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Texas columnist advocating "dooring" cyclists!(57 posts)

Texas columnist advocating "dooring" cyclists!RickMTB
Jun 6, 2002 6:36 PM
No cyclist is too "serious" to safely use the roadways and pathways
Wendy Crooks, Family Ties, The Villager, p.12A, June 6, 2002

Last week someone sounded off in The Villager about my second biggest pet peeve. (My first is when I have to listen to some young kid's bass pound through my head when he is in a car a good three cars away. That, however, is an article all by itself.) Since moving to The Woodlands, I have really enjoyed the parks and bicycle paths. It just makes it so much safer to enjoy some outdoor activities with our three children.

I see many other families enjoying the bicycle paths, as well. Unfortunately there are some cyclists who apparently think they're too good for the bicycle path. We all pay so much money for the parks and pathways that it amazes me to see so many people not using them. Oh, I know the argument that they use, "We're serious cyclists and we need to go faster than the pathways allow us to go. We can't have people in our way."

Well, I don't buy it. One of our neighbors is training for a triathlon, and just this morning I saw him cycling. I was relieved to see him because, believe it or not, he was on the bike path. How much more "serious" can you get than training for a triathlon? I guess he's just smart enough to realize he is safer on the bike path.

It is not just the fact that I have to share the road with the cyclists that bothers me. If they obeyed the traffic laws like the rest of us, perhaps that might be a different story. First many of them travel in packs. What happened to following in a single-file fashion? Next, almost without fail, they don't stop for stop signs. They just assume that you will give them the right of way and blow right through the stop signs.

Lately, I have noticed more than cars and cyclists on the roads too. Last weekend, I saw a pack of teens rollerblading on Woodlands Parkway. I thought to myself, "What's next?"

Well, today I saw what was next. We were on our way home from church when we saw three ladies adorned in their workout clothes. They were wearing rollerblades and pushing strollers. I've actually thought about doing that myself. I have a pair of rollerblades that are currently collecting dust because Cali and Will can't ride bikes or roller skate. What shocked me was what our 7-year old daughter noticed about the ladies.

"Mom, those ladies don't have anyone in their strollers. The strollers are empty," Courtney said incredulously.

I thought that maybe she was mistaken so I answered half-heartedly, "Really?"

A little bit later, we were on our way to get my van safety inspected when I saw two of the three ladies again. As I passed them on the street, I slowed down to check it out for myself. Sure enough, Courtney was right, no babies. Maybe the third woman realized how silly it looked to be rolling/strolling an empty stroller and decided to go home for her child. Well, at least they weren't putting their kids in danger of being run over by a car, too.

My husband, Bill, has come up with a slew of ways to rid the streets of these defiant non-path riders--- from water pistols to paint guns. Then there's the more traditional, open the door as you pass them on the road stunt. You know, just to scare them.

He thought about taking a small car onto the pathways to prove a point, but then he realized he would just annoy those good path users. He'd even come up with a "smoke them out" plan that is a bit more complicated. Not that I condone any of these forms of retaliation. It does, however, make it a bit more bearable to share the road with these people when you can laugh about it.

I don't know what the answer is. I suppose the police would have to get involved. If they would ticket those who cannot obey the law, perhaps they would at least begin to ride more responsibly. The laws are there for safety, and everyone knows the roads are dange
re: Texas columnist advocating "dooring" cyclists!amflyer
Jun 6, 2002 6:42 PM
Hello,

Got about a hundred "The Villager" newspapers when searched for on Google. Where is this paper from, or is it just online?

Steve
Woodlandssimstress
Jun 6, 2002 7:35 PM
The Woodlands is just outside of Houston.
The Woodlands is the capitol of SuburbiaTig
Jun 7, 2002 7:55 AM
Many years ago, The Woodlands was developed by an oil company to be what was relatively new at the time, a planned community. They had great ideas like no billboards or tall business signs, a huge network of greenbelts, paths, and lakes, and all trees would be left standing with exception of those in a home's immediate yard. Over the years it has grown to be quite popular, and for good reason. It is a wonderful and beautiful community to live in. Many other American development companies have used The Woodlands as a model.

However, with such luxury comes the social (and narrow) minded stay at home mommies that have too much time on their hands. This particular mommy likes to write a column on things she understands, and more dangerously, things the thinks she understands. Instead of just whining the usual "somebody needs to do something about [fill in a subject]", she blurbs her opinions and "solutions" to a small local newspaper that needs to fill space with community related fodder. This poor witch needs an education on the subjects she attempts to write about, but her closed mind and set objectives wouldn't hear of such a thing.

As you can see in the picture of a trail, it is nice and wide. That doesn't make it safe for fast fitness training though.
The Woodlands is the capitol of SuburbiaSummerNights
Jun 7, 2002 7:56 PM
Dude, you crack me up. what YOU sound like is someone who is jealous of NOT having a stable home life - a stay-at-home mother.

