Well, whatever, it's Bike to Work week, and finally today its nice enough (and I'm un-sick enough) to actually participate. Ironic that I've been riding to work at least 4 days a week for the past month or so, but when its time to do this as part of a group making a point, I'm sicked out. Plus, I might get arrested for riding without registration. What a lame loophole. I guess now that its been made clear that it really causes a PR problem when they beat up black guys at parties, they need SOMEBODY to hassle. So why not pick on bike riders? The argument goes that sometimes the Critical Mass group gets a little unruly, so they shouldn't be allowed to ride together. Ever. But we can't seem to find a rule about restricting the size of groups of bicyclists, so let's break out some little "all bikes must be registered" ordinance. Here's my favorite part of the article I link above:
Schwartz defended the officers: "History shows us this group does not follow the laws."
"The Milwaukee Police Department is not interested in upsetting people out for a nice ride on a beautiful day," she said. "That's not what this was."
OK, if that's not what this was, what exactly was it? The article doesn't say. Now, that could be selective editing/reporting on the part of the Journal, but it really looks like, from the rest of the article, the reporter really tried to get Anne Schwartz to get specific and she didn't.
So, Ms. Schwartz, besides this registration loophole which you obviously selectively enforce, what did you have on them? Nothing. They should all run out and register their bikes, and see what happens on next month's ride. What are you going to hit them with if they do that?
Anyway, on a brighter note, Journal Columnist Jim Stingl is obviously out of shape, but he gets points for trying. You do actually get used to it. My commute from home really doesn't take much longer by bike than it does by car. You do need to plan, you do need panniers or some way to carry your office stuff and a change of clothes. You do need to have stuff on hand at the office like facial cleanser, a fairly easy-to-manage hairstyle (I actually tell my stylist to give me a haircut that survives helmet head) but after doing it for a week, it really does come naturally and you actually dread days when you can't, for weather or logistical reasons. And with my weight and gas prices up, there's a whole lot of good reasons for me to do it.