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Anti-bike crusader goes beyond her ‘Bike Free’ blog

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 4th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Myra Walker (if that is indeed her real name) is not shy about her dislike for some people who ride bikes in Portland.

She calls them the "bikenazi" and she's devoted a blog, Bike Free Portland, to chronicling her effort to stopping them, "cold in their tracks".

The not-so-subtle logo found
on the Bike Free Portland blog.

Walker -- who commutes by bike -- launched her blog on July 22nd, right in the thick of the media maelstrom around road rage and the "bikes vs. cars" "war" (another point of proof that irresponsible "us vs. them" reporting inflames extreme attitudes). Walker started leaving comments here on BikePortland.org shortly thereafter and she's been posting her thoughts (both here and on her blog) ever since.

She's got some interesting perspectives on people who ride bikes in Portland (I enjoyed her descriptions of how "fellow bikers" break down into five main groups) , but unfortunately, the bellicose tone of her commentary makes it hard to take her seriously.

And I wouldn't even be writing about her now if it wasn't for a post she made this morning.

It seems -- at least by her own admission -- that Ms. Walker has taken her anti-bike jihad beyond the Internet. According to her post, First Red Lock, she has decided to begin locking up bikes of people who ride in a way that offends her:

She writes:

"...while on my bike I was almost hit by biker trying to get to PSU he ran a red light. moved from side walk to road to crosswalk what ever way was easier for him. I used my first red lock on his bike. I wonder what he will will think when he comes out and sees his bike locked up with my redlock. I need more of these, this was fun."

In some of her posts, Walker says she's been interviewing "my fellow bikers". And now, with this red lock campaign, she seems to be working even harder on her "bike free" vision.

Has anyone out there come across her yet?

And by the way, Ms. Walker, I'm happy to let you comment on this site, but please make sure you have something constructive to share and remember that I do not appreciate comments that make fun of injuries or deaths in any way, shape or form. Thanks.

Check out more of Ms. Walker's thoughts at the Bike Free Portland blog.

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Comments
  • bahueh August 4, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    wow...I wonder if this person sees the irony...

    we have a sad, sad health care system when people with this sort of mental disease are let loose to roam around our streets..

    I\'m guessing its a creative writing foreign student at PSU who\'s got too much free time on their hands and very few friends...

    or...some middle aged balding male who can\'t find a girlfriend and is...we\'ll say...\"frustrated\"?

    anyone else have any thoughts on who \"myra\" could be?

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  • bahueh August 4, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    at least \"she\" got the pseudo-swastika pointing the correct direction...

    better than the other 1/2 of lunatics out there transposing it out of sheer stupidity..

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  • David Feldman August 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    The worst part about this is that if \"Myra\" is using quality locks, the technology of lock-busting will be upgraded. Just what we need............

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  • Ian August 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    I heard Myra was really Obama.

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  • Ian August 4, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    The sad part is this guy probably did deserve the red lock on his bike... now if someone would get some boots for car tires...

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  • Chad August 4, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    It is sometimes said that imitation (even if it is the antithesis of) is the ultimate form of flattery.

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  • RonC August 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Ha-ha-ha! Valerie Plame told me Ian was really Karl Rove.

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  • Doug August 4, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    I counted 13 uses of \"idiot\" and 12 uses of the word \"stupid,\" or variations of those words, all from someone with only a rudimentary grasp of English grammar. Amusing.

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  • KT August 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I\'ve said it before and I\'ll say it again: Myra is a troll.

    Myra is trying to get attention. We keep giving it to her.

    I have my doubts that Myra rides, anywhere.

    Myra apparently doesn\'t understand that for the vision to work, Myra\'s bike also has to go. Irony? Or is it waiting for someone to point it out?

    Myra, get off your bike and back into your car. Live up to your stated goals, stop being a hypocrit.

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  • Ian August 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Actually Karl Rove is my mom but that is a story for another day.

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  • no one in particular August 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I think it\'s all lies. She\'s a troll and bike locks are expensive. She just wants to get you all riled up, but I doubt she\'s actually locking up bikes. If this was really blowing through lights and weaving through traffic, how on earth did she actually catch up to him in order to see where he parked his bike?

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  • Diogo August 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    What a freak!!! I think Myra Walker is Susan Nielsen!!!

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  • sonny August 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    hardly seems worth our time

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  • Ian August 4, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Maybe she has super powers? possibly from some sort of nucler accident.

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  • Ian August 4, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    \"hardly seems worth our time\"

    Speak for yourself

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  • Maculsay August 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Don\'t feed it - and it will eventually go away.

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  • Hollie August 4, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    ullch. why is this on the front page of bikeportland? isn\'t there something better to pay attention to than an obvious troll?

    had this person a blog with well-written and thoughtful commentary on the clear problem that many Portland cyclists DO ride like dicks, i could see why it\'d be featured here. as far as i can tell, however, all this person contributes is inflammatory nonsense.

    i don\'t come here for inflammatory nonsense. i come here because i\'ve come to count on it as a source for news of cycling advocacy, bike culture events and developments in bike infrastructure. can it please stay that way?

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  • Ben August 4, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Myra\'s coming was foretold by Nostradamus. I\'m not sure which one of the four horsewomen she is... but I\'d guess \'Death\', since she killed \'irony\' dead-dead-dead with that post and the Bike-pedal Nazi flag.

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  • T WIlliams August 4, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Ms. Walker may do well by putting the international \'don\'t\' circle/slash over the pedalstika. Its current design gives the impression that she supports her so-called bikenazis.

    I wonder Mr. Maus if you are exposing yourself to any sort of liability by continuing to provide information about her. If someone somehow finds information on this site that leads to Ms. Walker, and causes her harm, you may be found partially responsible.

    Which is why I humbly suggest you allow her to continue to operate without your continued coverage.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    \"don\'t come here for inflammatory nonsense. i come here because i\'ve come to count on it as a source for news of cycling advocacy, bike culture events and developments in bike infrastructure. can it please stay that way?\"

    Hollie,

    I hear you and thanks for the feedback.

    I also had one of my editorial advisers call me moments ago and basically say the same thing.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 4, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    \"If someone somehow finds information on this site that leads to Ms. Walker, and causes her harm, you may be found partially responsible.\"

    T Williams,

    Everything in my story can be found on Ms. Walker\'s blog.

    Am I missing something here?

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  • Graham August 4, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Well, if you\'re going to be targeted by a web troll, you can only hope that he or she is the pure embodiment of Godwin\'s law.

    BTW, locking up someone else\'s bike... Please tell me that\'s illegal.

    If I see someone putting a lock on someone else\'s bike, I\'m busting out the video camera. From a safe distance - this sounds like a real nut.

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  • Torfinn August 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    lol

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  • T WIlliams August 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    @21

    I was thinking of that Andrew Ruess (I\'m butchering his last name)incident, and what could have gone down legally if it was worse than it was. Are blog owners immune from prosecution? Maybe A.O. can shed some much better light on the subject (offline, of course).

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  • hank2125 August 4, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    she states that she saw a bus driver help some people with thier shopping, I\'ve never in my life seen a bus driver do such a thing, Myra is full of B.S.

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  • Ben August 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    She sounds crazy, but bringing a little attention to bikers that have no regard for anyone else (biker, car, or pedestrian) may not be a bad thing.

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  • MichaelK August 4, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    What\'s the phrase I\'m looking for?

    Oh yeah:

    \"Pics or it didn\'t happen.\"

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  • gus August 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Yawn.

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  • Snowflake Seven August 4, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Frankly, if this individual is in fact taking the actions described they should reconsider. It could result in a violent confrontation with the owner of a bike or a very unpleasant experience with the police on the subject of vigilante behavior.