What does your therapist say?

Get a life.
can you find her email address? (nm)namir in SoCal
Jun 6, 2002 6:48 PM
Yes, Please...post it for us all!(nm)JBurton
Jun 6, 2002 6:52 PM
I'd like that, too. or at least a way to contact the paperweiwentg
Jun 6, 2002 6:52 PM
she wrote for. I'd love to tell her she's a complete idiot.
...to contact the paperitsme
Jun 7, 2002 3:23 AM
Here's the latest info I can find:

The Villager
1600 Lakefront Cr.
The Woodlands, TX 77387
(281) 367-5309

It's a newspaper in the Houston Community Newspapers group, which is owned by Westward Communications, LLC.
-Doug.
Yes, let's get that email addy please.Ahimsa
Jun 6, 2002 7:02 PM
Ms. Crooks needs an education.

A.
A start on contact infoAhimsa
Jun 6, 2002 7:12 PM
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?brd=1572&pag=460&dept_ID=490365

That's all I got. Anyone care to try to get more? A search of the site turns up nada.

A.
Someone oughtta slap this b*tch like the b*tch she is!I Love Shimano
Jun 6, 2002 7:45 PM
Whoever wrote this has the brains of a mosquito! Even her husband is one dumb f*ck! Wanting to take a minicar to the paths...dumba$$! Intentionally dooring us cyclists is also one demented idea of proving their point which also happens to be WRONG. Sure, there are cyclists who don't follow the rules of the road. But there are also motorists who don't follow the rules too. Should cars not be allowed on the roads because a lot of them run stop signs, speed, etc.? Somebody like Radicalronpruitt should write this b*tch and show her what her 2 braincells are making her write.

Dumbf*cks! They're not just all over our streets, but in the newspapers too!
write your opinion...the best i could do so far.....(link)dustin73
Jun 6, 2002 7:58 PM
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=48404&brd=1572&PAG=699&dept_id=183026&startrow=1&MaxRows=10
Looks like they pulled the story!SnowBlind
Jun 6, 2002 8:04 PM
Still, I say we hammer the editor with emails. Don;t get too rabid guys...
They have a "post your opinion page" at their site - url:Jekyll
Jun 6, 2002 8:52 PM
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=48404&BRD=1572&PAG=461&dept_id=183026&rfi=6 - scroll toward the bottom of the page...
and they also have a guest book at: http://www.zwire.com/site/community.cfm?brd=1572&pag=560&dept_ID=183105
just on the odd thought that someone might be a bit ticked off by this yuppie bitch.

Cheers
We should call DYFUS... That Crooks girl is in danger!spyderman
Jun 6, 2002 11:18 PM
Wendy and Bill Crooks are NUTS!!! Unbelievable!!!
Maybe this is why...spyderman
Jun 6, 2002 11:49 PM
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=3956968&BRD=1572&PAG=461&dept_id=183105&rfi=8An

Empty nest can drive a woman cuckoo

By: Wendy Crooks April 25, 2002

Normally my house is so full of commotion that you have to struggle to hear my cuckoo clock chirp. This week, however, I think I heard the old guy almost every time he cuckooed.

The house was painfully quiet at times and I realized what life will be like when the kids go off to college. I know now for sure that I will be one of those moms who suffers from the empty nest syndrome.
I shipped our 3-year-old son, Will, off to Granny's house for three days and Nana's house for two days this week. It was the first time that I chose to let him go. I have only been away from him overnight on three other occasions. The first time was when I went on a business trip to Chicago. The second time was when we had our youngest daughter, Cali, and the third time was a couple of weeks ago when Cali had her surgery.
We decided that it would be in everyone's best interest if Cali had another week of healing without Will's presence. The doctor said that it would take 12 weeks for Cali's sternum to heal where they opened up her chest for surgery. Not that Will would intentionally hurt Cali. We just thought that we should opt to be on the safe side.
At first Will's absence was liberating. "Wahoo!" I thought. "I feel like I'm on vacation with only one kid!" (Courtney had just caught the bus.) Soon it was time for Cali's nap so I put her in her crib. I almost didn't know what to do with myself. Very quickly I remembered the plants I bought the previous weekend. I hadn't finished planting them all.
As I settled down into my dirt digging and plant playing, I realized that this is what life will be like next year when Will goes to school.
"I guess I could get used to this," I thought happily to myself as I put another plant in my flowerbed.
On day two I was finished with both the planting and the laundry. Boy, that's a change. I never seem to get completely caught up on the laundry. I always thought that it was because the kids were so time-consuming, but now I'm not so sure. We recently purchased a new dryer that actually dries the clothes on the first cycle. Prior to the arrival of our new dryer, I would dry the same load three times before I lost interest in it.
On day three, the house was completely clean -- spotless actually. I think I swept the floor three times that day: once after Courtney left for school, once when she returned from school and once after she went to bed. I imagine that I was just looking for stuff to do. The floor couldn't have been that dirty.
On day four, I started wondering when my son would be returned to me. I questioned Bill that night at supper.
"Have you heard from your mom? Do you know whether they are coming on Friday or Saturday?" I drilled him.
"I'm not sure," he said. "You know, you could always call her and find out," he said rationally.
"I want Will to stay away for another week," Courtney chimed in. "One week isn't long enough."
"Don't you miss him, Courtney?" I asked.
"Nope, it's been more fun being able to do things with you all by myself," she replied innocently.
"Well, I've had fun too but I still miss him," I said.
Even before the words came out of my mouth, I realized how much I missed the little guy. When Will is around, the house just seems livelier. Maybe sending him off to preschool next year might be harder than I imagined. I guess if worst comes to worst, I could always get rid of the cuckoo clock.
She must not be getting any lately...I Love Shimano
Jun 7, 2002 12:11 AM
**yawn**

