Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The kids are allright (the Canadian ones, at least)

On Monday, I reported on my experience riding in the New Belgium Urban Assault Ride in St. Louis, and I posted a photograph of two adults engaged in a post-ride adult-themed game.

I went on to make a little joke about how there were kids observing this game and how they might learn a thing or two.  Well, the mother of the observing child (whom I highlighted with an obnoxious green arrow) wrote in Monday to let me know that she was, in fact, "the happy recipient in the red shirt."  I would like to take this moment to applaud her sportsmanship, her readership and most importantly, her mothership, which was just about to be boarded as I took the photo...

And speaking of little kids, an interesting article has just been published in the journal entitled Injury Prevention which studied the effects of bicycle helmet laws in Canada on helmet use and bicycle ridership. 
The researchers found that both young cyclists as well as adults are significantly more likely to wear helmets as the comprehensiveness of helmet legislation increases, but that such legislation does not decrease ridership.  What interested me most about this article was the fact that when non-age specific laws (typically geared for riders under 18) were implemented, helmet use still went up in younger cyclists, thus suggesting that older cyclists serve as role models for the younger crowd.  Or  does this just suggest that youthful Canadians are more obedient of their parents?  Well, from my years of watching Degrassi Junior High, I seriously doubt it.....those kids were a bunch of hellraisers!

"But Alex, what aboot your helmet?"

If there is another thing that the Canadians are doing well in addition to wearing their helmets and obeying their elders, it's winning their time trials.  Svein Tuft appears to be coming in to form for the forthcoming Canadian road races as he demonstrated with a nice win in this week's Eneco Tour prologue in the Netherlands, yesterday.
This performance rounded out a good week for the Garmin boys with Tyler Farrar taking his second consecutive Vattenfall Cyclassics and Dan Martin winning the Tour of Poland.  Much like last year, Garmin seems to have decided to peak in the silly season of road racing.

Speaking of sillyness, I have really been trying not to comment on the ongoing Armstrong/USPostal investigation, despite the number of cycling blogs that are.  I am attempting to ascribe to somethng my father once told me, which is that opinions are like assholes in that everyone has one, and very rarely do you take interest in someone elses (unless of course you are a proctologist, or a blogger).  That said, with opinions (and assholes) weighing in on the debate of "did he" or "didn't he"  I thought some kind of a metric to measure public opinion on the matter might be interesting.  Thus, I uncovered two sites on Facebook thanks to the Cozy Beehive blog which may provide some assistance.  The first is entitled, "Petition to Drop the Federal Investigation of Lance Armstrong" and comes complete with a photo of LA in the maillot jaune carrying an American flag in Paris....

...and the second is called "Petition to Investigate Lance Armstrong For Fraud" with a photoshopped image of LA snuggled up next to a syringe:

If we look at the number of "People who like this" on each Facebook page, the numbers reflect that the individuals interested in dropping the investigation are beating those petitioning to investigate LA for fraud 108 to 3.  Obviously, trying to determine how the general public feels about this topic by following the number of Facebook Fans is statistically flawed, but more importantly, irrelevant, as is likely, the entire investigation.  I suspect people will fall into one of two camps:  Those that will support him regardless of the investigations' conclusions, and those that won't, again, regardless of the results.  And looky there, just like an asshole, I offered up my opinion.  If I were Canadian, I would have probably listened to my father better and kept my mouth shut aboot the whole thing.

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