ChainLink ‘Theologians’ In Search of the ‘Unification Theory’

Background Reading

Summary

There was a point in history when Religion and Science were considered the same expression of a quest for Truth about the Great Unknown. In point of fact most of the 18th Century scientists in Europe and the Americas were devout Believers who simply assumed the presence of a Divine Being. But as with most Capitalistic endeavors (and religion is merely one more of these at this point in history) it is important to protect The Franchise. And so when scientists began to question the need of a Supreme Deity to explain everything the wheels came off the train and each side began to offer up competing commercials.

Today you can add to the arena of thought the notions of Politics. It has to be admitted though that even politics has tended to be the hand maiden of Religion especially when that political notion was coming from the Conservative side of the ledger. At present we have a quasi-religious notion that says God in his wisdom ordained and favored places like the United States and essentially gave us preeminence over the rest of the Earth. That theory is often referred to as Exceptionalism.

Now on the Liberal side of the ledger there has emerged a more interesting notion about the Godhead. In this description of the Earth there is an admixture of the “Be fruitful and multiply” command from Scripture along with the “Subdue the Earth and have Dominion over it” notions. These are quite powerful because in the hands of the right theologians it gives modern man the license to do what is best for the Earth and everyone else in it.

Hitler and the Volkswagen Beetle © Unknown Photographer

Hitler and the Volkswagen Beetle
© Unknown Photographer

Whether Liberals know it their views on bicycling have been subjected to a Cosmic Masshup of sorts that seeks to justify the demands for more bike lanes with Saving the Planet. And when you have decided that your personal aims are actually an expression of the Creator it makes for something quite powerful. Every Dictator has had these notions throughout all of history. The lowly People’s Car which we today dub the Volkswagen was seized upon by Adolph Hitler as an example of the great good that the Nazi Party was out to do for the Common Man.

Does this sound familiar? It should every aspect of the current thrust of the Urban Bicycle Movement has that same noble air of “Doing God’s Work“. And it is out of this thinking that comes questions about the Greater Social Good of Cycling.

The Ultimate Question

One ChainLinker writes:

How can cycling benefit everyone, even those who don’t ride?
Posted by Naomi Ruth Jackson on July 5, 2013 at 1:39pm

I’m working on developing an argument/position that cycling is universally beneficial to everyone, not just the cyclist.
e.g. cycling frees up space on roads and transit, thereby allowing others to use the space the cyclists would have otherwise used.

I want to know if anyone else has thought along these same lines or knows of any data that would support this position. I would love to be able to prove that more people cycling reduces something other than just air pollution.
I’d love some thoughts on this, especially from long time riders and/or economists.

This is that same notion that has persisted for ages, can what we do at the temporal level have benefits that transcend our culture and time and reach the level of the Divine? Dictators want this kind of cover whenever they undertake to do something that may inspire objections from their citizenry. By offering up this quasi-religious explanation you can have not only Theology as a weapon in your arsenal but Science as well. And along with your Politics you have managed the trifecta of human beliefs. It is a powerful notion. Not simply powerful in the sense that it is capable of being quite uplifting but it is powerful because it is so very uplifting. It has the ability to create martyrs for the cause who will ply the streets of a unholy city on the Holy Conveyance of Divine Choice dashing to Earth all of the Laws of Babylon that will soon be replaced by a set of Divine Rules intended to give preeminence to the Holy Conveyance of Divine Choice (HCDC). That is powerful stuff.

But what about folks who will not ride astride the HCDC? Can they be brought to heel by being told of the Divine Plan? Well some of the junior theologians set to work in search of the Apologetics needed to express the Truth of God’s Will for the Unholy City:

Reply by Jeff Schneider 17 hours ago
Here’s one benefit that’s often overlooked:
We have an ageing population living with car-dependent transportation infrastructure. When you are no longer able to drive, you lose your independence.
When enough people bike, there is political pressure for infrastructure, zoning, etc. that makes our environment more bikeable and walkable. The elderly can be independent if they can get around without having to drive.

The HCDC is to be seen as God’s rebuke of the creation of an idol. When Moses came down from the Mount with his tablets he found the Israelites dancing around a statue of a Golden Calf. That statue persists to this very day as a four-wheeled personal conveyance of demonic proportions. The Chosen always speak of it as the Unholy Conveyance of Diabolical Choice (UCDC). Those that allow themselves to participate in their use are considered less worthy than those who rumps are never allowed to come to rest on their heated seats positioned in strategic positions facing the portals from which cooling streams of unholy oxygen are caused to flow.

