Another (near) assault in ELB area

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Marko82
Participant
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Uh, there’s that part of cycling were you kinda exercise – you know sweat. Not much of that happening in the whole country as far as most people I see.


Nick D
Participant
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I think looking at labels is only going to dig us into a deep-deep-hole.

I am a non-white college drop-out (I was actually kicked out after my 3rd year and got re-instated), but I was raised by white people, so that makes me white right? If so, what does color really have to do with it?

Honestly, I find it extremely aggravating to watch most of the people on here talk about issues concerning prejudice and racism (which is why I have tried to stay out of it).

I have been lured out of a building before to a circle of 15-20 people with baseball bats and tire iron who wanted to “kill me” because “chinks don’t belong in their town”. I have had bottles thrown at me on the street by strangers who have called me a “chink” or a “gook” and have told me to “go back to where I came from”.

I have had teachers in high school as me if I could speak Chinese/Korean/Japanese (just because I’m “Asian”). I have had college professors single me out in classes when topics of Asian culture come up, to ask me what my input was (as if I were a member of that society).

I have received numerous letters of hate mail claiming that I “didn’t belong [here]” or that I “should go back to where I came from” or they will “take care of me”.

This past winter, I offered car help to a group of kids with car trouble by REI, they said, “yea, sure” until they looked up from underneath the hood and said, “never mind, you are a Chinaman, you don’t know sh*t about cars” (Chinaman is a derogatory term).

When I worked in a parts store I constantly had people telling me I couldn’t answer their problems because they weren’t “working on no Jap car” (Jap is also derogatory)

I could go on forever with these stories, but honestly, it upsets me to even think about them.

My point is, color has nothing to do with it, and being a victim of prejudice does not give you the right to assault other people. If any of these attackers get hurt, you won’t hear any pity from me.

After everything I have been through, have I ever lashed out on white people (since they are the source of my hardships)? No.

Everyone has free will–no part of their situation is forcing them to attack people. Blaming it on class/race/gentrification/education is just a cop out–the problem is parenting.


Nick D
Participant
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Dan, I think those ‘frat boys’ on E. Carson are only the majority on E. Carson.

My new neighbors (who were/are those meathead/jock kids in high school) ride bikes to work and around Frick. They actually did say something mockingly the night of the first FOC, but it turns out it wasn’t meant to be aggressive or offensive, it was just commentary on seeing 30 bikes on my street.

Also, my sister and her boyfriend (drunken frat boy type–(sorry if you see this, but it’s kind of true)) ride bikes around and will actually be joining us on FOC tomorrow. His frat has also helped me look out and take care of the ghost bike on Meyran and Louisa.

I really think the constant labeling is hurting us.

I don’t think everyone has the “bikes are lame” mentality, even if it may seem that way.

I mentioned it before, but the guy who runs PittSpeed.com (Pgh’s big car forum), is a cyclist, and I know several other people on that board are too–bmx, road, MTB, custom Schwinns…


dwillen
Participant
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Yes, there are plenty of biker-friendly drunken frat boys. I was just suggesting the microcosm of drunken frat boys on Carson street likely aren’t among them, at least from what I’ve witnessed. I have nothing against any group, frat boys included.

I’d be willing to bet you would have a very difficult time finding a frat boy at UC Davis that didn’t own and routinely ride a bike, but cycling is considered “cool” there. That is the message I was trying to get across in my post.


Pierce
Participant
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Your UC Davis comment, just reminded me of something else. The climate and terrain of Pittsburgh isn’t exactly conducive to cycling for beginners. How much less cycling to do you notice in the city when winter roles around?

I’m thinking of University of Arizona where it seems like there are hundreds upon hundreds of bikes, but the terrain is flat and it rains like three or four days a year.


Nick D
Participant
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Dan, cycling is cool here. It’s you that isn’t cool… ;D

I can’t tell you how many times I have had someone pull up next to me, roll down their window, and as I expect an insult or to be scolded for riding on the road, they have said, “Cool bike! That a fixie?” Though, this only happens on my neon green “bike” fixed gear bike.

In fashion they say, “It’s not about what you wear, it how you wear it.” (Don’t ask.)

I think it’s the same in cycling. If you ride a bike like a dork, biking is dorky. If you ride cool, biking is cool.


dwillen
Participant
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It has a little to do with the terrain, sure. It is flat as a pancake there. And compared to Pittsburgh, the weather is good, but Davis doesn’t exactly have the best weather in the world. In the summer, 110+F days are not at all uncommon. In the winter, a day in the 40s and 30s isn’t unheard of and the rain doesn’t help that cold feeling. When it rains there, it is a constant, drizzle all day thing, not like the little showers we have here where you wait 10 minutes and the sun comes back out.

