They drive among us: More insights on cycling from the gasoline addled

Sometimes, they make it too easy.

The Times felt a need to troll for more online readers. So naturally, they turned to bikes, knowing the subject always keeps the comments flowing — even though they covered this same subject just last week.

And sure enough, the comments about the Bike Working Group’s proposed Backbone Bikeway Network has brought out the usual bike-hating suspects. Surprisingly, though, the comments have been overwhelmingly in favor of building the network.

Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that the Times moderates comments on their blogs. So all the rabid, mouth-foaming, life-threatening, death-to-cyclists borderline insane, so-bad-they-make-the-Good-Doctor-look-good comments may be circling the silicon drain.

And man, would I like to see those.

So instead, we’re left with the observations of the relatively sane, though perhaps somewhat gas-addled drivers who managed to make it through the paper’s filtering process.

I read ‘em so you don’t have to.

Of course, many of the anti-bike comments fall into to usual category of bicyclists should be licensed and insured, just like drivers.

Yes, Just make sure they are licenced and pay fee’s like car owners do, and make em get insurance too!

Posted by: john | February 08, 2010 at 08:54 AM


If bikes want more space on the roads of LA then the bike should be registered just like cars and bikers should be licensed just like drivers. They should also be tested just like drivers after all it is a privelege not a right. And no bikes should be allowed on two lane roads if they pose a hazard to drivers.

Posted by: Jerry Brunner | February 08, 2010 at 12:41 PM

A perspective that fails to consider that the overwhelming majority of adult cyclists have a driver’s license, and have passed the exact same test as their accusers. Or do they honestly think that no one on a bike has any other transportation options?

Then there’s the fact that here in California, the operator is insured, rather than the vehicle. Which means that your car insurance policy should follow you regardless of what vehicle you operate — even a bike, as I learned the hard way following my road rage case, when my car insurance company picked up the entire tab for my medical expenses.

There are those who will only support cyclists when we obey the law.

only if they start obeying the traffic laws. 75% run stop signs and red lights

Posted by: Jon | February 08, 2010 at 09:11 AM

And no drivers ever speed, run stop sighs or fail to signal. Or park in bike lanes, for that matter.

Then there’s this rocket scientist, who can’t seem to grasp the concept that fixies can still manage to stop, even without added brakes.

Sure, as long as the cyclists follow the rules of the road like everyone else. Too often I see them running stop signs and even red lights with wanton disregard for their own safety. The worst offenders are the people on fixed-gear bikes that don’t have any brakes at all. I am not allowed to drive a car with no brakes, so why should someone be allowed to ride a bicycle with no brakes on that same road?

Posted by: Kirill | February 08, 2010 at 09:21 AM

There are comments that say get on the sidewalk.

no. infact the old law allowing people to ride bikes on the same roads that cars and trucks drive needs to be ended. they are a road hazard that should be on the sidewalk. when a person riding a bike is in the fast lane of a two lane road and is trying to make a left hand turn across traffic he is endangering himself and all the motorist on that same road. only if there is no side walk should it be legal to ride a bike on the road and only on the far right side at that. i am actually shocked that the ultra greedy insurance companies have not pushed for this already to avoid payouts that result from there injuries.

Posted by: dman in the inland empire | February 08, 2010 at 09:31 AM

And comments that say stay off the sidewalk.

The question ought to read “Should cyclists give pedestrians back the sidewalks?” I will give them room on the road if they will let me walk on the sidewalk.

Posted by: LBGirl | February 08, 2010 at 09:38 AM

Even some that say get on the sidewalk you damn commie liberals.

No! Bikers need to stay on the sidewalk or learn to drive a car. I am sick of liberal cheapskates on bikes slowing down the traffic just so they can save a few bucks on gas.

Posted by: Hal | February 08, 2010 at 09:40 AM

A few think there are better places to ride. Like the desert, for instance.

I disagree with giving them more room. The law provides enough room for bicyclists as it is. If they want somewhere to ride, they can ride to the desert and have all the room they want. As mentioned above, they are self-righteous and sanctimonious and do not DESERVE anything. Those idiots we see riding along the orads in their tight shorts and stupid helmets are not going to work and, therefore, should not get in the way of those of us who have to fight traffice every single day. I say drop the subject altogether,

Posted by: Gary | February 08, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Yeah, cycling a hundred miles out of your way in 112 degree temperatures is so much fun, when you only wanted to go a few blocks down the “orad” for a loaf of bread.

