When I first moved to New York in 1977, I was kind of amazed that the Mayor, Ed Koch seemed to have had a rather transcendental vision for Manhattan that involved making it bike friendly. There was a massive project to build bike lanes encourage the use of bikes. The bike lane seemed to be a reality in 1978...but...that was the Reagan Era and anything eco friendly or anti maximun petroleum consumption was automatically labeled LIBRUL....Kommunistical and anti multi national corporate free market laissez faire profit mad American business. I had a brief and life threatening career as a bike messenger in Manhattan in 1978/79....I admire the survival skills these guys have...you have to be kind of like half human half hummingbird and able to live on fast food and sugar, luckily I survived and bought a truck and started became a sort of all purpose roadie hauling band equipment and learned how to install and move neon lighting....before the internet, this was how you got things done fast!
I still try to bike when ever I can. I live in a very rural place and the terrain is not that friendly, but even in the winter, I get out 2 or three times a week. The hardest part is getting out of here and to the main road, about 2 kilometers...I long for the urban flatness of NYC and Toledo...
So, I ran into this little item today from the March 2nd Seattle Bike Blog. It seems the Washington State Republicans are tying to introduce a bicycle tax to pay for Washington States Highway system. When Tacoma bike shop owner activist Dale Carlson tried to contact the Republican State Representative Author of the bill, Ed Orcutt about the logic of the bill, which would impose a tax on Bike riders in Washington, he received this rather bizarre reply:
Look, it's not just the fact that a Republican anti tax blowhard is trying to hypocritically impose an illogical tax ( I mean, are tricycles exempted? If a bike has training wheels, do you pay more for the wheel wear and tear on the road...the mind boggles at the sheer idiocy of this man) on those he sees as LIBRULS, it's the utter illogic of his reply. Contacted, later, Orcutt cites discredited facts and figures that pro energy industry propagandists generated almost 25 years ago to discredit the healthy physical and environmental effects of biking. I guess it's time for me to issue a challenge. Ed, babe, if this is what you really believe, then you should be man enough to back it up. Do let's make a little wager. Name the charity. Maybe something a poor schmuck like me can afford? Like say 1,000 bucks US Currency paid to the charity of your choice? The terms? 2 closed and sealed garages...I will be on one on my mag trainer pedaling away emitting my allegedly toxic emissions and you can sit ion your fat ass limo with the motor running. I can keep a good pace for perhaps 2 hours...and the first person to pass out loses the bet...Eddy, you don't have to do nothing but sit there and inhale the fumes....it's a cinch, right? Just make out the check and deposit before the bet...okay? Hey, here's an added bonus...me in Central Park just last year on my buddy Bob's hi tech Eliptigo bike...no pedals, no seat...I rode it from Central Park up to the GW Bridge. It's like skiing and once you get used to it, it's pretty easy to get going even up hill! The gearing is automatic. I had lots of Japanese tourists stopping me and shooting videos of me on this machine.