I think she hates me

October 2, 2012 § 54 Comments

I often forget how many people hate me because I ride a bike.

They are, however, everywhere. They don’t mind hurting or killing cyclists who get in their way. To these people, bicyclists deserve whatever awful thing happens to them. It’s the deserved price bicyclists pay for taking up space on the road.

The only good cyclist is a dead cyclist.

One such hater is Cher. Worth an estimated $600 million, and one of the most successful female recording artists of all time, she belongs to the vocal Hollywood celebrirati who passionately and aggressively promote their political views.

Despite this noble pedigree, I think she hates me, per the song.

Cher believes that cyclists don’t belong on Pacific Coast Highway, or at least the part of it that runs by her house. In her words, she hates them. They are “FKRS.” They live in a different universe. They are dangerous, and their act of riding bicycles is akin to Russian roulette.

Of course, it’s okay for the front of her house, which faces the ocean, to be constantly blocked with cars and service vehicles so that cyclists have to leave the relative safety of the shoulder and get out into the lane. And naturally, it’s okay for her to tweet and text and talk and drive.

Her sentiments are not restricted to the domain of a few rich celebrities. Read the comments in this thread, if you can. It will remind you that your life is worthless, and that you are more contemptible than an Escalade.

If you think this ersatz liberal cares about you and your bike, think again. Because, you know, “She’s got you, babe.” In her gunsights.

Wow…

Double wow…

Triple wow…

Quadruple wow.

Why Cher matters

So it’s easy enough to write off, right? Just another super rich person telling everyone else to fuck off, kind of like a presidential campaign.

Except that, you know, it’s really not. Terence Connor, drummer for a Brooklyn band, died this morning in a hit and run accident while riding his bike. Whatever universe he was in, he’s in a different one now. As Cher might say, he played Russian roulette and lost.

A tad closer to home, Scott Folck was struck and killed by a motorist while riding early in the morning in San Diego County. Scott was 35, and as they say, he left behind a wife and two young children. As Cher might say, “Sic of these IDIOTS!”

Sara Leaf, age 29, was run over and killed by a stake-bed truck driver who turned right onto her a couple of weeks ago in Newport Beach. Oops. Cher might want to add “Cannot say enough about these Insane fks!”

Dr. Catherine Ritz, 57, an esteemed physician also from Newport Beach, was killed by a hit and run driver on September 15, the same weekend as Sara Leaf. She was recognized in her community for having treated thousands, yes thousands, of patients over the course of a distinguished career dedicated to helping the sick. In the words of Cher, “I HATE THEM!”

Two days ago, an unidentified cyclist was seriously injured, again by a hit and run driver in San Diego. Police are searching for the driver, whose license plate was identified by witnesses. Sometimes when you run over a human being, you know, you just keep going. It might have been a curb. To quote Cher, “omg Urrr! Yuck.”

And the list goes on and on and on, throughout the country, this country, where people in cars hate people on bicycles for being on bicycles, hate them so much that they kill them. Omg. Urrr! Yuck.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Tagged: , ,

§ 54 Responses to I think she hates me

  • Cher, she’s always been known for her rationality…

    • Admin says:

      What’s so weird is that she’s such a bleeding heart. Gender equality, check. Sexual orientation non-discrimination, check. Green stuff, check.

      Kill the fuckers in spandex, check.

      I suppose she wants your heart to bleed in unison with hers.

  • ChrisFromTejas says:

    Nice blog post. Hate to hear about people with such influence acting in ways that would cause others to possibly endanger cyclists. Maybe there will be enough backlash to force her to redact her statements. Keep up the good work Wanky.

    • Admin says:

      Thanks. There will be no backlash, just more confused cyclists who don’t get why they deserve to die, and more noncycling motorists who nod in assent, waiting for their turn. You cycle? Okay. Hope you like quadriplegia/death.

  • Paul says:

    I hope someone makes Cher read this. Wow. It’s the same in Santa Barbara though, people in cars just think we’re in their way and they should run us off the road. Saturday group around Lake Casitas got hit by passing motorist, half the peloton down, four road rash and wrecked bikes, one serious transport to hospital. Driver comment to justify attempted pass on double-yellow line? “You guys should be single file!!!”