Or maybe Orange County.

I’m sorry but Los Angeles should not cater to cyclists. There are plenty of trails in the suburbs and most cyclists choose to live somewhere with more trails anyways. Suburbs like Orange County are prime real estate for pretty boy cyclists. LA is an inner city kinda place and always will be

Posted by: Phil | February 08, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Meanwhile, Julie is tired of getting stuck behind cyclists on the 405 Freeway.

I am begging you – NO!!!!!! let bicyclists ride on paseos and around neighborhoods. Bikes are NOT viable methods of transportation for work and should NOT be treated as such. I do not want to have to drive at 10 miles per hour because I’m behind a bicyclist on the 405….Please stop the insanity.

Posted by: julie | February 08, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Or did she think “bicycle freeways” meant we were actually going to ride on the freeway? And Rick, too.

On the freeway are they nuts or just have a death wish, totally unaccecptable

Posted by: Rick T | February 08, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Clearly, not enough emphasis is paid to reading for comprehension in today’s schools. And don’t even get me started on what some of these comments say about literacy rates these days.

Some say traffic is too bad for a solution that might actually provide an alternative to driving.

Yet another idiotic “politically correct” idea. Traffic is congested? Then let’s make it more congested so a handfull of bicycles can move freely while tens of thousands move even more slowly.

Posted by: rick1946 | February 08, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Never mind that many L.A. streets are already at or above capacity, and that the only viable solution is to reduce the number of cars on the roads. Or do they want us to remove the sidewalks so they can add another traffic lane?

On the other hand, Ron hates cyclists because of our fashion choices, as well as riding habits.

yes, please get these rude idiots off the streets, bicyclists don’t give a damn. they don’t care about anyone but themselves. Everywhere I go I see them challenge drivers, Never in single file, Run stop signs so they won’t lose momentum, ect…. Just because you ride an expensive bicycle and outfit yourself in ridiculious effiminite clothing, Does not give you the right to take over the road , which is what they do in packs. Are we supposed to stop all our cars on busy streets because your club needs to get to starbucks? I’m surprised there aren’t more road rage incidents against these self centered elitists. These people are riding for pleasure, the rest of us are trying to get to work,So stay out of the way, Heelhook

Posted by: Ron | February 08, 2010 at 09:40 AM

Some are only concerned with our safety:

For God’s sake, NO! NHTSA statistics have shown that a mile traveled on a bicycle is 14.7 times more likely to result in a fatality than one traveled in a passenger vehicle. Not only is it far more dangerous, bicycling, unlike motorcycling, is disastrous to efficient traffic flow in a region notorious for that problem already. Bicyclists who want this are zealots who care nothing for all those they would inconvenience.

Posted by: klesb | February 08, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Of course, he fails to mention that cars are far more likely to kill someone.

Some have clearly never heard of dooring.

Are you kidding me, they cause enough hazards on residential streets as it is. Why do they need more space they all just ride on the line anyways. Is it that important to hug the white line? They are putting their lives at danger. Then they get upset when a car passes them going the speed limit. Scoot over to the right bikers, you have the whole bike lane to ride in.

Posted by: T Nahas | February 08, 2010 at 11:09 AM

There there’s the argument that bikes need to pay their fare share for use of the roads.

Bicycles should be registered and riders licensed the same asrequire for Autos. The fees collected can be used for more an wider bicycle lanes.
Auto registration fees in Calif have risen, the fuel tax in Calif is one of the highest in the nation and the bicycle riders want the motoring public to share the revenue to build them bike lanes instead of improving the road ways for autos for which the revenue is intende?
Les be fair, the autos pay for the auto lanes and the bikes pay for the bike lanes.

Posted by: David Wayne | February 08, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Hey, I’m all for that. Gas and licensing fees cover less than half of all road construction and maintenance fees, which means those who don’t drive or only drive a little subsidize those who do. So a tax that charges people for their use of the roads would mean a huge increase for people who drive two hours to work every day. And a huge decrease for those of us who don’t.

Put that on the ballot, I’ll vote for it.

Some think there just isn’t enough demand.

I think all three bike riders in Los Angeles deserve more space on the road. Maybe we could give them each their own lane.

Posted by: Ranger | February 08, 2010 at 02:04 PM

Then again, there are some who just hate bikes. But at least this guy’s honest about it.

