Last Week

May 22 2018

Last week was one of the most beautiful weeks of road bike racing. The Giro and the Tour of California. Both races provide so much stunning imagery and drama. The pain and release of pro cycling on full display for the world. Color and speed. It was capped off with Gran Fondo in New York, a chance for lowly east coasters to be part of something huge, to ride with grupetto.

In Philadelphia we were mourning in our own ways through days of pounding rain. The death of a beloved messenger to start the week, The Ride of Silence on Wednesday, the death of an 11 year old as the weekend begins. There’s been newspaper articles and editorials, political movement. Fundraisers for funerals that shouldn’t be happening. Protected bike lanes set to appear on one busy throughway, for a couple of months at least.

Nothing has changed. No charges will be filed. There will be no cultural shift of understanding. We will never be Holland.
Someone one else will die soon. A family member, a friend, someone. Internet scumbags will still talk their shit and blame the dead.

Drivers will still roll through crosswalks and use stop signs as suggestions and race around residential neighborhoods like it’s a go kart track. They will still grow enraged about losing precious seconds from their trip. Delivery trucks and lazy drivers will block bike lanes. Screechy college students and bitter old timers will still yell out their car windows, wrapped in a glass and metal bubble. Stressed shitheads will still try to brush you, bump you, give you a little push, a little scare. Speed limits will still be doubled.

There’s no enforcement. We have real problems. Murder, gun violence. There’s no consequences. If you kill a bike rider you are walking. We all know it. What is the driver left with? Guilt maybe. Probably not. They are absolved of anything like that.

“He just jumped out”

“I didn’t see her”

The mantras of the killer.

On the other side:

Fight someone that tried to kill you and you’re going to jail for the night. Thrown in the the back of a cruiser like you’re the criminal, like it isn’t self defense.

So where’s the answer? Where’s the solution? Incremental change while more people are hit, while more people die.

How do you change the mindset of the east coast driver?

How do you change the mindset of the Philadelphia driver?

The short answer is you don’t.