Some Things To Keep In Mind…

Background Reading


I got a glimpse into how some club-level cyclists feel about the quality of behavior inside the Urban Cycling Movement as recently critiqued by a Chicago Tribune Editorialist:

The Golden Rule of Cycling

The Golden Rule of Cycling

Believe it or not, I know what this guy means.When we moved my daughter into her apartment a month or so ago, the following became apparent to me.

  • The bicycle traffic was more than 10 times what I would have seen in that same area of Chicago when I was my daughters age;
  • A minority, but very large number in absolute terms, of bicyclists were lawless.

I almost got whacked several times.

I opened my truck door while parked at a corner, with a red light behind me, and was right in the way of folks coming thru red lights on bikes (once again, this was a minority of the bicyclists).

While crossing in the painted walkways of the streets, at the appropriate time, I was challenged constantly by bikes that ignored my right-of-way (also often coming through intersections illegally)

Much education is still required on both sides of the bicycle issue.

I would oblige this author for his requested bike-ban-day, out of fairness, … if he agrees to having no cars, trucks, busses or motorcycles on that same day. LOL

And yet another club member wrote:

Good Cyclist Behavior

Good Cyclist Behavior

I am in the city everyday. There are many rude, arrogant riders who do not follow biking etiquette at all, let alone the ‘rules of the road’.It is scary when they come out of nowhere, going the wrong way on a one way street, or better yet… on a crowed sidewalk.

I hear what the writer is saying, he has a point. The offenders make all cyclists look bad.


Chicago's Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

Chicago’s Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

The Tea Party did not learn this valuable lesson because its members were arrogant and felt entitled. And like the Young Turks who penned this Manifesto before leaving Chicago they were enamored with the power and money that seems to have been promised to those who could help ease out the GOP candidates that the Tea Party backers did not like.

One fellow in Florida let his hubris get the best of him. He went from being a military officer with a brash nature (having won the seat of a Liberal Democrat from Harvard) to being on the ‘side lines‘ looking for work. The Urban Cycling Community is evidently not very full of ‘quick studies‘.

They are still trying to play the ‘victimhood card‘ at every opportunity and it is back-firing as often as not. When you lose the emotional support of suburban cyclists (you know, those folks you think too dumb to not ride the L.A.T.E. Ride) you run the risk of losing the support of the only sizable cycling group with any real organization that could come to your aid.

But from the limited sample above, this is exactly what may be happening. Your problem is that your ‘elders‘ in the Church of Urban Cycling are bereft of ideas. They are still trying to peddle the idea that you can be just as bad as those hated motorists and still be found righteous. You cannot.

Think about it. What good does it do to point out that your street gang having killed three people in the past three months is not as bad as that other one on four wheels which has killed 10 times as many? Are we really trying to do a zero-sum game analysis on killings? I kinda think that the ‘old guard‘ still believes in that approach.

But a few years ago the Moral Majority was found to have members who were anything but ‘moral‘. Televangelists kept toppling one after another. They were fornicating with one and all and it seemed to be endemic. One well-known leader of the Evangelical Church who was clearly anti-gay turned out to be closeted.

We need to understand that we cannot have our Propaganda Bloggers (StreetsBlog) writing about the jeopardy that the sidewalk construction work along Roosevelt in the South Loop is placing pedestrians in, while ignoring the fact that Urban Cyclists have been defiant about riding on the sidewalks along Michigan Avenue (having been given tickets for doing so by the police).

I have no idea how in any sane dimension of reality these two things can coalesce but they do and have. It makes us look silly.

We Need A Self-Imposed Code of Conduct

I was shocked and then in admiration of what the Slow Roll Movement has brought to the concept that was the basis for the Critical Mass Ride. The ‘old timers‘ in the Urban Cycling Movement have lost their vision. To my mind they are becoming irrelevant and something of a detriment to the movement in many ways.

It will not be very long before someone comes in to redeem the movement. And they will do it with something sorely lacking in the current administration, a Code of Conduct. The current regime is working on the theory that Moral Relativism is good enough. It is not. It smacks of being something that a mobster or gang-banger might dream up to justify having done bad things. And that would be a correct assumption.

Young People are not averse to doing what is right. They understand the concept. What is sometimes lacking is someone with the Moral Authority to make the suggestion. But when it is embraced they know how to behave in the face of adversity. Make no mistake if the ‘old timers‘ can find the courage to step aside this new breed of activist will find a way to steer the movement forward.

The worst thing a ‘pro athlete‘ can do is overstay their welcome. Derek Jeter did things right, as have others. You should always have the grace and intelligence to try and ‘go out on top‘. Only a bitter old fool would stay around trying to pass out stickers, paint bikes white, and generally forget what they once stood for (if ever that was the case). Take your lifetime achievement awards and leave while the getting is good.