Ever Wonder Why The ChainLink Is So Toxic?


© Jim S on ChainLink Forum

I am still trying to work out why a forum that is so toxic is targeted for a technical overhaul, when what it really needs is a “renewing of minds” overhaul. Take a read of a recent exchange regarding U-Locks being left attached to bicycle parking stands:

Reply by Laura C 13 hours ago

Is locking your bike lock to the rack without a bike like the new using a lawn chair to block your parking spot? This happens every day at my work, with at least 3 or 4 locks blocking spaces.

Reply by James BlackHeron 12 hours ago

I fail to see how a lock could “block” a space on a conventional bike rack. Is this one of those fancy articulating racks? Could we get a photo of how the lock blocks the rack from other bikes using the spot?

People leave their locks because they don’t want to carry them back and forth on their commute. They can be heavy and a bother when they don’t need the lock anywhere else.

If there is a lock on a rack just ignore it and park your bike there anyhow. If the lock owner comes back they can just get their lock off the rack and use another rack.

Reply by Jim S 11 hours ago

I would like to see pictures of what she’s talking about, too. We’ve got ribbon racks at work, and I (along with others) leave our locks there. Due to gravity, they sit at the bottom of the ribbons, inches from the ground. No harm done, I feel.

Reply by Zoetrope 11 hours ago

Not only is this an eyesore and possibly illegal, (1-800-GOT-JUNK?) but in certain situations where rack space is precious a u-lock or 4 or whatever can be the difference between fitting another bike on the rack and having to find a (dummy) sign pole or something.

If everyone feels it’s OK to leave your u-lock on the rack, you can potentially have a dozen or so locks on the thing. It’s your lock, your property, take it with you.

And this is coming from two guys who post pics of their bikes decked out with all kinds of expensive gear. Where’s your u-lock mount/rack or bungee strap? Pansies…

Reply by notoriousDUG 11 hours ago

If a u-lock or two left on a rack prevents you from being able to lock your bike to it I question how you manage to get the correct shoe on the correct foot in under two tires…

Seriously; loose racks just hang out on the ground or at the low spot in the rack and are not in the way for anything. There is a big difference between a lock and a sign when it comes to interfering with parking.

Reply by in it to win it 9 hours ago

Our building management started cutting locks off that were left behind (they did give ample notice).

I don’t have an opinion either way, but it seems to have been effective.

Reply by James BlackHeron 8 hours ago

I can’t imagine what it would be like living in a body with such a tight sphincter that a lock left on a bike rack is cause for such butthurt.

The world takes all types I guess.

Reply by Laura C 5 hours ago

Wow, such animosity on the Chainlink! No, the locks do not prevent me from locking up, it is just an added inconvenience – just like the plastic lawn chair blocking a parking spot. It is something I would move before I parked there. I’ll get a picture of it.

Reply by Tim S 5 hours ago

No doubt Laura, now that the OP has come back can we get back to jerks on the road story time and stop the smart replies. 🙂

Reply by James BlackHeron 5 hours ago

I have driven RIGHT OVER a few plastic lawn chairs and other chattel placed in the road to “mark” a parking spot.
Doesn’t bother me. If they didn’t want it driven over they wouldn’t put it in the street...

Reply by Zoetrope 5 hours ago

You can’t be neutral on a moving bicycle. Cmon, you gotta be fuckin in it to win it.

Oh and missed connection… pretty much every car out on the road when I’m riding my bike: I hate your guts.

Reply by notoriousDUG 42 minutes ago

This attitude right here is a pretty good example of what drives the conflict between drivers and cyclists.

Thank you for helping to make things on the road just a little bit worse.

Reply by h’ 7 minutes ago

In my driving days I used to do my best to nail parking space markers with my bumper.

Memories that still stand out:

  • the chair I pegged on inner Kedzie blvd– it was I think sort of a classic wooden one like from a school house– it flipped up end over end in the air and landed perfectly with all 4 legs embedded in the peak of the parkway snow bank.
  • the bucket that got stuck under my car and made a joyous wintry noise all the way down Logan Boulevard
  • the bucket that someone had filled discreetly with concrete….

So Much For Sharing The Road

ChainLink’s daily diet of anti-motorist rhetoric is probably supposed to help establish the bona fides of the miscreant who doing the writing. It is not much different than listening to gang-bangers talk tough about cops. In fact the anti-cop talk on this site has always made me wonder why Chicago’s Finest had not “taken a shine” to some of the goings-on here and decided to mete out a bit of rough justice during a Critical Mass Ride. But I am guessing that when faced with the real article (armed with a pistol) all the macho-blathering gets pushed way down inside and everyone smiles nervously, trying not to show fear.

If the ultimate aim of cyclists is to win support from the citizens of Chicago in moving towards a more bicycle friendly future then threads like this are a “bad beginning”. Openly acknowledging that you feel like this:

…pretty much every car out on the road when I’m riding my bike: I hate your guts.

is a sure sign that you do not belong on the lobbying team come the day of reckoning. Why is the level of open hostility so brazen? Who exactly are these guys in skinny jeans and wool knit caps trying to impress. Surely there are few females who respond positively to this sort of “bad boy” talk?

And even more to the point, when writers for newspapers say something negative about cyclists, Active Transportation Alliance cannot get a letter of rebuke fast enough. What’s preventing them from responding to their own troops in this instance? Are they simply cowardly or willfully ignorant?

Southern law officers used to behave in this way when trying to avoid having to arrest or investigate Klan members in their midst. It seems that their offspring are now running cycling advocacy organizations, while carrying on the family tradition of willful ignorance.

So why again should anyone who drives an automobile be interested in signing petitions or joining an organization with such a lackluster performance when it really counts? I say, stop asking your membership to help you push for this or that piece of legislation or funding when in fact your organization does not truly represent all of the segments of the “transportation pie”. You should have left your name as Chicago Bicycle Federation and that would have been a truer reflection of the level of evenhandedness you show.

If you sit and remain silent while being active members of the ChainLink Forum, I have to question you value as an advocacy organization. At the moment it would appear that your leadership role is a sham.