Ask a Dilettante – Bikers, Geocentrism

I’m all for transportation by bike, but what’s up with Houston bikers never observing stop signs and traffic lights? I almost run over and kill a biker every day, and it’s always their fault. Maybe we need to add “bikes too!” to the bottom of every traffic sign and signal.
— Ophelia, Houston-upon-Avon

Oh, Ophelia. You’re missing the real problem with bicyclists: bike shorts. Those things are grotesque. The nut-hugging tightness. The unflattering fit. The tight band around the thighs that leaves the red onion ring indentation. The not-anatomically-appropriate padding. The secret pockets that hold packets of nuts or an extra banana. That’s the real problem with bike riders.

Regarding your issue, you are correct that bicycle riders are supposed to observe the same traffic rules as vehicles. This includes stopping at red lights and stop signs, riding in the same direction as traffic and not riding on the sidewalk. However, when is the last time you saw automobile drivers following the same rules? Well, minus the sidewalk thing. If it’ll make you feel better, here’s a collection of common bicycle and car accidents. Perhaps you can pretend you’re driving the little blue car in the diagrams.

Houstonians are a bit behind the times when it comes to people-powered modes of transportation. Though it might be a pain in the ass to have a bike whiz by you on the street when you’re trying to make a right turn or skirt around you on the sidewalk as you walk to lunch, anyone who’s keeping their car off our already over-crowded streets deserves a break. Unless they’re wearing bike shorts, at which point you should feel free to run their spandexed ass over.

On a completely unrelated topic, I have to tell you about the tri-fold brochure than came in my mail this week addressed to “Current Resident.” Hey, that’s me! The brochure informed me that the “theory” that the earth revolves around the sun is bullshit (though that’s not the exact wording they used) and that, in fact, the sun revolves around the earth. This important information either came from the Geocentric Bible Foundation as stated in the pamphlet or a performance artist trying to be funny – hard to tell. Regardless, it made me laugh.

Here is just one of the amazing quotes from the brochure:

Astronomers have deliberately ignored fundamental experimental results of the 1870s and 1880s that showed the earth to be standing still.

I don’t know about you, but when someone is delivering some of that there science stuff to me, I prefer that they are wearing a leech on each earlobe and blaming things on witches. It’s better than all these fancy scientists today using the tubes of the internet to spread rumors about “facts” that just don’t add up. For instance, we all know that gravity doesn’t exist; the earth sucks.

[This column originally appeared in its entirety on Houstonist.]