It's finally Friday and the beginning of a long weekend, which means that I can review the passing week.
First of all, it looks like I got a lemon. My Sugino OX601D crankset that I like so much has been factory-recalled. Apparently, there is a pretty high chance of failure right where the spindle comes out of the right crank. I haven't noticed anything yet but I was told not to ride the bike and wait for a replacement. This means my Poprad remains grounded and I'm out of any long-range bicycle. No fun this spring so far, only work commute.
A new ranking of cycling-friendly states has surfaced yesterday. Glad to see that Massachusetts scored pretty high. Interestingly, the most bicycle-friendly is Washington, even though some may disagree on road safety in their neighborhoods. I guess they have a lemon too.
Wisconsin was ranked #9 but if they manage to pull off shit like this, I can see them dropping to the bottom, next to Alabama, pretty quickly. An extra tax on all new bicycles - brilliant idea Wisconsin! State Rep. John Nygren must be really short on cash trying to find a way cyclists could pay for their infrastructure. Here is the news Mr. Nygren - cyclists pay for the infrastructure the same way pedestrians do - in form of the income tax. No need to tax them more because they introduce about as much wear and tear to those few bike paths in Wisconsin as mommies with strollers. Or skateboarders. Unless you want to tax mommies with strollers too...
I guess Wisconsin simply follows example of Washington's State Rep. Ed Orcutt who also wanted to tax cyclists more because they "are actually polluting when they ride" due to "greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider". If only Mr. Orcutt knew how much CO2 cows produce chewing grass, there would be no cows left in Washington state. Wait a minute - is that the same Washington that scored first as the friendliest bike state? I told you that you can find a lemon anywhere.
Anyway, in case you are planning on buying a new bike, don't buy one in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, "staffers in Nygren's office said he was unavailable for comment on Wednesday." Maybe he and Mr. Orcutt went to have their heads checked.
Now some news from across the border. In case you found yourself in Vancouver, these are the rules you must obey while riding your bike there. Well, actually, these are the new rules provided by the author after his original rules were mocked on Twitter shortly after publishing. Not surprising, given that they contained such useful advice as "wear a helmet" (duh!), "ride in a single file" because "cycling is not the time for chit-chat", "stay as close to the curb as possible" and more. At least Bob learned the power of Internet and ate his lemon.
Finally, some happy news. Bedford, MA presented its Master Plan for bike and pedestrian infrastructure improvements. I'm glad to see they are planning on adding multiple bike lanes and paths around and even a separated (protected) bike lane on their main street. I will be monitoring their progress as I bike to Bedford every day.
In general, it's great to see that towns in my area do think about cycling and not only for recreation. I discussed Arlington plans already, Lexington tries too and now Bedford has a chance to do the right thing. As long as they don't make it a lemon.