Ann Arbor, Cycling, Hockey, Advertising & Media, and the occasional practical joke on my dad. I work at Quack!Media.
I knew someone couldn’t hold back. So let’s all thank Joe Vallone for bringing back Unfriended Friday. I deleted Joe’s comment from my Facebook page because I thought it would be hilarious if someone spent all that time to a 1,000 word Facebook comment and then poof.
So here is his post, in all of its ridiculousness (with commentary).
Joe Vallone: Do you look both ways before you cross the street on foot. I sure do, and I don’t assume that being in the crosswalk makes me safe. I will not stop traffic to cross a street or put my hand out in a hold on motion to stop traffic and cross just because I am on foot and claim the almighty “pedestrians have the right of way” I won’t do this for one simple reason. There are bigger and faster moving objects all over the road, bikes included if I am on foot. I feel the same on a bike. There are bigger things out there going much faster then I am. It’s like the food chain and you have to accept that you have entered it. I live in Europe now and they embrace the bike a bit more over here. May I suggest moving to Amsterdam? Then you won’t have to cry on your blog anymore about how dangerous it is to ride your bike in Ann Arbor. There are more bike lanes then roads for cars.
Let me translate this into mammal for you Joe, “since some people don’t obey the law, we shouldn’t have them anyway.” It’s the same shitty argument people use to justify their barn full of assault rifles. It’s also really stupid.
Joe Vallone: I currently live in France and near a very famous strip of pavement for cyclists due to a thing called the Tour Du France. It’s a windy mountain road and I am sorry, but the cyclists just make it plain dangerous. I can understand wanting to ride it because the Tour did it and the Tour makes biking trendy on these roads. The difference is that when the Tour is throttling down it in full force, the road is closed and controlled.
Cool story, bro.
Joe Vallone: It’s really dangerous and as your article suggests that you might be behind a cyclists for 8 seconds max, well that doesn’t really fly around here. And the whole notion that a car is generally going 25 mph faster in your scenario doesn’t always apply on the downhills on these roads. The roads are so windy and blind that you risk a head on collision trying to get around these greedy folks that think they are cars. The reality is “YOU ARE NOT A CAR” so don’t try to act like one because you will create a traffic problem on these roads, and when the drivers do try to pass at least file up and make it easier. I give you your space assuming you know I am there and are gonna help me pass by moving pack into a line, especially on these very narrow, blind, and exposed roads. I have never seen that courtesy from a cyclist and you sound like the guy that doesn’t yield or accomodate and would make it hard for folks in that situation. I see it more then ever now. Cyclists just stay in their packs and take the whole lane at a snails pace all the while cars just keep piling up until someone just decides to go for it around the blind corner. It happens everyday over here in France. When I go home to Colorado which is where I was living in the mountains. I see the same thing. It’s really dangerous for bikes to pretend they are cars, I am just sorry but it is. There is a reason you don’t walk on the interstate, why is it any different for a bike when you are putting your self in heavy flows of traffic?
So you don’t think bikes should be on the road at all. Okay, that’s totally valid… but they are. So, if you kill one of those cyclists you will be a murderer. That’s my point. My point isn’t that you shouldn’t be annoyed by it. Frankly I enjoy annoying you. Also, if these roads are as tight and windy as you claim (they are, I’ve ridden them) then those bikes are going way faster than you should be anyway. When they go that fast they risk their lives. When you go that fast you risk theirs. See how it’s different? On your Facebook page I see pictures of some sweet downhill skiing. That’s dangerous for you. Awesome! Huck yourself off a cliff. No one cares. Don’t do it in an SUV onto a cyclist.
Joe Vallone: I see you only really pointed out the bad things drivers do and the things that you need to do that break the law but look out for your best interests. So I will point out something that I am tired of and might get you killed one day. Cyclists are always riding through the traffic in between lanes. Now for someone who is so concerned about being seen and being in drivers blindspots etc. I strongly suggest you start a campaign to educate your fellow cyclists about the dangers of cycling between lanes when traffic isn’t moving as fast as you.
You passed that cyclist in the same lane, illegally, when you could go faster than them. They’re just returning the favor (and not risking your life in the process). Since you had to wait at the light anyway, maybe you should have just stayed behind them in the first place, you would have arrived at the same time.
Joe Vallone: I just could never understand why you would want to ride in traffic anyway. Sure you are saving the planet because that is how you get to work and it’s your transport. In general, people will ride in traffic anyway when their are bike lanes, or a county rd etc that just might be a little more pleasant sans the cars and street lights.
I don’t want to ride in traffic, because sociopaths, but such is life.
Joe Vallone: Anyway to each his or her own, but don’t go crying about it and dropping a bunch of F bombs because you don’t get the respect you think you deserve and you are making a choice to be in traffic next to teenage texters, and big, fast, moving objects. More importantly don’t defend why it is ok for you to break the law. Sounds very selfish coming from someone that seems to be making a plea to share the road?
Again, this is the “people are fuckheads so we don’t need laws just buy a barn full of guns, 36,000 tons of Pork n’ Beans and protect yourself” argument. It’s still not a valid one. Because civilization.
Joe Vallone: Sorry for the rant, but I am just responding to your rant. If you are gonna play the game, don’t cry when the game plays you!
No, thank you for this. Really. Especially that last line.
Joe Vallone: That’s the responsibility you accept when you put yourself up against traffic on your bike. You sound like a typical American that refuses to take responsibility for taking risk. You ride in traffic, accept the fact that it’s dangerous and you could be hit, and possibly killed by a car. It’s not always the fault of someone else as is the American way of thinking. Remember that if something happens, You had a choice to be there in the first place, so quit looking for someone to blame.
You’re right, it’s not always the fault of someone else. However, if you don’t move over and slow down, and you hit me… then it is your fault. That’s my point. The entire post was about helping you not kill someone. So what you’re doing is arguing that you should be able to kill people so long as they’re on a bike and you’re in a car.
I humbly disagree. Personally, I’d feel bad if I ran over a cyclist, because I’m not a sociopath.