Colorado Town Bans Bikes
I don’t get the irrational hatred some people have for cyclists.
Every rider I know can tell you all kinds of stories about driver’s doing everything from honking and yelling to throwing things to even shooting at cyclists. Just yesterday, on the way back into town, several of us had stopped at a red light. The light turned green, so we all began clipping into our pedals and rolling through the intersection. Apparently, we didn’t rocket off the line fast enough for the guy behind us, who immediately laid on his horn, before using the turning lane to loudly accelerate around us. Then what does he do? Go another fifty feet up the road before parking at Holy Trinity to attend Mass.
I don’t tell that story to make churchgoers look bad. I tell it because I was amazed that we could be so offensive, that even someone on the way to celebrate his love of God and people could lose all sense at the sight of us. Churchgoers have no monopoly on anger, either. We get every morning from people on the way to work in downtown office buildings. On Ellerbe Road and 175, Truckers will try to get as close as possible. Avoiding high schools in the afternoons is a good idea. Any kind of person can lose their mind at any time.
Why? This is a completely irrational hatred. At most, a cyclist might make a driver spend an extra thirty seconds waiting to safely pass. In the case of the guy on the way to Mass, it was probably five seconds. The emotions are way, way disproportionate to the alleged offense.
I say alleged, because in every state I know, cyclists have the same right to the road as do cars. At least, we used to:
A town in the US has banned cyclists on most of its streets, punishing anyone who gets caught with a $68 (£46) fine. Black Hawk in Colorado, which has a population of just above 100, is thought to be the first town in the US to make cycling illegal after a change in civic law.
The town claims the law is to protect cyclists, but that’s crap. If that was the goal, they could have added bike lanes, or lowered speed limits, or passed a three-foot ordinance. This is the result of the same mindset that causes drivers to scream “Get the f**k of the road” as they zoom by at fifty miles an hour. It’s nothing more than an irrational hatred for two wheeled travel.
Several organizations plan to challenge the law in court. Good luck to them.