  • djslow says:

    I don’t get it. She seems to understand wearing spandex: http://leighonline.com/images/cher.jpg

  • Mel says:

    You know, I was reading this to a co-worker who wouldn’t even let me finish before she tore into me about how bad cyclists are and why she could see how you’d want to just run them over when they’re being such asshats. She seriously said this. It’s a losing battle.

  • sll says:

    She claims to be a supporter of Aids research, so I wonder if she hates all the Aids Riders that have raised millions for that cause…and who pass by her house every year on the ride down from SF

    • Admin says:

      She hates those FKRS, too. Except when they get off their bikes. Then she loves them and passionately supports their cause. Until they get back on their bikes. Then she hates those FKRS. Except when they get off their bikes. Then she really cares about them and supports legislation to help cure their terrible illness. Until they get back on their bikes. Then she hates those FKRS. Except when they get off their bikes. Then she really wants them to be represented in the halls of power, and wants education and awareness to reduce the toll taken by this awful disease. Until they get back on their bikes. Then she hates those FKRS.

      Except when she’s medicated. Then it’s ALL good.

  • kill ‘em all!…then the (my) world will be perfect!

  • appalachie says:

    Cher is just one more of those vapid, narcisistic, super-hypocrite “celebrities”.

    Many of these “celebrities” and hollywood types who live in Malibu, have illegally fenced off public beach access, and hire private security guards to harrass people and falsely tell them they’re on “private land”.

    Dave Geffen is one of the more notorious examples. In exchange for getting permits to enlarge his beachfront mega-estate, he was supposed to provide easements for beach access. Instead, he’s stonewalled and obfuscated for some 20 years.

    I should start carrying dog turds wrapped in a baggie, and if I see that hideous, botox-ed, reconstructed face of Cher’s driving down PCH, let her have it. I’d consider it an improvement to that face.

    A pox on all of them.

    • Admin says:

      It’s easy to beat up on the elite, super rich who hate you, and it’s easy to explain. They’re super rich and you’re not. What’s harder to wrap my head around is the fact that ordinary people hate us and want to kill us, too. I was pedaling down Hawthorne a month ago, as I’m legally entitled to do, taking a lane with three big empty lanes off to my left, and a woman driving a beat-up schrottwagen with her kid in the back cursed me, flipped me off, cut me off, and screamed at me to “Get off the fucking road!”

      Houston, we have a problem when that lady and Cher are singing from the same score. The rash of injuries and deaths, and the lenience with which the law treats cyclist killers, speak to our true place in society. When we are hurt or die it is perceived as not only deserved, but as a kind of justice. See? That’s what you get for riding a bike out among cars.

      It’s profound when you think about it. The fair trade for bicycling is death. And you know what’s even more profound? We accept it.

      • appalachie says:

        It’s the hypocrisy and “limosine liberal” entitlement mentality I detest, not that they’re “super rich”.

        I do my part by boycotting the most egregious of these smarmy “entertainers”. I know, finger in the dike & all that, but at least they’re not getting my dime.

      • Admin says:

        I don’t mind the hypocrisy or the entitlement or even the smarminess. I mind that motorists want to kill me. We’re probably saying the same thing…

  • The Fred Hunter says:

    OK, this isn’t going to be popular, so I’m bracing myself for the flame attack.
    Sometimes, we ARE FKRS. Sometimes we swing out into the lane without looking. Sometimes we run red lights without looking. Adrenalin, fear of athletic shame, trying to stay attached to the group, following the idiot on the front who didn’t look over his shoulder first. I’ve done it plenty. So have you. And you and you.
    Roads were designed for cars to get from point A to point B, and we share these roads. Some think it’s a right. Personally, I think it’s a privilege that we get to do our sport on public highways. “Share the road”…our battle cry…well, it goes both ways. We need to practice what we preach.
    Remember when you first started riding? How long did it take you to become comfortable in the peleton – being able to predict how it would move. Most drivers don’t know why we flow into the lane, they don’t know that there’s crap in the bike lane, or that some idiot on the front touched his brake, etc., so we need to keep this in mind when we automatically swell, en masse, from the shoulder into the lane.
    In the spirit of self preservation, I want to say that drivers have no right to hit us, kill us, maim us, whether unintentional or driven by rage. F those FKRS. But for all the rest, we need to take some ownership and give them the same courtesies we expect them to give us. So next time you want to, no, make that absolutely-need-to-otherwise-the-world-will-end jump around the outside of your cycling buddy to take that city limit sprunt, only to be followed by the 18 guys on your wheel, think about the fact you may be jumping into the path of three tons of death. And when the driver slams on the brakes, and risks an accident rather than mow you down, then they’ve earned the right to call us anything they want. Including FKRS.
    PS – Cher is a punk bitch.

