I sent a letter to the Georgia Straight after Ted Laturnus got the physics of cycling way wrong–in a cruiser bike review he wrote in place of the usual auto-philia. But the editors left out all the good stuff. Below, the de-evolution of a perfectly good ‘pwning‘
It’s nice to see Ted Laturnus acknowledge there’s ways of getting around that don’t involve the automobile, but his ‘Transportation’ column in your Jan. 29 – Feb. 5 edition has some factual errors that cannot go unremarked.
First, the physics. Fat tires and lightweight frames are NOT your friend when it comes to momentum. In fact, heavier frames possess more inertia once in motion. As to the tires, if fat really did roll further, why do competitive road cyclists utilize the narrowest tires feasible? The reality is, a wide tire’s rolling resistance negates the inertial advantage of its weight, due to the larger ‘contact area’ between rubber and pavement.
Mr. Laturnus also contends cars and bikes can coexist. Maybe on some far-off planet where drivers don’t text, eat, or drink (and sometimes all three) while in control of a potentially deadly machine, but here on Earth, it’s been made clear, through scrupulous research and tragically fatal real-world examples–the biggest impediment to a greater use of bicycles as transportation comes from a lack of separate, safer facilities such as bike paths and traffic-calmed streets. These low-cost amenities make cycling for transportation a viable choice for all, from school-age children to seniors, yet they remain a rarity, due in no small part to the dissemination of ill-informed viewpoints by individuals who haven’t done their homework. If Laturnus had taken a moment to contact any of the Vancouver cycling advocates he so churlishly characterizes as militants, I’m sure they would have gladly set him straight and provided mountains of data to support their claims.
Finally, the bizarre proof he uses to back his claim, by citing the sale of bicycles by luxury automakers defies logic by any measure. One might just as well suggest that since a supermarket stocks beef and chicken in the same freezer section, you can put herds of cows and flocks of chickens in the same cramped space. Well, I suppose you could. But somebody’s going to get squished and it’s not the ones with horns.
And the down-sized version that went to print: