Just keep it to yourself.
In a blog post that went viral over the weekend, a self-described curvy British bike rider recites the pain the comes from being told to get “off the fucking road you fat bitch” by a pair of spandexed riders.
Then later on the same ride, she’s told to “get that fat ass up here” by another.
I remember a few years back, I was riding along the beach when I came upon an extremely large woman riding with a friend. Someone whose weight could have easily been measured in the multiple hundreds of pounds.
I admit, my first thought was how ridiculous she looked atop that tiny bike.
Then I shamed myself with my second, as I realized the courage it took for her to get out there and risk the ridicule of total strangers. And how she could be saving her own life by riding that bike, improving her health with every pedal stroke.
And that, if she kept it up, she might not be that large for long.
I kept those thoughts to myself.
But as I passed, I gave her a smile, along with the same nod I would any other rider. Because she was one of us, just as much as any fixie rider or spandexed roadie.
And maybe more so, because it took more effort just to get on that bike to begin with.
So if you see someone whose body doesn’t fit your image of what a bike rider should be, give him or her a nod or smile, or a maybe a word of encouragement.
And if you can’t manage that, just keep your damn mouth shut.
Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.
Aussie rider Rohan Dennis is one of the favorites in the USA Pro Challenge that kicks off today, after achieving all of his long-range goals in just six months; the three-day women’s tour starts Friday.
The young Norwegians are coming on strong.
And Tour de France winner Chris Froome wants to be the spokesman for clean cycling. Which is only a little ironic since so many fans — and at least one previous winner — accused him of cheating during the tour.
The Times offers a look at the Rowena road diet as a model for what the new Mobility Plan hopes to achieve. Let’s not forget that reducing serious collisions benefits motorists, too.
LA Times’ reader’s react to the passage of the plan with a couple of well thought-out letters. Then there’s the other kind, with one saying getting people out of their cars is like trying to get Charlton Heston to give up his guns, and another suggesting we should emulate Shanghai’s switch from bikes to cars — neglecting to mention that didn’t turn out so well. Thanks to John Lloyd for the last link.
A writer in the Daily News says rip out all those road diets and the bike lanes that came with them to make more room for cars.
Three groups have just 23 days to raise funds for their Great Streets challenge grants, including a musical intersection at Florence and Crenshaw and a complete streets demo on Cesar Chavez.
A San Diego woman was seriously injured when she reportedly turned her bike into the path of a tow truck after she’d been drinking, although the description of the collision just doesn’t add up. Thanks to San Diego’s Mark Ganzer for trying to help figure this one out.
Virgin Atlantic lists the ten best bikeways in San Diego.
A Fremont cyclist was killed when he — allegedly — suddenly turned into the path of a car. In the absence of independent witnesses, in many cases like this, it’s more likely the driver simply didn’t see the bike rider in front of them until it was too late.
Marin County is about to open a 17 acre bike park.
A Maui letter writer asks the mayor why volcano bike tours are allowed to endanger the lives of local residents. Although it sound like the real danger comes from impatient drivers.
An SMU student’s design for a portable, inflatable bike rack, which took second place in the university’s innovation competition, ships this month after a successful Kickstarter campaign. So what the heck finished first?
Big hearted Omaha gang detectives buy a kid a new bike after he scrapes his knee trying to ride a girl’s bike with a flat tire.
This is why people continue to die on our roads. An allegedly drunk Iowa driver fled the scene after running down three cyclists on a group ride; he had a previous conviction for DUI, as well as convictions for drug offenses, assault and child endangerment. Yet somehow, he was allowed to keep driving until he nearly killed someone.
Sad news from Rhode Island, as an 80-year old masters racer died after crashing into the back of a truck that had broken down on the side of the road.
It’s not fast delivery if it never gets there; a New York e-bike delivery man was arrested for riding salmon through the Holland Tunnel.
Props to a Virginia driver for rushing an injured hit-and-run victim to the hospital. On the other hand, don’t just leave the guy’s bike lying in the middle of the street.
The family of a cyclist murdered by a homeless man while riding from Maine to Florida to propose to his girlfriend last year plan to finish the ride in his honor.
A writer for the Guardian says it’s not satanic to say cyclists get a raw deal. It’s actually a pretty good look at the polarization of modern society. And equally valid on both sides of the Atlantic.
Heartbreaking story from the UK, as some low-life scum stole the bike a seven-year old girl was given as a birthday present by her father, who died just 12 weeks ago.
A group of British bystanders may have saved the life of a critically injured 18-year old cyclist by lifting a car off him after he was struck during a sportive ride.
Long promised Brit bikeways were never built because infrastructure for cars is considered a national priority, while bikes aren’t.
The bike boom is even spreading to Putin’s Russia.
In a truly sickening case, 13 Bangladeshi men have been arrested for torturing and killing a 13-year old boy suspected of stealing a bike, and posting the video online.
Austrian doctors urge the country to dump its mandatory helmet law, saying it’s keeping people off their bikes. And an Aussie researcher says the country’s roads are fundamentally unsafe, and big decisions have to be made about the real value of on-street parking. Seriously, is a more convenient parking space worth a human life?
Can you really call it a cycle superhighway if it’s just a third of a mile long? A judge with a keen insight into the law says a father went to far when he bashed a helmeted cyclist over the head with a wrench. Gee, you think?
And don’t even think about riding your bike naked in Anchorage.