Why Is Chicago Cycling Journalism So Timid and Lame?

Background Reading


My apologies to lapdogs everywhere, you deserve better.

My apologies to lapdogs everywhere, you deserve better.

I wrote last week about how very shameful it is that the local bicycle journalists from Streetsblog have covered every tragedy regarding cyclists in the city (including the excruciating in-grown toenails suffered by members of their staff) excepting the ones that somehow paint bicyclists in a ‘bad light‘. Here is the event that sparked my outrage…

Video footage shows two people attempting to rob an elderly man named Federico LaGuardia before one of the assailants shot the 71-year-old while he was watering his front yard in Chicago.

A neighbor has a surveillance camera positioned towards the Marquette Park block that captured the Tuesday afternoon assault. Two men on bicycles rode past LaGuardia and then returned and demanded his wallet, said Chicago police spokesperson Officer Thomas Sweeney, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“When he refused, they shot him in the abdomen,” said Sweeney. The footage shows LaGuardia standing up and clutching his torso after the attackers biked off. He was able to reach a neighbor’s doorstep to seek help, and underwent surgery at a nearby hospital.

LaGuardia is currently in fair condition, and investigators are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the suspects. Chicago’s homicide count topped 500 over Labor Day weekend, with many of the deaths resulting from shootings.

[Chicago Tribune]


Along comes BikePortland to restore my faith in the basic humanity of the Urban Cycling Movement. They put the basic facts right in the title of their piece. He (the cyclist) is identified as a crime suspect and indeed a person who rides a bicycle. No ‘shucking and jiving‘ here. These guys are calling a ‘spade a spade‘. Why the basic difference in approach?

Chicago cycling journalists are basically ‘lapdogs‘. Their job is to smile, grin and fetch the stories their owners wish to have covered. Nothing else leaves their pens. And they really have a hard-on about John Kass. Why? Because he stands up to their mealy-mouthedness and tells them the hard truth as he sees it.

So in the tradition of John Kass I salute his efforts and those of the guys at BikePortland who though we do not see eye-to-eye at least the cojones to tell the truth, regardless of the consequences to their pocketbooks.

Even Hollywood Has Become Hep To The Vapidness Of The Urban Cycling Movement

An episode of NCIS : Los Angeles shows a drive-by shooting in the Chiraq Style! We might want to keep quiet the murders done in Chicago from bicycles, but our use of bicycles in shootings has become well-established.

Knowing that thugs are fleeing crime scenes on bike lanes cleared by their fellow riders using cell phones and 311 calls is disgusting. How long is this city and the good citizens of it going to put up with the thuggery of cyclists who feel that they are owed the moon and the stars but have no responsibility to be good citizens at all times. By this I mean, at what point is it ever going to sink into the heads of the Bicycle Advocacy Organizations of this city that running red lights, blowing through stops signs and shooting people in the stomach (who are out watering their lawns) when they won’t give you their wallets is reason enough to demand that cyclists be licensed and trained?