I think it is more of a cultural thing. You are a minority in the city if you don’t ride a bike, not the other way around. The amazing infrastructure helps get more people out there, but they had to start somewhere, just like Pittsburgh. Both the cycling population and attitude towards cycling must grow alongside the infrastructure.


dwillen
Participant
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I hear everyday how uncool I am, and that is from someone I live with. No surprise there :)

Like I said, the viewpoint that some people hold about cycling being dorky is quickly vanishing. I think a lot of that is because of more and more people getting out there riding bikes. Some of them ride bikes with bumpers, some ride a bike on a bike.

I’m not worried about all the people who think riding bikes is cool, we’ve already won their hearts. But going back to Stu’s question, why aren’t all the people who are currently hating on bikes, not out there riding, or at least, not out there not hating? My opinion is, in their particular culture, amongst their group of friends, riding bikes is not cool. Sorry I stuck labels on it before. It goes for anyone that yells something negative, threatens me, drives me off the road, etc. I guarantee they aren’t hanging out with a bunch of people who love bikes on the weekend.


Nick D
Participant
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I think they aren’t riding bike because they haven’t been introduced to it. I try to keep spare bike around (of various sizes), so I can invite people to join me riding. It’s hard to not like cycling once you do it.

Like I said about our safety on the road, we need to go out, as individuals, and engage our friends/family/co-workers/customers. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t try to push someone into cycling.

(That guy with a bike on a bike–I hear he is very cool…)


Nick D
Participant
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This thread got me thinking, so I posted on Facebook asking why people don’t ride bikes. A popular trend has appeared– people just don’t know how.

I never thought about it, but as a kid, if you have no one to teach you, you will never learn and never experience how much (cool, non-dorky fun) it can be.

I can definitely see this being a big contributor in lower income areas where kids don’t get to spend a lot of time with their parents (broken families, parents work too much, etc).

I wonder how many people that knock on bikes know how to ride them…


reddan
Keymaster
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people just don’t know how

That’s where I was a few years ago. Never rode as a kid, was always afraid of falling over or looking goofy (hah!) as an adult.

It took my buddy getting his first ‘bent, and inviting me to head out the Montour on his old Cannondale, before I was willing to give it a try. 15 miles, two falls, and legs in agony…never looked back.

In hindsight, a lot of my unwillingness to even think about riding was just plain old fear of embarrassment.


edmonds59
Participant
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Nick, thanks for those stories. Those experiences suck. This has already been discussed a lot, and I don’t want to drag it much further, so let me try and tightly condense where I’m at.

I’ll bet the people who said/did those things looked a little like me, middle class white dude, or their kids, or whatever. Somebody said something to the effect of, you can’t bring change to a community from the outside. So true. So, if there’s such a thing as a “white” group, I’m part of that, and if people are doing things like that, that’s f’ing bullshit and I need to be responsible to try and change things. It’s so easy to say, Oh, I’m not like that, I’d never do that. But if I’m with a bunch of people and someone throws out some idiot racist comment or joke because they think they’re in a safe little in group, and I don’t point out their ignorance, then, yeah, I’m just like that. It’s hard to say something in those circumstances. But when I hear stories like that, and get to know people who have had to put up with shit like that, and it infuriates me, then it’s that much less likely that I’m going to let somebody slide with the next ignorant idiot comment when it comes up. So, I want to hear those things.

That’s about as condensed as I could get that.


asobi
Participant
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When has Quinn ever been sane?


Dave in HP
Participant
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Every year as the school year ends there is a big spike in crime activity in the East End. The police have been very, very busy the past few nights in the blocks between East Liberty Boulevard and the park. The blocks surrounding the Food Co-op have always been tough at night. Bike or no, white or no, it is best to be aware and very cautious when out in the evening in the area right now.


Hermit
Participant
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I think its funny that white liberals are completely surprised that there are ignorant racist idiots in the hood. Also the mentality in the ghetto is to victimize who ever won’t or isn’t capable of fighting back. So yeah as long as kids there think that skinny white guys who look funny aren’t going to defend themselves they will attack them.The only real solution would be to fight fire with fire and get a bunch of dudes with baseball bats to find the assholes who’ve been hurting their friends and return the favor.

Oh and if there was a recent wave of white youths attacking and injuring black people for being in their neighborhoods most of you would be up in arms. You wouldn’t be trying to reach out to them and make them accept you.


Jmal
Participant
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Riding a bike is definitely a privilege, even if in the end it becomes the “Thriftier” option. At least you have the option.

