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Are you a Pedaling Putz or a Cycle-Nazi?(29 posts)

Are you a Pedaling Putz or a Cycle-Nazi?LC
Jul 18, 2002 10:56 AM
Please help shut this guy up. Ken is pushing his crap on the Seattle prime time news.
_______________________________________

Ken Schram Commentary: What Is It With Bicyclists?

July 17, 2002

By Ken Schram

http://www.komotv.com/stories/19408.htm

SEATTLE - What is it with some of these bicyclists?

Nice weather seems to bring out the worst of the putzes who pedal around town.

I'm talking about the clowns who zip inside two lanes of traffic; run red lights and stop signs; make illegal turns, or terrorize pedestrians on the sidewalk.

I don't know who's worse: The bike messengers who cuss at you for 'not signaling' as you step out of a downtown store, or the granola crunching bike commuter who flips you off for having the audacity to start a right hand turn as he's also turning right - from the LEFT side of the street!

I've ranted about this before, incurring the wrath of those environmentally arrogant pedal pushers who disdain everyone and anyone who drives a car.

I wondered then, and I wonder now, why police don't issue more tickets to these cycle-nazis.

Most of them don't signal when they turn. It's hard to tell when they're slowing down. They whimsically swerve in, out and around as it suits them.

Their antics are hazardous and menacing.

It'd do my heart good to even occasionally see one of these offending cyclists get pulled over by a cop and issued a ticket.

The nice weather sure does lure more of these folks out.

Which leaves me to speculate about how they get around when the weather's not so nice.

I'll bet they're probably the ones who are as obnoxious in their cars as they are on their bikes.

Want to share your thoughts with Ken Schram? You can e-mail him at kenschram@komo4news.com
re: Are you a Pedaling Putz or a Cycle-Nazi?270bullet
Jul 18, 2002 11:08 AM
I wouldn't want to ride with the bicyclist he describes. They sound like the kind of jerks you want to stick a frame pump in their front wheel while going 30mph.

"the clowns who zip inside two lanes of traffic; run red lights and stop signs; make illegal turns, or terrorize pedestrians on the sidewalk"

The cyclist he describes just make it that much harder and more dangerous for the rest of us that try to follow the laws of the road.
re: Cycle-NazisFredrico
Jul 18, 2002 12:30 PM
j ust sent this e-mail to Ken:

I ride a bike for fitness, and have commuted alot on a bike--and have to AGREE with you wholeheartedly about those cyclist you describe, running red lights, terrorizing pedestrians and motorists, and generally always arrogantly getting away with it, as if it was their right, as "being a part of the Solution instead of a part of the Problem."

As we used to do in NYC, maintain your sanity by simply ignoring these cyclists, like the flies in summer. Know when you have the right of way and assume it. If there's a hit, it's their fault, right? The worst thing a motorists can do is let these guys (usually) intimidate you, make you feel GUILTY for driving your car, almost hitting them, etc.

The intelligent bicyclist never assumes the right of way with a faster, larger vehicle, or for that matter with a pedestrian, because it's the cyclist who will suffer the most injury in a collision with either. It's also always in the best interests of the cyclist to let people know what he is about to do, by hand signals and voice. A little consideration works wonders.
He's got some good pointsColnagoFE
Jul 18, 2002 11:16 AM
I mean he paints cyclists with the same broad brush and isn't doing the cycling community any favors by what he says, but I think cops SHOULD ticket law breaking cyclists.
I'd commute but I don't really like granola.klay
Jul 18, 2002 11:21 AM
Also, I need to save the energy to maintain my environmentally arrogant attitude.

What's the smarticon for rolling your eyes?

GranolaK
re: sometimes I think im Andy Rooney too...collinsc
Jul 18, 2002 11:43 AM
but eventually I realize that I'm just bitching, whining and acting like a baby.

The guy is a dolt, I've seen his crap before. He just likes to bitch. That said, I sent him a short note.
hmm, let me reverse the tables here...(rant ahead)AllisonHayes
Jul 18, 2002 12:16 PM
SEATTLE - What is it with some of these rednecks and soccer moms?