    This article really does seem like flame bait for trolls. I would recommend being very cautious about encouraging this individual. I can understand trying to warn the community but its a fine line.

    If the event did occur, perhaps the owner of the supposedly locked bike will hear about it and contact the PPD. PSU security may have also received a report of the incident.

    Again vigilante behavior is an extremely un-wise and dangerous activity to engage in. Hopefully it is a false claim and nothing will come of it.

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  • KJ August 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Reminds me of reading this article the other day, floks like this exisit in all manners of being, not just online: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=troll&st=cse&oref=slogin

    It\'s so sad some people are so misanthropic and egotistical. Yeah, let\'s not feed trolls. =) Unless it\'s rainbows and lollipops and hugs. They seem to really need those. =)

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  • Cameron August 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Although I agree that Myra seems very trollish, I also think that posting such a story without independent verification of the redlocks incident is just asking for a comments section filled with personal attacks.

    Usually this blog and its comments are filled with well reasoned and argued positions, I don\'t see much of that here.

    It is the height of irony that this story comes so soon after Jonathan\'s wonderful rebuttal of the Oregonian anti-anti-bike helmet articles.

    I\'m a little disappointed in the whole thing.

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  • Sky August 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Locking up the bikes of people she has issue with. Who is the real Nazi?

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  • Snowflake Seven August 4, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    For those that aren\'t aware of Godwin\'s Law

    Godwin\'s Law is often cited in online discussions as a caution against the use of inflammatory rhetoric or exaggerated comparisons, and is often conflated with fallacious arguments of the reductio ad Hitlerum form.

    \"As a [online] discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.\"

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  • Loree August 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    A bit of internet trivia: the term \"troll\" comes from fishing. To troll is to trail a baited line behind a moving boat. On the internet, it used to be called \"trolling for suckers,\" until it got shortened to just plain trolling.

    This person is trolling for suckers, and she\'s going home with a whole boat-full, unless we stop taking the bait.

    Don\'t give her any attention (and attention includes hits on her website), and she will go away.

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  • Gabriel McGovern August 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Yes, this person is a grade A, bona-fide troll. Yet the lack of understanding concerning the term \"nazi\" made me laugh:

    Bikenazis ignore their fellows who don\'t even want helmets to be required (Cost Lives)

    Bikeanarchist? Sure.

    Bikenihilist? Why not.

    Bikenazi? I think not.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    \"It is the height of irony that this story comes so soon after Jonathan\'s wonderful rebuttal of the Oregonian anti-anti-bike helmet articles.

    I\'m a little disappointed in the whole thing.\"

    sorry to disappoint Cameron... but i felt like the time had come to make mention of this woman and her blog.

    I did the story simply to inform folks of Walker\'s continued efforts and philosophies.

    like I\'ve said several times today, sometimes I feel the time is right for a story even though part of me doesn\'t really want to publish it... that\'s one of the risks i take as a publisher.

    from the comments (both here and in emails and phone calls) from readers, it seems many folks disagree with me.

    that\'s ok. I\'ll take all these comments and learn from them the same way I\'ve done for years now.

    as for the irony of timing with my Oregonian story, I don\'t see the relation there.

    thanks again for your feedback.

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  • brodie August 4, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    I don\'t see the problem with publishing this piece, even if it sadly only gives her more visibility.

    I might change the tone of the piece, however. Until it is known that she is a real person who has actually locked up ikes, why not treat her as a troll? Her blog, after all, is almost certainly going to be read my many more cyclists than non-cyclists. Very few commuters (in my estimation) have the same animosity towards cyclists that she purports to.

    If it walks like a troll and talks like a troll, call it a troll.

    Other than that, no, I see no need to avoid \"harshing the mellow\" of your readers by ignoring stories like this.

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  • matt picio August 4, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    My personal thought is that this story belongs on Page Two.

    Other than that, Jonathan, I think it\'s fine.

    As for everyone else - really, Myra\'s content speaks for itself, you really don\'t need to help it along.

    Oh, and Godwin\'s Law doesn\'t really apply here, Since the original discussion already had \"nazi\" in the article. \"Godwin\'s\" is meant to remark that in any debate of sufficient length, the odds of someone joining the debate who feels strongly enough about the subject to compare their opposition to Hitler or Nazis approaches 1:1. When the subject starts there, the odds become self-evident.

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  • Blurt August 4, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    \"don\'t come here for inflammatory nonsense. i come here because i\'ve come to count on it as a source for news of cycling advocacy, bike culture events and developments in bike infrastructure. can it please stay that way?\"

    More like coming here for inflammatory nonsense that supports your point of view.

    It\'s not like the some of the comments on this blog don\'t lean far past inflammatory with regards to drivers. The term murderer has been used numerous times. The blanket statements pointed towards the PPB are in the same vein. And lets not forget the personal attacks on Latasha Williams this last week.

    Maybe Myra understands that satire is a legitimate form of criticism.

    It seems to be doing what she wants. She actually is getting attention. And creating an interesting number of inflammatory statements on this blog which is not all that unusual.

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  • Diogo August 4, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    While I can see the cons of publicizing this crazy person, I think it\'s still worth it, inasmuch as it is illustrative of the anti-bike reaction that is currently taking place. It seems to me that the creation of such blog is completely connected to the Oregonian\'s and other media\'s effort to paint the increase of biking as a problem or public nuisance. So instead of hurting bike advocacy efforts, I think it will probably help weaken the reaction by exposing its hysterical nature and perhaps even make the O and others to be more cautious with their attacks with fear of being likened to the likes of Myra Walker or perhaps even work as a unpleasant mirror for those individuals who have similar, albeit less strident views.

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  • GLV August 4, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    This problem will likely take care of itself. Stop commenting. Stop linking to her. Stop visiting the site.

    Does anyone know what the average lifespan is of \"issue blogs\" like this? I put the over-under at one month.

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  • Cøyøte August 4, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    \"Trip-trap trip-trap\"

    \"Who is that trip-trapping on my bridge?\"

    \"It is me, Billygoat M____?\"

    Is it Myra or is it Maus?

    Perhaps Myra is Jonathon\'s evil twin that was horribly misguided by having to ride a \"girls bike\" that was ridden by Lars Larson in the \"nucular\" holocaust..... Or perhaps I should say \"nuclear rebirth\"?

    Whoooha ha ha ha ha!
    \"Release the flying monkeys.\"

    If only she could use her powers for good. Jonathon, at the risk of offering unsolicited advice; keep your eye on the prize. A livable community, and a business reporting on what interests you. Don\'t let gremlins eat after midnight, and please do not feed the trolls. Ban her and be done with it. She is not evil, just messed up and craving attention. If and when, she has something relevant to say, I would be happy to read it.

    PS: Myra, if you happen to read this, if I catch you locking up my bike, we will tango! Make sure you have to karma reserves to back the debt you are accruing.

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  • SkidMark August 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    You [i] trawl [/i] for fish.

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  • Matthew Denton August 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Article about crazy person\'s website: Not news. Not even page 2 worthy, just not news.

    Article about crazy person that might be putting locks decorated in swastikas on your bicycle: News.

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  • Zaphod August 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    KJ #30,
    That NYT article is really interesting on the subject of trolling. I feel like people sometimes slip into a strange \"internet mode\" where they let things bother them that would never cause any issue if brought up in live conversation. Anyway, worth a [long] read if you have the time.

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  • bahueh August 4, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Could the FBI talk to this woman about her potential hate crime?

    I\'m sure the swastika would raise some interest at our otherwise board FBI office..I\'ll go make a phone call.

