An eye for an eye …

July 22, 2014 § 72 Comments

… makes the whole world blind.

Of course, if you saw the video put up by Santa Paula reserve police officer Laura Weintraub, you might well have gone blind with rage. Her “satire” included a diatribe against cyclists that openly condoned hitting them, and concluded with an image of one of the most horrible bike-car accidents ever photographed. She captioned the photo, “Like you never thought about it.”

The terrible swift sword of justice was quick. Santa Paula’s police chief, Steve McLean, immediately repudiated the video and placed Weintraub on administrative leave. She resigned the next day, but not before NBC News, the LA Times, Facebook, Twitter, and the Internet blew up. Outraged cyclists tracked down her phone number and threatened to kill her and dismember her body.

Whew. Ugh.

At 4:30 AM on Monday I woke up and checked the LA Bike Blog. Ted Rogers, who had been on top of the story from its inception, penned an insightful piece wondering if, perhaps, we’d squandered the “teachable moment” for the blood lust of watching Weintraub’s head roll. Wasn’t this, Rogers wondered, in actuality an opportunity to forge understanding?

I thought about that and emailed Chief McLean. Here’s what I said:

Hi, Chief McLean

I’m a lawyer and cycling advocate in LA, and have been working with Captain Devoren over at the Lost Hills Substation and with CHP regarding cycling safety issues on PCH.

I’ve followed the matter regarding Laura Weintraub closely, and appreciated her apology as well as your department’s swift response.

I think this matter has created a great opportunity for outreach and education. Although the video clearly offended many people, it has brought attention to the conflict between cyclists and motorists in Ventura County and the need for better relationships on all sides.

If you have some time today I’d be more than happy to call and talk about some ways that we can turn this into a win-win situation for your department, for cyclists, and for motorists in Santa Paula.

Best regards,
Seth Davidson

Later that morning I phoned Chief McLean, and was surprised when he took the call personally. I’ve dealt with law enforcement in many adversarial situations, and fully expected McLean to be defensive and skeptical regarding my motives. He was nothing of the kind. To the contrary, when I suggested a meeting with representatives from LA County Bicycle Coalition and Ventura County cycling advocates in order to explore ways that we could provide outreach and education opportunities to the police department, he said this: “I would very much like to have such a meeting, and sooner rather than later.”

After a phone call to Eric Bruins of LACBC, we were able to set up a meeting for this coming Friday. The idea is to bring cycling safety issues to the forefront and to combat some of the most common motorist prejudices as expressed by Weintraub in her video: that cyclists are a nuisance, that their lives don’t really “count,” that people who look different deserve persecution, and that cyclists don’t really belong on the roads.

My conversation with Chief McLean convinced me that the views of Weintraub are not the views of the department. It is regularly involved with pro-cyclist activities, not least of which included acting as a host city for the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. With regard to education regarding cyclist safety issues, the new 3-foot passing law that goes into effect in September, and some of the more technical aspects of cycling law such as CVC 21202, we now have a great opportunity to provide education and outreach to law enforcement in an area heavily frequented by cyclists.

Our biggest challenge in Southern California, which is the epicenter of American car culture, isn’t how to demonize our opponents, although I’ve been known to lob my fair share of Molotovs at aggressive cagers. Our real challenge is getting law enforcement and the community to recognize and accept our right to be on the road. The city of Santa Paula’s police department seems ready to meet that challenge head on, and for that they deserve our respect.

———

Do you support advocacy for cyclist rights? For safer streets? For better relationships between law enforcement, the community, and bikers? Here are some ways you can have an impact:

  1. Subscribe to this blog: Your donation helps me advocate for cyclists.
  2. Join California Association of Bicycling Organizations. $10, cheap.
  3. Join LA County Bicycle Coalition.
  4. Sign up as an activist by emailing me your contact info at fsethd@gmail.com
  5. Get out on your bike and take the lane; learn CVC 21202 by heart!

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§ 72 Responses to An eye for an eye …

  • Tom Paterson says:

    Blessed be the peacemakers.
    Good work, Mr. Seth.
    Yes, it’s all about establishing a right to be there.

