Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cobbles are for Suckers

If there is one word for biking around Munich, it is "civilized." This works on a couple levels. First, there's no antagonism between bikes and cars - they actually give you the right of way and pay attention - making it a lot safer (hardly anyone wears a helmet). Which means, second, that there's no dumb bike culture. Which means, third, you can ride grandad bikes without feeling like a middle-aged guy whose mom packs his lunch.

These are the only bikes you can actually ride while wearing a suit and there aren't many things to make you feel more civilized than biking in a suit. Until you reach the cobble stones. They are uncivilized. They are dumb. It was fine when they were the only sensible alternative to mud and dung but they are officially well past their sell-by date. Hours after a long ride today and my ass still hurts.

There's a batch of urban planners that advocate for reviving cobble stones in the States, claiming they do everything from reduce pedestrian injuries (slower car speeds) to emanate somethingorother that will magically undo all the real and imagined damages the car has wreaked on American community. These people are charlatans.

No comments:

Post a Comment