Friday, May 15, 2009

Tulsa, bicycle friendly, and Ozzie someone...

I saw this story early this morning before I left for work at 5:30. At the time, there were no comments. That changed over the day, and as any bicycling story found in the local newspaper, it drew assorted dimbulb comments. Names have been removed to protect the innocent, the guilty, and the real mouth breathers. The level of intellectual discourse is ever-so-slightly above that of a group of school children.

The article highlights Jason Kearney and Gary Parker. A reporter accompanied Jason on his commute to work. Now if only we could get a reporter into a Smart Cycling class. Hint, hint.

First, a brief excerpt from the article:

Tulsa being peddled as 'bicycle friendly'
It's the first city in the state to gain a bronze ranking.

By SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Published: 5/15/2009 2:20 AM

Tulsa has become the first city in Oklahoma to receive a bronze ranking from the League of American Bicyclists, designating it as a "bicycle friendly community."

That pleases area cyclists and bike club members who have already found cycling to be a healthy, economical and pollution-free way to get to work.

They also find that there are plenty of cycling events, including Friday's Bike-to-Work Day, in which cyclists descend on Williams Green at Third Street and Boston Avenue from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.


Now, the comments:

If Tulsa didn't have the River Parks bike path, I would not ride my bicycle. Our streets are too narrow, and since Tulsans are not used to sharing the road with a bicyclist, I'd likely end up maimed or dead.

I'd like them to explain "bicycle Friendly" to my husband who has had glass bottles thrown at him numerous times and who was actually hit from behind.

If you can show me a way to SAFELY bicycle from my neighborhood in BA at 91st & 145th to my job on in Tulsa South 46th Street between Memorial and Mingo without getting run over then I'll put my fat hiney on a bike every day. Maybe my hiney wouldn't be so fat if I rode a bike that far every day

Bikes should have to have lights and a license tag if they are traveling on streets and highways,they should also have insurance coverage,and should be required to follow all traffic laws,like not peddling thru red lights and crosswalks.

bicyclists are rude and ride their bikes illegally. they ride in groups that think they own the road. they don't ride single file. they run stop signs and they hender traffic by riding slow. they are not even street legal.

As for those who ride through red lights & signs, HIT EM', that'll teach em' and if you see someone riding with headphones on, go out of your way to teach them a lesson about stupidity....

You may have a guilty conscience later but you'll know in your heart you were right and your bumper may someday become a badge of honor for you....

Share the road with bicyclists, please. You can't be in so much of a hurry that you can't take a few seconds to encourage people who are doing a good thing. A lot of nice people get behind the wheel of a car and turn into jerks. Don't be one of them.

Hard to imagine riding a bicycle on Tulsa streets. It's dangerous being a pedestrian.

Automobile drivers are rude and ride their cars illegally. they ride in groups that think they own the road. they don't ride single file. they run stop signs and they hender (hinder) traffic by riding slow. they are not even street legal.

Tulsa is not bicycle friendly. On of the biggest problems is the bikers themselves. they seem to think they own the road and can get away with anything. The other problem is that bicyclist is Tulsa seem to think that everyone needs to watch out for them, its the other way around. I am not the one with 360 degree viewing range. Here are some of the problems..

No bikes paths on main roads
Roads to narrow
Idiot drivers in Tulsa
Idiot bikers in Tulsa
Bicyclist slow down traffic
They are dangerous on one lane dead man turn roads
Bicyclist can not go 35

Most of the pedestrian and biker deaths in Tulsa have been because of their own stupidity.

and if you see someone riding with headphones on, go out of your way to teach them a lesson about stupidity....

So there you have it. The bike friendly article was fairly standard boilerplate about the award, area cycling conditions, etc. But the comments are sheer lunacy! You know, I've written a couple of zombie apocalypse stories about the walking dead, and while they're the stuff of nightmares, they're still kind of fun to write. Little did I know that they're already among us, but instead of shambling around in the streets shedding body parts as they rot off, they're sitting at home in their shabby pajamas, stabbing grubby fingers into keyboards.

Maybe we should contact the teachers who had these folks as students, and ask them to adopt the line from Shelly's “Ozymandias” as a motto - “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”

While that's meant as sarcasm, it holds an underlying truth. These people are terrified of riding a bicycle in traffic. They can't imagine anyone doing so without becoming a hood ornament on an SUV. They're hopelessly wrong in a multitude of ways, but there really is an antidote to the fear and ignorance so stunningly displayed. That antidote is bicycling education. Not bike lanes. Not multi-use paths. Not cycletracks. People can learn to ride safely and comfortably on area streets. It's not rocket science. It's called vehicular cycling and it's motto is: “Cyclists fare best when they act, and are treated, as drivers of vehicles.”



Blogger jasonk said...

I have found that the comments on these articles are just as entertaining, informative, and revealing as the articles themselves. This was no different. Still, it was a great experience for me, and the reporter accompanying me on my ride last week was very excited that she made it all the way. She called me later that day to tell me that all day, she was experiencing a euphoria that could only be attributed to the ride. Good for her! I feel that all the time.

8:42 AM  
Blogger JoeTally said...

Good morning. May I ask that you share a new site I have developed with your readers. The site is and my hope is that by cyclists reporting, marking and sharing their bad cycling experiences it might make it safer for all of us to ride our bikes...and hopefully, encourage non-riders to become avid cyclists.

If anyone has any questions or suggestions, please contact me at 1.800.761.0907 or My goal is to save cyclists' lives, but I need my fellow cyclists' help to be successful.

Thank you,
Joe Mizereck

9:13 AM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

Sarah of Streetsblog asked if there can be too much emphasis on safety. The comments after that post are themselves revealing. I'm apparently "insane" and "out of my right mind" because I allow my children to *gasp* ride in traffic.

3:56 PM  

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