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  1. #1
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    Hallmark Woement

    I don't quite know what I was expecting when I started this other thread, but I know what I intended and what I was hoping for. The author, Randy Moser, send a PM basically blasting me for posting the original article here (too bad for you, Randy--public domain and all that) and the responses he received, not as a motorist, but as a cyclist wondering why he was getting attacked on cycling forum.

    Here is an article obviously written by someone who is not hardcore on the A&S side of things, but who professes to bike commute. He happened to publicly call out some other cyclists for what he thought was inappropriate behavior in traffic. What I'd hoped is that there could be some constructive criticism and discussion about his approach. Not that I specifically steered it that way; my fault for not asking or commenting as such.

    I should have known better, this being A&S, forum of staunch opinion, but where this writer was coming from an A&S naive viewpoint that I haven't seen too much of around here, I'd certainly hoped for more. Certainly the tone of his writing, while entertaining, was inflammatory, but maybe that could have been pointed out with a bit more tact? Because otherwise, it read much like any other thread around here which leans "idiot cyclist doing boneheaded things."

    I was surprised that the author decided to join the discussion and even hopeful at that point that there might be some kind of helpful exchange of information that might illuminate both sides as to the POV of the other. But like in so many other threads, it just went south. In hindsight, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

    If we can't talk with any civillity to other cyclists on a forum like this, it makes me wonder what chance advocacy has in the real world. Certainly soured what could have been some kind of ally--how many people actually write editorials, or even columns--on the advocacy scene...

    I'd hoped to add this to the actual thread, but by the time I went to do so, it had already been locked.

  2. #2
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    Certainly the tone of his writing, while entertaining, was inflammatory, but maybe that could have been pointed out with a bit more tact?
    and that is the nub of the gist.

    if you write something that is "inflammatory", you should expect people to get "inflamed".
    "Let's try and keep the constructive answers in the commuting forum." --SheistyMike

  3. #3
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    I don't quite know what I was expecting when I started this other thread, but I know what I intended and what I was hoping for. The author, Randy Moser, send a PM basically blasting me for posting the original article here (too bad for you, Randy--public domain and all that) and the responses he received, not as a motorist, but as a cyclist wondering why he was getting attacked on cycling forum.

    Here is an article obviously written by someone who is not hardcore on the A&S side of things, but who professes to bike commute. He happened to publicly call out some other cyclists for what he thought was inappropriate behavior in traffic. What I'd hoped is that there could be some constructive criticism and discussion about his approach. Not that I specifically steered it that way; my fault for not asking or commenting as such.

    I should have known better, this being A&S, forum of staunch opinion, but where this writer was coming from an A&S naive viewpoint that I haven't seen too much of around here, I'd certainly hoped for more. Certainly the tone of his writing, while entertaining, was inflammatory, but maybe that could have been pointed out with a bit more tact? Because otherwise, it read much like any other thread around here which leans "idiot cyclist doing boneheaded things."

    I was surprised that the author decided to join the discussion and even hopeful at that point that there might be some kind of helpful exchange of information that might illuminate both sides as to the POV of the other. But like in so many other threads, it just went south. In hindsight, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

    If we can't talk with any civillity to other cyclists on a forum like this, it makes me wonder what chance advocacy has in the real world. Certainly soured what could have been some kind of ally--how many people actually write editorials, or even columns--on the advocacy scene...

    I'd hoped to add this to the actual thread, but by the time I went to do so, it had already been locked.
    As an active cyclist who does drive... I found his comments quite disingenuous regarding the "insect creature" of which he too professes to be.

    I also thought he was a bit on the high horse about the delay he incurred... considering that he was still moving at 15MPH in a residential zone.

    His lack of tolerance just smacked of that of the typical "I own the road" motorist.

    At best perhaps he should have kept his comments to himself, rather then mouth off to the cyclist... and if he really felt there was a problem, he could have tried a cyclist to cyclist chat for his editorial rather than the typical "disgruntled motorist ranting yet again about crazy cyclists."

