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Open Season on Cars

As it is now indisputable that the reckless driving and aggressive habits of Portland's motorists is life-threatening to bicyclists, it is demonstrable that bicyclists have a legal right to pre-emptive self-defense, and are therefore encouraged to carry firearms at all times.
Years ago, when I moved here, Portland seemed to have a reputation for being a nice, bicycle-friendly city. As time passed and the number of commuters choosing bicycling as an environmentally friendly, logically sensible transportation option has increased, the bad attitude of Portland's drivers has increased logarithmically. I am a cautious bicyclist: I signal my turns, I ride off to the side of the road with the parked cars and the broken glass, I look behind me before making any sudden moves. And yet, every day, some jerk tries to run me off the road. I get honked at, threatened, shouted at, and nearly hit by speeding vehicles, every time I ride my bicycle. I've had enough, so I'm declaring open war. That's right, war, motherfuckers! People in cars are endangering my life because they don't want to slow down for ten seconds until there's a good place to go around me. Too long has this gone on. I feel it is my right, and the right of every bicyclist, to retaliate in the only meaningful way that will similarly endanger their lives: taking potshots at them while they drive. I'll have to steer with my dominant hand, so my chances of actually hitting someone, while shooting at them with my other hand, will be roughly equal to their chance of hitting me when they pass me on a corner at 45 miles an hour and leave six inches between their side mirror and the side mirror of cars parked on the side of the road. It's only fair.
I agree with you - so many 27.Sep.2005 12:51

argh

people in cars are lunatics. It can be scary to ride a bike in this city and most others. I don't even feel that safe driving a car, with some of the other drivers on the road sometimes.

However, yesterday a crazy bicyclist swerved in the street for no apparent reason, and another car, trying to miss the bicyclist, ended up smashing into my car.

The message is: people in traffic, whether on bike or in a car, need to be cautious of others in the road.

understand you feelings, but... 27.Sep.2005 12:56

Expat

...think of all the innocent bystanders. Maybe you should talk to some couriers about their experiences with ball bearings. Of course, there's something to be said for remaining unarmed and keeping yourself as safe as possible under the circumstances (which often means shaking your head and riding away, as hard as that is most of the time). Concentrate on the big picture and try not to let cycling get as stressful as driving...(though again, I know how hard that can be).

a .45? 27.Sep.2005 13:29

AA

Maybe not... since you could get convicted of intent to kill or some such shit.

But...

A pellet gun might be a viable alternative. It would fuck their windshield or paint job and you would run very little risk of actually killing someone. A paintball gun would serve a similar purpose but is harder to conceal. You can get a pellet handgun almost anywhere for real cheap ;)

Well isn't that just peachy... 27.Sep.2005 13:38

Jesus Christ GOD of war

I'll accept your rage if the bike community at large will accept responsibility for accidents that they themselves cause. My wife and I are aware and concerned for cyclists in general. We keep an eye out for them to make sure we don't do something stupid. As a counterpoint to your rage, here's a short tale.

My wife was driving down Clinton around 28th headed west a few weeks ago. There's a traffic island in the middle of the road there that has plants growing on it which obscure the view of the street beyond. So imagine the surprise when a woman on a nice bike flew down the hill, blew the stopsign, came around the WRONG side of the island (violating traffic law), and landed in my wife's lap through the windshield just as she came around the circle. The cyclist got up, refused to share any information about herself, tried to straighten the forks, dusted herself off, and walked back up the hill, all the while telling everyone to leave her alone. In the meantime, I'm left with $2000+ in repairs that were caused by the cyclist! That's hit and run. True statement.

I don't understand militant cyclists any more than I understand equally militant automobilists. But whichever you are, be prepared to accept responsibility for what you do. Period.

Tranq 'em 27.Sep.2005 13:42

z3r0b0y

YOU WANT THE FIT TO HIT THE SHAN?

