Stupid cyclists.

Increasingly these days, it seems as though our ilk is playing the role of our own worst enemies.

Case in point is the saga of the numbskull who (during rush hour, mind you) recently plowed into a pedestrian in San Francisco’s Castro district, resulting in the pedestrian’s death.

Needless to say, this is really bad all the way around. My heart certainly goes out to the family and friends of the victim of this senseless accident and I won’t cite the overwhelming number of cyclists that get hit or killed on a daily basis in response. The fact that the bike rider in question apparently posted the following comment the evening following the accident is shameful at best, and at least in the minds of the non-cycling public (i.e. the majority) only makes us look like a bunch of irresponsible and reckless thugs;

“I couldn’t see a line through the crowd and I couldn’t stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find.”

When discussing the current shitstorm this has created with my friend Boozely (shown here crying in solidarity with his young offspring);

we both agreed that it seems as though chances are pretty good that Chris Bucchere was riding well out of control given the situation and if we found ourselves in a similar situation (which of course we wouldn’t because we know how to safely navigate in traffic) we would do everything, including crashing into a pole in order to avoid hitting an innocent person crossing the street.

I’m sure that my opinion won’t be a popular one within our community, but I think that the book should be thrown at Chris if for no other reason than to satisfy the pitchfork carrying mob calling for his head, (and in association, that of anyone on a bicycle).

True, we are all too familiar with story after story after story of cyclists getting hit and the drivers involved getting less than a slap on the hand, but gone are the days that we are traveling freely under the radar. Gone are the days that we can do what we want in the streets because we are an invisible minority. We now live in a world where our every action is being inspected and criticized by the non-riding public (again, the majority). I of all people see the glaring hypocrisy of a public that damns every cyclist’s actions, when daily we read, or even experience first hand the imbalance of justice when it comes to ours being hurt or killed. The reality is however, that it is just that. A reality. That said, I can only hope that cities where tragedies like this occur will carefully look at densely populated areas with established infrastructure like Portland East and Minneapolis West, and compare and contrast those area’s statistics with their own and see that as our numbers climb, so does the need for education, as well as an effort towards accommodating our existence, if not just for our safety, but the safety of those around us who we have to interact with on a daily basis.

In brighter news, professional bikecycle racer Andy Jacques-Maynes (captured here by ‏Lyne Lamoureux);

responded via his Twitter account to Monday’s post, specifically regarding just how many sandwiches a professional bikecycle racer needs to eat in order to sustain their energy whilst in the heat of battle;

“Sandwiches are beautiful. Sandwiches are fine. I like sandwiches. I eat them all the time. I eats them for my breakfast, I eat them for my lunch. If I had 100 sandwiches I’d eat them all at once!”

He also noted that there was a dance that goes along with his race-time mantra that he would share with me next time we crossed paths.

He concluded his bit of rarely dispensed inside-the-peloton knowledge with the declaration that though he would share the dance with me, his sandwiches he would not.

In other news of racing bikecycles, I recently came across the following flyer for an event over on the right coast thrown by NYC Mess Kings this coming Friday;
I’m a sucker for anything with a playing card motif.

Now I would like to broach a topic which has recently lead to a great deal of consternation in my head. On Monday Pentabike Dave innocently sent me a couple of links regarding the Denver Intentional Airport. I’d read bits and pieces of articles relating to this topic, but never so much at once. At the time of reading them, perhaps I was particularly open to suggestion, but I was left with residual feelings of dread. I’m as much of a skeptic when it comes to conspiracies as the next person and I generally don’t put much stock in anything that I cannot verify to be true, but there is something about this story… Something about the sheer scope of it that has left me feeling quite unsettled.

Here is one piece I found that seems a bit less crack-potish than the rest.

Certainly if anyone in the audience has any insight on the matter, I would be most interested in hearing it. I’ve internalized this and as I said, seems to be causing me a bit of duress.

That shiz is seriously, seriously creepy.

In closing and possibly the only thing that could have lifted that particular black cloud off of my head is this clip that was sent to me from Ghostship Matt;

It’s fairly well evident that at least in terms of riding a bike in a public realm, Slattery’s got the skills to be an enemy to no one but his bike.


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33 Responses to “Stupid cyclists.”

  1. JT April 11, 2012 at 5:04 am #

    Agreed. If we want to see drivers taken to task for the fouls they commit, we have to be willing to suck it up and take the licks if we perpetrate the same fouls. None of this equal-ish BS. If you kill someone there has gotta be consequeces for your actions regardless of the way you did it.

  2. Josh April 11, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    Is it safe to assume that this idiot is another mindless follower of the needless trend of riding a bicycle with no brakes on public streets?

    • Stevil April 11, 2012 at 5:49 am #

      Not being able to stop before crashing into a group of pedestrians would indicate as much, but I don’t actually know.

    • c April 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

      No, not at all. This guy was on the way back from a Mission Cycles Club excursion into the north bay, though he wasn’t actually a member of the team. He was a roadie, and honestly, there’s plenty of people who ride brakeless in SF everyday without plowing into crowds of people.

