Notes from underground

September 30, 2016 § 31 Comments

Below are my notes of the anti-bike comments from the RPV meeting on 9/26/16, so you can see the level of discourse, familiarity with the law, and general attitude that a small group of privileged, angry, NIMBY residents who live atop a hill in a gated community have towards cyclists on “their” public streets.

Lady: Atop Crest there isn’t enough space for bikes and motorists. I went to Copenhagen and Stockholm and saw how they handled cycling. They were very cycling friendly.  They have separated bike lanes. These cities are flat so they are conducive to large numbers of bikes getting along well with motorists. And the cyclists don’t even wear helmets! It would be very helpful to have signs on Crest saying “Bikes must ride single file to the right.”

Lady: Let’s elevate the discourse because last time there was name calling and bullying [She made this comment just before one of her compadres started giving the finger to the committee and throwing paper at other attendees]. Let’s work together. Residents are not bike haters, they’re just concerned residents who want to improve safety for all. Safety issues occur when cyclists take over the lane, ride in packs, or ride on the left side of the lane. Residents need to conduct their lives. Another problem is bikes going fast downhill and they’ve fallen over and that’s a hazard. I’m an RPV resident and I support signage for single file, ride to the right, and bikes shouldn’t have access to the lane.

Dude: One of the issues is that I was personally threatened driving home with children in my car when a biker hit my window. I was very frightened and no sheriff was around. Aggressive behavior is bad, we’re saying help us. You will eventually have an altercation with people who are not from this community. It’s the safety issue over and over again. There’s a bike lane and it should be used. Large groups are unsafe. There’s no reason to ride your bike all the way to Crest. This must be implemented for your safety and for our safety. There will be problems. Maybe we should limit the number of cyclists on the road. They have ways of controlling crowds like at Disney. Let’s find out the Disney rules for crowd control.

[Guy shouts at Kramer not to take photos, is told he’s out of order and that photos are legal in a public meeting. Guy flips off Kramer and is admonished by the deputy.]

Lady: It feels intimidating. It shouldn’t be you versus us. I grew up on the Hill and rode my bike downhill once; it’s harrowing and I never did it again. Most riders are experienced but some are old and teetering and I don’t want liability for hurting them. I know too much. I don’t want to hurt someone. It’s not fair. We’re forced to share. It’s big groups from out of town. They’re taking over. You’re supposed to drive to the right. They should be going slower than a car in most areas, in the middle of the lane they will stop everything. It should be single file. This is pure recreation and it’s a hazard and we’re forced to partake. I feel like it should be single file.

Dude: Kramer shouldn’t be on the committee. He has a conflict of interest. That doesn’t make any sense. I heard two stories, one at a party and a friend from Malibu comes here to ride every two weeks. They pay and ride RPV. They like the hills and it’s challenging. Someone’s making money. The city is not collecting permit fees. Traffic has gotten worse from bikers who come from ads in biking groups. On Thursday night after PV High’s open house five bikers were going around the turn. I’m going 45 they’re going 5 mph dressed in black. Police should be there this is safety. It’s not going to work. I would like to see less bicyclists on the road. Sharing should be the same. Obey the DMV.

Lady: We have a growing bike community and everything else, a huge increase in Abalone Cove deaths and severe accidents and visitors don’t know oceans and mountain roads. Hairpin turns. I prepared a huge memo, you’re lucky you didn’t read it. Joggers, beach cruisers and racers, motorcyclists, people with dogs. I gathered evidence and found tremendous mixed use. I used to ride horses here before you were born. Mountain bikers are dangerous and scare horses. We must have a vision for our semi-rural community. These are the pains of social media. Bicyclists camping on our vacant land. I’m thinking we should categorize roads like ski slopes. Some are good for bicyclists and others are not suitable for bicyclists. My son rides with Steve Bauer, a famous cyclist, he knows what he’s doing but those aren’t the people coming into our community.

Dude: Look at all these assault with a deadly weapon reports. By Greg Seyranian. All of the reports were just prior to Kramer’s presentation on traffic safety. Kramer’s phone number is on the tax returns for Big Orange. Kramer is the treasurer. Seyranian is also listed. Look at 2013 Big Orange tax returns. Same Kramer phone, the treasurer, Kramer is more than just a member. He is Big Orange. He’s the agent for service of process. He’s one of the founders, the treasurer. Please recuse yourself as it concerns Big Orange.

Lady: At the last meeting I was shocked there were no reported accidents. I found five specific accident and traffic collision reports. Four were caused by bikes. You need to get all the facts. There is a 3-foot law inconsistency. It’s not possible to comply with the 3-foot law and stay in your own lane. You might better understand our position. I think that there is an agenda and it’s to enact bikes may use full lane curriculum. It’s advertised on Big Orange web site. That agenda needs to be addressed so it doesn’t become part of a campaign. I’m glad you brought up respect. It’s hard to come up and talk in public. It’s discouraging when they’re publicly ridiculed. We are not morons for articulating our concerns. The passive-aggressive commentary is symptomatic of the behavior that raises these conflicts. Please consider all the interests.

