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I hate the 4th of July(24 posts)

I hate the 4th of Julymmquest
Jul 5, 2002 3:23 PM
Or at least what it seems to do to people. I moved to the Twin Cities over the winter from Connecticut, where I never had problems with drivers. And, while in MN, I have had relatively few problems with motorists, until this week. On Tuesday, I was almost hit twice and had two other idiots shout obscenities at me out their window. Today, during my brief ten minute ride (I managed to put a 1" gash in my brand new Continentals), I had to endure four more piece of s--t American cars full of white trash whose occupants felt the need yell at me (please note that I am not trying to start an American vs. foreign car thing here, I just have never had anyone in a BMW, Jag, Honda, etc. tell me to, "Get the f--k off the road").

I mean, what the hell? Why do all of the no shirt wearing, tattooed, pickup truck driving, 16-35 year old, trailer home occupying, football watching, male white trash garbage come out of the wood work around the 4th? Can't they go drive a boat on a river somewhere? I still love this country, but Americans are seriously on my nerves right now.

Sorry about the rant, but it has been a long week on the bike and I needed to vent...
Way off base on this onePecos
Jul 5, 2002 3:37 PM
I have had way too many near encounters with soccer moms in their Mercedes RVs and Beemers, to allows this one to go by without exception. They can be in RVs, El Caminos or what ever form of steel that man has formed into a motorvehicle, but an ass is still an ass.
I'll second thatseamus
Jul 5, 2002 3:50 PM
White trash in American cars in the east, and wealthy, yuppie computer industry snobs in Range Rovers and BMW's in the west, it's all the same. Most motorists don't care for cyclists that much, and there's something about a festive, booze-fueled holiday that brings out the indignant sorts in droves.
Well, maybe its where I ride...mmquest
Jul 5, 2002 4:14 PM
but around here it has been all American cars! Again, the main point was not to start an American vs. foreign car thing, as I know how touchy that can get, but to rant about the people around here this week.
Well, maybe its where I ride...seamus
Jul 5, 2002 4:53 PM
Sorry about your bad 4th of July ride, that sucks. Where I am, it's not just cars, it's cars towing boats. It's a bad combination, on a narrow road, a bloated SUV or hick edition pickup truck is bad enough, but when it's towing a giant boat that's 2 feet wider than the car (drivers don't seem to be aware of this) you're really taking your live in your hands if you ride certain roads near the lake, especially around three day weekends.

Too bad we can't just ride and be left alone. Makes me want to reach for my cross bike and head for the hills.
Well, maybe its where I ride...mmquest
Jul 5, 2002 9:35 PM
I get the feeling that most truck drivers don't really know how wide their vehicle is. Thank God I don't have to deal with too many of them towing boats...that really sounds awful!

I do wonder why we can't just be left alone. I was thinking about that tonight and was wondering why so many people are as threatened as they are by cyclists. With the reaction you get from some people, you would think that you had just burned down their house. All I am trying to do is stay in shape, which reduces the health care cost to everyone, and, four days a week, ride to work, which reduces the traffic on the road. For the most part, my riding is a benefit to everyone. Furthermore, 99% of the time, all someone has to do to pass me is move their car over five difficult is that? I truly wonder why a cyclist threatens a certain portion of the population so much that they feel the need to try to kill us.

Honestly, I'm not asking for special dispensation or anything, just that people will leave me alone. Again, I don't want to start debate about American football, but I HATE American football. But, when I drive by a group of people playing that game, I don't lean out the window and yell, "GET THE F--K OFF THE GRASS!" I don't like American football, but realize that a lot of people do and could care less if they participate in it and would never try to keep them from enjoying themselves doing it. Why can't people do the same for cyclists?
my little vignetteterry b
Jul 5, 2002 3:41 PM
was out for a brief ride last night to see how the adjustments I'd made to the bike were working. real easy spin around town. now town for me is a suburban/agricultural village north of Albuquerque - one main drag with a lot of side roads that run between fields. there is also a secondary road on the west side of town that was just paved in the last year. it has a great bike lane. sometimes, when I just feel like spinning around I go out and ride the back road and some of the connectors, easy ride, relaxing, just for fun. I generally stay off the main drag as it's narrow and busy and not very relaxing.

