home

Memories of Jammin' 95.5: Detroit radio show goes on anti-bike rant

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 7th, 2009 at 9:34 am

Deminski and Doyle

A radio station in Detroit Michigan aired very dangerous and inflammatory remarks against people who ride bikes during a morning talk show yesterday (listen/download mp3 here). The situation reminds me of when a similar incident occurred on a local Portland station back in July 2006.

"How many people have seen a bicyclist and you would just love to lob something at their heads..."
-- WCSX radio show host

In Detroit, on the Deminski and Doyle morning show on WCSX, Jeff Deminski and Bill Doyle shared their feelings about sharing the road with bike riders. The nearly eight minute segment was shockingly anti-bike. The segment aired as a response to a recent article in USA Today outlining how more and more states across the country have passed laws to protect people who are riding bikes.

During the WCSX broadcast, one of the two hosts says:

"...honest to god, how many people have seen a bicyclist and you would just love to lob something at their heads. I'm not condoning it, I'm not saying that we do it, but I'm just saying hasn't the thought gone through your head? Because seriously how selfishly do some of these people ride their bikes?"

The host gets very angry and upset at what he perceives as "arrogance" by people on bikes (he clearly has some personal issues about his own health in relation to fit bike riders) who ride in the road:

"...It's just flat out arrogance... they will ride as if they're a car right in the dead center of the lane just to be a pain in the ass. I have seen this time and time again, and -- ooohhh, god -- you just want to go Grand Theft Auto on them when you see that, you really do."

And that's just the start. The segment is pretty shocking to listen to.

And of course, as proof that this type of thing emboldens dangerous behavior, the people who call in are just as bad, if not worse. Here's what one listener who drives a big truck with a trailer says:

"... I want to do 45mph an hour but I can't do 45mph when they're half way in the middle of the road, because if I hit 'em, like the guy said, that'd be manslaughter..."

[As if the manslaughter charge wasn't there, he'd just go right ahead and hit them?]

We all know that unfortunately these kind of attitudes exist. Reading them in hate-filled blog comments is one thing, but having a well-known radio station broadcast this type of thing is completely unacceptable.

Detroit resident Dave Fanslow (who gave us the original tip on the show) emailed BikePortland a link to the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition's response to the show. A complaint has been filed with the FCC (however, given that no profanity was used, it is very unlikely the FCC will be able to do anything).

When something similar (although not as egregious in my opinion) happened in Portland, the host and the station manager apologized and tried to make amends. The offending host went on a bike ride with a reporter from the Willamette Week (and the resulting article was interesting) and the station manager negotiated a donation with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (what became of that, I was never told).

If anyone in the Detroit area wants more information on how we dealt with this in Portland, read through the 14 stories we published about it.

You can listen or download the entire segment at WCSX.com (or try this link to direct mp3).

Email This Post Email This Post

Possibly related posts


Gravatars make better comments... Get yours here.
Please notify the publisher about offensive comments.
Comments
  • Nicky V August 7, 2009 at 9:47 am

    One more reason not to tune in to morning radio.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • AC. August 7, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Detroit is a cautionary example on so many levels........

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Matt Picio August 7, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Riding in Detroit (and more to the point, the surrounding suburbs) is difficult. In the newer areas, subdivisions don't connect to each other. Most arterials are 4 or 6 lanes, most boulevards are 6-8 lane highways with a wide median. Many of the arterials have no shoulder, with a drainage ditch immediately off the road surface.

    For examples of road conditions in Metro Detroit, look here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattpicio/sets/72157618458498265/

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe August 7, 2009 at 10:27 am

    I had this type of anger directed at by a motorist. wish this on no one! my wife and kids still have me. dude flipped out on me!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • KruckyBoy August 7, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Posting this article only gives these guys more attention. Should be given the attention it deserves: none.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jeneraldisarray August 7, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Folks in Detroit certainly have a lot to be grumpy about. According to NPR, 2 people are currently moving out of Michigan for every 1 person who moves into the state. Rotten unemployment rate. Even more rotten housing market.

