Today is Earth Day. Go take a bicycle ride and help save the planet.
While you are at it, try to get home alive.
What with gasoline prices soaring, this may be the year of the bicycle in Top of Utah. Because many will still use cars, this means our chances for carnage are also huge.
On top of gasoline prices, we just got details of this year's massive USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships next month. For several days, bicycles will be everywhere showing us just how cool they are.
And because I also see many people getting their motorcycles out -- Harleys get 50 mpg -- this is a good time to ask you all, once again, please, pretty please, be careful out there.
If you are a car driver, put down the cellphone and pay attention.
Seriously, you are steering a 1-ton steel box at highway speeds. People on motorcycles and bikes are smaller and don't have a steel skin.
If you are a cyclist, be extra careful.
Too many car drivers don't take you seriously if you ride any two-wheeled vehicle. Many refuse to see you. We've had two bad motorcycle accidents in two weeks, one fatal.
Both involved cars that turned left in front of the bike.
My motorcyclist friend, Chris Bojanower, says half of all Utah motorcycle fatalities involve cars turning left in front of motorcycles. A full 40 percent of all accidents involving motorcycles result in the non-motorcycle driver being cited for failure to yield the right of way.
The car driver gets a ticket. The cyclist gets a funeral or massive medical bill. Hardly seems fair.
Chris and ABATE, a motorcycle safety group, are lobbying to raise the penalty for a left-turn fatality to a $500 fine and suspended license. So far, no luck. Chris says lawmakers think the penalty is too harsh.
Two-wheelers cause problems, too. San Francisco is dealing with a rash of unruly cyclists. Recently, one bombed down one of the city's famous hills, smacked a pedestrian and killed him.
If bicyclists want to be respected, they need to show they deserve it.
Cyclists who follow the traffic rules are not only safer, but they let car drivers know they're serious about using the road safely. Instead, I see cyclists weaving and bobbing all over, apparently thinking that ignoring red lights and riding against traffic will endear them to car drivers.
The USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships on May 3-6 will fill Ogden with bicycles.
Several hundred nationally ranked riders from around the country will be racing on Antelope Island May 4, doing criterion loops in downtown Ogden May 5, and road racing all over Ogden Valley, Ogden Canyon and the North Ogden Divide on May 6.
This will boost Ogden's national reputation among cyclists, but if Ogden hopes to get a "Bicycle Friendly City" designation from the League of American Cyclists, it needs to do more to promote cycling safety among us normal folks.
I have a dog in this fight: My circle of near-and-dear cyclists keeps getting bigger. I just built a new bicycle for one daughter-in-law. My kids have bicycle trailers they'll be using to pull around my grandkids.
Utah law makes it clear that cyclists and bikers have the same right to use the public roads, to get home alive, as anyone in a car.
Beyond what the law says, we need to remember that the life of a person on a bicycle or motorcycle is just as valuable as the life of someone in a car.
It's up to us, folks.
Please, oh please, be careful.