      Be careful, your assumptions will make an ass out of u and mptions.

    • Jym April 12, 2012 at 10:34 am #

      =v= Safe for whom? Fixie-riders who will have to contend with free-floating blame, hatred, ignorance, and guilt by association with this one other guy who (in fact) was on a bike with brakes?

      This assumption popped up right away, followed by two solid weeks of that kind of commentary. The media could have ended it all with one sentence, but has so far chosen not to.

      It’s rumored that the guy was clocked going 35mph on Strava (his trip has since been deleted). That this is completely incompatible with the fixie assumption hasn’t made a dent in the flamefest.

      It turns out that remaining records on Strava show that his average speed on previous rides down that hill was 14mph, so the hot new groundless assumption is that he was trying to beat his personal best on Strava.

  3. hans April 11, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    damn. good. post.

    • Jym April 12, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      =v= Yes, excellent post!

  4. phaty p April 11, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Ok-Sent the DIA post to my friend who sold everything and moved to south america due to the “soon to be in flames USA”-Stay tuned!!!!

  5. Dennis April 11, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    Looks like Bucchere is going to be in much more trouble. I thought his post was pretty incriminating and a pretty dumb thing to do…. This makes him look much worse

    • Uncle Muscles April 11, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      Yeah, I believe dumbfuck the fakenger was also uploading his ride to Strava (of course) at the time. It showed him traveling at over 30 mph through the intersection.

      • c April 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

        He wasn’t a fakenger at all, he was a fred. Get your discriminatory vernacular correct.

  6. Ben April 11, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    I was wondering about brakes too. Then I got distracted by DIA. Certainly that stuff is pretty creepy, and without a doubt Colorado is a hotbed for Doomsday conspiracy theorists and post-apocalyptic survivalists. They are everywhere out here, you should hear some of the stories. On the other hand, conspiracy theorists in general can be told that Jimmy Hoffa is still alive by their bowl of Cheerios and believe it. Then they’ll tell everyone they know and pretty soon it’s all over the news. Plus, I kinda like a lot of the weird art in that place. Especially the Gargoyle suitcase. And they serve beer everywhere, even Quiz(no)s. I once watched a guy order a double Grey Goose, at the cost of $28, and then mix it with Red Bull (another $6). There is something strange going on out there! Oh, wait, I just found a secret masonic text on the inside of my Snickers wrapper!!!!!

  7. Ben April 11, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Ooops, false alarm. Turned out to be the nutrition info.

  8. Case April 11, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    I agree, book throwing is in order here. If you are operating a vehicle in an out of control manner and you injure or kill someone you need to be held accountable. There should be an investigation and you should be held to the results of that investigation. Technically, this guy was operating a vehicle. He was allegedly operating in an out of control manner with disregard to his surroundings, this could certainly be viewed as vehicular homicide or reckless homicide. We’ll see how it plays out but we, as a subset, will pay the price in the court of public opinion. Lame.

  9. Matty D April 11, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Excellent post. Like you I’ve been riding bikes long enough to feel the mixed emotions that come from seeing more and more people out there on two wheels. The more people ride, the more bike riders reflect the general population, and unfortunately the general population includes a bunch of morons and irresponsible folks. Overall, getting more people out on bikes is a good thing, but it’s sort of a “careful what you wish for” situation, and the backlash whipped up by the general public is a frustrating as it is myopic and hypocritical (especially here in SF).

    As for this accident, apparently there is a surveillance tape from a local business showing what happened. I don’t know if it’s true or not but I’ve heard various reports that dude was on a road bike with brakes. It’s a long and sketchy intersection with muni track crossings, etc. Not sure about this intersection but most big intersections in SF have those timers where you can see the seconds ticking down to a yellow light. (They remind me of those race starting light sequences, counting down until go time.) My guess is that he saw time ticking down, pinned it through the light as it was changing, and the ped stepped into the street without looking when the light told him to walk. (It’s just a guess but it’s based on around 25 years of riding in Boston and SF. It happens all the time and I’m guilty of close calls myself. We can talk about relative fault all day but as you said, it is the reality out there, pure and simple.)

    Regardless, I agree that he should be prosecuted if guilty, and I also agree that the facts and relative fault won’t make a bit of difference to the public. It won’t keep me off my bike though.

  10. Jay April 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    I live in a small Ohio town that is definitely NOT Portland or Minneapolis as far as bikes are concerned, for a lot of reasons. I know this much though… if one of my friends was riding and was killed by some numbskull in a car who “…couldn’t stop, so (he / she) …just plowed through …. in the least-populated place (he / she) could find.” we would be posting on Facebook and anyother place we could find and calling for the driver’s head, lamenting our case as cyclists, etc. This is the same thing. He needs to be prosecuted. Period.

  11. c April 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    This one day I was at work and a member of the Jacques-Maynes family asked what kind of bike I rode, because she could tell by my calf muscles that I rode bicycles.

    I turned red and said something along the lines of, “well… shucks..”

  12. KL April 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    The cyclist: An idiot who should have the book thrown at him and never be allowed to own or ride a bike again.