    Of course folks there are looking for people to blame for their daily annoyances, like having to slow down in traffic for cyclists who take the lane "just to be a pain in the ass."

    But COME ON,
    "We all know that unfortunately these kind of attitudes exist. Reading them in hate-filled blog comments is one thing, but having a well-known radio station broadcast this type of thing is completely unacceptable."

    No, actually it is acceptable. It's a product of our American right to free speech. We, as cyclists, are free to speak harshly of a motorist who treats us with disrespect "just to be a pain in the ass," in blogs, on the radio, on TV...wherever we can get the time or opportunity.

    The yammering idiots who called into this show to second the hosts' inflammatory comments would likely never be anything but law-abiding when confronted with a cyclist. Those who speak loudest are those who tend to bluster about rather than take action.

    And come on, the FCC? Are we really hoping that there can be some sort of fine for what was said? Would we want some "auto rights" group to start filing complaints about the KBOO bike show or BikePortland, diverting precious resources from effective bike advocacy to legal expenses/fines?

    The reality is: Detroit is a lumbering dinosaur when it comes to liveability and socioeconomic health. As in plenty of other sprawling, autocentric communities across this country, there are a lot of folks who are completely in denial that they're going to have to get the hell out of their safe, comforting cars and find another way to get around. Of course they're grumbling about it. Of course they're blaming others, namely cyclists or Obama, or whoever happens to come to mind while they're stuck in traffic, listening to drivetime morning radio.

    Let the crazies holler and complain. Engaging with angry hatemongers isn't going to get us anywhere.

    Besides, we cyclists are riding the wave of change, and we'd best not waste momentum on these knuckleheads.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 7, 2009 at 10:55 am

    jeneraldisarray,

    i believe that this type of thing incites violence and makes the roads more dangerous for people on bikes. to me, that makes it unacceptable.

    Please tell me one instance on this site or on the KBOO bike show where someone spewed such anger and hate toward people that drive cars. it doesn't exist.

    I post this story partly to reflect on the Jammin' 95.5 thing, and partly because i think it's important for folks to express their concerns about this type of thing to the powers that be whenever it happens.

    thanks for your comment.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Perry August 7, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Forget the FCC, send a note to each advertiser on this page (http://www.wcsx.com/advertisers/) and tell them what you think.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Pete August 7, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Traditional broadcast radio is a fast dying medium (check ad rates, user engagement, or the financial condition of any radio company for evidence) and these dopes are examples of flailing for attention as their relevance fades fast. Only a true idiot has ambitions to be the zaniest/wackiest/morning zoo-est loudmouth backtiming the intro to another shoulda been forgotten Steely Dan "deep cut." Yesterday I watched a mentally ill homeless man punching a traffic sign as hard as he could while screaming hallucinations; he's probably more articulate, interesting, and relevant than Doyle, Deminski, and their whole "morning crew" put together. I hope those morons remember their incitations when their kids learn to ride bikes and venture past out of their cul de sac.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Perry August 7, 2009 at 11:04 am

    http://www.greater-media.com/ - the corporate owners of WCSX. "People, Product, Profits - our core values". Well, apparently two out of three ain't half bad.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Anonymous August 7, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Come on Jonathan,

    The "cager" comments are rampant on this site.

    The "blame the driver" attitude for every car bike incident is rampant here.

    There are plenty of people on both sides of this issue who, when anonymous, will spout hatred of one sort or another at a group, but would never do it in public where the could be identified.

    Are you ready to start editing all the hateful comments directed at the police and drivers on this website, because that's what you should be ready to do once you decide that others aren't given the same freedom to express themselves as you feel you are entitled to, just because they have a differing viewpoint than you do.

    And if you think cyclists aren't capable of these types of actions, let's remember the one Bike Gallery Mechanic who was swarmed by a group of cyclists, and the other who got into a physical altercation, all because of the superior attitude of cyclists over drivers.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 7, 2009 at 11:14 am

    anonymous,

    comments are different than words published (or in the case above, broadcast) by a news outlet.

