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Yet another troll "journalist"(52 posts)

Yet another troll "journalist"brider
Jul 23, 2002 1:04 PM
Brought to my attention on the Tri-Newbies Online board.

Feel free to send this guy your (level headed) responses. I haven't yet, as I need a little cool-down time.
re: Yet another troll "journalist"UncleMoe
Jul 23, 2002 1:09 PM
I like how he implies golf carts are OK on the roadways. He must be fat and consider golf a sport.
He's got my opinion of his article. (nm)Chen2
Jul 23, 2002 1:20 PM
Let's reverse the tables once again...AllisonHayes
Jul 23, 2002 1:41 PM
I don't want to share the road with a suv. Suv driver's arteries are clogged with hot dogs, pizza, Big Macs and Big Slurpies. Cyclists are plagued by these swarms every weekend and most weekdays as well.

If you see them on the road, you are forced onto the gravel because they hog everything. They are always pondering whether to call their broker to sell some worthless stock or grazing on a Big Mac while they force you off the road.

Suvs are an accident waiting to happen.

Your municipality should be doing whatever it can to get them off the road. It can start by taking down the license numbers of those who can't drive in a straight line.

Common sense tells you roads with bicycle lanes are designed to be shared. Yet these mammoth suvs driven by these slobs huffing and puffing behind the wheel just waiting to have their next seizure haven't a clue.

The suvs siphon the world's energy resources yet they feel they are king of the road and cyclists are their private fodder. Suv drivers look forward to hunting season all year and in the mean time practice on cyclists for diurnal road kill.

When these fat, lazy road hogs start moving their ass on a bicycle, then maybe we can consider allowing them the privilege of driving on the roads, but only in designated areas like demolition derbys.

The politically correct crowd defends the right to driving suvs. It is the American way. Suvs are a necessity they say.

Well, safety should be a necessity too. Lobotomize this Dimitri Vassilaros.

i (I luv using their own words against them. What a total neaderthal.)
very good!rollo tommassi
Jul 23, 2002 1:45 PM
if you haven't sent this to Comrade Dimitri, you should!
Extremely well done Allison...........................nmDave Hickey
Jul 23, 2002 1:46 PM
Stooping to his level accomplishes nothing.brider
Jul 23, 2002 1:53 PM
I actually found your diatribe equally insulting.

Yep, I have an SUV -- Isuzu Rodeo to be exact. My next one will be a Dodge Durango. So what? I ride too.

Lesson -- don't generalize.
Ummm.... I guess you never read A Modest Proposal either...jtolleson
Jul 23, 2002 2:03 PM
sounds like Allison's effort to show him how irrational his generalizations were was completely lost on you. Tongue was clearly firmly in cheek on this one, or didn't you notice?

Not only that, you took it as a personal attack on your vehicle. Take a chill pill.
Ummm.... I guess you never read A Modest Proposal either...brider
Jul 23, 2002 2:13 PM
I already said (in my first post) that I'm in a "cooling off" period before I respond to the article.

And yes, I have read "A Modest Proposal." Not the same thing at all.
Double ummmm....jtolleson
Jul 23, 2002 2:21 PM
And your response to me shows that you misunderstood my tongue-in-cheek reference to A Modest Proposal (I really WASN'T trying to find out whether you paid attention in high school English). I was trying to point out that Allison's writing was a tongue-in-cheek response that spoofed the stereotyping generalities (even ignorance) of the original column.

Sheesh. Now that I know being literal is a requirement of communicating I'll try to remember that. You could just be a big boy and admit that you misunderstood her intent instead of calling it a "diatribe" and getting all defensive about what kind of car you drive.

Double Sheesh.
"tit for tat"AllisonHayes
Jul 23, 2002 2:05 PM
I recall a famous war game scenario where entrants devised various schemas for defending against World War III. There were many complex algorithms devised and one very simple one, called "tit for tat."

Anyway, what the "tit for tat" one would do is repeat exactly what the offender did. This turned out to be the best response to these kinds of situations. Think about how powerful it is when one's own actions or words are used against them. You would be surprised what is accomplishes to change behavior.