You know from your Biblical Studies that the Road to Hell is broad. Think eight-laned super highways. But the one leading to Salvation is narrow. What better way to express a Cycle-Track.

Reply by SlowCoachOnTheRoad 8 hours ago
Well, it seems obvious enough. We are doing twice the work of someone who isn’t biking so that is a pretty strong argument for us benefiting those who don’t bike and can just sit back while we do all the work.

SlowCoach lost me at the end of his logic. But I am wondering whether he is simply saying that we who use the HCDC are gaining Salvation over those who do not?

Reply by Old Tom 7 hours ago
Why the need to think yourself virtuous? Self interest is reason enough, you need not pat yourself on the back.

This is a bit of a mashup of New Testament thinking along with that of Ayn Rand’s Enlightened Self-Interest. Rand is a bit of a charlatan and really does not deserve to be quoted in American Politics. After all she took her Social Security checks along with everyone else. But the idea that we need not think of ourselves as virtuous is not going to gain traction. The only real reason to join any religion is to in fact find other people of like mind who can collectively “Feel Virtuous“.

Reply by h’ 1.0 4 hours ago
You know who had a passion for this type of argument at one point… Payton Chung (lost to another city.)
I‘d be willing to bet there’s at least one piece on his blog that lays out exactly that which you seek:
http://westnorth.com/
I’d suggest dropping him a line (payton (at) westnorth.com) and asking if he can point you towards a fitting entry or two.

The self-styled puppet master of the forum has decided to weigh in. And offering his views (he hopes one day to be revealed as the High Priest he believes himself to be) decided to be “snarky” by using an emoticon that expresses the notion that OldTom is a bit daft. Neophytes in the religion of the Church of Urban Cycling really do need to understand who their “betters” are. And as their second lesson they need to learn to never question the need for seeming virtuous. It is the Cardinal Rule of this Religion.

As with the Führer you cannot simply acknowledge the Volkswagen as a nice design. You must twist its design into alignment with your own purposes.

More Replies And Snarkiness

So another of the erstwhile Theologians tries his had at the Sanctification of Cycling:

Reply by Evan 10 hours ago
more biking/ bike commuting=

  1. more healthy people who stay healthy into their elder years – reduced medicare/medicaid cost
  2. more healthy people – reduced healthcare costs – (lower insurance rates?)
  3. reduced dependence on oil/foreign oil

Actually not bad. But I have heard or read these justifications before and they make assumptions which will only be substantiated years from now.