    And yes, as a matter of fact we do delete to the best of our ability any comment that is hateful, regardless of what side it's spewed from.

    and I never said "cyclists aren't capable" of this type of thing.

    as for the "superior attitude of cyclists over drivers".... that can be said of any user group on the roads.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • wsbob August 7, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I don't want to take the time to download the mp3 to listen to these guys gratify themselves. If they're anything like the local version of top-40 morning host, aren't they merely the radio wave equivalent of clowns...or from a medieval context...fools? Ratings trolls...not much more.

    Connect them with an acts of violence people commit where they felt directly compelled to commit the acts because of what the hosts said, and maybe you got something.

    Maus, by the way...what about that guy you mentioned in your twitter note yesterday? The guy knocked off his bike when a full 32oz energy drink was thrown at him and struck his head? Any more news from that incident? His condition? Witnesses?

    How about catch people like that, line them up, and have a little carnival fund raiser...let people pelt them with 32oz bottles full of energy drink until enough money is raised to pay for their victims injuries, pain and humiliation he endured? Watch them plead for jail time as an alternative. Just joking there...like the morning hosts...I'd never seriously advocate that kind of torture.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jeneraldisarray August 7, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Jonathon,

    It IS important to, as you state, reflect on this and encourage folks to express their concerns. I am expressing my concern that further engagement with such vehemently anti-bike individuals will merely exacerbate the situation.

    I couldn't offer instances of hateful speech on the KBOO bike show or this site because, as you correctly state, "it doesn't exist." Both are generally high-minded, respectful forums, but what's to stop a litigious anti-bike group from gumming up the works with overblown, completely baseless complaints for spite's sake?

    Advocacy on behalf of our cycling community, here and across the country, is absolutely essential, and it's vital that we have forums such as the one you've created here where we can hash out what each of us feels is important. We're not always going to agree, and we're not always going to deem the same battles worthy of fighting.

    I don't think that this one is worth fighting, but I value the dialogue that we can have regarding it.

    Thank you for your response.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • PdxMark August 7, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Anonymouse.... the difference between comments on this blog commenting on motorist actions involving cyclists never amount to an endorsement of random physical attacks on innocent people. There is a fundamental difference between criticizing on-road behavior and making light of physical attacks on actual people. I don't think you'll find any comments on this blog about the imagined joy of dragging a motorist out of a car and beating him or her with a bat...

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • peejay August 7, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I expect this crap from the pinheads who talk on, and listen to, crap radio. However, this disturbs me a lot. Atrios is a guy who normally has a pretty enlightened view of transit issues, so this is pretty unforgivable. I'd bet your comments there would more likely do good than anything you write at the radio station site.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • ME 2 August 7, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Anon. #11

    Yes there are people on both sides, but the consequences of road rage from a driver are a lot higher than a holier than thou cyclists.

    Acting in a menacing way on a 30 pound bike is a lot different than doing the same in a vehicle. The shock jock comments can add fuel to the fire to drivers who may feel compelled to act. Here are the results when that happens.

    http://laist.com/2008/07/07/road_rage_motorist_vs_cyclists_on_m.php

    http://www.westsidebikeside.com/hummer-hits-cyclist-officer-cho-sympathizes-with-the-driver-adding-and-i-carry-a-gun-in-my-car/

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Steven J August 7, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Motor City..go figure.. with the big 3 trouble of late, you'd think they might realize they could be building bikes there.

    Hope they never loose a loved one to a driver as pathetic as they obviously are.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Carl August 7, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Rah rah rah.
    Am I REALLY supposed to be surprised or offended by this? Sorry, Jonathan, but it's a slow news day when some morning talkshow hosts in Detroit make Portland bike news for laughing about running bikers off the road and wearing stupid pants. Yawn.

    In actual news, I read about the new Willamette Bridge crossing's bike lanes on the front page of the Oregonian today. I think it'd be more interesting and useful to deconstruct that project and the way the O is covering it (not too badly, in my opinion).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Hart August 7, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Detroit is an awesome city making a lot of progress after 40 years of falling apart. It's too bad these two life-failures have such emotional problems.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Rex August 7, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I just left the following message at the D & D website:
    D and D,

    Hey shock jocks - you guys are jerks. I just listened to your anti bike segment and am appalled. Your words are creating a more dangerous situation for cyclists and drivers alike.