Use a Tranq gun

incitement 27.Sep.2005 14:05

applebonker

i'm an avid cyclist of 25 years. i agree that the driving habits of americans is a pathological nightmare. they are so intent on getting to 7-11 or wherever they would mow down their own grandmothers at 80 mph and just curse the b*tch for getting in their way. it is a sickening reality we have to face.

however i think your suggestion amounts to incitement to violence. i don't think making a martyr of any of these idiots is going to help us, not mention get a good bicyclist locked up as an example of how rotten we are. and of course, if you miss, you end up being no better than the average gangsta and will end up slaying some innocent kid.

no, i think the answer is we need to push for bicycle free neighborhoods. like no-smoking sections of restaurants, we have to draw the line and say "no motor vehicles enter here." once people see how paradisiacal our no-car areas are, they will end up spreading like mad.

as for immediate actions, well blowing up cars or burning them might result in a lot of the same problems mentioned above. how about renting the flick "rancho deluxe" and watching the scene where they take a 30 odd 6 shotgun and blow the crap out of a huge lincoln continental. very satisfying, man!

and think about it, the car is a dying paradigm. bicycles will sooner or later rule the world! let us just speed the process by doing all the right things. i am for car-free ring-roads, car-free neighborhoods, car-free entertainment districts, car-free shopping! we are going to kick their a** in terms of operating costs, sustainable development, ecological soundness, every way to Tuesday, baby!

as for the people slaving away like blubbery orcs to service their stinking, poison spewing, boxes of rust and toxins, i think of the flick "the warriors," and say: "can you dig it, suckas!"
freedom for bikes!
freedom for bikes!

cars are not bikes part 893 and other thoughts 27.Sep.2005 15:05

blackberry jam

JC, your counterpoint was not an apt comparison. When you or your wife are being run off the road by cyclists who were threatening your life as you were driving then you might have a comparable story to tell.

I've had the same thoughts, particularly when drivers are actively threatening my life. Sure, there are plenty of drivers who are just clueless and put the lives of others in danger (pedestrians, cyclists, people in cars, etc). But those that actively threaten me or try to harm people on bikes are those that are being referred to here. I remember not too long ago a bunch of guys threatened to run me down in their SUV as I biked in the bike lane I thought it was probably a good thing that I didn't have my gun because I probably would have shot out their tires. Though I think Expat has a point about remaining relatively unarmed (I dislike the thought of feeling compelled to carry my gun with me for protection).

While I think that there can be benefits to destructive energy I think I'm more with applebonker in terms of putting that energy into creativity. Cars will be going away, at least for traveling within the city and I like the idea of promoting areas where cars are not allowed so the area can be developed in a way that benefits the businesses and residents of the area. I tend to agree that these areas will spread like wildfire because people enjoy hanging out in places that are nice. Just imagine if the popular shopping and restaurant districts, where cars are a hindrance and unsightly were replaced with a pleasant and attractive landscape. Imagine where restaurants could offer more seating in front (without the sight/smell/feel of car traffic), people could stroll down grass paths adorned with trees and flowers, perhaps sit in the shade and enjoy the food from a vendor with a cart. The business of such districts would drastically increase, despite those with cars having to park a few blocks away.

Still, if someone tries to harm me with a car on a day that I'm armed, I make no promises about my response anymore than I would make a promise not to harm someone who threatened me in any other way. I'm a firm believer in the right of armed self-defense.

death 27.Sep.2005 15:27

not so friendly bicyclist

I am so sick of listening to people blame the bicyclists
I'm not the idiot who swerved in front of traffic; I'm the cautious bicyclist who nearly gets run over by idiots in cars, each and every day.
I can't just shake my head and ride away because too many more of these incidents and I will be a smashed, bloody corpse amid a twisted heap of metal.
Car drivers are reckless and irresponsible. If I shoot them, it's not murder, it's self-defense.

Wonky 27.Sep.2005 15:45

weatherman

Well this is go'n to get real interesting. Seems like y'all are go'n to have some v.interesting karma on your hands.