  • Old Cyclist says:

    Fred Hunter has a point worth considering: there’s plenty of morons on bikes giving cyclists a bad name as well as the morons in cars who have forgotten how to ride a bike and think three seconds of their time is worth taking your life. Wonder how their are going to feel when it’s one of their kids wrapped around the axle of an Escalade? So be mindful of where you’re riding, the traffic conditions, and what your example may mean to others in the group and the stream of less athletic humanity looking for an opportunity to pass. When that moron honks, screams, and puts up a finger to let you know your number 1, don’t escalate, smile, wave and wish them a nice day. They’ll hate it.

    • Admin says:

      I disagree. There are no more cyclists giving cyclists a bad name than there are motorists giving motorists a bad name. Common sense and self-preservation will always trump the law, of course. That’s something every cyclist knows.

      Fred misses the point, which is this: Countless motorists hate cyclists and believe that death/injury are just recompense for anything that occurs while cycling. Ride like a jerk? You should die. Ride on PCH? You should die. Slow me down? You should die. Exist? You should die.

      The sheep’s herd of cyclists live in a fantasy land that either laws or good behavior or riding smart or smiling when attacked or attacking when attacked or WHATEVER will make it safer for them on the road.

      The reality is that until we address the fact that we are hated, and that much of the public believes that any ends are justified for those who cycle for any reason, neither your approach, nor Fred’s approach, nor my approach will have the net effect of making the roadways safer for all cyclists.

      In places where cyclists are not hated, which is to say most of the rest of the world (excepting the UK), it has to do with the fact that cyclists are an accepted part of the roadway. Not because they’re polite, or good riders, or anything else, but because, like stop signs and gasoline trucks and mopeds and passenger cars, they belong on the road and they behave differently from every other conveyance.

      Until the bike is part of the traffic, not apart from it, this hatred will not dissipate, and in fact will only intensify. Even in Hermosa Beach, you can see the gradual shifting of traffic hostility as the sharrows encourage more bikers to get out in traffic, and cars come to expect their presence and deal with them as they must: By slowing down, waiting ’til the other lane clears, and passing them.

      Getting mighty close to the critical mass/vehicular cyclist universe here…maybe that’s a good thing.

      • i say “wow” a lot…but…WOW!…i really agreed with Fred the Hunter, but as per usual you are focused on a beam of truth that is amazingly simple, and forgotten in the fray of hostility…! -Fan.

  • Liz says:

    . TotallyI’m a 30 year professional driver and a 20 year cyclist. My route is Pacific Palisades and Malibu. Every corner of Malibu.
    I see idiot drivers all the time. Clueless drivers with tunnel vision that aren’t looking beyond their front hood. Peripheral vision is unknown to them.
    I’ve also seen the most inconsiderate cyclists. Totally clueless to everything around them except their own front wheel.
    Unaware of driveways and pedestrians and anything else that could cut their ride short.
    A few years ago on Admiralty, I was behind a group of club cyclists in the right lane when suddenly one guy jumped, entered the left lane and sprinted ahead. He never looked. There was a car there. Fortunately there was a driver more aware than he was.
    That guy was a jerk and he’s lucky he wasn’t hit. I know how share felt at that moment. They scared the piss out of her by jumping in front of her. Drivers have no clue as to what causes a cyclist to dodge and dart on a shoulder in to a lane.
    No clue about how the shoulder narrows and NO CLUE as to how wide their own vehicle is. So if a cyclist moves over in to their lane and a car is on their left, trust me, they freak.

    except the wheel in front of them

    • Admin says:

      When we talk about bikes and motorists it instantly becomes anecdotal. “I remember the time…” and “When I saw…” and “I’ll never forget…”

      My point is that they hate us, even though we don’t hurt them, and we don’t hate them, even though they kill us.

      Dig down to that hatred and get a handle on that, because that’s the key, and I don’t believe it has anything to do with erratic cyclists.

  • Liz says:

    I cannot believe I spelled Cher Share. I typed that on my cell. Can you delete the misplaced words? jeez.