Dude: I’ve been living here over 16 years. No choice but to drive the road. Bikes are toys. You know there is a blind spot? We are careful. You get more nervous from bikes. How can we keep distance? We’re waiting until the road is wider then swing by but it’s a dangerous situation. We don’t have a choice but to drive this road. We pay taxes, bikers never pay no taxes, we don’t have a choice but you have a choice to buy a bike and you have a choice to go somewhere else. Please go somewhere else. That’s what we ask you. Avoid the danger. Avoid accidents. Protect their lives. If car and bike hit who’s gonna get more damage? If I want to ride a bike I go to a park. We have no choice but they do.

Dude: Riding the hill on Saturday morning is advertised by Big Orange. They stop at Crest. It seems sponsored. It’s a great opportunity for more policing. Funding through permits to keep bicycles and motorists safe. The ordinance should apply to Big Orange and to all groups who use Crest for training. Kramer should recuse himself because of conflict of interest.

Dude: I’m a resident and runner. I have observed bikers in RHE and RPV, I have seen the number grow enormously. It used to be five or so now there are 35 or 40. Sanitary issues. Treat the Donut Ride as a special event and require a permit. It will put LASD on notice and give them the opportunity to monitor conduct of riders. Many in large groups violate 21202. The city should ensure the safety of the roads. The city is liable if roads are not safe.

Dude: There used to be a sign saying “road unsuitabe for bicycles.” I missed when they made it suitable. You can’t keep up with vehicles. Going downhill maybe you can. I live at the top. Bikers are on the inside line. This is our only road! I don’t know, but if you’re a bike nazi, that’s not getting along.

Lady: There’s been a great increase in bikes, let’s monitor them, I’m all for it. My son and husband are great bicyclists. The bad ones impede traffic, they cause rear ending from their poor riding skills. Many groups are here and more coming. We need to keep this semi-rural environment for us.

Lady: What is an organic ride? It’s Big Orange local rides. The Donut Run and anti-Donut Run. Top ten rides on PV. Groups that are regularly riding as part of an organized situation. We are not wanting to approach adversarially. Residents are raising safety concerns by observed safety incidents on roads not safe for bikes, pedestrians, and motorists need to be addressed and the statute applies and until revisited it should be uniformly applied.

Lady: I’m a Crest resident. I’d like to see us live here safely. How will you enforce the ordinance? This is new and we’ll set parameters. The ordinance is to manage people and it takes money and when the city looks at enforcement, girls walking around isn’t a safety issue, but if we have funding we can intro a pilot program to see what data we have. As we develop guidelines we should look at it. Or if they’re not impinging then the groups shouldn’t be included.

Dude: There’s an impact, let’s look at the impact. Where are the needed rest stops at Marymount? Additional law enforcement to cite motorists and pedestrians. Funding from somewhere. Big Orange can’t say we are not responsible. Girl scouts don’t impact, runners and Sierra Club don’t impact. This is a good time to say let’s try it.

Dude: Certain time too, a certain time. Liability and making sure they have some kind of insurance policy. Whoever posts about the ride is responsible. Clearly it is advertising. Notice for the event shouldn’t be 90 days should be in a week, five days. Hand them a sticker or something or we should have police just designated for that ride. Certain areas should have rest rooms, different containment, stop refresh, and ride in a singe file lane. I’ve driven behind some shaky legs. I disagree about lemonade stands. There’s no liability to us for girl scouts that would apply to that.

Lady: I can understand organic rides. But a lady told me they had time trials going up and down Crest. You can’t relieve yourself in public. I’m sure you’re very good about that Mr. Kramer.

END

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Double header crazypants

September 29, 2016 § 41 Comments

On Monday night there was a traffic safety committee meeting held by the city of Rancho Palos Verdes. You think committee meetings are boring?

This one wasn’t.

It featured a guy who began by complaining about people taking pictures. The chair told him he was “out of order” which is nice speak for “shut the fuck up” and informed him that it was a public meeting, open to the public, held for the public, and publicly regulated under the Brown Act, which publicly regulates public meetings.

The guy was not mollified by the law because he was part of a contingent who demanded that the city put up signs saying “Bikes Must Ride Single File.” No matter that this isn’t the law, and no matter that the California Vehicle Code doesn’t prohibit riding two abreast, no matter that the committee has given extensive, detailed PowerPoint presentations on CVC 21202(a) and its exceptions, and no matter that the most fundamental principle of statutory construction is that the law permits everything that is not specifically prohibited.

In Rancho Palos Verdes these NIMBYs had come to the meeting to advise what they thought the law should be and to demand that the city put it on a sign. Right? Because after inventing a few new anti-bike provisions for the vehicle code they could follow it with signs that said, “No poor people,” “No Torranceites,” “No San Pedroians,” and of course “No people whose last names end in a vowel.”