Who the hell reads her drivel????
other people exactly like hercollinsc
Jun 7, 2002 12:30 AM
if youve ever experienced the true horrors of the psychotics of suburbia. there are countless housewives (not to disparage any housewives who arent f*cking wackos) in my town (the suburbia to end all suburbias, you havent seen suburbia until youve seen Issaquah) that would just eat this up. They love this crap. Its scary.
'Issaquah' in WA? 'Burb of Seattle? Too much coffee?:o) nmspyderman
Jun 7, 2002 12:56 AM
thats the place, too much Martha Stewart (nm)collinsc
Jun 7, 2002 9:49 AM
You are as much a problem as the cyclists. Harassment by yourPaul
Jun 7, 2002 2:55 AM
husband is just as bad as riders shooting stop signs. You're as much a menace as they are. Mind your business, and change your attitude.
Sorry, end of article and newspaper name and addressRickMTB
Jun 7, 2002 3:33 AM
Sorry, the end of the article was cut off (are there limits to posting lengths?); Here is the end of the article, plus the contact info:

"I don't know what the answer is. I suppose the police would have to get involved. If they would ticket those who cannot obey the law, perhaps they would at least begin to ride more responsibly. The laws are there for safety, and everyone knows the roads are dangerous enough for those in cars obeying the law, much less for those who choose to ignore them.

The Villager
1600 Lake Front Circle, Suite 190
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Ph: 281-367-5309
Fx : 281-363-3299
Actually, I agree with part of it.Spoke Wrench
Jun 7, 2002 3:46 AM
The comment about opening the door as you pass, "just to scare them." That's assault, probably aggrivated assault. I think the police should get involved too.
I HATE HER I HATE HER I HATE HERishmael
Jun 7, 2002 6:08 AM
DUMB DUMB BlTCH RAISING BABY IDIOTS
Implication of hitting?kenyee
Jun 7, 2002 6:16 AM
I'm not sure she advocated hitting them in the article (though this is implied by the original subject of this thread). I definitely don't agree w/ the psycho tactics of her and her husband. It just shows how deranged people are getting where everything is a "me, me me" world. They don't even take the time to understand that MUTs are dangerous places to ride as well.

On the other hand, I do agree w/ her about some of these people (like rollerbladers) riding on roads and blowing through stop signs. I've seen speed bladers on roads and worry about them getting hit by cars because they flail around so much. Cyclists and rollerbladers going through stop signs is another thing I'd have to agree with. They should just make a law that if you get hit while breaking a traffic rule, you can't sue the person who hits you (I know, some may think it's open season on hitting people, but after a few televised news reports of this, I'm sure people will behave better :-)
Sent the following, doubt they post it…sgc
Jun 7, 2002 6:36 AM
Re: Wendy Crooks, Family Ties, The Villager, p.12A, June 6, 2002

I am writing to express the extreme dissatisfaction of your publication. I think that you lack basic journalistic ethics in publishing the story by Wendy Crooks which advocates the following (I am quoting the article!).

· .a slew of ways to rid the streets of these defiant non-path riders--- from water pistols to paint guns.
· Then there's the more traditional, open the door as you pass them on the road stunt. You know, just to scare them.
· He thought about taking a small car onto the pathways to prove a point
· He'd even come up with a "smoke them out" plan that is a bit more complicated.