so here I am approaching the intersection of one of the side roads with the main drag, probably 20 yards from where I would turn around and head back. a pickup truck turns off the main road, overshoots his turn, nearly putting his right two wheels into the bar ditch, oversteers to regain control and is now heading across the road coming straight at me. in the last split second before we have a guaranteed rundown cyclist, namely me, he regains control and swerves back into his lane. as he goes by me, he slows down and in the most amazing drunken slur says, "man you're lucky."

gotta love 'em, each and every one
a funny drunk but naw- that ain't lucky...Crankist
Jul 5, 2002 5:32 PM
Lucky would have you bouncing down that road in a dumptruck, takin' out the trash (so to speak). Happy to hear you survived. Now go replentish your adrenaline stores.
I'll see you around.
Agreed. America needs to be picked up and shaken out.Ahimsa
Jul 5, 2002 4:15 PM
I too had my yearly "4th o' Joo-lie" run ins.

I think hillbilles are like earwigs. Ever pick up an old log and watch as literaly hundreds of those noxious critters swarm out of the rot? This is the same principle with rednecks, only they gather en masse in trailers and run down houses.

A friend relayed this story to me:

They were about to watch the fireworks display when some hilljacks plunked down with a cooler right in front of them. No big deal. Then the national anthem plays and all present rise. The ten year old white trash boy of the group exclaims loudly and without hesitation that he "can't see now 'cause these assholes standin' in fron' a me!".

I had to ride home downtown during the festivities. Good thing I didn't have a gun. Where do they come from?

We need a virus that specifically targets rednecks.

F*ck it all, I'm movin' to France. You can all attend my Bastille Day parties.


Loved the story - thanks! nmmmquest
Jul 5, 2002 9:45 PM
Redneck Olympics, Dublin, GAAllisonHayes
Jul 6, 2002 4:19 AM
The rednecks are congregating in Dublin, GA for the 7th annual Redneck Olympics. All the problems cyclists have been experiencing are due to these critters making a beeline for Dublin.

There is a small silver lining to this story. Cyclists should feel at ease during the three days of the Olympics as the rednecks will be too busy bobbing for pigs feet and throwing beer cans. However, like a squall, the safety zone is very short-lived as the rednecks will be returning to their nests armed for bear shortly thereafter.

Rednecks don't like losing in these contests and it is likely they will take out their grievances on anything that moves along the side of the road. Be careful, be very careful.
Redneck Olympics, Dublin, GAharry hall
Jul 6, 2002 6:47 AM
Sounds just like rural areas of Washington State to me. There are a few versions of "Loggers' Olympics" up in this neck of the woods. The town of Forks, on the Olympic Peninsula is kind of notorious for rowdy 4ths. There are areas of the Northwest where cyclists should be careful; the local drivers can act as living proof of the notion that loggers copulate with bears.
NFL needs to start its season on July 4th....Niwot
Jul 5, 2002 5:32 PM
When I was riding yesterday, in much-heavier-than-normal traffic, I was thinking that the NFL should start its season with a tripleheader on July 4th, so that all those yahoos could sit in front of the TV swilling beer all day instead of clogging the roads where I ride.

Or, maybe all us cyclists could chip in and start a free porn TV channel, so those TDs who tell us to "get the f#&k off the road" would never leave their double-wides...
RE: NFL needs to start its season on July 4th....mmquest
Jul 5, 2002 9:44 PM
I like the porn channel idea. It could be on all day, with two hour breaks during live Tour coverage. That way, they would be in all day when we are out and out picking up "groceries" (beer, chips, and cigarettes) while we are in watching the tour.
I more or less agree with you.paulw
Jul 5, 2002 5:41 PM
I don't hate the 4th or Americans, but I do hate rednecks as they are the only people who've ever been deliberate about trying to bother me while riding. I can deal with the ignorance of soccer moms in SUV's a little better somehow. IME, the worst rednecks are those driving the old, full-size Chevy Blazers or Ford Broncos (like OJ's).

