25 years ago, P.J. O’Rourke wrote his brilliant manifesto, “A Cool and Logical Analysis of the Bicycle Menace,” which has only gotten worse, in the warm climate of California, the bipolar temperature swings of Mayor Bloomberg’s Manhattan, and all points in between. If Anthony Weiner (D-NY) wants to begin his arduous political comeback, he could do much to streamline the process by keeping his promise that his first act as New York mayor would be to abolish Bloomberg’s dangerous bike lanes. Because, as O’Rourke noted, “Our nation is afflicted with a plague of bicycles:”
Everywhere the public right-of-way is glutted with whirring, unbalanced contraptions of rubber, wire, and cheap steel pipe. Riders of these flimsy appliances pay no heed to stop signs or red lights. They dart from between parked cars, dash along double yellow lines, and whiz through crosswalks right over the toes of law-abiding citizens like me.
In the cities, every lamppost, tree, and street sign is disfigured by a bicycle slathered in chains and locks. And elevators must be shared with the cycling faddist so attached to his “moron’s bath-chair” that he has to take it with him everywhere he goes.
In the country, one cannot drive around a curve or over the crest of a hill without encountering a gaggle of huffing bicyclers spread across the road in suicidal phalanx.
Even the wilderness is not safe from infestation, as there is now such a thing as an off-road bicycle and a horrible sport called “bicycle-cross.”
Fortunately, nature has finally decided to fight back, a reminder — as if anyone needed one — of the dangers of mountain biking in Africa: