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Old 07-24-02, 01:28 PM   #1
Rotifer
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Inflammatory Cycling Article

This guy is either an ignorant jerk or he wrote this with the sole intention of raising hackles.

Pittsburg Tribune-Review :irritated
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Old 07-24-02, 01:37 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, too many people feel that way. I work with others that tell me I shouldn't be commuting to work for the same reasons. However, as far as paying my way? As if I don't have a car and pay just as much in insurance, gas, licensing etc... It's my road too!
Ride On!
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Old 07-24-02, 01:40 PM   #3
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Como se dice? Ignoramous!

This guys an idiot!

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Old 07-24-02, 01:45 PM   #4
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I read the post, and figured it would be like the
last article, someone gryping about hare brained
cyclists. I actually agreed with the last one like that.
HOWEVER, this guy deserves our ire.
He is ignorant, and his rant serves no purpose
other than to complain about being slowed
down.
I suggest we start a campaign to flood his
e-mail with polite letters telling him he is
a Freakin moron. . .

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Old 07-24-02, 01:51 PM   #5
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I sent him an e-mail immediately. He's probably a masochist.
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Old 07-24-02, 02:08 PM   #6
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Not only is he an idiot, he didn't even get all of his facts straight. Motorcyclists do not have to wear a helmet in the wonderful state of SC.
How about we deny him the clean air that you commuters are saving by not polluting the air with cars. Not to mention the air he's polluting with that article and any piece of paper that was wasted with that bit of print on it.
I think he's just a jealous wanna be but he's too chicken because he never made it past training wheels as a kid.
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Old 07-24-02, 02:31 PM   #7
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Bwahaha, this finally pushed me over the edge and I wrote the parable I've been meaning to write. I sent it to be published as a Letter to the Editor, although chances are small that it will ever see print. For everyone's enjoyment, here is the content:

Quote:
A parable...

I was walking down the sidewalk today, and I met a man going the other way. He was carrying a hunting rifle, and he was carrying it crosswise, taking up the whole sidewalk.
As I approached, I stayed on my side of the sidewalk, but he didnt move his rifle to let me pass, so I stopped. The man with the rifle stopped too, and appeared angry.

Get out of my way! Cant you see I have a firearm?! he jeered.

I saw a bumper sticker once that had a message I really agree with, being an idealistic type. It said, Just ignore your rights, and theyll go away. I knew quite well that I had a right to walk on the sidewalk, whether I had my firearm with me or not, and I told the man this, and I didnt move.

He was very irritated, blustering about how powerful the weapon was, how it gave him the power to kill me then and there if he pleased, and pointing out that the safe thing to do would be for me to stay out of the way in case it accidentally discharged. Couldnt anyone in their right mind see that I, an unarmed human being, had less right to the sidewalk than he did, by merit of his rifle? He finished his tirade by pointing out that HE pays taxes on his rifle and ammunition.

I countered by pointing out that it is the human being, not the rifle that they carry, which has rights, and that all people have the same rights in this country. In rebuttal to his nonsense about the taxes, I pointed out that I have a hunting rifle of my own, which I pay taxes on, although I was not carrying it at the time, and I pay all the other taxes that every other citizen does, including the income taxes, property taxes and sales taxes which the government uses to build sidewalks.

Unable to cow me into submission, the man, now red-faced with rage, stalked around me and continued on his way, still confident that his rifle somehow made him a superior citizen.

Can anyone identify with the man carrying the rifle in my parable? Probably not. But Dimitri Vassilaros evidently feels this way about getting into an automobile and encountering bicyclists, judging by the opinion he posted at http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/trib.../s_82631.html. Sad.
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Old 07-24-02, 02:39 PM   #8
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Logic-challenged thought if you ask me.

I pay every one of the fees and taxes he mentions but just what has that got to do with riding a bike on the road?

50,000+ people die nationwide in auto accidents every year but bicycles are the real safety hazard?

And "road hogs?" Puleeze! A 20-inch wide, 1/5 HP cyclist?

