Saturday, January 24, 2009

Press Your Luck Wearing Goggles

It was 4 degrees above zero this morning, so naturally I decided to go for a bike ride. It was a beautifully sunny morning, so I bundled up and away I went. I had to. I had read about this incident earlier. Whenever I read about something like this, it makes me want to ride even more. I guess because when someone in a car obviously breaks the law and runs down a cyclist and no charges or even citations are issued, it's like the authorities are telling cyclists to stay off the road or at least to ride at your own risk, since they appear to be unwilling to protect us. I don't take kindly to being told not to do something I have a right to do. So when I read about stuff like this I decide to press my luck.

There was this game show back in the 80's where you pressed a button and if you pressed it and the game stopped on a little gremlin looking dude called a whammy, you lost all your money. That is unfortunately what it feels like almost every time I go out to ride. Sadly when we go ride and we get a whammy it will likely cost us our lives or at least a long hospital stay and maybe a lifelong disability.

It's not like it's a rare occurrence either. I had a close call today which could have been avoided, but for the impatient driver.

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Sadly at the same time motorists are getting off easy for running down cyclists, many riders are being ticketed or even tackled off their bikes for not having a light or not riding in a bike lane or for no reason at all. If not for video or witnesses in many of these cases the cyclists lives would have been scarred by criminal records, all for the unspeakable crime of riding a bike.

All these reasons are why I continue to press my luck, that and because I love to ride. I really cleared my head of a lot of junk on the ride today, it felt great. I continue to press my luck with the authorities as well because if I don't, if more of us don't, we will continue to be treated as second class citizens on the road. So I'll forfeit an hour out of my weekend to complain yet again about dangerous drivers in Brookfield. It may not do any good this time or the next time but maybe one of these times when I get bullied on the road, I won't get a second whammy when I look to the authorities for help.

As for the goggles, I've found that ski goggles really help keep your face warm when the windchill is -10.


Ed W said...

Try the sporting goods department of a local ###Mart store for cheap goggles. Sometimes you'll find them for off-road vehicles or water sports, and they can cost far less than ski goggles, sometimes less than $10. I have a couple pairs with clear, yellow, and dark lenses. Buy them in the spring on clearance and squirrel them away for the next winter.

EXPO Racing said...

Tru dat. Goggles are where it's at. I hit those up anytime the snow flies and/or it is below 15ish degrees.

Just ordered some new Oakleys on the cheap. let me know if you want in.

Ant said...

Having been knocked over by a bus last month, spent the christmas season in hospital with 9 broken ribs, I am totally in agreement with your sentiments - the bus driver was able to continue driving his bus, despite his recklessness and disregard for my life.

jonny said...

If you're interested ... here is a link to a webpage regarding Kris Miles and his progress on recovery.
I saw your video and post regarding Whitefish Bay ... I work and ride in that area on a daily basis. I'll leave it at Lake Drive is ridiculously dangerous for bikes.
Goggles rule! So does riding on the beach in Sheboygan in the winter :-)
ride safe, and often!

Anonymous said...

Well said. But it's sad that we have to videotape our actions when we're just trying to do something good for our health and the environment! I really hope that the laws catch up to reality soon. Governments should be doing everything possible to encourage bike commuting and discourage the use of the personal automobile, not only for the environmental reasons but mainly for the health costs our society is incurring because of obesity.