[Edit 06/12/08 10:30 AM EST: So normally I don't do this but I'm going to dedicate this post to someone.
Last night on the Oregon Ridge ride just after we had turned off of Falls Rd a rather large motorcyclist pulled up to Tank and I who happened to be at the front of the group at the moment. Chubbs asks us if we were 'leading this group'. I'm confused by this because there is clearly no one in front of us. Maybe he thinks there is a tour guide or something. It doesn't matter because Tons of Fun cuts to the chase and asks us what kind of 'arrogance [we] have to hold up traffic like that'. Now I'm kinda a pussy when it comes to stuff like this so I kinda just drift back but Tank and him go at it. Tank was more composed than usual in these situations and the motorcyclist was being pretty indignant and righteous.
A couple of things need to be said. First, this ride is notoriously sketchy overall and very bunchy in the early stages. We do what we can to spread out and let cars pass but with the 40 people we have at the beginning of the ride sometimes there is just no room to move. Now we ride on Falls Rd for about a 1/4M which is a fairly busy Rd. But the real problem is that about 1 in 10 drivers do not want to get within 10 ft of a cyclist. Once one of those people pulls up behind us no amount of waving from us or honking from behind will get them to pass us. The fact that the 1/4M we are on Falls is a twisty wooded section doesn't help.
But none of this matters because after the ride I was talking to Tank and he told me that our Chubby Amigo had not said what kind of 'arrogance do you have' as I had thought but rather 'what kinda of AMERICANS are you to hold up traffic like that'.
What kind of Americans?
I'm just more confused than offended to be honest. I have no idea how to answer that question for myself BUT I think the article below is a pretty good summary of what kind of American HE is. So, I dedicate this article to that angry fat man on his bike...
...who also took the time to do a u-turn up the road so he could drive by us again - middle finger righteously high in the air. I guess that's what he was in such a hurry to do.]
Obese people are contributing to the world food crisis and climate change, experts say.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calculated the obese consume 18% more calories than average.
They are also responsible for using more fuel, which has an environmental impact and drives up food prices as transport and agriculture both use oil.
The result is that the poor struggle to afford food and greenhouse gas emissions rise, the Lancet reported.
It comes as the World Health Organization predicts the obese population will double by 2015 to 700m.
| || Transport and food policy and the importance of sustainable transport must not be overlooked |
Dr Phil Edwards, report co-author
In the UK, nearly a quarter of adults are classed obese, twice as many as there were in the 1980s.
The team found that obese people require 1,680 daily calories to sustain normal energy and another 1,280 to maintain daily activities - a fifth more than normal.
The higher consumption of food has a two-fold effect, researchers said.
First of all the increasing demand for food, drives up production.
This means that agricultural processes are using more oil to meet demand, which contributes to the rising cost of fuel.
The cost of fuel is then passed on in the cost of food, making it more difficult for poorer areas to afford it.
What is more, the researchers said obese people are likely to rely on transport more and put more strain on that transport because of their mass, which again drives up prices and usage.
But the researchers said there was a solution.
Phil Edwards, who co-authored the article, said: "Urban transport policies that promote walking and cycling would reduce food prices by reducing the global demand for oil and promotion of a normal weight.
And they added: "Decreased car use would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"Transport and food policy and the importance of sustainable transport must not be overlooked."
But Dr David Haslam, of the National Obesity Forum, said it was "stretching it a bit" to blame the obese in the way that the study appeared to do.
"Really, it is discriminatory towards obese people. They are an easy target at the moment, but I think the causes of climate change and rising food prices is much more complex."