Yeah, bikes must be a real problem...
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Old 07-24-02, 03:09 PM   #9
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Sent an email but got bounced back. Called him but didn't answer. So, I left him a very wonderful message.
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Old 07-24-02, 04:49 PM   #10
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make sure your responses to ole Dimitri get cc: to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "letter to the editor" email-box as well:

opinion@tribweb.com


With luck, and sheer numbers, maybe one will make it into print.

:thumbup:
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Old 07-24-02, 08:48 PM   #11
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Don't just e-mail the author and the newspaper - e-mail the advertisers on the page and tell them you wish they would stop sponsoring such nonsense.
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Old 07-24-02, 09:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rotifer
This guy is either an ignorant jerk or he wrote this with the sole intention of raising hackles.
Or both. It's just another typical slow-news-day troll. That's all. If you're all going to write to them, how about including a bit about "I won't buy this paper again until the jerk gets a pink slip". That's the only real way to stop it. Sure, you can point out all the inaccuracies in the article, but there's no real point. The guy probably doesn't believe all the crap himself. He's just trolling and trying to engage readers because there wasn't a big news story that day.
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Old 07-25-02, 06:47 AM   #13
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mechBgon - excellent parable!:thumbup:
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Old 07-25-02, 06:54 AM   #14
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My response e mailed to him:

Sorry but I think you need a wee lesson in history. Cars were not the vehicle roads were designed for it was the horse and cart. Bikes were on the road before cars.

A car is not a necessity, you just think it is. (I own a car and a motorbike too, but cycled 4000 miles last year and only motorcycled maybe 1800, drove about 3000)

Most bike riders also own vehicles they pay charges for, but choose to cycle because of the good feelings it gives, and the health aspects.

If you have difficulty passing a bike, can I suggest you get your eyes tested, or take some Drivers Ed (I think you Americans call it). The secret of good driving is observation, anticipation and reacting to the conditions.

If you cant observe a cyclist early enough to anticipate what you will have to do to pass safely given the road conditions, you shouldnt be driving.

You make a good point about the traffic violations, but in every group there are some bad apples. Im sure there are some people in your group of friends who actually drive well!

As to safety, I dont think that anyone who writes in America, with all the publicity about your terrible road death figures, should seriously mention cycling as being a factor.

Still, I suppose we are an easy target, both for your car and your vitriol.

Drive safe. Better still, get a bike. You'll find it helpful in keeping your stress levels under control!
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Old 07-25-02, 07:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rotifer
This guy is either an ignorant jerk or he wrote this with the sole intention of raising hackles.

Pittsburg Tribune-Review :irritated
You can easily tell by his tone that he is one of those stressed out wackos who tries to "make it close" when passing cyclists, as he considers the road solely his domain.

Yes, he is is an ignorant jerk, and without doubt, a dangerous jerk.
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Old 07-25-02, 08:39 AM   #16
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I lived in Pittsburgh for 5 years. The public transit system is OUTSTANDING. Buses in the city (which is centralized and compact), with trolleys going to the suburbs. Regular, reliable, and you can get anywhere in the city within about 1/2 hour. If there is anywhere in the country that you can live without a car, Pittsburgh is it.

I live in Detroit now. Public transit is garbage, and here, a car IS a necessity if you want to get out of the corner of sprawl you call home.


This guy needs a whack with the cluehammer
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Old 07-25-02, 09:26 AM   #17
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ikareru - I live in Royal Oak, about 20 miles north of Detroit, and I know what you mean. I've been to a lot of places, and Detroit has the [B]worst[B] public transportation system. I think it's a joke to even call it a system. It's a sad fact that to live here, you do need a car. I've often wished I could give up my car, but with everything so far apart, virtually no public transportation, and having a 3 and 1 year old that I take with me most times, it really is very difficult if not impossible. Luckily I work about 10 miles north of my home, so I bike to work 99.9% of the time.

Detroit Rules!...............................................yeah, sure
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Old 07-25-02, 09:57 AM   #18
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I sent him an email. No bounce so send away!

This article really is unbelievable. I printed it for posterity sake in the hopes that attitudes like his will be a thing of the past. I try to remail positive though the number of SUV supersize vehicles is ever burgeoning.....
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Old 07-25-02, 10:03 AM   #19
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Geez, didn't I just see this moron on the road the other day, verbally abusing me and making gestures?

If Jan Ullrich or Lance Armstrong passed this guy on the road he'd probably be a jerk to them too. What a nimwack. Not to mention his delusion about cars being safer than bikes. I guess that's why car accidents kill more people every year than homicides!
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Old 07-25-02, 10:08 AM   #20
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Lin_kieu

I hope thats not commuting up Woodward Ave -- i cant think of many commutes more difficult than that

Well, theres Telegraph, which is what I would have to take, but the distance rules out riding to work.

-ik
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Old 07-25-02, 02:44 PM   #21
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I got this reply that I think was pretty much the same thing he sent to everybody else. I wrote to him too and he rejected my invitation to try cycling: (See Below)


Dear Linda,

Thank you for reading my swill.

As you probably can imagine, I have been inundated
with e-mail the last few days so I’m sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.

Typically I answer each electronic missive sent to me.
However there are so many lately, the only way to acknowledge each is by this standard response.

Please know that between trying to write my four
columns and other news stories
this week, I have taken the time to read your e-mail
and all the others.

You probably will not be surprised to learn most
readers who have taken the time
to write disagree with my position.



Alas, that is one of the occupational hazards of being
a snotty burned-out
columnist.

You may want to compose a thoughtful letter about how
you feel and send it as a
letter to the editor at the Trib. To get directions
how to send it, please go
to:

www.triblive.com

Thank you again for taking the time to share your
thoughts and feelings with me.


My best,

DV
Columnist
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
---------
This was my invitation at the end of my letter to him
with his response:

You should really try it sometime! We have a
wonderful time and meet some of the nicest people in
the world. We ride for better health, but the fun
is a bonus!

I'd be afraid of being hit by a car.


----------

He as a point. I probably wouldn't want to be caught
on a bike after writing that column either. However,
I am starting to agree with those who say he is a
troll and an effective writer in generating newspaper
sales with articles such as this. He is very good at what he does!

Cheers!
Linda

Last edited by tmayder; 07-25-02 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 07-25-02, 06:08 PM   #22
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Sounds good, I think I'll write a letter to the editor as well. I've heard this is a very conservative paper ... but hey, conservatives ride bikes as well right?
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Old 07-25-02, 07:51 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rotifer
snip snip ... but hey, conservatives ride bikes as well right?
Yes we do.

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Old 07-25-02, 09:02 PM   #24
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Couldn't resist writing a rebuttal to this one.

Sweets to the sweet--Rebuttals to Buttheads

Quote:
I don't want to share the road with a bicycle.
I don't want to share the road with a speed-crazed, air-polluting, driver-gabbing-on-a-cell-phone SUV, so we're even.

Quote:
Bicyclists are an accident waiting to happen.
Perhaps you should check traffic accidents statistics: it's clear that drivers need no help from bicyclists to have accidents.

Quote:
Your municipality should be doing whatever it can to get them off the road.
I seem to remember that the U.S. constitution guarantees freedom of travel to citizens. What are you suggesting here--that constitutional rights should only apply to people who buy cars?

You're a conservative Republican, aren't you?

Any car salesmen in your family as well?

Quote:
Cars, trucks and motorcycles pay for our roads. State and federal taxes siphon about one-third of the cost of a gallon of gas, according to the stickers on some gas pumps. Take the time to read one the next time you defy the EPA by topping off your tank.
Perhaps you should read more than gas pump stickers. You might discover that fuel is HIGHLY subsidized in this country. Meaning, the government takes EVERYBODY'S tax money to defray the price of gas...then reclaims a fraction of it in gas taxes. When we buy less gas, we're SAVING you tax money. (Remember when gas went up to $2 last year and everyone was screaming? Europeans just laughed at us--their governments don't subsidize gas, and they pay two or three times as much as we do.)

