Pat Quinn...Reason #75 why he's not getting my vote this Fall...

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Pat Quinn signed a bill today that will guarantee him the votes of the nut-hugger-shorts-wearin'-crowd.  My guess is he probably got a free lunch out of the deal as well.  Now, I'm sure it wasn't as tasty and delicious as the all-you-can-eat-family-style funeral luncheons he's accustomed to chowing down on following his various appearances while paying honor to the fallen troops and working the veteran voting crowds.  But, I'd lay odds it was organic--possibly vegan--more than likely, very boring and certainly, most definitely good for him.

In signing the "Share the Road Bicycle Law", the future former governor promises the bicyclist's rights are guaranteed.  Bikers rights?  What about mine--the member of the car driving crowd--trying to work my way around these jackasses, while managing to keep dear old Betsy on "my side" of the road? 

These clowns have been on my list for years...and the month of July only brings out more of these yellow-shirt wearing idiots jonesing to be just like Lance.  Newsflash--Armstrong is the king of clowns--ask Sheryl--ask Kate--ask the first wife and mother to his tribe--I'm sure their answers are the same as mine--clown, clown, and, yes, you guessed it, clown.

I came eye to beady eye with one of these knuckleheads this past Saturday.  Sadly, my impressionable teen--the soon-to-be driver-was in the car taking all of my bad behavior in.  The kid never listens to a thing I say--usually.  On Saturday, had he a pen and notebook, my guess is he'd have taken notes.

Here I was driving east down 131st Street  (if you're not familiar--it's a two lane hilly highway--), minding my own business planning my holiday grocery list in my head--what can I say--I'm a multi-tasker.  I had just passed Our Lady of the Woods Church when my four eyes witnessed a bicycle scofflaw doing something Jesus would definitely NOT do.

There he was riding side-by-side with his lady--weaving between the roadway (i.e. the middle of MY lane) and gravel side of the road and back again.  If that weren't bad enough, he had earphones on--not the small earbuds either--but big ass headphones--like the kind one might wear if he was in the profession of landing planes--not take a leisurely ride through town.  Although, to be fair, one look at the "biker gear" he had on and you just knew this ride was probably anything but leisurely...this guy took his "sport" to the extreme.

As I got closer I gave the brakes a squeeze with my 8 1/2 EE as I headed toward the opposite lane of traffic to avoid this idiot.  And, like my parents before me had always done, I layed on the horn as I passed this clown, looked him straight in his beady little eyes, and mouthed the "effin" part (I had children in the car) right before I screamed the idiot part.  Got back in my lane and drove on.

Conversation in the car turned to me highlighting why I include bike riders on my "list" while I questioned why just because it has two wheels, why should the rider be exempt from following the simple rules of the road. These jerks were a menace...if you can't follow the rules-get off the road.  Ahead there was a red light by the Lutheran Church.  We stopped.  As we were sitting waiting for the green light, I caught a glimpse of what was coming up behind me in my side-view mirror.  Turn Green Damn It--Turn Green.  No such luck.

Speedy Gonzales had apparently kicked it into high gear, was heading for us at top speed and was at my back bumper--now he was at my passenger side window--he bent his head in the passenger side window and through labored breaths asked me if I had an "effin" (he did not mouth this word) problem.

Actually buddy, I've got several.  One--learn the rules of the road, if cars and motorcycles can't share a lane, what makes you think riding bikes side by side would be okay--Two--take off the flippin' headphones--Three--a helmet--with what looks like a street light sticking at least six inches past your nose--seriously??--Four--your goofy-assed-incredibly, way too incredibly too, too, tight shorts--(I pray you're married to the gal you're riding with, cause if this is a first date--it will more than likely be the last based on that outline)--Five--I would resort back to my first impression--you buddy, are an effin idiot.