Of course, not all suv drivers are like what is described here. I could have used any label: redneck, soccer mom, goon--you name it. None of these are right and using labels or generalizations is not right either. At the same time, you don't need to be so literal either.
"tit for tat"DougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 5:53 AM
Of course, in that scenario, everyone ends up dead. Didn't you see "Wargames"? "The only way to win is not to play the game." :-)

"tit for tat" - or in this case "I know you are, but what am I?"off roadie
Jul 24, 2002 6:19 AM
Its both a stratedgy for averting nuclear armagedon and the ultimate in rhetorical logic, used by arms negotiators and kindergarden brats across the world.
Stooping to his level accomplishes nothing.94Nole
Jul 23, 2002 3:40 PM
I would say lighten up, Chief.
Wait a bikes go on top of or inside my SUV....(nm)I_See_Fred_People
Jul 23, 2002 2:07 PM
Allison, I cannot believe thisLazywriter
Jul 23, 2002 2:31 PM
but I actually agree with you. SUVs are irresponsible, unnecessary and a plain waste. I still think you are corny and annoying, but at least you finally made some sense.
Allison, I cannot believe thisAllisonHayes
Jul 23, 2002 2:44 PM
Heh heh heh! [nm]Ahimsa
Jul 23, 2002 5:07 PM
Well done A.H. We oughta roast that pig on a spit... nmrwbadley
Jul 23, 2002 4:55 PM
this guy sounds dangerousColnagoFE
Jul 23, 2002 1:44 PM
he and his editors deserve a good bit of fan mail. call his phone # too if you feel so inclined.
re: what an ass!, my calves are way larger than baseballs...(nm)collinsc
Jul 23, 2002 1:56 PM
Hmmm, interesting...MXL02
Jul 23, 2002 2:06 PM
I find it interesting that whenever a columnist even thinks about saying anything even remotely negative about cycling, the uproar on this board is unbelievable. Yet when something positive is printed, no one says a word.
I posted this link the other day, and only one person responded to it. Personally, I wrote the guy a very grateful email, and asked him to continue to help foster a pro cycling attitude in his future columns.
Blasting the loud-mouthed buffoon in Pittsburgh will probably accomplish nothing. Giving an atta boy to our supporter may help.

PS- I did forward this link to our nemesis in PGH.
Hmmm, interesting...brider
Jul 23, 2002 2:16 PM
There is a difference here. Your posting pointed to an objective article, not an editorial. As such, I didn't see a reason to give this person a big pat on the back for reporting facts. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I saw it.
Hmmm, interesting...MXL02
Jul 23, 2002 2:18 PM
Sorry, but that was an editorial column...and anything positive from any source should be recoginized. It seems that people just like a fight. Must be human nature.
My responseLeroy
Jul 23, 2002 2:44 PM
Hey, lighten up! Do you think the owner of a $2 -5,000 racing bicycle might own a couple of vehicles himself? Do you think maybe the cyclist pays taxes, too? Well, I do; and I think you know that yourself.

Unfortunately, your running out of column ideas may have the effect of encouraging road rage and irresponsible driving in the guise of "justified anger." The news lately has reported such assaults upon cyclists by psychotic or negligent drivers. Apparantly you are content to sponsor or encourage such activity because you do not want to leave a space where your column ought to be.

I realize extremes are your stock in trade. You got me to send this e-mail. I just hope that you could do better. Good luck with it.

Dave Loving
Waxahachie, Texas
As a journalist AND a cyclist, can I make a couple of points?cory
Jul 23, 2002 2:45 PM
I've been a cyclist for more than 30 years, and a newspaper and magazine columnist for 28. In the latter capacity I've written quite a bit about the former, and if you dismiss what this guy says, you're doing the sport a disservice.
Whatever cyclists may think, he's not making this stuff up. A lot of riders--roadies more than mountain bikers, I think--are arrogant. It got worse in Reno, where I live, after Lemond's TdF wins (he's from here), and MUCH worse when Lance got famous. A lot of young, testosterone-crazed guys who don't know the rules, or that there ARE rules, came into the sport and made things hard for everybody.
Even as a cyclist, and completely in sympathy with them, I see riders just begging to be brushed back. They ride three and four abreast on narrow roads, forcing traffic to hold to 12 or 15 mph. They run lights and stop signs (I know; I do it myself) and cut across turn lanes and generally act like @ssholes. I see it EVERY DAY, from my bike as well as my car--it's not an overreaction to a few incidents.
If we want to take advantage of the laws protecting cyclists and giving us rights to the road, we have to follow the laws governing traffic. If we expect drivers to yield to us when it's appropriate, we have to yield to them when THAT'S appropriate. If you're not doing that, then you don't have any room to complain when drivers bitch about bike riders being dangerous.
Well said.jtolleson
Jul 23, 2002 2:51 PM
It makes me cringe. Finally one day I said something to a bike messenger downtown, which of course accomplished nothing other than to get me called a f@*&ing b@tch. I had hoped my double Yakima roof mounts might have clued him in that I wasn't the typical downtown snotty motorist.