Nice weather seems to bring out the worst of the putzes who drive around town.

I'm talking about the clowns who zip across lanes of traffic; run red lights and stop signs; make illegal turns, and terrorize cyclists.

I don't know who's worse: The soccer mom who cusses at you for riding in the designated bike lane, or the redneck who flips you off for having the audacity to start a right hand turn as he's also turning right - from the LEFT side of the street!

I've ranted about this before, incurring the wrath of those beer sloshing pickup drivers who disdain everyone and anyone rides a bicycle.

I wondered then, and I wonder now, why police don't issue more tickets to these pickup-nazis.

Most of them don't signal when they turn. It's hard to tell when they're slowing down. They whimsically swerve in, out and around as it suits them.

Their antics are hazardous and menacing.

It'd do my heart good to even occasionally see one of these offending drivers get pulled over by a cop and issued a ticket.

The hot weather sure does lure more of these folks out.

Which leaves me to speculate about how they get around when the weather's not so nice.

I'll bet they're probably the ones who are as obnoxious in their suvs as they are on their pickups or minivans.

Want to share your thoughts with Ken Schram? You can e-mail him at kenupyoursbuddyschram@komo4news.com
Right on, AllisonHayes...Djudd
Jul 18, 2002 12:25 PM
granted there are jerks on bikes but who is more dangerous the jackass on the bike or the one in the car or SUV? Who is more numerous? Just by sheer numbers this editorial is useless and pointed in the wrong direction.
just as long as they are not "pointed" in my "direction" :) nmAllisonHayes
Jul 18, 2002 3:10 PM
hmm, let me reverse the tables here...(rant ahead)vitusdude
Jul 19, 2002 5:02 AM
Truly excellent. You should send it to that guy.
do you think he would appreciate his new email address?AllisonHayes
Jul 19, 2002 5:24 AM
kenupyoursbuddyschram@komo4news.com

btw, thanks!

Allison
Actually, I agree!Spoke Wrench
Jul 18, 2002 12:21 PM
The second last sentence says it all. I think that the bicyclists he is ranting about are probably jerky drivers too.

A while back, I spent some time thinking about the percentage of drivers who are discourtious to me on my bicycle. I decided the percentage is about the same as I encounter while driving my car. Put those same people on bicycles and they're still jerks.
If you are in the Seattle area...miposy
Jul 18, 2002 1:03 PM
...you already know this guy is a jackass. He is, in fact, payed to be a jackass.

Also, he is much too fat to be run over by a bicycle, so I am not sure why he has a problem with messengers. He clearly doesn't walk much, and his office is just on the fringe of downtown, so he should have rare occasions to be around messengers. Maybe his favorite doughnut shop or eatery (and he clearly has several) is located downtown. It certainly isn't his barber.

With all due respect to heavy people with good fitness,
the odds that he has the fitness to ride a bike even one mile are pretty low.
As others have said, he's is basically in the right.MXL02
Jul 18, 2002 1:12 PM
He isn't complaining about cyclists in general, just the ones who give us all a bad name. The best way to combat this is to kill em with kindness: follow all traffic laws, stop at stop lights, queue up behind cars at traffic intersections, etc.
I disagree, and very much so...miposy
Jul 18, 2002 1:23 PM
...by not distinguishing clearly between people who ride this way and people who don't, he tacitly paints us all with the same brush stroke.

This is not a bike problem, it is a people problem. He has a problem with people who are inconsiderate, but is displacing his hostility onto inconsiderate bicyclists, and is doing so from a bully pulpit.

As Allison pointed out so adroitly, you can fill pretty much any segment of society into his rant including car drivers, truck drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians, etc.