One look at this yahoo and you knew his backstory.  Hearing the sound of his "nasal-like" voice and you'd be convinced.  I'd lay odds he was a child chubster who rode a Huffy while all the other kids on the block rode a Schwinn.  Over the years he embraced his "thin" self...and took up a life of good, healthy living.  Exercise of choice: BIKING.  Based on the Huffy in his past, he decided to get all the latest and greatest equipment.  Hey, the sky was the limit...and like most former chubsters/current health nuts, Speedy was probably one donut away from falling off the wagon when he turned his efforts toward his new found biking hobby and gave it 110 % of his effort.  If only those "Schwinn riding" bullies could see him now...he'd show them.

Sadly, I never got past reasons one and two--the light turned green and traffic began to move--I skipped right to reason number five as I pulled away and let him know that I knew he was a complete idiot...that's when he shouted -- wait for it--wait for it -- he shouted in his highest nasal-like voice  "EAT MY SHIT"--then he shouted it again--emphasis on the MY..."EAT MY SHIT".  Worst of all??  Not only did he suffer from a high-pitched-nasal-emphasised-voice...but he was a "lisper". 

Now I just wanted to pull over and ask this man--yeah--he was no youngster--at least forty something--perhaps knocking on fifty's door--one simple question.  Who the hell says THAT??  I expected an Eff YOU...maybe a Kiss My Ass...Bitch would not have been a stretch nor unwarranted.  But eat my shit--that's the best you can do??   Again, I ask, who says that?

I was not hungry, so I declined and drove on.

There are miles and miles of bike paths in the Palos/Orland/Tinley/Frankfort/Mokena/New Lenox area--why don't these clowns take advantage of those?  Our streets are so over-taxed with cars/trucks/motorcycles...there is no room or reason for bicycles--especially the ones ridden by the hard-core bicycle enthusiasts.  It's not like these riders are trying to get to work...nobody would keep his/her job let alone pride showing up and punching a clock wearing an outfit like that...and nobody punching a clock could afford equipment like Speedy was wearing/riding.

Amazingly enough, I woke this morning to news of the new bike law.  Poor bikers want their rights recognized by this law--seems the cars are crowding them on two-lane highways while their bikes are in the car's lanes.  Drivers face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine for such offenses.

I'm thinking about stocking up on Rules of the Road pamphlets to hand to bikers instead of honking next time.  If you ride a bike on a road you share with me and Betsy I think at the very least, you should stop when I have to, signal turns as I do, and, for Pete's Sake--stay in your OWN lane--like I must.  And if you can't follow these simple rules--head to a bike path where I don't have to be bothered by your complete ignorance.

If the future former governor would like my vote this fall, I'd ask him to consider this...instead of selling specialty license plates to pay for educating ME to be more aware of THEM...how about THEM buying a plate if they want to share the road with ME.  Maintaining a plate would require THEM to prove their knowledge/rules of operating  the "vehicle" they ride.

With the amount of Lance Armstrong Wannabes crowding the area roads--income from plate sales could be the answer to the state's economic woes.  I think I'm on to something, Mr. Governor...pass a law like this--I'm not sure I'd buy you lunch, but I might consider giving you a vote. 

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  • If the bike riders law breaking was so egregious, you should've called the police since the rider was endangering safety.

    Also, in case you didn't know, in Illinois it is THE LAW that bicyclists must ride in the street.

    Furthermore, in some cases bicyclists have to ride in the middle of a lane i.e. obstructions, potholes, etc. and this is legal under Illinois.

    Your story makes this rider seem like a jackass, which I'll assume he was, but before you rant off this post about "if you ride a bike on a road you share with me and Betsy I think at the very least, you should stop when I have to, signal turns as I do," then you should realize that bicyclists must follow the rules of the road.

    "When riding your bicycle on Illinois roadways, you must obey the same traffic laws,
    signs and signals that apply to motorists" http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a143.pdf

    Illinois Bike Tips
    http://www.dot.state.il.us/bikemap/safekids/safebike.pdf

  • I understand there are laws stating riders must abide by the rules of the road...my point is most in my neck of the woods don't seem to abide by them. Most of "these types" seem to congregate near the hilly, congested, two lane roads which don't offer bike lanes.

