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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Spoked Out: Radio Duo Wants You to Run Me Down

Posted By on Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 6:51 PM

A fellow two-wheeling commuter just sent me a link to WCSX's webcast of Deminski and Doyle's banter this morning about bicyclists.

Even by corporate-owned morning radio show standards, it's shockingly stupid, juvenile and just plain ill-informed.

D & D's outrage of the day was bicyclists: those of us who choose to pedal for exercise or transportation because we like to raise our heart rates, save a few gallons of gas, lessen our personal and collective carbon footprint and otherwise save the world and ourselves.

The duo suggested that if cyclists piss you off by riding "as if they're a car right in the dead center of the lane" then you, as a driver, "just wanna go all Grand Theft Auto on them."

Having outgrown all video games except Scrabble, I had to check with a younger, male friend to see what that meant.

"Going Grand Theft Auto means you maim them, run them over, shoot them, hit them with a baseball bat. Oh, and you could just get out and beat the shit out of them," he told me. "Or use a chain saw."

Hmmm. As they said, the deejays would do that to me simply because I might be doing what Michigan law allows and riding side-by-side with another rider along a road? Or moving away from puddles of glass near curbs? Or avoiding uneven pavement that seems to occur near drains?


The radio duo had a bunch of other uninformed opinions I'd like to help them out with. They're bothered that cyclists don't always come to a complete stop at stop signs. News flash: neither do cars. They don't like that cyclists run red lights. Ditto.

They also can pick out "the most arrogant" cyclists by their "racing stripes." Yes, we wear funny clothes, often citrus and neon colors. That's so you drivers can see us — we like to make it easier for you, and bright yellow, pink and orange with lots of designs on the jerseys help with that. If you see us, you might not hit us, unless, of course, you're taking WCSX's suggestions.

They also don't like that cyclists wear Spandex and "goddamn helmets." Ever try a ride of more than a couple miles? Even the most macho would beg for padded bike shorts.

And as for the helmet, well, the bus and two cars that have turned left in front of me or run stop signs at intersections I had the right of way at have convinced me not to go without a lid. I'm not too worried about what a couple of morning broadcasters think of my protection.

I am, however, concerned about them fostering outright hostility and condoning harm toward cyclists. If I see someone with a chainsaw, I'm calling the show.

Until then, you can find me on the roads — where I'm legal to be on my two wheels.

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