Roadkill Bill: Obesity

Ken and Roberta Avidor are still on their multimodal  traveling and sketching journey from Bemidji to Brainerd via the Paul Bunyan trail on their Bromptons and eventually homeward on Jefferson Lines. Ken will pick up work on Bicyclopolis Book 2 where he left off.  Another Roadkill Bill comic will fill in for this week.  Click on the comic to make it bigger:


Ken Avidor

About Ken Avidor

Ken Avidor is an illustrator, cartoonist and occasional courtroom sketch artist. Ken Avidor is an active urban sketcher and maintains a daily, illustrated journal. Ken is married to urban cartographer and talented sketch artist Roberta Avidor in the Union Depot in Lowertown, Saint Paul. Follow Ken and Roberta's sketching/bicycling adventures on their travel blog.

6 thoughts on “Roadkill Bill: Obesity

  1. cobo Rodreges

    This cartoon rings too true.

    But I wonder if this is a uniquely suburban problem. When I go to small towns i see kids out almost at the same rate as when I was growing up, and when i go into the city I see kids out too (less frequently but I still see a few)… But when I go to suburbs (esp 3rd ring) I never see kids outside unless its an organized sport.

    Is it just a paranoia thing?

  2. Monte Castleman

    TThis is very preliminary with limited data, but I’ve been surveying bicycle helmet usage around the area, and for riders on streets, sidewalks and MUPS (as opposed to the Minneapolis recreational trails) I found that it goes up significantly the farther out you go into the suburbs, from 20% in the cities to 35% in the exurbs. Is bicycling viewed as something that’s so serious and dangerous that you need to get all geared up and dressed up in the exurbs, as opposed to just hopping on to go to the store in whatever you’re wearing, like farther in? The rate on the Chain of Lakes parkways seems to be around 60%, which is probably almost all the “serious recreational activity” crowd as opposed to mundane transportation.

    I do see a lot fewer kids around alone in the suburbs. Is some of it is paranoia, not just of stranger danger, but of neighbors calling CPS if they see a kid walking to the park? Probably. Are kids on the soccer team instead of roaming around? Probably. Do they wait for their parents to drive them to the store (and while the exurbs are a nice place to live and often include MUPS, , a neighborhood store isn’t one of the usual amenities), Probably.

    There’s definitely a lot of interesting cultural phenomena here.

    1. Adam MillerAdam Miller

      Now I’m going to have to observe helmet-wearing rates more carefully, as those numbers sound really low to me. Feels like almost everyone wears a helmet, but maybe that’s wrong.

      Of course, I say that having taken a Nice Ride helmet-less to the office this morning.

      1. Monte Castleman

        It would be interesting to see the rate downtown during commuting hours. I have no reason to be downtown. Most of my observations are too and from Lake Harriet and Ax-Man during non-peak hours. Maybe I’ll go visit the Cedar Lake trail the next time I have the day off.

        1. Joey SenkyrJoey Senkyr

          I’ll have to actually count during commuting hours downtown, but it also seems to me like almost everyone wears a helmet there. (Note: I also took a Nice Ride helmet-less)

          1. Joey SenkyrJoey Senkyr

            My extremely scientific count taken between 8-8:15 am this morning, on various portions of Hennepin Ave and Nicollet Mall, came up with 23 helmet-wearing cyclists and 12 non-helmet-wearing cyclists.

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