    The point of my rant is if they are not going to follow the rules of the road--they should consider a bike trail--our town/nearby towns offer miles and miles of these babies. Especially if their purpose is to break-in their new biking gear while trying out (if only in their minds) for the big bike race in France.

    I'll make copies of the above links and carry them along with the rules of the road pamphlets to pass along to the knuckleheads I am sure to encounter through the rest of the month.

    Thanks for the info.

  • In reply to jenlenks:

    Jen, (I apologize for the lenght of the following in advance. Some of it is merely redundant, because it was sent to so many that are suppose to do something, but didn't). There is a homicide involved so the statute of limitations doesn't apply.

    As an Illinois voter, ask yourself, "WHY"? It wouldn't be because I'm telling the truth and can prove it with, "HARD EVIDENCE", would it?

    Here's reason number 76,"Why not to vote for Quinn"!

    The Chicago Now removed the, "SUBURBAN BLOGGERS WANTED", request and replaced it with, "REAL ESTATE".

    The media have attempted to keep this information under wraps, and since the Chicago Tribune runs Chicago Now, they have acquiesced to, "GOOSE STEP", along with the hierarchy.

    I have developed a method to combat unemployment and world hunger, but it's been kept in the dark, because of the, "DIRT", I have on Illinois politicians, (concealing a homicide and the Blackmailing and extortion of my famlies business. If this Blog gets through to you or anyone else, you can reach me at, j.mike214@yahoo.com. Mr. Greenfield of the Chicago Now staff saw fit to remove the ones from suburban bloggers wanted, but there are still two on, the Lowe Down, under Quinn and the traffic lights, which I will copy for you at the end of my pertinate information. If you or someone you know fancy's themselves a writer, this will be very lucrative to you, and them. Here we go!

    Ms. Hoke, (Chi Now Staff Member)

    Would you like to help the voters of Illinois, the unemployed, and help fight world hunger? If so I can meet with and show you all of the evidence the people surronding you have tried to keep quiet. I will appreciate a positive answer, ASAP. It will the biggest project you ever tackle and the rewards will be lucrative.

    If you don't believe what I say is the truth, sit down in Ms. Holt, Mr. Kern and Rich Kogan's office and say, "Tell me about Mr. Jenne, Venice Gas & Oil Co. and his contact with the three of you. You'll see from the E-Mail, (aka. EVIDENCE MAIL), how Ms. Kern was touting their, "WATCH DOG PROWESS", then, "BOOM", who is,"He", what kind of "Evidence", "Who's involved"? "SILENCE"! Just try to get them on the phone or answer an E-Mail.

    Now everybody take a deep breath. Every day one of you people don't do anything, 27,000 more children die due to starvation or disease!

    Read on.

    Dear Mr. Kern, 11/22/09

    Here's something to sink your teeth into. It contains a homicide and fraudulent tax returns, so the statute of limitations is out the window. The people involved will read like the Who's Who of Illinois' leaders.

    11/22/09

    Thanks for your e-mail, which I will share with Gerry Kern and our investigative team. We

  • In reply to jenlenks:

    >In signing the "Share the Road Bicycle Law", the future
    >former governor promises the bicyclist's rights ar
    >guaranteed. Bikers rights? What about mine--the member
    >of the car driving crowd--trying to work my way around
    >these jackasses, while managing to keep dear old Betsy
    >on "my side" of the road?

    My understanding of this law is that it increases penalties against drivers who steer their car dangerously close to bicyclists to threaten them. In other words, it protects the cyclists rights to not have their lives threatened by psychotic drivers. Are you saying that you should have the right to threaten their lives with your car?

    What rights do you think that you have that are being violated? Bicyclists do have a right to be in the road. It is my understanding that they are legally prohibited from riding on the side walk in Illinois. A lot of them are commuters and need to get to work and to school or back home. Is it really that difficult to get around a bicyclist? In over three decades and over half a million miles of driving, I've never found it to be difficult. However, at age 15, while taking drivers education, I was taught to expect them to be in the road and to leave them a decent amount of space when passing. I think it's largely a matter of expectations. If you expect them to not be in the road, then you have the wrong expectation.

