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sure to antagonize

Old 07-30-08, 06:22 AM
  #1  
recumelectric
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sure to antagonize

This thread is sure to antagonize, but I'm going for it anyway. Probably, I'll have to argue some rounds, just give up on the hopeless, and then kill it off.

Here's my beef. It seems to me that all the antagonistic cyclists out there are no different than SUV drivers who think they own the road. (Granted, they have much more steel and can do more damage, so that's not my argument.)

I've been reading various stuff about U-lock assaults/vandalism, pissing in peoples' gas tanks, deliberately blocking up traffic, and carrying weapons while looking for trouble. I do understand the need for self-defense when attacked, so don't get me wrong. What I take issue with is the idea of knocking off someone's rearview or denting their car when they p---ed you off. Most of this sentiment seems to come from areas where bicycling is highly endorsed and commonplace.

I'm reminded of the radicals "spiking trees" in order to kill loggers who were just doing their jobs. (BTW, some of us actually use products made from trees. Not to mention the fact that the local economies where these incidents occured benefited greatly from logging.)

I also understand that some of this is venting and joking. Unfortunately, there are folks who take this all way too seriously. I'm not entirely sure of the demographic on this forum, but it seems more "young," as in 20-somethings, who are often in college and trying to live up to some idealistic ideal. I went through college listening to various "revolutionaries" who were really just angry, mean people in general. They were definitely revolting...against what, in particular, I still don't know. But they were happy to attach themselves to any trendy cause and raise a stink.

There doesn't need to be open warfare between cars/SUV's and bicycles in order for things to change. In fact, that attitude is antagonistic and provokes a bunch of police action, bad press, and legislation that punishes all of us. BTW, I actually drive my car sometimes. I look out for cyclists. The hostility isn't necessary.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:35 AM
  #2  
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People are people no matter what they believe, ride, drive or look like. There are mean and nice people everywhere they just so happen to be into different things. So yes Mean/Angry people are in every walk of life. Just as there are Nice good hearted people in every walk of life.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:38 AM
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Commuter forums noob step 1: make a post whining about all those law-flouting cyclists.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:51 AM
  #4  
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Remember that you are talking about the stories of the minority. These are people who think they have interesting (whether you like them or not) stories to tell and post them. The other 99% of riders are just doing their daily commute, dealing with heat/cold/rain/etc and don't post about it. If everyone posted a "I had a nice ride today" thread everyday, the forums would get boring. It's like books...no one reads about Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

BTW - I had a nice ride today :-)
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Old 07-30-08, 06:55 AM
  #5  
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Ligthen up, francis.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:59 AM
  #6  
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I've been harassed dozens of times. I've seen other cyclists harassed. I've seen other cyclists break traffic laws. I've never seen a cyclist assault or harass a driver.

By proportion this isn't an important problem from my perspective. Maybe my perspective is biased and I just don't hang out in the right areas to see aggressive cyclists. I suspect others share it though.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
Commuter forums noob step 1: make a post whining about all those law-flouting cyclists.
commuter forums noob step 2: n00bs calling out n00bs
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Old 07-30-08, 07:02 AM
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These conflicts are common in all societies.

I grew up surfing, and due to the sand-trapping qualities of piers, the waves tend to be a lot better there. The pier also tends to make the waves break earlier, causing a better shape to the wave.

Not surprisingly, surfers like to sit right next to the pier to catch waves. Usually this isn't dangerous because the wave most often breaks away from the pier and angles in the other direction.

Perfect, right?

Wrong, because standing along the pier is a bunch of fisherman who don't like the surfers to be so close. They yell at them, and if not obeyed, will usually resort to casting at the surfers, sometimes pegging them with the lead weight or snagging them with a hook.

SO, the surfers, in an attempt to tick off the fisherman, bring out a tiny folding pocketknife that they can tuck into their trunks or wetsuit, and cut the lines.