Frankly, this is not funny as the dim-witted author of the article says it is. Are you a bunch of savages? These are terror tactics! Are you completely blind to the current climate of our nation?!?!? Have you learned nothing in the last year about the use of violent actions to make a statement. What kind of decent human being would joke about scaring people on the streets in traffic where people can and do die? Is it actually the position of your paper to advocate antagonistic bullying by driving a car onto a bike path just "to prove a point"? This is ridiculous. You should be ashamed of yourselves for publishing such a thing.
nice one nmgreg n
Jun 7, 2002 7:12 AM
here's what I wrote to the papergreg n
Jun 7, 2002 6:42 AM
Re:No cyclist is too "serious" to safely use the roadways and pathways
Wendy Crooks, Family Ties, The Villager, p.12A, June 6, 2002

This article was brought to the attention of many avid cyclists and I would just like to point out the ignorance and naivity of the author.

First of all she states in her article that she and her husband have contemplated malicious, random acts of violence against cyclists. Maybe it's just me, but this seems very much like terrorism only not on the grand scale as we've been recently exposed to. Cyclists, whether on the road or in their homes are real people, Americans, just like the thousands of people that drive cars.

Secondly, she really needs to step back and think about the safety factor she's protesting. Cyclists don't use the paths because they are "too serious" as she states. It's plain and simply a matter of safety. Most road cyclists who are training, are riding well over 20 mph. Would she want people riding bikes over 20 mph while she ard her children are on the path? My guess would be "no".

And to address the group rides that she is protesting...in most states, it is perfectly legal to ride two abreast on streets and roads. And getting back to the safety issue. On a group ride, speeds are generally over 25 mph. Would the author want a group of 30 or more cyclists on the path travelling 25+ mph while she's using it with her children? My guess would be "no".

I admit, there are cyclists who don't obey the traffic laws, and this makes all of us look bad to one degree or another. But there are also a lot of bad drivers who make the rest of the drivers look bad. There are also a lot of naive and close-minded columnists who make the other columnists look bad.

In closing, I'd could only hope that this Wendy Crooks wakes up to the reality of the situations she spouts off about, and learns to look at both sides of a situation and beyond her tiny, little close-minded world.

Thank you for your time.
Bravo! (Keep 'em coming) nmrideslikeagirl
Jun 7, 2002 6:59 AM
excellent! -nmTig
Jun 7, 2002 7:23 AM
I just can not understand this type of statement!Mike P
Jun 7, 2002 7:10 AM
What some people seem to be saying is, "If I am driving my car in the same direction as a cyclist and the cyclist rides through a traffic light I have to stop at, it's ok for me to kill the rider when the light finally turns green so I can catch up. Afterall, the cyclist was breaking the law." THAT'S LUDICROUS!!!

Or, "It's ok for me to kill cyclists because they are riding in my lane. I had no choice! It was either hit the bike or crash head-on into the family in the other lane while passin the cyclist in a blind curve with a solid yellow double line." That is wrong because there is a third choice, wait until it is safe to pass. If the cyclist happened to be a 5 ton hunk of steel that fell off a truck, I have no doubt any driver would not choose to hit the hunk of steel, they would wait until it is safe to pass by.

My Sister-in-law and I got into this one the other day. I could not believe she said it! She said she thinks it is ok if a motorist hits a cyclist if the cyclist went through a light the motorist had to stop at. JEE-HAY-SUESS!!! If we use such mentality, if I see a car pull a rolling stop at a stop sign, then it is ok for me to pull out a gun and kill the person breaking the law in the car. Isn't it?

I did point out to her I believe if a cyclist blows a red light, without checking the cross traffic, and is hit by a vehicle going through the intersection, it is the cyclists fault.

When it comes down to it:
1) In most areas it is legal to ride a bike as a vehicle under the traffic laws governing traffic.
2) It is not legal to kill or threaten someone you see not following the laws governing traffic.
3) A cyclist is responsible for his / her actions.

Mike
I just can not understand this type of statement!vitusdude
Jun 7, 2002 9:10 AM
Hey Mike,

Tell your sister-in-law that you agree with her, and that you think it is also ok to pull out a .357 and drill any motorist who drives faster than the posted speed limit. This will solve overpopulation in no time. :-)
I just can not understand this type of statement!SummerNights
Jun 7, 2002 7:59 PM
Yep, it's called the rule of Tonage.
Let's flood them! Here's my contribution-rideslikeagirl
Jun 7, 2002 7:14 AM
To the editor:

I am absolutely agast at the publishing of "No cyclist is too "serious" to safely use the roadways and pathways
Wendy Crooks, Family Ties, The Villager, p.12A, June 6, 2002"!

While I agree that a number of cyclists do not obey every traffic law (as they should), this DOES NOT give anyone the right to declare open season on us! Bicycles have the same rights given to cars.

For anyone riding a bike over, say, 10 mph, a multi-use path is just not a safe option. Rollerbladers, walkers and children pose serious hazards to a cyclist, as they are usually taking up the entire path and not anticipating a bike coming from behind to pass.

While I fault Ms. Crooks for holding the opinion she does, I hold you entirely responsible for publishing such a vicious article. Any like-minded person reading that will jump on the bandwagon to 'smoke us out', advocating any number of those tactics.