    I am from the beautiful and bike friendly sate of Oregon. Here in Portland, we also have a few aggressive drivers and a number of bike fatalities each year. Let me tell you, if you think hitting a deer is dangerous, try hitting a 180 pound man on a 30 pound bike. Yes, the bike and rider will loose but the car and driver of the car will we also be hurt and damaged.

    But, why does this have to be the either or option? Do you really want to see cyclist bleeding and dying on roadsides - you are sick puppies!

    In Oregon, we have strived to make bike lanes and paths available. But like Michigan, we have a number of narrower roads that can't be widened. So, they are inherently dangerous for cyclist. We cyclist try and stay away from these road but they often lead out into the country where there is less traffic and therefore more safely. To get to the country, we need to use these roads.

    As for the bike paths, these are great if you are on a beach cruiser or mountain bike, but these are also used as walking paths, and as a cyclist on a Road Bike, the road is the correct place. You don't want to get a bike going at 20 MPH coming around a corner against a mom and a baby stroller. So, the road is correct place for road bikes.

    And, how much of a hurry are you actually in? Does slowing down for 15 seconds really degrade your quality of life? Really?

    Detroit - the Motor City. The cars have done you so well. You used to have trains and city trolleys now you have sprawl and a very low quality of life from all account I have found. Maybe you should take a ride and take back your city from the soon to be outdated car culture you angrily cling to.

    I would love to talk more about this. Give me an email and I will forward my phone number, so we can have a real discussion.

    I hope you get a flat tire,

    Rex

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    hey Carl,

    thanks for your input on the stories I choose to cover.

    everyone has an opinion about what is "news" and what stories should have priority over others.

    as for the bridge project covered by the O today... i think you were out of town when I covered it last month.

    here's my story:
    An update on bikeway design for TriMet's new light rail bridge.

    And I agree with you, the O's story today is good. like I said on my twitter feed first thing this morning when I linked to it.. it's great to see them questioning the width of the bikeway.

    thanks again for your comment and sorry to make you yawn.. perhaps you'll find something interesting in the 30 other stories we've published this week.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kt August 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Letters to the idiot radio djs would have more impact if they came from people actually in the state in question...

    By sending them letters castigating their words, and stating quite plainly that a) I'm not from there, b) I don't bike there and c) I'm from the bike-mecca that is Portland, well, that would be just adding fuel to their flame.

    Pointless, really. Now, if a local bike advocacy group (local to them, not us) were to get on it.... yeah.

    Anyway, it just goes to show that people will do anything to get a rise out of others, especially when that's their job. Troglodytes.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • indy August 7, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    As a biker I agree with the hosts. There are a plethora of times I have thought this way towards bikers. Hell, even *I* as a biker used to act like an ass. (Hey but then I was hit by a car and sobered up.)

    I think you do a disservice when you group bikers into this mecca of perfect behavior, when it obviously is not there.

    Here's a test, go down to 3rd and watch the messengers leave stumptown. Little respect for pedestrians/sharing road, and when bus traffic was on that road, truly aggressive behavior.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • indy August 7, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    "Acting in a menacing way on a 30 pound bike is a lot different than doing the same in a vehicle. The shock jock comments can add fuel to the fire to drivers who may feel compelled to act. Here are the results when that happens."

    So you justify the behavior simply because of the vehicle transporting them?

    Seriously, think ahead a few synapses about how bikers antagonize others on the road, it does happen, and it causes a political loss in the short and long-term.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Carl August 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Sorry to be unclear, Jonathan. I know you dread being scooped and I wasn't suggesting that you were. I read your article last month about the bridge and, as usual, it was solidly written and informative.

    If you want to take a meta-media angle and report on the media, I'd rather read your thoughts on Oregonian coverage of a Portland issue than your thoughts on a Detroit Classic Rock DJ's predictable and tired tirade about a USA Today article.

