What My Bike Has Taught Me About White Privilege

But when I’m not so civil with a “privileged” driver, it’s not because I hate him/her, or think s/he is evil. It’s because it’s the third time that day I got some gravel in the face. So try to remember that even if you don’t feel like a “semi driver,” a person of color might be experiencing you the way a person on a bike experiences being passed by a semi. Even if you’re listening to Christian radio.

via What My Bike Has Taught Me About White Privilege.

Thank you for writing such a well spoken blog.


Miranda Pacheco-Homicidal Maniac gets a slap on the wrist

Homicidal Maniac gets a slap on the wrist.

Want to know how to get away with murder? Kill someone with your car. 

As long as you are sober, you will get away with murder. 

“Miranda Pacheco was guilty of careless driving and not vehicular homicide when she drove off pavement and killed a bicyclist on a roadside path.”

Societies acceptance of Vehicular Homicide has never been so blatantly obvious as this jury’s verdict shows. It’s o.k. to kill someone if you are driving your car. 


For a cyclist, you can’t get any further from a car than a separate bicycle path. That has an embankment and chain link fence separating it. 
But bad things happen to good drivers. Right?

Well let’s see. 


“She killed a bicyclist then got popped for DWI.” 

“Miranda Pacheco has already proven she’s one of the most dangerous drivers in Albuquerque and now she’s at it again.”


Miranda Pacheco sentencing
These aren’t tears of grief. They are tears of shame. Shame that she got caught.
Miranda Pacheco sentencing
How much is a persons life worth. Not much more than a few well placed tears.

vehicular manslaughter

n. the crime of causing the death of a human being due to illegal driving of an automobile, including gross negligence, drunk driving, reckless driving or speeding. Vehicular manslaughter can be charged as a misdemeanor (minor crime with a maximum punishment of a year in county jail or only a fine) or a felony (punishable by a term in state prison) depending on the circumstances. Gross negligence or driving a few miles over the speed limit might be charged as a misdemeanor, but drunk driving resulting in a fatality is most likely treated as a felony. Death of a passenger, including a loved one or friend, can be vehicular manslaughter if due to illegal driving.”


reckless driving

n. operation of an automobile in a dangerous manner under the circumstances, including speeding (or going too fast for the conditions, even though within the posted speed limit), driving after drinking (but not drunk), having too many passengers in the car, cutting in and out of traffic, failing to yield to other vehicles and other negligent acts. It is a misdemeanor crime. A “wet reckless” is a plea in a drunk driving prosecution allowed to lessen the penalty when the blood alcohol level is close to the legal limit.”


What we need are stricter laws for “reckless driving”.

Today’s average motorist knows to stay at the scene. Because if they stay they are more likely to get off with a slap on the wrist.
And you’ll likely get away with it too. As long as you stay at the scene. Cry really big tears, and sob that you just never saw them.


The Roads are for moving people!

(Note from 2018: If you’re reading this, the worst has happened. The officer was exonerated of all charges. Michael Brown, who was racially profiled and murdered, for walking while black, has not had justice. His family still suffers under the stigma created by white normative people in the media. #BlackLivesMatter has been cruelly co-opted by white supremacists running #BlueLivesMatter. Up is down and down is up. Flint has been poisoned by their government and children are being cruelly ripped from their asylum seeking parents, at the border. The current POTUS is set to establish himself as dictator and white men still think that bike lanes are the most urgent issue facing the bicycling community.)

The Roads are for moving People.

A car is one way to move people. So is a horse, a truck, a motorcycle, a bicycle, and legs. Legs move people. Legs have been moving people for millions of years. In fact people got tired of using their legs and invented the wheel so they could put their feet up and rest.

I’ve heard about the tragedy in Ferguson. I’ve heard that the first issue the officer had with the young man was that he, the young man, was walking on the road. Well, that is what a road is for! Walking moves people and the modern paved roads were invented to move people with less difficulty than rutted dirt roads.

From what I have heard this wasn’t about concern for the young mans safety. This was about someone who was potentially getting in the way of cars. That young man had every right to be there. He had every right to cross the road and expect to be given due care by motorists who happened upon him.