I tend to agree with JC and AB in paragraph 2. This thing can cut many ways. Be prepared for it come'n back on you if you dish it out.

green grassy areas 27.Sep.2005 16:14

a day in the park (with no cars)

blackberry jam, I like the way you think

interesting karma is not a bad thing 27.Sep.2005 16:49

karmaboy

Remember that even Gandhi (whose quotes are put forth so much, much to the discredit of the complexity of his statements) was quite clear that violent resistance is preferable to doing nothing (cowardice) in the face of violent oppression. However, he was also quite clear that there are often better solutions than violence to violence. The idea of separating car and bicycle traffic has always had a certain distaste to me. Too easy, perhaps, to slide into "separate but equal" and lacks a sense of moving forward (let's put our problem children in separate rooms rather than figuring out how to get them to play together). However, my observations as late, as recently as when I was walking around this afternoon is that many, many car drivers are very unhappy. And why shouldn't they be, being in a car sucks; we all know it's a terrible way to travel (though a necessary one at times). And many drivers look to blame their unhappiness on whatever is convenient: cyclists, other drivers, pedestrians, the roads, the government, whatever. So, now I'm thinking maybe it is best to begin to put car drivers with other car drivers and let them have a space that they can "fight" and create space for everyone else. Maybe it will work, maybe not, but it seems like an idea worth trying. And maybe the problem children do need to be separated to see the value in learning to play together and to be given time and space with which to do so.

Stop Elmer Fudd! 27.Sep.2005 16:55

Fredric L. Rice http://www.elmerfudd.us/

 http://www.elmerfudd.us/

Portland isn't the only fatal place to ride a bicycle. The whole frocking country is dangerous. The Stop Elmer Fudd web site looks at the SUV morons and the other associated mentality that comes with males purchasing a gas guzzleing surrogate penis.

I've had burning objects thrown at me, bottles, beer cans, had rightards swerve into the shoulder crossing the street to try to pretend they're going to hit me, and I've been shot at while sleeping in the canyons from rightard Elmers who didn't care whether anyone was sleeping in there at night, all they wanted was to masturbate while shooting into dark.

It all the same mind set. The clowns that knock bicycle riders off their bikes, run over bikers, throw things at them, it's all the same. SUV rightards have zero concern for anyone but themselves.

Time to arm up to fight back? No, because if you do, you'll never prove self defense. Even after they deliberately run you over, good luck trying to prove it was attempted murder. Unless you catch them on video deliberately trying to drive you off the road into a ravine, it's "an accident. So sorry. Insurance will take care of it -- or at least it would if I had any."

 http://www.elmerfudd.us/

this is war ! 27.Sep.2005 18:59

W.C. Fields

Perhaps forming coalitions with other 2 wheeled modes of transport or transports that weigh less
than 180 lbs, for instance. Get a transport weight law passed. Too many people are opting for gas powered scooters/mopeds to not include them in a coalition. Also, a person could make some decent money and take up the free time of a car driver by suing the police to enforce visible pollution laws. Yeh, I know this could be a frustrating path, but you're frustrated now and you could channel that energy elsewhere, like taking up the free time and money of a car driver. It is reckless endangerment or assault to poison somebody with noxious fumes. Just rig up some small video camera to get a shot of license plates and fumes and go to court. You might even force some aging beaurocrat to do their job for a change.
You and your bicycle weigh about 200 lbs, going about 20 mph with one horsepower and not polluting
the air and water. The car and the driver weigh 4000 plus pounds going 45 plus mph under 100 plus
horsepower while polluting the air and water. If government wants to be serious about environmental
health and safety, then government ought to pay people to ride bicycles and get rid of cars. However,
your comments were mostly about declaring war on cars. Okay, let's talk about war. I think you are
confused. Obviously you are a peace loving person because you ride a bicycle, but you have been pushed
too far (or have too many toxins in your liver and brain) and are choosing war instead of peace. By going out there with the war-like cars, you have made your first error. This is where you goofed. You want the roads to become something they will never be. Americans love their cars more than their liberty or rivers and oceans. The American car neurosis must run its course. So help it. Why don't you go into the NASCAR business, build a race track and charge people money to drive really fast and watch them crash into each other and burn up. The roads are a war zone and toxic, just like any war. The car weighs more and is stronger than you are on your bicycle. You are going to lose in a fight between your bicycle and a car. And a gun on a bicycle? What you want is an RPG or stinger missile. Heck, you could even take out a refinery with that.
Another thing you could do is just blow up as many cars as possible. This would add to pollution, just like all bombs, but you'd probably get a thrill out of the first few bombings. Good therapy. Still, the car manufacturers will be producing cars faster than you can blow them up, so that strategy would fail. I think you need to stay off the road and fight a different kind of war. You need to blow up the car manufacturers ! Some of these car plants are 1/2 mile long, so you are going to need a big bomb. I suggest a bunker buster or even learn how to create a tornado and steer it over the car plant which is the best choice of all, since the authorities would not be able to prove you did it and then you could move on to the next car plant target.
Another great target area for you is going to be the traffic jam. Car drivers are usually frustrated
during a traffic jam and they can't move fast. You could frustrate them even more by making fake
flyers advertizing cheap gas at some fictitious address. You can go faster on your bike than they can in a car during a traffic jam. Also you could create a traffic jam instead of waiting around for one to happen. Then release the tornado or bunker buster bomb into the jam.
It sounds like the person you're really pissed at is the driver who tries to run you down and yells at you while doing it. Most people who would do this to you are cowards. They won't do this to you when they are out of their car face to face with you. They're not going to get face to face with you, so since you are ready to declare war, why not get car to car with them. If you don't own a car now and can't afford one or the gasoline, take your gun and go steal a car and money from somebody who just tried to run down a bicycler. Okay, stun the driver and duct tape him so he can't escape. Go to an observation point of an intersection where a lot of cars and bicycles interact, then wait for somebody in a car to try to hit and yell at a bicycler (this shouldn't take long), then go crash into the rude car with the stolen car. Then shoot the driver of the car you just crashed into, remove the duct tape from the stunned driver and hide the gun in his car and stun 'em again for good measure, then call the cops. This will definitely scare the fuck out of all of the drivers and it will be a long time before they yell at another bicycler, you might not even get any jail time for that. Have you ever seen the movie "Road Hog" starring W.C. Fields. Check it out. Oh, you know I'm just kidding about all of this, or am I ?

