Good Morning Pundits of Self-Propulsion,
A new report was released from GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association) announcing significant increases in the number of bicycle fatalities. Alarmingly the increases are largely in urban environments (69%) with high population densities. “The report’s author, former Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Chief Scientist Dr. Allan Williams, analyzed current and historical fatality data to uncover bicyclist crash patterns. There have been some remarkable changes. For example, adults 20 and older represented 84 percent of bicyclist fatalities in 2012, compared to only 21 percent in 1975. Adult males comprised 74 percent of the total number of bicyclists killed in 2012.”
I’m not surprised by this jump in bicycle deaths by 20 year olds and believe I have a viable explanation. If possible and age permitting, the two or three of you reading this piffle try to place yourselves back to 1975. Here let me help… According to Wikipedia:
John Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are found guilty (Watergate) and sentenced to between 30 months and 8 years in prison, Wheel of Fortune debuts, Space Mountain opens at Disney World, North Vietnam kicks our butts out of Saigon, Charlie Chaplin is knighted by Elizabeth II, Trans-Alaska Pipeline begins, The Rocky Horror Show opens on Broadway, Bobby Fischer refuses to play chess with Karpov giving him the title, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft, Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing, Patty Hearst is captured in ‘Frisco’, Thrilla in Manila…”Frazier goes down!”, NBC introduces ‘Saturday Night Live’ George Carlin is first guest host, Ronald Reagan enters race for President, and the movie ‘Jaws’ premiered.
In 1975 bike riding was pastoral and mostly held a leisurely pace to enjoy being outdoors and a bit of fresh air with “no particular place to go.” Compared with today’s helmet wearing, spandex donning, high tech bicycles, and their precious water bottles, 1975 must have seemed boring. With the ever expanding level of political correctness and endorsed by all levels of government we’ve been encouraged to give up our cars and ride a bike to work.
This is all lovely and “proud we are of them”, but last time I checked the average passenger car outweighs a typical bicycle by about 2,000 lbs! So let’s see…, by placing peddling students and young commuters within the same infrastructure as the faster “heavy machinery” and then factoring in all the normal idiocy associated with driving, our know it all politicians have created an ugly situation.
I know I’ll get hateful emails for this, but it must be said. Cyclists must also claim culpability for the apparent increase in carnage. I love these self-righteous arrogant dolts that really think the rules of the road allow them to occupy the center of a lane of traffic relegating everyone else to the 15 mph they’re traveling! I honestly do consider running them off the road and on one or two occasions have come close enough to deliver the message. These are the same helmet wearing tree huggers insisting on the same rights as a motorist but think nothing of running a stop signal or sign! Morons all!
I suppose this falls under the category of ‘unintended consequences’ but if you like to bet when it comes to a winner between a car & bicycle I’ve got my money on the car! Dah!! As one might guess death resulting from a car/bicycle collision has to mean someone wasn’t paying attention! My advice to you ‘Chicken Little’s’ is to pull over as far as possible and/or use public transportation…you’ll live longer.