  • Peter says:

    Great Seth. Thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of us two wheeled creatures.

  • Gary Cziko says:

    Wonderful!

    While many motorists may see a cyclist using the full lane as a delay-causing obstruction, what if a lane-controlling cyclist actually made overtaking easier and safer for both motorist and cyclist by making it apparent from far away that the motorist will have to change lanes to pass? See ->

    http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2010/11/29/helping-motorists-with-lane-positioning/

  • quetzalrojo says:

    I have lived in Santa Paula for 2 years now. Last year, my daughter started kindergarten. We only own one car, and my husband uses it during the school year to attend school. The only way for me to pick up my daughter was via bike. Let me say that it is very dangerous to be biking around in Santa Paula. There were many times that, despite following the laws, we were still almost hit by absent-minded drivers. Now it is even harder for us to bike in the city because we have laws against bicycling on the sidewalk. The bike lanes are cluttered with parked cars, and often unusable, and more risky because of this. We can’t go behind cars, such as in the downtown area, because it is very likely we will be hit, especially my 5-year old daughter. And it’s against the laws to ride in the sidewalk downtown, effectively prohibiting us from an important section of our city.
    There are many people like me who depend on our bikes for transportation. Overall, I have found Santa Paula to be very unfriendly and unsafe for bicyclists and I would love to see the laws changed to make it safe for my 5-year old daughter to ride around everywhere in our beautiful city, including the sidewalks. Let’s hope we can turn things around to make driving and bicycling safer for everyone.

    • Serge Issakov says:

      I encourage you to take a course on bicycle traffic safety, particularly the Cycling Savvy course.

    • Tom says:

      Cycling on sidewalks is unsafe for both the cyclist & pedestrians.

      Few yrs ago in my town, there was a tragic accident — death of a young boy riding on sidewalk — because a car backing out of a driveway could not see him in time.

    • fsethd says:

      Many people are unaware that in California you are allowed to ride your bicycle in the roadway. This means you can lawfully use the travel lane just like a car. It is much safer than the sidewalk or riding in bike lanes that are clogged with parked cars. Since I began riding in the lane I’ve had much better cycling experiences here in LA.

    • Age 5 is tough – too big for a trailer, too small for her own bike on many city streets. I’d seriously consider a trail-a-bike sort of deal, or a tandem. I’ve used both with my kids, and I prefer the tandem, but it’s quite a bit more expensive. Inexpensive trail-a-bikes are often available used. I see a couple of real nice tandems on Craigslist – it might be hard to swing the extra cash but they’re loads cheaper than a car and the resale value is pretty good.

      And I second the recommendation for the Cycling Savvy class if you can find one.

    • Karen Karabell says:

      Great info on safe cycling with children: http://iamtraffic.org/education/cycling-with-children/

  • supercoolchuy@yahoo.com says:

    Awesome to hear that the Police Department is participating. I know the good work that the Santa Paula Police Department does am I’m excited for both sides to move forward.

  • DangerStu says:

    Hey Seth, great news anyway you can push the love down to OC, dog knows we need it.
    Thanks again.

  • billdsd says:

    Sounds promising.

  • kimberly says:

    Way to go…I’ll admit I went to my blog with the intent of trashing her, but instead spent the time talking about all the people who have helped us since the lost of my DH and the injury of my BIL. Let’s celebrate those instead and way to go for the Chief for willing to sit down and talk!

    • fsethd says:

      I think she is a symptom, not the disease.

      • Winemaker says:

        I think she is a cretin, and I think that ‘apology’ was just ‘words’. She did not engage in satire…she was just trying to be mean and funny, the way 13-14 year old ‘cool girls’ in middle school think they are funny when they are picking on somebody who doesn’t fit their clic. Disgusting.

      • fsethd says:

        Don’t look for any disagreement here. But what do we do with that? She’s been hammered by the department and by the public. She has turned in her badge and gone home. It’s not productive to throw up our hands and declare victory, or to belabor the point that what she did was despicable.