It was clear that, having bought a second-hand home with an ugly garage on top of a hill and surrounding the whole faux estate with an iron gate and guard shack, this guy thought that the public meetings were private, too, and no amount of explaining that the meeting was “public” seemed to have any effect on him at all.

Because polysyllabic words and laws and facts kept getting in the way of his opinions, the guy followed up his outburst a few minutes later by showing the middle finger at what appeared to be the committee. When the sheriff’s deputy came over and told him he couldn’t flip off the committee, he told the deputy that he hadn’t been flipping off them, he’d been flipping off … me. For taking pictures.

I hadn’t said a word the entire meeting and when I looked back he threw a fleck of paper at me while raising his middle finger again for emphasis. There I was, back in Third Grade with the classroom bully showing me the finger, throwing spitballs, and daring the teacher to get on with her job. If you think it’s extraordinary that a grown man would go to a public meeting and show his contempt for public participation by flipping people off and flinging flecks of paper at his imagined enemies, you need to come to one of these meetings.

But what’s more extraordinary is that the very people who flipped us off, threw things, and booed Delia Park at the previous meeting when she described the catastrophic injuries of a friend belong to the same anti-bike contingent that opened the meeting with an appeal for civility and made pointed complaints about the militant biker bullies–never mind that not a single cyclist in any public meeting has insulted, attacked, threatened, or made an obscene gesture to anyone ever, and never mind that several cyclists began by thanking the committee for their efforts.

One first-time biker attendee later commented that “I thought you were exaggerating, Seth, but these people really are batshit fucking crazy.”

The discussion point of the meeting was colossally stupid. A handful of NIMBYs on Crest Road were seeking to apply the city’s event permitting ordinance to “organic” groups of ten or more cyclists. Unable to understand the law’s intent–regulation of large events that had a significant impact on the public right of way–these folks yammered on endlessly about how the law should be applied to local, unorganized, organic bike rides.

Under the ingenuous pretense of “safety,” though none of them had consulted any of the cycling groups whose safety is most imperiled in traffic collisions, and after having a prior petition to ban cyclists from the roadway being unceremoniously booted due to its patent illegality, they were now trying to regulate unorganized group bike rides in the hope it would make things somehow more orderly, i.e. get rid of bikes. When I asked one of the NIMBYs whether or not he would attend a free Cycling Savvy course to get educated about the law from the cyclist’s perspective, he told me he was “too busy” because he “had a 16-year-old who was just getting his driver license.”

Well, of course! No responsible father with a new young male driver in the family would possibly be able to make time to go learn the law and safe traffic skills that have to do with cyclists, especially the cyclists who allegedly cause so many traffic problems up on Rancho Palos Verdes Estates Wish We Were Palos Verdes Estates Crest Road.

The details of the ordinance appeared irrelevant to many of the NIMBYs, the main “detail” being no detail at all but rather its most salient feature: The ordinance specifically applies to “organized” events. Speaker after speaker on the cyclists’ side tried in vain to explain to the waxed-in brains of the NIMBYs that THERE IS NO ORGANIZER FOR THE DONUT RIDE. But they either didn’t understand, wouldn’t understand, or couldn’t understand.

It’s true that you can’t fix stupid, but in this case you couldn’t even shut it up. The committee, obviously perplexed by having to deal with something that made no sense at all, referred it for further “study by staff.” This will presumably involve someone sitting in a lawn chair watching groups of cyclists go by at 25 mph and trying to determine if they’re “organized” or “in a group” or “ten or more.” One fool suggested that group riders be required to ride with identifying stickers, a great idea that was used with much success in the late 1930’s.

A cyclist speaker offered the NIMBYs a thousand bucks if they could find the organizer of the Donut Ride, which one of the crazypants asserted was any person who mentioned it on their web site. Kind of like, you know, how you’re an organizer of the Super Bowl when you note on your blog its location, date, time, and the teams who are playing.

Almost three and a half hours later the meeting adjourned, but not before one guy spent several minutes complaining about committee member David Kramer’s “conflict of interest” because in addition to his duties as a committee member he was formerly an officer of Big Orange. We’ll set aside for a minute the fact that nothing on the agenda affects Big Orange as a club at all, another detail that didn’t matter because it so obviously contradicted this guy’s attack.

Lacking any ability to understand that Big Orange doesn’t have a single organized ride in RPV, and unable to do anything other than wave tax returns and Secretary of State filings, this bonehead repeatedly insisted that Kramer “recuse” himself.

Kramer repeated, as he always does, that the committee makes no decisions (ergo there’s nothing to be recused from), that all committee recommendations must be voted on by the city council which has the power to accept, reject or modify anything done by the committee, that the committee acts in a volunteer advisory capacity only, and that his activities as a cyclist have long been public, but the NIMBY didn’t care. All that the NIMBY could grasp is that Kramer is a cyclist, Kramer belongs to Big Orange, therefore Kramer has a conflict of interest. Of course with NIMBY logic, all of the motorists would have to recuse themselves from the committee, too, since no motorist could possibly be expected to be neutral on issues that affected cars. But in an absence of understanding and in a surfeit of ignorance, facts meant little, and one of the NIMBYs assured me outside the building that a lawsuit would be brought to remove Kramer from the committee.

