Our car-loving new mayor has gotten noticed south of the border by the venerable bike blogger BikeSnobNYC:
Speaking of elections, a number of people have informed me that this bloated saddlebag was recently elected the mayor of Toronto:
Sadly, all I can do is offer the people of Toronto my condolences. I was particularly confused by his self-defeating argument that people shouldn't ride bikes because "roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks, not for people on bikes," since if anything it means that the roads need to be upgraded. That's like saying people shouldn't use computers because "our communication infrastructure was built for letters and telegraphs, and not for the Internet." Of course, he does have a sensitive side:
My heart bleeds for ‘em when I hear someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.
His heart may be bleeding, but I suspect it's due not to the dead cyclists but to his corpulence, and that it has ruptured from the strain of pushing blood through his fat-clogged arteries. Unfortunately for him, "artificial hearts are built for health-minded people with congenital heart defects, not for people who eat all their meals at Tim Hortons."
It's really hard to stay away from the fat insults. Unlike other overweight people such as Rita McNeil or John Candy, Rob Ford has made a career of insulting any group that doesn't fit into his sedentary lifestyle. I could perhaps instead refer to Rob Ford as our Mayor Pink-faced Half-Wit (props to Jonathan Goldsbie) instead of Mayor Fat Fuck, since the latter is demeaning to all people who happen to love food more than life.
But I still think there's some value in bring up Ford's obesity, since he's made it a campaign plank to make it extremely hard for people to get an active lifestyle. He's promised to license cyclists; enforce helmet-wearing; ban marathons from our streets; and has made it okay to assume that every injured or dead cyclist got that way because they had decided to swim with sharks.
In a time when obesity and diabetes are becoming endemic because of our sedentary lifestyle, shouldn't it be fair game to target an obese mayor for promoting bad lifestyles and dirty air for our children? Mayor Ford, you're hurting our children.
Since we're on the topic of the campaign planks of Mayor-elect Ford - and his Dick Cheney brother, Doug Ford, I've received a compiled list (pdf). Notice that the licensing of bikes (or is it cyclists?) and mandatory bike helmets is still on the table for these right-wingers. It's a little bit ironic that these "no more fees", limited government folks want to regulate and tax cyclists further than the general public, particularly while they want to eliminate any fees that car drivers pay. Doesn't seem all that fair, but I'm sure they have a perfectly good excuse. And it is probably quite similar to their argument against streetcars - "They get in the way of my Hummer." (The City has already studied the issue of licensing four times before and rejected it every time!)