It's not as bad as it used to be, but most piers have the same surfer/fisherman stories.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:02 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
It's like books...no one reads about Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.
Liar!
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Old 07-30-08, 07:09 AM
  #10  
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It's us versus them.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:18 AM
  #11  
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Take an ******* out of an SUV and put him/her on a bike and you've got an ******* cyclist, they're not going to suddenly become a better person.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:21 AM
  #12  
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I don't get it. Everyone has their own idea of activism, be it on 2 wheels or 4. Live and let live.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:22 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
Take an ******* out of an SUV and put him/her on a bike and you've got an ******* cyclist, they're not going to suddenly become a better person.
Yup
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Old 07-30-08, 07:24 AM
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After his preface, it would have been awesome if not a single person replied. Alas, 'twas not to be.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:46 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by chinotex View Post
After his preface, it would have been awesome if not a single person replied. Alas, 'twas not to be.
Hard to peg the perfect reply but this most likely is it.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:51 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by huhenio View Post
commuter forums noob step 2: n00bs calling out n00bs
Oh, sorry about that, old-timer...guess everyone who joined after you is a noob, huh?
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Old 07-30-08, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by chinotex View Post
After his preface, it would have been awesome if not a single person replied. Alas, 'twas not to be.
Yeah, my fault...I should have ignored.
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Old 07-30-08, 08:02 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by chinotex View Post
After his preface, it would have been awesome if not a single person replied. Alas, 'twas not to be.
Got to agree. recumelectric, I usually like your posts, but you insulted a large number of twenty-somethings and collegiates, deliberately or not, in your opening to this thread. Generalizations aren't conducive to good discussions.
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Old 07-30-08, 08:06 AM
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Hopefully the moderator will move this drivel to A&S, foo, or delete it entirely.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:18 AM
  #20  
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I can see where this could lead to a decent discussion here, without all the hyperbole associated with the A&S crowd. Commuters ARE on the front line in the cyclist/auto interface, after all. Let's see where it goes......I can always move it if it gets out of hand.

To the OP, I agree, you might have presented this better....less drama in the headline perhaps?
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Old 07-30-08, 09:47 AM
  #21  
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Okay, Tom has a point, so here we go:

Originally Posted by recumelectric View Post
I've been reading various stuff about U-lock assaults/vandalism, pissing in peoples' gas tanks, deliberately blocking up traffic, and carrying weapons while looking for trouble.
Stop right there. You've been reading this, where, exactly? This sounds like a strawman to me.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:49 AM
  #22  
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um... one thing I would like to mention. The OP's demographics are way off.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
Hopefully the moderator will move this drivel to A&S, foo, or delete it entirely.
+ 10

The original post was ill-informed, insulting, boring and riddled with assumptions. If you are going to make assumptions about who is posting on here at least put up a poll to confirm or disprove those assumptions. I have always assumed that the median age on here was closer to thirty than twenty although I could be wrong. Furthermore I think that most of the people on here are just trying to get to work and home safely while on a bike. We post angry threads when someone endangers our life because we are fragile compared to cars and SUVs. Also I completely disagree with the poster who said if you take a SUV driver out of his car and put him on the bike he is still the same person. First you can't get 99 out of 100 drivers on a bike. Bike commuters are already to some degree different than drivers to begin with. Second if you get somebody out of there steel cage and expose them to the dangers of the road their behavior and attitude will change or they won't survive long.

Edit: On second thought this is a fun fight. Don't move it.

Last edited by BroadSTPhilly; 07-30-08 at 09:52 AM. Reason: changed my mind
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Old 07-30-08, 10:30 AM
  #24  
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My commute is currently only about 40% on streets and the rest on bikeways. The streets are mostly low traffic residential roads. In general my experience with cars and drivers has been positive. There's been a few exceptions.

I've never developed an intense dislike of cars and I don't see the world as "us vs. them". I don't use the term "cager".

It's not hard to see how my attitude could change if I were mixing it up with traffic on a more regular basis and dealing with a lot of inconsiderate, unobservant, and ignorant drivers. Regardless, I don't think it helps "further the cause" to antagonize drivers.

If perhaps this thread is partially in response to the recent Critical Mass incidents, my own opinion regarding those rides is mixed. I saw the first part of the ride last year in Minneapolis that ended up being rather messy. It looked like a lot of fun, but it doesn't take too much for "mob rule" to take over. You've got a bunch of cyclists who might normally feel a little vulnerable on the streets suddenly in a position of power. Some people will take advantage of that and cause trouble. In the end it sounds as if it was the police that overreacted. They were on edge because of reports of an anarchist group participating in the ride.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by recumelectric View Post

I've been reading various stuff about U-lock assaults/vandalism, pissing in peoples' gas tanks, deliberately blocking up traffic, and carrying weapons while looking for trouble.
On teh intarwebs. Don't believe everything you read. You do see the occational story posted about CMers getting out of hand,or a bus passenger punching out a commuter,but for the most part these incidents are exceptions to the rule. Now if you were witnessing these events on a dialy basis,it would be a different story. But pixels on a screen are more often than not nothing more than just that;electronic dots.
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