Bad drivers 27.Sep.2005 19:19

Andy

You said:
"Years ago ... Portland seemed to have a reputation for being a nice, bicycle-friendly city. As time passed ... the bad attitude of Portland's drivers has increased logarithmically."


Could that have anything to do with the explosive influx of bad drivers from a certain arrogant state to the south that starts with a C?

Other than that, I want to caution you not to generalize and put every driver in the same category. There are many drivers who are extremely cautious, careful, polite, call it what you want. I'm a motorist and a cyclist, and while driving in my car I always treat a cyclist on the road the same way I would expect other drivers to treat me when I'm on my bike. When cycling I also try to avoid main arterials and go through calmer side streets and even "escape" to the sidewalk if there seem to be too many impatient motorists on the street I'm on. I also stop at red lights, and at least slow down and look at stop signs - something I've seen way too many other cyclists DON'T do.
And because of this last statement, I'm sure I'll be accused of trying to "blame everything on the bicyclists" now, right?

I hear ya, but there are better ways than a gun 27.Sep.2005 20:02

clever calculating cyclist

You know, I'm outside the Portland area, and where I live the drivers are pretty agressive. Nonetheless, I in my 6 years of riding have never gotten a gun. A messenger in one city told me to get a pool cue and weld brass on the end. That can do some damage to the car if push comes to shove. Never tried it. I did purchase at a bike shop though, a retracting steel rod. It retracts to about 6 inches. You draw it, whack it at the thin air, and the retracting part becomes fixed. Having something which could damage precious car paint or more makes some drivers stop and think before playing any "antics." Or if this is unattainable, even a mountain bike seat post works. I never used my toy to damage a car, and hope it never comes to that. It does help though to make yourself more than just some soft target primed to bounce off someone's hood. Just wanna let you know that there are other options than killing people. Killing people would be bad for you and possibly other cyclists. Just remember that car refinishing and dings in metal can be just as effective. The following is the story of one cyclist who considered the alternative you did. Here's the decision he made:

Spike Explanation
[In the year 1989, one man rails in futility against the tyranny of the automobile...]
Springtime in northern Illinois comes late, too late for me to wait for balmy breezes and sunny skies to begin hard training. I can't stand my wind trainer, and the trails are often too icy for off-road mountain biking, so I've been hitting the roads. Sometimes I can get a partner or two, but mostly, I'm out there by myself, friendless and defenseless. Just me and THEM.

In the winter of 1980, I quit smoking. A month or so later, I decided to do something about the ravages thirteen years of tobacco addiction had inflicted on my body. I considered jogging, nearly threw up on myself just thinking about it, and bought a bike instead. It was a 32-lb department-store superclunker, but it had ten gears and drop handlebars. It was to change my life forever.

