Monday, August 07, 2006

Rant for the Day

For those of you who are reading this blog for the first time my name is Les and I deliver pizza for a living.

As a rule I try to perform my delivery runs as quickly as possible, this does not necessarily mean that I take the physically shortest route but instead I usually use a route that has the least amount of interruptions, such as stop signs and traffic lights. The route I like to use to reach the northeastern edge of the delivery area is the West River Road on eastern edge of South Minneapolis. This road runs alongside the Mississippi River and has only one stop sign between Lake Street and 46th Avenue.

There is one problem with this route.

It is the assholes on bicycles.

Never mind the fact that the park board has thoughtfully provided separate bicycle paths off of the automotive traffic lanes. These assholes are a bunch of superior beings who have to ride their bicycles in the auto traffic lanes. Often they will ride side by side if they ride in groups of two or more, making it more difficult for automotive traffic to safely pass them. (Another sign of their superior being status are imitations of bicycle racing team uniforms that many of them wear. (Ayn Rand had a special term for such folks...but that's another story.))

Some of these superior beings will even ride their bicycles on below-zero (on the Fahrenheit scale) days in January in order to generate that warm-fuzzy feeling that comes from not using fossil fuel propulsion systems. (Never mind the fossil fuels that had to be used in the process of creating their sacred two-wheel transportation system.)

So anyway, around 5 PM today one of these superior beings got himself killed by a component of the local mass transit system.

Of course in order for this mishap to happen several things had to first occur. The first being the construction of the Light Rail Transit system by our glorious (and unelected) Metropolitan Council. The Light Rail Transit system, being far more expensive than simply building decent roads and buying new cars for the poor, serves primarily as a monument to the power of socialist planners and the local pork barrel politicians. Its secondary function is, of course, to oppress those freethinking souls who still insist on using private automobiles instead of joining the hominid herd riding on (what I privately call) the socialist toy train set.

How does this oppression occur?

It starts in the design and construction phases when, instead of building it above or below street level, the bulk of the trackage is laid at ground level to maximize interference with ground traffic. (There are also three bridges and one underpass across local freeways, a bridge across Lake Street, and a tunnel under the airport. There apparently are some limits to allowable interference.)

At all ground level crossings outside of Downtown Minneapolis there is a standard set of railroad crossing lights and alarms, and a set of safety arms that lowers in order to block the path of oncoming traffic. The operators of the trains will also blow the standard railroad horn that is mounted on their trains in order to warn of their approach to every intersection.

It was, of course, all of this light and noise, the clamorous warnings and physical barriers created for his benefit, that the aforementioned superior being on two wheels had to willfully ignore and evade in order to get himself splattered all over the tracks.

My lack of God, what a fucking idiot.

Perhaps we should just think of it as evolution is action.


gene berman said...

Came over from link at one of John J. Ray's sites.

I found it insightful that you appreciate the collective conformity and elevation of the legally-pampered-and-provided-for cyclist--a species historically associated with individualism (if not necessarily of the "rugged" variety.

And, by insightful, I'd say that's no stretch (except for that necessary to pat my own back). You see, I could "see it all coming" a very long time ago: 1970 to be precise. In that year,, I happened, on a trip (from the Philly suburbs) to visit in the town of Davis, CA, where a friend of my youth was now an orthopedist. Both of us had been active, outdoor-oriented individualists--and bike-riders, as well, though not competitively.

The town of Davis was, apparently, where the "reserved for bikes" lanes got started--they'd had them for a number of years. And woe betide the auto driver who violated such a lane--whether or not any bikes happened to be in the area. My friend was enthusiastic. I was less so. For some strange reason, I saw the bike-rider as an essentially apart-from-the-flow individualist, making his way on his wits and ability to weave and dart--not relying on any reservation of land nor elevated social status for protection. I saw
dire, stultifying outcomes--and so expressed myself. Little did I know at the time; this was, perhaps, the origin of the "green" movement, anti-development forces, etc.

That was years ago. But my old friend, now retired, is still of the same opinions on such matters while maintaining what I see as a mutually-exclusive advocacy of free-market (which I share) economic policy. That's most of the difficult-to-unseat power of welfare-state socialism: it forges majorities by throwing bones to
issue-advocacy constituents, whether subsidies to ethanol farmers and processors, tax breaks to homeowners, or bike lanes for those so inclined. C'est la vie.

Frank from Delavan said...

They are a pest even in the SE Wisconsin area where I live. But be glad you're not in NY NY.

Some time ago when the press and the pols were spouting about the high death rate of coal miners this year, I was vectored to a NY newspaper article and one of the sidebar headlines caught my eye. The NY messenger rider association was protesting the high number of rider deaths.

It turns out there were more bicycle rider deaths in NY in one year than all the coal miner deaths in the whole US.

Basically I think that as (1) the density of traffic increases and (2) the zaniness of the riders increases (due to number 1,) fatalities go up as the product of the numbers.

Forget the stereotype of the crazy pizza delivery driver! I almost never saw one. But I daily have to deal with the 2-wheeled jerks.

Anonymous said...

yochanan of lgf says

frankly bike riders who don't obey the law are a pain in the ass. I am saying this as a perdestrian who got hit by a northwestern college girl when i was walking on a side walk were it was posted DON'T PARK YOUR BIKE much less don't ride your bike because the sidewalk is too busy.

when the liberal b'''h hit me my butt did have a pain, but it wasn't matched by the anger i had when she did not even stop to see how I was.

Leslie Bates said...

I now drive a taxi cab in Minneapolis and I'm still having to deal with the two-wheeled jerks.

Even in the winter.

AuricTech said...

To quote from a set of signs in Bunkie, Louisiana (in the style of "Burma Shave" advertisements):

Remember this
If you'd be spared
Trains don't whistle
Because they're scared!