I also really notice it on organized events (centuries, etc.). Wanna keep riding 2-3 abreast? Wanna be able to pass on a hill climb without regard to the line of traffic behind you? I would say "don't come crying to me when the Colorado Dept of Transportation starts denying permits to event organizers" but of course I'll be crying too.

There's definitely plenty for cyclists to learn. Too bad the author of this column isn't able to achieve any balance in HIS perspective, though.
Finally...a voice of reason.MXL02
Jul 23, 2002 3:07 PM
I am in total agreement. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Thanks
Finally...a voice of reason.MXL02
Jul 23, 2002 3:13 PM
The corollary concept to this is: why are so many columnists bitching about cyclists??? Is there a some merit to their complaints? Simple head butting as a rebuttal will not fix this problem, folks. We need to clean up our act before we start pointing the finger(s) at someone else.
What reason? There is no reason in that piece...nmDjudd
Jul 23, 2002 3:17 PM
The reason is in Cory's post. nmMXL02
Jul 23, 2002 4:53 PM
Cory, you miss the point of the piece...Djudd
Jul 23, 2002 3:14 PM
it starts " I don't want to share the road with bicyclists". This is not a call to safety. This is a polemic. It is self-evident that cyclists gliding through lights and stop signs is wrong. He is calling for all cyclists to be off the road no matter what. What is galling is these so-called journalists ( I am a reporter for a major daily and a longtime cyclist) giving thier opinion with faulty "facts" Gas taxes do not pay for roads. As a matter of fact drivers get what amounts to a $3000 a year subsidy to drive. There is no tax levied that could possibly pay for road construction, this according to the NHTSA. He like most columnists are self-important, wrong-headed jokes who give journalism, real journalism a bad name.
As a journalist AND a cyclist, can I make a couple of points?S-U-B
Jul 23, 2002 3:16 PM
It is true that some cyclists dont obey the rules, and needlessly slow down traffic or cause accidents. This is also true when it comes to motorists as well, so I dont believe this is a good argument. Should we run down every old lady behind the wheel of her oldsmobile for slowing us down? I'm always amazed at how upset motorists can be because they because I actually took 5 seconds out of their day to slow and go around me. Yet you can follow an old lady for 20 miles going 30 mph with 50 cars stacked up behind her and were not going to do something about that? I think people like this guy must live a miserable life when they let such minor things affect them this way. just dont generalize that all cyclists break the rules. I'm sure I have broken more laws in my LandCruiser than I have on my bike.
Your points are well made.AllisonHayes
Jul 23, 2002 4:23 PM
If only Dimitri were as articulate and well-reasoned. But he is paid to generate revenue by polarizing and inciting, not make sense.

i(That is why he called is a columnist and not a journalist or an editor.)
you can start by not running stop lights and signs yourselfrufus
Jul 23, 2002 4:30 PM
until you do, don't lecture the rest of us on how to obey the rules.
A letter to the editor will be better than to this bozo. nmrideslikeagirl
Jul 23, 2002 2:56 PM
Jul 23, 2002 3:25 PM
That dude's an absolute jerk. He will get a friendly e-mail from me this evening.
Jul 23, 2002 3:34 PM
You know what. There's always going to be a jackass. Some motorists are and so are some cyclists. Someone will always take an extreme point of view about something, anything. I don't condone what this guy wrote but take a second and look from his side. Maybe he wrote this article after he had just followed a group of jackass cyclists for 20 miles at 18mph. Who knows. So he was pissed off. If you want to do something good for cycling follow the rules of the road and join a cycling advocacy group.
And besides from what I know the Pitt Tribune-Review is a second rate newspaper. Don't bother reading anything in it.
I grew up there...dsc
Jul 23, 2002 4:05 PM
and I see that nothing has changed. Still populated by small-minded people.