“You’re not going to like that,” he said. I could only hope that he retained a very expensive lawyer with a huge, nonrefundable retainer.

In line with the NIMBY hatred of cyclists on Crest, riders recently reported a white Toyota Corolla buzzing, honking at, and harassing cyclists going up Crest in, surprise, single file. It’s hard to understand what they meant by civility, except perhaps this: Please shut up and go away from RPV.

The next day was Tuesday. I mentally flushed out the cremains of the night before with a good bike ride, one of those organic rides without a leader or promoter that’s been going on for over 30 years, and that evening I was back at another city meeting to witness another series of mindless assaults on cycling. This one was at Palos Verdes Estates.

At the end of the meeting I was accosted by a guy who claimed to be “Frank Ponce” and who “wanted to talk” to me. Imagine a pudgy bully whose hairpiece has been dipped in a bucket of chiGrecian Formula, clad in a two-for-one suit from Men’s Wearhouse, wearing an imitation of a fake Swiss watch and looking like he wanted to kill you.

Then imagine another guy, larger, blobbier, dumber looking (possible? yes!) who was also wearing a sandwich board with my picture on it and the caption “This Clown Wants More Signs.”

This clever fellow had discovered a picture that was on my web site and was now going to expose me as an advocate for bike signage. Plus he was going to call me a clown. Unfortunately, Mom’s allowance must have been a bit on the low side because the construction of the sign had the quality you normally associate with a cardboard roof used by a homeless person to cover his shopping cart.

How a person can strap on a homemade sign and duck-waddle around in public while calling someone else a clown is a metaphor for the wholesale absence of reflection, perspective, or self-awareness that the bike haters displayed at every turn. I was waiting for the Sandwich Clown to ask for gas money since Mom had perhaps kicked him off the couch for the evening, the best explanation for him even being out of the house.

Upon leaving the parking lot, Mr. Men’s Wearhouse, still furious that none of the cyclists would engage with him or take him up on his unspoken offers of a duel using tubes of Rogaine, taunted me as I walked by. Rumor has it that the fake watch consortium is going to set the wheels in motion to “revoke my law license.” It will be fascinating to watch the $99 suits tangle with even more words, rules, laws, and procedures, seeing as they still haven’t been able to read and understand CVC 21202(a) and its exceptions. Imagine their surprise when someone tries to draw them a stick-figure diagram of what an anti-SLAPP motion is and what attorney fee sanctions look like.

As I left the parking lot, catcalls ringing in my ears, it occurred to me that there it was again! Third Grade! Another flaccid wanker thinking that no one could possibly resist the idea of jumping into a verbal sewer with him. I kept walking, slightly pleased that with so little effort I’d taken up permanent residence into such a small and sand-filled head. And best of all, I was staying there rent-free.

The PVE City Council meeting itself was something of a clusterfuck. Because the council had seen the large turnout of cyclists in past meetings and been inundated by NIMBY emails complaining about outsiders/flatlanders/transients influencing their special snowflake on the hill, they sought to do an end-run by moving the time from 5:30 to 7:30 in order to conduct a workshop on traffic safety. It was never articulated as such, but the idea seemed to be to wear down the cyclists with an earlier meeting that would cut off speaking times. The plan only half-worked because the fire marshal had to stop people from entering after the room filled to capacity with cyclists.

While the tiny Men’s Wearhouse contingent had vociferously sought to rally the anti-cycling troops for the meeting, the packed-to-capacity council chambers were filled predominantly with cyclists. When asked to stand if they supported BMUFL signage, only a smattering of the 90+ attendees remained seated. If the plan had been to get all the concerned PVE residents out in force, it worked, because the meeting showed what we’ve known all along: Most residents don’t give two ratfucks about five new BMUFL signs and the only ones who oppose them are either still subsidized by Mom or are retired or are woefully underemployed or all three.

The workshop, although ostensibly held to educate the council as to this “complex” issue of four signs, seemed in fact to be Traffic Safety Principles 101 for the Completely Clueless NIMBYs. It was a rehash of many, many presentations I’ve heard in bits and pieces from the city’s traffic engineer, and it was all politespeak for “These BMUFL signs are legal, you dumbshits.”

But the problem was this: If the NIMBYs were so thick-headed that they couldn’t understand CVC 21202(a), and if they were so pig-headed that they refused to recognized the legality of BMUFL, how in the world was the workshop going to educate them about something as complex as “basic principles of traffic engineering”? Their go-to guy was a stooge in a sandwich board and a sub-literate, flabby realtor in a cheap suit whose Linked-In profile picture reminds me of a hubcap thief from the 1920’s. These people were going to be “educated” about engineering and the law?

No. They were not.

It was like having a civil rights lawyer address a group of Trump supporters on the illegality of segregation.

Civil rights lawyer: “Segregation is illegal.”

Trumpers: “But we hate black people.”

CRL: “It’s still illegal.”