    As you might surmise from the three decades of driving, I'm no kid. I got into bicycling long before Lance Armstrong was famous. I am deeply offended by the suggestion that I'm a Armstrong wannabe. I was riding racing bikes before he could get his legs over the top of one.

    You say that most bicyclists in your area don't follow the rules of the road. I've noticed that most drivers don't either. Most speed. Most roll stop signs and right turns on red. Most won't yield to a pedestrian in a cross-walk if they think they can bully the pedestrian. I could go on and on. We'd all be a lot better off everyone followed the rules, but lets not pretend that it's just bicyclists breaking the law. That doesn't excuse a cyclist breaking the law (at all) but it does show your obvious prejudice. You say they should consider a bike trail as an alternative, but bike trails often don't get them to work or to school or home. Maybe drivers should consider only driving on closed race tracks?

    I hold down a job wearing and I bike clothes into work. I even have a good paying job. I'm getting close to six figures. I'm well educated. I have a degree in a technical field from one of the top academic universities in the country. Lots of bicyclists do. I wear bike clothes because my commute is long and so I sweat a lot, even in the winter. I go into work. I drink a bunch of cold water, towel off, and go change clothes. The last three places I worked t before this even had showers at the facility so I'd shower before changing. It's never really been an issue for anyone.

    Bike clothes make a bicyclist more aerodynamic, which allows us to ride faster with less effort. They are also made of material that reduces the tendency to chafe. If you had ever done any long distance riding, you'd understand why we wear the clothing. It's not to "look cool". A lot of us don't think it looks cool at all. It's just a lot more comfortable and utilitarian. You wouldn't call a hockey player a wannabe because he wore pads and a face mask while playing hockey would you?

    Riding two abreast is not necessarily a bad thing, depending upon the conditions. According to all of the top safety experts, if the right lane is too narrow to be safely shared by a bicycle and a car, including a safe passing distance between them, and from parked cars if present, then the bicyclist is safest if he takes the lane so that drivers do not get the impression that they can pass within the lane, which is very dangerous when there is not enough room. There are cases where there isn't enough room for a bike and a car, but there is enough room for two bikes. Which would you rather have, two bikes side by side or two bikes single file in the middle of the lane? You'll be able to pass the two-abreast riders more quickly.

  • In reply to jenlenks:

    Dear Jenl,

    I ride my bike every day to run errands like grocery shopping, running to the bank or doctor's office or getting my kids to and from school. By LAW, I am required to ride in the street. I follow the rules of traffic--as all cyclists are required--by signaling turns, stopping at traffic lights and stop signs, etc.

    When conditions warrant it (like when there is no shoulder, there is a high curb, or there is a large pothole, flooding, snowdrifts, glass or what have you) I legally should--and WILL--take over the right most through lane of traffic. Cyclists have the right to the road. They also must abide by the responsibilities of that, namely following traffic laws. Your target had the legal right to ride alongside his companion, according to IL law. And he also had the right to ride on the road and not on a gravel shoulder. By LAW, you are required to pass cyclists as if they were another car: with at least 3 feet of clearance and by moving into the opposing lane of traffic, if you need to. Why this is such an inconvenience to you I don't understand.

    Trails are great for recreation, but realistically, how are you going to use that trail to do your grocery shopping or run errands? That's what streets are for--allowing you to get where you need to go.

    Helmets are not required by law in IL. Nor in any other state (although some small towns require them for kids under the age of 12).

    And just for the record, so you don't dismiss me as some "clown" (since you obviously figured out that bike guy's entire life story based on a 10 second encounter while in a moving vehicle), I am the quintessential 'soccer mom'. I live in the South Suburbs, serve on the PTO at my kids' schools, coach a kids' sport team, sing in the choir at church, vote in every election and otherwise try to be a good citizen. I live with my husband, three kids (including a teenage boy, like you) and two pet turtles. We are not vegetarian nor vegan. Yes, we sometimes eat at McDonald's and shop at WalMart. I don't wear spandex to ride my bike, I wear normal clothing.

