainly trying to picture her riding position.
I swear I am not exaggerating.

Monday, February 05, 2007

How the Bad Thing Almost Happened

It was a dark but unstormy night. Hadn't rained for days. I was driving south on Brazee Street, a small residential street, the name of which leaves our neighborhood wide open to constant ridicule by eighth graders. When I got to N.E. 47th, another small residential street, I stopped at the stop sign there. After looking both ways, I started into the intersection, which had one of those little round islands in the middle of it, placed there to slow traffic. I drove slowly, in a curve around the island. More than half way across, a bike whizzes by right smack in front of me.

I never saw her/him before or after that instant, so I have only that one snapshot in my mind to describe him from. I know there was some sort of light blinking, but I was seeing it from the side, not full on, and I don’t even remember the color or where it was on the person’s bike or body. Also, the person was wearing serious cycling clothes, and a helmet.

Here’s my guess as to what happened. I’m thinking I may have looked to the right first, then to the left, then proceeded across. Maybe while I was looking left, the bike had time to zip two or three blocks down the slightly inclined 47th to the intersection. It was certainly moving at a phenomenal speed.

Ideally, one would look to the right again before crossing, and I think it would be my nature to do that, but who knows. (Sometimes I discover My Nature and Actual Reality to be worlds apart.) It is possible that at the moment that I did look right (before looking left), the bike was still only the tiniest pinprick of light two or three blocks away. (From a bike, you can see a bike light six or eight blocks away, but from a car, visibility is much reduced.) Then, during the time that I was busy looking left, the bike could have arrived at the intersection.

It's also possible that it didn’t have a headlight, only a back light, in which case I wouldn't have seen it no matter which way I was looking. We've all seen plenty of cyclists ride around in the dark with one lone blinker on the back fluttering meekly away on half-dead batteries, thinking they're good because they have "a light."

So whose fault it was, I can’t really conclude – maybe a little of both. Obviously I’m a cautious person, and a CYCLIST MYSELF, for Pete’s sake – clearly I don’t want to kill or maim anyone. So if it was my fault, it was not a case of being an idiot, but of making a mistake. Which as you well know, we all do. The best we can hope for on this planet is that while half of us are making our mistakes, the other half of us are paying attention so they can accommodate our mistakes. Besides trying to behave reasonably well, all we can do is hope to hell (or pray, whichever you prefer) that we're never all 100% of us making our mistakes at the same moment.

It seems to me that given how slowly I was going, the cyclist would have had plenty of time to see that I had started through the intersection, and should have therefore stopped. Not “should have stopped” in the legal sense, but in the survivalist sense, as in “Uh oh, that driver’s not stopping, obviously she doesn’t see me, I’d better stop.”

Don’t you think?

Was the person just being assertive (= stupid) about claiming his right of way through the intersection? (Some people would rather be right than be alive.)

Some bike riders are awfully cocky about what feats of athleticism and daring they can accomplish. They think, “Oh, I can fit right through there just in time if I hurry.” Often, they’re right. They can make it, and they do. They think that what matters is that they don’t get killed, and I agree that that’s the main goal. But that’s not all that matters. (i.e., It’s not all about YOU.) There are other things that matter too, like why do twelve people a day have to suffer near heart attacks just because you feel like riding like a lunatic?

It’s not helpful to scare people.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Is anyone safe, ever, from anything?

I knew a woman in her sixties who had killed someone ten or fifteen years earlier. She had driven up over a hill and a little boy darted out on his bike. Rising up over a hill is exactly like rounding a bend in the road, as far as visibility is concerned. Everyone involved agreed that it was completely not her fault. But it didn’t matter. She still felt like she’d killed someone. She said not a day went by that she didn’t think about it.

OK, there’s something I haven’t told you guys: I almost slaughtered a bicyclist the other night – with my car. When I say “almost” I do not mean, fortunately, that I only partially wiped somebody out. I mean that I missed clobbering him/her by about two feet.

I need to figure out what went wrong. At this point I honestly don’t know whether it was my fault or theirs. Lindi and I are going back over there to re-enact the scene. Actually, that's what we were going to do but neither one of us wanted to play the role of the cyclist, so we’ve got an alternate plan. We’ll go back to the scene and reconstruct the event in our imagination.

I’ll report back with our findings.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Still wedded to your car? See this inspirational video

Someone posted a comment to my Jan 22 blog post that contains 3 links to other cycling blogs. I must recommend highly the following: My Chain Driven Ride Through Life in Alaska. This one is definitely going on my blog roll, probably this weekend when I’ll have time to re-figure-out how to do it.

Go to that blog and scroll down to her Jan 20 post, called Another Reason to Ride Bikes, in which she offers a short video. It's so damn funny you may never drive again.

The Truth about Paved Roads

The truth about paved roads is the following: It was all our idea. And by “our” I mean the bicyclists. It’s a well-known undisputed fact of history that cyclists lobbied for paved roads long before the car was king. Not only that, it was a bicyclist who invented the pneumatic tire. Far from feeling sanctimonious about sharing the road with us, car drivers should be grateful we are willing to share the road with them – because a lot of us, such as myself, are actually not very willing at all.

Cars can get by on unpaved roads, but cyclists can’t. Why not save money by paving a network of biking roads and having the cars use a separate network of cheaper, unpaved roads? Cars and other heavy vehicles are what make road maintenance so expensive. If only bikes used them, the maintenance costs would be a fraction of what they are now.