May any injury resulting from this 'article' lay squarely on your heads.
It looks like it's not there anymoreDougSloan
Jun 7, 2002 7:28 AM
I can't find the article; it looks like they retracted it.

Maybe they already saw the error of their ways?

Doug
Email info to newspaper that ran the columnRickMTB
Jun 7, 2002 7:31 AM
The article was cross-posted to the Bicycling Magazine forums and someone there provided the following info:

Wendy is conributing editor and not on staff. You can send e-mail to her boss, the full-time editor on staff, at

villagereditor@hcnonline.com

The web address for the site is

http://www.thewoodlandsvillager.com
RickMTB, thanks!Tig
Jun 7, 2002 8:01 AM
You may have sparked the reaction that persuaded The Villager to retract the article and not print it. I saw your post at http://www.woodlandscyclingclub.org/ as well. Nice proactive work!

May you enjoy many hours of safe riding on the STREETS of The Woodlands, and watch out for terrorist mommies with quick doors and paintball guns!
re: Texas columnist advocating "dooring" cyclists!raboboy
Jun 7, 2002 8:23 AM
Below is what I sent. Lets make our opinions heard by the editor. (yeah, I borrowed some statements from here, but added some as well)
Cheers
-------
To the editor:
I am absolutely appalled at the publishing of "No cyclist is too "serious" to safely use the roadways and pathways" article by
Wendy Crooks, Family Ties, The Villager, p.12A, June 6, 2002"!

In particular the following statements about how to deal with cyclists on roads:

· ...a slew of ways to rid the streets of these defiant non-path riders--- from water pistols to paint guns.
· Then there's the more traditional, open the door as you pass them on the road stunt. You know, just to scare them.
· He thought about taking a small car onto the pathways to prove a point
· He'd even come up with a "smoke them out" plan that is a bit more complicated

Do you really condone the statements of this writer when she advocates violence to cyclists? If anyone is a danger to the community it is the small minded people with ideas like these, not the cyclists who use the same roads as cars (and pay the same taxes as motorists, mind you! The last I checked, I didn't receive a special 'cyclist' discount on my taxes). What would happen if someone followed the advice of her 'opening the door' trick? The cyclist would NOT know that they were just being 'scared' and would have to make an extremely dangerous quick decision & swerve into the road more to avoid the door, possibly being hit by a car or causing a major traffic accident. Frankly, I think this woman is mentally challenged.

Unfortunately, there are cyclists who disobey traffic laws and that reflects badly on the rest of us, but the same could be said of motorists. As it stands, however, it is not illegal for cyclists use the road, and it is extremely selfish and narrow-minded for anyone to say that it 'bothers' them to have to do it, and that people should harass and terrorize cyclists.

Anyway, the use of public roads by cyclists can be debated in another more appropriate forum, and Wendy Crooks is entitled to her opinion, but she ought to have more sense in this day & age to NOT PROMOTE TERROR TACTICS AGAINST FELLOW CITIZENS ON THE ROAD.

Thank you for your time.
one more letter sent to the editor ...Ravik
Jun 7, 2002 8:38 AM
To the editor:
Advocating vigilante justice on the bike path and the roads? Simply the most unprofessional column I've ever read, and a black mark for journalists everywhere.
And the fact that the writer is not on staff only points out that her editor should have been more awake when the copy crossed his or her computer screen.
Just a quick note: Most bike paths don't meet the state's own code for that designation - they're sidewalks. And, most motor vehicle departments across the nation point out that bicyclists are entitled to use public roads. In fact, there's one industry study that shows more serious accidents involving bikes happen in sidewalks and "bike paths" than on roads.
You folks dropped the ball on this one.
I wonder how your local bike stores, running stores and other health and fitness advertisers feel about the column.
here's minerufus
Jun 7, 2002 9:22 AM
Re:No cyclist is too "serious" to safely use the roadways and pathways
Wendy Crooks, Family Ties, The Villager, p.12A, June 6, 2002

you will probably recieve many letters from concerned cyclists about this story, and i would like to add my opinion to the list. i started a post earlier, which somehow got sent before i had finished it.

cyclists are granted by law the right to use public roads just as motorists are, subject to the same rules and regulations. yes, there are some cyclists who might break some of those laws, just as there are motorists who do so. if cyclists break the law, then they should be subject to ticketing by law enforcement agencies, just as motorists are. we do not advocate violence against motorists who break the law; in fact, there are many articles written condemning "road rage" directed against other motorists. why then does your columnist believe it is ok, or even "funny" to use her own words, to threaten cyclists with water or paint guns, or even their motor vehicles?

