Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Say it Ain't So...

Well...had a good and bad day today....Good day because I finally got the cover of The District Weekly. It's a real minimal photo of the side of Acres of Books building. They also used quite a number of photos from that session in the article. The joy, however, was a bit short lived after I saw this anti-bike invective by Steve Lowery:
I’d like to continue on the cycling tack and say a few words about cyclists: I hate them. I don’t mean the top-notch, racer types; I mean the losers who think they are top-notch, racer types and insist on riding by you on the beach pedestrian/bike path yelling “On your left! On your left!” as if pedaling faster is going to make the wife come home. And then there’s the lot that likes to pretend they have every right to share the road with the adults in the cars. Look, just because you have a beverage-holder on that thing DOES NOT MAKE IT A CAR. And what is the deal with the clothes? Look, I get that you want to be visible, but dressing up in what appears to be Liza’s laundry-day duds only makes people want to hit you more . . . unless it’s Pride Week in which case You go, girl!

I've met Steve and he's a nice guy and I know this part of the magazine is meant to wind some people up, but it was still a bit irksome. So, I shot off this letter to the editors.

Dear Editors,
I have to say I was a bit mortified by Steve Lowery's comments regarding cyclists in the last issue's Vector Control especially when he wrote that he "hates them." There are lots of things to hate in Long Beach, like the Minute Men screaming in front of St. Lukes, the breakwater, the RDA, but cyclists? Those are words that I would expect from a yahoo in a pickup truck or the Traffic Engineer's office.

I can understand the disdain for the Tour of California, it was a lot of sizzle and no steak, but don't take it out on people that are just trying to do something good. I ride because I enjoy it, because it is good for the environment and because I have a brother in Iraq. When I'm on the street I'm not trying to be a car, I'm simply being a vehicle. As a vehicle I have the full and legal right (CVC 21202) to occupy the traffic lane (not the "car" lane) and to even take up the entire lane if I feel that it is necessary for my safety.

It's hard enough to ride day in and day out in traffic with people who would rather play with their iPhones than pass me safely on the street. I don't need another publication, especially The District, which I held in high regard, fueling the anger and ignorance against cyclists.

In a way Steve Lowery is right, Long Beach cyclists, the real ones that ride day in and day out not the "top-notch racer types", were the biggest losers from this whole embarrassing affair. Many biking advocates were bandied around city council meetings and planning meetings to demonstrate just how bike friendly Long Beach is. We were promised a Bicycle Action Team, the city staff seemed more than willing to try to make Long Beach the bike friendliest city in the US, for a few brief weeks we felt that we were finally being heard.

Of course, after all the bleachers were taken down and the lycra was neatly put away so were any intentions of carrying out the Bicycle Master Plan.


Henry said...

Nice letter to the Editor. Thanks for voicing concerns for people who bicycle. Great job!

Drew said...

Well said!

db said...

Nice response. Now go key Lowery's stupid car.

GhostRider said...

Great response to the paper...firm without going off on a rant! Great work!

Anonymous said...

Spot on. Perfect response.

Anonymous said...

good job