    The DIA: WTF? I usually think these kind of things are stupid — but this is actually kind of freaking me out. And have you ever noticed that it’s almost a straight shot north to Devil’s Tower?

    • Jersey Representin' April 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      True or magnetic north? If you account for deviation it very well may be north, just sayin’ may wanna check it.

      • curtisbaby April 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

        declination. just sayin.

  13. crank April 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Boo! DIA my ass. Things go bump in the night. Science before superstition.

  14. curtisbaby April 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    I’m with crank. The same people that are all crazy about this stuff are the same numbskulls that think the big dirt pyramids to the east of the airport have something to do with it too. It’s a farking land-fill. Put your tinfoil hat back on… And Vigilant Citizen? That dude can’t watch a Miley Cyrus video without deciding that it was directed by Cthulhu… And The New World Airport Commission? “This particular commission does not exist, so it most likely refers to the New World Order.” Of course it does. Not at all that we are in what was once called “The New World” and it’s an “Airport” and a “Commission” built it. Definitely the New World Order… Occam’s razor still exists. People just need to start shaving things besides their balls…

  15. craig April 11, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Since we’re bashing public art. I loved Geoff Slatterly’s comment on the oxidized steel piece (Serra) at :28.

  16. Stevil April 12, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    For those of us paying attention however, for every story we hear about a cyclist injuring a pedestrian, we hear forty stories like this.

  17. Scotty April 12, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Interesting thing about the horse:
    It is two pieces that fit together to form the final and when the artist was setting it up in studio before the final installation the top half fell and killed him.

  18. crank April 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Stevil- if your point was about the bike thing, I guess I was distracted by the other than bike diatribe. Maybe you should refocus on bikes, and bike related things. This site has become somewhat stale. Send the hate if you must, but you seem distracted and scattered.

    • Stevil April 13, 2012 at 3:53 am #

      Ah yes… The old ‘ you should stick to bikes’ chestnut. That one never gets old.

  19. Ghost Rider April 13, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    I wish people would stop referring to these incidents as “accidents”. The word “accident” suggests that this was unavoidable/random/a surprise, and this incident was most assuredly NOT. This is a “crash”, or a “collision”, or “reckless behavior”, or whatever else you care to call it, but not an accident.

  20. el Presidente April 13, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    I thought this was a drinking blog.

    • Stevil April 13, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Arybody got they own kind of bicycling.

  21. Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer April 14, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    I’m just a caveman. Your world frightens and confuses me. Sometimes, when I hear the horns of your traffic it makes me want to get up out of my BMW and run off into the hills, or whatever. My primitive mind can’t grasp the concepts of a “New World Order” or “sandwiches,” or bike frame makers called “Wellshucks,” but there is one thing that I do know: when a man-child rides through one of the busiest (and widest) intersections in the city with what can only be seen as reckless abandon and the poorest of judgement, thereby setting back already poor cyclist/everyone else in the world relations one hundred years and actually killing someone as a result, you must find him innocent and he is entitled to compensation for his pain and suffering. Thank you.

  22. AxeYrCat April 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Let me begin by saying that I have already been imbibing in a manner befitting a post on AHTBM, so I apologize for any errors in grammar or syntax that may result due to my state of impairment… At least, that’s the peg on which I’d like to hang it.

    Stevil, I think you’re dead on. I quite recently threw myself ass over teakettle on the Brooklyn Bridge to avoid slamming into a pedestrian on the Brooklyn Bridge who had not only been utterly unaffected by my very loud bell-dinging and ‘look out!’ yelling (both of which had managed to move other meandering tourists out of the bike lane) and had proceeded to walk directly into said lane via which I was commuting, stopping to admire the architecture of the bridge or the clouds in the sky or the gossamer wings of a nearby fly — whatever.

    She froze there, fixed like a 4’10” statue in a faux fur coat, and I had to choose between hitting her, the aforementioned pedestrians good enough to move out of my way, or to basically do a crapass somersault (note: skidding on wood is much less effective than skidding on concrete though a front brake can effectively stop the motion of your front wheel… you can see where the math leads from there).

    The crapass somersault hurt, and the lady seemed not to notice what had just happened as kind passersby came over to try to help me up [sidebar: thanks, bud, but my feet are still attached to the pedals… You trying to lift the bike is more painful than helpful, but I appreciate the sentiment] — to be entirely honest, I think she was well in the throes of some sort of dementia, and I blame the person who should have been taking care of her much more than I blame her.

    That said, I was probably going faster than I should have been, and so it really is my fault more than anyone else’s.

    I knew that when I chose to hit the planks instead of (potentially) hitting someone else, and I know it now. I’d do the same thing again, and I will every time such a situation presents itself, whether it’s the other individual’s fault or my own — that’s the right thing to do, even if it sucks. That attitude might kill me, but it’d be a lot easier to live with that (ha ha) than it would be to live with the death of someone else on my conscience, even if it was entirely attributable to their mistake.

  23. EK April 14, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    it’s the right thing yr doing Steve