It is difficult to imagine bicycles making Kentucky State Fair transport any less organized.


But seriously, folks, the management of the Kentucky State Fair barely handles the needs of automotive traffic, much less have scant brain cells left over for bicycles.

State Fair Bicycle Ban ‘UN-FAIR!’ Some call for boycott, Kirk Kandle (LouisvilleKY)

As a Bicycling for Louisville board member and a vocal advocate for active transportation such as cycling and walking, I find it amazing that I’m even writing the following post. Our city is at the bottom of the National Fitness Index. Our state is among the most obese in America. Yet, we go out of our way to keep people from becoming more active by limiting their transportation choices.

On Friday night, in addition to the usual bedlam, there were two big musical events at the KSF. We attended the Def Leppard show at Freedom Hall, which let out at about 11:45 p.m.

Attempting to backtrack along the shortest route possible to our far-off parking area behind the baseball stadium, we learned that the indoor fair exhibition areas were closed, making the skyway entry portal inaccessible.

Several hundred exiting concertgoers were told in cursory fashion that they’d have to fend for themselves, unless of course they chose to fight over the few available seats on “shuttles” — wagons pulled by tractors piloted by veterans of the Spanish American War, moving toward the longest route possible to distant parking areas at speeds approaching 5 m.p.h.

Naturally, the mob veered left, entirely undirected by fair employees who weren’t willing to leave the air-conditioning, and began the trail of tears the longest way around, past the animal sheds. Dodging traffic coming from all directions, our group of pedestrians made it back to the original parking area, where lines of autos were splayed in all directions with little assistance from a handful of traffic assistants who were completely overwhelmed by the long lines of cars.

Occasionally, police added to the fun by driving past sans evident purpose, hurriedly in route to somewhere else. It took almost an hour to complete the walk back, and to successfully exit the grounds onto Crittenden Drive.

Surveying the chaotic state of vehicular disorganization last evening, I’d say it’s small wonder that smaller minds at the Kentucky State Fair are nonplussed by two-wheeled transport. They have bigger fish to fry, and lack two sticks to rub together for flame.