Saturday, June 20, 2009

City Girl Meets Country Deer

Last weekend, my husband and I went to a wedding near his hometown of Toledo and stayed with friends in the country. I find that as I age, I have become less of a fan of the country. In fact, I become fearful for my life during country nights. I believe it all started a few years ago when my husband put me on “Deer Watch” on the way to our friends’ home one night. As I perched on the edge of my seat scanning the road and woods for those four legged fiends, a clear picture of what an assault by them might look like formed…

A doe darts up to the car, which brakes to avoid hitting her. She trots over to the passenger side and scans the interior with her beady deer eyes. Her deer nostrils flare as her deer breath fogs the window. She raises her deer hoof in anger and with a wretched deer noise, breaks the window. Her deer legs are flailing as she tries to crush me in my seat. Of course, I was not free of this terror when “safe” in bed on the second floor. No, the deer might jump through the window and attack.

Fortunately, our only interaction with aggressive wildlife was with the bird who flew into my side of the car on the way to the reception.

I have never been happier to return to the safety of the east side. But alas, we were greeted with a validation of my fear as I discovered that a poor pooch had been attacked in her own Bloomington backyard! Thankfully, my city deer sightings have been few, and I can relax as I drive through the city

Saturday, June 6, 2009

License to Ride?

Summer is here, and with it comes a myriad of cyclists in the city. During my travels throughout the city, I have decided that along with Mayor Ballard’s Sustain Indy Bikeways plan, Indianapolis needs to implement the License to Ride a Bicycle program. This could easily be added on to the current streamlining of the BMV (now known as the BMV+B). The test would consist of simple questions such as: “When riding on a busy street during rush hour, do you ride against traffic in the center of a lane?” (an appropriate answer would be “no”) or “Is it safe to ride in a zigzag pattern with your fellow bicyclist in front of moving vehicles?” (again the appropriate answer is “no”) or “When you and your fellow bicyclist are riding in a zigzag pattern in front of a moving car, is it appropriate to give the driver of the vehicle an ‘are you nuts’ look when he/she stops the vehicle in the middle of the street to avoid hitting you?” (this is a “no” as well, are you noticing a pattern?) or “When bicycle lanes are present, should you use them?” (tricked you! This answer is “yes”) In lieu of a written test, an oral exam or field exam could be given for those unable to read and write, but who are able to master safe cycling (i.e. a two year old).