    I'm probably in the minority with that opinion, though. The story above is likely to generate more comments and pageviews.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Elly Blue August 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Indy -- and everyone -- I think it's important to keep in mind the difference between behavior by individuals that you perceive as being rude or inconsiderate and violent threats to a person's life and safety. One does not warrant the other.

    If you see a widespread problem with people behaving unpredictably, rudely, or unsafely on the roads, there are ways to address that without making verbal or physical threats to individuals.

    I see a much greater problem in the notion that it's okay to exhort others to violent crimes against a group of people based on the mode of transportation they use. And yes, that's newsworthy.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Hart August 7, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    "As a biker I agree with the hosts. "

    Bikers ride motorcycles. We're talking about cyclists.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jeff August 7, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Did the "actual news" in Detroit cover this? How crazy this is and how dangerous it is for cyclists? These people should be fired- no less...

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Brad August 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Non-story in my opinion. Did we see a surge in menacing after Jammin's anti-bike rant? I don't recall any mass violence reported here.

    Just two weeks ago I heard local sports radio guys making fun of cyclists in Portland for the usual plethora of reasons (spandex covering beer guts, Lance fan boys that only ride during the Tour, running red lights, etc.)and yet no one reports being accosted or ridiculed because The FAN 95.5 called us weirdos and posers. In fact, they shut down a guy that called with his "run 'em down in my pick-up" fantasy and stated that that had no place on their show.

    People listen to shock jocks for a few laughs and nothing more. Do you really think these guys or their ilk are that influential? Probably not. If they were than we should see epidemic levels bike violence, porn star stalking, and public farting. Hell, if I took this site seriously then I would not even ride a bike since the cops, Tri-Met bus drivers, and middle class suburban soccer moms are all homicidal maniacs out to kill me and only Sam Adams can keep me safe (but only if that proves to be politically expedient).

    This was in DETROIT, MICHIGAN! Let BikeDetroit.org cover it and do something useful like, "Tips for Your First Bridge Pedal", profile local bike shops, interview local decision makers about bike issues, do a primer on bike commuting to get the "interested but concerned" out there, etc. I have to agree with other posters here, BikePortland is drifting more towards evangelizing and whining about sleights rather than balanced reporting. Inform and inspire. Don't just rehash wire stories from elsewhere - we have the Big "O" for that.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bob_M August 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    3 points
    one's right to freedom of expression ends where my nose begins. If speach incites violence it is not protected.

    Morning Zoo programs are for kids. It is a sad reflection on our country if the people who listen to that broadcast are old enough to have a driver's license

    Hart #28 Bikers ride Harleys, motorcyclists ride motorcycles.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Anonymous August 7, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Jonathan,

    You make a pretty big jump when you state the broadcast, "emboldens dangerous behavior" from the listeners who called in. Did anyone act on the statements made?

    Then you have to hold yourself accountable for the hatred that is presented in the comments in this blog. Because while your blog may not specifically state anything negative about drivers/police etc, it certainly does embolden others to spew their hate here in the comments section.

    So whether you like it or not your writings do create the same type of prejudice as is generated by these radio jocks.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Radio Worker August 7, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    I work in radio in pdx, and I will be honest: the radio industry is full of ignorant dinosaurs. I am not surprised this happened on radio.

    At the stations I work at, there are a few of use year round cyclist/commuters and it has been interesting confronting the many dinosaurs in the building. We have a shower in the building which is nice for a rinse after a typical PDX commute, but the personalities will get annoyed that we use it to rinse off and it is the closest bathroom to their studios. Some have thrown dirt in the showers and literally sabotaged the facility.

    Long story short, radio is old and many of the employees and personalities (not all) are old, ignorant people that are childish at best.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Q`ztal August 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    With the unemployment as high as it is in Detroit, an Michigan in general, and for as long as it has been so high (I vividly remember my tour of dead factories in 1983) it's not surprising that citizens are emigrating at an alarming rate.