Trumpers: “No, it isn’t.”

CRL: “Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).”

Trumpers: “Can we change the law just for here? PVE is unique!”

CRL: “No. It’s the supreme law of the land and codified in numerous federal and state laws and the California Constitution.”

Trumpers: “We still hate black people. We still hate integration. We love segregation. We don’t understand why we can’t have it. We grew up with it. And we’ve lived here since 1984.”

The part of the workshop that did work was that it promptly concluded at 7:30, before even a fraction of the cyclists had gotten to speak out in favor of BMUFL signage. This served the city and the NIMBYs’ agenda perfectly: It delayed the decision on the signs even further, it forced the cyclists to come back again (and again and possibly again), and it let the BMUFL advocates know that the city wasn’t going to easily and quickly fold to the recommendations of its own attorney, traffic engineer, safety committee, and what one NIMBY at the last traffic committee meeting referred to as “transients.”

The other part of the workshop that worked out exquisitely for the NIMBYs was that the latter half of the workshop degenerated into “cyclists running stop signs.” No matter how many times the police say they have limited resources, no matter how many times people point out that stop sign violations are equal among cars and bikes, and no matter how many times people point out that stop sign violations have nothing at all to do with BMUFL signage, once the Dreaded Stop Sign Issue is raised, everything goes running down into the gutter.

It’s as if you convened a meeting to discuss space travel and no one could stop talking about stop signs.

Bike Advocate: “BMUFL signage is legal and saves lives.”

Men’s Wearhouse: “Bikes run stop signs!”

Bike Advocate: “So do motorists but that’s not the issue.”

Men’s Wearhouse: “Bikes run stop signs!”

Bike Advocate: “Yes, but today we’re here to discuss BMUFL signage.”

Men’s Wearhouse: “Norm is videotaping all the scofflaw bikers running stop signs!”

Bike Advocate: “Yes, we’ve seen samples of the high quality videos made by Mom’s Couch Productions. But today we’re here to discuss BMUFL signage, how it’s legal, recommended by the city engineer, and how it saves lives according the the NIH.”

Men’s Wearhouse: “Blobbly Bob is going to make another sandwich board showing bikers running stop signs!”

Bike Advocate: “I hope it’s a wide one.”

END

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Smile, it’s free

September 16, 2016 § 33 Comments

Ever since the combat with the cities of Rancho Palos Verdes and Palos Verdes Estates began over the installation of a few signs (more NIMBY agitation over this than over the federal class action lawsuit alleging gang behavior and city complicity, yo), I’ve been testing the theory that local residents dislike cyclists.

What I’ve found is that for they most part, they do not. At worst the don’t care. At best they actually like us. The Lunada Bay Boy on Mom’s Couch and his NIMBY vidiot-recorder who are making such hay with their hatred of cyclists are a tiny slice of nastiness and venom in otherwise pretty nice bunch of folks.

I’ve reached this conclusion by running the following scientific test throughout PV when I cycle.

  1. Approach walker, jogger, leaf blower, gardener, trash truck operator, woman pushing stroller, dad getting into his car on the way to work, etc.
  2. Smile.
  3. Wave when it’s safe to do so.
  4. Say “Good morning!”
  5. Alternatively, say “Hello!”

In virtually every instance people smile back, return the greeting, and/or wave.

There are always one or two people over the span of several days who are so deeply sunken in their reverie of how they’re going to evict their son from their couch, or who are so sour that nothing can penetrate their misery, that they pointedly stare at the ground or grumpily refuse to make eye contact.

But you know what? They are a tiny minority. Pretty much everyone else doesn’t object in the least to the fact that you’re on a bicycle.

Not only that, but the occasional grumpster, like the lady yesterday who said “Good morning!” back to us and followed up with “I can hear you in my bedroom talking at 6:00 AM!” are amenable to conversation. One of our riders stopped and spoke with her and explained that whoever she was hearing, it wasn’t us because we don’t ride at that time on that road.

The lady then … gasp … apologized.

This is the great evil of a few diehard haters and the cesspool of angry comments that makes up places like NextDoor, where you can post anonymously with no fear that you’ll ever have to reveal your name and explain your bizarre notions to real people. The evil is that the perception — “Residents hate cyclists!” — creates reality.

Fortunately, with the simple act of a few free smiles and liberal use of the greetings you learned in kindergarten, the myth can be shown for what it is, that is, much sound and fury, signifying either nothing or a very uncomfortable couch.

END

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Two wheels cut both ways

September 9, 2016 § 50 Comments

Something that bothers me about cyclists also bothers a lot of cagers, but it bothers us for different reasons. Because this is a family blog, and in addition to false dichotomies, vulgarity is also eschewed here, I will politely refer to this problems as “biker dicks.”

What is a biker dick? To certain cagers, a biker dick is someone on a bicycle. Simply riding makes you a candidate for punishment. To these folks, a biker dick is someone who takes the lane, slows them down, wears colorful underwear, imagines that each pedal stroke saves a baby whale, and of course threatens our American Way of Life and Making Donald Drumpf Again by running stop signs.