        What’s productive is to shine the light on the way cyclists get treated on the road, by law enforcement and by cagers. Santa Paula has a police chief who is open to dialogue, outreach, and education. He is also well regarded in his community. I say we take the focus off Weintraub and focus it on the people who can make a positive difference.

  • Ken says:

    Hey Seth, Thanks for looking to make something positive from this situation. I’m the guy that initially posted it to the Santa Paula PD FB page. Yes, the video angered me but I’m a pro-LEO sort of person and knew the S-storm that would be coming. I figured the Chief could use a heads up before getting blind sided by angry cyclists. I had been thinking about giving him a call but you’ve done a better job than I could.

    Thanks again,

    Ken

    • fsethd says:

      You bet. Piling on is fun, but doesn’t move the ball much, and this is one situation where the point has been made — and admitted — that the video was wrong. Moving ahead …

  • DRod says:

    The threat of loosing your job has a calming effect.

    • fsethd says:

      In some cases, yes. In others it makes people defensive and defiant. I think this is a case where Ms. Weintraub did something completely beyond the pale of what was acceptable and it was immediately recognized at the top.

  • Rob says:

    A reserve officer for Santa Paula? Is that the best she can do? Perhaps it is. Nice work on your behalf.

  • […] hat’s off to Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who responds to my post about the whole imbroglio being a teachable moment. And reaches out to a surprisingly receptive […]

  • AbeL says:

    the video was posted here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG5a869raTg

    saved it out in case you need it.

  • Greg says:

    Good to hear Ms. Weintraub resigned. That’s unacceptable. Since I’m not only an avid road cyclist, I’m also a motorist. As far as time spent in the car vs on the bike, obviously…more time in the car. As the majority of us full-time working folk likely do. As far as right to be on the road, obviously I agree, we do. However, as congested as Southern California roadways are, I don’t feel I have a right to obstruct traffic and make an already bad situation worse. For example, if I’m cycling at a clip of 20MPH with a couple buddies and occupying the entire lane but the speed limit is 30-40MPH, The conga line of cars piling up behind has a legit reason to be upset. A Police Officer can and will ticket a motorist for going too slowly (ie: substantially slower that speed of normal vehicular traffic at a given posted limit). Why would you think cyclists are exempt from this rule? And at the risk of ad nauseam, to make our case as cyclists, we can’t be running red lights/stop signs at speed and nearly clipping other cars and pedestrians while committing that same infraction (depicted on your Youtube videos). I wish there was a bike North/South bike lane on PCH…it’s a fantastic stretch to get to the climbs. Maybe one day…. In the mean time, I cycle where I get the most safety for my money. Early on weekends or after 9am on weekdays where traffic is minimized on the Palos Verdes peninsula. I’ll avoid PCH in Malibu at all costs. Too busy and traffic is too fast.

    • fsethd says:

      Anybody else want to respond to this?

      • Opus the Poet says:

        How about the part of every state bicycle law, “except those parts that by their nature cannot apply to bicycles”?

    • billdsd says:

      What conga line?

      Have you ever heard of moving over to pass bicyclists? It’s the exact same procedure that you use to pass buses, garbage trucks, loaded 18-wheelers, RV’s, cement trucks, delivery trucks, tractors and all other slow traffic on the roads.

      In 34 years of driving, I have never been stuck behind bicycles for much more than a minute and I can count on one hand the number of times that it’s been in that range. Usually, I move over to pass without slowing down. Occasionally I have to slow down for a few seconds to wait for a safe place to pass. It’s very rare, on the order of years, between incidents when it’s more than a few seconds.

      Why is it that people pretend that they are held up by bicyclists? They simply are not. Bicyclists are by far the easiest thing on the road to pass. The only problem seems to be the delusion that you shouldn’t have to.

      Here’s another take on it:

      http://bostonbiker.org/2011/02/01/lets-make-one-thing-clear-i-am-not-slowing-you-down/

  • CS says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful and positive effort, Seth. I’m encouraged to know that there are people in the LA cycling community like you.