    So when we combine:
    >large road capacity
    >fewer drivers
    >much less income
    will it be a big surprise, to anyone other than these schlock jocks, that Detroit becomes a major bike town.

    As their local economy continues in to it's black hole the scale of the lack of cash flow will further drag down median incomes. At some point the price of auto ownership will be too much and some will turn to bikes.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Rex August 7, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Kt,

    It is not useless if I get on the radio show with them and shed a little light. And, Radio hosts LOVE national attention.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe August 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    #33 wow!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Hart August 7, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    "Bikers ride Harleys, motorcyclists ride motorcycles."

    Indeed, sir.

    "Will it be a big surprise, to anyone other than these schlock jocks, that Detroit becomes a major bike town?"

    There was a national op-ed predicting just such a trend, and from my friends in Detroit I can tell you it's already happening. Obviously if these corporate radio tools are complaining about it already, the cycling revolution has already begun in Motown.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Hart August 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Also, the frequency of WCSX is 94.7, not 95.5.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • brian b August 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I Heart Silly Pants!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Nopobikeartist August 8, 2009 at 5:47 am

    With all the bike violence and talk such as this morning show, why don't we all lobby to make violence against cyclist a hate crime?

    I know it sounds silly at first, but it is a hate crime, a hate crime...

    "occur(s) when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group,"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime

    There are certainly enough of us to sign the petition to get it moving.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • El Biciclero August 8, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Man, if only ALL the rules of the road were taught in driver's ed. Sure, there is enough "acting like an ass" that goes on--disregard for pedestrians and blatant running of stop signs and red lights (I was passed by a fellow cyclist the other day while I was waiting at a red)--to cheese off other road users, but what drives me crazy are the driver complaints about "arrogant" cyclists who "hog the whole lane", "weave in and out of traffic", "ride to the left of the white line", etc. These latter behaviors are--most of the time--not exhibited by "arrogant" cyclists trying to be a "pain in the ass", but by responsible cyclists legally trying to be as safe as possible.

    I ride a large, suburban, arterial road (Murray Blvd. in Beaverton) almost every day. It has a bike lane, but I leave it regularly--mostly to avoid right hook situations. I suppose the legality of my leaving the bike lane is questionable, depending on what would technically constitute a "hazardous condition". Regardless, I have never had a negative interaction with any motorist on this 45 mph road, as it is usually apparent why I am moving over (e.g., a huge Reser's truck turning across the bike lane), but I would bet that any time I leave the bike lane, somebody thinks to themselves, "look at that idiot! Thinks he's a car!" Drivers might also think that I am "weaving in and out of traffic" (even though I signal), and/or "hogging the whole lane" (even though I only occupy the "car lane" for 100 - 200 yards or so).

    A combination of less "acting like an ass" on the part of many cyclists, and increased motorist knowledge of what is really legal/safe behavior for cyclists would go miles toward creating a friendlier atmosphere on the roads.

    Of course, there will always be cyclists who truly fit the stereotype of "holier-than-thou scofflaw", and motorists who will never acknowledge that any cyclist has any right to use "their" roads. Regardless, being annoying or being annoyed is NO reason for being threatened or threatening someone else's life to try to "teach them a lesson".

    Motorists who never ride a bike tend to have no idea how easy it is to upset the balance of a bike and cause it to crash. They probably don't understand that a bump to the handlebars from a car will not push a bike off the road but cause it to actually turn into the car that bumped it, likely getting "sucked under". Non-cyclists don't realize how a sudden startle can perturb a cyclist's line and cause them to swerve or wobble. Motorists who never ride probably don't realize that bikes can travel upwards of 20 mph, and that crashing at that speed with no cage of protection can be much more deadly to a cyclist than it would be for a motorist. I think those who never ride tend to automobilomorphize bikes and somehow imagine that what is relatively harmless to someone in a motor vehicle is just as harmless to someone on a bike, or something that affects a motor vehicle in a particular way will affect a bike in the same way. It usually doesn't turn out so well when somebody does something based on what they think they know, but don't really know.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • cold worker August 8, 2009 at 11:49 am

    can we raze Detroit...and not start over. if there is a place in US worse than Detroit (Florida excluded), let me know about it so I can avoid it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jim August 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Never bean there. I supose that in motown the roads are made for cars, and not just any cars- American cars. Not hard to believe. In Romania bikes aren't even allowed to ride in the street, if they did they would be run over for sure.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • wsbob August 8, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Hart's comment #37:

    " "Bikers ride Harleys, motorcyclists ride motorcycles."