just about every cyclist riding has at least one story about their close encounter with a threatening motorist. most times, it is a threatening word, or just the lack of attention paid to the cyclist by the motorist. many times, it involves the use of the motor vehicle to attempt to threaten or harm the cyclist. often, these encounters have been fatal to the cyclist, as they are at a severe disadvantage to a driver in a two ton vehicle. in a large majority of cases, no charges are brought against the motorist. for some reason, a majority of motorists are angered or feel threatened by cyclists sharing their roads, and often direct that anger toward the cyclist, even though the cyclist's taxes have paid for the use of that road just as the motorists' has. this article will do nothing to prevent this, and in fact may give otherwise law-abiding motorists the idea that it is open season upon innocent cyclists. i fear the results that could happen when an unsuspecting cyclist is hit by a paintball or has a door opened unexpectedly in front of them. they may swerve into traffic, or otherwise lose control of their bicycle, creating a nasty, possibly fatal, accident scene. i hope that your newspaper is not advocating these actions.

cyclists ride on the public highways for many reasons, including safety. the presence of extremely fast moving bicycles on a largely pedestriam walkway poses a great security risk to the pedestrians and the cyclist, due to the speed differential, possible overcrowding of the walkways, and sudden or unexpected encounters. often these encounters can be fatal as well, as a pedestrian would be at extreme disadvatage to a bicycle and rider moving at speeds well in excess of 20 mph. by riding on the roads, a cyclists avoids the slower-moving pedestrian traffic, and also has access to a greater variety of routes to ride, including hill climbs that aren't available to him on pathways.

what i would like to see from your newspaper is an article that serves to educate motorists about the presence of cyclists upon their roadways, and how to share the road safely with them. motorists often blame cyclists for taking up space on the road, making it difficult to pass them in the face of oncoming traffic. they are in such a hurry, they won't wait for a safe passing opportunity to present itself, but will try to squeeze through the narrow space, often to the detriment of the cyclist. and even on clear roads, they often pass well too close to the cyclist for comfort. experienced cyclists can maintain control of their bike when this happens, but could be potentially fatal to a newer or inexperienced cyclist.
emailed the editorrufus
Jun 7, 2002 9:57 AM
i emailed him a copy of my post on their opinion page and also included this.

you have since written that this article should be read in its entirety and not taken out of context to try to allay the backlash you've recieved from irate cyclists. this article may have been written "tongue in cheek" as you say, but how many motorists will take this article out of context and believe it is now ok to do harm to some innocent cyclist? you should be ashamed of yourselves for ever publishing this article, and perhaps take a stronger stand as editor to make sure that such sentiments do not find their way into print in the future. how would this article look today if it was written about "persons of arab descent" instead of cyclists, and mentioned using such methods against them? not quite so humorous and tongue in cheek now, is it?
re: Texas columnist advocating "dooring" cyclists!comedy-tragedy
Jun 7, 2002 9:45 AM
My contribution to the cause. Any and all thoughts and prayers for Ed, Lois & Elizebeth are greatly appreciated right now too.

I know you're saying enough already, but this is just one more diatribe about you're anti-cycling column.

Given the current climate of a complete lack of tolerance for any thing even remotely related to terrorism in our country, I am dumbfounded that you even considered publishing this column. I don't care how far the tongue was in her cheek, if at all (and it didn't seem to be, she sounded dead serious), this was dangerous and stupid writing at its worst. Since I'm in Salt Lake City how about we use this anlogy. Ed and Lois Smart have five other kids. What's the big deal if they lose one of them to a kidnapper!!

It's never funny or or even semi-appropriate to suggest hurting anyone, let alone doing it in a way that can cause serious injury or death. When I'm traveling at 20-25 mph on my bike, and unprotected, what kind of damage is she thinking could really be done by "dooring" me? Just a small cut or bruise? Given the options that might result, death might be the best choice available.

You touched a real nerve with this one. Wake up and smell the roses, and realize that the world has gotten really small in the past few years.

When you do something this stupid you deserved to get lots of very unplesant mail.
Let's do paceline intervals when her children are on the pathnova
Jun 7, 2002 10:42 AM
Wouldn't it be funny if we hit her babies at 35+ MPH when they were on the bikepath!!!!????? I volunteer for the point position. I'm 200 lbs... Let's see.... 200 lbs, plus 18 more in the form of titanium and aluminium (my bike), hitting her precious children at 35+ MPH..... HILARIOUS!
Let's do paceline intervals when her children are on the pathSummerNights
Jun 7, 2002 8:02 PM
Yeah, and, one time at band camp.