I'd not had the bike for long before the pattern was set. One: I was hooked. Despite its massive, water-pipe frame, flimsy steel rims, 80-PSI gumwalls, pot-metal brakes, and all the other frailties junk is heir to, this amazing machine gave me a sense of freedom, an exhilaration I thought I'd lost along with childhood. I knew right away this was for me, and that I'd be doing it until the day I die. Two: I discovered that day could come prematurely. I'd already encountered some of THEM. I was thus forced to make a decision: I could cower in some health club, buy a set of running shoes, and let THEM dictate how I enjoy my free time, or I could defy the bastards and maybe get slaughtered in the process. As you all know, I took the latter option, and I've been living with it ever since.

Every year that decision gets harder and harder to live with. Every year I ride more and more miles, 4500 in '87, 6000 in '88. I've set a goal of 7500 for 1989, provided I survive. Every spring I think about the close calls of years past, about the impermanence of human flesh, and about the weak law of large numbers and all those goddamn CARS. Maybe only one driver in 100 gives me any real trouble, but there are so, so many of them. So many of THEM.

It gives me the heebie-jeebies when I think about it, so I don't think about it. I've made my decision, and I will not go back on it, the increasing risks notwithstanding. I'm not going to have my life run by a bunch of hotheads, rednecks, hell-raisers, and half-dazed morons who don't even watch the road half the time, let alone look out for bikes. I hate them. I hate them all. Mile after mile I ride on, seething with hatred and contempt, ever-vigilant and wary of every mechanical monster that comes within my sphere of awareness. Watch and hate. Listen and hate. I have to hate THEM, or they'll scare me out of my shorts. Hate is a strong emotion. Stronger, even, than fear.

Last spring I dropped into a local sporting-goods store to pick up a supply of those terrycloth sweatbands that vanish without a trace in the laundry. A display case in the store caught my eye: GUNS. There were hunting rifles, target pistols, even an imposing Redhawk .44 magnum. One piece in particular prompted a closer look: a double-action .38 Smith & Wesson revolver with a snub-nosed barrel. It was perfect. Small and easily tucked away in a jersey pocket, it could be drawn and fired in a split second without having to fuss with a safety catch or a receiving bolt. You could keep one hand on the handlebars to steady your aim. Perfect. And it could be had for a few hundred bucks, well within the means of any credit-card-carrying yuppie such as myself.

I don't know how long I stood there looking at it. The reality of that cold steel mingled with eight years' accumulation of a hatred that borders on paranoia, and something dark and ugly stirred within me. On the other side of the glass was a fistful of revenge, and all it would take was a little bit of paperwork and some of my disposable income, and it could be all mine. That thought scared the crap out of me. I quickly fled the gun department, bought a handful of the sweatbands I'd come in for, and left the store feeling very shaken. Days later, I was still disturbed about it. For just a moment, perhaps for just a split- second, I'd actually felt the impulse to do it, to call the salesman over, plop down my Visa card, and do something that would almost certainly ruin my life -- and could very well end it. I know now, as I realized then, that as long as I own a bicycle, I must not own a gun. Having made _that_ decision, I felt a whole lot better.

The incident brought into focus a peculiar problem, though. I need my hatred to give me the courage to ride, but I have too much of it left over, pent up. I needed an outlet. I'd already settled the matter of my carrying a gun, but it seemed such a shame to let the idea go completely to waste. I conjured an image of a man who'd made that decision the other way, and the result was a story called "My Wild Ride," which I posted to rec.bikes some time in May of last year. The character in that story was to disappear in the bursting bubble of a daydream, but he would return a few weeks later as Spike Bike. I already had the idea of a vigilante cyclist who would wreak vengeance on the dregs of motorized society. All I needed was the proper setting to put him in. In what sort of society might such a man emerge? I didn't have to think about that for too long.

I chose our own society of course, making just a few minor changes here and there. I had a little fun with it, getting ideas from current events: ruthless corporate takeovers, trade protectionism, political corruption, and rampant urban sprawl. But the central premise of the Spike series was the Bicycle Act of 1992, which formally strips cyclists of all the rights which have been informally stripped away already, i.e., now, in 1989. That's right, 1989. Now. Today. We have no rights.