    In other words, he sure didn't sound like someone that had "cycled a mile in my shoes." I know one thing... I always refrain from criticizing cyclists from behind the steering wheel... it just never comes off well.
    Last edited by genec; 11-03-08 at 11:12 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    Certainly soured what could have been some kind of ally--
    hang on, randy moser was supposed to be an "ally"? i mean, really?

    there are 800 cyclists killed by drivers every year -- moser himself even claimed in a post to have been 'run off the road' while cycling -- and the injustice that he chooses to editorialize on as an 'aly' of cycling is that some "insect creature" cyclists slowed his car down to 15 mph on a residential street.

    these are not the actions of an "ally".
    "Let's try and keep the constructive answers in the commuting forum." --SheistyMike

  5. #5
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    I took him at face value when he claimed that it was bonehead moves on the part of the cyclists, not the delay, that caused him consternation. Further, at the end of the article, he obviously got away from teh hatingz after actually doing some research on the subject, ending with basically a "let's all be respectful of others out there" note that I think everyone needs to be reminded of, on occasion, and which I've read here time and again.

    And yes, by ally, I meant it--it does no good to advocate cycling without taking note of our failures as road users... which is what seemed to initiate the scene he described. I don't know if he's written similar editorials from the cyclist POV, but I certainly believe he's probably got a lot less motivation to do so now after exposure to so much rational and helpful criticism here.

    Point: There was nothing in the original story to indicate that he was at all upset over the delay, only boneheaded moves of cyclists. (I do think he could have explained how their actions were dangerous or inconsiderate in a bit more technical detail, which might have made a difference in some of the replies he got.) He then went on to say that it wasn't the delay that caused him ill will toward the cyclists at least five or six times further. And yet even in this thread, it is still assumed that this is just another motorist angry at being delayed by cyclists.

    With appropriate criticism, I think he could have been shown where he went wrong and why people in the bicycling community might have thought ill of some of his representations, and encouraged to write from a more cycling friendly perspective. With the response he received, I'm not sure he thinks any better of cyclists in general, beyond whatever biking he does.

  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post

    Point: There was nothing in the original story to indicate that he was at all upset over the delay, only boneheaded moves of cyclists. (I do think he could have explained how their actions were dangerous or inconsiderate in a bit more technical detail, which might have made a difference in some of the replies he got.) He then went on to say that it wasn't the delay that caused him ill will toward the cyclists at least five or six times further. And yet even in this thread, it is still assumed that this is just another motorist angry at being delayed by cyclists.
    Well there was this comment:
    My wife and I were riveted to this little drama, forced to watch it unfold at 15 mph.
    I'd have to say his use of the term "forced" and his mention of speed, was an indication of his displeasure at the delay, however small it was. Here he was basically acting the part of any other typical motorist that expects to "own the road."

    Motorists should have no expectation of being able to drive the speed LIMIT... it is a LIMIT, not the desired speed, not the approved speed, not the desired speed and certainly not the minimum (as many treat it). His having to drive at 15MPH was no big deal... yet he perceived that he was "forced" to do so, by someone that was in his own words "inconsiderate."

  7. #7
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    I'd have to say his use of the term "forced" and his mention of speed, was an indication of his displeasure at the delay, however small it was. Here he was basically acting the part of any other typical motorist that expects to "own the road."

    Motorists should have no expectation of being able to drive the speed LIMIT... it is a LIMIT, not the desired speed, not the approved speed, not the desired speed and certainly not the minimum (as many treat it). His having to drive at 15MPH was no big deal... yet he perceived that he was "forced" to do so, by someone that was in his own words "inconsiderate."
    Context:

    "This weekend, my wife and I met up with three bicycle-insect creatures. I knew we were in for a treat when the first peeled off through two lanes of traffic without signaling.

    The other two were heading in the same direction we were. I had plenty of time to contemplate their spandex butts as they careened down the narrow road two abreast, taking up an entire traffic lane. They suddenly slowed down to kiss. It had all the charm of houseflies mating in mid-air. The one without the helmet veered into the other lane, causing traffic in the other direction to stop and preventing us from passing."

    Sorry but if they are behind anyone without a safe way of passing, they are forced to watch. Or should they have looked away? I took it as saying they were forced to watch, not forced to do 15mph. I did not read typical "I'm in a car, I'm in the right" into this story, which is one of the reasons I thought it so atypical in the first place and posted it here.

    Let's go the other way with this--what makes you doubt his claims that the delay was not the biggest issue here, that it was actual boneheaded actions of the cyclists that prompted this? Typical A&S motorist projections?

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    Context:

    "This weekend, my wife and I met up with three bicycle-insect creatures. I knew we were in for a treat when the first peeled off through two lanes of traffic without signaling.

    The other two were heading in the same direction we were. I had plenty of time to contemplate their spandex butts as they careened down the narrow road two abreast, taking up an entire traffic lane. They suddenly slowed down to kiss. It had all the charm of houseflies mating in mid-air. The one without the helmet veered into the other lane, causing traffic in the other direction to stop and preventing us from passing."

