Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bicycle Race

A few weeks ago, in the runup to the global climate summit in Copenhagen, NPR aired a story on cargo bicycles and the alternatives that they present for “green” transportation. These are pedal-powered bikes with a front bucket capable of transporting anything from beer kegs or groceries to school children too young to ride bikes of their own.

My first thought was that the practice of loading small kids into a basket on the front end of a bicycle and pushing them through traffic is never going to survive first contact with trial lawyers. The tykes will have to be properly restrained in a tested and certified roll cage and wearing approved safety devices – at which point it will be fabulously expensive and nearly impossible to move.

My second thought was climate-inspired. This was a December morning in Ohio, with about an inch of newly fallen snow on the ground. That makes the whole concept a hard sell. The last time that I rode my bicycle to work, I got caught in an afternoon rainstorm on my way home. I haven’t ridden my bike to work again since. It would take some pretty hefty incentives to get me to opt for a bicycle in sub-freezing temperatures or in any type of precipitation.

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