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Travel site says ‘driving cyclists off the road’ is rite of passage in Portland – UPDATED

Posted by on January 12th, 2015 at 1:44 pm

“… you’re the one driving a two-ton bullet of a machine, and thus you’re the one with all the power.”
— MatadorNetwork.com

Portlanders are used to being on lists when it comes to the travel and tourism media; but not like this.

Matador Network, which bills itself as the “web’s best independent travel media site,” has published an article that makes light of driving a car into bicycle riders. The article, published on December 29th, says it’s one of the seven “rites of passage everyone will experience in Portland.”

Surrounded by six other completely innocuous items, here’s the part about bicycle riders:

matador

Northeast Portland resident Gregg Lavender took to Matador’s Facebook page (which has 294,651 likes) to express his concerns:

“As a Portlander, I guarantee that I’ve never: “Daydream(ed)about driving cyclists off the road.” Please don’t fantasize about hurting me, my family, or my friends.

I’m sorry to read that Matt Staff feels otherwise. I’m sorry to read that Matador supports these dangerous (And not funny) articles.”

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Thankfully, Gregg has already heard back. “We appreciate you reaching out,” said an admin for the Matador page, “and have sent this feedback to our editors.”

We get that Matador’s writers are paid to generate clicks and they certainly have the right to their opinions. But as we’ve noted several times on our front page over the years, it’s never funny to make light of traffic interactions like this — especially when the behaviors being encouraged could easily lead to someone being killed.

Hopefully Matador’s editors do the right thing and delete that item.

UPDATE, 9:23 am on 1/13/15: We are happy to report that the article has been taken down.

UPDATE, 1/14/15: I heard back from the author of the blog post. Here’s his apology:

You’ve my sincerest apologies for the recent article featured on Matador Network regarding bikers in and throughout Portland.

The riff on reckless action was inappropriate, insensitive, and disrespectful to those folks of the biking community impacted by the destructive actions of drivers in the past.

In no way was I EVER encouraging drivers to ‘kill’ cyclists or harm them at all – there’s a fine line between attempts at humor and ‘too far’ and that line was crossed in pursuit of a coldhearted punchline.

I’d never encourage, stand behind such an evil action (harming a cyclist-harming anyone), and will always condemn those that do. I’ll have you know those that know me outside the ‘click-bait, humorous writing’ know me to be a man of high morals, good character, and well grounded values.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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Adam H.
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Adam H.

Their company name is Spanish for “killer”. Coincidence?

Kyle
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Kyle

The real problem here is polarization. It’s increasingly common to see people’s opinions skewed in only one of two extreme directions – in this case either pro-bike or anti-bike. Why can’t people find a middle ground anymore? I drive, cycle, walk, and occasionally ride transit in Portland, and to me it’s all about which mode of transportation is best for the journey I’m about to embark on.

These irresponsible articles (frequently seen from The Oregonian) serve only as an affront to people backed into two opposing corners of the same room.

Granpa
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Granpa

So let me make sure I have this right, Matador feels that it is OK to advocate violence against innocent persons if it generates clicks on their website?

New Media
Guest
New Media

This kid is a joke… he’s a college senior, and his media experience amounts to scatter shot contribution to dispirit websites over the the past 9 months or so, plus of course, his own media venture, where he has two huge typos in his biography.

Matt
Guest
Matt

The article is still up. I just left a nice little comment and encourage others to do so as well.

Graham
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Graham

http://matadornetwork.com/life/7-rites-passage-everyone-will-experience-portland/

Still up on their website. Here is a link to their facebook wall if anyone feels inclined.

https://www.facebook.com/matadornetwork/timeline

David Carlsson
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David Carlsson

I responded on their advertising site. I figured the people responsible for marketing might be more responsive to talk of homicidal violence by the writers.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Wow. So not cool.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“Come on, bro—just kidding! You can’t take a joke? Besides: fantasizing about using the power of a two-ton bullet to force people off the road, possibly causing a potentially life-threatening crash is nowhere close to actually doing it! Wow, sensitive much?” —Average Majority Public Who Think Joking About Death Or Injury To Out Group Is Harmless Fun

I’ve long been curious as to the particular deficiency in character, security, emotional/mental development, or whatever it is that makes so many adults appear to crave some form of elbow-nudging, chortling derision of other people in order to feel good.

FauxPorteur
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FauxPorteur

Please, don’t click. Make it a habit to NOT click on links that take you to a site that posts BS like this just to get clicks/views/ad revenue. We all play into their hands when we do.

adventure!
Guest

“Matador Network, which bills itself as the ‘web’s best independent travel media site…’ ”

That’s interesting. I work in the the travel industry and this is the first time I’ve heard about them.

Eric Iverson
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Eric Iverson

I sent an email through the advertising form, as well as Tweeting to them with my opinion. I also reported some Sharrows that need painting today. Doing my part 🙂

Brent Shultz
Guest
Brent Shultz

Funny that their site’s TOU states: “You agree not to use the Site or Matador Services to collect, upload, transmit, display, or distribute any Content …that is patently offensive (e.g., material that promotes … physical harm of any kind against any group or individual)”

JoshC
Guest
JoshC
JoshC
Guest
JoshC

Side story, my wife found this when looking up the facebook page for the local sandwich shop devils dill.

krx
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krx

Use donotlink.com for sites like this.

FauxPorteur
Guest
FauxPorteur

While donotlink.com would be better than nothing. It’s still crappy that hundreds (thousands?) of impressions were generated by BikePortland readers visiting this BS site. Those impressions = ad revenue for this outfit.

Yes, the Internet is full of jokes. No, you shouldn’t take everything you read on the Internet too seriously. But, I think that this his kind of cynical click baiting is exactly what the Internet and society as a whole absolutely need less of.

was carless
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was carless

It’s clickbait, obviously. I think this is how they generate pageviews, by inciting the masses..

John Liu
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John Liu

Article was not worthy of the attention given.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

article has been taken down…

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

the comments from the article are alive and well…

https://disqus.com/home/discussion/matadornetwork/7_rites_of_passage_everyone_will_experience_in_portland/

I’m guessing that was one of the reasons they took down the article… all comments bashing the bicycle part of the article…

Kevin Wagoner
Guest
Kevin Wagoner

I blocked their page on Facebook so they can never communicate to me. Seems reasonable?

Arem
Guest
Arem
Khal Spencer
Guest

Its highly unethical for a company to publish such inflammatory stuff. They need to get a letter from someone like Steve Magas or Bob Mionske, asking if they want to be sued if someone takes their advice.

KristenT
Guest
KristenT

I found it interesting that he decided to call the car a bullet. Sounds to me like he’s tacitly saying a car is a tool that can be used as a weapon– sitting still, it’s not dangerous but once it’s loaded…