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  • Donna August 4, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    First of all, I am sure PoPo and his colleagues are reading this article and have visited her blog. I can\'t imagine that hasn\'t happened.

    Secondly, I am just as appreciative that Jonathan has reported this as I was when he has reported about others who might have tried to harm me because I am riding a bike in the city. If this Myra is in fact tampering with the personal property of complete strangers because they offend her in some way, we really don\'t know what she might be capable of. Remember, most if not all of use reading this blog do not know her.

    Finally, if friends and/or loved ones of Myra are reading this blog and are concerned for her, I would encourage them to either call the PPB nonemergency number or the Multnomah County Crisis Line - whichever seems appropriate.

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  • Mike Thompson August 4, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Way to go Myra. Cyclist does not equal ruler of the streets. Some cyclists think they are super green, carbon neutral, uber alternative lifestyle monkies. Follow the damn rules of the road. You are not entitled to ride down the center of the street, blocking traffic, all the while posing like you are gods gift. Get Real!! By the way, I am a cyclist and follow the rules. I also eat fixed gear peeps for lunch

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  • Garin August 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    I want my five minutes back that I spent at his or her blog. Yawn , nothing to see folks , someone just stirring the pot or attempting to. Ridiculous actually that I even felt compelled to add this comment , I think it is just what he or she wants. Bleah.

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  • A.P. August 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Relevant reading?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html?ref=magazine

    Just cause someone is writing it on the internet, doesn\'t make it true.

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  • Matt B August 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Myra claims to be an engineer, yet she cannot spell very well. Not critical, maybe, for an engineer, but unprofessional, especially for a blogger.

    Skidmark, you can TRAWL or TROLL for fish.

    Thanks.
    M

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  • Icarus Falling August 4, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Due to the extremity of the comments, the threats against other\'s personal property and well being, and the obvious racial sentiment, I think it is very valid to have a mention about it here, or anywhere for that matter.

    Trolls eat no matter who feeds them.

    What this one needs is a good case of food poisoning. Maybe sweat out a little aggression?

    They are also reported to live under bridges..... Where they belong in my humble opinion.

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  • Jessica Roberts August 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    PoPo\'s on vacation...I guess that\'s what happens when he leaves town! :)

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  • Marc B August 4, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Who\'s the Nazi?

    Fascism: (wikipedia definition) is a term used to describe authoritarian nationalist political ideologies or mass movements that are concerned with notions of cultural decline or decadence and seek to achieve a millenarian national rebirth by exalting the nation or race, and promoting cults of unity, strength and purity

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  • Toby August 4, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Jonathan, it\'s your site and can put whatever you want on it. I\'m a firm believer that if some one doesn\'t want to read something, they can scroll down, turn the page, whatever. But, I can\'t escape the bright red symbol of hate and ignorance that has been modified in a very non-bikey fun way, that is on the front page without needing to open the story. Could you at least replace it with something else (say, the Bridge keeper from MP\'s Holy Grail?) and move the pedastiska (if need be) further down in the article after it\'s opened?

    Thanks

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  • bearhat August 4, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    tisk tisk tisk.

    such wasted energy.

    if she keeps up this Red Lock mission someone may just U Lock her upside the head. sad to see such a vapid individual incapable of handling her issues in a constructive way and resorting to being an a**hole instead. sorry Jonathan, it had to be said.

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  • Donna August 4, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    You know, I sincerely hope she is nothing but a troll because the alternative is rather frightening. From her writing, her giving people on bikes a title, her tendency to primarily referring to those people by that name only, and the \"symbol\" she has ascribed to this group of people, she seems like she is at a point where she no longer thinks of people who are riding bicycles around town as fellow human beings. Now she is claiming that she has committed an act of vandalism and is planning more.

    When a person has gotten to the point where they cannot relate to a group of people on a human level, it\'s time to be concerned about what that person might be capable of. It would be a positive thing if Myra turns out to be a troll, because if she\'s not, people may well be at risk of being hurt. As I said before, we do not know her, and so we do not know what she might be capable of.

    If Myra is not a troll, I sincerely hope someone who cares about her tries to get her help before she harms herself or other people.

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  • Roma August 4, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Tonight @ 11: Crazy Woman Has Crazy Blog

    I can just imagine that old worst-reporter-in-the-world a-hole from KGW holding up a laptop with the blog on it while he talks about the infighting in the cycling community. Forget Bikes vs. Cars - the media will cream their proverbial jeans over Cyclist vs. Cyclist stories.

    This is not the level of reporting I have come to expect from this site.

    You gave Myra just what she wanted. I never would have known about Myra or her blog (which looks like it\'s written by a 12 year old) if it wasn\'t for this post.

    Don\'t feed the trolls.

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  • bce August 4, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    yawn. don\'t feed the trolls...

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  • Roma August 4, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Oops. I meant:

    \"I can just imagine that old worst-reporter-in-the-world a-hole from KPTV holding up a laptop with the blog on it while he talks about the infighting in the cycling community.\"

    Jim Hyde - in my opinion, the worst reporter I\'ve ever seen in my entire life. How does this guy still have a job? But I digress...

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  • anonymous August 4, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    seems like a joke to me.

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  • Joe August 4, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    I\'m confused about the title of this post? \"anti-bike crusader\"? Myra doesn\'t seem to be so much anti-bike as anti-idiot... and who can blame her. Her methods may be crude, but it doesn\'t seem like she should be lumped in the anti-bike category..

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  • Toby August 4, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks Jonathan ;-)

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  • Ashley August 4, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    In response to criticisms of the article I think that Jonathan is put in a difficult position. Bikeportland is a source of news, but it\'s also a blog personally tied to the creator. It\'s not easy to keep all of your emotions out of a written news piece- especially when the subject in question involves a person a considerable instability, and whose actions, in life and in written form are a source of frustration and annoyance. I think it\'s important to be made aware of a person whose actions could turn out to be nothing short of harassment by a delusional temperament out to target cyclists. I don\'t fault Jonathan\'s tone, it\'s human, and sometimes people really need to just get it out.

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  • Donald August 4, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    I\'m sorry, I really don\'t mean to hijack the thread, but has anyone tried/seen SweetSkinz tires?

    There\'s a local shop that burned down and I\'ve promised to buy some when they get things back together. Would love some input.

    (stageaside: pagetwopleaseotherthingsgoingonmoreworthydontfeedthetrollsthismessagewillselfdestructin5minutes)

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  • jesus christ August 4, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    the lack of thought being posted by this \"girl\" is embarrassing on so many levels. should her \"red lock\" campaign actually be a legitimate threat of sorts, she\'s on the fast track to no longer having a bike at all. spreading rumors that she will personally withhold someone\'s personal belongings can be charged as theft in court, let alone a mad cyclist with a few tools in his/her bag taking care of the issue in their own way. i think her posts are empty & she is clearly grasping for the attention of being different or witty. her dull writing style reeks of trying to mimic the likes of bikesnobnyc, but falls short... of everything. if she is naive enough to believe she is speaking for a group of people who believe in being bike free, she\'s got another thing coming. maybe if she used spell check at the end of a pathetic binge on the word \"stupid,\" she might get a little more credit for at least trying to be a total douche bag. in the mean time, i hope this trollop figures out the internet is a pretty lousy place to post such hateful thoughts within a community that is diverse and strong. things are easily tracked, ip addresses traced, and if she pisses off enough people, she might wind up with her foot in her mouth. i hope she does.

    it\'s clear to me that she has never been in a position of any danger while riding, nor has she lost a loved one or a friend to an accident/deliberate attack. maybe seeing a good friend crushed or a car door resulting in hours at the emergency room would open her eyes? maturity should be present while cycling, no matter what, a quality that is evidently lacking in her life and i am not ashamed to say i hope someone teaches this person a lesson.

