Whiners and Complainers (and Keep Off Those Heels Too!)

A reader of the July-August 2012 League of American Bicyclists’ “American Bicyclist” complained that the magazine featured a rider in flip-flops.  The writer’s statement is as follows (November-December 2012 issue): “Riding in flip-flops is dangerous.  Featuring riders with helmets and flip-flops sends a distorted message implying safe riding conditions when, in fact, those flip-flops are a hazard to the person wearing them AND those riding along side the flip-flopper.  Please stress the danger of riding in flip-flops and the importance of safe riding head and foot gear.”

The offending picture was clearly composed for the article and featured riders out for a causal cruise.  (To view the image, click the above LAB link and page through to page 10 of the July-August issue.)

This kind of nonsense raises multiple questions:

  • What exactly is the danger of flip-flops?  Frostbite?  Dirty feet?
  • Is there a case of flip-flops causing death?
  • What is the danger to “those riding along-side the flip-flopper”?
  • If head and footgear is so critical – what about elbow, shoulder and kneepads, leather pants and jacket, and (even) gloves?  How about a handle-bar-mounted air bag?
  • Where is the distortion in the message?  Even allowing for the helmet, why should not the rider be comfortable?

With so many more critical safe riding issues – rider education, bicycle maintenance, traffic control, motor vehicle traffic enforcement, road maintenance – it is regrettable that this level of criticism even gets printed.

No Heels Please!

No Heels Please!

1 Comment

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One response to “Whiners and Complainers (and Keep Off Those Heels Too!)

  1. We should organize a flip flop ride to support these brave footwear pioneers. Probably best to wait until July, though.

    P.S. Do any of those helmets looked photoshopped on to you? I’m giving the woman next to the flopper a definitely and the flopper a strong possibility. If only they had thought to photoshop on some Timberlands…

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