Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bike Girl Wears A Helmet...Usually

Bike Girl does not think Mandatory Helmet Wearing laws are a good idea. When convincing many people riding is a good idea, both Girls and Boys often ask if they'll have to wear a helmet. By the tone of their voice, Bike Girl can tell they're not keen on the idea. After all, helmets do not look cool on anyone.

But Bike Girl is certainly not anti-helmet. In fact, there are some situations in which Bike Girl thinks helmet wearing is important. Following are some situations our fair protagonist has recently found herself in, where the decision to, or not to, wear a helmet was made.

1. Helmet: Bike Girl spends a lot of time riding on poorly maintained streets. (Bike Girl is looking at you Tom LaBonge) These poorly maintained, busy, narrow streets are somewhat treacherous. Bike Girl has wiped out numerous times by catching a wheel in a pot-hole, sliding out in a turn on gravel, or avoiding obstacles. There's also always the off chance that a careless driver will bump her. For most trips on these roads, Bike Girl wears a helmet.

2. No Helmet: On a particularly good hair day, Bike Girl dolled herself up in ribbons and curls and took her Girl Bike to work.She also was planning to take her bike on the bus for part of the trip to avoid getting sweaty. Even though her route to the bus stop was over busy, poorly-paved streets, she determined she would be visible enough in her dress, curls waving wildly in the breeze, for the 1 mile trip, she chose not to wear a helmet.

3. Helmet: In order to maintain her Girlish figure, and because she's game for a challenge, Bike Girl regularly takes her Go-Fast bike on training rides. As she pictured herself screaming down hills, weaving through traffic, and head-down sprinting, she decided a helmet was a good idea.

4. No Helmet: Bike Girl, while fiercely independent, enjoys special time with her Significant Other. Lucky for Bike Girl, her Significant Other happens to own a tandem bicycle. When she rides the tandem with her Significant Other along low-traffic roads to the beach path for a romantic sunset make-out session, Bike Girl is protected by a Love Bubble. This bubble is impervious to cars. Seriously, when was the last time anyone heard of a disgustingly cute tandem couple being hit by a car or wiping out? Bike Girl chose not to wear a helmet.

So in conclusion, should people be required to wear helmets? Bike Girl thinks not. But should people wear them anyway? Bike Girl, 90% of the time, says yes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bike Girl Gets Inspired

Even Bike Girl sometimes gets burned out on riding a bike. Whether it's the honking drivers, the smog, or a slightly unhealthy dose of over-training, Bike Girl's love of biking has a tendency to wane.

But lately, our fair protagonist has been experiencing a surge in enthusiasm. This may partially be due to her having recieved a new book in the mail about bikes. It may be partually due to the natural Enthusiasm Cycle she experiences from season to season. It may also partially be due to the coverage of the Giro D'Italia she's been watching on the internet.

While watching said coverage, Bike Girl came across this video, which expresses her current feelings about riding pretty exactly. For those who are "working" and cannot click on the video, the quote follows:

It's not to show me or show something. It's good to get back and that is what I like. And that is riding my bike and enjoying my bike and go stronger and stronger day from day. -Fabian Cancellara of Team Saxo Bank

Cancellara is Swiss and finished 157th after Stage 4. He's also 28 years old and has very Hollywood good looks. But back off ladies. He's married!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bike Girl Wears A Dress

Life has been weighing heavily on our fair protagonist lately. Bike Girl's Job has been stressful, she fell ill, she's been training for races, and then the roads seemed to get just a little more dangerous.

Today, Bike Girl decided it was time to lighten up. She threw care to the wind, donned a summer dress, and headed out for a slow ride on her extremely feminine girl-bike. Bike Girl loves her girl-bike. When she's on it, she cannot help but smile. She also cannot break 12 miles per hour, which is a lovely change.

She rode to work with her hair blowing freely in the wind. She took the side roads, and wore no helmet. Pedestrians smiled, drivers gave her more room than usual, and when the wind blew, she accidentally gave a bus driver quite a show.

While riding in the sunshine, stress melted away. Sore muscles were not felt. And Bike Girl had a great deal of fun.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bike Girl Conquers Fear

Fear is one of the primary things that keeps people off their bikes. Bike Girl was terrified to get on a bicycle on the streets in Los Angeles before she made the conversion. But cyclists saddle up every day knowing that they have a right to the streets.

What happens when the people who are supposed to be protecting that right decide simply not to? This happens.

Well in response, this happened. Cyclists stormed the Bastille to force the politicians and the police to answer to the mistreatment of cyclists in the city.

Bike Girl is joining other members of the Bike Writers' Collective in condemning the treatment of cyclists by the LAPD and members of the L.A. City Council.

Until the people who are supposed to be protecting cyclists' rights step up, Bike Girl suggests readers learn the vehicle code in their area.

This pamphlet and this post helped Bike Girl learn the rules of the road, and how to bike defensively.

This is where the rules are for riding a bike in California.

This is the Cyclists' Bill of Rights, endorsed by the L.A. City Council.