  • marc caruso says:

    Seth reading this article. I have one thought. You need to get a Nobel peace prize. great work.

  • Greg says:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=334_1406228636

    Here is cop looking out for cyclists. Just want to add some balance to the dialogue. Just like our fellow cyclists, it’s a mixed bag.

    In regard to billdsd’s comments…. I guess you’re unfamiliar with the argument our esteemed author Seth is attempting to make. We are talking about PCH. In and around Malibu. One of the busiest stretches of road around these parts. Our esteemed author is making the argument that he and his friend’s vehicles going on average 20MPH should completely occupy a lane with a posted limit (for the Mailbu stretch) ranging from 45 to 55 MPH. Busy summer day and cars are loaded up on the two respective Northbound/Southbound two-lane roads. Rendering a two-lane road into one lane. And you’re wondering why motorists might be irate? Now, I’ve been driving longer than your 34 years and If you haven’t been stuck behind a grupetto for a protracted time in the South Bay, you’re either oblivious or brain-dead. It’s arguably one of the chief complaints among motorists in regard to cyclists on the Palos Verdes penninsula (and elsewhere). And PV Drive West and South are NOWHERE near as busy as PCH in Malibu. The other big complaint in PV is cyclists blowing through stop lights and stop signs (you can refer to Seth’s Youtube videos of rides in PV for numerous examples). Maybe billdsd hasn’t witnessed that on-going rampant infraction, either?

    • billdsd says:

      @Greg, I am well aware of what Seth is saying and Seth is correct and you’re lying.

      PCH has multiple lanes in those high speed areas. The bicyclists are using the slow lane. Is the left lane broken? Does the left lane have cooties? If you’re stuck behind bicyclists when you can change lanes to pass then the only think impeding you is your own territorial stupidity.

      Only roads with a single lane in each direction, it can be a little more difficult with the large groups but small groups or solo cyclists tend to still be very easy to pass, even when they are taking up the whole lane. You move into the opposite lane to pass, just as you would with a large truck going slow. With larger groups, you may have to wait for a passing lane or a safe turn out. It happens. It doesn’t happen as much as people like you pretend but it does happen. It doesn’t last forever and it’s not the end of the world.

      The problem here is that people like you feel entitled to never move over to pass bicyclists. You feel entitled to never slow down for bicyclists. You move over to pass slow motor vehicles. You slow down behind slow motor vehicles. You accept that it’s part of using the road. You refuse to accept that bicyclists have a right to be there and so you feel that they are cheating you or stealing from you. Grow up and accept that bicyclists have a right to be on the road and that sharing the road with them is not such a great and terrible hardship.

      Yes, motorists complain a lot about bicyclists running stop signs:

      • fsethd says:

        Bill, unfortunately you are wasting your time with this troll. His argument is simple: because Seth runs stoplights and rides like a “scofflaw” he cannot advocate for the right of cyclists to ride in the lane on PCH, or anywhere else.

        Refined: Anyone who isn’t a perfect cyclist deserves to be marginalized, ignored, injured, or killed.

        It’s unfortunate that so many people feel compelled to use this silly double standard against cyclists. If I run stop signs I deserve death, but if Greg does a California roll in his SUV, that’s just a minor infraction … assuming he’s caught.

        Happily, I don’t base my advocacy on having lived a perfect life or being a perfect cyclist. I base it on showing up when it counts, working with law enforcement, generally (but not always) being a good cyclist citizen, and drinking lots of beer.

        The ultimate proof that Greg is a troll, of course, is the fact that he claims to live in the South Bay but is unwilling to actually suit up, go for a ride, and discuss our differences in person. He’s a “gotcha” Internet phantom.

        So, thanks for your well written comments. Too bad that Greg the Phantom Troll will never understand them.

      • billdsd says:

        I saw a response to this thread from Greg in email but it doesn’t seem to be on the page.

