Bicycles and Pool Noodles
In the times of Corona bicycles are becoming more popular as a means of transportation and there are calls for better bicycle infrastructure. For example, the mayor of Paris has announced plans to make the streets of Paris 100 per cent cycle friendly by 2024. Rome is following Paris's example, promising 150 km of streets safe for cyclists. But not just the metropoles are initiating changes. Cyclists in mall towns like Gauting want more space and safety.
Last Sunday in Gauting, local environmental organizations and bicycle clubs joined to make their cause known. I'm not sure how many participated, perhaps 50 or 60. To call attention to the need for more room on the road for bikes, the participants attached a pool noodle to their bike rack. The pool noodle extended about 1.5 meters, the distance motorized traffic should allow when passing a cyclist.
Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the procession as we got underway. It was an impressive sight with all those colorful pool noodles.
However, many were not impressed at all. This is what happened to what I thought would be a good way to raise awareness to the needs of cyclists. Drivers in cars didn't know what in the hell we were doing, we were in their way which made them aggressive and probably increased their antagonism. Those who understood and were tolerant, didn't need to be reminded to keep a safe distance. Although the demonstration was registered, unfortunately we weren't given a police escort - it would have helped us to look more legitimate. To make matters worse, some of the participants, riding two abreast, weren't adhering to traffic regulations. Eventually, the police did come because there were complaints. But by that time I had left the group and gone my own way.
I appreciate the good intentions of those demonstrating and am 100% for better bicycle infrastructure, but I am very skeptical as to the effectiveness of Gauting's pool noodle parade.
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... is up and running again. It is a space for notes on my daily doings - walks, bike rides, photo outings, travel. Thanks for reading.