I’m not concerned about those biker dicks, because they’re not dicks. They’re moms, dads, prison releasees, kids, hipsters, bums, employed people, and other ordinary humans going about their business, just going about it on a bike. Carry on, you angels of awesomeness.

The biker dicks that bother me don’t really happen much in traffic, although plenty of cyclists get irate and do things that you won’t find approved of here, and use language and gestures that you won’t find approved of here. They also salmon, don’t wear helmets, and blah blah blah. Hey, if you’re dumb enough to seek death like that, seek away.

The biker dicks that bother me are much worse than those who go off on cagers or who scofflaw through traffic control devices at 6:00 AM with no one present.

I’m talking about the biker dicks who are abusive, threatening, and, yes, even injurious to vulnerable road users. When bikes are the vulnerable road user, the cagers who have the ability to crush them get zero slack in my book. Your car is bigger, heavier, deadlier, and your risk is close to zero. So slow the fuck down and show some respect for human life. If you can’t chuckle when some tweezly wanker shows you the middle finger and calls you something you normally giggle at when Bill Maher says it, take a breath or a bong hit or whatever.

But what about when the shoe’s on the other foot or, more aptly, when the wheels are on the bike path? I’ll tell you what. There is a whole slew of assholes on bikes who treats vulnerable road users, and by that I mean pedestrian meatbags, moms with strollers, old people taking a walk, kids on skateboards, and small people learning to ride tiny bikes with training wheels, with the same contempt and disregard for safety that many cagers treat us with when we’re cycling in the roadway.

How many walkers, hugging the right side of the bike path, going in a straight line, not bothering one single human being, have been accosted at the last second by some screaming, snot-blowing, wannabe jerk on a bike with the immortal shriek, “On your left!”

I wish I had a nickel for every skidmark that’s been created by these biker dick war hollers.

What’s worse, some nasty, aggressive, and potentially violent cyclists seem to have an affinity for being especially abusive to women. A friend who is a cyclist and a runner (we forgive you your jogging transgressions, DP), was on the bike path a few days ago with a cop friend. Cop had big quads and looked coppish as they jogged. Bikes gave them room and said squat even though they were two abreast. This reminds me exactly of how cagers behave when there’s a pack of cyclists. STFU and keep moving.

As soon as the cop jogged off, though, my friend, an Asian woman now jogging alone, became the target of endless last minute “On your left!” screams and even of a vile racist insult by one passing biker dick.

What is wrong with you assholes? When you are on the bike path it isn’t the autobahn, and every fool with tri-bars or a TT rig who’s trying to set the land speed record on a multi-use path with pedestrian meatbags is by definition an asshole. The same thing that cars have to do when there’s nothing but your underwear between you and two tons of steel is the same thing you have to do when you’ve got 200 lbs. of mass going 23 mph hurtling towards a 120 lb., slow moving meatbag: SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.

And don’t tell me that the meatbags don’t belong on the bike path or that they’re unpredictable or kicking a ball or walking a dog. Who cares? They’re there and you know they’re there and if you hit them you’re going to do horrible damage. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN. And once you’ve gotten off your Strava pace you won’t have to shriek at the last second, scaring the crap out of the walker and possibly causing them to veer into you.

At bottom, the irrational hate and disrespectful treatment shown by cagers to bikers on the streets is the same narcissistic, selfish nastiness that lurks at the bottom of the cycling psychopathletes who terrorize helpless bike path meatbags. Meatbags are people too, so SLOW THE FUCK DOWN, and don’t get me started on “Why are you even on the bike path to begin with, especially on the weekend or at other high-use times?” The bike path is sandy (bad for carbon), packed with erratic meatbags (causes carbon to break when slammed into), slow (takes away the millisecond benefits of carbon), badly paved (makes carbon ride uncomfy), and no more safe than the surface streets.

Empathy doesn’t grow in a vacuum or, apparently, when you’re racing along the bike path to get to work, make a group ride, or set some stupid PR on some stupid Strava segment. Put yourself in the meatbag’s shoes, even though they’re jogging shoes and even though your colorful underwear is way sexier. Get out of your rush mode, quit yelling like a jerk, and treat the vulnerable meatbags the same way that you want to be treated when they finish their jog, hop into their SUV, and, boiling with rage at your bad manners and dangerous habits, see you again when you’re off the path and pedaling down the street.

Because the victim you abused a few minutes ago is now a cager with a grudge and you’re the biker dick in the crosshairs. Is that really what you want?

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The PVE Traffic Safety Committee Grand Prix

September 8, 2016 § 41 Comments

Before the race we all pinned on each others’ numbers, which looked like this:

sb_patch

The ref blew the whistle but before we could get going they had to neutralize the race. A gaggle of ancient retirees, all of whom had lived in Palos Verdes Estates since 1978 and were still wearing the same shoes, did a parade lap around the course.