        Greg wrote:
        You’re confused. And presumptuous. Not once did I mention I didn’t give birth to cyclists way on the road. I give them wide birth when passing. Every time.
        ====

        It’s pretty clear that you have a problem with the idea of moving over to pass a bicyclist. Also, I’m pretty sure you meant “berth”. You have to be female to give birth, at least if you’re a human, or most species of animals that give birth.

        Greg wrote:
        I am an avid road cyclist and extremely sympathetic. At least 100 miles a week on the Penninsula while maintaining a full-time work schedule and family. I know and understand the plight of the cyclist in the South Bay.
        ====

        Lots of us ride that much or more. So? Riding a fair bit doesn’t mean that you understand bicycle safety or traffic.

        Greg wrote:
        But…I share the road. And certainly obey the traffic laws. I single file it with others on the shoulder and pass when it’s safe.
        ====

        That’s not what share the road means. Share the road means share the road with bicyclists as you do with other motorists. That means that drivers move over to pass bicyclists, the same as they do for slow motor vehicles. Bicyclists are the only ones that anyone thinks has to move out of the way by default rather than passing traffic moving over to pass by default. By the way, the law only requires slow traffic, including bicyclists to move over to allow passing when passing is illegal or unsafe. You’re applying a double standard to bicyclists and insisting that they ride in a manner which is not consistent with the normal rules of traffic.

        Greg wrote:
        Is there reason you can’t do likewise?
        ====

        Can’t? No.
        Don’t want to? Many!

        I don’t like getting right hooked.
        I don’t like getting close passes.
        I don’t like dealing with pull out collisions.
        I don’t like being doored.
        I don’t like being left crossed.
        I don’t like dealing with the broken glass, gravel and other debris that is so common on shoulders.

        Have you read Effective Cycling by John Forester? How about Cyclecraft by John Franklin? At least Bicycling Street Smarts by John S. Allen? Maybe a class from the League of American Bicyclists or Cycling Savvy or Effective Cycling? Controlling the lane reduces or eliminates the risk of many types of collisions.

        At the very least, read this article and check out the interactive flash animation:

        http://cyclingsavvy.org/hows-my-driving/

        Greg wrote:
        It serves me well on the over 4k miles-a-year I ride LOCALLY.
        ====

        If you ride faster than 10mph, I seriously doubt that. You probably have all of the close calls I mentioned above.

        Greg wrote:
        The slow lane on PCH and the passing lane in the Boo are extremely congested normally. Again, rendering commerce on an already extremely congested thoroughfare to one lane is asinine.
        ====

        When traffic is really congested, even without bicyclists, the speeds end up getting reduced anyway due too many cars and the according effect with the traffic lights. When people encounter bicyclists using the full slow lane, they pass and then they move back over. The real limiting factor will be the traffic lights. Bicyclists using the full lane are having no significant effect on throughput, no matter how hard you try to pretend that they are. Furthermore, motorists in the slow lane often slow down to turn in driveways or at cross streets. They also slow down, stop and back into parking spaces. People deal with slow traffic all the time on surface roads. For some reason, when arguing that bicyclists have to stay out of the way, they pretend that surface roads are freeways where everyone could drive fast constantly if it just wasn’t for those bicyclists. You’re clearly not aware of how traffic actually works. You need to pay attention more on the road.

        Greg wrote:
        Going 25-30 MPH SLOWER than the normal speed of traffic is against the law. If you don’t get that, nothing will help at this point.
        ====

        Absolutely false. You clearly don’t know the law. The law does not require the driver of any vehicle to travel at a speed faster than is safe or they are capable of maintaining. You can pretend otherwise but your ignorance is clearly showing.

        Greg wrote:
        Soo…Any thoughts on Seth’s undermining his own campaign or can a cyclist be a safety advocate while being a serial scofflaw?? Still crickets on this one….
        ====

        I’m guessing you’re probably a big hypocrite on this one. Most drivers I see on the road break the law pretty regularly.

