On Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Bikes on the Sidewalk, and Morons


Image via Open Salon

As you may have heard, a very pregnant (with a baby, right along with her conservative pugnacity) Elizabeth Hasselbeck of the View was struck by a cyclist this week while walking on the sidewalk in NYC. The world found out via Twitter and Hasselbeck, as far as I know, has thus far avoided any ragging on cyclists, instead saving her fury for the president. That's unlike this dude, who the NYCBikeSnob has been using as a virtual punching bag, and deservedly so.If you don't read the BikeSnobNYC, give him a try. He covers bicycle fashion, fads, trends, stupidity, and sometimes, pro racing, all with a characteristic snark that puts Lewis Black to the test.

The BikeSnob brought Hasselbeck's brush with death to the forefront of the world's consciousness, but most of his attention lately has been on Zach Coleman of Michigan State University, who in a column threatened cyclists on the street with death if they happen to be on roads with no bike lane.

Says the empathetic and environmentally conscious Zach:

Black 2001 Saturn SC2. That’s the car I drive — and if you’re a bicyclist on the road but not in a bike path and you see my car, I hope you’re wearing a helmet, because I might run you over.

Maybe not intentionally.

But you see, with all these things I can do in my car nowadays, such as choose a different song on my iPod, send a text message while driving or fall asleep at the wheel because I had to wake up for a worthless 8 a.m. biology lab, I might not notice you.

And, considering you are where you should not be, I might hit you.

The simple fact of the matter is, MSU has so kindly provided sidewalks for people on foot and Rollerblades, and MSU’s ordinance should be revised to require bicyclists be there too. The university has outlined bike paths on certain roads, but bicyclists can’t just create imaginary bike paths like they do.

I cannot drive my car on the sidewalk, so why must you ride your bicycle where I drive?

So we have a conflict here. Irresponsible cyclists in New York are hitting pregnant women with a national TV profile, while MSU undergrads are threatening a jihad against Midwestern cyclists. What's a bike rider to do?

A few suggestions:
-Stay off the sidewalk, cyclists. Those are for pedestrians who need to be on our side. Running into them at 20mph is not a way to ingratiate yourself.
-Ride on the road responsibly. Obey traffic laws, wear a helmet, and use lights if riding after dark.
-And finally, if you are at MSU and in Zach's classes, assuming he goes to them, throw a spit ball at him for me. The world will thank you later.

More on cyclists:
How Does Pollution Affect Cyclists?
Bailout Bill has Hidden Tax Break for Cyclists

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