- It Takes More Than A Uniform… (BeezodogsPlace)
- Cyclist Bangs On Police Officer’s SUV in Bike Lane Dispute, Gets Handcuffed – West Loop – DNAinfo.com Chicago (PDF)
Imagine a situation where a cyclist is behaving in the manner that is egregious. Imagine that the cyclist is traveling eastbound on Jackson Avenue as she approaches the intersection with Des Plaines. You are parked in your vehicle along the curb. You are not moving and in fact are reading the newspaper waiting for a passenger.
The light that hangs above the street is currently red. There is a CTA bus in the lane beside you and it is waiting for the light to change. Suddenly the young white woman on a bicycle (perhaps in her late twenties or early thirties) decides to squeeze between you and the rear of the bus.
This means that she has to brush against the bus and your driver’s side door. She almost manages to push your mirror back far enough that it would have to be reset by hand.
As she continues to squeeze forward you realize that your car’s finish is probably being scratched and that you really don’t like this. She finally makes it through the tight gap and the light is still red.
She nevertheless decides to cut in front of the bus so as to see the traffic along Des Plaines approaching from the left (heading southbound). You suddenly realize that she is planning to cross the intersection on the red light!
Where is a cop when you need one?
The Bullshit Notion of the 3-Feet Rule
Seriously, had the bus begun to move there is a good chance that her foot would have been run over as she squeezed past my parked car to get to the intersection. So much for all the crap that Urban Cyclists spout when a car passes closer than they desire. Evidently they do not need 3-Feet in reality and certainly have no intention of offering anything like it to the ‘Walking Dreads‘ the encounter in the crosswalk.
That term is actually intended by white hipsters to describe black youths who slow walk the pedestrian crosswalk (or for that matter the middle of the block). So it is both full of derision and a bit racist. But hey, this is Chicago and despite all the propaganda being belched up by sources like StreetsBlog it is still a segregated place that has issues. I know, I grew up there.
I Have A Dream
Getting back to my story. I wanted to roll down my window and give the young woman a ‘You could have had a V-8‘ rap on the forehead. But that would have meant having her call the cops and accuse my of molesting her or some such nonsense. So it is a good thing my slow reactions saved my bacon.
But what about an asshole cyclist who isn’t so slow to react. I can picture this guy because I have seen him a dozen times or more darting across lanes and generally acting like an ‘asshole‘. I assume that the Chicago flag icon he has emblazoned on his messenger bag indicates the kind of work he does. But even if he does not deliver goods on his bike, he certainly has taken the ‘Line of Sight‘ video to heart. And his riding style shows it.
He happens to decide that after having nearly run down three pedestrians in the past few blocks (he strongly disagrees with the notion that pedestrians get to have a perfectly good crosswalk all to themselves) because he refuses to wait until they have evacuated the protected crosswalk, that the car on his left is too close. So he raps hard on the window!
It turns out that the vehicle is not be piloted by a slow to react asshole like me. Nope! This particular asshole is carrying a gun and a badge! Sweet, Jesus! This is a dream come true!
Handcuffed And Sitting On the Ground!
Yowser! A few weeks ago another employee of the CPD was gunned down by three cyclists while unloading groceries from his car. The Urban Cycling Movement had no comment or even bothered to acknowledge that the event had even occurred.
Black Lives Do Not Matter when it comes to the protection of the Urban Cycling Movement’s reputation. The incident never happened because to acknowledge that it did would mean that riding a bicycle is not quite as transformative experience as the Urban Cycling Movement would like to make it out to be.
But this guy who managed to act like 99% of his comrades in rubber inner tubes, but only got caught is going to have to rethink his approach to warning others. In my dream an enormously overweight person is suggesting that he could have ‘screamed loudly‘ and made his point that way. Maybe. Maybe too he might have caused someone to lose momentary control of their vehicle and done some damage to a pedestrian in a wheelchair in the crosswalk.
The Movement Has Gone Nose Blind
There are certainly good reasons to be unhappy about interactions with assholes behind the wheel of a car. I have been honked at and driven around at a very high rate of speed too. But that happened while I was driving. So imagine what that must feel like when you are alone on a bike. Not good!
- Cars and Bicycles as Weapons (BeezodogsPlace)
But what has transpired over time is this emergence of a tribal mentality on the part of bicyclists. It is the same sort of ‘chip on the shoulder‘ attitude that members of racial groups display when they feel that they are being disrespected by the ‘elites‘ of society.
And likewise the ‘elites‘ are clueless regarding the many micro-aggressions that get dispensed on a daily basis. If it were not for the likes of the StreetsBlog twins trying to convince everyone that hipsters are sensitive people who really care about their black-and-brown neighbors it might be easy to forget that the real estate about that $100M boondoggle we call the ‘606‘ is being priced out of the reach of the Hispanic population in the area and will soon hasten their displacement.
But that sorry pair will continue to attempt to show themselves and their movement as the ‘source of goodness and jobs‘ because Divvy is now more prevalent in their communities. Of course only in Hollywood movies do you fall prey to bullshit propaganda long enough to think that the protagonist is gonna save the world.
Good On The Cops!
This is one cyclist who is no stranger to the stupidity of his fellow cyclists on full display 24/7/365. This cyclist is not stupid enough to buy into the notion that telling the truth is somehow a sign of disrespect to the Urban Cycling Community. That kind of thinking is what prevents residents in high-crime areas from ‘ratting‘ on the hoodlums who terrorize their streets. I am not about to let that mentality contaminate my soul.
Bad cyclists are bad cyclists. And there are not just a few. These assholes stop cars during Critical Mass Rides and smash out their windows using U-Locks.
- Cyclist Charged for Attack on Car at Critical Mass | News Fix | KQED News (PDF)
- Watch: Critical Mass cyclist attacks car with U-lock in San Francisco: – San Jose Mercury News (PDF)
- http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?p=1820627 (OnLine)
We cyclists need to do more than ‘circle the wagons‘. It is time to take back the streets and the image of cycling as something that is worthwhile and truly egalitarian, not just reserved for hipsters who believe that the sun shines from their anal orifices.