In a recent newspaper column, an Oroville driver unwittingly confesses to assault with a deadly weapon after deliberately running riders off the road.
Except from her windshield-warped perspective, it’s their own damn fault for being in her way.
And for wearing spandex, evidently.
As Kyra Gottesman relates the story, she came upon the sight of the hideous and seemingly suicidal cyclists as she rounded a blind corner, only to spot them riding in the road ahead of her. And then takes offense when they politely signal for her to pass, rather getting the hell off the road as she assumes any sane person would do.
I was towing my horse trailer uphill with absolutely no way to see around the corner for oncoming traffic when I came upon a cyclist herd (six in all) whose clothing and rear ends were equally horrifying.
Note to Ms Gottesman: As someone who grew up driving the narrow winding roads and blind corners of the Rocky Mountains, I would suggest that if you can’t see what’s in the road directly ahead of you, it’s time to slow the hell down for chrissakes.
While the affront of their appearance was distressing what was even more disturbing was their absolute lack of concern for their lives or mine. They neither pulled over nor stopped. Rather, they imperiously waved me around them.
So she proceeds to respond as she disturbingly assumes any sensible person would do. And runs them off the road.
Then blows kisses as they flip her off.
I didn’t have time to ask any of these questions in person, though I would have been curious to hear their answers. Instead I continued with the only option I had — upward and onward. This forced them to swerve to the side, stop their bikes and give their poor tired legs a rest, though most of them decided to exercise their middle fingers. I smiled, blew kisses and gave them the Princess Di wave and continued on my way.
Seriously, the audacity of those people. Why on earth would bike riders be so rude as to make crude gestures just because someone deliberately violated the vehicle code and threatened their lives and safety?
And never mind that she didn’t have time to slow down or stop, but had plenty of time to observe their reactions and wave as she passed/
Then she discovers that at least two serious bike-related injuries or fatalities occur in that area every month. But instead of placing the blame on dangerous, self-entitled drivers like herself, she blames the riders for insisting on getting in the way of people like her.
Or possibly for being on the planet in the first place.
And God forbid that any cyclist should wear attire designed for the purpose if it offends her sensitive sensibilities while she’s in the process of running them off the road.
Clearly, though, she’s right about one thing — it’s neither smart nor safe to ride the roads whenever people like that are on the road.
Frankly, her column doesn’t read so much as a meager attempt at wit as it does a confession to assault with a deadly weapon.
Because what she did, in apparent certainty of her God-given right to the road and the precept that might — or in this case, mass — makes right, was no less a crime than what L.A.’s own bike boogeyman is currently serving five years for doing.
And he was no less sure of the rightness of his actions than Ms. Gottesman seems to be.
She’s absolutely right. People are crazy.
Just not the ones she thinks.
The LAPD is searching for a hit-and-run driver who injured a cyclist on Los Feliz Blvd on Wednesday night. According to the Daily News, the vehicle was described as a gray Nissan Infiniti G37 with a license plate number beginning 6PIC. Thanks to Steve Herbert for the tip.
And an 83-year old Riverside man is seriously injured when a driver plows into his bike after the light changed as he was legally riding through an intersection.
And it’s time for a shift change at LADOT Bike Blog, as Christopher Kidd makes way for Jojo Pewsawang; Chris has been an amazing resource for L.A. cyclists and will be sorely missed. Not to put more pressure on Jojo or anything.
The bikelash begins against the 4th Street Bike Boulevard as local motorists attempt to block plans for improved street crossings by pushing a highly biased and leading poll in the guise of asking opinions. You might want to vote in the poll just to show there’s another side to the story.
In what could be great news for PCH cyclists — and anyone else who rides, drives, walks or resides along SoCal’s highway from hell — Malibu has received a $300,000 Caltrans grant to study safety and analyze potential improvements along the highway; thanks to Eric Bruins for the link. Here’s your chance to party with the police on National Night Out. Councilmember Bill Rosendahl discovers riding a bike is as easy as, well, riding a bike. L.A. urban cycling apparel maker Swrve moves into a new Glassell Park headquarters. An overview of the state of biking in Los Angeles. A look at this month’s L.A. Critical Mass. PLACE Grant recipients explain how the grants made a difference for cyclists in their communities. San Dimas plans for a bike friendly future.
A deaf driver who killed a cyclist in a La Quinta hit-and-run last December is deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial. Solana Beach state assemblyman Martin Garrick pleads no contest to DUI charges after getting stopped by CHP bike cops. Cyclegeddon hits Santa Barbara when a busy bike path shuts down. A San Francisco Chronicle columnist says bikes are the future, so deal with it; this is the same writer who previously thought anyone crossing the street when he was behind the wheel was asking for it. Evidently, you don’t have to ride fast all the time after all. Davis CA tops the list of bike-friendly small cities, though someone should tell Bicycling that anything north of the Bay Area is not in Southern California. Dave Moulton takes NorCal AAA to task for opposing California’s three-foot passing law.
Competing — and winning — in the master national track championships despite overcoming MS and a traumatic brain injury. Historical videos show legendary bike fails, such as attempting to ride a rocket powered bike. Pedal-powered velomobiles tour the U.S; now that’s what I call a strange bike. Cars kill more people than guns every year. Not surprisingly, a local municipal judge upholds the Black Hawk Co bike ban; the result may be different when it reaches a more objective court. Newly crowned Tour de France champ Cadel Evans plans to ride in next month’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up. Bike touring through Texas with a wrist broken in three places. Anderson Cooper rides helmetless through the streets of New York to promote his new talk show. An NYPD sting operation entices bike delivery people to buy purportedly hot bikes, while NYPD officers browbeat a cyclist after dooring him. Maryland approves the same Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign that LADOT now recommends.
Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey offers some thoughts to wrap up this year’s TdF. A writer for the Vancouver Sun asks if anyone observes the speed limit any more. Guinness cancels their Youngest category while two young cyclists set a record for traversing the Americas by bike, and neglects to tell them. Readers of the respected British Medical Journal say helmet use shouldn’t be made mandatory. Two years and seven months for killing a cyclist while driving at twice the speed limit. Up to 1,000 cyclists ride in protest of plans to raise the speed limit on a busy London bridge. Irritation at dawdling Brit drivers leads to calls for slow speed cameras to force them to speed up.
Finally, Toyota works on a new bike you can shift with your mind. And a Seattle cyclist is stopped by police for speeding at 42 mph, and let off with a warning suitable for framing; Lord knows I would.
Note to readers: I’m posting this well after midnight, so let me apologize in advance for whatever screw-ups my sleep deprived — or perhaps depraved — little mind may have inadvertently conjured.