Everybody knows the popular anti-gun-control slogan "Guns don't kill people; people kill people." What's the difference between cars and guns?
Motor vehicle-related injuries kill more children and young adults than any other single cause in the United States. More than 41,000 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes each year, and crash injuries result in about 500,000 hospitalizations and four million emergency department visits annually. Increased use of safety belts and reductions in driving while impaired are two of the most effective means to reduce the risk of death and serious injury of occupants in motor vehicle crashes. (link)
The bit about "the most effective means ..." is really thinking inside the box. Many, many more lives would be saved if we all rode bicycles. If 25% of the current drivers stopped driving, I believe we would see a greater than 50% reduction in those death and injury rates.
Since it's not written into our constitution that everybody has a right to a car, perhaps we could legislate some more rational controls of car ownership? Or do something to lower the death toll?
Seriously, cars don't kill people, except when they are being operated by people. People are killing people. If nobody is driving the car, it sits there, doing nothing, not killing anybody.
Tomorrow at 2pm at my house in Makakilo, we're having the our first meeting. We're going to be figuring out what we can do to advocate for more access and bicycling paths. Anyone is welcome to join! Please email me at email@example.com for details on location.
Via twitter, I learned of a new bicycle shop in Kunia. It's Angry Sprockets Bicycles.
I don't remember who followed who first, but when @AngrySprocket tweeted
I realized that the tweeter might be somewhere in Hawaii. A couple clicks later and I learned that they're a shop in Kunia, just a few miles down the freeway from me.
I've been wanting a more local local bike shop, and it's finally here! I stopped by to check it out today after lunch. I'm a big supporter of supporting your local bike shop, so I hunted around for something to get, and grabbed this:
So I meant to cycle into town to have lunch with Kaimana. I rode down the hill and then realized that I had forgotten my d-lock. Cannot ride a bicycle to town without a lock. Since I was hoping to not get too sweaty before lunch, I took a bus back up the hill, rather than ride. Got back home, got my lock, and for good measure a small bag to go on my rack, so I could put the lock and maybe some other stuff there, and not carry everything in my backpack.
I close the garage door, cycle to the end of the street and remember that I should also take the rain cover for my saddle. (Leather saddle doesn't like to get rained on.) Back to the garage, open, get saddle cover, close garage, cycle away.
Note that to go "down the hill" (about 750ft) from my house, I have to first climb 100ft to get to the main road. So I climb the 100ft a second time, trying to not get sweaty, again.
Since I wasted all that time going back up the hill, etc., I no longer have enough time to ride into town and make the agreed time. I catch the C bus, and take it all the way to Ala Moana. Get off the bus, find the nearest subway, purchase lunch, and head over to Kaimana's place of work to have lunch.
When I arrive a helpful co-worker of his (didn't catch her name) points out to me the bicycle rack, where I can put my bike. It turns out that the rack looks to be the cheapest possible bicycle rack purchasable and is not even attached to anything. I picked it up with one hand. It weighed about the same as my bicycle. I was just reading yesterday about bicycle thieves cutting thru iron fences in order to haul away attached bicycles. Locking to this pitiful bike rack would provide no security at all.
Since I have locking skewers on my bike, I locked one wheel to the nearby fence, and left the other wheel touching the rack, so that it wouldn't feel to bad about being ignored.
After lunch, on the way home, I stopped for a minute to call my wife and talk to her about dinner plans for the evening. When I resumed cycling, the ride was really rough. It took me a bit to realize that my rear tire was flat, and I was feeling all the little bumps in the pavement, cuz no air.
I stopped, flipped over the bike, took out my tools and got to work to repair the flat. When I'm starting to get one side of the tire off the wheel, so as to extract the tube, another cyclist comes by. His bike is equipped with a surfboard sideboard rack. He stops to ask if I need anything, tools, whatever. I tell him I'm fine, got everything I need.
It turns out he's from Portland, and wants some directions. I explain how you continue down the path (this is on the Pearl Harbor bicycle path) until you get to the closed gate, go up to the road, follow that until you hit Radford, go left, up the hill, get on the other path, down Nimitz and then into Dillingham. I call out the bits where stuff gets nasty for a cyclist, etc. He comments on how it's much harder to get around on a bicycle on Oahu, than in Portland. There's no bike lanes and the drivers don't want you in the road. Yup. Welcome to Paradise. (I didn't actually say that, but I did agree with him.)
So, away he goes, and I resume work on my tire. The thing is that I've got a thin-walled Specialized tire in front, and an expedition-worthy Schwalbe in the back. It's the Shwalbe that's flat. I was reticent to put that Specialized on the bike at all because I was thinking I'd spend all my time repairing flats.
I get the tube out, pump it up, run it around a couple times looking for the leak and can't find it. Pump it up some more, and go around again. This time I find it. I can't feel it, but I hear it. It turns out that the leak is underneath a patch that I put on at some other time. I decide to just take the old patch off and replace it, and do a better job this time. I rip off the patch, let out enough air so that the tube is not oversized, and open the patch kit box.
It turns out that I still didn't remember everything I need. I have no glue. I have plenty of patches, and sandpaper, but no glue. Neither do I have any of the glueless patches.
Fortunately, even after having removed the bad patch, the leak in the tube is still slow. I reassemble my wheel, pump it up and away I go. I figured that even if I need to pump it back up a couple times, that's better than walking. I managed to get all the way to Don Quixote to meet my wife without needing to pump it up again. I wait a little while and then my wife and daughter arrive. While I'm putting the bike in the back of the van, my daughter points out that my back tire is flat.