    Indeed, sir.

    "Will it be a big surprise, to anyone other than these schlock jocks, that Detroit becomes a major bike town?"

    There was a national op-ed predicting just such a trend, and from my friends in Detroit I can tell you it's already happening. Obviously if these corporate radio tools are complaining about it already, the cycling revolution has already begun in Motown. "

    Harleys are beautiful throwbacks to the glorious era of freedom via the internal combustion engine, but their exhaust stinks about as bad as the Detroit 'jammin' hosts desperate attempts to gain ratings and laughs. Getting stuck behind one in traffic whether on a bike...bicycle that is, or car with an open window, is bad.

    Eventually citizens of a major metropolitan U.S. city may, on a major scale, come to the realization that the E-bike, for commuting purposes, is a better alternative, as China has, according to the following article:

    E-China: The bicycle kingdom is going electric

    Reading the article, it seems that a lot of China's E-bikes still have lead acid batteries...that produce lots of unhealthy emissions. With a little more time, the Li-ion battery in bikes/scooters may be experiencing far more widespread usage; more power, lighter, cleaner.

    A city like Detroit could eventually find itself with a virtual army of road users on E-bikes. If something like that should happen, imagine the just joking mean-ness erupting from the Detroit Deminski-Doyle jammin' radio duo. Ratings are, after all...important.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Vance Longwell August 9, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Oh please. This recording is more disclaimer than program. This is not a policy discussion. No one has been threatened, so that's a lie J. (Ya, I'm calling you a liar.) These are grown adults talking about how sharing roads with cyclists angers, and upsets them. Just as you pointed out, the FCC will not sanction these guys because they haven't done anything to violate FCC rules.

    Cyclists are totally innocent. There is no conflict. Everybody loves the way this here-today-gone-tomorrow cycling fad has effected traffic. Nope, no justifiable reason to be upset here, nosirry!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Eileen August 10, 2009 at 2:48 am

    I disagree with people who say these voices should be silenced. It's a sucky conversation to have, but if the attitudes are there, you gotta have it. Just like with relationships.=)

    Honestly, post more articles and make them squirm and feel sheepish and have to apologize and realize that they sound like asses. Fewer people will want to feel like asses, I guarantee it.

    Silence or ignore them and they will just shout louder and find 20 more people to shout with them.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Drew August 10, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Jonathan, I feel it is very newsworthy. Some drivers need to explore their feelings about directing violence toward cyclists.
    Those shock jocks are condoning acts of domestic terrorism. Where is homeland security on this issue? The more exposure this subject gets, the better.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Vance Longwell August 11, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Drew #47 - Why, when this conversation is had tens of thousands of times a day? Why is this one event newsworthy over the thousands of other violently, anti-cycling rants occurring every day? (I personally have contributed greatly to this ever-expanding body of work.)

    How can you, "explore", a feeling? A feeling is an abstract description of an ambiguous set of neuro-responses. You can't explore that, and I find your abstract thinking about a real problem sort of infantile.

    Those DJs laid disclaimer, upon disclaimer prior to their rant. How is this condoning violence against anyone, let alone cyclists?

    As usual, freedom of speech only applies to the Church of Green religious fanatics. Oh, and way to suck-up. Bad new though, I'm pretty sure Maus is married.

    Oh ya, the Oregonian is fanning the flames of controversy. Gimme a break!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

- Daily bike news since 2005 -
BikePortland.org is a production of
PedalTown Media Inc.
321 SW 4th Ave, Ste. 401
Portland, OR 97204

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Clemens Orth.
Subscribe to RSS feed


Original images and content owned by Pedaltown Media, Inc. - Not to be used without permission.