Every time I turn, my bike makes these terrible sounds. Actually, now every time I get on my bike with my backpack tucked into the milk crate on my rear rack, it makes these terrible sounds. One of the screws that attaches the rack to the frame fell out (or, as I think in my more paranoid moments, was removed). I hate riding in the Alabama heat with my backpack on, so I searched through my bag looking for a stopgap. Perhaps a zip tie…? I used to keep them in my pack. You can fix ANYTHING with a zip tie!
I found a bobby pin, muttered to myself, “Welp, guess it’s time to macgyver this sumbitch,” and stuck the pin through the hole the rear rack and the corresponding hole in my bike frame, hoping the weight of the rack would hold the pin in place.
I am not Macgyver. This did not work. And I destroyed a bobby pin.
I just wore the backpack home.
It’s all hypothetical, of course:
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin were wondering if getting people out of their cars just a wee bit would create measurable improvements in health. So they gathered up data sets on obesity, health effects of pollution, and air pollution caused by automobiles in 11 Midwestern cities, and did a mashup.
They found that if the Midwesterners ran half of their short-distance errands by bike rather than by car, 1,100 deaths would be avoided each year, and $7 billion would be saved in reduced health-care costs. The trips were 2.5 miles one way; less than a 25-minute bike ride, the researchers figure.
The benefits were based on a presumed reduction in air pollution particulates and ozone, which increase the risk of heart attack, strokes, and asthma. They also factored in the health benefits of increased exercise, and applied that to the 31 million people living in the Upper Midwest.
More here! I try not to be that Preachy Bike Girl, but after someone tried to hit me with her car today, you bet I’m in the mood to be. My city really could be bike-friendly with a little more education and a few more bike lanes.