Just one more reason that I've called Southern California home for the last 19 years.

i sent this to all of their editorial boardrufus
Jul 23, 2002 4:35 PM
This is a copy of an email I sent to the (supposed) author of said article. You should be ashamed of yourself for ever allowing it to see print.

I cannot believe your editor allowed such an inflammatory article to be printed. Do you have any idea how many cyclists are injured or killed every week in collisions with motor vehicles? Bicyclists are not an accident waiting to happen, rather they are the victims of careless, inattentive, drunk, or "in too big a hurry" motorists. Less than two months ago there was the story of two cyclists killed when an oncoming pickup crossed over the yellow line and plowed straight into their group. A woman in Boston was killed when a man carelessly opened his car door, striking her, and sending her under the wheels of a transit bus. Do you think this is funny? Worthy of your scintillating intellectual argument calling for their banishment from the roads?

While this may not have been your intent, people will read this piece of trash you have written, and interpret this as a call to arms against all cyclists on the road. They will use your article to justify any threatening action they take towards cyclists. Almost every cyclist, at one time or another, has had a threatening encounter with a motorist, ranging from verbal threats to thrown objects, or worse, being struck by them. Your article will serve only to increase the number of such incidents. I hope you think about this the next time a cyclist is killed in your city.

Do some research on the development of the roads in this country. Guess what, the first roads were created to serve bicycle traffic. Motor vehicles hadn't even been invented yet. As well, cyclists pay for the highways just as much as you or anyone else does. Do you believe that they don't have cars at home, that they pay to register and inspect, and pay gasoline taxes when they fuel up? Cyclists are just like you, they have jobs, wives, husbands, children, and people who love them. They just happen to also ride their bike. Bikes are by law allowed to be ridden on public roads. I'm so sorry if they delay you for a few seconds from reaching your destination. Deal with it. Your article just demonstrates the growing selfishness of the American people.
my .02ochsen
Jul 23, 2002 4:46 PM
I really don't think the author is as concerned about my safety as he is letting on. Safety concerns? Exactly how much safer is a motorcycle than my bike? I'm pretty sure I'll never hit 100 mph on my bicycle.

Nor is he concerned about me not paying taxes to fix and maintain the roads (although I really don't think my bike is damaging the roads).

His having to pay for inspections? Well, I would hope I didn't have to pay for an emission inspection for my bike. I think it'd be more obvious if something on my bike needed work than my car. I pay the exact same taxes as he does, I say my share goes to helping cyclists on the road.

He is only mad because he has to pay attention to the road and slow down while I am riding on the road. Does this guy get as angry when he has to stop at a light?

If his real point is the idiot cyclists on the road, then he should have written about them. Then I think more people would agree w/ him, including myself. But then again, what's more interesting? "Bike Safety" -or- "No Cyclists Should Be Allowed On The Road"?

If we're living the high life, "getting away" w/ everything, then he should ride a bike too and find out what it's like. He might see the idiot drivers out there and have a different opinion.

Not a week goes by when that rag calls and trys to give me a "free" subscription. Actually, they called my house at 12:30 today. "I read the Post-Gazette, thanks."

Actually, I need some cool down time myself. I just wrote a giant letter and am considering printing it and mailing it instead.

This guy is dangerous. Watch the road rage go up in Pgh.
Dear Dmitri....seyboro
Jul 23, 2002 5:25 PM
Dearest Dimitri,
I have heard all of those arguments before, just not all of them in such a heaping pile of urban redneck rant. It never ceases to amaze me how some journalists can squeeze out most of humanity's brainfarts in one big swoop.
But, do not fear, I will keep riding for you, anyway. I will put up with your impatience, your wastefulness, your air pollution, your laziness, your early medicaid bills, your unhappiness and your V8-size ego. No problem!!
So, have another doughnut (yep, spelled correctly!), crank up the ol' SUV with the American flag on the rear driver's side and the fading "OBX" sticker.
Yeah, that's it, you can do it! Get upand drive to your gas tank's and heart's delight! You know why? 'Cause you can!! ...for a little while longer, anyways... Love ya', seyboro
Anytime an article comes out like this....rwbadley
Jul 23, 2002 5:35 PM
it would seem to do two things within the community.

