What does a treed raccoon, hot asphalt and ratty handlebars have to do with each other? By now my threads have started to be streams where I don’t even know where they are going. But, I don’t need to second guess. These above mentioned trio of disconnects all are symptomatic of environmental predators. The treed raccoon is taking refuge when disturbed by man for instance. In this case I being the man with a camera. If I had had a gun the poor creature would have been toast. Raccoons are pretty low on the food chain as we know. Not much protection to sitting in the crotch of tree in plain sight. As I approached the animal it scampered up the tree, a symptom of me invading the raccoons environment. Man as predator is pretty easy to grasp. Been that way since Caine struck Abel.
Hot asphalt tho, how does that figure in as symptomatic to an environmental predator? One angle that most people have a hard time grasping is all road users are responsible for the poor conditions of our streets this year. That makes man again the environmental predator. No matter how we square it, big fat SUV’s that should have been killed in 2008 when gas prices were then sky high, are still beating up the roads. And the city administration has lowered the re-paving priority, as it seems, there is more of a demand for a new fleet of city vehicles than there is for street re-paving. Hot asphalt is the symtom of a system that is underfunded, overused and nearly broken and there is no one to account for it than we the tax payer.
Ratty handlebars is an approach to symptomatic issues that I often write posts and often include pictures. Here is what ties this into the treed raccoon and hot asphalt. Like the raccoon, the bike rider is low on the food chain, or transportation chain in this case. Also, like a raccoon the bike rider is on the look out for safety sake. The instinct in both is to flee rather than fight. Bike riding for any length of time on the city streets is a lesson in constant vigilance to avoid imminent danger created over the winter. Just a note to Shaun Murphy with the city. As you mention in “The VITAMN” 5/5/2011. To paraphrase “on bikeways the rider feels cloistered and safe” that is a fine thing Shaun, but the street is where we all ride to get to the bikeways. This line of thought is compounded by Gary Sjoquist, a bicycle lobbyist. “It has to do with the connectiveness of bike trails and bike routes.” Guys! Where we should bike ride always includes streets. Be it far from experts like these two to sum it up; as the treed raccoon hides in plain sight, the bike rider is just as vulnerable, as we navigate swiss cheese and pocked holed streets on our way to the magnificent trail system.
And the backwards handlebar and hot asphalt, what the? In the accompanying photo, the REV 2 is head to head with a ratty handlebar. The ratty handlebar is quick fix for a symptomatic problem not unlike hot asphalt that is a quick fix. The ratty handlebar has the potential to re-purpose. All the components are there. The REV 2 takes more than loosening a screw for it to function. Should we not ask more from ourselves to be so ignorant of the streets where we live to continue like treed raccoons and pretending its not our fault but hot asphalt?