Today’s post, in which an idiot self-hating cyclist truly pisses me off

A Seattle writer who claims to own two “fairly expensive 21 speed bicycles,” as well as six — yes six — cars (despite his odd distinction, a hybrid is a car) — takes “dedicated” cyclists to task for having the audacity to ride their bikes in the street, let alone actually take the lane.

Despite his self-described experience as a cyclist, he can envision no reason why anyone would ride a bike in a traffic lane other than… wait for it… “hubris.” After all, he is, by his own admission, afraid to ride in traffic, therefore the only reason anyone else would do so is to deliberately be a nuisance to the drivers who belong there.

Then there’s his unique ability, as a pedestrian, to tell when cyclists exceed the 25 mph speed limit on a popular bike and walking trail — a speed limit that seems to exist only in his own mind, according to the comments that follow. Or to somehow clock rollerbladers travelling at highway speeds.

And why is it that every indignorant idiot on the Internet feels the need to tell us that a cyclist will always come out on the losing end of a collision with a two-ton car? Yeah, like we didn’t know that.

Thanks for the edification, genius.

I’ll be more careful now.

By his estimation, that fact, combined with the greater maneuverability of bicycles, means that all cyclists should yield to motorized traffic. And evidently, in every situation. Never mind that cyclists are more vulnerable in traffic and that it’s motor vehicles that kill, not bikes.

In other words, blame the victim.

Screw the law; common sense — or the all-too-common form of illogic he mistakes for common sense — should rule the day, simply because he says so.

The sheer ignorance he demonstrates is astounding.

So I’m officially creating a new award.

Let’s call it the Ignorant A**hole of the Month Award, or IAMA. And even though it’s just two days into this month, I’m awarding it to the writer of the sadly misnamed “The Ethicist” blog, for which the Seattle Post-Intelligencer claims no responsibility whatsoever, for March, 2010.

Because I know I won’t see a more deserving example over the next 30 days.

Or ever, maybe.

And don’t get me started on a newspaper that would allow him to publish this sort of crap.


Some people like Flying Pigeon’s Dim Sum rides; personally, I’d prefer the Eagle Rock Brewery Ride. The 2nd Annual ArtCycle, the intersection of art and bikes, rolls through the intersections of East Hollywood on the 13th. A San Diego-area rider contacts the city of Oceanside about inadequate bike signage during a road resurfacing, and actually gets a positive response. New Share the Road signs in the Coachella Valley. The Scottsdale cyclist hit by a passing garbage truck succumbs to her injuries; Rick Bernardi analyzes the legal aspects of the collision that took her life. More on the Colorado governor’s rib-cracking ride through the streets of Denver, and a possible collaboration with Lance on a new mile-high stage race. Zeke contemplates a nearly car-free existence, even in rural North Carolina. Bike corrals come to Cincinnati, and bike-borne billboards roll through Tucson. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the heads up that Yehuda Moon is taking the next two months off. Evidently, I’m not the only one who suspects a cover-up in the death of a British cyclist in Saudi Arabia.

Finally, this comment is so wrong in so many ways I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t know if I’m more offended by the kind of jackass shoots pictures up a woman’s skirt, or the kind who would intentionally door someone. Fortunately, in this case, it’s the same person, making him the obvious early leader as this month’s runner-up for IAMA.

And don’t miss the great Aussie PSA spot at the bottom.


  1. Zeke Yount says:

    Based upon this one post, you may have to consider either awarding the IAMA more frequently than once a month or develop some more narrow criteria for the winners. The dude from Seattle gets March IAMA and the “camera/door” idiot from NYC gets April already. I’ll bet you find another award nominee by the end of the work day today! I’ll bet someone with graphic arts skills could develop a REALLY interesting icon to go along with the award!

    – Zeke

  2. Digital Dame says:

    I’m sure the Seattle paper that carries this tripe is loving the controversy it generates. All publicity is good publicity, eh?

  3. Pants Yabbies says:

    Wow! That “Ethicist” column is so poorly written, I can barely be angry. It’s just a sad and laughable piece of drivle. I know Adderall is popular among grad students these days, but this guy needs to lay off (at least long enough to form a cogent, coherent paragraph). Jesus Christ!

  4. Chewie says:

    Do you really think tearing into people like this is constructive? By insulting people you shut off any possibility of meaningful future dialogue with them. I mean, it may feel good to call somebody an idiot, but how is it going to make anything better?

    • bikinginla says:

      You’re right, of course. Usually I prefer to engage someone and try to change the attitude. However, in this particular case, it’s pretty clear that this guy is beyond hope. Had I slept on this, I probably wouldn’t have written it, or at least not written it the way I did. On the other hand, there are a number of idiots out there, and they are usually the ones who make the most noise.

  5. Al says:

    This has been discussed on one Forum at least up here in Seattle. The Seattle PI is notorious for publishing this kind of stuff, but hardly ever in support of cyclists. The PI is entirely on-line now, no paper version and lost lots of funding last year. They seem to be relying on inflammatory “blogs” like this to gain readership; most often the lowest common denominator are the responders. It’s futile to respond to anything like this at all.

  6. Demopoly says:

    Wow! Thanks for the traffic! I hope you feel better and don’t feel so angry with those whom you disagree.

    Your above commenter is right, it doesn’t improve your argument to become bitter or vengeful. The comments about the SPI may be right or wrong, but that’s character assassination, not refuting the argument.

    You did raise some good points, but I also think that you missed the point of my piece which isn’t anti-cyclist or self-righteous. It’s a piece about the realities that commuters need to face.

    Given today’s economy, I don’t think anyone can convince DoT to wipe out more city streets in favor of more expensive bicycle lanes, given that this could decimate the cities plate-tax dividends, and gas tax revenue! How are the cyclists going to replace some 3 billion dollars a year in road taxes?

    Hate them or love them, cars are revenue.

    I hope you reconsider my article and review it with a more open mind. I would especially like it if you can challenge and refute any of my points using actual science instead of hyperbole.

    You’d be surprised at how much I enjoy learning, even if it’s from you.

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