Reply by SlowCoachOnTheRoad 10 hours ago
I know I posted a totally stupid reply earlier that made no sense. On a more serious note, however, I would warn against the psychological bias that the question encourages, although as a partial educator I would say that of course no question or thirst for knowledge is a waste of time. I bike quite a bit to work, so clearly those are days in which I am not pumping pollutants into the air, not relying on the grid, not subjecting others to potential lethal accidents, not taking up as much city space, and not subjecting others to road rage. However, studies show that many people who bike (or who recycle or who eat local food, etc, all of which are inherently good things) think that they are changing the world through their behaviors and that this all they have to do to make a significant dent into protecting their environment. Obviously, that is patently false, EVEN if you can pinpoint, which I already did, measurable benefits (imagine as an example that my psychotherapy makes people on average feel better but I am part of a culture in which economic woes continue to make people on average feel worse – see what I mean?). But your question has a tendency to fuel that type of narcissistic and illusionary thinking. When one considers the amount of destruction being done to the environment, for example, it is also dangerous thinking in a way, as factories, trucks and airplanes are not about to be replaced with bicycles any time soon. Even cars would not be so nasty if they did not run on fossil fuels. They would be part of a clean energy future – that is why plug-in cars are supposed to be, but right now they are paradoxically not doing that, since the electricity for them comes from coal I believe, whose health and planetary effects are I believe the worst of all. I read a great book on energy related technologies and was blown away by its discussion of nuclear energy. My whole life (under the influence of Green thinking) I have always thought of nuclear power as “evil,” presumably because of its potential dangers of contamination wrought by a few accidents (underline the word “few”). However, this book also put the numbers to right – all the bad accidents like Chernobyl or Fukushima have only seriously threatened the lives of several hundred employees – which doesn’t mean those deaths weren’t tragic, but it does mean the impact compared to the 7 billion lives potentially affected by global warming over the next century is as miniscule as it gets, since no industry has a zero accident rate). Millions have not died as the anti-nuclear movements tell us from Chernobyl (in fact the great environmental writer for the Guardian newspaper in the UK George Monbiot (www.monbiot.com) whose articles are well worth reading, last year and the year before lambasted that anti-nuclear movement and Helen Caldicott for allegedly inventing lies that are unsupported by any evidence, and deemed by science organizations unethically inflated simply to elicit fear). Today there are models of nuclear energy plants that physically cannot feed the production of nuclear bombs by terrorists or the government. Today there are designs that can actually burn up the entire planet’s huge reserve of used up plutonium (one of the storage dangers that anti-nuclear activists rightly warn us of) and produce 200 years of completely clean energy. We actually know how to build these things with multiple containment structures that cannot leak radioactivity even in an accident – they just turn off – though the question of where to build them obviously remains an ongoing important one, and of course they should probably not be in private hands where there may be incentives to cut corners. The point I am making is that fears about nuclear energy right now are contributing to global warming (the German government closed all plants in fact owing to protests and is now contributing to global warming at a rate 3 times higher than when those plants were running – now Japan is considering this too). Humans are pretty good at overcoming problems, given time, even if it takes centuries. Hundreds of people die every year in the road construction or building construction fields – far more than have died in the world’s nuclear power plants since the 1950s. The reason I am bringing this up is because human emotion and biased thinking can be dangerous – with serious consequences – without reason and evidence to counter them. I brought up an example of how it can fail to avert our global warming crisis, one of the most serious humans have ever faced. The question about how how our biking provides benefits for all has that potential of making us all too cozy and narcissistic about us saving the world (when we aren’t, whatever the obvious gains to the environment – hell, biking is even better for our physical and mental health than coming to work in the car or bus). The smooth asphalt paved roads we are biking on, let us not forget, require petroleum, although I am sure there are a few of you trekking to work on mountain bikes along preserve trails. The question also has the tendency to feed a “me” against “you” mentality which I think is unhealthy – I am not even sure what other purpose the question serves, since we already know biking’s numerous benefits. At a time when we are trying to “coexist” on the roads, and the city is doing a lot to help us in this regard, I am wary of that mentality. As someone with a family to support, I also know why so many cars are on the road – economics, not ignorance or apathy. People are working further and further from their homes, and people have large families that can’t do the shopping conveniently or lug kids to a hundred locations using bikes and trailers, though it is always good to see those who try to. The benefits of biking are many, but we are also as much “part of the problem” as those who almost kill us in the morning going to work – after all, when not on your bike, I am sure you are as much an obsessed smartphone or tablet user as anyone else, with the same frantic urge to read books and stay in constant touch with people using precious planetary resources.

Not quite sure how anyone could have determined the source of the ridicule being offered by the one who aspires to High Priesthood, but this Theologian shouldered the weight. Of course the attention span of the ChainLink-types is quite short and for that you pay dearly in ridicule.

Reply by h’ 1.0 7 hours ago
Can you elaborate?

Diletantes are a “dime-a-dozen” on many forums. Failing having much to offer they spend most of their time generating discussions of little importance. You get the feeling that either they are sorely in need of being the central figure in a discussion of their own or simply trying to keep the site from bogging down of its own inertia. I guess he feels that his status in the Church of Urban Cycling is cemented with his sponsorship of Ghost Bikes. Everyone has to have their role. His is managing white painted bikes that have been collected from donors to adorn the actual sites where some hapless rider “met his maker“. It seems a fitting role.

Meat and Potatoes

The Theologians are starting to wrestle a bit more with the Unification Theory. Trying to tie your religion, science and politics into a neat ball when you might actually have a bona fide religion other than the Church of Urban Cycling is a difficult task. As with most politics and religion there is a tendency for the Faithful to parrot the things they have heard from their “betters“. Then these “lies” get forwarded to the next generation of Believers until no one even knows how true this stuff really is and can barely remember who first proffered it.

