Thursday, March 18, 2010

This aggression will not stand

Like most people, I went out on the town last night. And like most people, I woke up with the taste of bacon in my mouth and the Scorpions on repeat in my head. But nothing sets your head straight like seeing the shit storm that's blowing up on Twitter (pre-NCAA tournament) about the comments ESPN radio host Tony Kornheiser made about cyclists. Apparently the fact that Kornheiser was slowed or just unamused by cyclists in the bike lanes was enough to set off a fire storm of ignorant commentary.
"Let them use the right, I'm OK with that. I don't take my car and ride on the sidewalk because I understand that's not for my car … Why do these people think that these roads were built for bicycles? ... They dare you to run them down."
My first question was - where were Kornheiser's fact checkers? There's got to be some young college kid dying to break into the sports radio industry that would at least make sure Kornheiser wasn't going on the air, spouting totally inaccurate statements, right? Right??  Otherwise, he would have had to craft a much more sophisticated argument of hatred about cyclists. But instead he went the old route, resorting to: why do these people think that these roads were built for cyclists? Well, Tony, if there are bike lanes or bike markings on that road then yes, they were built for cyclists. Those white lines and that white figure on a bicycles? That was explicitly designed for cyclists so that you don't drive your car there. Maybe it would help if the car lanes had pictures of cars added to reduce the confusion that Kornheiser seems to be suffering from.

I'm a cyclist and a driver. I vote (and pay!) for taxes, levies, etc.,  that improve the quality of our streets because I use them for a variety of types of transportation. I'm sick of this mindset of "I should only pay taxes for the things that I use." We live in a civil society which means that some of your tax dollars go towards funding programs that benefit other populations and the greater good.

There are a lot of people that think like Kornheiser. And while I can't compensate for the bad experiences he may have had with bicycles or bicyclists (learning to ride a two-wheeler can be scary Tony, we know), I can put forth a positive image every time I get on my bike wearing "the little water bottle in the back and the stupid hats and their shiny shorts." 'Cause nothings lamer or more disgusting that athletes that wear body-hugging clothing or hats (which eliminates football, baseball and a couple more popular sports).

And last but not least, Kornheiser pissed off Lance Armstrong. Really Tony? You want to tick off a dude who's won seven Tour de Frances, is one of Nike's premium athletes and has nearly 2.5 million Twitter followers?

If you want to leave a comment for Kornheiser, here's the link to ESPN's page.

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