The reason for the blog today are a few different things. First a few weeks ago an article sparked mine and a few others interest. Well the editor of the chronicle had this to say in response to the letters that were sent to the chronicle. Louis Black said that
"Let's get realistic here. Moser's column is often a bitch-fest and frequently over-the-top. Anyone thinking that Moser and comrades are really going to plow into bike riders or are seriously encouraging others to do so is really stretching. I don't really believe most folks thought that Moser was actually advocating violence rather than vividly indulging in his sometimes Queen of Hearts, "Off with their heads!" hyperbole".
This was in response to what Moser said in his column last week.
"Speaking of bikes, my heart began to turn to stone as I was stopped at Riverside and Lamar watching a parade of bikes indulging, presumably, in some form of civil disobedience. What that meant was that dozens of clowns on bicycles took up the entire street and brought most traffic to a standstill. After several minutes of obnoxious waving and smiling from the riders, I was ready to pull a Lizzie Grubman and plow right through them and be on my way. But I was hesitant to rack up a lot of hit-and-run charges against me ... and then there would be all that damage to my car. The thing is, all the smiling and waving did not make me sympathetic to the scofflaws' 'cause.' It made me think: 'Don't give bikes the right. Give 'em the finger.'"
Now I understand that he is saying that Moser was just kidding and that he would never actually do that, but how many husbands who beat there wives and say "I'm going to kill you bitch" actually do? Quite a few I'm sure. So it would only be understandable that a few of the cyclist may take offense to what Moser said. That I am sure what most of the letters and comments about the article were about. The fact that there are people how have a strong disliking towards the cycling community. As you all know there have been quite a few "accidents" involving motorist and cyclist, and I am sure that most of them are in fact accidents.
Lets take a look at this.
Christian Stoehr recounts "We were riding downhill at approximately 30 mph when a car came up behind us, must have been doing 50 mph, and the driver started honking at us. We moved to the right in single file within seconds and the motorist pulled along Ron and started screaming at him. He then pulled in front of us with 3-5 feet to spare and slammed on his brakes, giving us no time to stop. I swerved and almost made it, clipping the car and flying through the air and landing in the street. Ron had no room to move and he went straight into the back of the car, putting his face through the back window."
The driver of the vehicle stopped his car and continued the tirade, identifying himself as a Doctor but never offering medical attention.
This is coming from the laist LA's version of the chronicle. The fact is people out there don't like the idea of someone riding a bike in the road, and taking up some of their precious time. This guy is a fucking doctor for christ sakes. This is what everyone was talking about. I'm sure this doctor has said what Moser said before because he was held up at a light for a few extra minutes.
It upsets me to hear that people want to run over cyclist, even if they are joking. I've been hit several times, spent several days in ICU for it too. I am not saying that Moser doesn't have a right to free speech, but the fact is, what he said can be taken very much out of context. If in fact he was joking.
Take this for example.
HOUSTON - Wal-Mart is pulling from its shelves a popular Mexican comic book that features a protagonist with exaggerated black features after a Houston customer complained that "Memin Pinguin" was racist.
Now I'm not saying that this particular situation is not a sensitive one, but the comic, first published in the 1940s, revolves around Memin Pinguin, a small Mexican-Cuban boy whose street smarts and adventures reflect the life of a poor boy in Mexico City. The boy, portrayed as a like able rascal, earns money shining shoes and selling newspapers to help his mother.
So people get sensitive about things, I know I did when I first read the article. I just wish that when a cyclist gets sensitive about the subject of, someone stating in a widely read paper, that they wanna plow through them, but they didn't because of it would mess up the paint on their car, that they would just read what the people were saying and take it to heart. Just as the people at Wal-mart did.
As for the whole Critical Mass part of the article, all I have to say about that is this. I don't ride in critical mass for protesting reasons. I ride because I enjoy riding my bike. I enjoy being around friends who are doing the same things. I enjoy the fact that I am less likely to get hit because of the size of the group.
I'm tired of waking up in the morning and going through my normal routine only to see something like this.
"poor poor jamal was hit by a car while riding to my house after midnight ridaz. he hit jamal's rear wheel throwing him to the curb on 45th. the driver was REAL drunk and insisted i not call 911. jamal grabed my phone out of my hand and called 911. as he did that the driver ran to his car and peeled off. the police came and i gave them the plate #. the car was found in the police database and mached the discription i gave for the driver. so a little scraches and about 4 houres of sleep later im a work and jamal is passed out at my house on airport. so if you want to drive his ass home GO GET HIM. i mean what a cock and ball, hit and run deaf people. now iv seen it all"
As for the case with Jamal, I really hope the APD cracks down on the driver. This is really starting to get old. Motorist just don't seem to care about anyone but themselves, and it is starting to show more and more.
til next time