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!

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