Friday Feedbag and Quotable Links...

Have you ever thought that too many drivers lack an understanding of what it is like to get around in a non-motorized fashion, that there are conditions on the roads which affect cyclists far more profoundly than they do drivers, and that if they only had a little first hand experience they might finally understand what it takes to be a cyclist, including both the good and bad. Of course I am talking about requiring drivers to engage in bicycle mobility for a period of time before they are allowed a drivers license. I suspect our streets would become much more accommodating to all. Link to the original article at the Guardian, and a streamlined version at Treehugger.

"... what gave the suit its legal standing and political currency was the 'velorution' in the streets ..." Read more about the 25th anniversary of the Velorution in response to the 1987 mid-city bike ban in New York at this link.

The Abandoned Bike Project. This is a really cool photo project. But there is so much more in the photos that is not told, so much that is left to the viewers imagination. If those bikes could only tell their stories.

In 2009 street racers Robert Canizalez and Martin Morones received penalties of 48 years to life and 45 years to life in prison for engaging in a street race which lead to the deaths of three people. Three years later Patrick Roraff has been handed a sentence which includes a whopping 90 days jail time for engaging in a street race which left Jorge Alvarado broken and dying on the side of the road. Why the huge discrepancy? cough - good ol' boy - cough. Are the lives of three really worth all that much more than the life of a single person. Where in this world is the taking of a human life through the wanton actions of another only worth ... oh, thats right, San Bernardino County obviously. Yet again we have a case of the court system utterly failing in its duty to protect innocent road users from the knowingly negligent actions of others. Actions which exhibit an absolute disregard for the effect upon the rest of us. I never knew Jorge Alvarez before his life was taken, but I feel betrayed by the lack of justice shown him. I hope his family can find peace in good memories of him, though I doubt even those are enough to overcome their grief. I hope the drivers (the second is still in the trial process) who caused his death rot from within, slowly and inexorably over long lives they will get to enjoy, once again, in a mere 90 days time. Then again, maybe, if they were to voluntarily devote their lives to teaching about personal responsibility behind the wheel (something which given the staggering rise in hit and runs is sorely lacking today) I would consider letting them off the hook. For a more elegantly worded take on this travesty of justice, click below:

"You came to this country to live out your dream of becoming a professional cyclist. We sent you back in a coffin, the victim of two then-high school students who couldn't manage to keep their feet off the gas pedal."