Reply by Jeff Schneider yesterday (responding to SlowCoach)
The question does serve a purpose. We as a society have to decide how our resources are used for transportation and other infrastructure, health care, etc. In order to make choices, it is useful to have some knowledge of the risks, benefits and quality of life issues associated with the various alternatives. I don’t agree that the benefits to society of increased cycling mode share are well-quantified at all. We all know exercise is good, and we think using less energy (vs driving a car) is a good thing, but how is that anywhere near enough info for a society to decide how much to spend on bike infrastructure, riding instruction in schools, etc.? How is it enough to inform decisions about zoning and urban planning?
Aside – As a former worker in the nuclear power industry, I will also say that your comments about nuclear power seem somewhat simplistic. I don’t think it’s “evil”, either, but it’s good to be suspicious of the claims of this industry just as with any other. Everybody has something to sell…

The single biggest problem with all discussions like this is that they are usually weak on Science. They are heavy on the Religion and the Politics but woefully lacking in the Science. Let me posit this responders question in another fashion. We currently have a limited set of choices and knowledge about their risks. What we do not know is what will be possible in 10 years or less. Take for instance the emergence of a solar-powered sedan in Holland of all places!

This is Bicycle Heaven where this is taking place! And it speaks to the ignorance of most bicyclists who are mired in a technology that is old enough to have been made fairly standardized almost 100 years ago. We are pushing this form of transportation the same way that Christians push prayer when a person is dying of some curable disease that they would rather eliminate via a miracle. I have no problem with this approach so long as children are not part of the dice tossing. Children who cannot speak for themselves should be allowed to have medical treatment.

There is going to be a technology that supersedes bicycles as we know them quite soon. It will make bicycle lanes unnecessary and increase safety issues a 100-fold. What that is I am not certain. It might look more like a velomobile (which is what this solar-powered sedan resembles) but whatever it looks like it will not be the outdated and ineffective bicycle that we know. It will be something that allows for a cruising speed of 25-30 MPH and is enclosed enough to provide true transportation all year long. Bikes are toys when it comes to real transportation needs. We know that and we act that way.

Few of us know how to repair and maintain our bicycles and yet we expect to be taken seriously as a real form of transportation when for well over 80% of the ridership out there the vehicle is a total mystery. Yes, the same is true of drivers of automobiles. But they have a system in place that brings support to them when needed. Bicycles are not there yet. Cars we once like this, you had to have a mechanic onboard to deal with mechanical issues.

Cyclists are either too lazy or mechanically inept to go that route. And as long as they practice deliberate routines to break the law while operating their vehicles (like riding against traffic at Critical Mass Rides) or disregarding traffic controls when riding either in a group or alone, they have no hope of being taken seriously. These will remain toys so long as we treat them as such and will not become legitimate anytime sooner.

Reply by Peenworm “8 mile” Grubologist yesterday
Parking uses up land that could be purposed for other things that provide services or otherwise contribute economically, and cars put far far more wear on the pavement than bikes ever could hope to. There’s pretty solid financial analysis showing that a car is a net loss on a city’s budget and a bike is a net gain, even factoring in the vehicle tax and licensing revenue.

This is your classic Parishioner in the Church of Urban Cycling. During a Holy Day Gathering (Last Friday of Each Month) while riding against traffic some wag said something about “solid financial analysis“. So he mouths this stuff and yet never cites a thing. I’ve watched him pull this bit of flimflam more than once and am always amazed that no one calls him out. But the Church of Urban Cycling is as full of sheep as any Church you could hope to visit of a Sunday morning. They love to quote the High Priest and simply take his word as sacred.

Ronald Reagan had a motto: Trust but verify.

Reply by Evan yesterday
We should keep promoting all the benefits of cycling but they are heavily skewed towards those who actually participate. The major benefit of “spending, planning, building” to those who don’t bike are that they will join in and reap the benefits directly.
Bicyclists are (and most likely will remain) a minority. Additionally we can be hopeful that our society will respect minorities and honor and invest in diversity.

This is a truth that is seldom acknowledged. We are a minority and as such will labor alone with few to follow us. But sadly by the time another technology has overtaken the bicycle many cyclists will stubbornly hold fast to this toy without acknowledging that its time has passed.

Reply by Evan yesterday
Oh yeah, by the way the easiest (hardest) answer is “it’s effective transportation“:
Even if you are not a cyclist perhaps someone you could be interested in interfacing with is a person for whom cycling is an effective means of transportation. And they will come to you and do all those special things and you will feel great, yeah!

It does not strike me as “effective transportation” if it cannot effectively coexist with automobiles, scooters and motorcycles without the crutch of special bike lanes. If they are what is needed to make this an effective transportation mode then it will be decades before folks who live in suburban areas without benefit of bike lanes can expect to see this tool flourish.

Reply by Fran Kondorf yesterday
Not just less air pollution- there’s far less oil run-off to leach into the water table from using bicycles.