  • JP says:

    Interesting arguments formulating here, although WM is right, we did deviate from the point a bit. Maybe we should be thanking Cher? Yes? No?

    Honestly, personally, I’m just grateful. Grateful every time I get to work unscathed, make it through another NPR without the sweet taste of pavement on my pallet, for every group ride or solo run where I make it back home in one piece. I’m also grateful for the cop that yells at us, the other riders that tell me to get my ass off the road and the crazy soccer mom-sheriff who flicks me off instead of running me down.

    Should the day come when I’m the one under the axle, well…that’ll suck but at least WM will have something to write about and my loved ones will get some insurance money. Maybe a new car, maybe that coach bag I keep saying we don’t have money for so I can spend it on new wheels.

    The truth is that until someone (not me of course) does something, we’re just a bunch of people hitting reply. Until that someone, not me, steps up…. I’ll just remain grateful.

    Stupid? Perhaps. Easier than starting a movement for effective and positive change, definitely.

    • Admin says:

      I don’t think it has anything to do with starting a movement. Until bikes become an expected part of the mix, in substantial numbers, we’ll be roadkill. It’s a numbers game. This year Italy sold more bikes than cars for the first time since WW II. There are lots of communities that are taking the bull by the horns, like Long Beach and http://www.bikeablecommunities.org.

      It will happen eventually, and those of us still alive will get to bore the youth about the bad old days.

  • The Fred Hunter says:

    OK, OK, you’re all going to think this was an intentional setup, but it wasn’t…swear to Dog. The timing of Cher’s (shares?) rant was perfect, because in my stretch of PCH there have been increasing number of cyclists that have, as their final act on Earth, become hood ornaments. For reals. So some dedicated cyclist folk have decided that enough is enough and are calling out Cal Trans and the city officials that preside over the red roadways and are putting on the civic pressure. So my pitch (and, again, swear this wasn’t a setup) is that anyone reading this go to the bikeable communities website and e-sign the petition to make at least one section of roadway safer for cyclists. http://bikeablecommunities.org/
    Click on the big red stop sign at the top of the page.

    That public service duty done, my comments on the comments to my commments about WM comments.

    WM (aka admin), I DO totally get your point, and totally agree. I’ve spent years dodging cars and car originated projectiles because I committed the heinous act of riding a bike. Those cagers are douches royal, and deserve our ire. What I’m addressing is those drivers that have no axe to grind with cyclists, until our unthinking, uncaring or downright rude behavior turns them to the dark side. If we truly want to stop motorists from wanting to kill us, then let’s begin with the low hanging fruit and stop providing them a reason to hate us.

    Will I still be part of the group that takes the whole road on the donut ride? Yes, absolutely (provided I show up). But also, will I mindfully stay as far right as possible the rest of the time, and give the cars as much room as I can because there’s no good reason to hold them up or make them move aside? Yes, I will..and that’s what I’m a talkin about.

    • Admin says:

      Look, I’m not going to knock anyone, anywhere, who’s trying to improve riding conditions and improve relations between motorists and cyclists. And what you guys are doing in Cadmium Beach is fricking awesome. And it kind of addresses my point through a back door, which is that the real kernel of hatred that motorists have for us is tied to the fact that we aren’t an accepted part of the roadscape.

      • huh..my tiny brain goes back to my childhood, and my folks telling me to “STAY ON THE SIDEWALK”!…Seriously…all of us grew up with that…and NOW we are dis-obeying our parents and riding on the STREET!!!! The drivers may resent us because THEY don’t get to “play in the street”!!?? …and why should WE get to???….Noel, GET in here…

  • The Fred Hunter says:

    Forgot to add, totally inappropriate to out me on the absbestos underpants. You promised that would remain our private little secret.

  • JP says:

    I think this miiiiiiight be what WM is referring to. Until people learn to expect, accept and respect us as they do the double yellow line (not when the Fkrs are stopping me from getting into the carpool tho) then ya, we’re roadkill. It may not matter how far right we stay.

  • appalachie says:

    Apropos, in todays online LA Times:

    http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-auto-traffic-deaths-20121001,0,1117635.story
    … Drivers in Los Angeles kill pedestrians and bicyclists at a significantly higher rate than drivers nationally, according to a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. …

    … In Los Angeles, pedestrians accounted for about a third of all traffic fatalities, or nearly triple the national average of 11.4%. About 3% of the fatalities were bicyclists. That compares with 1.7% nationally …

    … The numbers are even worse in urban New York, where 49.6% of traffic fatalities were pedestrians and 6.1% were bicyclists….