    Sorry but if they are behind anyone without a safe way of passing, they are forced to watch. Or should they have looked away? I took it as saying they were forced to watch, not forced to do 15mph. I did not read typical "I'm in a car, I'm in the right" into this story, which is one of the reasons I thought it so atypical in the first place and posted it here.

    Let's go the other way with this--what makes you doubt his claims that the delay was not the biggest issue here, that it was actual boneheaded actions of the cyclists that prompted this? Typical A&S motorist projections?

    No, as I said, he cited the speed as one of his concerns...

    In the original thread I asked what might have been the situation if kids were playing on the street, or neighbors were conversing car to car... both situations that would have required a complete stop... but he is grousing about 15MPH... well excuuuuuse me.

    Oh there is also the mention of a need to pass... so apparently he is in something of a hurry... again other residential situations can easily cause a stop in traffic. Heck I have a neighbor that requires about an hour to get his RV parked... we go no where when that happens. Same thing when the trash truck goes down the street.

    But golly gosh... 15MPH... I am so sorry...
    Last edited by genec; 11-03-08 at 04:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Why does anyone even care what his reason for being upset was. He wrote an inflammatory letter with most of the typical anti-cyclist drivel.

    No one on BF took the side of the cyclist for their riding, many agreed it was boneheaded, yet Randy immediately jumped on us:
    “I suppose his assumption was that here any bonehead on a bike would be defended no matter what he or she did. I guess he was right.
    ...
    Randy”

    He even ignored the point that no cyclist in the thread supported the described behavior, after it was pointed out to him.

    With allies like that, who needs enemies?

  10. #10
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    it's easy if you let it. uke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    With allies like that, who needs enemies?
    Indeed. Cyclists who take the time to write anti-cyclist screeds for the local newspaper are no better than good-old-fashioned bike haters. At least those people don't feign objectivity in their selfishness.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

  11. #11
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    So much angst over such a little thing. Both Moser and the OP need to HTFU.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  12. #12
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    I don't quite know what I was expecting when I started this other thread, but I know what I intended and what I was hoping for...

    What I'd hoped is that there could be some constructive criticism and discussion about his approach...

    I was surprised that the author decided to join the discussion and even hopeful at that point that there might be some kind of helpful exchange of information that might illuminate both sides as to the POV of the other. But like in so many other threads, it just went south. In hindsight, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
    Maybe if Randy was constructive (or maybe a little more honest or specific) in either in his letter or his contributions to the thread it wouldn't have gone south.

    He claims that following at a slow speed wasn't the problem but writers don't write things down that don't matter and he writes that following at 15 mph was a problem. He even says when he rides his bike he pulls over for any faster cyclist or motorist to pass.

    Clearly he has an issue with the lack of a helmet and he has a big issue with the "Hallmark moment" as well.

    A writer should know how to convey an idea. I just don't know what it was, that was so bad that that he had to mouth an obscenity if it wasn't being held up. He sure doesn't convey the situation clearly. It sounds like he has underlying issues.

    It would be good if Randy could articulate what he thinks the cyclists should have done in the situation to help us understand better. (maybe he wanted the cyclists to pull over and let him pass just like he does?)


    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    If we can't talk with any civillity to other cyclists on a forum like this, it makes me wonder what chance advocacy has in the real world. Certainly soured what could have been some kind of ally--how many people actually write editorials, or even columns--on the advocacy scene...
    Advocacy works well in the real world when people talk with reason. That's how we advance our passion. By showing how things work and how they work well. They're not advanced by people who simply complain. It's a common sight to see letters in paper complaining about cyclists. It's good muck raking that gets everyone all riled up but doesn't do much to help anyones cause.

    I sent in so many letters reacting to letters like Randy's that I was asked to write a regular, recurring column on cycling issues. I use it to advocate the cyclists cause. I try to make non-cyclists see how it is that cycling is good not just for the cyclists, but for motorists as well.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-04-08 at 06:16 AM.
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    Mr. Moser wasn't being honest from the start as far as I can tell. And cyclists are allowed to make left turns last I checked. I often do so from the right of the lane after checking for traffic, nothing wrong with it. Note that Mr. Moser didn't say that he even had to use his brakes because of the left turning cyclist.