If you are going to cite some scientific studies then please over citations. Otherwise this is just so much flimflam.

Reply by Jeff Schneider 4 hours ago
Just like publicly-funded schools, hospitals, etc. I don’t have a school-age kid, but I can still get my head around the idea that educating other people’s kids benefits me indirectly. I can even see that a federally-funded highway in rural Montana has benefits for people beyond those who will be driving on it. So it’s maybe not too great a leap to think that some people who don’t ride a bicycle might understand how bike share, for example, as one part of a transportation system, could indirectly benefit the community as a whole. Possibly wishful thinking on my part…

What really galls me about this argument is that it presumes that bicycle infrastructure is as essential to the functioning of society as are schools, hospitals and the like. It simply is not true. We have gotten along quite well until now without bicycle lanes. They are a luxury. But even in Holland they do not offer much more than a cheap alternative to automobile use for short distances.

The moment you start talking about traveling from Elburn to Chicago and trying to make the case that bicycles are essential under those circumstances I am ready to help commit you. We are at best part of a multi-modal transportation scheme. At the end of a ride on the commuter you hop on a bike for that last mile or so. It is a non-essential act because you could easily walk the distance. In fact for trips up to 5 miles you could walk that distance as easily as ride a bike. The difference would be the time spent in making the trip. Bikes can be time-savers for short distances, but they have the same issues as do cars when you arrive at your destination.

If you are not riding a folder you have to find a place to park the darned thing and then worry about it being stolen whole or in part. In fact the degree of sophistication of your average bicycle for commuting purposes is so far below standard as they arrive off the shelf as to be laughable. These are toys meant to convey you around town during the 4th of July weekend, nothing more.

Reply by SlowCoachOnTheRoad 1 hour ago
I liked your main point Jeff that even with the health and other advantages of biking, distribution of resources to meet a community’s transportation needs is a more complex, and in any case another, issue. I agree with you too that we should not accept all the claims of the nuclear industry either – sorry for my rather lengthy waffling in that response, longer than I should have had on this sharing forum which shouldn’t be a mere soap box – I was only highlighting how easy it is for emotions to counter reason using the example of feelings about that form of energy – like what you said about biking and cars, the same question should apply there: what overall are the risks and benefits compared with those of all sources of energy – and similar to what you said, the answers should come from dispassionate scientific study, not from fear or disgust reactions alone (though if those reactions play a part in guiding concerns about safety, all the better, as long as they don’t override our analytical findings). And actually my information (and I am a layman, not a scientist) came from a science book, which did not sufficiently address the corruptions of the existing nuclear industry. That is why I recommended that if science finds its benefits considerable, the industry would likely be better off in the hands of the community than in private hands, where safety and science may take the upper hand without the corrupting influence of economic gain.

I do not trust the Cycling Community to actually be capable of improving on these vehicles or their infrastructure. Being an activist is in my mind a strike against you. What we need are really clever people who are not necessarily bicyclists to dream up ideas that then get vetted by cyclists. And as for economic gain that my friend is something that simply cannot ever be removed from the equation.

The entire Cycling Advocacy Industry is there to make money. They are structured as not-for-profit groups but that is for tax purposes. What they do however is provide a livelihood for the workers. Whether or not they provide any additional cycling benefits for their efforts depends on who you believe. They have a full court press on to make certain that you never hear a bad word about their efforts. Their public personae is important so they guard it zealously.

Reply by Michelle Stenzel 9 hours ago
Hi Naomi, I think one of the biggest benefits that non-bikers get when others ride bikes regularly is the reduced healthcare costs. There are many statistics about that and other topics that you might find interesting on the Bikes Belong website’s Statistics and Research page.

It’s good to see this Theologian returning to the fray armed with a citation. Perhaps she can convince her fellow Knower of All Things God to offer up a citation or two himself. Methinks these folks get lazy or have parroted so much stuff that they actually believe it to be true to the point that it needs no justification. After all only the Holy of God will divine true wisdom.

But that stance is what got Michele into a bit of trouble the last time she poked her head out of her cowl to offer up some “truth”.

