Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'd like to see that study with Lycra as the variable

Here's the link to the NYT article about Ian Walker's study (University of Bath) on cars overtaking (or, in America, "passing") bikes on roadways. Direct link to study here.

The study results make perfect sense to me - if a motorist percieves a cyclist to be more skilled, they'll subconsciously pass closer to the cyclist. This is the same thinking cyclists encounter while passing the little kid, weaving back and forth, on the bike trail - STAY AWAY.

Actually, there's a whole list of people to stay away from, on and off the trail.

--- Old lady riding Wal*Mart bike with big shock absorbers - What is up with these oddly shaped, off-balance bikes, anyway? They weigh a zillion pounds and don't corner. Nope, they just tip over unless ridden by member of circus high-wire act.

--- Dehydrated person - See, their bike didn't come with a water bottle, so they just ride and ride and stay "tough" until they faint from dehydration. Nice.

--- Aforementioned little kid - Please keep your out-of-control monsters off the bike trail. Same goes for aloof teens who are so embarrased to be on a family outing that they zone out and end up crashing.

--- Freaky drivers - It may seem like fun at the time, or not fun but a "duty," but let these a-holes go and don't yell back or try to get even. Just not a good idea.

That's just a start...

So, here's my new plan: dress like a kid, ride a kiddie bike and weave in and out of busy traffic. Perhaps someone will stop, ask if I've run away from home, and offer to phone my parents! (Kidding, folks.)