Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Road lite!

"Esteemed council members, while I can't speak for other bicyclists, I'd like to say that for me, the 3 most important safety issues I am concerned with are cars, proper roads, and cars."

This is the scenario running through my head as I'm racing downhill close to 10pm on a Monday night. Only, there are no cars around - just darkness and a deteriorating bike lane I can barely see but definitely feel.

thunk, crack, thunk.

I need to slow down, there are no streetlights here.

thunk, crack, thunk.

What is that up ahead? A pothole? Damn this whussy headlight and the rechargeable batteries in it!

I run over a heavy crack in the pavement, my whole body shudders. The fat wheels of a mountain bike sound pretty good right now. Even with my hands on the brakes, I'm still moving at emergency room speed and I know there are more cracks and potholes up ahead, I just can't see them.

When I am safely at the bottom of the hill, teeth and limbs still intact, I start to figurin' - okay, cars get big ass street lights, what do bicyclists get?

It seems like a fair question, as installing those alien probe looking streetlights on the aforementioned stretch of road would definitely take away from the lovely hills and trees that border it. Plus, there's the whole other issue of light pollution. But what about low level bike path lights? Like the soft and welcoming 2-3 foot ones rich folks use to highlight the paths to their noble estates?

I picture a scenario where bike lanes or paths are lit up with these lights and conclude it could enhance the space. Especially when contrasted w/ the nasty orange lights that tower 30 feet over most residential streets. I also picture a scenario where bike paths are kept separate from car roads with dividers and therefore require much less maintenance due to our lightness. It's a nice scenario, but one I try not to let distract me too much as I continue on home in the dark....Thunk, crack, thunk.

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