    I also try to role model the behaviors that I want my kids to learn... like not honking at anyone I don't happen to like on the road or swearing in front of my kids.

    Maybe if you rode a bike or took a walk with your teenage son, out in the fresh air and sunshine, you could improve your relationship with him and wouldn't feel so much anger toward the world at large.

  • All users of roads should follow the rules. I wonder if you drive the speed limit all the time, and if you occasionally roll through stop signs. I can't speak for every driver, but it seems like most bend or break the rules regularly. I wonder why it causes you so much anger when someone on a bike does it. I don't see any recent stories about how drivers all drive over the speed limit, or routinely go through stop signs without stopping completely. Where's the tirade there?

    Bikes are entitled to use the roads just as much as automobiles. And bikes are not prohibited from riding on roads without bike lanes. The fact that you can't learn to share and just go around without losing your grip on sanity amazes me. What did the rider you passed cost you, all of 20 seconds? Granted, he doesn't seem like he kept his calm either, but all of this anger gets us nowhere. And for your information, I pay the same taxes you do, and you don't own the road any more than the rest of us.

  • I wish we could all hold hands and sing Kumbaya...but one question first--perhaps I wasn't entirely clear--I must be old school--I look at bike riding as a relaxing activity...so I must ask--What is exactly relaxing about wearing a goofy outfit while pedaling up and down two-lane roads trying to avoid potholes and other various obstacles while cars and trucks are flying by at the posted 55MPH speed limit...when a perfectly cool bike trail is a mere block away?? It just doesn't make sense.

    I agree with you Chuck--all users should abide by the rules--but it rarely happens...I see police cruisers issuing tickets to many four wheeled vehicles and the citizens driving them--I've yet to see a ticket being issued to a bicycle rider--that was the point of my plates for bikers idea...if they were registered, maybe they'd be held accountable.

    I'm not really that angry, really...just observant.

  • "And, like my parents before me had always done, I layed [sic] on
    the horn..." I guess it is true; bad behavior, including driving, is learned. Unfortunately for all of us that share the road, you're raising another ill-mannered generation of road rage warriors.

  • Jen, the antagonists of this issue most definitely do not originate from one side or the other. However, the sometimes horrid end results of conflicts between motor vehicles and cyclists ALWAYS boil down to one simple formula: Motor Vehicle > Cyclist.

    As an avid cyclist, I too curse (to myself) the boneheads with headphones on riding two abreast when unnecessary. I hate seeing cyclists without helmets on as well. Now, a helmet never in the history of their invention has ever prevented an accident, but it surely will give your head more than a cantalope's density if and when it ever hits the ground. I feel bad for these folks who don't realize the severity of even the slightest impact with the ground and the impact it could have on their family, career, and heaven forbid.....lives.

    Collectively, I hate the overall stereotype that they build for the rest of us out there on the road. You know...... the helmet wearing, single file, no headphone wearing, law abiding cyclists that hug our small portion of the road (yep, we do exist) Drivers actually look shocked sometimes when I come to a complete stop at a sign or light. It's actually more entertaining than intentionally agitating them. Actually, you've probably mistaken one of us as one of the bozos that you so vividly profiled in your entry. Just as you have had negative run-ins with goofballs, any law abiding cyclist could tell you ten other instances of some bozo in a car endangering their life for the simple sake of thrill, to prove a point, or plain and simple dominance. Boneheads apparently don't have a preferred vehicle of choice.

    On a more humorous note; what is the yelling out "Go Lance", or "Look it's Lance". Now, I never have witnessed a person lean out of a car to yell out a comment about Michael Jordan when encountering a street-side basketball game. An exclamation of "Hey, it's Pele" when coming across a soccer match. And I certainly don't scream "Hey Donna Reed!" into every mini-van I see at a stop light or "It's Larry the Cable Guy" into every pick-up truck (Calm down fellas, I drive a pick-up truck!) So why is the Lance thing such a popular correlation for motor vehicular insults? You really want to throw off a serious bonehead cyclist? Look up another top ten twenty rider's name in the Tour De France (currently on through July) to use in one of your insults and watch their head tilt in confusion. I'm serious, I'd just love an answer to the Lance phenomenon. Help a guy out?

