So What Does It Take?

Background Reading

What The Urban Cycling Community Cares About

Police Trail Block Saturday Night at Division (ChainLink)

Cops closing down the Chicago Lakefront Trail at Division.

Cops closing down the Chicago Lakefront Trail at Division.

Posted by Renee Patten on July 21, 2014 at 9:30am

I was pretty upset and got a little attitude with them saying they were putting me in danger, ect, ect. Thank you to the riders who knew the route on the main streets and took me with them up to Fullerton. They told me the whole trail was closed but one officer said it was only blocked to North Ave. I was able to hop back on the trail at the Diversy/Belmont underpass.

They kept saying that the trail closes at 9:30pm. I know the parks close but it is really a thing that the trail closes as well? If so, that is just not OK…

This outpouring of concern comes primarily because the violence of the city has finally gotten in the way of a late night ride along the Chicago Lakefront Trail for one of the ‘elites‘ whose life has probably been spared because she was not allowed to use that trail. But will she ever understand the difference between being upset because your personal timeline has been upset and the fact that the life of a 10 year-old girl has no timeline whatsoever?

What Real People Care About

A ten year-old girl was shot a few days ago in Chicago. She was struck by a stray bullet in a home on the West Side. I waited patiently to hear about the concerns of the ChainLink Forum which is largely representative of the Urban Cycling Movement. I never once read a thing about this young girls death. What I did see were articles about:

But given the fact that the Segways are a problem of national importance and the doings of Barrington Hills are pivotal in the history of the Urban Cycling Movement I guess that I should not have been surprised.

In fact a few weeks ago when a mass shooting took place in the Northwest not a single article mentioned that out of respect to the victims the World Naked Bike Ride scheduled that week would be postponed or at least pay tribute to the fallen. That of course may have happened but there was not mention of it. Instead we got to see pictures of these naked bodies riding around on bicycles. They devoted an entire website to the glory of their nakedness.

I am beginning to get the very strong feeling that the Urban Cycling Movement is more about bicycle infrastructure and far less about the people who will inhabit it. It is as if we are as Liberals more interested in handing a kid a bicycle than we are in making fundamental changes to their lives. I guess it takes the embarrassment of having the Koch Brothers get this rather than the ‘bleeding hearts.

But the fact is that long after the very last donated bike is stolen or lies rusting alongside the place where a young girl who was riding it was shot and killed, the Koch Brothers will have succeeded in fundamentally changing the lives of an entire subclass of people who the Liberals forgot.

Herein Lies The Difference

An Alleged Bike Thief In Logan Square.

An Alleged Bike Thief In Logan Square.

Urban Cyclists care more about bicycles than they do about people. The foam at the mouth as if rabid whenever someone mentions a bike theft. I get it. Really I do. But the thefts do not occur in a vacuum. Either a person has needs for immediate cash (probably for drugs) or has some issues that prevent them from understanding why theft is not the best way to deal with the vicissitudes of life.

We seem all about retribution. When a 70 year-old lady steps out of her vehicle and we collide with her car door or panties get in a wad:

I get that ‘Door Zone Collisions‘ hurt. But I also realize that a collision like this is entirely avoidable. And yet here we are again with a couple of the ChainLink’s finest duking it about the right to play ‘victim‘ yet again.

Urban Cyclists are ‘victim whores‘. I am not certain that this is even a term available for use. But I know for certain that given a moment at the keyboard Urban Cyclists will always find a way to show you their scabs and scars. This is what they live for.

They are of the unbridled opinion that in the whole of time no one has suffered as much as they. Howard Kaplan likes to fling about the term ‘oppressed minority‘.

I guess that his is the classic problem amongst the ‘adults‘ in the so-called Urban Bicycle Movement. Once you lose your status as ‘victim‘ the news outlets stop returning to you for more vapid footage. Either you are wounded because someone ‘shoaled‘ you or wounded because Scott Simon or some other journalist ‘called you out‘ for bad behavior. And of course when they do this it means that they are anti-bicycle. Rubbish.

And what makes it even worse is when the heads of bicycle advocacy groups start pandering:

It will take some time before it becomes clear to those who help fund these movements that most of what is going on is a ‘sham‘. The reddest state in my region is probably Indiana. And yet its bicycle infrastructure plans are simply wonderful. And not just the plans but there is actually infrastructure in place that makes me envy the cyclists in that state.

And to my knowledge no one had to get naked or cuss out motorists each month to get these things done. How is that possible? How is it possible that the state with Scott Walker as its governor has made more progress than Chicago with Rahm Emmanuel?

My guess is that it is because some places put more emphasis on ‘victimhood‘ and far less on making their streets and neighborhoods free of gun violence and thus a proper locale for even thinking about riding a bicycle. Call me stupid if you will because I do not see the ultimate satisfaction in having 100 miles of bike lanes of which only a handful are useable because of gun violence. I can take it.

But in the meantime rather than hauling a few sacks of pothole filler in your car trunk I would much rather hear that you had helped find a way to make all those miles of lanes actually useable.