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Old 09-14-05, 08:20 AM   #1
Vance Ermstrong
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Here's the attitude I deal with on my commute in Atlanta

Saw this in my Atlanta paper on Monday in the "Vent" section and wondered how people would respond to it. Looks like I can expect more of the same treatment from drivers as I've been getting over the last 3 years of training (for racing) and commuting. Anyway, this lady posted this below and it was followed by the two comments that follow:

On Monday this was in the paper:
"To all those people who insist on giving my husband no room as he commutes on his bike to work, I just wanted you to know that he is the father of two and a teacher to many of your little ones. He is riding to work so that we can eat at home. Please give him a little room."

Today, two responses:
"To the wife of the biking teacher: Roads werent created for bikes. Tell him to use sidewalks."
and
"Lady, we dont care about your husband riding a bicycle. Hed better watch where hes going or hell be a hood ornament."

The "Vent" section of the Atlanta Journal Constitution is often referred to as the first thing people read when they get the paper. Too bad there are so many people on the road who hold these type views. I started road riding to train better for my Mountain Bike races and over the last two years have been commuting from the Vinings area of Atlanta to Woodstock/Canton area (about 28 miles one way). I've had very good experiences riding "in town" during lunch training rides, but have encountered a lot of grief the closer I get to my houes in the burbs. Oh well...
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Old 09-14-05, 09:53 AM   #2
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I guess 5$ a gal is still not enough for those knucklheads. They will never get it.
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Old 09-14-05, 10:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance Ermstrong

Today, two responses:
"To the wife of the biking teacher: Roads werent created for bikes. Tell him to use sidewalks."
and
"Lady, we dont care about your husband riding a bicycle. Hed better watch where hes going or hell be a hood ornament."
Pray for $10 gas.
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Old 09-14-05, 10:08 AM   #4
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When gas hits $10 we're all going to have problems, particularly those struggling to eat already.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by va_cyclist
When gas hits $10 we're all going to have problems, particularly those struggling to eat already.
At some point, our nation will have to stop using price as the means of demand control, and switch to allocating fuel on the basis of public interest. First, food, medical care, last, fuel used for entertainment.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:13 AM   #6
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As a weekender cyclist, how can I try to commute by bike with psychos like that here in Atlanta?

Dare I venture amongst the flippant would-be bicycle killers? I bought a visibility flag, striped it with reflective tape, and got dog tags so the pramedics know my name, etc.

It's not even a long ride, just 11 miles, but I don't want to die over this.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by scarry
At some point, our nation will have to stop using price as the means of demand control, and switch to allocating fuel on the basis of public interest. First, food, medical care, last, fuel used for entertainment.
Yeah. Kinda like communism.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance Ermstrong
Today, two responses:
"To the wife of the biking teacher: Roads werent created for bikes. Tell him to use sidewalks."
and
"Lady, we dont care about your husband riding a bicycle. Hed better watch where hes going or hell be a hood ornament."
That's just awful.

There was a similar letter printed in our paper on Sunday. Not as nasty. Today they printed my letter where I spell out the section of the law that says I'm allowed full right to the road. I hope that'll teach 'em, but I won't hold my breath.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:15 AM   #9
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People like the letter writing driver are by themselves enough reason to explain why the US needs to lose it's cheap oil.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by scarry
At some point, our nation will have to stop using price as the means of demand control, and switch to allocating fuel on the basis of public interest. First, food, medical care, last, fuel used for entertainment.
So, we'll totally abandon capitalism?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Marx
from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkear
So, we'll totally abandon capitalism?
I don't know. How would you handle it, knowing that fuel supply is limited and will become increasingly limited in the future?

Let the market work, until farmers are out of business, and there is no food on the shelves?
Witness the farmers fuel protests in Europe.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:27 AM   #12
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Capitalism would survive the loss of oil--without being called such, it existed for a few thousand years before either oil or automobiles. Private automobiles, though, are a damned good argument against capitalism!
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Old 09-14-05, 11:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxBender
As a weekender cyclist, how can I try to commute by bike with psychos like that here in Atlanta?
The bombastic would be killers are more bark than bite, and are found everywhere. They love to spout off on radio talk shows and in letters to the editor. What makes them bad, and they should not be given a voice for the their hate speech, is that it can incite others to harm. Clear channel radio has been stung by call in bike haters.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxBender
As a weekender cyclist, how can I try to commute by bike with psychos like that here in Atlanta?

Dare I venture amongst the flippant would-be bicycle killers? I bought a visibility flag, striped it with reflective tape, and got dog tags so the pramedics know my name, etc.

It's not even a long ride, just 11 miles, but I don't want to die over this.
I've been riding 40 miles round trip for two years for my commute. I've only had a handful of incidents. In the same time period, I'd have experienced far more vehicular road rage had I been in my car.

