Sunday, January 10, 2010

Facebook. Hate Group.

You ride your bike. You're on Facebook. You have friends who ride, who are on Facebook. You get invited to countless groups or have plenty of different applications that tell you what cycling personality you are [as if you didn't already know] and possibly get upset with what 'personality' it says your are... roadies. There are plenty of groups for this and for that.

The newest one would be the 'HELP REMOVE this HATE GROUP against cyclist' Which in it's description states:

'The[re is a] new group- "There's a perfectly good path next to the road you stupid cyclist" is nothing more than the newest hate group, and for Facebook to not remove it, is nothing short of criminal'

Really? Ok, I'm all about claiming the lane and our right to the road. I believe with more bicycle advocates we have, and the more that they are able shed positive light on the sport to people that understanding and tolerance is a byproduct that will simply happen. I personally struggle with any group, on any given topic or position that defines themselves on what they aren't or what they dislike or hate rather than to actually stop and think about the argument that is being raised.

If we can get down off of our self righteous perch and realize that whoever started this group encountered a rider [it could have been just a recreational rider, a commuter, or pro] that instead of using a provided bike lane or bike specific path, took to the street. Yes, once again, we do have a right to the road and should be able to ride on it but that also means we need to be obeying the laws of the road. For instance, complete stops at all stops signs and obeying the speed limit and if we aren't going to speed limit moving as far to the shoulder as we can.

This is at the heart of why people are drawn to joining this original 'hate' group and just looking through both groups it seem like the 'HELP REMOVE...' group actually has a bit more hate in it than the group they are trying to get removed. The original group is actually quite humorous to me, whereas the 'HELP REMOVE...' not so much. I realize that I'm stepping onto a bunch of landmines by not 100% supporting my cycling community in the 'unjust' fight, and agree that, yes there are things that we need to fight for. But even in writing this I've wasted far too much time focusing on how a group on a social network site is getting more attention than the lack of funding for the protection of cyclists [i.e. bike lanes, paths, signage, education, etc]

Let there be a 'hate' group, real change on the matter will only come through our actions on the road.

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