On yesterday’s post, a reader (well, okay… my sister. But I say “a reader,” it creates the illusion that I have a readership out there) suggested that cyclists could just wear cute and cuddly animal costumes. Who would care if they got hit by a panda? Pandas are cute as hell.
It seems that Karen Stintz’s plan the “get those damn
young people dirty hippie cyclists off my lawn the sidewalk” strategy is at least shifting some of the focus away from the TTC cutback issues, as the Toronto Star ran this today:
The province decided two years ago that electric bikes should be governed by the same rules as regular bicycles. That decision changed the implications of at least one bylaw. Bicycles with a wheel diameter of more than 61 centimetres cannot go on Toronto sidewalks, but smaller ones can.
Since Vespa-style electric bikes or scooters are built with smaller wheels, the outdated bylaw allows some e-bikers to legally use sidewalks.
“So we have these people whipping along the sidewalks at 32 km/h on a vehicle that can weigh a couple hundred pounds, with a rider,” Smith said. “This is what’s causing us concern.”
As it stands, bicycles are legally obligated to stay off the sidewalk. E-bikes, on the other hand, are not only allowed to occupy large amounts of space in a bike lane and then proceed to travel slower than an actual bicycle, have free rein to stealthily roam the sidewalks as they see fit, taking out nuns and dog-walkers as they see fit.
Actually, I’m not sure if those wheels are less than 61 cm in diameter. But if they were, watch out.
Now, seeing as getting drivers in Toronto to stop being crazy so cyclists don’t have to dear dying while riding on the street (which, as we all know, is way less of an issue than pedestrians being killed by bikes, or cars, for that matter) is clearly not an option, I foolished suggested beheading cyclists with razor wire. However, The Globe and Mail pointed out that cutting the heads off obese people does not, in fact, help combat obesity:
“The headless stomach” is how Rebecca Puhl, the director of research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., describes the phenomenon.
There is no doubt that the media portrayal of people who are obese – it ranges from sneering to pitying in everything from TV sitcoms to daily newspapers – is quite negative.
The implicit message in the cutting-off-the-heads approach is that obesity is shameful. So too is the condescending language, such as that used above (deliberately) like “big butts.”
I, for one, was not terribly surprised that taunting and maligning someone for their appearance does not goad them into becoming thin. Perhaps, however, writers at the Globe have taken a basic sensitivity training session recently and found out that they learned a lot about themselves. Soon, I hope to see the following article pop up:
Instead, like how we half-heartedly encourage cyclists to get off the @$%^#$@ sidewalk (we’ll give you a few separated bike lanes, and in return you’ll continue to let us run you down with a Lincoln Navigator. We cool? We cool), we can insensitively lure the morbidly obese onto bikes the same we do with women: cupcakes!
Now, I’m not a big fan of cupcakes. For one thing, icing is pretty gross. Also, I sort of saw cupcake joints as a bit of a weird hipster fad, along with burritos, tiny bars with weird names, indie coffee shops and local food (all of which I totally get behind, lest the hipster police come and revoke my hipster card, which I have a rather tenuous grasp on already). For god’s sake, just eat a slice of a whole cake. But, as it turns out, I was wrong:
Now, every good scientist knows that absolute numbers aren’t necessarily the best metric to use. I mean, no hipster would ever admit to being a hipster, after all, so those numbers are naturally going to be low. So, proportions are the way to go here.
This highly scientific study shows us that while 12% of hipsters like cupcakes, a full 72% of cyclists like cupcakes! Really, I’m in danger of losing my cyclist card. And how am I ever going to learn how to love cupcakes if I can’t get invited on these ladies-only cupcake bike tours? I mean, based on my other exhaustive research, there are clearly a lot of men who like to ride their bikes and eat their pink-frosted miniature cake products, too.
I also don’t think my suggestion for a name will work out. But at least I’m trying.