In light of the above, I tend to ride in the more yuppie towns around where I live. On top of having better roads, the drivers give me less sh!t. As for America, while I didn't buy my bike (a Seven Alaris w/ Ouzo Pro) specifically because the frame and fork were made in America, I do like the fact that it was made locally, not in France.
I more or less agree with you.harry hall
Jul 6, 2002 6:50 AM
And if you want to keep the 'necks indoors, that porn channel should have shows like "Hot Stepmom" or "Little Sisters."
Home movies for Bubba are bor-r-r-r-r-ing!!coonass
Jul 7, 2002 11:05 AM
"Babe" is their favorite XXXXX movie, but you can't trust pigs, because they 'lie too'. The only sure way to keep Bubba and Clan indoors is to have a "To-the-death" Wrestling Match, complete w/8'chain-link fencing, barbed-wire and NO disqualifications !!!......unless someone has tapes of the Roller Derby Finals?? (but the points' system is too controversial to pick the winner without a beer throwing scene, or a love fest with the one you're sitting closest to......'making up' is FUN, FUN, FUN....just don't tell Daddy)and why would you want to have sex with someone outside of the family and pass on your family genes to a total outsider???....
:)) (you have to ignore the pin headed red necks...they're not going to go away....who would get all of your Welfare tax dollars??)
Where do you ride?filtersweep
Jul 5, 2002 7:20 PM
I live in Mpls... on the 4th I took the River Road to the Ford Bridge, crossed to Miss Blvd (basically East River Rd), passed some guy who I pulled to Shepard Rd. (which was a good thing since I didn't know where I was going at that point) and we took the road (he exited a few miles later to go home)- not the trail, into DT SP, then turned around and went back... had a great ride- especially considering we were practically riding on a freeway.

Are you riding in the 'burbs?

Frankly, the BWMers around Lake of the Isles are the rudest on the road... but then again, everyone drives a European car over there- but they truly are the worst. I was completely cut-off by a Mercedes SUV the other day- and there was a bike rack on it ?! Granted they don't yell... but I'll take an attentive white trasher just yelling at me (don't throw anything, please) over an unattentive guy with high blood pressure driving a $70,000 SUV who's in a hurry and on a cell phone- anyday!
RE: Where do you ride?mmquest
Jul 5, 2002 9:21 PM
Definitely agree on being hit by an SUV vs yelled at. I live in the "'burbs" east of St. Paul (got some bad real estate advice...that's another story) and definitely have a different crowd than you; I don't think people over here know what a Mercedes is! Although, as I said in my original post, I haven't had too many problems (maybe four or five "comments" in the past five months) until this week.

As I have thought about it further, I think it is just a summer holiday thing...they all stink. Memorial Day, the Fourth, and Labor Day are all "lets go load up the boat and drink" kind of days. I just wish they would all stay on the lake (or river)!

On the 4th, seems like we had a similar ride. Headed out trying to find the great road along the river that I had heard about. After getting totally lost a few times (ended up at the airport once), I finally found my way to the river road. Road into Minneapolis on one side and back on the other (I don't remember which is the East and which is the West). Best part of that ride was locating the bridge that crosses the river from the U. I have never been on a road where there are two bike lanes, two walking lanes and NO car lanes! That was really cool!