    Motorists don't like the way I ride some of the time. I found that out tonight when some idiot refused to pass on a one way street, and then when he finally did, he slowed and tried to force me to the curb. I thought he was turning right, but when I slowed and started to pass him on the left, he took off straight. I'm sure that violent idiot probably would feel justified complaining about me to the newspaper too, although in reality, he deserves the cinzano treatment. The irony is, I think he didn't want to pass close enough to the cars on the left to be doornailed, but he wanted me to be close enough to the cars on the right to be doornailed. Bottom line is he had plenty of room to pass. The things that happen when the lightweight camping axe is at the shop being sharpened.

    I'll get over my little brush with a criminal motorist, but I'll be damned if I worry about what people like Randy Moser think about me. I drive enough to know that if he lives to be a senior citizen, he will likely inconvenience and endanger a heck of a lot more motorists than I ever have or ever will on my bike. And the number of people that have threatened me with violence and behaved like asses while I was riding properly on a bike is beyond counting. Those people were not just going about their business, they were being actively rude and/or criminal.

  14. #14
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    OK, I see the points being expressed by those who replied in the first thread and again in this one.

    But again, does any of those here like frymaster and genec see where I'm coming from when I point out that this letter, less the inflammatory statements about "insect creatures" and whatnot, could have read exactly like any "I saw cyclists doing boneheaded things" thread here in A&S? Because that's how I read it originally and since. Just that the author did not have an A&S perspective under his belt and wrote it from his experiences on the road, both as (assumption here) primarily an auto driver but also as someone who's spent time on the road on a bike and has that kind of first hand experience.

    I also read in the article someone complaining about cyclists from a motorists point of view... and then read about that same person actually doing research... and coming to a "can't we all just get along" type of conclusion. How many anti-bike screeds do you read in editorials that show that kind of evolution?

    That's what interested me--that this letter was not a typical anti-cycling motorist rant, nor is it a drank-the-Kool-Aid VC position.

    And when the author chimed in... again, I'd hoped he might learn something from a point of view different from his. Boy did he ever. But not in a good way.

    I saw this as someone writing from somewhere on the fence. There's a lot of people like him in the world--cyclists who haven't stumbled onto BF, who are just out there riding around, maybe with all kinds of uninformed assumptions about cycling, road rules, car bike interactions, etc. People who could be shown differently, and who might be inordinately receptive to what we have to say.

    But you're not going to get through to those people if the first thing they encounter is relentless hostility. Forget this particular situation, you "get" this concept overall, yes? The whole "you don't catch flies with vinegar" thing?

    Here's how I read it:
    Editorialist starts with insulting cyclists who dress like I sometimes do. Not a good start. Then says they are doing dangerous things. Moving without signalling? Nit-picking--plenty of car drivers do this, I don't get bent out of shape. Cutting through traffic? Not something I do, sounds dangerous. Veering off and causing oncoming traffic to stop? Uh... Kissing on a bike? I don't kiss my sweetie while driving because I like paying attention to the road, let alone on a bike--I suck, I'd probably fall over. Helmet? I'm not a helmet nazi. He said something, cyclist said something. He shouldn't have, but cyclist could have let it drop instead of picking it up again at the next stop. Then he calls the cops to find out... and again despite what the cop says, I can see where cop might be in the wrong as well--ref. any "ignorant cop" stories here in A&S. And finally he brings out the calling road jerks to task and saying that such examples lead to a bad image of the rest of us--a refrain I hear over and over again here in A&S.

    As a result of all this, we find out that he's done what many in A&S do--he actually looks into bike law in his state and prints out copies to carry with him.

    What I see here is a cyclist just getting up to speed, not a motorist out to bash cyclists. Someone who could be encouraged to see things a bit differently with a different approach to what he was offered.

    --------------------

    That's it from me. I said my piece. Like I said, I got a scathing PM from Mr. Moser regarding this and thought I should explain why I posted the original thread. Trouble is, I can see your points about how this is unhelpful with his typical albeit comparitively poetic portrayal of recreational/amateur/pro-road cyclists, just that there seemed to be enough different from typical motorist rants to warrant civil discussion in stead of hostile argument. (I know, what was I thinking--civil discussion? In A&S??? Could I be more moronic?)

  15. #15
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Well, I hope he's learned something.

    I know I didn't learn a thing from what he wrote.

    Randy needs a bit of a thicker skin. Something I would suspect most newspapermen already have.

