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There is all kinds of bike talk going on lately in the Philadelphia area. If you’re remotely interested in cycling, I’m sure you’ve heard some of it. Talk of bike registration, increased fines, angry motorist rants, etc. I’ve only read some of it. I’ve purposefully avoided the more hateful bits (I’m sure you know what I’m talking about). I’ve also avoided getting into discussions about it. It’s a polarizing issue, and there are strong feelings all around.
With that said, please allow me to offer two points that I haven’t seen come up yet.
First, it should be understood that there is some overlap in bike and car use. Most cyclists have a license, and many motorists have a bike. The average cyclist is also a motorist, and likely is a decent driver with a keen understanding of the rules of the road, and how to share the road, drive defensively and safely, etc, etc. The average motorist, on the other hand, is very likely NOT a “cyclist”, familiar with how to ride in heavy traffic and in a dense urban setting. Articles which attempt to attack cycling in the city serve only to incite motorists, who have little to no concept of what a cyclist has to do to ride safely. So all you belligerent writers and angry motorists, please invite conversations, don’t incite anger!
Secondly, I hear people ranting about how cyclists don’t obey the law. I would like to compare the common cycling act of treating stop signs as yield, and red lights as stop signs (which should be the law, but that is another discussion) to speeding. Any motorist who claims they don’t speed is either lying, or infuriating other drivers on the road. We all do it, and to an extent, its condoned. On a highway, it’s arguably safer to go 5 mph above the speed limit and flow with traffic, than to be the car everyone is trying to swerve to pass. I would argue that cyclists running stop signs and red lights is the same thing. Sure, its illegal, and it’s not always a good idea. But in real life riding, its sometimes safe and ok to do. If you disagree, I challenge you to never crest 55mph on Route 95.
And if you care about this stuff, I implore you to join and support the Bike Coalition of Philadelphia
We’ll be riding the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov 28th. It will be a little different from our normal format. Meet at the Art Museum at 10am, we’ll do a couple hours of riding. Afterward, we’ll be heading to Philadelphia Brewing Co’s Holiday Open House. Maybe we’ll throw a lunch stop in there somewhere too, who knows. We will also be discussing and planning an exciting potential future ride. Hope to see you there!
The weather couldn’t have been better for our 2nd semi-annual Philadelphia Tweed Ride last weekend. I had missed the first one last spring, along with most everyone else in the city. There were 9 riders on that ride. This time around, there were over 100. I was thankful to be a part of the planning of this ride, and being the person signing everyone in I got a chance to see everyone’s dapper attire and bikes. Everyone really did a wonderful job of dressing the part for this ride, there were very few slackers to be found. Most everyone had on lovely period clothing, well cut suits, appropriate headwear, and a variety of facial hair to boot. We were all blown away by the good turn out and positive response. All the bystanders we rode past had smiles for us, even the drivers!
This was the maiden voyage of our newly appointed Kona Ute, featuring an amazing kid-rack hand-built by the talented Dan/Niedz. The girls (Madeline and Jane, Penny’s seat isn’t quite ready yet) absolutely loved it. I put on a bell for each of them, and they had a blast on the ride. I’ll post a review and more pics of this ride in the future.
The ride was short, with a stroll through Rittenhouse Square and some games and food at Taney Park. The end point and prize ceremony was held at the Institute (who gracefully handled the larger than expected turnout). There were a decent amount of prizes, including a Brooks Saddle for the best dressed man and woman. We were also graced with the presence of Lord Whimsy, who unfortunately wasn’t able to join us for the actual ride.
I think I’m not the only one who would say that this ride was incredible fun. I really wish I had more time to meet people, as I only knew maybe 20% of the riders, and they all seemed to be having a blast. We’ll definitely be doing this ride again, and I hope it continues to be as great as this one.
In case you don’t subscribe, my wife and partner-in-parenting Lois has a blog: lovermother.blogspot.com. Lately she’s posted a string of awesome photos and videos. I tend to keep the focus tight here, bikes, beer, food, etc. But 99% of my life and time is spent being a parent to 3 awesome little girls. So lest you begin to believe that my life is all bikes and beer, you should click over and see where most of my energy is spent.