1. Get a bunch of people bouncing their heads up and down in agreement. Yep, those darn crazy cycling 'sturds. Get 'em all off the road fer chrissakes, a danger to ever'one. The Vigilantes then posse and go in for the kill. Well it's OK to run 'em off the road because I saw this article and....

2. The other reaction is: Fear of being run off the road by the two ton vehicle. Indignant that somebody would think like this, let alone finagle it into print.

I can see a bit where this guy is coming from. Our area here has more cyclists all the time. Some are not "good riders" as far as traffic laws. Some are just a--holes.

What bothers me the most about this is why do the cyclists have to ride in such a dangerous position. Our town guv'ment has little or no regard for cyclist activity, and I suspect most towns are the same way. Did you see the earlier post of the trip to Canada? Why are they able to make peace and encourage cyclists, and we are not? The circular overpass alone cost way, way more than I have seen expended on cyclist safety total in all twenty+ years I have been in Reno.

I think in many ways the US population has something of an attitude problem towards the cyclist, and unless that is modified, we will see the same again, and again, and again. I always hear the old 'road tax' crap as some sort of legit argument.

This guy deserves to be flamed, even tho' he has some valid points. The problem is, then he is viewed as a hero for generating huge response. Wow, we heard from Beijing on this one, and boy, are they pissed! Great Job!! It's true, he is supposed to stir up something. If he gets no feedback from readers, he'll be out the door at some point.

my takeStarliner
Jul 23, 2002 6:09 PM
This guy's attempt to equate cyclists with vehicle owners is ridiculous and should be challenged head on. Since practically all cyclists are also owners of licensed road-going vehicles, his main argument that cyclists don't pay for the costs of providing and maintaining the roads they are riding on is wrong, irrelevant and should be dismissed outright.

Many communities have solved the "problems" with cyclists he complains about with accomodating measures such as widening roads and/or creating bike lanes - not by banning cyclists from city streets and rural secondary roads. His community should be encouraged to do the same.

I see indications in his article that he is coming from a negative space - "colorful skintight synthetics"..."the politically correct crowd loves bicycles" - where opinions are fueled by hate, spite, and other not-so-wonderful things. I would say that there is a general goodness within the public community for cyclists, and therefore there should not be any need for a knee-jerk response in kind for him.

PS. I don't like SUV's, and struggle with myself to avoid prejudice against those who drive them. With me, it's what they represent - waste, etc. However, we SUV-haters should realize that within the SUV world, there are semi-economical versions (Saturn VUE, Ford Escape, Honda CRV, etc.) which really shouldn't be grouped together with the gas-guzzling behemoths (Suburbans, Excursions, Navigators, I think sometimes the best way to a solution is to take small steps, and in this case I think it wise to go after the really big offenders first - hey Doug, your wife still driving that Suburban?

re: Yet another troll "journalist"NeedSpeed
Jul 23, 2002 6:12 PM
I am a cyclist and a journalist too. I just sent this e-mail to Mr. Vassilaros. Here it is in its entirety:

Mr. Vassilaros,

I must say that I am an avid cyclist and that your column (which is being widely circulated on cyclist websites, so expect more of these) seeking to banish cyclists from roads is one of the most ridiculous and asaine diatribes I've ever read. Like you, I am also a journalist, so I respect your right to voice your opinion. However, cyclists have as much right to use the roads as drivers of motor vehicles.

First of all, you apparently do not realize that cyclists are both taxpayers and most of us also own motor vehicles. This negates your ridiculous assertion that we should be banned from the roads because we don't pay various taxes for road repair, maintenance and various transportation/safety fees added to the price of our cars. Look around and you'll see bike racks on sedans, station wagons, sports cars and SUVs.

Second, cycling is an exceptional way of maintaining or improving one's physical fitness, in addition to improving our environment. The fewer cars on the road, the fewer the emissions and the cleaner the air. And considering that more and more Americans are obese for their age and height, any form of exercise which helps one lose weight and improve fitness is a good thing.