Each angry resident did a mini-ragesprunt, where they harangued about parking. Elbows were thrown, headbutts lodged into ribcages, and one old codger whipped out GoPro footage of *CARS RUNNING STOP SIGNS* and *GASPY GASP GASP* a white vehicle that REGULARLY PARKS TOO CLOSE TO THE STOP SIGN NEAR THE INTERSECTION ON THE STREET THAT GETS 183 WHOLE CARS A DAY.

Fortunately, the parking club riders were not as fit as the SoCal Allstar Race Team, so after they ran out of electrolytes and Depends, the parking club riders shunted off to the side and wrote nasty emails to each other on NextDoor.

The whistle blew and the race was on. Dashing into the first corner was Jay “BMUFL” Yoshizumi, who attacked hard up the gutter, battering into the wind while pointing out that safety was paramount. He swung over just in time for G3 “Data Boy” Seyranian, who unleashed a flurry of softening-up punches over the short cobbled section, stringing out the peloton, making the watt meters crackle, and pointing out to statistical data points that validated the BMUFL signage.

One of the riders on Team Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch, Doper McWanksalot, got caught up against the curb, threw a chain, and dropped his fake petition with 83 bogus signatures just as Michael “Call Me Claw” Barraclough came up hot and inside to set a course record for the first lap. Claw also let the refs know that if the Allstars didn’t sweep the podium with BMUFL signage, they would continue to show up to every subsequent race and stack the field until justice was done.

Shrimpy McShrinksabunch, team leader and designated sprunter for Team Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch, roared briefly to the front and sputtered on about delaying BMUFL signage until the year 2082, when all of the ramifications and data and GPS coordinates could be algorithmized, logarithmized, digitized, and mesmerized, but was quickly chopped hard by Kristie “All Aces” Fox, who blew him up against the barriers with a hard-charging citation to traffic counts related to Terranea and The Donald Drumpf Golf Club.

Now the Allstars were warmed up and a series of brutal attacks began, headed up by Pete “Older Than Dirt” Richardson and followed by Jon “Same Shit Sounds Smarter In British English” Phillips, who hit it hard at the bottom of the small cobbled climb that had been slickened by the snot, spittle, and Internet ugliness dribbled out by the NextDoor Wankers On The Bay Boys’ Moms’ Couches.

One Lunada Bay Boy on Mom’s Couch slid out in the turn and caught his monosyllables on his poor syntax, making a fool out of himself and going hard into the hay bales, where he was forced to pay rent and get a job sacking groceries at Von’s.

Suddenly the weather turned nasty and a foul gale blew in. Our heroes, who had been driving it at the front with relentless accelerations by Victor “Don’t Fuck With Me” Cooper, Delia “These Are The Facts And They Will Hurt You” Park, Doug “The Motor” Toland, and a vicious move that split the field by Tom “One-Handed” Duong, the peloton began to crumble.

A breakaway formed with Claw, Park, Fox, G3, “Gizzards” Jim Hannon, and “Bronx Bomber” Julian Katz, as the Allstars back in the field sat up to block the weak, ineffectual, incoherent, and disorganized attempts to bridge by Team Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch Who Mostly Complain on the Internet but Don’t Have the Balls to Show Up.

Just when it looked like the break would go clear, Norm “Video Production” Zarifsky of Team LBBOMCWMCOTIBDHTBTSU made a daring move out of the field and, stuck in no man’s land, seemed set to bridge. However, he began to huff and puff as he spouted anger at cyclists, reviled bikers who ran stop signs, and declared that all PVE stop signs should be removed, buried, and shot as his FTP of 12.2 watts was immediately exceeded now that he was out in the wind and unable to suck anonymous Internet wheel.

Moreover, he had failed to notice that Dave “Video Allthetime” Brinton had latched onto his wheel, and as Norm began flicking his elbow, drooling in desperation, and begging everyone to condemn that terrible pro bono lawyer blogger dude who is in cahoots with the cops and judges to get bikers out of citations, Brinton came around, dropped Norm like a big turd from a tall horse, and bridged to the break.

One by one the tired, unfit, tactically incompetent, and strategically defective members of Team LBBOMCWMCOTIBDHTBTSU came off the back while, back in the peloton, the shrewd, handsome, beautiful, fit, happy, and cagey members of the Allstars took turns pounding the BMUFL haters into paste. John Cayon, Joann Zwagermann, Larry Lem, Dave Terrell, Joey Cooney, Don Wolfe, Jaycee Carey, Wendy Watson, John Wike, Mark Maxson, Michelle Landes, Brent Davis, Allison Vought, Les Borean, Gary Cziko, Andrew Nuckles, Craig Eggers, Sam Gengo, Tara Unversagt, Sherri Foxworthy, Kevin Salk, and Brian Gee set a blistering pace that Team LBBOMCWMCOTIBDHTBTSU couldn’t begin to follow until, at the bell lap, there was no one left but the Allstars and five BMUFL signs which will be co-located with existing “3-Feet It’s The Law” signage.

