Wednesday, April 29, 2015

AAA "takes care" of cyclists too!

I get AAA Horizons magazine once a while (my wife is a member) and as I noticed the last year, AAA now caters to cyclists as well. If you're a AAA member you are eligible to two free service calls for your bicycle a year, should something happen to it when you're on your ride, away from home. I've never needed it myself but it actually could be useful in some rare circumstances.
April is almost over and apparently the next month is the Bike Safety Month, which means that we can continue doing what we love doing the most - blaming cyclists. To keep the tradition going, AAA President Mark A. Shaw wrote this editorial:
So what do we have here?
There is another type of road sharing that is now in full swing, and one that is most welcome. Whether it’s for work, family fun, or just enjoying the outdoors, bicycles remain a growing part of the daily transportation landscape.
So AAA is recognizing bicycles as transportation vehicles, not just recreational toys. Awesome!
Bicycles are a legitimate form of transportation and bicyclists are legal drivers of vehicles who must conform to laws and regulations established for their use. Many cyclists feel they are not respected by motorists and must fight for their place on the road. Both motorists and cyclists need space to safely operate in traffic – this requires mutual respect.
How commendable of Mr. Shaw to mention that again: bicycles are legitimate transportation vehicles. He also noticed that many people on bikes feel they are not respected by motorists "and must fight for their place on road". These are very nice words to say that most cyclists on roads are just obstacles and living targets to many drivers.
But then we get this:
Cyclists must remember that they need to obey all traffic controls, signs and signals. They are not allowed to ride against the flow of traffic, must signal all turns, wear bright colors during the day and reflective colors at night, and always wear a helmet. 
Oh, for Christ's sake Mark. You were doing so well and now you blew it! There is no law to require wearing helmets (by adults) and no law to require bright-colored clothing. At least not in Massachusetts. So the next time you come up with a (literally) brilliant idea to require cyclists to wear bright-colored clothing, I'm going to ask you to paint your car neon-bright, glowing pink. For your safety, of course!

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