Lets Get Along, Let Us Act Accordingly
Thread started by Hippy Sippy
at 06.24.11 - 12:23 am
With the recent tragedy of the KTown ride and the out pouring of love and support for the victims, my thoughts are with them who were there and who are suffering the most because of the actions of a careless woman inside a machine distracted with clouded judgement and a fucking phone. May they recover and ride again. Now why I write the following: This has been used against us cyclist by many, the news and in forums, how oil vampires treat us as second class on our roads because we "get in the way". A thread came to my attention by Googling Christine Dahab, pointing me to a car centric website were this ass is applauding the actions of this woman. After reading it all, I am in no least surprised because I personally come across these nuts during my daily commutes, those maniacs who inside their cars honk horns and speed real close to me, while my heart skips beats as I remain perfectly straight and focused, keeping my line and not eating shit as they hoped... finding myself scared shitless but forgetting to get angry because I don't want to ruin my morning. For what, for riding a bike down "their" roads, the "car" roads, in a car society, trying to avoid getting doored, hauling ass keeping with traffic none the less, on the right lane, signalling my intentions and not breaking the laws of the road. They don't see that, they only want me to "Go to the sidewalk!", like if I did not have a right to be on "their" roads.
Three weeks ago, I spoke to Kat about us not showing our anger at those lunatics. We mutually agree that a hand wave and a smile despite our rage is the best way to handle such nonsense. This conversation came about as I was riding to the Alter Ego ride and this guy would not go on his way as he rode next to me real close and gestured that I was in his way. Kat and I related how fucked up it was to be at the attention of somebody who obviously does not know the law and has a personal grudge against us cyclist. As ride leader, Kat kept to the right lane and stopped at lights, and to my annoyance, many riders failed to heed her example. Many blocked the whole road while cars honked behind us since they had no path themselves, and many cyclist ran red after red, eventually realizing that we had stopped at the light. Yet another ride where a motorist who doesn't like cyclist has more ammunition against us, and another ride where a motorist might change her/his mind about us cyclist from positive/neutral to negative because they want to go places just as much as we do but give them no respect as we commandeer the whole fucking road and cork intersections to boot. They might mutter such things as "These fucking assholes..." after hitting their horns. Before this great Alter Ego ride happenend, I told this dude how I fear that one of these days a psychopath no different than the one who mowed down the riders in Critical Mass Brazil would manifest in Los Angeles, as a deranged motorist who snaps because the price of living is too high, and time is short, and the road is completely blocked and he might think to himself "I'm gonna show these bike fags how fed up I am!", and slams on the accelerator, only to plead insanity to the judge later on.
I appreciate the LAPD during Critical Mass for this reason, because blacks and whites keep those who might snap in check if only because escape from a crime of that magnitude will be harder to accomplish while they are the ones corking the roads. And I for one do not want to get slammed into by a car if I can help it. What I am saying here in this long ass post is that we must follow the rules of the road, be courteous to motorist and not hog all lanes, don't flip the bird to them as well, not cork intersections or run reds, have lights, we must not get drunk on our bikes and run into park cars or each other, must not text while riding, must not litter when we stop or litter at all, must not stay to the right lane and not cross the yellow line, and the list can go on, but the idea is: Let us not give cycling in Los Angeles a bad rep by our disrespectful actions. Lets give cyclist and cycling a good reputation by us following the laws just like any vehicle on the road. Lets check each other and keep civility in mind when we ride as a group. Let us ride with pride and safety in mind, and lets make Los Angeles a bike town.... might never happen but let us not adopt a swarm mentality who think we are invisible just because we got numbers and maybe we won't get hassled so much when we ride by ourselves on these roads of the City of Angels. Thank you all who read this and heard me out.
* must not stay to the right lane and not cross the yellow line*
Meant to say: must stay to the right lane and not cross the yellow line.
* let us not adopt a swarm mentality who think we are invisible just because we got numbers*
meant to say: let us not adopt a swarm mentality who think we are invincible just because we got numbers.
Not the best writer here. Sorry bout that.
06.24.11 - 12:30 am
It's hard to take a peaceful stance sometimes, because when someone is threatening my life it is impossible to smile and wave. Frankly, I think if someone is threatening you with a motor vehicle and you are smiling at them, you're a bit of a lunatic yourself. For one thing, you're at risk of death, and that's not the time to smile... not for me, at least. For another, any motorist that is attacking your personal space in with their vehicle out of anger is not going to interpret your smile as warm forgiveness or a friendly gesture. They're going to interpret it as mockery. Remember, they're already angry enough to physically attack you with their vehicle.
We have conflicting ideas on the boards, some saying "stay angry," some saying "don't adopt an angry mob mentality," some saying "to hell with drivers," some saying "stay calm, it's best to smile and wave."
I plan to stay angry about this. That doesn't mean violent or immature, but definitely angry and not quiet and smiling and submissive, either. Smiling and waving when people are literally murdering my friends in the streets is just not my style.
