Saturday, November 1, 2014

Don't drink alcohol and ride a bike

The Lake Worth Critical Mass ride is this coming Friday (11/7). Later in the week will provide details as far as time, route, and requirements (lights!). I have been part of several Critical Mass rides and they are quite exciting and fun for the most part. The mix of young children, families, older people and experienced athletes makes for an interesting evening. However there is a subculture within the Critical Mass community and they are the riders who drink alcohol before and during the ride. I've witnessed this behavior, usually among the twenty-somethings, mostly being done by males. For them, it seemed like the bike ride was a reason to drink. Let's just remind everyone that a bike is considered a vehicle and you can be pulled over for DUI on a non-motorized bike in Florida.

I was reminded of this when reading this story in CityLab, click title for link:
The numbers from the latest study on cycling and safety are alarming, no doubt. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of cyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles climbed 16 percent between 2010 and 2012. So alarming, in fact, that Streetsblog pulled out both Y axes to deflate the claim that cycling is dangerous.
Risk, according to fatality data put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation, is far lower today than at any point in the last three decades. Although the number of fatal accidents has increased, the number of cyclist commuters has absolutely surged. In part, that's a function of new investments in infrastructure and innovation, which has made cycling more appealing to more Americans in only a short time. And that means that even though the absolute number of deaths has risen, the relative risk of every ride is actually much lower.  
Case closed. Miller time, right? Not exactly. Another part of the report is slightly more worrisome, and not just a trick of the numbers. The same Governors Highway Safety Association study finds that 88 percent of the victims of fatal cycling accidents in 2012 were men. Worse still, 28 percent of all fatal-accident victims in 2012 had a BAC of more than 0.08 percent. The risk question aside, is bro culture claiming cyclists' lives?
The numbers are very convincing. For the safety of everyone joining the Critical Mass ride next Friday, try to refrain until after the ride is over.