Most flippant would be bicycle killers are a collection of misanthropic cowards.
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Old 09-14-05, 12:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feldman
Capitalism would survive the loss of oil--without being called such, it existed for a few thousand years before either oil or automobiles. Private automobiles, though, are a damned good argument against capitalism!
Let's try to keep in mind that autos have only been around about a 100 years or so, both this nation and capitalism have existed much longer than that.... as have bicycles.

Private autos may have run their course, only time will tell... along with the increasing price of fuel.
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Old 09-14-05, 12:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkear
So, we'll totally abandon capitalism?
No, let's all starve to death as a display of sacrifice to ensure an unregulated free market continues to dominate the fuel commodities sector.

Jesus Christ, people. Your water, phones, electricity, gas and cable are regulated. Why would one more regulation of vital supplies serve as the catalyst for us to slip into pure Marxism? The sky is falling!!!
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Old 09-14-05, 12:18 PM   #17
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This thread seemed to cry out for this- one of my favorite C & H's:

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Old 09-14-05, 12:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Feldman
...it existed for a few thousand years before either oil or automobiles.
How d'ya figure?
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Old 09-14-05, 12:25 PM   #19
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Not too long ago I recieved the standard "get on the sidewalk" call. I was hauling my son in his burley and some construction forced me into traffic. I followed the guy who said it and when he was stopped by a train I pulled up and told him that I had the same right of way that he does. He didn't say much, but this is when he realized that I was a good bit larger than him and that the 3500lb vehicle he was safely advising me from earlier could no longer move. I guess he decided to take a passive role at this point. I thought about this and wondered if he knew that a 3 year old little boy was in the burley, and if that would have made a difference.
And I don't believe it would have. I am not sure if there is any place in the 1st world where getting a drivers license is easier and car ownership is so wide spread. The automobile in America is a source of national identity to most and I do not feel that it will change in our lifetime.
Education has a small effect and short of forcing people to ride they just do not understand. Everytime we get on the road we are minnows swimming with sharks, the only real difference is that real minnows don't bother trying to convince the sharks not to eat them.
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Old 09-14-05, 12:39 PM   #20
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I am not sure if there is any place in the 1st world where getting a drivers license is easier and car ownership is so wide spread. The automobile in America is a source of national identity to most and I do not feel that it will change in our lifetime.
Education has a small effect and short of forcing people to ride they just do not understand. Everytime we get on the road we are minnows swimming with sharks, the only real difference is that real minnows don't bother trying to convince the sharks not to eat them.
Boy isn't that the truth ("I am not sure if there is any place in the 1st world where getting a drivers license is easier"). A co-worker from China is visiting the US branch of the company for a month... he was able to go out and get a California license... no problem. Meanwhile in his native China, he still has classes to attend before he can be issued a license there.

I somewhat cringe at the thought of other drivers like him out on the the roads without any form of formal driving education.

RE the minnows... Well, we do have laws...
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Old 09-14-05, 12:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarry
At some point, our nation will have to stop using price as the means of demand control, and switch to allocating fuel on the basis of public interest. First, food, medical care, last, fuel used for entertainment.
Read this:

PLANNING IS SOCIALISM by Ray Haynes
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Old 09-14-05, 12:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
I somewhat cringe at the thought of other drivers like him out on the the roads without any form of formal driving education.
If you cringe from that thought, then you must be in denial about the fact that incompetent driving that could have been fixed with better driver education is a significant factor in only a tiny percentage of car-bike collisions and fatalities.

What makes me cringe is the thought of the vast majority of cyclist deaths and injuries that are caused by a lack of cyclist education, which is ultimately caused by a lack of concern in the cycling community about promoting the benefits of cyclist education. Instead, many members of the cycling community are doing stuff like cringing about relatively minor problems over which they have little or no control.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-14-05 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 09-14-05, 12:57 PM   #23
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I have a real problem with papers publishing editorials or rants that include statements that suggest behaviors that are illegal or go against what is legally allowed (such as riding in street) or that include plain wrong 'facts' Publishing opinions is one thing, but lies or misinformation another. Not just in regard to these specific rants, but opinion pages in general. (and I am not talking about 'debatable' facts, but ones that are clearly wrong if any fact checking was done by an unbiases source)

I understand it is a rant page intended to stir up controversy, but the editors should provide comment on what is legally allowed (i.e. at minimum ed. note: cyclist are legally permitted on road) if a rant is perpetuating an expectation of cyclist that can be dangerous and in some states not legal by riding on sidewalk.

Al
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Old 09-14-05, 01:03 PM   #24
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It might be a good idea to respond to those two responses with a few facts, like roads are made for bikes and sidewalks aren't. If that section of the paper really is the first thing people read then it would be a shame to allow those two hostile comments go unanswered.
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Old 09-14-05, 01:13 PM   #25
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Actually, the second guy is just being honest and makes a good point. "Lady, we dont care about your husband riding a bicycle. Hed better watch where hes going or hell be a hood ornament."

Does anyone expect drivers to care about cyclists? Wake up!

Does anyone seriously doubt that cyclists should watch where we're going in order to avoid becoming hood ornaments? Of course we should!
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