Archive | March, 2013

Compulsory Helmets in Spain – law making for dummies

23 Mar

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cafe cosmo bicycles

Sad times for bicycle riders in Spain these days. Once again, it is being exposed the inability of those in power to create policies that will revert positively in us citizens. I don’t think you need to be particularly smart to see that, as opposed to cars, riding a bicycle is a clean and healthy option to move around a city.  We have been seriously neglected for many years in this country, by drivers and by policy makers. Bicycle lanes are non-existant or poorly designed to say the least. And now, instead of reverting this situation and motivating people to get on a bike, they draft a law that will make helmets mandatory in urban areas . There is no scientific evidence that supports that wearing a helmet will lower then number of injuries. Instead, evidence shows that making it compulsory actually discourages potential riders to use a bicycle. And, those regular users, will chose in some occasions to stop using it. It really comes to the point of what I believe is a general occurrence in politics nowadays: people are not using their damn head. They create laws that are not rational. It scares me the amount of bullshit out there that has been created out of a belief or even a whim. If politicians used logics, they would educate drivers to make sure they respect cyclists. They would make sure people know to pay attention to bicycle lanes; and learn that you can’t just turn over one without checking for bicycles passing by. That a bicycle lane constantly interrupted with trash bins/bus stops/trees, is not a true bicycle lane.

Anyway, this rant is about disappointment. I will keep using my bicycle. And I will keep choosing whether I want to hear a helmet or not. I do not tolerate a loser who has never riden a bicycle to tell me what do when I’m on two wheels.

To illustrate all this, one of the pretties bicycles I’ve seen lately, that blue Peugeot that I found near Barceloneta with C. and V. And the always creative Cosmo cafe (my choice as hipster hot spot), that held a temporary exhibition with bicycle art…

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BicyclePorn in India

4 Mar

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Always traveling the world in search of fresh and exotic bicycle porn, I ended up in India a few weeks ago.  It can be pretty intense to walk on the street in cities like Jodhpur, in the state of Rajasthan. The road and side-walk become one, where cows, cars, rickshaws, motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians (including travelers freaking out) share the same space. Obviously you need to stop every 5 seconds because there’s no space for all. And cows have top priority, not you, of course. As elsewhere, bicycles are a cheap way to move around, but unfortunately I felt like pollution would be a challenge in some places. I also heard about some really good guided tours on bicycles in Delhi which promised to be fun and dangerous. Unfortunately I had no time on this trip. It’s on my list to do when I am next in India though. If there is one conclusion to the whole adventure is that I will be back, this time for longer.