SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


I'm really glad I don't live in Ukiah, CA!

I heard about this article on our local randonneuring list. Apparently there's not much in the way of "real" news going on in Ukiah these days...otherwise I'm surprised they have the time/space for such drivel. From the Ukiah Daily Journal:

Assignment Ukiah - Pedaling Baloney
By Tommy Wayne Kramer
Article Last Updated: 08/18/2008 08:07:28 AM PDT

There are plenty of candidates for Biggest Jerks on the Planet awards, and perhaps you'll find your favorite among the following:

Oil company executives
Drug dealers
NBA players
Social workers
Used car salesmen
Deepak Chopra
Fitness instructors

All excellent choices, and all certainly worthy of our scorn, but I have a category I think towers above the others in terms of arrogance, narcissism and uselessness. I speak of course, of bicyclists.

I don't mean you and your 8-year old toodling around Todd Grove Park, dad on that 50-year old Schwinn Cruiser, daughter on a used, pink Barbie Doll bike with training wheels. No, I mean bicyclists.

I mean the dipwads who squeeze into black and yellow polyester togs, strap on vented, ultra-high tech wind resistant helmets, mount $12,000 titanium and platinum speed machines, and take to the road exactly half a block ahead of you on your way to work. Those smug, sneering, phony pedaling creeps - those are the bicyclists I'm talking about.

Who do they think they are, other than the most wonderful people in the galaxy? Bicyclists obviously love themselves, and why shouldn't they? Behold their skintight red-and-green-and purple lycra costumes! Gaze upon them as they pedal furiously down a long hill while they closely examine their perfect pumping thighs and their sleek, taut forearms! Adonis lives within me, they whisper to themselves.

Meanwhile you, a carbonload dinosaur in an old Plymouth station wagon trail behind this pack of clown-garbed sillies and blankly wonder why they can't at least move over so you can get to work. As in "Share the Road" which is a bumper sticker that every one of these rolling pukes has glued to his Toyota Prius. Of course, the bike brigade doesn't care if you get to work on time, or at all, because they're so busy saving the planet.

But what is it with dressing up like Lance Armstrong to ride a bike a few miles around Ukiah? Do these same jerks dress up like Dale Earnhardt when they hop in their car (through the driver's side window, no doubt) in order to go to Safeway?

When they have tickets to fly from SFO to Boston do they show up at the airport dressed up like Charles Lindberg or Eddie Rickenbacker - you know, leather helmet, goggles, long white scarf and a flight map? If a neighbor invites one of these cats over for a poolside barbecue do they arrive outfitted in an official Jacques Cousteau model deep sea style wetsuit, complete with US Navy quality breathing tanks?

Well then, why in the world do they think they need to look like Greg LeMond when they wheel their bicycle out of the garage on a Thursday afternoon in order to ride six blocks to the post office?

Bicyclists are silly, immature people playing dress-up and make believe. They are the most selfish people you are likely to encounter in your everyday life as they move in a herd up and down the hills on the Boonville Road, staying three abreast to prevent cars from slipping by, and swerving gently across the lanes in case one tries.

I'd like these people rounded up and sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Next time you encounter a batch of bicyclists gathered outside a coffee shop, them and their bicycles completely and defiantly blocking pedestrians and preventing them from using the sidewalk, pick the bicycle boy with the most garish outfit, walk up and punch him square in the nose.

But first take care to don a pair of official Leon Spinks' model Everlast boxing trunks.

Neither TWK nor Tom Hine have ever had a pink Barbie Doll bicycle with training wheels. Special thanks to bro Petey Wayne for his assistance in compiling this column.

The thing that I find curious about this sort of hate-mongering "editorial" is that if you replace "bicyclists" with any other minority group (e.g., religious, ethnic, sexual preference, etc.) this sort of crap would never get published. Unless they're really that backwards up there in Ukiah...?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only a small portion of bicyclists wear the spandex and fancy helmets while riding ridiculously expensive bikes. Why would the author repeatedly express hate for bicyclists in general?

If I have a pet peeve with motorists who talk on cell phones or cut people off routinely, should I start spouting off about how I absolutely hate car drivers? No, because it'd make me look extremely ignorant. Which is how the author looks to people who are aware that bicyclists cannot be categorized or stereotyped any more than car drivers can. They are both made up of people of all ages, sizes, intelligences, styles, and personalities.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...


I think the most telling part of the column is this:

"Special thanks to bro Petey Wayne for his assistance in compiling this column."

The author actually needed help assembling this simple-minded diatribe. I'm assuming that "bro Petey" occupies the barstool next to his.

Now I'm off to ride in my khaki shorts and seersucker shirt. I sure am glad they didn't mean me.

Happy Trails,
Ron Georg

7:59 AM  
Anonymous P.J. Onori said...

As someone who grew up in Ukiah and got the hell out as quickly as I could, I am extremely unsurprised on the article's content.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

i grew up in ukiah as well, and have since done peace corps etc. so, forgive me if i chuckle and say both the ukiah mentalities about bikers and the trillion dollar biked bikers are hilarious. bikers all over the states are self-satisfied, as they should be, but they also hog the road and love themselves an awful lot. however, it is important to differentiate between the spandexed ones with the nice bikes and the ones riding ancient Huffies and their work clothes- the latter has my sympathy because they are truely needing to get to work and suffer from angry gas guzzlers. i have some friends who are making the switch to bikes in palo alto, and i'm seriously proud of them- but i also bet their not swerving lazily infront of cars and hogging the road- like i KNOW some of you do. i don't get it when bikers do that, like you loose in any match-of-the-equipment-struggle! but all in all, the US is in a really weird time, when it's either a snotty luxury to bike to work, or a desperate necessity- and i imagine as the pinch gets a little more pronounced, we wont see so many swervy adoni- sadly...

4:15 PM  

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