    The clothing we wear, tight as it is, dramatically helps cut down wind resistance. Trust me, if you did a 70 mile ride in cycling bib shorts and then the same the next weekend in Old Navy cargo shorts, you'd be lovin' the "nut huggers". Also, cycling shorts have the same elasticity of football shorts, and even some baseball uniform pants. Never many comments about the overweight weekend mush pounder / softball warrior?

    Goofiness aside, their are many of these "Lance Wannabees" that actually DO race in the area Chicago bike racing circuit. They are well aware that they very well will or may never hold a candle to a guy of such stature in the cycling world. However many of these vivid uniforms are being worn by some really astounding athletes from the area that can and actually do make it up into the semi-pro and even sometimes pro ranks. And, you may wonder, why are these uniforms so vivid and elaborate? Many times SO THEY CAN BE SEEN! Also, there are some good corporations our there that pay good money to sponsor these guys and also want to be visible. So Lance they may not be, but I'm sure he even had his fare share of insults on his way up the ranks on the streets of Austin.

    All I'd ask a motorist to think about when encountering a cyclist (good or bad) is this. Whatever you'r about to do or say when passing or getting ticked off by irresponsible cycling....Would you do the same if you both were both pushing grocery carts at Jewel and the nut hugger cut you off with his vegan selections in tow???? Don't use your vehicle to bully regardless of being in the right or not. You have an airbag and are encased in a steel cage. The bonehead, if he has a few bucks, is sitting on a piece of molded carbon fiber. I could tell you stories of motor vehicles carelessly rolling into closed course cycling events and killing cyclists while racing. You can't put all boneheads on bikes. And as Chuck said above, usually a twenty second inconvenience regardless of situation? There's nothing worse than someone passing me inches off my shoulder, only to be held up by a stop light a half block up the road....... Breathe. Let's all unite to mock the kayak crowd, ;).

    BTW, Governor Quinn is a bonehead. I think this is the first thing he's done to actually turn my opinion of him toward the positive. Funny how the world works when it comes to opinions. Eh, Jen?

  • guilty as charged...:)

  • JDG123--I appreciate your response--and after reading what you have to say I can understand both sides of the street so to speak. Truth is there are clowns in all walks of life be it on a bicycle, behind the wheel, pushing a shopping cart. I never really understood the intreague of riding a bike w/cars and trucks buzzing by while avoiding rocks, roadkill, and other assorted obstacles--the joy in it escapes me.

    But after reading what you had to say, I promise from this day forward to remember not to bully with my car.

    I didn't realize people shout out to "Lance" while you ride--now that makes me laugh. I noticed the phenomenon years ago as I traveled to and from a hospital in the Western Burbs one summer during Lance and his big wins...I noticed every man on a bike (trust me there were many that particular July) had any color shirt any other day, but every Sunday--it was yellow. Now that I know people shout it out--it makes me laugh even harder. I'd guess like Tiger and golf the same is true of Lance and bikes...but I understand your question when you mention no one ever yells Jordan at a court--I guess you "bikers" just bring out the best in us drivers.

    Thanks for the feedback, I do appreciate it.

  • In reply to jenlenks:

    Jen, while you have a very salient point when it comes to your ire regarding cyclists who don't follow the rules of the road, I think that ripping petty stuff like what we wear to ride doesn't really help to foster safe behavior and better commuter-relations.

    After all, I am a woman, and I wear 'nut-huggers' to commute to and from work in the summer. They are actually cycling shorts, with a padded chamois sewn in the crotch.

    I don't harbor any crazy illusions that I'm Lance Armstrong, but I do enjoy feeling healthy due to my daily cardio, and watching the pro athletes do their thing during events like the Tour de France. I also sense that every time I'm on the street - motorists are watching me to see if I do something annoying/dangerous... and now that I've read your post, I'll be more careful, realizing the degree of road rage out there.

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