What's Wrong With America? The CP's Bike Story, For Starters...

Claire O'Bryan



Oh.  Em.  GEE. 


You guys know on HOTV I try not to be negative… unless it’s necessary. In the case of a Charleston City Paper article this morning, imma be negative. This article is so insulting I am currently having chest pain. I used to think that Paula Deen was what was wrong with America (I’d like to add, pre-racism scandal Paula) but today I change my tune. Tara Servatius, THIS IS WHAT’S WRONG WITH AMERICA!!!!!!!  I was going to make a list of things that infuriated me about this article, but I already have a headache from my dentist appointment and getting a speeding ticket this morning and I just can’t even go there. 


OK maybe I will go there because my husband is going to find out about my speeding ticket and I might as well get this over with.


Servatius states that 7,000 people have died in biking accidents in the last decade. A DECADE. That's 700 people a year, on average... so I'm a little confused as to where Tara is coming up with the statistic that it's more risky to bike than drive? I guess she's using the Rutgers' study which alleges it's riskier to bike to work than to drive. I can't find that particular study on my Google machine, so I'm going to go with the Centers for Disease Control data here. According to the CDC, more people died in 2010 from intestinal infections and hernias than biking. In 2010, 35,332 people died in car accidents. Hell, 1,600 people died in "water, air, and space and other unspecified transport accidents and their sequelae" in 2010.


I guess we should stop living? Stop moving around so much and getting hernias! Stop going to space and using other unspecified transport!  


She also states "It's not socially acceptable to attempt an intervention with a power walker or cyclist the way you would with a girlfriend who puts her baby to sleep face down."  I almost cried when I read that. Not cried from sadness, but cried from laughter. What, pray tell, are we intervening about? Unfortunately she uses the death of a local physician to make her case. "Dr. Mitchell Hollon . . . died bicycling during rush hour on the James Island Connector. A driver drifted several feet out of his lane and struck Hollen, sending him over the side of the connector and into the marsh 40 feet below." Soooo what are we intervening about here? The bike he was using, or the vehicle that DRIFTED SEVERAL FEET OUT OF HIS LANE.


There was a Canadian study that came out in February, and imagine my shock when I read the Canadian health official Megan Wilson's opinion: "Consistently, studies show the health benefits of walking and cycling far outweigh the health risks of injury. So, on the whole, from an individual and public health perspective, cycling and walking should be promoted and encouraged," she said.


Maybe Servatius missed that study...


Please read the article if you haven't. Please comment. This is luda.