The traffic safety committee voted 4-0 in favor of the Allstars when, post-race, a challenge was made due to alleged irregular sprinting by Wike, but the commissars concluded that not only had Wike won the field sprint clean, but that the complaining wankers who lodged the protest would, as punishment, be grounded until next Thursday and limited to $150 in gas charges on mom’s credit card for the rest of September.

After the race, the Allstars modeled their sexy BMUFL signage and prepared for the final race of the season. The next race in the series is the finale, the PVE City Council BMUFL Grand Prix. Be there!

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September 7 at 7:30 PM

September 6, 2016 § 22 Comments

There will be a traffic safety committee meeting at the Palos Verdes Estates city hall tomorrow at 7:30 PM. The traffic safety committee has recommended that the city install six signs that say “Bikes May Use Full Lane.” The full agenda is here; the address is 340 Palos Verdes Drive West, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274.

Sounds like glacial change that couldn’t possibly be controversial.

However, a handful of NIMBYs think that this is outrageous and will spoil the peninsula. So, in typical NIMBY fashion, they have cobbled together a petition that urges the city to delay putting up Bikes May Use Full Lane signage even though such signage has been approved by the city’s traffic safety commission and is completely legal. I’ve heard but can’t confirm that there is also a petition to limit cyclist usage of certain sections of public roads. This isn’t on the agenda, but we’ll see at the meeting if that’s in fact what some of the NIMBYs are advocating. I won’t urge you to show up and make your voice heard. Everyone has their own to-do list. Families, kids, jobs, fantasy football, and the all-important rest time for the next big group ride. I get it.

But for those who think that democracy only happens when people show up, please take a few hours out of your lives to help the traffic safety committee do what it already knows is the right thing to do.

And the right thing to do, as a very first step, is to install signage that will encourage motorists not to behave like this 14-carat asshole driving in Palos Verdes Estates who almost killed one cyclist and almost injured many more yesterday:

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We are concerned about cyclist safety

September 1, 2016 § 24 Comments

This was the claim of the entitled NIMBYs in Rancho Palos Verdes last month who advocated banning cyclists from public roads. They are a splinter, ALT-Trump group of ultra-socialists, i.e. people who believe the means of production should be subjugated to the wants of the lazy class, and they have their counterpart further down the hill in the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch.

They are concerned about cyclist safety, they say, as they focus on regulating every behavior but their own to achieve their life’s motoring goal, which is to have as much empty pavement in front of them as possible, paid for with other people’s tax money. They are the people who scream incessantly about cyclists who run stop signs but who don’t even know that the 3-foot passing law exists.

My response when they insincerely claim to be concerned about safety? No, you aren’t.

You don’t give a rat’s ass about cyclists, cyclist safety, or anything other than squelching the cognitive dissonance you feel at seeing strangers pedaling happiness machines on “your” roads because inside you are a miserable, envious, unfit, unhappy sack of tax dodges.

You don’t care if people get hit, killed, injured, maimed, terrorized, or traumatized, and you don’t care if the collateral wreckage includes kids who grow up without parents, spouses who spend years or decades caring for the shattered mind and body of a loved one, or individuals who get, in an instant, reduced from active, healthy, productive lives into badly broken, dependent shells.

Fortunately, in a couple of weeks you will have the opportunity to prove me wrong. The same stamping, champing, foaming, finger-pointing lardasses and potbellies who railed against Big Orange at the last Rancho Palos Verdes City Council meeting will have their second of six chances to actually do something about cyclist safety thanks, of course, to Big Orange, the group they so hate for insisting on doing something for cyclist safety that actually includes cyclist input.

On October 8, a Saturday that conflicts with football, pre-football, post-football, and, worst of all for the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch, a 2:30 PM start time, which gives them only twelve minutes to put on sandals, roll off the couch, eat some dry Cheerios, and drive to the El Segundo Public Library, a place filled with books, (after filling up with mom’s gas card), yes, on October 8 Big Orange will sponsor its second Cycling Savvy course, taught by none other than Gary Cziko, Dude Who Used To Ride The NPR With A Giant Sign On The Back Of His Bike Saying “Bikes May Use Full Lane.”

That dude.

The Cycling Savvy course teaches bikers how to safely ride their bikes in traffic. But it does something else. It teaches cyclists, who also happen to be cagers most of the time, how to safely drive their 4,000-pound inflammable steel cages in the vicinity of underwear-clad people pedaling happiness machines.

In other words, every worthless Lunada Bay Boy on Mom’s Couch, and every dishrag-for-a-brain, bike hating NIMBY atop Crest has the opportunity to come and see what real cyclist safety measures look like. What they’ll find is that bike riders are ordinary people who just want to keep pedaling their happiness machines, and what they’ll also get is a sense for is how easy it is to accommodate the underwear-clad class without even being late to check out the shitty surf at the bluffs and key someone’s car who hasn’t yet heard that Lunada Bay doesn’t like you.

Oh, and it’s free, just be sure to get there at 2:00 PM (course begins at 2:30) because seating is limited and the venue will fill on a first-come, first-served basis. Courtesy of Big Orange.

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