        Greg, you are an Uncle Tom. You are slavishly contributing to the marginalization, subjugation and endangerment of bicyclists.

        http://iamtraffic.org/equality/the-marginalization-of-bicyclists/

  • Greg says:

    The Nobel Prize has lost a more than a bit of it’s luster since Arafat was given one and another was prematurely given one to our President. Before you wish to award Seth, please view his Youtube videos of his PV rides. The reckless disregard to posted stop signs and stoplights and endangering the public doesn’t warrant any prizes.

    • DangerStu says:

      Isn’t this about raising car drivers awareness about Cyclist and Cyclist rights. As a Cyclist I’m not a second class citizen of the road I have the same rights as other powered vehicles. In Orange County 18 people lost there lives while riding in the Last 12 months rather than siting around and complaining about it Seth is actually doing something about it. His efforts should be applauded and supported by all the Cycling community.

      • fsethd says:

        Greg thinks that if you run stop signs you should die. Read his posts. On second thought, don’t. He’s actually just pissed that he can’t keep up.

    • fsethd says:

      Oh, brother. What an idiot you are.

  • Greg says:

    Ok- let’s count the amount of blown stop signs/stop lights in less than 15 minutes in just ONE of Seth’s own videos (“Dialed in donut ride!”). Oh, and that priceless little move at 3:12 on the video (shown at PV Dr. West and Hawthorne Bl.). “Oops!” Really? I must say, you have quite the balls crusading in the name of biketivism while intentionally pulling total crap like that.

    • fsethd says:

      That was one of my faves. I guess as a result I lose my bicycling license?

      By the way, if you’ve ever gotten a traffic ticket you hereby lose your driving license forever and can never advocate for safer streets. Also, I’m revoking your Nobel Peace Price.

    • fsethd says:

      Since you’re so offended by it, I’ve put it on a private setting. Hopefully you made a copy and can watch it with at night with a box of tissues.

  • Greg says:

    Sorry, wrong video. Here’s the one.

  • Greg says:

    I’m all for raising car driver awareness and cyclist rights. Logically, however. And Seth advocating one thing while being a scofflaw the next is not a good mix. Capiche?

  • Greg says:

    [Censored due to stupidity of the commenter. Go elsewhere.]

  • Greg says:

    [Censored due to stupidity of the commenter. Go elsewhere.]

    • Tom Paterson says:

      If cyclists have the right to use the full lane, that trumps “obstructing traffic” laws.
      In other words, cyclists *are* traffic.
      How’s that for a slogan?

      • fsethd says:

        He won’t understand it, Tom. It’s the same old argument: If a cyclist doesn’t right perfectly he deserves to die. If a motorist breaks the laws, that’s fine.

      • Tom Paterson says:

        Just putting it up there on the wall. There is always hope, even if not much.

        I used to be a pretty good track-stander. Frustrating the “enforcers” can be fun.
        Sometimes it takes a long count for them to realize that 1) I can do this all day; and 2) their wife is already waiting impatiently (ahem) at home for them to return, or there are other pressing matters in their (apparently) wasted and miserable lives that would be better attended than making me put a foot down, which requirement isn’t in our local law in the first place.

        That said, I’m not a sign runner and I scoff other laws pretty darn carefully while I’m out there running naked.

        “Change the laws”, including a reasonable solution to cyclists-at-intersections– meanwhile, reasonable people will sit for a moment while a group passes through. The only thing that really matters is “safety” and you know where that one lands.

  • […] meeting with the police chief of Santa Paula on Friday, along with the LACBC’s Eric Bruins, in the aftermath of the recent anti-bike You Tube […]

  • […] meeting with the police chief of Santa Paula on Friday, along with the LACBC’s Eric Bruins, in the aftermath of the recent anti-bike You Tube […]

  • Greg says:

