The complete ChainLink thread can be read here: http://goo.gl/JbBUe
The children of ChainLink are at it again… There is a group called the Midnight Marauders who have decided to be:
Down To FuckWithTheLATERide
My guess is that they like to act as agents of confusion and mayhem and they are openly planning their efforts. They show contempt for those folks who bother to pay the registration fee for the LATE Ride by labeling them “Silly Yuppies”. Part of the real problem here is that on more than one occasion writers like John Greenfield of the Chicago Grid site have openly used vulgar pejorative terms about the suburbs on the ChainLink and when I asked about this sort of approach he denied any hard feelings for this neck of the woods. Instead he tried to convince me that he was just being poetic in his references to the suburbs. In fact despite their seeming disrespect for the suburbs ChainLink groups have made it a point to ride out to far flung suburban locations to camp and more importantly (as is their won’t) to drink themselves into a drunken haze.
Afterwards they spend time making obscene gestures at cameras and posting them on the ChainLink photo gallery to demonstrate their profound distaste for anything resembling adult behavior. And frankly it makes me sick and tired of being part of the thousands of folks in the suburban areas who pony up money to ride:
- Bike The Drive
- Four Star Ride
- L.A.T.E. Ride
and any other fund raisers which we silly yuppies have helped support. Now the real problem here is that we have stood this abuse without being aware of it or even caring. Sometimes you get the feeling that a problem like the one demonstrate below is just beyond your control:
Anyone else planning on “auditing” the L.A.T.E. Ride?
Reply by Spencer “Thunderball” Thayer! 2 hours ago
The Mc L.A.T.E. Ride doesn’t publish their route ahead of time because they don’t want people auditing their ride. Silly as it seems. They think people should pay money to ride in a large group. LOL! Silly yuppies.
However, thanks to technology, people have documented previous rides.
Looks like the common route is Halsted at Greek Town. What was the bar we met at back in 2010?
- LATE_Ride.kml, 3 KB
A Cautionary Tale for the Active Transportation Alliance (ATA) and the Friends of the Park (FOP)
My grandmother like many African-American women her age despite having a high school diploma and some junior college training was unable in the 1960s to get employment that was offered to white women in Birmingham, AL, indeed just about anywhere in the South. So like many women she cleaned house for white women living “up on the hill” in Insley, AL.
If you know your history there was a boycott of the bus system by these women and men because they wanted to have segregated riding ended. I experienced this problem firsthand because as a child I had to pay up front by the driver and then step off the bus and walk to the back door to enter the Colored Section. In fact when you got off the bus in the downtown areas you were not allowed to eat at places where whites could be served and indeed the washrooms and water fountains were segregated. The water fountains for the “coloreds” were older and often did not work. I guess the Conservatives of that day felt that the lower income forced on black folk did not entitle them to equal accommodations, just separate ones.
So when Rosa Parks decided to keep her seat rather than give it up to a white man and was arrested, those trouble makers from Atlanta showed up a boycott was organized. These ladies walked to their jobs and avoided the buses in order to make their point. Being treated as a second class citizen was unjust and unfair. And the city began to look at the only thing a Conservative can understand, namely the bottom line, and decided that perhaps segregated busing was a bad idea. It took a good long while but things changed for the better.
Now the white power structure in Chicago is treating suburbanites like “coloreds”. Active Transportation Alliance has an active membership on ChainLink. They are aware that the sometimes utter disregard for “silly yuppies” is counter to their constant requests for donations. My guess is that if the suburban ridership in all three of these rides were to dry up, they would be a collective financial failure. Now you might ask “Why be angry with ATA and FOP?” The simple answer is that only groups this size have the clout to put pressure on the folks that run ChainLink to make them stand up to the scofflaws in their midst. And the fellows in the Midnight Marauders are not fringe elements but good friends with many of the regular members on the forum.
It his more than high time to stop giving ATA or FOP monies that only confirm that we are “silly yuppies”, until such time as they are forced to put pressure on ChainLink to have the guts to clean up their act. Sometimes hipsters need to know that not everyone is down their their “foolishness”. The term foolishness is one that my grandmother used on more than one occasion when trying to express her contempt for silly behavior. Of course when you are a pre-teen and unaware that the universe does not revolve around you this seems rather harsh. But perhaps the feet of the white bicycling power structure in Chicago have to be held to higher standards than they are willing to achieve at present.
I constantly am bombarded by inferences from members of the ChainLink forum that every bad thing that happens along the Chicago Lakefront Trail is due to the bad behavior of ghetto youth who they euphemistically term “urban youth” or “flash mobs”. What is being planned by the Midnight Marauders is no less troublesome. There is no need for a group like this to participate for or against a fundraiser for an organization that they have little interest in supporting. What I fear may happen is that there will be disruptive behavior designed to make the route less safe than necessary simply because they wish to attract attention to themselves in the way that Junior High School students would when out pulling pranks. But fueled by alcohol things might not end up well at all.
It is in fact this kind of behavior that sometimes steers the Chicago Critical Mass rides in the wrong direction. If the cycling power structure in the city won’t act perhaps you will join me in withholding funds until they do. Even bicycling clubs can threaten to withhold contributions until such time as we “silly yuppies” get some respect for what we do.