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Old 08-07-18, 07:40 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
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Bikes: a lowrider BMX, a mountain bike, a faired recumbent, and a loaded touring bike

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I sent this to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Prior to 1962, there were a number of states that required cyclists to travel on the *left* side of the road, facing traffic , as a "pedestrian" would. That was also about the time (1960) that the first "Ten Speed" bicycles were imported from Europe. There was a general consensus that the faster bicycles would be better off going with traffic. So all states standardized their vehicle codes to put bicycles on the right side of the road.
A number of things went wrong.
• The Bicycles came shipped with these attrocious "drop bars" which forced the cyclists into a hunch back position , unable to see the road around him or her self.
• The UCI (International Cycling Union) insisted on rules that would encourage these "Drop Handlebars" , by declaring any other means of attaining an Aerodynamic Advantage to be "Cheating" (Fairings , and Recumbent Seating position).
• Rear View Mirrors were Not required (and still aren't). Many cyclists stil ride against traffic simply so they can see approaching cars and trucks.
• Helmets had been adopted for Football, but it took another 20 years for Helmets to become available for Bicycling
• LED Lights were popular in high-end stereo sound systems as early as the 1970's , but it took another 20 years for LED's to become availabvle for Bicycle Lights
• Neil Armstrong walked around on the Moon in 1969 with a tiny electronic Camcorder in his hand, but it took another 20 years for Camcorders to become available for Cyclists (and another 20 for the smaller "Go Pro" cameras to appear.
• Cycling is seldom taught in schools
• A lot of roads still don't have Sidewalks, and the roads that do have Sidewalks have ones that are not good for Cycling on. (A lot of Bicyclist are aware of their limitations , and would ride on the Sidewalk IF one was available.)

Progress has been slow, and I'm afraid not enough cyclists participate in the discussion , concerning what we need to do to improve safety in terms of REQUIRED EQUIPMENT.
There is a lot of equipment to buy, and many of the cyclists who do spend extra bucks, spend them to obtain the lightest, most fragile bikes avaiable, and they refuse to install mirrors or lights, even after spending $6,000.00 on the Carbon Fiber Bike.
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