    … [Gov Jerry] Brown rejected legislation that would have required motorists to give bicyclists at least three feet of room while passing, or slow down — citing concern that it could cause more car accidents. …

    Cher is a major DMB FCK BTCH, but appears she is in like-minded company.

    The So Bay seems substantially safer than, say, westside LA/Bev Hills/Sta Monica. The high % of hipster, fixie, mutton-heads there, seems to poison many motorists against cyclists in general.

    • Admin says:

      I don’t think cyclists are what’s “poisoning” motorists, and I don’t think South Bay cyclists are any more palatable to Cher than hipsters.

  • JP says:

    Ummm…guys….are we sure she wasn’t just high in spin class?

  • New Girl says:

    Brilliant ~ the text AND the discussion ~ THX again Wanky ~ “sharing” now

    • Admin says:

      Can you copy and paste Joe’s Cher album in a comment here? That would be awesome…

      And thanks for the props…

      And for being such a great friend…

  • Please give this a read:

  • bp says:

    I used to really hate cyclists. My typical interaction would be during a morning jog in Lunada Bay, the Donut rode past, riders yelling at me to get out of their way and I’m thinking, what? you skinny f’ing pansies in spandex, f-you, get off your bike and I’ll kick your ass! Of course I didn’t know that hammering in the middle of fast moving wankoton had numerous risks of injury and that a sleepy, often hungover jogger was simply one of them to deal with, but I digress…

    An accident and resulting surgery/rehab caused me to re-evaluate, you see my running days were over. I had a good doc/friends who rode and encouraged me to take up the sport. Now I’m addicted to it, humbled by it, and know that I probably cause others to think I’m the same annoying asshole I used to hate.

    So here’s my thinking – people fear or hate what they don’t understand – right…

    All we can do is help people who don’t ride understand that we’re reasonable people trying to stay fit, cope w/ life, etc. We’re your father, brother, son, sister, daughter or mom, etc.

    Here’s my anecdote – last winter while riding with friends one of the group flatted at the worst possible time, crashed and went to the hospital. That night at a dinner party hosted by one of the riders the topic of cycling came up. Lubricated by copious glasses of wine one of the guests shared how she hated cyclists in PV. To WM’s point she really seemed hostile as in “I will run those f’ers over”. I smiled and said that I rode, your host rides, the upper school director and outdoor ed director at your kid’s school ride. She softened and said “but it’s dangerous – why do you do it?”. I explained why we love it and she softened more – at some point she admitted that she thought many of the cyclists she passed (not all) were kind of hot…

    The thing is we need to remind people who is under that helmet and behind those shades. We’re your neighbors and your friends. Can’t we all just get along?

    • Admin says:

      This is a great approach, and works when you have the lubricated, softened, willing female listener.

      You’re partially right that people are often hostile to that which they don’t understand, but I think there’s more to it than that.

      Glad you’ve come over to the good side. It’s incredible how almost every cyclist has that a-ha anecdote. Millions of great stories out there; thanks for sharing yours.

  • Evan says:

    Behold what Dumas called “the evil men commit when protected by secrecy” — a car provides just enough anonymity to turn normal humans into narcissistic sociopaths. And the victims blame themselves! Read this wankery and weep: http://www.bicycling.com/news/advocacy/we-have-met-enemy

  • Tom says:

    I moved from Pittsburgh to Germany (Dusseldorf) two years ago. In terms of cycling, I have no desire to ever return. I typically ride between 200-300 km per week. I have had exactly one incident with a motorist in all that time. I think the difference here is that everyone here owns a bike and does stuff like grocery shopping with it. Gas is about $8 per gallon so many people choose not to own a car. The drivers here understand how to safely pass a cyclist and what and what not to do when they are on the road because they have been in the bikers shoes themselves. The entire country is covered with bike paths but I typically stick to the road since I am on a racing bike. I returned to Pittsburgh for two weeks last summer and really hated it. I had several close calls, raised middle fingers and encounters with angry dogs. By the way I have never had a dog come after me in Germany. They are well trained and accustomed to cyclists.

    • Admin says:

      My experience in Bonn 25 years ago was the same. You hit the biggest point: Germans know how to pass, i.e. how to drive. Americans can point cars, at best.

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