Some poor souls still can't seem to wrap their minds around the concept, though, and even get so twisted in their ignorance and anger that they resort to completely mind-boggling outbursts like the one aired on WJJO the other morning. I'll let the venerable Bike Snob of NYC take it from here, as he does a far better job of commenting on the incident than I could ever do:
Basically, some guy with a goofy Harry Shearer radio voice says he's sick of bicyclists, or "spandex cowboys." He then segues into some skit which is a parody of a hunting show, in which the host goes to the "Wisconsin Bicycle Trail of Death," where he kills bicycles instead of deer "because we feel they're flamers and they should be shot at!" He then launches into some weird homoerotic reverie in which he positions himself near someplace "gay and retarded" because that's where cyclists like to congregate. Once he spies some effeminate male cyclists, he then shoots them and excitedly declares that he "bagged me a nancy boy!" Then the host comes back and says that "if motorcyclists...if we did what bicyclists do we'd be in jail and our bikes impounded." Then they go to commercial.You should read the rest of his response, because it's both spot-on and hilarious. You can listen to the actual radio broadcast over at madvelocity.com.
Clearly, we've all still got a long ways to go on this issue. Which is sad, considering we're talking about people's ability to be somewhat safe while traveling. This should all just be a given. But the same could be said of the homophobia so clearly on display in the radio spot, too.
Madison recently took a step in the right direction by passing a (long overdue, in my opinion) ordinance that "made it illegal for someone to open the door of a parked or standing vehicle into traffic without checking to make sure it’s safe." It also "makes it illegal for someone to leave a door open facing traffic for an unreasonable time."
Both requirements seem perfectly logical to me, but that didn't stop an absolute shit-storm of virulently anti-cyclist comments from cropping up in response to the article about the ordinance.
It's frustrating as all hell because the comments weren't really about the content of the article and ordinance itself, but rather people using it as an excuse to vent their spleens about the few cyclists they have (or maybe haven't) seen bending or breaking laws. But you know what? I see motorists doing the same crap all the time. Do I think it means they're all scum, not deserving of space on the roadways I share with them? Nope. It means I think those who break laws and put other people's safety in jeopardy, no matter their mode of transportation, should be held accountable. And I think the laws need to be better understood and enforced.
This kind of irrational hatred has no place in our society--not toward cyclists, not toward any group, period.