No Wonder John Boehner Is Always Fighting Back Tears

Background Reading


© Thomas Hawk

© Thomas Hawk


Reading through the bicycle forums frequented by the so-called Urban Cycling Movement has given me new-found respect for John Boehner. Like their cousins in the Tea Party (who are the hard-liners of the GOP/Libertarian Party) the True Believers from the Church of Urban Cycling are proving to be ‘nuts‘.

Their lapdog got a gig with the Crain’s folks this week. In his 500-word missive he tries to make the case that the black-and-brown folks of Chicago are more like the Koch Brothers? Say, what?

If Garcia truly wants to put the needs of regular people first, he should overhaul his transportation policies before the April 7 runoff. Right now, his positions have more in common with the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity lobbying group, which helped kill Nashville’s plan for a rapid bus route, than with progressive leaders like de Blasio.

Well, John what would you call this kind of rhetoric:

Chicago's Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

Chicago’s Cycling Movement Issues A Leftist Manifesto

Urban Cyclists Are Indeed Nuts

If you check out the links above you will note that the two factions of the Urban Cycling Movement (pro-Rahm vs. pro-Chuy) are arguing over some of the silliest things imaginable.

For instance a set of bike racks are supposed to have been removed from a spot at Navy Pier which the OP of the thread blames Rahm for and characterizes it as an anti-bike gesture. And of course the whole of the discussions on the merits of candidates in this electoral run-off go downhill from there.

But John, Really?

Are you really unable to see that placing red light cameras for the most part in black-and-brown communities and then adjusting the yellow lights to ensure that tickets are issued is about as subtle as have a poll tax. You would probably have been quite at home in the Jim Crow Era of the South. Those kinds of shenanigans are exactly what these cameras represent to the sons and daughters of those who migrated here from the Deep South a could of generations ago.

Urban Cyclists Too, Show No Loyalty

I mentioned John Boehner before and let me explain my feelings for him. His better instincts make him want to compromise. But that is a ‘dirty word‘ in today’s political climate. And so trying to head up the most contentious of the two Congressional houses is a bit of a chore.

Rahm Emmanuel must have awakened one day this month and wondered what it takes to earn the respect and loyalty of the folks in the so-called Urban Cycling Movement. The answer to that is nearly impossible to give. This is a movement which knows only one absolute, ‘me-me-me‘. It seems to be composed of people who having reached majority are still stuck in their junior high school years or at the very least their high school prom years. They get stupid drunk, smoke too much weed and when they find themselves nearly losing a leg on LSD want to sue the city.

This is the crowd given to riding off the ends of revetments and want to once again sue the city for not warning them that ‘gravity can be painful‘. In fact one poor soul went out drinking and smoking weed to celebrate his graduation from college and managed to get himself into a wheelchair for the remainder of his days.

This is the crowd who makes movies with Red Bull video teams about racing taxis across the city (for what reason I do not know) and in the process documents the Idaho Two-Step maneuver is shown breaking just about every law on the books and for what? I suppose that it helps sell their drinks (which are mercifully non-alcoholic) but it does nothing to dispel the notion that urban cyclists are indeed scofflaws.

But instead of having Rahm’s back these knuckleheads are busy trying to create the impression that the Mayor of Chicago would deliberately screw over cyclists by removing a bike rack? Gimme a break!

Rahm has done a lot of questionable things. But I hope to heaven his is not that stupid. But clearly the folks that think they are the future of cycling in Chicago are not above accusing him of it. That is really, really low!

Chuy, A Word In Your Ear!

Your campaign style sucks. But I agree with many of your positions. Frankly however the world spins a bit less wobbly with money. Game, set and match to Rahm.

But were I Rahm I would certainly call the owner of a certain Bicycle Forum in for a candid discussion. And likewise I would think it perfectly reasonable to get a certain carpet-bagger whose office supposedly supports pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit users to come clean. Pick on of these three phases to speak for and stop trying to garner more money from the other two.

I can almost guarantee you that there is not a single pedestrian in the city who even had heard of the fact that this group is their spokesman. And certainly no one riding the Metra into the city knows much about them either. They have simply found a way to try and spread their so-called expertise into the suburbs.

Now while I am at it let me as this question…

If Licensing Is So Objectionable Why Charge $65 For BTD?

Every time the idea of licensing surfaces you hear that these so-called Urban Cyclists object to the idea of spending $25 on an annualized basis to register and license their bikes. Okay.

So why then does it cost something close to $65 to ride the LSD once a year? I know you call this a fundraiser. But frankly, your consultant fees should be covering your costs. A fund raiser should not really be necessary.

And then if you do need money, why so much? I gave up on that silly and reckless ride you folks called the Four Star Bike Tour. I am too embarrassed to be shoved into a pack formation with cyclists who care not one whit about obeying the laws they claim are needed to keep them safe. Evidently law-observance is a ‘one-way street‘.

So much so that the folks at these bicycle advocacy headquarters are downright afraid to ‘call out‘ scofflaw cyclist behavior. They are in fact too weasel-like to do much more than claim they are in touch with the current revulsion for bike helmets (as misspelled endlessly by the NYC Bike Snob) and yet willing to continue to require helmets on their fundraising rides. Why the hypocrisy.

In fact the most outstanding feature of the so-called Urban Cycling Movement is that they seldom follow their own dictates. Too bad. It is very difficult to get buy-in from the general public when you are unwilling or unable to demonstrate that you can follow your own demands:

The Golden Rule of Cycling

The Golden Rule of Cycling

Like The Jim Crow South

Like the uneducated white southern population allowed to vote in the Jim Crow Era, cyclists have a Double Standard. But they trot out a few blacks every now and then to help give the impression that they really and truly believe in ‘transportation equity‘.

And whenever someone like John tries to make the case for red lights he decides to trot out statistics regarding the plight of pedestrians in black-and-brown neighborhoods as if he really cared about the people themselves. Evidently he cares more about speeding in these places and red light infractions than the number of schools closed. I for one do not recall him writing in opposition to the acts of the CPS in this regard.

So rather than Chuy having to revamp his transportation platform, perhaps it is time of the Urban Cycling Movement to revamp its platform. Less vapid rhetoric about ‘safety‘ and ‘3 Free Rules‘ and ‘Protected Bike Lanes‘ are more visible evidence that you actually deserve any of these things. Stop making movies that depict the glamorous scofflaw bike messenger and more movies that depict kids trying to get back and forth to school or their parents riding to work on a bicycle.

At the very least behaving in a more grown-up fashion would help the average person raising a family in this god-forsaken chaotic wilderness of a city to really believe that you have their best interest at heart.