Conservative humorist and provocateur P.J. O’Rourke spread his anti-bike joy on the pages of the Wall Street Journal, asking whether bike lanes will soon be followed by pavement set-asides for hop scotch and pogo sticks.
Personally, I haven’t seen such wit since Denver Post sports columnist Woody Paige, then writing for the Rocky Mountain News, once compared the world-class cyclists competing in the legendary Coors Classic to little kids riding with playing cards clipped to their spokes.
Then again, it’s nothing new for him.
O’Rourke wrote a similar piece all the way back in 1987, calling on officials to “license, regulate or abolish entirely this dreadful peril” posed by the Bicycle Menace. And that was back before bikes were popular.
Pity such a talented writer has his head so far up his own posterior.
Or was it just a day late for April Fools?
Metro introduces its first Human-Powered Commuting Awards for this year’s Bike Week, and asks for your nominations in several categories. Just two more weeks before Streetsblog’s 2nd annual Eco-Village fundraiser. LADOT officially adopts a new bike rack standard. L.A. officially awards $5.4 million in Measure R funds for biking and walking plans, including a comprehensive Safe Routes to School plan. Join a group ride to CicLAvia on April 10th; Downtown News offers a list of Downtown bike shops to help you get ready. Flying Pigeon now has the very odd-looking, but very cool Pedersen Bicycles. Irvine is asking for public input on their new Bicycle Transportation Plan.
The San Diego Bike Union forms for cyclists who ride in comfortable shoes, with a goal of normalizing cycling; you mean it isn’t? In response to the death of a Sacramento State student who was riding without lights, local bike advocates will be distributing free lights. A Patterson CA woman charged in the fatal hit-and-run of a Sacramento cyclist last year has been ticketed for driving with a suspended license just two weeks after losing her license; it’s her 4th citation in three years, not counting the hit-and-run charges. Santa Rosa scales back its bike boulevard “experiment.” A statewide crackdown on texting and hand-held cell phone-using drivers begins on Monday; I’ll be the one applauding every time I see a driver pulled over. The California Bicycle Coalition offers their monthly report, including a push for more representative Caltrans standards and news of proposed legislation to require that drivers pass cyclists at a minimum three-foot distance, and no faster that 15 mph over the cyclists speed of travel.
A new film says bikes can change the world, one life at a time. An insurance company needs your input on a proposed accident insurance policy for cyclists. An interview with cyclo-crosser and unlikely bike advocate Tim Johnson. Registration opens for October’s Viva Bike Vegas. Two days before Corvallis WA Bicycle Collective planned to celebrate their re-opening, their new location is condemned. The Chair and members of the Greater Albuquerque BAC question why a driver wasn’t cited in the broad daylight death of a cyclist. Kansas passes a three-foot passing law, along with a dead red provision. Missourians rise up against bike lanes if it means losing parking. The New York Times asks whether a bicycle is an engine-less car or a pedestrian on wheels. Oddly, the same paper that made room for O’Rourke’s diatribe also made space for a story on bespoke bikes and high-fashion bikewear. New York’s crackdown on cyclists is bad for bike business.
Ex-Guv Arnold and London Mayor BoJo ride Boris Bikes. Evidently, the UK’s Transportation Minister doesn’t know he already eliminated the country’s Cycling England program; I suppose that means he also doesn’t know what he threw out with it, or the good it has done in its short life. A UK Parliament Member says all road users must be held accountable, including cyclists — even though UK drivers who kill cyclists often aren’t. English community nurses are up in arms over plans to require them to travel by bike, while Estonia plans to use a payment for emissions credits to buy 35,000 bicycles for their civil servants. By the time you read this, you may have already missed one of the world’s greatest one-day classics. The New Zealand Herald says continued dooring of cyclists is an outrage; maybe they could have a talk with P.J. O’Rourke.
Finally, a colorful solution to the pothole problem. And after a now paralyzed cyclist received a bill to fix the guard rail that impaled side in a horrific crash, local officials say it was just a boo-boo.