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Feeling a little taller
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got this message from one of the Yahoo Groups I subscribe to:

This isn't a problem for our group, but could be for some of the larger organized rides in the area.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/dailyreview/localnews/ci_9671308?source=rss <http://www.insidebayarea.com/dailyreview/localnews/ci_9671308?source=rss>

"The cyclists often clog narrow roads at unexpected times, dump litter and take restroom breaks at inappropriate places"

I really wish the media wouldn't print crap like the
above statement.
It seems like bikes, both road and mountain are getting crapped on here in the East Bay and in the Bay Area in general. I think it's time that we all got more involved in making our voice heard.

In this case, gripes about the article can be sent to the author: [email protected]. Some of the letters I have seen so far:

Karen -

I enjoyed your article on group bicycle rides. It was interesting to note, though, that quotes and comments appeared to be biased against cyclists. For example, County Supervisor Nate Miley's comments were essentially a thinly veiled criticism of cyclists "unfairly burdening" drivers on rural roads.

Have you or Supervisor Miley ridden a bicycle on a rural road and had a BB gun shot at you? Or a beer can thrown at you? How about just having racist or homophobic slurs yelled at you from a T-top Camaro?

It is important that we not let motorists who drive on rural roads get a chance to gain favor with the public through articles such as yours without those of us on bicycles who, incidentally, pay just as much for using the roads via taxpayer dollars as anybody else, characterized as "irritating residents living along the roads," "dumping litter," or "taking restroom breaks at inappropriate places."

Many motorists commit acts at least as egregious as those that you have characterized cyclists as having committing. And don't you think that referring to groups of riders as "bands of cyclists" is inflammatory?

I look forward to seeing the other side of the story reported soon.
and

Karen,
I read your recent article on InsideBayArea.com. I'm writing to let you know I think you provided an unreasonably biased point of view, particularly with the following statements: "For years, bands of bicycle riders have irritated residents living along rural roads. The cyclists often clog narrow roads at unexpected times, dump litter and take restroom breaks at inappropriate places, the residents have claimed during a decade of meetings with elected and appointed Alameda County representatives."

This charaterization portrays bicyclists as a bunch of lawless pirates who terrorize any community they pass through. I don't think this is correct or fair. I beleive most bicyclists are good, honest and upstanding citizens. As with anything, there are likely a few who do litter and releive themselves in peoples' lawns. However, it isn't reasonable to sterotype all cyclists based on the actions of a few. It's unfortunate that the proposed law does the same thing, punishes the masses for the transgressions of a few. Rather than creating new laws, based on inaccurate sterotypes, that are blunt instruments which infringe on the rights of many to deal with the bad behaviors of a few, perhaps we should enforce the laws already on the books that address the problem behaviors you mention. Or, is the real motivation behind this proposal to create private roads which are paid for by public dollars?
 

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Banned
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wow

That is very weird. Very lame. What if a bunch of cars, no, thousands of cars all decided to drive to SF from somewhere like, oh let's say Walnut Creek, at a certain time. Oh, wait, thats called a commute.....Do they need a permit to drive en mass?

And what if two or three groups of 45 riders all of a sudden merged onto a road at the same time? Oh not that!

Better yet, for those who hate bikes, propose a law which bans any form of transit on public roads which is not propelled by some form of internal combustion engine or powerful electric motor.

At least that would solve the issue of the cyclist stopping for a pee in the bushes.....

That is such a stupid proposal, it is sad to see that in America.
 

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Uncle
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4,389 Posts
The only "cycling events" I've ever and will ever attend are SOC, Cool and MTBO. If while riding among other cyclists, I'm asked what event I'm riding with, I'll reply by saying, "This isn't a group ride... It's a henweigh. I have no idea who all of these other cyclists are." :)
 

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It's about showing up.
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12,738 Posts
I'm seeing that road users

are concerned for large groups of riders. I can't dismiss it as simple hate. Large groups of riders can essentially parade and clog roads. The management of large groups is generally left to the whim of the group and it's riding stye. I think it very fair to say that groups can and do wander outside what is safe and reasonable and can create hazards with their numbers. Up around Vacaville and Davis riders stop in the road on the other side of blind turns and hills. It is amazing how stupid they can be. As for the nature breaks...who can deny that those occur or the tossing of food wrappers.
Frankly I can't really object to the criticisms and to deny them is ingenuous. No one is asking for private roads; riders have dug their own hole.
 

