City Paper is not for tourists
Over at Bright Star, Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art, Julia steps on two landmines simultaneously, criticizing D.C. cyclists for: 1) their fashion sense; and 2) for wearing helmets.
Obviously, this is the kind of thing that can set off World War III in a comments section, especially since Julia keeps ducking in to zing dissenters.
The argument about cycling clothes vs. street clothes is an old one, and Julia’s in good company: legendary “retrogrouch” Grant Peterson, whose Rivendell bikes are especially lust-worthy, believes that seersucker is superior to spandex and that clipless pedals (which require special shoes that lock into them) are b.s. Me, I think you should ride in whatever makes you most comfortable, but I’m always happy to support efforts to raise D.C. residents’ consciousness about their appalling fashion choices, so Julia, this one’s a win for you.
Her helmet argument, though, is moronic. It doesn’t matter if you’re cycling “attentively and at a leisurely pace.” A couple weeks ago I got rear-ended at a stoplight wearing a (sorry, Julia) neon-yellow jacket and two rear blinking lights. Drivers. Just. Don’t. Care. Fortunately I was stopped and got nothing worse than a nasty jolt, but if I’d fallen my head would have almost certainly hit the curb. Julia, your taste in bikes is excellent, and you’ve obviously got a nice brain. It would be a pity to remove it from circulation. Strap up, mlle.
Photo by rubberpaw