For anyone who was over the age of 10 in the 80's, you may remember one of the bands symbolic of the decade- Missing Persons- and their lyrical reference to the fact that "nobody walks in LA," meaning the metropolis is overflowing with gas-loving, car-addicted drivers. The city is famous for this and so a couple of 2-wheeling enthusiasts decided to create a way to not only rebel, but to initiate awareness and, hopefully, change. They call themselves the Crimanimalz and they put their lives on the line, literally for what they believe in.
Taking their mission one step (or 2 or 3) beyond the monthly Critical Mass rides, they took to the LA freeways, during rush hour traffic, according to NPR. This is still illegal, but much less dangerous due to the molasses pace of that overcrowded timeframe. Thus their slogan; "If you rode a bike, you'd be home by now." This is enough to get my scaredycat car-loving arse to consider opting for a bike in lieu of a car, but the danger keeps me at bay. Aside from my laziness versus the hills of San Francisco, traffic is the reason I shy away from my bike on most occasions. There do need to be more options for cyclists. Perhaps more options would help mend the marred relationship between the driver and the peddler while encouraging the scaredycats like myself to just strap on a helmet and hit the road, sans emissions.
The mission has grown to include dozens of people and the ">video and its soundtrack is admittedly inspiring- I just hope the guy who rode the 10 foot high bicycle's mom doesn't see the video- the ill-fated possibilities made me cringe. But I do appreciate what these guys are trying to do and the risk they're taking so that one day my aforementioned arse won't have to be quite so fearful.
I've racked my brain to near dizziness to realize just one situation in which a bike is not the best means of transport in every way (okay, they're not so great if you have to lug around a couch) and with the amazing options out there (bamboo?) today, it's a wonder why so much money is spent accommodating more cars rather than building bike paths, pedal ways and bridges. I may well have to get in on this one...