Day 16: Anti-cyclist violence

19 01 2010

I’ve been lucky since I started riding last summer. I’ve not encountered any crazy, run-me-off-the-road drivers while I’ve been out on rides. I’ve had cars buzz by me a little too close for my comfort, but I always try to be prepared as much as possible. Carrick has had (full) Coke cans thrown at her and a pedestrian spit on her while she waited for a stop light. Many cyclists encounter far worse. Jim Morrison said it best: “People are strange . . . ”

I’m planning a more in-depth post in the future about anti-cycling violence, but in the meantime I wanted to mention a Facebook group page I heard about recently. “There’s a perfectly good bike path right next to the road you stupid cyclist” apparently has over 30,000 fans. I won’t be joining this page, but according to an article on Streetsblog, the page encourages car-on-bike violence. One photo included on the site is of a crash where a drunk driver in Mexico killed one cyclist and injured more than 10 when he plowed his car into a group of cyclists riding in an organized race. The caption under the photo? “My way: get the f*ck out of it!”

Even more disturbing is the fact that Facebook doesn’t seem to think the page violates their Terms of Service. The Streetblog folks contacted Facebook who responded that they are “. . . sensitive to content that includes hate speech and/or actionable threats of violence. The goal of these policies is to strike a very delicate balance between giving Facebook users the freedom to express their opinions and beliefs, even controversial ones, and maintaining a safe and trusted environment . . . We’ve reviewed this group and determined that it doesn’t violate our policies.” WHAT?! I’m a card-carrying ACLU member and 100 percent support freedom of speech, but come on people – grow up!

If you’re as horrified as I am about this Facebook page, I encourage you to report the page as offensive. Or join the “HELP REMOVE this HATE GROUP against cyclists!” Facebook page. (Thankfully, this page has more fans than the hate group). Most of all – be careful out there and remember: don’t flip off or shout back to drivers who harrass you on your bike. Escalating the violence will only piss them off more.

Today’s starting weight: 151

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Organic whole wheat english muffin with Nutella = 294 cal.

Lunch:
— Jimmy John’s Slim Turkey sandwich = 401
— BBQ chips (bad, I know) = 160
— Diet Coke = 2

Dinner:
— Baked potato w/small amount of margarine = 163
— chocolate milk = 90

Snacks:
— 1 small apple = 77
— Organic toaster tart = 150

Exercise: 3.5 miles (30 minutes) on the bike trainer @ 11 mph (avg.) = 180 cal. burned

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