Saturday, May 29, 2010

No Resevoirtions

If I had not read recent blog posts here on Beat Bike Blog or at CT Confidential by Rick Green, I would have had no idea there was any controversy. When I went to the West Hartford Reservoir this morning, there were no signs posted indicated that the MDC is thinking of closing access to bikers. Even after I dug through their website, I found nothing substantiating or denying this rumor. It still says that the recreation area is "more than 30 miles of paved and gravel roads for joggers and bicyclists." Cyclists were about. Nothing new was blocked off (the "roads" that had been off limits for at least a year due to construction were just marked better as being closed). It made me wonder how much truth there is to this rumor. It also made me wonder why they would only consider closing the area to biking, when clearly there are many other ways to wound oneself. Take the double-wide baby strollers that regularly infest the paths. Those could hit a small pothole and launch an infant into the reservoirs! What about joggers? They could run into a tree if they accidentally stray from the path. Okay, there are far more likely dangers one might face when venturing into the outdoors. There are deer ticks, spiders, snakes, black bears, mosquitoes, and other wildlife that can cause problems. But part of being human is taking risks. Deciding to get onto a bicycle, a person assumes a higher level of risk. Wearing safety gear, paying attention to surroundings (including gates painted a hue of retina-scalding yellow), maintaining one's brakes, and riding within one's abilities are ways of minimizing risk.

Closing the area to biking sounds impossible to regulate. I'd like to see one of those rangermobiles chase a biker up a dirt path. It's not going to happen. There are several entrances into the recreation area, anyway, besides the main entrance.

Maybe some signs have been added since the accident that prompted the frivolous lawsuit, but in any case, they are there now. If someone misses all of the million signs that decorate the recreation area, he is just one fleshy pile of FAIL.

Below, you can see a packed parking lot, showing the demand for use of the space. You can't see from this photo the number of people who chose to simply bike into the area, rather than drive their bikes there on top of their cars.

While out, the only real risk of injury I saw was of that to a little girl named Makaya (not pictured because I was too horrified to do anything but give "you die now" looks to her mother) who was about seven or eight years old. Her mother was yelling at her for not tying her shoes (the girl had stopped and was tying them) and then, ever-so-reasonably, followed the yelling by hitting the girl, very hard. I swear that I could feel the thud.
Someone who will beat her child in public will do far worse behind closed doors. (Makaya, if you read this, I am sorry that you have such a hateful and abusive mother). People who have no patience for kids shouldn't be popping them out. There's this great invention called the condom -- use it. If we want to talk lawsuits, then I hope that some day Makaya wins one against her mother.

See that water? I just paid my bill for it. The money should go for delivery of a natural resource, not to pay for a ridiculous lawsuit.

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