part of me feels like I’ve been tricked by the people I put my trust into.
Yes, I’m a capable adult and make my own decisions. But how many of us are really making choices as opposed to reacting to all the shit that life’s throws at us?
When I chose to ride a bicycle as my only means of transportation, it was a conscious decision based on the then available options I was faced with. Three months of thinking planning and deciding.
It was my choice. I went into it fully prepared. Or so I thought. The point though is this, no one was rushing me into making a decision based on very little data. I had thoroughly studied and understood the rights and responsibilities of cycling. I was enamoured with the joy of cycling. I wanted everyone to share in my knowledge and joy.
When I got my first ticket, I was alarmed. Not because of the ticket itself but because of the implications behind it. To ticket a cyclist who isn’t breaking the law is a ticket based on personal prejudice and is a form of coercive power over an individual.
I put my trust in the cycling community. I thought they had the knowledge and know how to successfully defend the rights of a cyclist.
What I didn’t know was that the community I lived in is steeped in bias, prejudice, and good old fashioned “if it’s different, kill it” mentality.
I have been accused of being crazy. I am not. I have been to therapy for recovery from an abusive relationship and a psychiatric evaluation to regain custody of my kids from my abuser. Though he himself never had to undergo any type of evaluation being rich, white, and male. The therapist said that I had a good head on my shoulders and that I would be an amazing success if given the chance.
Chance, all I needed was a chance. One which was not provided to me and I’m sure a lot of other people have the same problem.
With growing horror I watched the basic tenants of my case get skewed and cannibalised by the cycling community. The local cycling community didn’t want me as they felt I tarnished their lofty ideals at cycling in the bluegrass. Namely brewery rides where copious amounts of beer and bourbon would be consumed. Tres chic and I didn’t belong.
The one community that had the appearance of accepting me was the cyclists are drivers group. I felt like a small child being held in loving arms after a particularly nasty tumble which results in skinned knees.
Every self sufficient and life confirming move I had made up to this point was squashed like a bug. Not only did the local cycling community ostracize me, they then turned on me and accused me of trying to pull a stunt. I was now one of those vehicular cyclists out to prove a point. I wasn’t, I wanted people to know that cycling was safe and fun, even in a small minded small town.
My story was lost amid the dirty fingers of everyone who wanted to stick their finger into the pie.
I thought, at first that these were people who were genuinely concerned and wanted to help.
When I realized that the attorney who took on my case as a favor to a friend, was not only not skilled at this type of law but was also a part of the group that didn’t like me. I was scared and reached out for help. I chose the LexRides group because I thought they would better understand what I was doing as a poor single mom. Nope, they sure didn’t. You know all those jokes about inbreeding in Kentucky? Well, it’s not too far off base.
If you cycle in Kentucky, then you know someone who is influential in the cycling community.
So the group I reached out to for help greeted me with cold disdain and derision. They even went so far as to contrive a false complaint of forum rule breaking to kick me out of the group.
One of their members was so horrified at the way they treated me that they sent me a private message and told me about how they had been plotting on how to kick me out without making themselves look bad. So no matter what I did, it would be wrong per their newly established rules and I would be out.
All of my story was hashed and rehashed until the reality was skewed till even I forgot the point of why this started.
Oh yea! I’m poor and can’t afford to operate a car.
But new rumors were started. Secretly I’m rich and this was really all a ploy to get people to give me money. I would never but I wish there was some truth. Being poor sucks.
So many people reading my story, rehashing my story, using my story for their own personal gain.
What did I get from it?
Nothing. No! Worse than nothing! I had my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness stolen from me. I spent all the money raised on the second attorney and equipment to prove my case.
All the tickets were dismissed and the three that the first attorney screwed up were expunged and the fines waived.
I only had to agree to not cycle on u.s. 27 for two years.
U.s. 27 runs through the heart of town. Which means no banking, no shopping, and no doctors visits.
I had to leave to live.
I had a home. I worked really hard to get that home and the Nicholasville police department and the people of Nicholasville stole that from me.
I’m homeless and moving by bicycle to a place that will hopefully work out. Though I’m scared. Broke and scared is what the cycling community left me with.
That was a neat trick to pull on someone who trusted and admired you.
P.s. Thank you to those people who saw me as a person riding a bike.