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Saturday, August 28, 2004

Critical Mass Update

Bicyclists have as much right to use public roadways as people using any other "conventional" form of transportation. Try getting hit by a car (not recommended as a sport), and you will find to recoup medical insurance costs you will likely have to provide your auto insurance policy. This, by itself, suggests that a bicyclist is a first-class citizen on the roadways. This leads me to laud the participants in any Critical Mass rally. As performance art, it lends some populist fascination as a parade or circus would. In particular, the taunting by the bicyclists (lion-tamers) against the motorists (lions and tigers) provides an edginess that seems ultra-real. However, the tension that the bystander must feel has got to be balanced by the thought that the bicyclists by themselves would never seriously get hurt were it not for the motorists. They move much too slow. Non-violent mass demonstration; Ghandi would be proud and would feel at home being in the midst of this kind of rally (think the pedal-powered streets of any Asian city).

Apparently, NYC bicyclists pulled off a Critical Mass rally in Manhattan timed to coincide with the start of RNC. About 264 people were arrested.


Professor Blogger James said...

"the pedal-powered streets of any Asian city"

This is fast becoming a romantic vision of the East, as bowler hatted city gents are of London streets.

Most of Asia's streets are now clogged with traffic. The motorcycle is vast replacing the bicycle. And for the expanding middle classes of Asia the motorcycle is replaced with the car and then the SUV.

Unfortunately the West has successfully exported its aspirations to the East. The fast growing auto segment in China is SUVs.

9:34 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

You're correct. I've heard that streets are actually very dangerous in southeast Asia with lots of scooter and motorcycle fatalities. Agree I had a more romantic view coinciding when Ghandi was still alive.

6:58 PM  
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12:57 PM  

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