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  • Chris B August 4, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Jonathon! Shame, shame, we know your name... Somebody found out that \"Myra\" was your alter ego and you had to do some fancy footwork.

    I\'ve read \"her\" comments and they seem so bizarrely ANTI-BIKE... not just anti-bike. I thought she must be someone taking the road less biked just for fun. I hope this person isn\'t real.

    I hope it\'s you, Jonathon... tell us it\'s YOU! :)

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  • Keith August 4, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    I find it interesting that now there is an article about her with 60 some odd comments
    and she has yet graced us with her presence. The Oregonian did her start up for and now BP.org is sending her readers.
    I am sure she even thrives on negative attention as well.

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  • Jonathon Severdia August 4, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Pop quiz: how do you sound the alarum to the rank and file of your subculture over just how dangerously sanctimonious the zealots are becoming?

    Answer: By criticizing the zealots in the silliest, sloppiest voice possible, and then watching them get bent out of shape over it.

    You see, if feeding my news addiction has learned me anything in this terrorist paralyzed decade, it\'s that zealots have no sense of humor whatsoever. Which means they misidentify it and overreact when it\'s playfully nipping them in the ass.

    To everyone who is either recommending that Myra seek therapy, or suggesting that her blog is a clandestine operation coordinated with The Mainstream Media\'s anti-bike conspiracy (Here\'s winking at you, Diogo!): take ten deep breaths, hold each time, and check your blood pressure.

    If that helped at all, congratulations, you aren\'t a zealot! Yet. Which is fabulous news for you, because zealotry is incurable. It never goes away, it just gets replaced with different self-justifying obsessions.

    Which is why the intended audience for Myra\'s fabulous scribblings is not those among our fellow cyclists who actually attempt to justify such illegal and antisocial activities as running red lights and stop signs. No, she writes to everyone else, in the hopes that we will have a collective major ick moment, and banish these diseased people from our culture forever.

    So, if there was anything at all in her writing that made you want to sheepishly laugh, (as long as it isn\'t the swastika, because even though the pedal image is damn clever, calling people Nazis just isn\'t funny, not even in an ironic hipster way (calling them skinheads, however, is a-OK))... As I was saying, if Myra put even a little laff in you, cultivate it. Laugh hard. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at all the idiots who are out there sharing the road with you, unless they\'ve just killed someone. Because death is never ever funny. Laugh, then go out and be decent.

    And as for the zealots who can\'t be reached. Surely you\'re all getting too old to keep slogging it in the trenches of the bike war. What are you, twenty-two? It\'s time you find something an adult can be monomaniacally servant to. Consider heroin.

    Bike skinheads delenda est!

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  • Chuck August 4, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    If anyone has their bike locked up by one of these red locks, call the police. I believe that this would be considered either theft of property, or unlawful detainment. can someone confirm/deny this?

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  • Metal Cowboy August 4, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    I have not been to this person\'s blog. I don\'t plan to go and I think it\'s best to ignore and let the oxygen go out of the thing - I think this is much ado about very little but I could be wrong. I don\'t fault J for running the piece, it\'s a harder call than you might think deciding when something is news, especially as a one person outfit. If this had come to me back in my newspaper days, I would not have done a story until someone actually used a red bike lock to detain someone else\'s bike. For me, that\'s when it becomes news. (Course, I was amped up on Mountain Dew and red faced from too many green chiles most days during my editing career - once, I even ran a front page story about Keanu Reeves attending the film Lair, Liar in our little New Mexico town. In light of that, this troll story is the stuff of Pulitzer. I blame it all on the dew... and a quote from Reeves about Jim Carey\'s acting that I just couldn\'t keep from the public! )

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  • Jonathon Severdia August 4, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Metal Cowboy,

    From another writer of somewhat lesser accomplishment, please take a little time to read Myra\'s terrific blog. Don\'t believe the hype; though her Nazi allusions are an unfortunate comedic miscalculation, Bike Free Portland is a terrific piece of satire in the most frustrated tradition of fallen idealists everywhere who have struggled for social change. All Myra is wants is for us to rise up and reclaim our shared pursuit from the insufferable jackasses who are making public relations difficult for everybody else. Just think of the voices you hear in the news. If so many of the sober sounding people in the world are completely insane, then just maybe the crazy sounding one is actually stone sober.

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  • D.R. Miller August 5, 2008 at 12:57 am

    To Jonathon Severdia,

    I think you are quite alone in thinking that \"Myra\" is actually a frustrated idealist, a bicyclist all along who just wants to criticize the \"zealots.\" Or maybe she is, but the problem with that notion is that she is not criticizing zealots, she is *creating* them in her head and then getting hysterical about these fevered projections of her own monomaniacal judgementalism. What was the thing she got all bent out of shape about in the first place? Bicyclists riding through the Rose Quarter Transit center? Where the bike lanes stop arbitrarily and then pick up again just the other side? People who ride through there are not zealots, just ordinary commuters making a logical choice of route. And the idea that bikers who roll stop signs are also zealots/nazis (aside: ironic to replace the term \"Nazi\" with \"Zealot\" don\'t you think?) is simply ridiculous. Blowing a red light is one thing. But if carefully rolling through a stop sign is the mark of zealotry and \"disease\", then I\'d say that probably 80 percent of both bike riders AND car drivers are thereby social misfits and \"insufferable jackasses.\" But to my mind, people who insist on a 100% full-stop stop, every time no matter what for any vehicle at any stop sign, are petty-minded mini-Hitlers.

    So I guess I\'m one of your \"zealots who can\'t be reached\", never minding that I\'m 40 years old and already monomaniacally devoted to milkshakes.

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  • Jonathon Severdia August 5, 2008 at 2:47 am

    Yo DR Miller,
    You shoulda oughtta smoked some of the mellow I had tonight. Really loosens up the funny detectors, you know what I mean? Would it surprise you to learn that I am not in fact a hall monitor? I live one block from RQTC and I ride right straight through it any damn time I please. I also stay the hell away from all the buses. Myra may feel differently about this issue, and that is unfortunate, but can I not agree with her on everything and still appreciate the spirit of her writing?

    And if we must keep splitting hairs here, you are putting words into my mouth to insinuate that people who carefully roll through stop signs fire off my zealot detector. I said people who run stop signs. As in, without slowing down or even looking, something which I see all the fucking time. There is a name for the former activity, however, which hearkens back from where I\'ve come; the California stop. Slow to a crawl, feather brakes, check both ways, proceed when safe. Almost everybody does this. Cars do this. Bikes do this. Cops even do this! I do this.

    Here\'s a zealot: Someone who, after blatantly running a stop sign, violently assaults a motorist who has the temerity to tell him that he thought what he did was unkosher. Here\'s another zealous act: running a red light under any circumstances, putting you in the same esteemed company as drunks and senile reaper-chasing curmudgeons, and then sincerely believing that you are permitted this transgression due to karmic slack earned by living a life which is otherwise pure and restorative.

    When I use the word zealot, I mean it, and without hyperbole. That\'s what\'s wrong with using the word Nazi; for trifles like this it tends to kerfuffle the millions of living relatives of people who actually were murdered by Nazis. Aside: irony is when the outcome is opposite that which was intended. The words I use are precisely those I intend. I also know what the words I use mean.

    There are indeed bike zealots in this town. And yet despite your complete opacity to everything I have written so far (hint: you completely missed the meaning of my use of the word \'sanctimonious\' in my first paragraph), I\'ll try once more to make myself understood. How I define bike zealotry collapses to a really simple equation:

    Subscribing to lifestyle with many significant personal and social benefits, but then overstating potential of lifestyle to save the planet as way of aggrandizing one\'s piety to planet over those who do not subscribe to same lifestyle

    +

    self-appropriating certain blatant exemptions from the law of public daily life so one can get around saving the planet that much faster

    =

    sanctimonious jackass.