Misguided Notions of Suffering

Michelle Stenzel's Diagram showing the relative suffering between Urban Cyclists and Professional Racers

Michelle Stenzel’s Diagram showing the relative suffering between Urban Cyclists and Professional Racers

Every great religion always has its bevy or martyrs and saints. These are the folks upon whom is bestowed great adoration in exchange for them serving as proof of the truth of that religion. In some religions you have to be the “proven” cause of at least two miracles in order to qualify. Of course I am never sure how you “prove” something like that. Since Religion and Science are at a bit of a standoff these days you simply cannot use Science to prove a religious truth. And I would suppose that something akin to courtroom proof would be in order but even that seems a bit “iffy“.

What Michele’s last offering of any merit serves to remind us is that within the context of a Religion and certainly the Church of Urban Cycling qualifies as such suffering is the main course. Ask any Believer in this church and they will recite from memory the number and positions of all the Stations of the Cross of what they like to call Ghost Bikes.

For any good Believer in the Church of Urban Cycling the very greatest suffering takes place amongst those who never wear Lycra™, do not dwell in the heathen Suburbs, and have to deal with the carnage and mayhem of city streets. Of course they like to show their Missionary Zeal by traveling to places like Plainfield on 4th of July Weekend. A group of them just did this sacrificial journey to help the heathen this past weekend.

And judging from the discussions on the ChainLink Forum there are even plans to watch the Tour de France on television. These of course are simply acts of attrition for perhaps not running a red light when the chance was there. But given the spotlight placed on one of the riders injured in 2012 Tour de France I think it safe to say that Michelle’s notion of the suffering of the Lycra™ is more than out-of-date, it is blasphemous. It might come as something of a surprise for Urban Cyclists to know that their accident rate is not nearly so high as suffered just outside the city limits. Funny how these things escape the True Believers.

Close But No Cigar

Another erstwhile Theologian makes an attempt but frankly I wonder whether she even rides:

Reply by Christine (5.0) 4 minutes ago
Cycling is healthy. It’s better to have a healthy population. For employers, their employees will take fewer sick days, and their health insurance premiums will go down. For family members, their loved ones will live longer.

Cycling is cheaper than owning a car. And it also limits distance/how much one can buy at a time. While this does mean that some people might fill the void with ordering online, it may also mean that they may shop local (rather than driving out to the suburbs). Plus, without car payments/maintenance/etc there’s more disposable income to be wasted elsewhere.

Cycling is relaxing. While it can be stressful (near misses with cars, non-cyclists in bike lanes, etc), in general I think it improves people’s moods. I would much rather be helped by a shop person who had a lovely bike trip to work, than someone who was grouchy from driving through traffic.

Hah! If cycling is more healthy then why are there so many Ghost Bikes lined up around town? In fact Urban Cycling is fraught with the worst of all environments. It is as the writer admits stressful and full of aggravations and yet she says she thinks it improve’s people’s moods! Hah! The worst mood swings I have seen in quite a while are recorded on the “virtual pages” of the ChainLink. Saying that cycling in Chicago is healthy is like saying that enjoying a bit of late night air in a city park is a great way to unwind unless of course some gang-banger is shooting bullets at you. Enough is enough. Just living in the City of Chicago is stressful all on its own. Trying to ride a bike home when you have to check you maps to see if you are riding through a high-crime rate area or going to get mugged by someone wanting your money and to kiss you on the cheek is not my idea of either healthy or relaxing.

As far as the cheap bit goes I wonder about that as well. I could count on a single finger (guess which one) the number of times I’ve heard a club member complain that their bikes were stolen. Lost, yes but stolen no. I’d be happen to be corrected but that is such a rarity in the suburbs that is makes you wonder sometimes at why people ever bother to live in places like Wicker Park and Logan Square where the first thing out of someone’s mouth on the ChainLink is that their bike has been stolen.

Something tells me that Chicagoans are the most Pollyanna-ish folks on the planet. A couple of years ago one of the wags on the Midnight Marauder section of the ChainLink actually called me a “troll” for wanting folks to understand that the L.A.T.E. Ride was a worthwhile endeavor because it helped to quell the anxiety folks have about being in Chicago after dark. I decided at that time to use the term Murder Capital of the Midwest.

My guess is that the person who labelled me a “troll” was like most ChainLinkers ill-informed. He was just unaware of how high the murder rate had climbed. You simply cannot listen to WBBM News Radio on a Monday morning without bracing yourself for the body count.

Folks, until you get your collective heads out of your anal orifices and begin to understand that cycling in Chicago is dangerous, non-relaxing and least of all healthy (especially when you factor in all the pollutants that cyclists who commute are breathing in) you will continue with these silly attempts to try and justify a very bad situation.