Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Rant: "Paint" is One Thing, But This is Ridiculous

Today's rant is about paint.

Have you ever ridden in a bike lane that had those nifty little cyclist icons in them?

Aren't they cute?

Some places here in Florida really want them to last, or maybe they want cars to know if they drift into the bike lane, or maybe they just secretly hate cyclists. I say this because they don't just paint them, they put down two or three layers of some kind of super-thick epoxy. When you go over one of these on a bicycle, you'd better have a fairly firm grip on your handlebars because you will feel it.

So, that wouldn't be that big a deal, except that you're going to roll over another one in a couple of hundred yards. Then another one, and another one, and another one, until you feel like maybe the little cyclist on the road that's getting run over is you.

That's why I say that they secretly hate cyclists. Come to think of it, however, it may not be all that much of a secret.

Florida does this with a lot of paint jobs on roads, giving you extra little bumps to enjoy on your ride. They like to stripe parts of the road on which they don't want cars -- which would ordinarily mean prime pieces of pavement for a bicycle. And these painted items are even more fun when you bike over them after a rain ... which is another thing we get a lot of in Florida.

So, once again a local municipality has taken something that they supposedly did just for me, and made it so that it is uncomfortable for me to use it. I can't find the words to thank that municipality enough. At least, not words that I can't put down in a family-oriented blog.

Anyway, this is why you're going to often see me riding in the car lane right next to what the people in cars would consider a perfectly good bike lane. This might irritate them, but if they want to know what irritated is they can ride a bike for 100 miles, and let the last 10 of those miles be on pavement that makes their bike go bump every 15 seconds or so at best, and leaves your wheels a little slippy at worst.

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