Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Banning bikes and wearing fur: Happy Bastille Day!

It seems that cycling in Missouri is once again in the national spotlight. Several months ago, we were in the news for cancelling the once highly successful Tour of Missouri professional road race, and now St. Charles County is capturing headlines for proposing a ban on cyclists from several roads around the Katy Trail town of Defiance in the southwestern part of the county.

Even Portland, OR-based blogs are reporting on this.  (You can practically hear them sniggering all the way across the country).  County councilman Joe Brazil has made the proposal based on the idea that specific roads that are frequented by cyclists do not have a shoulder upon which to ride and possess, in certain cases, a speed limit of 55 mph.  As of a couple days ago, the county council  decided to table the issue until next month, at which point additional roads will also be considered for the ban.  A point of concern with this case is that this ban seemingly falls upon the coat tails of another recent citywide ban on cycling in the town of Black Hawk, Colorado.  Importantly, MoDOT officials have weighed in on the issue and tried to remind the council members that traffic (motorozied or not) upon the roads cited in the proposal fall under the sole jurisdiction of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.  Therefore, the county has no legal authority to enforce the ban, to which councilman Brazil said, "MoDot is more than welcome to challenge this [proposal]"

It seems to me Mr. Brazil has it backwards.  I believe he is welcome to challenge the jurisdiction of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, but until he does so, he can try to pass all the ordinances he chooses to banning bicycles.....they are unenforceable.  Isn't this the type of thing a councilman should have checked into before spending a lot of our time and money?  You can stay up to date on this issue by visiting the action alert site on the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation.

Interestingly, the town at the center of the hub-bub is Defiance, Missouri, the final settling place of Daniel Boone.....and this reminded me of the bike the GEEC and I stumbled upon on 9th street Saturday evening.
An upholstered bicycle saddle adorned with a pink satin ribbon and a raccoon tail.  Rarely do we get to see mid-Missouri culture so accurately represented in a piece of cycling acoutement.....the refinement of French-inspired floral chintz paired with a locally-relevant, historical remembrance of Daniel Boone's coon-skin cap.  My only concern with this is how this cyclist keeps his/her tail from getting wrapped up in the rear brakes?  But maybe that's what the satin ribbon is tie the tail up when riding, but when parked - to let it hang low in all the lustrousness a piece of a dead animal can muster.

On the very same bike I noticed mounted on the left bar end, the dismebodied head of a white-bearded old guy (picture inverted for you viewing pleasure).  I wonder if this is the original version of the Bontrager Buzzkill?  But instead of actually dampening riding vibration, the grumpy old man yells at you if you are going too fast and nags you to keep both hands on the handlebar.  (Get it?  Buzzkill....I'm here all week, folks.....make sure to tip your waitresses.)

And in news of the tour....Yesterday's Stage 9 is suggesting that it's going to be the 'Bert and Shlecky' show from now on....

And what of Lance?  Well, let's tune in to another installment of "The Days of Our Lance" which finds Armstrong in a heated discussion  with Johann over the results of Stage 9.....


  1. Poobah- Pretty funny today but I don't know if ur gonna top that Cadel Evans/Great Gazoo comparison from a few days ago. I'm still laughing about that.

  2. Mr. Brazil should work to lower the speed limit on the roads in his area. Clearly a vehicle must be operated in such a way that it can avoid crashing into items such as tractors, school buses dropping off children, deer and dogs, vehicles stopped on the road to pick up their mail, and on and on.

    Funniest line in "Days of Our Lance" video: "playing find the pickle in the shammy".

  3. Thanks guys - This tour has offered more sideline entertainment than you could shake a chamois pickle at....