Yes, as riders we need to be considerate, but the fact that this is true does not excuse his implicit indictment of "all" bicyclists.
basic syllogismAllisonHayes
Jul 18, 2002 1:32 PM
major premise: cyclists are jerks
minor premise: i am a cyclist

conclusion: i am a jerk

the implication of the article is that all cyclists are jerks. now we know that is not the case, but we do know, based upon empirical evidence, that all rednecks, suv drivers and soccer moms are indeed jerks.

we also know that his major premise is incorrect; it is just that the majority of readers will paint all cyclists with the same damning brush.
They will run us off the road nowLC
Jul 18, 2002 1:56 PM
I don't disagree with what he has to say if you read it carefully, but remember he spoke this to a huge non-cycling audience that was only half way paying attention. All he did was reinforce what the majority of non-cyclists sort of suspected already. We are all granola eating clowns and pedaling putzes that constantly break laws and should be locked up in jail. Since everyone knows that the police will do nothing about it, they will just take things into their own hands and run us off the road. Take a look at the video of his remarks that was boadcast to potentially millions of drivers:
http://www.komotv.com/news/qtmovie.asp?ID=19408
Hitting the nail on the head.Fredrico
Jul 18, 2002 2:04 PM
Journalists on payrolls and ideologues are alike in that they love to make generalizations, Truths, about life styles, behaviors, ad. infinitum, they find offensive, for whatever reasons they have, conscious or subconscious. They are like the racists, xenophobes, chauvinists of old, making judgements without thinking, justifying their stupidity and ignorance. But then again, if this man, the journalist, were a fair minded individual, he probably wouldn't be writing his opinions in a newspaper column.

Live, let live. Can a newspaper make money on that premise? Probably not.
Not to put too fine a point on it: columnists are not...Djudd
Jul 18, 2002 2:48 PM
real journalists. Reporters are. Reporters are responsible for a beat and for, as objectively as possible, reporting news from that beat. Columnists are responsible to nothing but themselves and think so much of their own opinion they have to share it with everyone. If a reporter were to even think of putting such drivel into a story he and his editor would be fired.
MAke no mistake this is drivel. His big point; some people are breaking the law and I don't like it.
yup, pure drivel--and people get paid for it too. nuf said (nm)AllisonHayes
Jul 18, 2002 3:07 PM
bicyclists are easy scapegoats -- too many cars! (rant)velocity
Jul 18, 2002 4:36 PM
living in nyc i may have a skewed view. i ride every day and one has to fight for practically every inch. few see us or give us respect. of course you have to give respect to get respect but it's hard not to be a little aggro riding a bicycle in a congested American city. it's almost becomes a survival instinct.

cities like Amsterdam and Montreal have dedicated bicycle lanes and all kinds of people use them as part of their daily lives. there you see families who ride together not just for fitness but to run errands on their bikes and there's a sense of order.

here a cyclist, riding in a bike lane following all traffic rules, is always vulnerable of getting doored or run over. cars are double and even triple parked in the bike lane. people stand, stroll and hail cabs IN the bike lane. cyclists/rollerbladers/joggers behave irresponsibly, talk on their cells, have headphones on, take up the entire bike lane riding/rolling/jogging side by side and/or unpredictably. can't complain too much at least now we have bike lanes -- it's better then nothing.
Having seen the "bike lane" inJL
Jul 19, 2002 4:58 AM
the Times Square area, I don't think I would EVER be in it. While it is clearly marked, I can only say the few bikes I saw ride within it could not stay there long. Like you said, there are too many pedestrians, cars parked there and just general misunderstanding about where the lane starts/stops and how to use it. To me it looked WORTHLESS as a bike lane.

If that's what bike lanes are going to look like in cities, give me the countryside.

Happy riding.

John
Whew! I'll take Manhattan -- NOTAllisonHayes
Jul 19, 2002 5:33 AM
How to you, elviento & Spirito manage? You guys must either be crazy or some kind of bike god is watching over you.

i "here a cyclist, riding in a bike lane following all traffic rules, is always vulnerable of getting doored or run over. cars are double and even triple parked in the bike lane. people stand, stroll and hail cabs IN the bike lane. cyclists/rollerbladers/joggers behave irresponsibly, talk on their cells, have headphones on, take up the entire bike lane riding/rolling/jogging side by side and/or unpredictably."

It's a jungle out there. Great description, I almost ran into a rollerblader just reading it. :)

i "i ride every day and one has to fight for practically every inch."

