You Really Do Have To Wonder About The ChainLink ‘Ethos’

Background Reading


Bret Pasch/University of Florida - Mighty Mouse? Male Alston's mice use high-frequency songs to entice females.

Bret Pasch/University of Florida – Mighty Mouse? Male Alston’s mice use high-frequency songs to entice females.

Late yesterday Doug Iverson bid farewell to the ChainLink Forum. Afterwards the fellow who is tasked with controlling the happenings on the ChainLink (also a participant in the fracas that surrounding Doug’s leaving) decided to get rid of the evidence of their “internet mob-ism” by erasing the thread. But you can read the better part of the discussion here.

As I said in the commentary on the “prank nature” of this forum it is somehow very unfitting for a group that espouses trying to grow cycling to be so very vicious and unwelcoming, but there it is. Chicago has two kinds of famous violence, guns and the ChainLink. It is difficult to tell sometimes which is worse.

There is another thread on the Bike The Drive fundraiser that also took a nasty turn. Actually I would have to call it “ugly” to be more precise. Eventually the young lady whose ideas (she is from the UK) about wearing helmets is decidedly un-American got tired of all the nastiness and wrote:

Reply by Hilary T 13 hours ago
Mike W,
I’m sorry this became a fight about helmets. It was not my intention, i came here for information on the helmet regulations for BTD only.
I was not aware there have been other arguments about helmets, I haven’t visited here before, and certainly won’t be again!
Apologies again, please put this thread back on track : )

And long after the blood-letting has occurred there is the very “weak-sister” approach that the gutless wonders who sit on the sidelines try to show by offering this likes of these kinds of replies:

Reply by Duppie 13.5185km 13 hours ago
That would be a shame.
Join a ride or come to a bar night. Since we are entering summer in Chicago there are tons of rides to choose from. Just look at the events calendar on CLs frontpage. You’ll see that we are not a hostile bunch, and our biggest fault is that we passionately care about biking in Chicagoland.
I looked at your profile and noticed you’re a recent transplant from the U.K. If you are not familiar with Chicago just yet, there is likely no better ride than the Perimeter ride. It is a daylong group ride around the perimeter of Chicago, close to 100 miles at a slow pace, and takes you to neighborhoods where most folks will never venture on their own. Usually scheduled for late August, this ride has been done for 11 years now and is probably the best ride I “discovered” after joining the Chainlink. Best of all? No helmet requirement! 🙂

Reply by Hilary T 13 hours ago
Sounds good!
I’m still finding my way around, and getting lost, but the perimeter ride sounds like a grand day out : )

Reply by Anne Alt 9 hours ago
Hilary – I’m sorry that you got off to a rough start here. I hope that you’ll stick around and try other rides in addition to the Perimeter Ride.

Every time I see these kinds of pathetic replies I am reminded of the countless women whose “boy friends” having beaten them nearly to a pulp and done the same to their children decide to refrain from pressing charges with the comment that “he really didn’t mean to do it, he loves me” and you get to see why that kind of abuse is so prevalent. It is as if the “needier” folks are willing to suffer the abuse because they long for the “companionship of others” no matter how sadistic.

It is pathetic and really not worthy of a movement built on “encouraging others to cycle in a safety and healthy manner“. As I have said many, many times what needs to be upgraded about this forum is hardly the software but rather the ethos of the place. There appear to be some rather sick individuals who spend the bulk of their time either plucking the wings off of insects, gouging out the eyes of small rodents, breaking cats tails, feeding random dogs rat poison, or visiting us with their presence on the ChainLink.

If having the suffer the latter means that some poor animals gets a break, it is all worth it.