Why No Outpouring of Cyclist Aided By Motorist Love?


Background Reading

Photo by Shutterstock.

Photo by Shutterstock.

This is a query into why the first of the two threads above got plenty of comments from its participants to what seems to have been a somewhat pointless query (with equally pointless responses bordering on the silly and even narcissistic) while the second goes off with one single reply. Why the disparity in responses?

Navel-gazing seems to be the life’s blood of the ChainLink Forum. Either someone has a bug up their butt over someone venturing into the bike lane to unload soda or shoveling snow into that same lane or honking at them or complaining about them being scofflaws or whatever. The “me-centric” quality of the average ChainLink discussion even leads them to be unable to pause long enough in thinking about their own downtrodden state as the “transportation niggas of the world” to send out postcards to a dying friend of a fellow cyclist. They are however almost uniformly capable of attending bake sales for one another when yet another rider manages to ride in the “Door Zone” and gets hurt. It’s as if physics is something of a challenge for this group.

They will tell you all about how they want protected bike lanes installed on every street possible for the sake of safety and in the same breath argue whether they have the right to ride at night in black clothing and without lights or reflectors on a bike with no brakes. If you are a non-cyclist you end up being a bit confused over just what this group stands for. In a word, “me“.

So it should come as not surprise that this thread has had very little participation to date:

NCC: Nice bike/driver story
Posted by Skip Montanaro 12mi on February 17, 2013 at 12:28pm

No Chicago content, but I know it sometimes seems the cars are all out to get us, so I thought it useful to point out a nice bike/car interaction out west. This comes from a post on the internet BOB Google group.


Out with friends yesterday on a long gravel grind. About 20mi north of
town, in a remote area, one rider suffered a frame break at the
BB/DT junction. As we pondered what to do next, a local resident from
one of the local ranches happened by [driving his car] and offered to
help. So he drove off to his ranch (a few miles away) to get his
pick-up, came back, loaded up our friend and his bike and drove him
back to town. How cool is that?

Even better–I caught up with our busted-bike-buddy at the after-ride
party. The rancher got him home fine and refused to take a few $$$ for
gas money. He just wanted to help.

And this is the sole reply at the time of this writing:

Reply by Juan Primo 7 hours ago
My faith in humanity doesn’t need to be restored, but an occasional tune up like this story helps.


ChainLinkers seem to crave the role of victim. I think much of this is the result of what their cycling advocacy groups feed them. They are adamant that nothing that happens to them should go unpunished. If perchance one of the offenders to their bike lane apologizes they put together a plaque and grab a feel good photo shot and pat themselves on the back.

But let a maintenance crew not respond in a fashion that some feel is worthy of the respect they are due and you simply will not hear the end of the whining that ensues. The bad guy in every cyclists sad story is somebody driving an automobile. What always amazes me is that for all this grousing the fact remains that automobiles have percolated to the top of the heap and will no doubt remain there, because you do not have to seek encouragement from your fellow drivers to venture out on cold blustery, raw days. You pull out of the driveway and head into work. Yes, you may reach congested areas of the roadway but there is consolation in knowing that your skin will not likely suffer frostbite while you wait for red lights.

Cars are the bomb. They are convenient. And if I have to ever consider whether I will wrap my 6-month old child in blankets to take him via cargo bike to the doctor or drive I will always drive unless the streets are impassable. When bicycles have the amenities of automobiles then we won’t have to wring our hands over how to entice others to join us in year-round cycling in sub-zero weather. But for now the average buffalo wing eating, beer drinking son-of-a-gun is happy to take the bus or the train or the automobile and leave the frostbite to those who are into that sort of thing.

It’s the difference between deciding to use a Smith Corona typewriter and an envelope with a stamp versus a MacBook Pro on the internet to do your letter writing. Both methods work, but the convenience of the latter wins out for all but the most die hard retro-grouches. Even hipsters on Huffys know that an iPod with earbuds beats a boom box strapped to the rear rack of their cruiser for entertainment in all but Critical Mass Rides. I see bike riders with iPhones on a routine basis huddled in restaurants on Milwaukee Avenue dining on vegan fare when they should be (assuming that they are going to take this retro thing as far as it will go) tending their outdoor gardens in summer and dining on preserved tomatoes and squash in winter. Heck all the beer they drink should probably be brewed at home instead of them traipsing all over creation to bars in of all places, “the suburbs”.

So pull your heads out of your arses and find something nice to add to the thread above or prove me right that you are simply a class of self-absorbed Leftists who glory in the fact that you are willing to “suffer” in the winter and congratulate others for the same thing.