No, I hate all you bike riders that try to take over the roads. If you arent a car, you shouldnt try and act like one. stay out of my way.

Posted by: bikehater | February 08, 2010 at 11:06 AM


LADOT to lose 12 staffers in the latest round of mayor-ordered layoffs, Planning Department loses nine; how Bikeways will be impacted is yet to be determined. Public Radio KCRW’s Warren Olney, reportedly doored last week, misses today’s show with a possible concussion. Metro hosts a Cycling Roundtable Downtown on Friday, the 19th; RSVP by this Friday to attend. LA Weekly picks up the story that nearly a quarter of all cycling collisions are hit-and-runs. The California Supreme Court reaches the obvious conclusion that bicycle foot rests are not brass knuckles. Clearly, bikes have entered the zeitgeist, as Biking In Heels notices they’ve penetrated the Wedding Industrial Complex. After surviving the Snowpocalypse, a North Carolina cyclist wonders what that blinding light illuminating everything is. The scumbag musician who killed a Miami cyclist in a drunken daylight hit-and-run is back in jail. It’s time to stop blaming scofflaw cyclists for the actions of motorists; I couldn’t agree more.The usual suspects come out in Portland, as well, with a renewed call to register, inspect and insure bikes, while bikes are increasingly the exception. A critical look at policing Critical Mass. Horrifying photos of the aftermath of a life-threatening bike accident tell the whole story. A Florida writer asks how much of a bother bikes can really be. The head of the Lafourche Parrish Sheriff’s Patrol Division, in new NFL champion Saints territory, rides to relax. An Aussie writer rags on rude Lycra-clad cyclists with middle-aged butts. In the US, conservatives hate bikes, in Budapest conservatives promote them. Two years after a cyclist is killed, a UK community considers removing the railings that caused her death. Finally, in a bit of good news, an elderly Aussie rider falls off his bike, then over a bridge — and suffers only scrapes and a possible broken leg.


  1. TheTricksterNZ says:

    I always laugh at the great dirty unwashed illiterate ‘IR’s’ that come out with those kinds of things.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that both LA Times there and Stuff here know when they’re on to a good thing for page impressions.

    What I love doing here is what I call the ‘4 dollar trick’.

    It requires $4 in one dollar coins (notes there obviously) and a ranty type demanding that ‘bikes pay their fair share’.

    I simply go “right, calculated on my distance from last year this is about what I owe, however I’ll take that ($1) back because I cause 26,000 times less damage to the road, that ($1) back because in the long term I will be less of a drain on the health system, that ($1) back for the motorways I can’t use but take up significant amounts of road spending, and then that ($1) back for reducing the negative health outcomes on others because I’m not spewing carcinogens in the air. However I won’t mention parking subsidies as I’m fair and really I’m happy with my current position without demanding money from you.”


    Even the most angry ‘user pays’ libertarian usually shuts up with that. Hahaha.

  2. […] Biking in L.A. Responds to Some of the Dumber Comments in Yesterday's Times' Comments Section […]

  3. Digital Dame says:

    These people are so completely insulated in their own little worlds. Somebody needs to tell Julie up there that in many places in the world (but tell her there is a world outside LA first, ’cause I don’t think that’s occurred to her) thousands and thousands of people do find bikes a viable means of transportation to work.

    I think some of them really believe the only people who ride bikes are people who cannot, for some horrible reason or other, drive a car.

  4. Dave says:

    I always love how the angry ranting comments and emails are usually the ones where it’s clear that the person writing has no idea how to use their own language, couldn’t spell “dog” if you showed it to them first, and obviously have no real opinion of their own except “I’m right!”

    Thankfully, the only place you usually see stuff like this in Portland proper is from commenters on mass media sites (the Oregonian for example). I rarely run into people with this kind of point of view in the city itself. Even if people wouldn’t ride themselves, they are usually pretty friendly and understanding towards cyclists. I have to assume that most of the angry commenters come from suburban areas, and many seem to just spend their time trolling the internet for bike-related articles to leave angry comments on. Most of the impatient, angry drivers I encounter (surprisingly few) are near freeway exits and entrances too, which also suggests that they are from outside the city 🙂

  5. Ross Hirsch says:

    Thanks for this summary–I didn’t have time to review all 300-odd responses and distill the essences of both the “for” and “against” statements, so this overview was very helpful. Not much there from the vast majority of these “against” commenters in the way of real substance to further any significant debate, but perhaps that’s just the nature of this forum.