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I somewhat agree with the proposed permit. 50+ riders is not a group ride, but rather an organized event. 50 riders are pretty much commissioning the road for themselves at that point. Isn't there some adage about sharing the road?
 

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3D guy
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339 Posts
What about the group of 50 classic cars out for a drive, or a group of 12 motorcyclist? Are these also affected, they " clog narrow roads at unexpected times, dump litter" but likely can drive to the next bathroom. Seems a narrowly focused proposal designed to remove folks that residents do not particularly like.
 

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Feeling a little taller
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6,705 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The second letter that I quoted above got a response from the writer:
thank you for writing, and for reading the article. I tried contacting the Cherry City Cyclists of San Leandro before publication, but did not receive a response. Cherry City Cyclists is the largest bicycling organization in our circulation area. I write for the Daily Review, which is based in Hayward. I did mention the long-term efforts of the Est Bay Bicycling coalition to revise some of the language in the ordinance, including the elimination of the 50-cyclists threshold, and the removal of the term 'bicycle event.' I cover unincorporated areas for the Daily Review, of which Castro Valley is a part, and that is why I reported the information about the bicycle ordinance, which was presented at a Castro Valley meeting. If the bicycle ordinance comes up again as part of my beat assignment, I will try again to get comments from a bicycling organization, the names of which have been provided to me by other e-mailers. The county reporter for our chain of newspapers may cover the ordinance when it goes to the board of supervisors for a final vote.
Karen Holzmeister
I would be willing to bet that the Roadie contingent of the Cyclepath Hayward store is larger than the CCCs overall and if you combine that with the Cyclepath MTB'ers they are larger for sure.
 

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-_-
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We could just fling crap back...

Monkey Style??

I'm gonna think about skateboarding again, this political/social b.s. in the East Bay Area's getting annoying, people need to get a life and try to enjoy the outdoors themselves more and see we're all the same, well, except we're not putting idiocity in news style print for all to see.

Con one friend or neighbor, each weekend to go for a fun little spin with you, create a positive grass-roots movement, that'll add to the growing commuter population.

Fight opposition with impression, friendship, and camaraderie, Create a positive showing and the Chi will flow, or something like that. ;)
 

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Hi everyone,

May I offer my input. Please rest assure that I love bikes, and have been riding mountain, and some road bikes for the past 15 years.

While leaving Demo this past wknd, on a stretch between Soquel San Jose rd and Highland intersection (a country road), a group of four road cyclists took over the entire lane of a 2 lanes road.

Being a narrow road with many blind spots, I cannot make a safe pass. For little less than a mile, the four cyclist rode side by side in two and did not let me pass them in the lane direction I was going. From my road riding days with cycling clubs, we always ride in single profile, especially when there is a car following behind you for a mile distance. I flashed my high beam once to let them know I am behind them. I didn't honk because I too am a cyclist and I try not to honk at other riders when I drive. Eventually I passed after the leader made a hand signal to the group to move to the side.

Second incident. On a wkday about a year ago, I was in point Reyes returning from a picnic. On a narrow stretch of 2 lane country road, a pair of cyclist were riding side by side. Speed limit at that location is 25mph. On an uphill where the cyclist could not maintain 25 mph, she stayed on the road with my car behind her during the entire uphill duration. My wife wanted to press the horn and was upset already. I pushed her hand off the steering wheel horn and explained to her that as a cyclist I very much do not wish to horn another cyclist off the road. This again was on a country road.

Perhaps I will leave my response at this.
 
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