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cycling positives and negatives

One of the good things about this strange mild winter—which on the whole I deplore—is that there are still lots of cyclists out there keeping me company on the path. I do confess, though, that I find many of them humorously over-prepared for the actual conditions. Here's me in the same clothes I'm going to wear at work—inside—with a fleece coat on top, and they're wearing gore-tex parkas and neoprene balaclavas and who knows what else. And a lot of folks rocking studded tires too, which would have been awesome last year but now is kind of overkill. But it's awesome to see other folks riding in February at all, so I'll try not to make fun.

On the other hand, I recently learned that the school where I work officially discourages kids from cycling to school, which I find pretty discouraging myself. Here we have environmental education talking about what kids can do to "save the earth" and physical education telling them they need to get an hour of exercise a day... but it's too dangerous to ride a bike less than mile to school. I guess the crossing guards at both entrances are just to help the traffic flow more smoothly morning and afternoon; speaking as a professional in the field I can tell you that it can get pretty crazy with every single parent trying to get their car in there to pick up or drop off their child. If only there were some other way for kids to... oh yeah, never mind.


My dad is one of you crazy cyclists, and went for his first outdoor bike ride yesterday after his knee replacement two months ago. My 14-year-old sisters couldn't stop giggling about the "booties" that he wore over his mesh biking shoes. I think the gear is half the fun for him.

And would they encourage the kids to walk or rollerblade, or do they just want them to get dropped off? Are they more worried about kids getting hurt by injuring themselves or is it a stranger danger kind of thing?

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