Also, saw a guy on a rather interesting bike. It was three BMX bike frames welded on top of one another with the chain running from the crank on the upper bike to the rear wheel. I think that the guy's head must have been ten to twelve feet off the ground - his crank was slightly above my head! It has got to take a LOT of guts to ride a bike like that on city streets.
'nuff said...filtersweep
Jul 6, 2002 6:45 AM
OK... East of St. Paul- that explains it all. I have a friend in Stillwater who says there are great roads near there- with very wide shoulders, frequented by roadies, etc... I hate to mention a MUT, but it might be possible to take the Gateway to Stillwater, and ride in a more enlightened environment.

I agree with you about summer holidays. They are not exactly extended family holidays.

There are a bunch of "bike punks" in Minneapolis that weld together the craziest contraptions. I've seen some of those super tall bikes where they just hold onto streetlights when they stop- they are like bikes on stilts.

BTW- the stone arch bridge also is closed to motorized traffic (I think it WAS a railroad bridge... but it is pretty cool as well).

My wife and I rode our "other bikes" down to the river to see the fireworks (it is just out of walking distance from where we live). When they were over, I realized we weren't the only ones who didn't want to drive. There were bikes everywhere leaving the scene... at times it looked like a critical mass ride (I HATE critical masses- seems to promote NEGATIVE awareness, but when a mass of bikes spontaneously occurs, it is very cool).

I've been thinking about starting a website about Twin Cities road bking... where people can contribute routes, pics, etc... I keep seeing the same people over and over again- which is weird because it doesn't seem to matter where or when I go. Lately I've actually been having interesting conversations with random bikers while riding.
Where do you ride?ctisevn
Jul 6, 2002 12:17 PM
I used to ride to eden prairie every day through bloomington and the worst I got was in eden prairie. might have had more to do with the actual road I was riding being a bit narrow but my observation is that kids in dads lexus can put you in a ditch as quickly and thoughtlessly as rednecks. thats not to say the freaks in pickups left me alone, try riding through burnsville every so often. My experience is that its WAY better in the city. more traffic but everybody pretty much just drives and leaves cyclists alone.
y'all seem to be forgittin'nova
Jul 6, 2002 7:52 AM
Does everyone really think that the redneck phenomenon is unique to the USA? It is a human thang, not a national thang.

Having lived in NYC and DC, and traveled to Europe several times, (a relative of mine married a Frenchman in France recently), I've seen rednecks of all creeds, races, and nationality.

Y'all just see 'Merican rednecks more often 'cause you live here. But do you really think that Poland, Germany, the UK, even Afganistan don't have their share? Hey, I submit to you that the Taliban is just a group of ignorant rednecks.

Long live Cleetus! (The Simpsons' best character)
Jul 6, 2002 9:53 AM
I've seen the Irish and English versions of rednecks close up, both overseas and in the U.S. A friend's ex-girlfriend was from Sheffield. Her parents were straight out of a trailer park. Dad favored striped polyester pants with plaid polyester shirts, was missing a few teeth, and was drunk most of the time. In Dromahair (sp), I saw a dirty Irish guy picking his nose and eating his boogers while standing at the bar in a crowded pub. Different accents, same class of people.
me tooff roadie
Jul 6, 2002 9:58 AM
I live in Minneapolis also. Theres a LOT of redneck types in the surrounding state (who elected hus stupidness, the goverener), and I think they tend to be more visible on the 4rth, since they all have the day off and little to do but drink and drive to thier buddies houses, then the park, then the liquor store, then thier house, then do it all again....

Sure, some might have boats, but there's a lot of poor 'white trash" who can't afford much recreation, and may well have reason to resent folks who indulge in "yuppie hobbies" like biking. Of course, give them jobs and they have no problem blowing wads of cash on jet boats, mx bikes, crotch rockets, whatever.

I live near a downtown bar district, so I stayed inside all day except for a brief walk down to thge river to watch the boomy sparkly things at my girl friends insistance. Not a wasted day- I lubed and trued all 3 of my bikes and did other maintenance.

Then I went riding on Friday after work. Except for some friendly hobos under a bridge and a few other cyclists, the streets were deserted. It was sweet.