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Monday, October 11, 2004

Life as a dog

I spent the last year plus without a valid driver's license. Not that I tried to go without, it simply lapsed and I only realized my situation when I tried to rent a car in France. I wouldn't consider any significant epiphany to come out of this miscue, but in retrospect it does serve to point out how useless a license is for someone that spends a lot of time on pedal or foot power alone.

In real terms, a driver's license grants an adult the right to stoopidity. Case in point: I took an excursion for some light mountain bike riding over the weekend. On the way out, I was hit on the back of the elbow by a hurled pizza. The culprits squeeled away in a Silver pickup truck, with the pizza tail-gunner hanging out the passenger side window.

A Fred is a bike rider who doesn't pay attention to style. If the conventional wisdom follows that bicyclists that pay attention to current fashions are somehow immune to insult, think again. A substantial minority of motorists hate every bicyclist on the road.

The incident surrounding 40-year old triathlete Maria Pia Sass sounds mildly suspicious as reported in the September issue of Twin Cities Sports.
Sass, however, did practice safety. She was hit at 2:30 in the afternoon while riding a bright yellow bike with a reflective vest and helmet. Newbury, who lives in Madison, Wis. (where Ironman Wisconsin takes place), says motorists are often frustrated by cyclists on the road.

It really gets pathetic if you read the Wisconsin state sheriff's police report on the "accident":
An investigation revealed that Ms. Sass, who was visiting relatives, who have a cabin on Vincent Lake, about two miles from the location where she was found, had gone for a bicycle ride at about 1 p.m., stating to relatives that she would return between 2 and 2:30 p.m. It appears that Ms. Sass’s bicycle was struck from the rear, around 2 to 2:30 p.m., by a vehicle, as she was riding her bicycle northbound, on the east side of County Road I, throwing her and her bicycle into the east ditch. The vehicle that struck Sass did not stop at the scene. Two fishermen from Hammond, WI, noticed plastic lens debris and a tennis shoe in the roadway and on the shoulder and stopped to investigate, at which time they discovered Ms. Sass and her bicycle in the ditch. The fishermen did not have a cell phone, so they flagged down a third citizen, who had a cell phone and called 911. Ms. Sass was wearing a bicycle helmet and was wearing bright colored clothing and riding a yellow bicycle when she was struck.

As far as I know, she's still in a coma.



Professor Blogger Steve Austin said...

Enjoyable blog. Please check out my dog breeders blog.

11:18 PM  
Professor Blogger jon said...

I was searching for red dog info and found this post. I agree totally!


6:29 PM  

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