The Urban Cycling Movement Has Given Its Members A “Free Pass”
The Truth Will Set You Free
When it comes to telling the truth about Bicycling and its practitioners there is a tendency to utter a great deal of “Trump Speak“. What we most often see and here are the “Good News” things about Bicycling and its practitioners. To hear some folks tell it we Bicyclists walk on water, should have eternal Right-of-Way privileges and be given the opportunity to practice those laws we like (Idaho Stop Law) and be dismissive of those we do not.
Yesterday while watching the latest episode (I have seen) of Chicago Justice the series took on the issue of gun violence on Chicago’s Southside. What is important to know is that in this area (where I grew up) gang members are using bicycles to do “drive-by shootings“.
There have been at least three deaths attributed to gun-toting cyclists. One of the victims was even a member of the Chicago Police Department. He was unloading his groceries from his car when two gang members approached him and “shot him dead“. Another visitor to our fair city was gunned down in the Chicago Loop area in the shadow of The Bean sculpture while heading home to the suburbs by way of Mass Transit. He fell into a coma and died a few days later.
You Cannot Ignore The Truth About Bicycling
To hear Trump talk about his supporters they “walk on water” and anyone in Congress who defies that characterization is likely to have his next election cycle interrupted by a stiff challenge from Trump Backers. But like bicyclists some folks who disappoint you should not “be given cover” simply because they choose bicycles as their transportation mode.
I wish the journalists who cover bicycling here in Chicago was stop trying to blow smoke up the collective undergarments of the public. They spend most of their time writing about the infractions of motorists (who are indeed dangerous) while attempting to ignore all together the things that bicyclists do. I do not recall having seen a single sentence about shootings conducted by folks on bicycles.
That has to stop! There is a War On Pedestrians that is being waged by bicyclists everyday. They ride through crosswalks when pedestrians are making their way across a corner. Heck, some bicyclists who cannot wait to snap a picture of a car parked in the bike lane, see nothing wrong with using the pedestrian crosswalk to sneak through an intersection on a red light.
And while motorists are indeed distracted by electronic devices while driving, the same is true of cyclists who have learned to “ride no-handed” while surfing the web or answering their Twitter account. And some do this while riding inches from the driver’s side door of parked automobiles.
I know this to be fact because several have actually bumped my rear-view mirror as they passed. Obedience to state and municipals laws is as mandatory for bicyclists as they are for pedestrians and motorists. It is time that we acknowledge this fact and engage with our audiences about the Truth of Riding A Bicycle.