It’s a cultural issue. One that has been deeply ingrained into our psyche ever since automobiles began to dominate the roads.

Remember the Civil Rights movement was originally argued over transportation. The rights of people to access the same facilities as other people with out regard for their heritage.

Car culture and hatred appear to go hand in hand. The idea that it is o.k. to besmirch, accost, and verbally assault someone just because they are not in an automobile has to end.

I could be wrong, but I believe that the underlying current here is road rights, exacerbated by a media induced stigma on young men in economically depressed and ethnically diverse neighborhoods.

People should feel safe letting their children travel and play upon their neighborhood streets.

It is a sick society, a car sick society that we live in. The very idea that being on the street could be cause for suspicion is deeply rooted in the automobile industries quest to rule the road. A quest that has killed millions of people and assisted in the downfall of our economy.

There are a lot of ways to be prejudiced against someone. That child had more going against him than the color of his skin.

Think about it.

Why don’t more African Americans ride bicycles?

100% of African Americans surveyed said they were afraid of hostility from motorists.


A Fatal Rear-End Collision

This is a terrible tragedy. I am so sorry for the loss of this man.
Stop teaching cyclists to ride on the edge. When we operate as a part of traffic these incidences are reduced. People who are too buys being distracted look up, directly in front of them. Let the first thing the see be you!
Ride Safe!

Bike Noob

Like the rest of the Austin cycling community, I am saddened by the death of cyclist Verter Ginestra, 55, over the weekend. He was riding on the shoulder of Loop 360, a major highway on the west side of Austin. The shoulders on 360 are very generous.

Television news stories of the crash show the car in the shoulder. Sound bites from police did not lay blame on the cyclist; in fact, they urged motorists to watch out for them because 360 is such a popular cycling road. It features long hills and few stoplights. The worst part about riding 360 is having to cross exit and entrance ramps, and being on the outlook for fast-moving cars in those spaces.

Ginestra apparently was not crossing an entrance or exit ramp. He appears to be the victim of a type of collision that is fairly rare — the daytime rear-ender. One…

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“a) It shall be unlawful to engage in any harassment of a bicyclist operating a bicycle on or adjacent to a public roadway, path, sidewalk or other public or private area. b) “Harassment” shall be any act which shall unreasonably disturb a bicyclist or cause a bicyclist to have a reasonable fear of imminent danger, including but not limited to: 1) making threats or engaging in hate speech towards bicyclists; 2) throwing any object at or towards a bicyclist; 3) increasing speed, decreasing following distance, or decreasing lateral (lane) separation when approaching, driving alongside or overtaking bicyclists; 4) excessive, unwarranted or unlawful use of a horn in proximity to bicyclists; 5) taking any action to aggressively swerve towards bicyclists; 6) attempting to stop or block the path of a bicyclist; 7) attempting to force a bicyclist into a fixed obstacle, ditch, curb, parked car or other impediment; or, 8) engaging in sharp acceleration for the purpose of creating a greater than normal accumulation of vehicle exhaust. c) Violation of this Section 42.03 shall be punishable by a fine of not less than Three Hundred Dollars ($300) nor more an One Thousand Dollars ($1,000). A second or subsequent violation of this Section 42.03, or any violation that results in physical contact between an alleged offender (or their vehicle or property) and a cyclist, or a crash or physical injury, shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000) and/or thirty days in jail.”

What we need to advocate for is not more “Bad Bike Lanes” but equitable laws.  Bike lane laws reinforce the notion that we don’t belong there. Just the very presence of a bike lane is enough to get motorists frothing at the mouth. Never mind all the dangers present in it, dangers that no motorist would put themselves into.


We are expected to do just that. And if we don’t?

Then let the harassment games begin.

The idea that somehow we don’t really belong on the road is reinforced by discriminatory behavior and harassment of cyclists by motorists in general.

Being harassed doesn’t feel good. Ever!

Riding a bike feels good, but only when one is not being harassed.

This is a good law. One which should be adopted by every state.