Third, your column is irresponsible. It is attitudes like yours that endangers cyclists lives. We abide by the state and local laws when on our bikes. When we don't, we get the same expensive tickets you mentioned. When motorists take arrogant, misguided ownership of the roads, it results in people losing their lives. The recent incidents in Texas and Lousiana are a testament to this. Perhaps you could forward your column to the familes of the men who lost their lives, telling them that it was the cyclists fault for being on the roads and not the irresponsibe drivers who crossed over towards the far median to plow into them.

Fourth, if a motorist does not have the patience to wait at the most for a few minutes to safely pass by a group of cylists on the road, perhaps he or she should consider leaving an additional 15 minutes to get to a desired destination on time. When motorists have to sit in traffic jams on roads or highways due to construction or auto accidents, they may complain, but deal with it. Why is a few minutes waiting to pass a group of cyclists so much more infuriating? Perhaps you can expain this to me.

Lastly, as cyclists, we know that there are motorists who want us off the roads and even other motorists who want to do us harm. We have been doused, struck by thrown objects and fists. We have been buzzed by speeding cars who veer away at the last second, mere inches separating us from never seeing our families or loved ones again. We know that it is in our best interests to abide by all road laws and regulations. To do otherwise (speeding through stop signs and lights or failing to signal turns) places our lives in even greater danger.

And one more thing. The reason we ride in packs is for visibilty. We all shudder to think what would happen if one of us was out, riding alone with someone like you (or others who agree with your dangerous views) approaching them in a speeding car.

Think about it.
Very nice. Bravo for a reasonable, yet still pointed reply. [nm]Ahimsa
Jul 23, 2002 6:23 PM
Yep, I agreebigdave
Jul 24, 2002 9:12 AM
Well done. I was a journalist, and I'm a rider. A reasoned approach may be the only way to get him to "see the light," however it's obvious his mind was made up.

In regard to one of your comments, I can't understand why motorists get so impaitent if that are delayed by a bike in the slightest. And it's actually more like "seconds" that they are delayed. They might have to slow from 45 to 20 for about 10-40 seconds... rarely over a minute before getting past.

But the disturbing trend seems to be people not wanting to have to slow down at all from the speed they are traveling. They blow through stop signs, get all bent out of shape if they have to brake a bit.

I'm not quite sure when this started happening, but it's here now. And it's not good for anyone, especially cyclists.

in my local paper...janson
Jul 23, 2002 6:32 PM
In my local paper, in the "police news", one report went like this:
On Saturday at noon, a citizen called to report cyclists "zooming around town" and "hogging the roads". A officer looked into this safety hazard.

Now, I would say that some cyclists think they own the road.
But I haven't ever seen any hoggers in my town. I suppose whoever called was the same person who stepped into the road as I biked past, walking into me and sending me sliding (at 25mph), and getting hurt themselves. He accused me of going too fast. I was well below what a car would have been going. I don't think people take bikes seriously- This person didn't think I was going fast enough to hit them. They didn't consider me a vehicle.
I do take all precautions now near pestrians now. I don't wanna get hurt, yelled at, and possibly sued.
But back to cars- I think most drivers need more respect for us as vehicles, but also some cyclists do need more respect for the cars' right of the road.
Sorry I couldn't help myself....tirider
Jul 23, 2002 8:16 PM
Perhaps not quite level headed... oh well, here's what I sent:
Brilliant article 7-23-02
Why don't you celebrate!!! Pop the top on a quart of motor oil, stick it up your ass and do a headstand. I bet you drive an SUV.
send him thisDougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 5:58 AM
LOFL!!! My new motto..... nmDave Hickey
Jul 24, 2002 8:26 AM
Emails no longer working - Boycott adshulksmash
Jul 24, 2002 12:53 PM
Yup you heard right folks, he's turned off his email. Only was able to get my even handed response to his shock journalist POS article delivered to his editors and hopefully bosses.

Well they got their page hits, I'm sure their advertisers are happy.

So here's the scheme: Write to the editors and let them know that they're wrong posting this crap and follow up by saying that you plan on telling the advertisers the same thing. That should get Dimwitt-tri a real glowing performance review this pay period.

Ride well.

MXL02 - Thanks for the link to the positive side. I made sure to respond.