    Just wanted to add my sincere apologies for throwing a wrench in the works here, Seth. It is your site, after all. I want safety for cyclists. Other than a once-a-week trip to the gym, road cycling is my main form of exercise. And yes Bill, I realize many of you do much more than my 4k a year in mileage. That’s great, I wish I could do likewise. Maybe next year when we retire. No hypocrite here, though. It’s nice to have peace of mind. And not accumulating $500 tickets running red lights. Asking Seth to walk the walk shouldn’t be an outrage, no? His being flippant about the incidents depicted in the videos (they’re most likely happening on every ride) really shouldn’t comport with being a cycling safety advocate and defense attorney. I’ve had more than my share of incidents with cars on the road. I hate to say this being in my mid-fifties, but most of the incidents involve seniors. Especially on the peninsula. Where I do hope there is success, is adding bike lanes where ever possible in So. Cal. Lanes could be incorporated in so many areas where there are none currently. Peace out, man and good luck….

    • fsethd says:

      Instead of peace out platitudes, why not show up on a ride? I’ll tell you why: because the taste of your own words is something that most Internet trolls can’t stand.

      You want to talk about walking the walk? Show up on any group ride I’m in, and then talk to me about safe cycling. But I know you, pal. You’re a fake and a fraud and an Internet bullshitter who thinks his sorry fucking opinions are facts.

      My email is fsethd@gmail.com. Any time you’re ready to go ride and examine first-hand whether I’m the scofflaw you paint me to be — if you even ride — I’ll accommodate you. And script your sorry ass fucking apology in advance.

    • billdsd says:

      I stop at stop signs and I wait at red lights. I do get annoyed that some people seem to be so obsessed with bicyclists rolling stop signs and running red lights. To me it is clearly an excuse to rationalize the hatred of bicyclists and it’s clearly a double standard with respect to motorists. I see far more law breaking by motorists than I do by bicyclists but I hear far more whining about bicyclists. That’s not right, especially given the fact that motorists are so much more dangerous to others. BTW, I don’t actually see all that many bicyclists running red lights. There was a study in Portland that found that 94% of bicyclists waited at red lights. It could be better but that’s a rather overwhelming majority.

      As for riding safely, take a class from a League of American Bicyclists certified instructor or Cycling Savvy. Read some books like Effective Cycling or Cyclecraft. At least read this article and go through the interactive flash animation.

      http://cyclingsavvy.org/hows-my-driving/

      It’s not surprising to me that you’ve had incidents. It would surprise me if you haven’t. Edge riding will result in close calls, especially close passes, right hooks, pull-outs and doorings.

      Seth and I and other people who promote versions of vehicular cycling are doing so because we’ve found it to be safer and we want to be safe and we want others to be safe as well. We don’t do it out of arrogance or self importance. We’re trying to do the right thing. We learned vehicular cycling because we had the humility to realize that we could learn from others who knew more about bicycle safety than we did.

      • fsethd says:

        It annoys the hell out of me that this supposed cyclist who lives in my neighborhood has the gall to throw rocks from behind his keyboard but not to show up on any of the local rides to either confirm his accusations or to find out that he’s fuller of shit than a Christmas goose.

        When cyclists are accorded full rights to use the roadway as codified in statute, and when we are no longer punished by death, injury, and harassment for simply riding our bikes, I will pay more attention to the alleged “scofflaw” cyclists — a trope if there ever was one.

        What asshat calls “scofflaw” is in fact a style of riding that has evolved from decades of surviving in a hostile, deadly urban environment. And if he thinks that the only people who get to advocate for bike safety and for equal rights on the road are people who’ve never run a stop sign or blown a red light, he truly is a nut.

        I learned to ride in the lane by reading about it in the CABO forum. It works if you want to survive in urban traffic. So he claims I can’t advocate something that works because I’ve run a few zillion stop signs? As a defense lawyer, that’s the best he can do?

        I can hear it now: “Your Honor, I would like to advocate that my client be spared the death penalty, but since I got a DUI six months ago, I can’t. Fry ‘em up, Judge.”

        He’s a carbon copy of the Delta Bravo who tried to kill me this afternoon in his third-hand, C-class Mercedes because I “belong on the fucking sidewalk.” These clowns are a cancer, two-wheeled and four-wheeled alike.

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You are currently reading An eye for an eye … at Cycling in the South Bay.

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