Oh, this is SO much fun!
BAD SEEDS RUIN IT FOR ALL OF US..TrekingJim
Jun 7, 2002 10:52 AM
Those cyclist who run stop signs and don't obey traffic laws make the rest of us look bad. But she is wrong on most of her arguments. Serious cyclist do not belong on pathways. That is just dangerous. I hate taking my kids on pathways and seeing a cyclist whizzing by too fast. A couple of years ago, my 6 year old nephew start to make a u-turn (without looking - only 6), an older women going around on his left was going to fast to stop and hit his bike. He fell down with no damage, but the lady broke her leg. I didn't feel bad for at all. She should have slowed down when passing kids. My nephew was pretty shaken, keeps blaming him self and still will not ride on paths anymore.
My Reply to Their ReplyWrigleyRoadie
Jun 7, 2002 10:56 AM
I find your non-apology posting on your web site regarding the Crooks column even more troubling and offensive than the original column itself. In my humble opinoin, sir or madam, you are not fit to mangage, edit, contribute to, or sweep the floors of any media outlet. It is one thing to make a mistake by publishing the piece, but to imply that educated members of the cycling community, including other journalists, could not comprehend this inane piece of subjective drivel is absurd. We have every right to be upset and offended by her remarks. While Ms. Crooks may not have 'endorsed' these violent ideas, to put the ideas in the public's mind is an irresponsible and reprehensible. I don't expect that your little editorial missive will placate the community that you have stirred. Until you realize the potential harmful effects of your story, you should expect 'feedback' from around the country, including the Texas Bicycle Coalition. I know your community is making efforts to de-emphasize automobiles as the primary methods of inter-community transportation. Your editorial shows how far away you are from accomplishing anything in that realm. I sincerely hope that no one in your community ever suffers from the vigilante-style lessons proposed by Crooks. If they do, much of the blame will lie on the shoulders of your publication.
nice!(nm)rufus
Jun 7, 2002 11:04 AM
nm
accidents on bike pathsrufus
Jun 7, 2002 11:01 AM
when i was in college, a friend of mine who lived off campus was taking the bike path to school and ran into a woman, who was killed. he wasn't a "serious" cyclist, and probably wasn't goingh over 15 mph, but that's what can happen when metal and speed hit a body.
My e-mailLen J
Jun 7, 2002 11:30 AM
Dear Editor:

I have to say that I was shocked that you would allow one of your columnist to advocate violence against cyclist because she mistakenly believes that cyclist have no place on public roads. While I realize that her intention may have been "Tongue in Cheek", she nonetheless is writing about something that she obviously has very little experience with.

First let me point out that I do agree that all road vehicles (including bicycles) should obey all traffic laws, however, the crux of her article starts with the erroneous premise that serious cyclist should use the bike paths. Having ridden for 30 years or so, I can tell you that the safest thing a serious cyclist can do (for both themselves and the general public) is to stay away from Bike paths. Serious cyclist train at speeds ranging from 15MPH up to 30MPH, multi-use paths are way to congested with walkers, rollerbladers and small children to make these kind of speeds safe.

As to her neighbor training for a triathlon on a bike path, I certainly hope it was at an odd hour or one of two things is certain, either he will eventually hurt himself or someone else training on these paths or he won't have a chance in the Triathlon.

I would ask Ms Crooks if she has ever had the "pleasure" of being "doored" by a passing motorist? Let me just say that losing control of a two wheeled vehicle while traveling at over 20 MPH in traffic due to being surprised by or hit by a door, is not only scary, but potentially dangerous to the point of fatal. I wonder how "tongue & cheek" Ms. Crooks article would be the day after she (for a laugh) scared a cyclist by "Dooring" them, only to have them seriously injured in the resulting fall. Somehow I think her story might change.

I'd imagine that you are receiving mail from many angry cyclists. Let me help you understand exactly why. Most cyclist are honest, hard working, law-abiding taxpayers who happen to have a passion for something that doesn't pollute, improves their own health and hones their own self-discipline. What do they normally get, in addition to better health? They get almost constant harassment by drivers who seem to think that they are the only one's who pay taxes & should be on the roads. I have had things thrown at me, expletives hurled at me, and cars play chicken with me and all while being well within my legal right to be on the road. Most cyclist experience this routinely. Are their cyclist that don't obey traffic laws? Absolutely. Should they be punished like any other driver on the road? Absolutely. Should Cyclist be removed from public roads because of the actions of a few? Only if the same rule is applied to automobiles.

With all the real problems in the world I would think that there is something more appropriate to direct her wit towards.

Sincerely
Len Janssen
Cyclist
The editors have posted a responseloop
Jun 7, 2002 12:05 PM
And it isn't pretty. Essentially, they are castigating us for being too sensitive and for not reading her POS commentary in its entirety.

I too sent a response that echoed much of what you guys said. She was way out of line, joking or not.

This is what I sent the editors in response to their response:
"Dear Editors and Mrs. Crooks,

Was it funny, witty or simply "blowing off steam" when Bill Maher's poor and tasteless attempt at post 9-11 humor sought to praise the terrorists' for their supposed courage? No.

