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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In defense of bicyclists

Last week, I wrote about Zack Colman's anti-bicyclist column in The State News, the student newspaper of Michigan State University. Today, I point out a rebuttal column by State News copy editor Scott Myers that was published Monday.

Myers' column is written in the same style as Colman's original column. For example, here's the opening salvo:
White 2009 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno.

That’s the bike I ride — and if you’re a motorist on the road and plan on running me over, I hope you have a good lawyer, because I might sue you.

Intentionally.

Because you see, with all these dangerously inattentive motorists on the road nowadays, doing things like changing songs on their iPods, sending text messages while driving or falling asleep because they can’t get enough sleep to function on the same schedule as 90 percent of the rest of the world, I’m tired of getting run over.

And, considering I’m exactly where I should be, I’ll win the case.

Not surprisingly, Myers' column got a lot of praise from the cycling community, at least judging by the comments. It also got a lot of comments from the anti-cyclist crowd, complete with the stereotype that all cyclists disobey traffic laws because a few do. While some cyclists do disobey traffic laws, so do some motorists.

As for the original Colman column, word about the column has spread far and wide. The League of American Bicyclists even has included Colman's column in its Trash Talk feature. "In what we can only hope is a sorry attempt at satire, the author says that bicyclists should get off the road. If they’re not in bike lanes or on sidewalks, Colman promotes distracted drivers running over bicyclists with “big, people-killing cars” to show who rules the road," LAB pointed out.

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