06.24.11 - 11:43 am
I completely understand were you're coming from. I've challenged people to fight and I yet to brake a window with a "revenge" key-less padlock I carried at times... when they get real close to intimidate, I just don't react if they are already gone. I ask them "What the fuck was that?!" at the intersections once I catch on, and they usually flip me off and speed off. I've gotten mad but I'm seeing it from their perspective, and as narrow as it is, I'm not gonna be the bike hero. Instead I'm gonna show a good example of what not to do to turn off the greater part of LA car culture against us cyclist, and promote our cause as well because we need bike friendly streets. We need bicycle paths and bike lanes, we need tough laws against harassing cyclist, in the vein of felony harassment if caught. We need our needs to be built into the future of the roads for us to thrive and for them, the motorist, to join us! I'm being Zen about this, I'm killing them with kindness. I kill them with kindness when they are being dicks but not endangering my life. There's a clear difference. But about your stance, I respect it. I'm more of the guy who doesn't like to get mad or worked up and I avoid fights like the plague. I would only like it if we as riders don't abuse our right to be on road on rides by being dicks ourselves and shitting on motorist rights, hopefully creating harmony over time instead of bitter self entitlement on their part. We as cyclist must not ride drunk nor text ourselves, should wear helmets if we race, should signal, we must not run reds...etc. Why do we feel entitled to brake the law? Our individual bikes might not have the weight and momentum to take out a family crossing the street and that's a beautiful thing but we should be just as respectful of the law as well. Our own individual battles as commuter cyclist are our own matter but as a group we must know our boundaries. Stay angry young man and prosper.
responding to a comment
06.24.11 - 9:48 pm
Well written. Great points.
Thanks for taking the time to write it.
Corking intersections, taking over road ways and running reds was a really fun activity at one time. At this point in time it is just too infuriating to certain motorist who will use as a excuse or justification it to cause harm to other cyclist or yourself when they see us doing said actions. After reading this I'm going to wait at all reds if there is another vehicle waiting, it doesn't matter how dead traffic is coming in cross directions, I don't think it is a good idea to piss anybody off anymore, the repercussion can be to horrific.
Life is getting so stressful for so many people, that it won't take much for somebody to lose it. As for blocking lane I stopped that long ago. I stop two to three cars back at a traffic signal intersection to let cars who want to turn right have the right away, plus there is usually a shaded area back there.
responding to a comment
by Hippy Sippy
06.24.11 - 10:32 pm
Thank you Sexy for your appreciation and for responding. I agree completely with you and I'm glad you share the same feelings. Yup, it was fun to take over road ways for long while but now we must actually play nice and share. Thanks for seeing my point about motorist and on how fucked up it must feel to be at the mercy of a bunch of cyclist when you just want to get to your destination, roads are congested, fuel is costly, time is valuable to all, and well this whole high cost of living is making people go apeshit. And I don't want us cyclist to be the scapegoats, if we can help it. If we unplug our earbuds, head the road signs, use common sense, respect each other, and ride straight, we will ride another day. Lets us show a car slave the freedom a bike brings, and they only way I can see that happening is by being considerate.
responding to a comment
06.24.11 - 11:11 pm
In a hurry to get nowhere.
That's why I keep my own loud-ass horn on my bike and give it to them evenly.
No damage done and I'm less angry myself due to communicating back in the same voice.
06.25.11 - 3:53 am
"Oil vampires." LOL
Reality: The fact of the matter is that everyone who pays a tax on items from food to clothing to property taxes pays for the public land that automobiles use. Here in CA the average person pays over $3,000.00 per years in GNP taxes. (Gross National Product taxes for food, cloths, income tax. basically anything with an attached tax, even if it's a stick of gum.) It is costing everyone in CA, weather they drive a car or take the bus, walk and cycle over $3,000.00 per year for every car on the road. Bicycles on the road only cost about $30.00 per year. Plus we pay for the police state required to manage people racing around in high maintenance dangerous machines.
Myth: Drivers are under the very *mistaken* impression that their puny little registration fees of a few hundred dollars pays for their car to travel on public land. It does not, DMV fees pay for the DMV. Talk about a vicious circle.
We are going bankrupt in the state because we can't afford an automobile infrastructure, we can't afford the police and we can't afford the oil and impact to the environment and consequently our declining health and rising health care costs.
A recent studies showed that babies born with three miles of a freeway are 80% more likly to be born with autism. And that was just ONE freeway study on one disease. What about cancer and people living with compromised immune systems (HIV, etc)?
No fwy test have been conducted on these people. And who live more than three miles from a fwy or highly trafficked main road when living in a city?
The the danger inherent in a car plus the separation of the driver from his community is a primer for potentially careless behavior with deadly consequences. Cyclists, and people who use public transit are sensitive to others, not cut-off and desensitized, like they would be in a car.
Do we want to get sick from the cars on the road? Do we want to be cut off from our environment and our communities? Do we want to live in a Police State? Do we want the state to be broke due to keeping some people in cars while many others use public transit?
And finally, do you want to pay over $3,000.00 dollars a year in GNP taxes so that someone else may drive in a car on the public land you pay for? I don't! Weather I drive or not I'm the one footing the bill for someone (mucher? lol) who drives on public land, yet, I have to be treated like a second class citizen?
Food for thought.
And yes, I'm being "nice" on here. I'm not attacking anyone, I just want the truth to be told so we can all collectively wake up to the reality of the problem and the solution.
Bicycles out number car by over three-to-one world wide as the number one means of transportation.
responding to a comment
06.25.11 - 1:30 pm