Rides 7/29: Youth Lobby

Yesterday's post was about phones and today's post is about phones and I'm typing it on a phone and I think about phones all the time and especially while bike commuting because I see just so many drivers on their phones. Sometimes they're phoning and other times they're just looking at them, intently and distractedly simultaneously, and other times it's tap-tap-tap typing a message or text or maybe a ransom note of sorts (Repeal the hands-free law or this guy on a bike gets it!). Anyway, phones seem to be an ever-present appendage to far too many drivers and that disappointments me (and probably imperils me) and I'm sure we can try to keep educating or enforcing our way out of this problem, but that seems a little too boring and lacks ambition in its approach to solving such a big problem. So what about this instead: no more gas or brake pedals. Replace them with buttons on the steering wheel. For all cars, everywhere and from this point going forward and maybe even retrofittingly. Some reasons why this is a great idea:

1. With hands occupied in button pressing, and thus being more vitally involved in the going and stopping of the car, no more phone fiddling! Or eating while driving. Or applying makeup. Just driving while driving, which is boring, but I'm ok with that! 

2. Ever get a cramp in your leg on a long drive? Well, this'd help with that, probably. Cramps are the worst! 

3. Feet are kinda gross and using them to make your car go or stop seems kinda weird. What is this, the Flintstones? Yabba dabba don't. And really, are feet known to be such precision instruments? If you went in for surgery and the doctor was like "yeah, I'm gonna remove your appendix with my feet," you'd peace out faster than Fred at the end of his shift at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company. 

4. You know how sometimes after drivers crash into buildings (which is like way too common a thing), they're all like "CONFUSION made me do it." Don't you think a green button and a red button would be a lot clearer than pedals you aren't even looking at? I certainly do. 

5. Maybe re-engineering cars to no longer have pedals would be massively expensive and bankrupt (even more) the car companies. Would that really be the worst thing ever? #waroncars and whatnot. 

Robot cars are coming. But until we have robot cars, we can't sit idly by and allow the scourge of distracted driving to continue to plague our communities. Buttons, not pedals. Let's make this happen. Somehow. 

People can't put their phones down while they're driving because they crave connectivity. They can't stand to be disconnected. And human connectivity is great! I was lucky enough to connect with MG, of the Chasing Mailboxes blog and also of Friday Coffee Club, and we rode together on roads and trails and roads and a bridge and on roads and a trail again and we talked and decompressed and bandied around the idea of a podcast in which we ride and talk and comment of the random things and people we see along the way, like the 3 (!) people on drum kits drumming al fresco. [Is this a thing?] And maybe people in cars would listen to this podcast in lieu of fiddling with their phones and wouldn't that make for a tidy way to connect the first part of this blog post to this part. 

It's great to ride with a buddy, even if you're not recording a podcast. It adds a social element to a normally solitary task and while I tend to like the quiet time to myself to "think," getting to think aloud isn't so bad either. Thanks, MG! 

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