Thursday, September 23, 2010
I have two goals for this post.
1) I want to inform people about bicycling laws in Michigan. Read this. There that's done.
2) In my search for Michigan bicycling laws, and my desire to procrastinate, I stumbled across an interesting fact. According to the League of American Bicyclists, Michigan is the 16th most bike friendly state (here). I have to admit to being a bit surprised, pleasantly. Though the grades aren't great, we beat out 34 other states. Michigan is in the top third of something, and it isn't related to crime urban decay, or unemployment. Given our history as the vehicle state and the abuse our state gets in the media, that was nice to see. I wasn't surprised to see that Flint was not on the list of bike friendly communities (pdf). Sure Flint doesn't have many bike lanes, many bike racks, businesses catering to bicyclists, but since I've been regularly commuting via bike, today's incident is only the second time someone has been inconsiderate. Actually, I've been amazingly impressed with how courteous drivers typically are when I ride. I'm not sure if they think they'll catch bike cooties or if drivers are intentionally courteous, but drivers typically move as far from me as possible and regularly wait to pass me until it is safe. And I'm appreciative of that. I particularly appreciate it because I have children, so if I get hurt, it hurts more than me. I definitely bike for me, but I also think of the message it sends my children and the health benefits as I age and try to keep up with perpetual motion machines.
Flint has a great and growing trail along the Flint River, it has a Critical Mass ride on the last Friday of every month, and it has a road race. Heck, they even added bike lanes to Saginaw Street. Maybe we're on our way to being added to the list of bike friendly communities.
Maybe biking and courteous drivers is something the mainstream media can pick up on about Flint for a change. Hey, Bobby Crim, add a bike race to your festival of races. Hey, Flint Journal, why don't you write a story about bike commuters in Flint? Make it a feature in the Sunday magazine. You can reach me here. I'll be waiting.
Posted by Jacob at 11:15 PM