    Any questions?

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  • Matthew Denton August 5, 2008 at 2:48 am

    So I did the bicycle count at the north end of the Rose Quarter two weeks ago, and while a lot of people do ride through the middle of the Rose Quarter, (although more people ride around,) there were actually more cars than bicycles that drove into the Rose Quarter...

    This is a lot of the reason that they are rebuilding the mall: Cars tended to drive down the mall even though it was illegal, so they decided it was easier to build them their own lane than worry about it. It is actually an interesting lesson in life...

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  • Bob August 5, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Jonathan - #72
    How could I have missed the humor. Nothing tickles a funny bone like Nazi allusions. That Myra is quite the comedian, Like a bikey Ann Coulter.

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  • SkidMark August 5, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Bike Snob NYC is satire. That \"blog\" is a flaming piece of crap. All it does is fuel the anti-bike fire.

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  • kg August 5, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Trawl fishing involves dragging a net behind you. When troll fishing you drag a baited line.

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  • Metal Cowboy August 5, 2008 at 8:25 am

    What I love about this blog is that we engage in boisterious bike related discussions AND learn some fishing techniques.

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  • Paul Vincent August 5, 2008 at 9:12 am

    It seems to me that she is either 1) trolling for a reaction to her vitriol, or 2) a very pathetic figure. I started to call it tragic, but reallized that she probably didn\'t have any greatness to fall from. Sad.

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  • Robert Dobbs August 5, 2008 at 9:32 am

    It\'s a pretty well established legal precedent that blog operators are not liable for the comments posted on their blogs.

    Worst thing that could happen as a blog operator, is that you could get a subpoena demanding IP addresses and such, but you are not required to actually maintain those logs... yet.

    People have fought these subpoenas and it has gone both ways if I recall correctly.

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  • Robert Dobbs August 5, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Jonathon Severdia @74

    \"Here\'s another zealous act: running a red light under any circumstances, putting you in the same esteemed company as drunks and senile reaper-chasing curmudgeons, and then sincerely believing that you are permitted this transgression due to karmic slack earned by living a life which is otherwise pure and restorative.\"

    [em. added]

    Awesome. I peed. I think your \"medicine\" is working out quite well for you.

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  • Illa August 5, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Hook, line, and sinker. You\'re really wasting time on this? You really think she\'s slapping locks on bikes. This is a delusional fantasy.

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  • KT August 5, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Myra makes me roll my eyes and sigh, in a \"here we go again\" sort of thing.

    Other people here make me roll my eyes, sigh, then chuckle, in a \"while I don\'t agree, you have a point and I like the way you\'re trying to make it\" sort of thing.

    I for one did not know the difference between trawling and trolling when it comes to fishing....

    So when it relates to the internets, I would think that \"trawling\", using kg\'s definition, means dragging blanket inflammatory statements in the hopes that you reap lots of return inflammatory comments. Trolling would be making one inflammatory statement repeatedly in the hopes that you get lots of return inflammatory comments.

    Yup? Nope?

    J Severdia: I like the way you think, in that I agree with you on some points. :)

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  • Peter August 5, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Wow, Myra is being a jerk.

    But I think you guys are missing the point, you need to do some more internet sleuthing, and bring some random person into this. I\'d say find someone who post\'s their phone number online, and then place in the blog, so you guys can call them.

    Also, once called on it, claim you did nothing wrong.

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  • Russ August 5, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Myra, will you marry me? We can have a red lock wedding.

    Johnathan,

    I should be damned for telling you how to run your most excellent blog, but I have to agree with what appears to be the consensus:

    Person who hates how some Portland bicyclists ride and blogs about it a spitefully as she can - not worthy. Person whom you can confirm is locking up said bicyclists bikes (plural) with her own locks - worthy.

    Unless of course you can get her to grant you an interview. That would be a fun read - on page 2 of course.

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  • Patrick Beart August 5, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Well, first of all, she got the \"logo\" WRONG! ... The (supposed) \"bike nazi\" logo/flag is actually BUDDHIST! In order for it to be \"nazi\", it needs to be reversed, so that the rotation is backwards (mirror image). Same with the pentacle - upside down (2 points at top) it\'s satanic, right side up it\'s a pagan talisman.

    People don\'t even know their symbols, so they just lump everything together in utter ignorance! ... Stupid.

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  • steve August 5, 2008 at 11:31 am

    How are these recent posts helping to diffuse the \'Us vs. Them\' debate Jonathan?

    Continuing your little spat with the bOregonian, instead of just dropping it. Mentioning Mr. Myra in another post, now giving him an entire post of his own.

    I can imagine all this nonsense is driving new visitors to your site, but you are dancing awfully close to Hypocrisy.

    I am embarrassed for you.

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  • Diogo August 5, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Jonathon Severdia,

    Your writing is so convoluted and strange that makes me hesitate to reply to your wink at me. But I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and I’ll presume you’re actually interested in discussing the subject with someone with opposite point of view (because I am).

    I don’t think she is part of a coordinated of conspiracy (even though I know for a fact that there is a powerful and aggressive cultural and political lobby for the cars and petrol fuel…). What I meant is that there’s recently been a visible reactionary response to the momentum biking is enjoying. This is a cultural matter and it follows the same patterns of any cultural changes that have historically emerged. Her website came in the wake of the Oregonian sensationalist characterization of the increase of biking as a problem – that’s what I mean when I say that they are all part of the same reaction. As soon as the O published their article I said they were somewhat attempting to energize the reactionaries and I think that has proved to be true.

    Now, I have not lost my breath or my calm spirit because of that. I think it’s pretty revealing that you would characterize me pointing out the reactionary nature of her blog (which is pretty evident) as overreacting while playing down her strident methods as fair game, comedy or whatever. That shows your sympathy for her views, which in turn reassures me that she may be more strident than others but she is definitely not alone on her feelings. And that is, in my opinion, what makes her case illustrative of a bigger picture.

    I really don’t see the zealots you are talking about – I think you are just making prejudicial assumptions. In fact, I think you’re making an incredible reversal of values, because if anyone is overreacting it seems to me that it is the reactionaries, who are overstating the negative value of whatever problems you guys are assigning to bikers, such as running stop signs and what not. Really, this is such a small issue that blowing it out of proportion like that is quite amazing. But, again, historically, reactionarisms of all types have always displayed that kind of hysterical exaggeration.

    I’m aware that words like reactionary can sound angry and even provoke strong emotions. But I really think it’s an accurate description of what is taking place. I really don’t think I’m a zealot for believing in the great benefits of promoting cycling (I certainly don’t see that as a personal virtue, but just that, social and personal benefit). And I don’t think there’s zealotry involved in rationally confronting and debate what I see as a reaction to a good cultural trend. I enjoy debating. That’s all!

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 5, 2008 at 11:38 am

    \"How are these recent posts helping to diffuse the \'Us vs. Them\' debate Jonathan?\"

    What do these posts have to do with that debate?

    \"Continuing your little spat with the bOregonian, instead of just dropping it.\"

    I don\'t feel my critiques of the Oregonian are \"a little spat\". As long as they disrespect this site, my readers and cyclists in general, I will point it out.

    \"Mentioning Mr. Myra in another post, now giving him an entire post of his own.

    I appreciate the feedback on that. i am the entire staff here at BikePortland and I run things based on my news sense and hunches. sometimes i\'m right, sometimes I\'m wrong. that\'s what being a human is all about.