Don't take my word for it. If you want to discuss your rights, ask that son of a bitch who just honked you, cut you off, and flipped you the bird. Ask Officer Rupp. Ask your State representative, who will dismiss you as a crank and subsequently ignore you. The only reason we get to ride at all is that there aren't quite enough of THEM to get bikes outlawed. The fact is, most people just don't give a damn one way or the other. Certainly not about us. But to the extent that's changing, it's changing for the worse. Bike bans are more and more prevalent, e.g., Sheridan Road here in Chicago. By 1992, there could very well be a law to get us off all the roads.

There may be some hope nevertheless. The Spike Bike series ends with his society moving in a positive direction. The bicycle becomes a symbol of opposition to the forces of Evil. Inspired by Spike Bike, people take to the roads in ever-increasing numbers, in spite of the risks. It's the same in our own society. If you want to be able to ride tomorrow, ride today, and take a friend with you. Better yet, take two friends, not people who ride all the time, but people who've, maybe, just quit smoking and are looking for a way to get in shape. You see, the more of US there are, the easier it will be to deal with THEM.

Spike began to understand this, too, near the end. He realized that one man could do little to change things, despite all his resources and skill. Benevolent creator that I am, however, in the series' climax I gave him an opportunity to be a real hero (and gave myself a neat way of wrapping things up). The world Spike saves is better than the one he shoots full of bullet holes; it is better, even, than the reality of 1989. Perhaps I'm an optimist, or perhaps I just don't like to tell depressing stories. You get enough of those from the Ten O'clock News.

The Spike Bike series was cathartic for me. I had something to get off my chest, and to all of you who enjoyed the stories and encouraged me to write more, I offer my heartfelt thanks. I'm no Hemingway. I'm just a hack engineer who harbors a frustrated writer within, and it's nice to have a way to let off a little steam, to indulge in a little fantasy, and know there's somebody out there who gets a kick out of it. It was fun. Thanks for coming along.

Spike Bike stories at:
 http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~mjh/spike.html

Further note 28.Sep.2005 00:05

clever cyclista

The thing/weapon I got at the bike shop is actually does more then extend out and retract; it is instead telescoping. When is retracted it is 9 in. When it is extended it is 25.5 inches. I'm not in Portland, so I don't know where you'd find one there. Someone who saw mine, said they saw it in some self-defense equipment shop and used some term for it I don't remember. The one I have comes with a sheath with velcro and can be mounted to a belt. The bike shop owner who sold me mine said he cut two small holes in the sheath and mounted the sheath where the water cage goes. I mount mine on my bike without the sheath. I use the c-clamp plastic thing which my pump used to attach to. One thing I do know is that aside from striking, a staff like this can be held with both hands and used to block, too. Never tried that on a bike though. The way I figure it though, why not use some Bruce Lee moves on the bike. When I'm about to be bulldozed by people manically leaving driveways, parking lots, and raise my foot, either to strike or to use my leg to push off. For the former, your feet can be conveniently be placed near a headlight. Even if you can't do that much damage, the populace is exposed to so much pseudo martial arts crap in movies, they think if you act like you are going to get ugly on them in that way, the get scared and back off. Crazy, perhaps. I call it a sane reaction to an insane situation.

martial arts against a ton of metal & plastic? 28.Sep.2005 07:29

applebonker

hi folks! well, i've been thinking about the ideas everyone had about physical confrontation between bicycles and cars, and to be honest with ya, i don't think us cyclists have a chance. really, the problem is that humans are just not coordinated enough to put them in control of thousand pound rolling molotov cocktails. adding fuel to the fire are the automobile engineers, who design cars for instant acceleration, instead of safety. so we are talking about fighting with half-ton monsters of steel that can accelerate at us with enough torque to send evil kneivel from reed college to powells books in three seconds. i don't think bruce lee was crazy enough to bust some moves in front of a hong kong taxicab on nathan road.

so again, my advice to all bikers is RIDE SAFE! Preserve your own life! Live to laugh another day! Don't go trying to swerve at, attack, menace or bust the lights out of cars while riding. Much better is to get the heck out of the way and save your neck, and keep a notepad and pen handy at all times! Jot down those license plate numbers. Let's start a weblog of car descriptions and license plate numbers of those drivers who are deliberately menacing us. Then maybe some anarchist will just accidentally find one of those cars and accidentally spill five pounds of sugar in the gas tank.