    But i did get a good laugh from the comment that we cyclists are “liberal cheapskates on bikes slowing down the traffic just so they can save a few bucks on gas.” That’s almost too good to be legit.

  6. Oh thank you for this humorous look at those comments! I actually did read them all yesterday, and I was completely incensed by them. My only comfort is that these people are too lazy to vote, and, furthermore, probably wouldn’t understand anything that needed to be voted on, since they can’t read, apparently.

    I love how the one commenter says “I’ll give them room on the road when they give me room on the sidewalk.” Does he not see the contradiction in his own comment? Because he squeezes us off the road in his car, a cyclist is forced onto the sidewalk where they must dodge pedestrians. The logic of our community astounds me.

    I have so much more I want to say, but the fury I feel is going to give me a stroke. Thanks for the alleviating humor.

    • bikinginla says:

      Yes, I noticed that familiar name amongst the comments; had I included literate, thoughtful pro-bike comments, yours would surely have made the cut.

      But these were just too good to resist.

  7. Dave says:

    I should note, in case anyone doesn’t click on the “while bikes are increasingly the exception” link above about Portland – your reference makes it sound a bit like cyclists in Portland are increasingly being excluded from things, when in fact, they are increasingly being given freedom to do things which motorists can’t (continue straight at certain intersections where cars are diverted, contra-flow bike lanes that allow bicycles to travel both ways on one-way streets, etc).

    Just wanted to clarify 🙂

  8. Errin says:

    Thanks for the summary. I wasn’t able to read them yesterday. It would be much safer to drive, no question, but riding to work and back is the best way to maximize my riding time.

  9. JJ says:

    “And no drivers ever speed, run stop sighs or fail to signal. Or park in bike lanes, for that matter.”

    The California Drivers Guide points out that parking in a bike lane is legal unless posted otherwise. The DMV test has a question that reinforces this idea. Someone should change that so we dont have to waste so much money on hundreds of “no parking” signs.

  10. ubrayj02 says:

    LADOT’s cuts don’t look like they will affect Bikeways at all!

  11. John Murphy says:

    “A perspective that fails to consider that the overwhelming majority of adult cyclists have a driver’s license, and have passed the exact same test as their accusers.”

    You are forgetting the fact that a reasonably large percentage of adult motorists *don’t* have a valid drivers license, reiterated over and over when I read “The driver was cited for DUI and driving with a suspended license”. Typically not the first offense.

    When anyone brings up the “Cyclists don’t pay taxes” thing I just tell them “I am just following the teachings of Sister Sarah and Brothers Glenn, Sean, Bill, and Rush, refusing to hand over my hard earned dollars to the Government which will surely waste my tax money! I challenge you to join the fight!”

  12. TheTricksterNZ says:

    John – nice response for the American side of things. People here would either go “who?” or “man those guys are douches”.

    Anyway, as an aside I have just had a rather (un)entertaining day trying to arrange travel insurance for a trip I’m taking to Australia for a cycling event there.

    I’ve found number of companies which will cover me for full medical, even during the event, but dare I actually ride the bike, even down to the shops, they won’t cover the bike at all.

    Anyway, got a couple of brokers I might be able to negotiate with that I’m going to call tomorrow.

    Ultimate lesson learned – just hire a damn bike instead.


  13. On another, related note: while I do not own a car and do not pay registration fees or gas taxes (since I don’t usually purchase gas for my bike), I do have a valid drivers license, which I only renewed so I could continue to rent cars when I need to. When I do rent a car, I do pay for fuel, and I assume that a portion of the fee I pay to rent has to go to keep that car registered. So even those of us that don’t own cars do pay these taxes, just not to the same extent as car owners.

  14. TheTricksterNZ says:

    Don’t forget you don’t get the same hidden subsidies either though.

    I’m not sure if you’ve got minimum parking requirements there but here, unless its in a pretty small area of the central city all premises have a ‘minimum parking requirement’ which the cost of the land, council taxes and maintainance obviously gets passed on to the consumer. Also the rego/licensing/gas taxes paid never ever cover the cost of just road maintainence and don’t forget what wear and tear we do cause is only a fraction of a fraction of that caused by cars.

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