    \"I can imagine all this nonsense is driving new visitors to your site, but you are dancing awfully close to Hypocrisy.

    sorry you feel some recent posts have been \"nonsense\". not sure if they are driving traffic to this site. i can say that traffic has been up sharply in the past few months and that my traffic is generally up 100% from one year ago.

    \"I am embarrassed for you.\"

    you shouldn\'t be, but thanks for your concern.

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  • Robert Dobbs August 5, 2008 at 11:46 am

    As a regular s--- disturber and thorn in the side of civil discourse, I would have to say that Jonathan is not a Hypocrite. However, he did definitely jump the gun in posting this article. Maybe a forum post or Page 2 would be more worthy.

    I get the intent of wanting to poll the community to see if this was in fact a real issue, but I feel that he took Myra\'s bait on this one.

    Jonathan is doing a remarkably good job riding herd on a very volatile community, and policing our excuse for local news media to boot. Credit where credit is due, and all.

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  • Diogo August 5, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Jonathon Severdia,

    I just read your other comments and it actually sounds pretty clear and reasonable. I take back the \"convoluted and strange\" comment.

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  • Kphomma August 5, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Successful troll is successful.

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  • Icarus Falling August 5, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Some of you people tend to forget that this is Jonathan\'s site, and he can damn well post whatever the hell he wants.

    If you don\'t like it, or don\'t want to see or read it, turn your computer off.

    Or start your own damn blog.

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  • Myra August 5, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    BEST POST EVER

    Just for the record I don\'t make fun of any injury or death.

    I love life, I want people to live and not be injured.

    (I would say pro-life but that means so much more now days.)

    However those who believe that they can ignore the laws of the road and ignore the laws of physics then blame everyone else for their issues such as deaths and wounds...well that is a belief worth fighting.

    Sorry I can\'t smoke from the stupid bong with you all.

    Oh and by the way I will have either photo\'s or vids as soon as I get back from vacation. See ya at the coast.

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  • D.R. Miller August 5, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    I think we all have a little too much time on our hands.
    Zealots were fanatical Jews. Nazis of course were fanatical anti-Jews. That was my only point there.
    I definitely agree there are sanctimonious holier-than-thou red-light runners. Are they worth all this bloviating?

    And I think we all sometimes forget that these typewritten insta-dispatches are not conversation. Like email, they lack the all-important meta-communication of body language and verbal tone. So we end up seeming to others like something we perhaps are not. Like assholes, for example. But most of us would probably pretty much get along in a face to face exchange over a frosty beverage.

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  • steve August 5, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Icarus-

    If you don\'t like peoples posts, don\'t read \'em! Right?

    Jonathan, I know I was been a prick, but how can you honestly ask this question?

    \"What do these posts have to do with that debate?\"

    They are part of that debate, they are furthering and contributing to it. How can that not be apparent? Not that I am blaming you or implying malicious intent. But, puhlease! Acting as if you are not somewhat culpable is a bit hard to take.

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  • SkidMark August 5, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    As much as I hate friggin\' swaskita discussions...

    Swastikas face in both directions in Buddhist motifs, especially in Tibetan Buddhism. For the record, Hitler\'s faced right or clockwise. They also show up in Native American motifs. After Hitler maligned the swastika, many clockwise one were removed, but examples of Buddhist ones can still be found.

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  • Bike Free Portland - Urban Velo August 5, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    [...] Bike Portland reports that there’s a new bicycle blog in town, but it’s not all that bike-friendly. Bike Free Portland is mostly about Myra Walker’s disdain for other cyclists. Namely, the ones she calls “Bike Nazis”. Of course, it’s more than ironic that she applies such a term “nazi” to freedom-loving cyclists, when she wants everyone to conform to her belief system. [...]

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  • Daniel August 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Jonathan,
    I wish you wouldn\'t waste your time (yours and ours) on such drivel as this lady and her website. How is this post of any value to any of us? All the best,
    Daniel

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  • grant August 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    \"Some of you people tend to forget that this is Jonathan\'s site, and he can damn well post whatever the hell he wants.

    If you don\'t like it, or don\'t want to see or read it, turn your computer off.

    Or start your own damn blog\"

    Well yes Jonathan can post what he wants, and so can Myra as a matter of fact whether you agree with the views or not, and whether you understand the use of satire or not.

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  • J to the H August 5, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    @SkidMark

    Thanks for posting the Swastika tidbit, I was thinking the same thing.

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  • Daniel August 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    It\'s not satire, it\'s trolling.

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  • jordan August 5, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Although I completely disagree with her tactics, she does have some valid points. A lot of Portland bicyclists are arrogant and do not practice safe bicycling. It angers me when I see someone on a dangerous road, or running a red light. Thank you for riding your bike, but no thanks for the stigma you are creating.

    My roommate told me she thinks that a big problem with bicycling in Portland is that it is so heavily politicized. And she is right. Bicyclists need to start riding their bikes because they understand its value and importance. Leading by example is the best way to sway people away from their cars. Be a positive voice instead of a styrofoam-headed (or not you unsafers) abrasive voice angering motorists. If someone asked you to join them and then punched you in the face would you?

    Myra does not hate bicyclists because of who they are, but rather because of how they behave.

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  • Aka August 5, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    I can take videos of bikers obeying the laws and using the green boxes. There are plenty of those.

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  • BURR August 5, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    It angers me when I see someone on a dangerous road...

    Get over it.

    What\'s a \'dangerous road\'? Hawthorne? Division? Belmont? Stark?

    These are all public roads, cyclists are allowed to use them, and do so for the same reason motorists do, to get from point A to point B by the fastest and most direct route, or to access commercial and other destinations that are typically located along these main arterials.

    What makes arterials dangerous? I\'d venture a guess that it\'s the large numbers of inattentive motorists using them, and breaking laws like the maximum speed limit while doing so.

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  • BURR August 5, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Robert Hurst, author of \'The Art of Urban Cycling\' has been quoted as saying that Portland has the most law-abiding cyclists in the USA. You could hardly tell by the way Myra and the Oregonian carry on, though...

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  • David August 5, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    No way is that a legitimate swastica. No self-respecting cyclist would ever be caught riding pedals like that.

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  • postmoves August 5, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I am compelled to throw-in on this \'discussion\' based upon my own experiences.
    In my previous posts I was roasted by the extremist contingent for what I believed to be the pretty moderate, citizen views (see my posts, and subsequebt rebukes by the likes of BURR).
    I do not condone the like views of Myra, but choose to see this posturing as a caricature.
    I am far from a sociologist, and humbly a citizen; and for that realize that we are all subject to the impact of a few partisan interests (such as those devastatingly profered by the current administration of our country).
    I consider myself a liberatarian.
    I drive a large truck, live in Hawthorne, solely support a family, ride a bike when possible, and also keep my office as close to home as possible out of necessity. My lot in life is not for others to condemn either way, as I too attempt not to judge.
    But I must say that the arrogance represented on this site, on both sides of this discussion, is boring. Boiled down much like an argument between the likes of James Carville and Anne Coulter (one big circle, not solving a thing).
    I repeat, as in previous posts, that as a commuter down Hawthorne and Division, that it is an unnessary risk to both the cyclist and the driver of an automobile that these streets are jointly habited by auto and bicycle during \'peak\' times. The cars, such as mine, have no real choice: major arteries keep autos off tributaries such as mine; and if you chose to get real technical, the use of fuel does pay the majority of fees for the use of the byways (the lions share of Oregon\'s traffic improvements come from gas tax), and - you have alternatives as a cyclist! Why tempt fate, and be a \'rebel\' at my expense?!?
    Everyday I see innumerable violations of all kinds of traffic laws, and yes, it is not fair that those in carcasses of metal have more protection, but I see no comparison, as this is a matter of simple physics. As a man with something to lose... why???
    One of my greatest fears is to be involved in any \'accident\', including one where the other party is outmatched and receiving the bitter end.
    I hope all the best, and sincerely wish that as a person of relative care and a survivor of many a rebellious and anarchist phase that you too make it.
    Please, if nothing else, take care, always steer defensively, utilize the rules of the road (or own it, and accept the consequences), heed the wisdom of others (including our bumbling politicians that have outlined the designated, preffered bike routes of Lincoln & Salmon on the new Bike Pavilions), and please get off the polarization (you will lose, either way).

