Four-wheel drivers need to take care
The Herald editorial, "Beware of scooters," offered welcome words of advice to soon-to-be two-wheelers. However, it stopped short of touching all the bases in the environment of those who ride bicycles, mo-peds, scooters or motorcycles.
I would hazard a guess that the writer doesn't regularly ride one of the above vehicles on the street. If he did, he wouldn't have missed a key safety element in the two-wheeled equation.
In my life, I've ridden everything from A to Z in the two-wheeled world. Early on, I learned to respect and enjoy every two-wheeler I owned.
Too many people just throw their leg across two wheels for the first time and think about nothing more than the fun it can be to ride.
Now, while it's a fact that some riders end up hurting or killing themselves or others because of a loose connection between their brains and the handlebars, the largest cause of two-wheeled accidents comes about because of actions of those driving cars.
Simply put, people who drive cars kill more people on two wheels than those of us who ride.
Blame it on cell phones, a mobile mascara application, screaming kids in the minivan or just making that slightly red left-hand turn. It all amounts to a lack of respect for those of us who choose to ride.
After riding for almost 55 years, I would advise that a stern reminder and possibly even a touch of admonishment would be due to all four-wheelers in any discussion of two-wheeled riding safety.
Sadly, we have to watch out for them a great deal more than they will ever watch out for us.
Let drivers decide speed
Let the driver decide his own speed within the maximum allowable. If cars were equipped with "real time" or instantaneous miles-per-gallon readouts, the drivers would be inclined to drive at a speed that maximizes the mpg. We currently fill the tank, drive several hundred miles, refill the tank, noting the amount of gas needed to top off the tank and the miles driven, then calculate the miles per gallon. Most of the time we forget to write down the starting and/or the ending data needed to make the calculation. Or we misplace the data before we can find a calculator. And who wants to do long-hand division to two decimal points?
During highway driving, the car's computer already knows how long to let the fuel injectors open to maintain the desired speed. This "open time" determines how much gasoline enters the engine. The electronic speedometer and odometer is also operated by the same computer. The data is already available in most new cars. If the actual real time mpg were displayed next to the speedometer, the driver would be challenged to optimize the overall performance of his vehicle. I suspect this would be in the 50-55 mph range.