Quote:
A motorist must pay for all the stickers on his car every year two on the windshield and one on the license plate even if no repairs are warranted. He also pays for a driver's license and auto insurance in case of an accident. He pays dearly if he gets a speeding ticket, and he even pays a tax for the privilege of throwing away his old tires.
You seem under the impression that anyone riding a bike does not own a car as well! You would probably be surprised to discover that most bicyclists also pay car insurance, license fees, etc. on THEIR cars.

Quote:
If the government is so concerned about highway safety seat belt this, air bag that and crash test after crash test why does it allow bicycles anywhere near traffic? Can you name another vehicle on our streets that has no safety features? Does the government care about safety or not?
Safety? Two of the biggest killers in this country are car accidents and heart disease. Bicycling instead of driving not only removes one car from the road, it improves our (bicyclists, that is) personal cardiac health. Hey, look--you just saved MORE tax dollars that might have been spent on paramedics, health care....not to mention decreasing the amount of tax money that might be spent cleaning foul hydrocarbons and auto-smog from the air. Plus, the less gas WE use, the more of this limited resource is left for YOU to keep driving your fossil burner on.

And all we ask in return is not to be run over.

And you whine about it.

Ungrateful noodle.

Quote:
When those spoke-thin road hogs start paying their fair share of road costs like motorized vehicles do then maybe we could consider allowing them on a few isolated roads like in our city, county and state parks, where the only drivers they could threaten would be the teenagers whose parents are teaching them to drive.
Now we're THREATENING you? Us, with our tiny 20-pound vehicles must really scare you in your three-ton jacked-up pickups, eh? Careful, don't get too close--your custom paint job might get scratched when you kill us!

Quote:
The politically correct crowd loves bicycles. They don't use fossil fuels They don't pollute
.

Oh, no! He used the PC words! Proof positive that bicycles are an evil liberal plot! AAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Heh, heh, heh.....

Quote:
Bicycling is a practical way to commute, if you live in Beijing.
I (and many others) find bicycling a practical and highly enjoyable way to commute right here, thanks very much. Sorry we ruin your day by making you slow down for two seconds....
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Old 07-25-02, 11:32 PM   #25
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I did write a letter to the editor. I won't have time to keep my eyes on the paper to see if it is published, but if you guys see it, let me know.

Here is what I sent them. The angle I took should appeal to the conservative nature of the paper:

Oh no, not another attack on our freedom in the name of safety!

AAAGH, not another attack from a self-righteous freedom fighter! By freedom fighter, I mean a person who fights against the freedoms of Americans. Dimitri Vassilaros 23 July article Bicycles and Cars Don't Mix suggests that bicycle should not be allowed on the road because safety is a necessity too.

Here is another example of someone touting that citizens should sacrifice yet another privilege in the name of safety. In the name of national security, Congress and the President have been quick to dispose of many rights deemed inconvenient to the war on terror. This time, Vassilaros claims it is the all-threatening bicyclist who should be shackled.

I, for one, do not agree with Mr. Vassilaros that public roads should be accessible solely to automobiles. He is not correct that motorists pay the bulk of the cost of road construction and maintenance. The bulk of these costs come from the everyday taxpayer including the bicyclist. Gasoline taxes and automobile registration fees only make up a small part of the road maintenance and repair budget. To tax the general public and allow access only to motorists would be an outrage.

Secondly, making roads accessible exclusively to motorists essentially makes the automobile the only method of transportation. This makes us even more dependent on foreign oil. The best national security the USA can develop is to wean itself from the dangerous addiction to foreign oil. Bicycles may not be the only solution, but they are certainly part of the solution.

Allow Mr. Vassilaros the ink to grump about his inconvenience of driving around bicyclists, but do NOT let him convince you to support taking away the freedom of transport choice from our citizens for the sake of his convenience.
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