If you haven't checked out Facebook recently, there is a new controversy brewing because of the group There's A Perfectly Good Path Next to the Road You Stupid Cyclists.
The quote on the main page of the group reads
"No matter how far to the left you are, you're taking up my road. My car is hard, and I am not slowing down!"
An ignorant statement that has sparked a lot of reaction from people for and against cycling.
The reaction from cyclists and athletes alike has been as you would imagine, outraged. The group is being called a hate group and a counter group was started to have the original group removed.
I am a cyclist, I understand the outrage, I have been hit by a car and there isn't a ride I have ever been on when I am not feeling intimated by a car, however, is this a hate group? Or the effect of a frustrated/ ignorant motorist.
I surfed around Facebook a bit and searched for the N word, as well as other racially offensive words, including Skinhead, Nazi, Fag and Hate and came up with nothing that would fall under the offensive or hate category. Facebook does a pretty good job of keeping everything PG-13.
So is this a hate group or the result of the ongoing feud between the Hatfields and the Mccoys? Is it a part of the hyper sensitive times we live in where fat people are calorie challenged, Alcoholic are Anti-Sobriety Activist, Bald men are folically independent and bloggers considered journalists. We all need to relax when it comes to the bikes vs. car issue.
Unless we are living in Norway (where the bikes out number the cars) we are always going to have tension between bikes and cars. I have to admit there have been times where my biking brothers have pissed me off riding 4 wide on Sheridan road, ignoring the rules. However, that's where it ends, I get mad, internally, I don't lash out or react with violence.
Cars are weapons.
I spoke to several police departments including Sgt. David Miller of the Kenilworth Police Department and the answer was the same, "A car is considered a weapon. If it can range from aggravated assault to aggravated battery and a possible felony charge if you threaten or hit a cyclist." Sgt. Miller ads, "if a cyclist is killed, it can be reckless homicide. It's a dangerous practice and should never be an option."
A felony. Possible jail time, loss of your job, family and kids, because you had to wait to pass a group ride. Truly not worth it, as Christopher Thompson a former emergency room physician recently learned found when he was was sentenced to five years in prison in Los Angeles for "mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon." Thompson swerved his Infiniti in front of two cyclists and then slammed on the brakes last year, seriously injuring the two cyclists. At the scene of the incident, Thompson had told a police office that he intended to teach the cyclists a lesson. He was also overheard on a 911 call ordering one of the injured cyclists to get his bike out of the road.
As far as There's A Perfectly Good Path Next to the Road You Stupid Cyclists, there is nothing in the INFO page, no real call to action, most of the photos are car negative and the discussion posts have mostly been taken over run by pissed off cyclists.
I reached out to the founder of the group as well as several members and never received a comment or response. The message of the page is wrong. Anything that threatens violence to any group should be taken down, if it's cyclists, runners, Amway salesmen, violence ain't the answer, on either side of the road.
So is this in fact a "hate group?" Let's hear your comments about There's A Perfectly Good Path Next to the Road You Stupid Cyclists. Should it be removed? is there a point to what they are trying to say, or is it a group of crazies?
To me it goes back to what we learned in kindergarten-"be nice, share and if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Lets hear your thoughts. Leave them below.
On the following page you check out an an excerpt from a conversation between a person for the group and a person against.
These are a few examples of the back and forth happening on the Facebook page There's a perfectly good path right next to the road you stupid cyclist!
If the Creator of this Group is around, I'm trying to get your attention. I'D LOVE TO HELP.
I want you to make me an Officer so I can start taking out the trash,
removing the cyclonazis sent here to annoy us, clearing out their
crappy photos and discussions.
It time to TAKE BACK OUR GROUP.
suck it fat ass.
ur an arsehole! hope theres a truck out there with ur name on it..world would be a better place without ya!
Isn't it the worst when some jerk who thinks he's on the indy track
buzzes you with no clearance only to get to the next red light? Where's
the fire, buddy? Is your wife in labor? Slow the f#ck down, I'm just
gonna pass you at the next light again. Admit it, you're just jealous
because we're having more fun...