For approximately 6 seconds during the video, I hake one hand off the handlebars, goof with the toy a little, then put my hand back on the handlebar. That 6 seconds of video has caused a bit of a stir with people complaining that I was riding while distracted. I admit that the video is very unclear as to how much of my attention is devoted to goofing with the robots, VS the task at hand. I'll say that the amount of attention is on par with what it takes to scratch your ear or shift gears on a bike or car.... and nowhere near the realm of texting while driving. It was a silly video that I put out that wasn't dangerous at all to make and was done in a place and at a time where no-one was in danger... not even me.
Honesty, that's not what I wanted to write about. I really wanted to compare the treatment of the video by some of the local news organizations.
The Bad: Arlington Now just kind of lobbed it out there, posting a link and a brief comment, knowing that it would elicit a bunch of negative comments from their regular readers and that some more level headed folks would chime in and a Internet food fight would result and they would get a bunch of hits on their web site as a result. That's what I call Journalism While Distracted. They didn't have anything to say, they just posted it out there and let the mayhem be the story. (I'm not gonna post a link because I don't really want to reward their effort with hits. I'm sure The Google can get you there.)
The Good: Washington Area Bicycle Association (WABA) 's Wednesday Morning Commute post put it out there, mentioned that it had caused a bit of a stir, but that they thought it was funny. It was short, sweet and made a statement. Like it or hate it, they put it out there as information that people might want to know. http://washcycle.typepad.com/ (Scroll down to the Wednesday Morning Commute)
The Awesome: The Washington Post's Express newspaper made reference to the video in editorial by DC Rider (Vicky Hallett) in the intro and conclusion on an article about the need to pay attention and not live distracted. It was a cool little article that touched on the safety side of things, but also talked about the need to spend a little time alone with your thoughts. I particularly liked the "Besides, your thoughts probably miss you" comment. Very well done!!! If 10 people see that and it makes a difference in their lives, then I don't mind one bit being the poster child for a crusade against cargo biking while distracted! http://www.expressnightout.com/2011/11/look-up-now/
Thanks WABA and Express (DC Rider in particular) for paying attention. Y'all rock!