Friday, March 13, 2009

Life, liberty, and taxes

A wave is sweeping the nation, that wave is more people becoming cyclists because cyclists don't have to pay taxes.

After reading this story about some hillbilly buzzing cyclists in the bike lane because he payes the taxes for it, the lemming realized how much of the benefits his taxes were providing and even more what he was missing by riding his bike to work each day. So this morning I fired up the F-150 and drove it over to the nearest school, my taxes pay for that school, so I took a shower there, totally ignoring the frantic teachers telling me I couldn't be there. I quickly left once done before the police came, the last thing I wanted to do was explain to them how my taxes pay their salaries. Somehow they think that they are not indebted to me even though my money feeds their family, and without me they would be out on the streets. As I got on to the freeway I made a bee-line for the HOV carpool lane, my taxes pay for that lane and I'm going to take it, when I can't drive on the sidewalk I've paid for that is!

I'm going to take my car more, I've found that only liberals ride bikes, at least according to the comments on the Oregonlive blog. All of this time I thought I was riding because I'm apathetic when it comes to politics, I enjoy being outside, I like not making the oil companies rich, and I like not being tied to my car. But if I have to be tied to a political stereotype, well, I'm not ok with that and didn't realize that when I bought my bikes. I guess I need to dump them in order to be politically correct.

But really, as cyclists we do pay the gas taxes when we drive, and we pay sales tax, and we pay to register the cars we also drive, and we pay property taxes, and we pay income taxes, and pieces of all these taxes go to build roads, but does this allow us to use the road when not in our cars, the same roads which are built with all those taxes and which are repaired with the gas tax? Well, besides the painfully obvious argument that we helped to pay for the roads in one way or another and a government is for the whole and not for selfish individuals who want to itemize everything, there is also the argument that we don't have registration for shoes and skateboards and big wheels which go on public roads and on public tax-payer sidewalks as their impact is much less than heavier vehicles. Cycling obviously is good for people, for the environment, reducing traffic and all that stuff that anyone should find pleasant even if there are back-country hicks who think that giving cyclists a safe amount of space on the roads means taking your tape measure along.

But I know that there are people who still want to charge cyclists a registration regardless. I don't understand politics well, but I often hear that liberal socialists want more taxes and government. Sooo, if cyclists are liberals, and people that want to charge cyclists money and create government infrastructure to track all of that are not liberals, I'm confused. Maybe cyclists are not liberals after all and people ride because they love to do it. Maybe everyone in the country can't be divided in to two ridiculous categories of which one is right and one is wrong, maybe these ludicrous views are propagated by a fear-mongering formerly obese loudmouth who now makes fun of fat people and the lemmings who take everything he says as a law passed down from God.

But still, to appease both sides of this argument I've come up with some guidelines for bike registration that should make most cyclists and non-cyclists happy at the same time, read on.

1) Recumbents - Maybe paying a recumbent registration will get some people on to a normal bike where they don't look so silly, not that there is anything wrong with that.

2) Pro team kits - Obviously we'd have to make an exception for the grand poobah Lance Armstrong and other actual pro riders, but any other rider in a pro team kit that's not part of the team would pay a registration fee.

3) Aero bars when not doing a triathlon or time-trial - Sure I like to make the easy poke at triathletes every now and then, but aero bars are useful for triathlons and time-trials. Anyone using them not in that regard would be subject to a registration. Special 90-day handicap permits can be given when training for a race where aero bars are needed. Aero bars pointed above 35deg on the bar or in weird configurations such as way out on the bar would need an additional registration.

4) Y-Foil registration - Honestly, we'll introduce this one as a "collector's item" registration, I've already proved how Y-Foils were born from jets. Who wouldn't be proud to pay registration on something on the premise that it's a collector's item?

5) Squeaky chain fines - Anyone caught riding around with a squeaky chain gets an automatic fine, as well as a sample bottle of White Lightning that is handed out at all charity rides.


Joe Tysoe said...

That's pretty damn funny.

Maybe Triathlete tax:

Municipalities can finally make good use of photo radar and fine, err, tax proportionately those riding bike trails based on the fullow criteria:

-full aero tuck

-sleeveless jersey (the horror)

-carbon wheelset

-wattage too low

-stupid Lance 110rpm cadence

Ok, just writing all of that makes me very afraid to ride tommorow in Seattle.

In my best Marlon Brando, Apocalpyse Now impression:

The horrors.

BikeLemming said...

Now that is funny, I totally forgot about sleeveless jerseys, they definitely need a tax, err, registration... Possibly a fine for farmer's tan while wearing the sleeveless jersey as well...

Nice Apocalypse Now reference!

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha. I enjoyed that.

Please also tax people who ride fixed-gear bikes with aero wheels on them, especially those old school ones with the five, fat carbon spokes. Not only are those wheels not strong enough for constant, daily use, but they look stupid when you're going nowhere fast wearing rolled-up jeans and a something that resembles a size XS kid's T-shirt from the '80s.

BikeLemming said...

Ahh yes, the fixed gear carbon wheel must also be registered, as well as the size too small shirt and narrow little handlebars.