    Peace.

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  • BURR August 5, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    postmoves, maybe if you paid closer attention to the speed limit driving would seem less stressful to you.

    Even if you succeeded in banning cyclists from the arterials, cyclists would still be crossing them with a predictable regular frequency, and motorist and cyclists need to share arterials on all the bridges, and the lanes downtown.

    As the percentage of cyclists rises, they are going to be everywhere, and despite your wishful thinking that the two modes can be successfully separated, I can almost guarantee that won\'t happen in Portland in the near future, the new infrastructure is too expensive and the existing infrastructure is what we be sharing into the foreseeable future.

    Learn to live with it.

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  • Robin August 5, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    It seems like every 3-6 months I have to stop reading blog comments for my own sanity. Extremism isn\'t a way to get things done. Let\'s stop focusing on things like extremist bloggers and start working on real issues.

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  • cristo August 6, 2008 at 10:38 am

    This \"Myra\" may not have the best command of the English language, and her (or his) polemic may be laughably extremist, but some of this blog actually brings up what I feel are \"real issues\".

    Quite frankly, I know I\'m not alone in being rather fed up with arrogant, dangerous riders in Portland who think they can cut people off, blow through lights and basically do whatever the hell they want.

    I\'ve been cycling in Portland for about 10 years and it wasn\'t always like this. Sharing the road means having respect - for the law, other cyclists, and drivers as well. If we can\'t do this ourselves, then we may end up with mandatory bicycle registration. And nobody wants that.

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  • BURR August 6, 2008 at 11:17 am

    one more thing about postmoves (#109) comment: you should lose the passive-aggressive tone and the tacit death threats if you want people to take you seriously.

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  • Robin August 6, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Just a note: when I was addressing extremist attitudes earlier I wasn\'t just talking about Myra.
    All I was trying to say was less rhetoric and more civil discussion.

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  • right On August 6, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    I want to buy this woman dinner.

    Awesome!

    I find it ironic that many cyclists take offense to this - yet if you read the posts on this site they pretty much advocate the same thing against cars.

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  • Eileen August 6, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Wow, this woman could do a lot to de-rail any progress that\'s been made. I wish people could be patient and realize that there is no quick fix way to change Portland and everybody\'s attitudes overnight. Anyone who wants to SEE more courtesy from drivers and cyclists alike needs to model that. Real change takes time and there are no shortcuts.

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  • Grimm August 6, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    It seems like someone has a satirical sense of humor, and doesnt get enough attention. Hopefully Myra can put this effort into something more useful in the future.

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  • BURR August 6, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    postmoves - since you apparently didn\'t understand my last comment, anyone that tells cyclists that they are \'tempting fate\' and to \'accept the consequences\' of legally taking the lane on arterial streets is, in my opinion, making tacit death threats.

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  • jack August 7, 2008 at 10:44 am

    burr-

    if i said to a person, \'dude, i don\'t think it\'s safe for you to run out into that lightnening storm with your golf club in your hand, you are tempting fate by doing that and should be prepared to deal with a seriously nasty shock\', would you find that to be a threatening statement?

    from my take on postmoves statement is that there is a much greater probability of an \'accident\' (not intentinally caused injury) to occur when you use arterial streets for regular commuting during peak traffic time. as is pointed out on a regular basis in this blog, roads have been structured with a primary design based on cars. in the interest of personal safety and preventing serious damage to an equal member of the transportation community, perhaps its wise to use a side street if it minimally impacts your travel time.

    ie. accidents happen

    bikers have a much higher probability of recieving life ending or changing physical injuries in a car/bike accident

    reducing potential accidents is good

    it takes time to change current policies, educate drivers, and modify set transportation routes

    until solid progress can be made for mixed road use sidestreets are good way to travel safely in the current environment and may lead to solid proof that bike only lanes are sufficiently worth the public funds(isnt there a map that clearly marks safety oriented bike routes?)

    with these statements laid out it is up to you to decide how/where you want to travel but there are very serious potential consequences for your choice

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  • postmoves August 7, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Thanks Jack.
    Spot on.

    Had already contemplated a response -
    If I choose to \'tempt fate\' by shunning the odds (and physics) by engaging in dangerous behavior when there are safer alternatives (as I personally do almost every day as a cyclist, driver, motorcyclist, pedestrian, pot smoker, drinker, glutonous eater, etc.) I am doing so at my own risk, and must therefore \'accept the consequences\' of those actions.
    And the largest contributor to my reasoning into better and safer decisions is the impact my actions have upon others- my kids need a dad, and I\'d rather not be a nightmare in someones future nights.
    I have no control over what decisions others make, but my understanding of the purpose of this forum is to present our experiences and share our perspectives, not always to stir the pot, but open our minds. I was not \'telling a cyclist\' anything, as, believe it or not, I am as you are.

    Cheers

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  • BURR August 7, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    jack, the trouble is I don\'t see anyone even attempting to make any progress towards making arterials safer for multimodal traffic, all I see is steady progress towards banning cyclists from arterial streets, as if that\'s going to solve the problem.

    Travelling on the arterials by bike is probably actually safer than travelling by bike on the side streets; as long as you take the lane and avoid the door zone, being hit from behind by overtaking same direction traffic is actually a relatively low-probability crash. Intersections are in reality the most dangerous locations for cyclists and there are just as many (if not more)intersections on non-arterial routes.

    I\'ll go even further and say that the highest hazard zones for cyclists on the arterials are at locations where bike routes cross the arterials, i.e. cyclists are most likely to be hit on arterials when they are crossing them, not when they are riding on them.

    Cycling will never be mainstream until it is safe to ride on the main streets, and the city continues to miss all sorts of opportunities to make the arterial streets safer for cyclists.

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  • postmoves August 7, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Now we\'re getting somewhere BURR,

    What, do you suppose, is an equitable solution for the current and projected traffic flow of all sources on, say, Hawthorne 30th-50th?
    All I\'ve heard is that the busiest arterial aside from Powell on the East is to close lanes for either streetcars (whole other debacle, and definitely at the sacrifice of a bike lane), or bike lanes (eliminates either parking for business and push auto traffic to the tribs).
    That\'s why we have planned and approved alternates such as Licoln & Salmon (posted on every new Bike Pavillion, by the way). As a homeowner close to both those paths, I see few incidents per capita (my kid\'s school is on one path, we live off another, use them regularly). As for crossing arterials, if bikes are behaving accordingly there are many signaled crossings.
    I\'d love to hear just what those \'missed opportunities\" are for such a condition.

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  • BURR August 7, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    if the city doesn\'t want to remove MV lanes and replace them with bike lanes, they should install sharrows in the lane and make at least half an effort to educate motorists regarding the fact that it is legal for cyclists to take the lane when there is no bike lane and the lane is too narrow to share (ORS 814.430(2)(c)). When was the last time you saw ODOT or PDOT roll out a PSA aimed at explaining the legal rights of cyclists to motorists? Most motorists are entirely clueless.