Oops, those things happen you know! Like "oops, didn't see that orange vest wearing, light blinking, yellow-helmeted bicyclist riding quietly minding his / her own business in the bike lane, officer." Let us balance out these oops!

Note on the idea of SPIKE about how many of THEM there are: sure there are alot of THEM, and the cost of buying and maintaining one of their rustbucket pieces of crap is a big hardship on THEM. Whereas if I lost either of my two bikes I would immediately replace it with another low-cost hybrid or cruiser. On the other hand, if one of THEM had an engine totally shot by carbonated sugar, or a car otherwise rendered un-driveable, OUCH, that wallet syndrome will make them bust an aneurysm! hoo boy! one or two cars LOST to the accidental sugary carelessness of some anarchist might actually RUIN THEM and plunge THEM into bankruptcy. oh those silly anarchists and their wily pranks! har har!

okay, that's all folks, and happy bonking and riding to you all!
durn that car, i'm a gonna blast 'er to pieces
durn that car, i'm a gonna blast 'er to pieces

some pacificists... 28.Sep.2005 08:39

gun owner

Well, I drive around here, I bicycle around here, and I own a gun. I took shooting lessons so I would be able to handle the weapon should the need arise.
Y'all are pretty ignorant about recoil and proper gun handling technique. Shooting one handed is unprofessional, and endangers non-targets.
Swiss Army bicycles have machine gun mounts on the handlebars. This would be very effective, unless the driver kills you first. I don't think packing heat on a bike is much protection against stupid car tricks.
On the other hand, random vandalism of suv's would be welcome. I think that increased vehicle size has fucked portland up for bicycling at least as much as number of vehicles on the road. I remember the early 80's here, and miss them.

I was part of Portland's 28.Sep.2005 14:06

Original Bicycle Movement

Back in the late sixties and early seventies young environmentalists like myself started riding in Portland. Bike sales boomed. We were cursed by drivers. They threw bottles at us. They ran us off the road. We perservered.

Posting this inflammatory crap and inciting people to violence is only going to harm the bicycle movement. You're against the war in Iraq, but you think bicyclists should start shooting at motorists? Give me a break.

interesting analogy 29.Sep.2005 02:33

taking on the humor impaired

>> You're against the war in Iraq, but you think bicyclists should start shooting at motorists?

Well, not that anyone here has stated there views on Iraq but I'm clear on mine. I'm against the occupation of Iraq, which is why I support the Iraqi people taking up arms against their violent oppressors. Let's face it, the occupation forces aren't going to stop killing people until they get tired of getting killed, just like in Vietnam. I agree that shooting at vehicles is not the best approach to solving vehicular violence (there are many other fine ideas that have been posted, and even more you can get by talking to people or by being creative in your thoughts and actions) but there is a time and a place to take up arms. And for the life of me I can't figure out why people assume that other people in this country are pacifists and are not able or trained in operating firearms (yes, shooting from a bicycle would require you to stop and take aim, duh, you might read the article closely and ask yourself if it is being serious: shooting from the non-dominant hand while biking to be fair?).

What America needs 04.Oct.2005 09:25

The Green Redneck

I'm a middle aged, middle class small business owner who even votes for a Republican once in a blue moon. Also have been a cyclist for 35+ years; if I'm lucky will have an excuse to get out and ride. It is with a heavy heart that I have to conclude that it is necessary for my country to lose a Mideastern war in an especially humiliating and catastrophic way in order for my countrypeople to get their heads straight regarding transportation. We need to lose cheap gasoline for the long term. It would even be reasonable for Bush to cut a deal with the oil industry--keep the lid on heating oil prices, you can't let people freeze to death. Keep diesel prices down, like it or not it's the lifeblood of commerce. But do whatever the hell you want with passenger car gasoline prices--fix 'em at $6, 7, 8 bucks a gallon, ignore antitrust, meet like Mafioso and agree to set 'em high! Our transportation scheme is a sickness and we need our drug supply restricted.