P.J. O’Rourke has a hateful and hilarious online article in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled, “Dear Urban Cyclists: Go Play in Traffic.” O’Rourke’s humor always gives me a chuckle or two, even if I don’t agree with him, and in this case, I don’t agree with him at all. I love riding my bike, and I’d ride it everywhere if it was safe enough, and I was fit enough, but it isn’t, and I’m not. Still, his tirade against bicyclists and bicycle lanes in New York City tickled my funny bone, and I thought you might enjoy it too. Here’s an excerpt to tease you, but please do read the full article regarding the proliferation of bike lanes in NYC.
“This promotion of childishness in the electorate means that bike lanes are just the beginning. Soon we’ll be making room on our city streets for scooter and skateboard lanes, Soapbox Derby lanes, pogo-stick lanes, lanes for Radio Flyer wagons (actually more practical than bicycles since you can carry a case of beer—if we’re still allowed to drink beer), stilt lanes, three-legged-race lanes, lanes for skipping while playing the comb and wax paper, hopscotch lanes and Mother-May-I lanes with Mayor Bloomberg at the top of Lenox Hill shouting to the people on Park Avenue, “Take three baby steps!”
A good, hard-played game of Mother-May-I will make us all more physically fit. Fitness being another reason given for cluttering our cities with bike lanes. But why is it so important that the public be fit? Fit for what? Are they planning to draft us into forced labor battalions?”
Funny stuff. I’ve read several of O’Rourke’s books and found myself literally laughing out loud — embarrassingly loud, (and also reading out loud to my poor husband). Even if you don’t agree with what he has to say, O’Rourke does make you think. If you’re tired of all the gloom and doom in the news right now, one of his books might be just the tonic you need to lighten up just a little bit this summer.