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  • postmoves August 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Burr -
    Poor dodge.
    More meat.
    Sharrows on Hawthorne? PSA\'s?
    What about the items adressed in my post, and not adequately rebutted.
    Do you know what of you so adamantly speak in you previous posts?
    Take away the personal attacks, and facts frustrate, huh?
    Am I alone here?
    Has this been an exercise in futility?
    Who has an alternative to the bike education adopted by the citizenry, by way of the PDX transpo, that encourages alt routes for cyclist on heavily congested thoughoufares? In my opinion, as long as there are passes given to the knee-jerk contingent that do not delve deeper, we are going to see this type of b.s. in place of serious discussions. And unfortunately, you are going to continue to see the poser-posturers pedaling out of rebellion, in place of meaningful, thoughtful interactions.
    When was the last seen PSA that addressed the fairweather pedalers, that also have rights, but lack the education and are just too lazy to regain momentum through stop signs? (and where is the funding for those spots coming from?)
    I encourage all new to this thread to track back through and see the course we\'ve taken, and tumblers will fall.
    To bring it back around, and as previously stated, Myra is a caricature: kudos to the rebels on either \'side\', but I am a realist, and have not the luxury of excess.

    Peace.

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  • Duncan August 8, 2008 at 8:33 am

    I will admit when many alternate routes to the same location exist- I will tend for the least trafficked alternative available, as much for the serenity as safety... however often times there are no alternatives, or the available alternatives are so far out of my way as to be silly (I am no biking from Burnside all the way to Hawthorne to cross the river), and in such cases I expect to be treated with the rights accorded to me by law... rights which many car drivers are unaware of. Therefore I believe that Driver Education is needed in this state- my personal experience leaves me of the opinion that many drivers do not know that bikes have a right to a lane, can use the left lane top turn, etc.

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  • postmoves August 8, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Duncan - you are correct (except you lost me on Burnside to Hawhtorne to River), and I am of like mind.
    Letter & spirit of law should be observed by all. Goes without saying.
    If you truly want to integrate, all must participate and not take the easier route of the victim, to blame the \'oppressors\', therefore eliminating/excusing culpability.
    I personally see a much greater need for pedaler education and enforcement (just sit at any intersection), as autos are already regulated - and naturally you are going to have inherent conflicts (I was taught to never pass an auto on the right in another auto due to the blind spot, yet that\'s the set-up for bikes, and where we get hooked).
    The problems do not reside with the likes of you and I (as I get from your post), but those that ride with disregard and anger.

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  • BURR August 8, 2008 at 10:03 am

    the fact remains: cyclists are legally allowed to use ALL local streets, and are also legally allowed to take the lane if the lane is too narrow for a cyclist and a motorist to share.

    How many motorists actually know and understand this, and accord cyclists their rightful place on the street without deliberately harassing them or inadvertently endangering them by following or passing too closely?

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  • Duncan August 8, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I am both a car driver and a bicyclist (and now a biker of the motorized variety.) and I have to say that the first rule of driving (for me) has always been never to kill anyone. If that means yielding to someone who is doing something illegal, then that is what I do (biking the wrong way down Grand, or that car that ran the left turn signal the other day on Hawthorne- it doesnt matter to me who is wrong, it matters that no one gets hurt.

    Lately I have had the opportunity to catch up with three close calls, all of whome said some variation of \"you were in my way\" (once when I was going with the speed of traffic, once when I pulled away from the right lane when it became a right turn lane, once when I was in a bike lane) The people werent mad or rude (and I was civil with them as well) and I realize this is a skewed anecdotal subsample, but the similarity of the incidents leaves me thinking that some further study is in order, and that if stop sign stings are how we educate bikers, then a similar tactic should be used for divers. I have written the PPD about this twice and received zero response. I think that the DMV should get involved too, and that driver education should include how to interact with bikes.

    Also I am certain that while more bikes run lights then cars, I am equally certain that more cars speed to an extent that endangers the lives of pedestrians and cyclists. Realize that the chance of surviving an impact over 45 MPH is less than 5% if you are IN THE CAR, then watch the speed of traffic on any of the bridges. recently on Burnside at night I was doing 30 and was being passed as though i was stationary, and on the St Johns Bridge it is worse.

    To give you a statistic- 90% of drivers admit to speeding by more than 3 MPH over the posted limit on a regular basis- and I think that the other 10% may be like the 10% of people who say they never jerk off (i.e. they are lying), so if we are all going to magically start following the rules (or if the rules are going to be evenly enforced) then the police should be spending more time enforcing the rules for cars, and that the responsibilities of cars (and the dangers of excessive speed) need to be part of the driving mindset.

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  • steve August 8, 2008 at 11:18 am

    You want concrete suggestions?

    Half all the speed limits currently in place. Yup, cut them in half.

    Institute a $5 a gallon tax on all gasoline sold in the state.

    Hit a cyclist, pedestrian, or other vehicle with your car, lose your license.

    Seriously injure or kill a cyclist, pedestrian, or other driver, go to jail for 5 years.

    Whatever current fines and punishments exist for all road way users, quadruple them.

    I could go on all day. What were your suggestions again?

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  • postmoves August 8, 2008 at 11:37 am

    steve -

    My suggestion is not more legislation, and definitely, as a small business owner dependent on motored transportation, to kill fair trade and skyrocket inflation. All your \'suggestions\' result in more government and are disasterous for our economy, as a means to your special-interest end.
    As for fines, they are much like a tax - I, or maybe a person of more means may be able to absorb the financial impact, but are you ready for red light cameras sensitive to cyclists?
    Wreckless driving laws are on the books, but proving such before a court seems to be the problem, and your suggestion seems naive, as our legal process can be beat - plus, just look at the initial responses, and misinformation on this site to the guilt/fault of the Salem woman, or sadly the Austin Miller tragedy (cleared by those authorities/courts you so institutionally trust); so who is to judge?
    My contention is we have the systems in place, just use them.
    My suggestions (if you read the posts) are to consistently get off the aggression, consider the others perspective, and break the rules knowing that there are consequences.

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  • steve August 8, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Just what I thought.

    Nothing.

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  • BURR August 8, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    ...if stop sign stings are how we educate bikers, then a similar tactic should be used for divers. I have written the PPD about this twice and received zero response.

    PPB has promised several times in the past to do stings on motorists that violate cyclists\' right of way, but they have never followed through...

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 8, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    RE: PPB doing stings against drivers of cars.

    They do these regularly. I have spoken with them about bike lane violation missions they have done, I have ridden along with them during speed limit violation missions they have done, and I have been present during crosswalk enforcement missions they have done (which is an ongoing program with PDOT).

    Also, during any mission (even bike-related), they will cite cars who are found to be breaking the law as well.

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  • BURR August 8, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Jonathan, I\'m not talking about bike lane violations, I\'m talking about locations where no bike lane is present and cyclists are legally allowed to take the lane. To your knowledge has PPB ever done such a sting in a location where no bike lane is present and cyclists are legally allowed to take a lane, such as on Hawthorne, Stark, SE 11th or 12th, etc.?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 8, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    no Burr. i haven\'t heard of them doing such a mission.

    i\'ll bring it up and let you know what the vibe is.

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  • BURR August 10, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Maybe this has already been said before here in the comments, but I wonder if Myra in her blinding hatred ever actually pauses to consider that the cyclists she is ranting about are her neighbors, coworkers, friends and their parents and children?

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  • Opus the Poet October 4, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Well her blog hasn't been updated since 08/14, I think her ISP may have blocked her access. Or maybe she was one of the people hit by a car on her bike since 08/17 (her arrival date from the cruise she claimed to have been on) and is now on our side. She did claim to have been riding before she left for the cruise.

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