Are were her tongue and cheek comments about the humorous possibilities of "dooring" cyclists or hurling objects at them humorous? No.

Again, we read the article--in its entirety. Her comments are still inflamatory and potentially dangerous. Like many other responders have asked, has she ever been "doored" or otherwise assaulted? I bet not. I have, and it's not fun. Nor is the resultant rehab from the injuries one gets.

In the meantime, expect to continue to get a flurry of responses from enraged riders. While I disagree with many of them who say that you shouldn't have run her article (I was a journalist before becoming a Navy pilot), I nonetheless agree with their righteous indignation at her irresponsible, childish, arrogant remarks.

That's the polite version. Here's the not-so-polite version. ...And she can take it seriously or tongue in cheek. Share the road, lady. We have rights too, and if you don't manage to kill the poor sap you "door" or throw something at, then you had best drive away fast because you will have just started something that won't end well for you or your moronic husband.

Scott Needle"

...It took me a while to read and then re-read what I wrote before I sent it. I had to calm down enough from their dumb-ass remarks, and I had to change "b@tch" to "lady" along with a few other expletives.

I say keep writing. And bring your bike with you the next time you visit Houston. Make a point to ride the Woodlands--it's actually a very nice ride with large, WIDE roads (more than enough room for your bike and that b@tch's oversided SUV). Here's a better idea...let's organize a Critical Mass ride through her neighborhood.

Ride safely all,
Scott
Sent mine to NYTimes, Washington Post, Boston Globe... andspyderman
Jun 7, 2002 12:40 PM
that little idiot in Texas!

If everyone who has viewed this (2300+) does the same, I wonder if they can really ignore us?
second message sentsgc
Jun 7, 2002 1:41 PM
the following is the second message I have sent to the website and the editor's email address calling for the need for a real apology.

Here is yet another opinion that your publication will not publish, though you "offer" the service.

You obviously have no idea what it is like to be a cyclist, who under most state laws have the same rights and responsibilities to the roads as cars, and be threatened by motorists. I have been following the controversy and your poor excuse of a justification is appalling. You need to apologize for advocating terrorist tactics against cyclists in your newspaper.

Once you have done, please consider another profession that does not require an ethical responsibility to its audience and the general public. You are no journalists.
third, fourth - message sentSummerNights
Jun 7, 2002 8:01 PM
Keep us posted when you send your 3rd and 4th also, please.
Did anyone notice these Crooks were from Houston?AllisonHayes
Jun 7, 2002 3:39 PM
It seems that Houston more than its share of crooks don't you think? If they can't rip you off then they'll just run you over.
Did anyone notice these Crooks were from Houston?SummerNights
Jun 7, 2002 8:00 PM
You ARE sharp! I see NOTHING gets past you.
Email, Phone, Fax For Upstream provider and WebSite Adminjose_Tex_mex
Jun 7, 2002 8:54 PM
All,
I am working on the email address of the offender. For now we should all at least complain to the people who made this article available. At the bottom of this posting is a sample email and all the addresses for those who support the site. For your convenience I have grouped them together to easily cut and paste.

The offending URL is www.THEWOODLANDSVILLAGER.COM
The admin contact for this URL is operated by WESTWARD COMMUNICATIONS. Their email is wcomm102@141.com but surprise it does not work! The technical POC for this URL is nic_contact@POWERADZ.COM

The Upstream providers for this URL are both Exodus.net and PowerAdz. It appears that PowerAdz is coordinated by Global Crossing. Send an email to abuse@exodus.net and abuse@gblx.net

The above URL forwards you to www.zwire.com. This domain has similar POC's as the above. Contact:

Admin
gmoore@POWERADZ.COM
PowerAdz.Com
LLC 400 Jordan Road Troy,
NY 12180 US
518-687-6000
Fax- - 518-286-2979

Tech
Anderson, Eric eanderson@POWERADZ.COM
PowerAdz.Com LLC
96 Thompson Hill Road
Rensselaer , NY 12144
518-286-2200x247
(FAX) 518-286-2979

Additionally, we should contact noc@POWERADZ.COM and try abuse@POWERADZ.COM - although I have not verified the abuse account.

-------------------------------------------
SEND TO
eanderson@POWERADZ.COM, gmoore@POWERADZ.COM, noc@POWERADZ.COM, abuse@exodus.net, abuse@gblx.net, nic_contact@POWERADZ.COM, abuse@poweradz.com
-------------------------------------------
SAMPLE EMAIL
--------------------------------------------
Greetings Abuse Desks and Administrators,
I have sent you this email because your company is at least in part responsible for the proliferation of material which promotes violence, advocates assault, and other acts of agression towards members of the cycling community.

I urge you to take the necessary actions to ensure your l'user ceases its support of violence and assault before someone acts upon their advice.

Regards,