Friday, July 8, 2011

Redundancies and Solecisms

Since I monetized my blog (sold out to greed and corporate interests) by allowing Google to place ads on it, which so far has netted me about $3.47, I'm looking at what ads show up. I sold ad space for 20 years, and take a professional interest. The process of ad placement on the page is entirely automatic, based on the content of my posts. So the one I just posted mentioned trikes, and an ad for "three wheel trikes" showed up. I wonder what other kind of trikes there might be besides ones with three wheels. People just don't pay attention to language. Quite often when I am out on a ride on my trike, passersby will call out, "nice bike!" This is of course inaccurate, since bike is short for bicycle and by definition, means it has two wheels. Sometimes I correct them. More often I just seethe inwardly. As a regular reader of Craig's List, I've also noticed that "recumbent bike" to many people means a type of stationary exercise equipment that has no wheels at all and doesn't go anywhere by means of pedaling--though perhaps it goes somewhere by peddling, which is why it's on Craig's List in the first place.

Live Free and Die

On a trike riders' forum I subscribe to, the perennial subject of whether bike helmets increase safety has come up. Someone complained that their head gets hot when they wear a helmet, and suggested that on a trike, which doesn't require balancing, helmets might not be necessary. Then everyone else had to weigh in. It occurs to me that while a trike doesn't fall like a bike does, it can flip (I have lifted a wheel a few times in fast cornering), and if it did, it is perhaps likely to land upside down.

What color is your helmet? I wear a white helmet, which is noticeably cooler (in temperature if not in appearance) than the dark green helmet I used to wear. It is also more visible, which could be helpful--and I have front and rear lights on it, originally for better visibility as my head is higher up than the trike (or bike), and has the additional advantage that whatever bike or trike I'm riding, I have lights.

Back when bike helmets first appeared, we all thought they looked dorky and resisted wearing them. Since then they've been styled more attractively, and we've gotten accustomed to wearing them. I wear mine almost every time I ride, whether on bike or trike. Better to be a live dork than a dead hipster. The debate over whether they really make a difference is more about people resisting the "domination" of wearing a helmet. Last week a motorcycle rider in an anti-helmet protest group ride fell off his bike onto his head (at low speed) and was killed by head trauma. There were people commenting approvingly that he died for his freedom. Personally, I think there are freedoms more worth dying for than the right not to use a piece of safety equipment. The thing is, you won't know if it makes a difference until you are in an accident, by when there is nothing you can do about it.