What was that movie? "Never give an inch" based on the Ken Kesey novel, "Sometimes a Great Notion." Must play havoc with your average speed...:)

(Average speed -- what average speed, I'm just lucky to survive murmurs velocity.)
concrete jungle -- ain't safe on the streetsvelocity
Jul 19, 2002 7:32 AM
Allison, your post above inspired me to vent.

It really has gotten better in NYC over the past few years thanks to organizations like Transportation Alternatives. There's lots of good, friendly, experienced riders to ride with. It's just that there's still a long ways to go!

When I lived on the West Coast I was a mountain biker; living in the concrete jungle turned me into a roadie!
Some people just have issuesKristin
Jul 19, 2002 6:01 AM
This Ken guy has issues. This morning on my commute, I encountered a b...lessed woman with issues. She must have some inferiority complex which compelled her to purchase a Dodge Durango and proceed to crawl up my butt with it. It seems that people like this want to find fault with others. They pick on others because they're trying to feel better about themselves. You can't reason with them without taking on all kinds of stress, so its best to simply let them be. People reading this guys articles are hopefully intelligent enough to figure out that he's a prejudiced black & white thinker. Unless they legalize homocide, I plan avoid these types. (joking...kinda.)

I got into it with the Durango chick this morning. Big mistake. It didn't change her at all, and only made me stressed out. In retro, I wish I had simply moved out of her way and allowed her issues to continue on down the road.

What was it that Lens' granddaddy used to say?
Something about the pigs?Len J
Jul 19, 2002 6:06 AM
It's hard to remember when you are in a situitation like this that nothing you can do will change an idiot. (Dress it up but a pig is still a pig). The only thing you have any control over is your own behavior. I have found that the best way to "show up" an idiot is by taking the high ground & "Mirroring" good behavior back at them. People usually know when they are out of line. The only thing getting down in the mud with them does is reinforce that they were right about you.

Life's too short to allow an idiot to change your mood.

Len
You can't teach a pig to fly.AllisonHayes
Jul 19, 2002 6:15 AM
It's a waste of time.
And it infuriates the pig.
Grandad used to say.Len J
Jul 19, 2002 6:17 AM
It's no use getting down in the mud with the pigs.
The only thing happens is the pigs love it & you get dirty.

Len
re: Are you a Pedaling Putz or a Cycle-Nazi?brider
Jul 19, 2002 9:38 AM
I sent this reply to Mr. Schram

Mr. Schram:

As a cyclist who has raced for many years, occasionally commutes by bicycle to and from work, and enjoys just riding, I found your editorial rather interesting. First off, I agree with you on several points: I see so many cyclists disobeying traffic law. I'm with you on the whole issue of the police issuing citations to cyclists who disobey traffic law. But I find your particular editorial style and generalizing to do a great disservice to yourself, and particularly to those who you are attempting to address.

Now I know that the whole REAL objective of your industry is to generate controversy. But let's get real here -- your third paragraph says the whole story:

I'm talking about the clowns who zip
inside two lanes of traffic; run red lights
and stop signs; make illegal turns, or
terrorize pedestrians on the sidewalk.

The rest of your prose is nothing but sensationalizing tripe. You're claiming to be talking about a subset of the cycling public, yet your title "What Is It With Bicyclists?" addresses ALL cyclists. And I'd have to say that your descriptive terms of "the putzes who pedal around town" and "environmentally arrogant pedal pushers" and "cycle-nazis" is very much uncalled for. It's been my experience that people who resort to these things are, in reality, trying desperately to hide a lack of information and insight.

So I'd like to ask you a few questions, Mr. Schram:
> Have you ever made a lane change without signaling first?
> Have you ever not come to a COMPLETE stop at a stop sign?
> Have you ever talked on your cellular phone while driving, without using a hands-free device?
> Have you ever applied the brakes to slow down on the freeway because you found yourself in the wrong lane too close to the exit you wanted to take?

If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions (and I'm sure there are a lot more of them that I haven't included), then you have no business getting all high-and-mighty against some one else. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

I also think you need to take into consideration the general viewing public who actually SAW your broadcast. Do you REALLY think they can make the distinction between the law abiding cyclists and those who are not? And do you feel that you've helped them to make that distinction?

Thank you for your time.