    I get it when I write something I know some people are not going to like and even people who write letters to the editor get it too. Even when I was simply writing leters to the editor, not only I have been rebuked in print, I've had people call me up on the phone to express their dissatifaction with my point of view. That he's giving the OP grief, shows he can't be much of a newspaperman. Reads like he's more a a complainer than anything else.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-04-08 at 09:53 AM.
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  16. #16
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    OK, I see the points being expressed by those who replied in the first thread and again in this one.

    But again, does any of those here like frymaster and genec see where I'm coming from when I point out that this letter, less the inflammatory statements about "insect creatures" and whatnot, could have read exactly like any "I saw cyclists doing boneheaded things" thread here in A&S? Because that's how I read it originally and since. Just that the author did not have an A&S perspective under his belt and wrote it from his experiences on the road, both as (assumption here) primarily an auto driver but also as someone who's spent time on the road on a bike and has that kind of first hand experience.

    I also read in the article someone complaining about cyclists from a motorists point of view... and then read about that same person actually doing research... and coming to a "can't we all just get along" type of conclusion. How many anti-bike screeds do you read in editorials that show that kind of evolution?

    That's what interested me--that this letter was not a typical anti-cycling motorist rant, nor is it a drank-the-Kool-Aid VC position.

    And when the author chimed in... again, I'd hoped he might learn something from a point of view different from his. Boy did he ever. But not in a good way.

    I saw this as someone writing from somewhere on the fence. There's a lot of people like him in the world--cyclists who haven't stumbled onto BF, who are just out there riding around, maybe with all kinds of uninformed assumptions about cycling, road rules, car bike interactions, etc. People who could be shown differently, and who might be inordinately receptive to what we have to say.

    But you're not going to get through to those people if the first thing they encounter is relentless hostility. Forget this particular situation, you "get" this concept overall, yes? The whole "you don't catch flies with vinegar" thing?

    Here's how I read it:
    Editorialist starts with insulting cyclists who dress like I sometimes do. Not a good start. Then says they are doing dangerous things. Moving without signalling? Nit-picking--plenty of car drivers do this, I don't get bent out of shape. Cutting through traffic? Not something I do, sounds dangerous. Veering off and causing oncoming traffic to stop? Uh... Kissing on a bike? I don't kiss my sweetie while driving because I like paying attention to the road, let alone on a bike--I suck, I'd probably fall over. Helmet? I'm not a helmet nazi. He said something, cyclist said something. He shouldn't have, but cyclist could have let it drop instead of picking it up again at the next stop. Then he calls the cops to find out... and again despite what the cop says, I can see where cop might be in the wrong as well--ref. any "ignorant cop" stories here in A&S. And finally he brings out the calling road jerks to task and saying that such examples lead to a bad image of the rest of us--a refrain I hear over and over again here in A&S.

    As a result of all this, we find out that he's done what many in A&S do--he actually looks into bike law in his state and prints out copies to carry with him.

    What I see here is a cyclist just getting up to speed, not a motorist out to bash cyclists. Someone who could be encouraged to see things a bit differently with a different approach to what he was offered.

    --------------------

    That's it from me. I said my piece. Like I said, I got a scathing PM from Mr. Moser regarding this and thought I should explain why I posted the original thread. Trouble is, I can see your points about how this is unhelpful with his typical albeit comparitively poetic portrayal of recreational/amateur/pro-road cyclists, just that there seemed to be enough different from typical motorist rants to warrant civil discussion in stead of hostile argument. (I know, what was I thinking--civil discussion? In A&S??? Could I be more moronic?)
    tl;dr
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  17. #17
    Violin guitar mandolin
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    Was an amusing diversion.

    I stand by my jerk meets jerk assessment, based on the bare facts presented.

    What I often find disturbing is those who know the law but appear to have it quite wrong. Very common.

    I got tailgated today, being a jerk on the interstate and holding up people by driving exactly at the speed limit in the right lane. I suspect I'm being flamed on several fora right now. Later I got in the left lane on a primary 4 lane at 45 mph, the speed limit, and got honked at while signaling and then turning left. That's probably on another board.

    Given the jerkwad nature of the initial article, I'm not surprised the flies flocked to it.

    Given the reference to honking to get them to the right, I'm surprised so few actually tried to find the real law in the real state, which is the first thing I do when I see interesting legal interpretations.

    Can't wait for the next one!

    Oh, and being civil and polite generally seems to attract jerks like almost nothing else. Calm rational behavior really annoys people!

  18. #18
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    That's what interested me--that this letter was not a typical anti-cycling motorist rant, nor is it a drank-the-Kool-Aid VC position.
    Engaging in some of that typical A&S thread BS you speak of?

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