Welcome to The Spokesman, our bi-monthly bicycle column written by
French Clements, a San Francisco resident and distance cyclist who
considers it pretty routine to ride his bike to Marin County or San Jose
and back. He belongs to a club, the SF Randonneurs, and is active in
numerous aspects of the cycling community.
In a brief but yucky entry on SFGate.com, Mike Kepka recently posted this doozy of a disservice to cyclists and cyclist-hopefuls everywhere. Watch. Read. Process.
I'm really tired of stuff like this, and this, and this. It all feeds into a culture of fear and amounts to a net win for cars. Faced with Kepka's 300 breathless words and a touching (?) video he maybe outsourced to the folks who made Amélie, my tiny blogger-mind reels at the avenues for analysis.
Big note: His interviewee, Caycee Cullen, is not a typical rider. Wonderfully confident on a bike, she's obviously faster than most and tosses out juicy quotes that Kepka just runs with, in a sentimentalist format that's not cut out for subtlety. My beef isn't with her. She's right, there's some courage needed to start riding this city.
But hey, Kepka, it's not courage we need the most. It's a finer blend of comfort, and good peripheral awareness, and patience, and keeping tipping-point-ready noobs from getting near your sloppy bucket o' fear.
This is a narrow line we're walking. I'm resorting to bullet points.