I am a young white cycler and bike everywhere, but you would never know that I only learned to ride a bike freshman year of college when my bf at the time was patient and nice enough to buy me a bike on craigslist and spend the time to teach me how to ride, as my parents never taught me nor bought me a bike. Since then I have acquired another bike, a much better one, but that too was passed down from a friend who moved away.

Point being, many people don’t bike because they don’t know how, they are scared, and/or they cannot afford a bike. And even if they could afford a bike, they might not think of it as an option, because it never was for them in the past.


Dave in HP
Participant
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Going Warriors with a baseball bat gang is nothing but a fantasy at best. The truth is, plenty of kids in this area carry guns, and they use them. There have been at least three shootings in the last few weeks. The people who live in the area don’t want an escalation of violence. Bike folks are not going to be safer if you’re walking around with bats and kids are taking potshots at you.

Also – as incidents increase, there will be more police patrolling the streets. You think they’re going to let you walk around looking for “hood” kids to whack on? Bah…


Hermit
Participant
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They let “hood” dudes whack on bike dudes.


brian j
Participant
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It’s interesting that riding a bicycle is considered a privilege. Bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for millions of people around the world, including plenty who are likely less privileged than some of the poorest in this city. Our culture has made cycling seem like a privilege because it isn’t viewed as a viable transportation by most of the population.

Certainly there are some people who don’t have the option of purchasing a bike at all, in many of those cases, I suspect the person has made different choices that doesn’t allow it to be an option.


Pierce
Participant
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And to potentially add weight to the “it isn’t about race” idea, rocks were thrown at us with the MTCC from N Betty next to Peabody, so even with a more diverse group we were targeted. Stuff was also thrown at us from the playground at Frankstown and N Dallas.


BlackCatTats
Participant
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Hah! Gentrification, race, privilege? Its jerk kids being jerk kids. I promise if you ride past 4 white teenagers in churchill they will pull the exact same shit.

Hormones, boredom, and group mentality are the unfortunate result of the 13 to 19 year old learning to function in the world. I would be amazed if these kids were aware or gave a crap about the bike lane or gentrification as some sort of honky invasion, most likely they saw a chance to swing their metaphorical wangs at someone and took it. The same as we did as teens.

The solution, in my opinion, is enough of a police presence to make hanging out there not fun (im not suggesting marshall law, just a few drive bys by a cruiser an hour for a couple weeks) and enough bikes riding through the area that it becomes something in the background of their lives and not worth noting.


Pierce
Participant
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Oh yeah, and for whatever it is worth, when I stopped and said “Hey!” swinging my own metaphorical wang, they walked off.


edmonds59
Participant
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Hey, Hermie, were you out on the flock of cycles ride last night? What were you riding there, buddy?


Nick D
Participant
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Hermit, I don’t think your broad generalizations, judgments, and labels really go that far to offer a contribution to the conversation.

bjanaszek has a very good point. I think the kids who joined us on the ride last night as we left Homewood into Wilkinsburg proved that cycling really is only seen as a privilege is you want to see it as such.


edmonds59
Participant
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Ok, Hermaphrodite, how bout this. Us chickenshit libbies will go into the deepest heart of the hood, armed with nothing but bikes, you go in with your baseball bat, and after, we’ll discuss and compare notes, K?

Done, your turn. Let us know what you come up with.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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Let’s all extend some courtesy to Mr. Hermit. He’s new here. Just because he adheres to a rigid ideology doesn’t mean he isn’t entitled to his opinion.

Besides, would it surprise anyone if he was involved with the Pintek show to come into these boards and stir things up so Mr. Pintek could harvest some responses and paint us in an unflattering light?


edmonds59
Participant
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Dude, believe me, that is me being courteous. I took many deep breaths last night and slept on it with some difficulty before posting anything.

I never said he wasn’t entitled to his opinion, I just want to hold him to his own suggestion.


Hermit
Participant
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Wow edmnds you really get angry at opposing opinions! I’m sure your mass bike ride will accomplish nada. I really don’t have a vested interest in making those streets safe. I possess enough street smarts enough to know where to go and where I’m gonna have a target on my back. The fact is rough neighborhoods area place where the only real respect is that of physical retaliation. and the only people who don’t get messed with are the ones who people are somewhat afraid of. Liberals suffer under the delusion that they can go to the hood and and have a positive impact on the attitudes there. Then they are surprised when they really aren’t accepted in the community. That people are as bigoted as any redneck and ten times more violent.


edmonds59
Participant
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So you know, “that people”? And you’ve lived in one of these neighborhoods? That’s so awesome, we should have just asked you.

And you know all the liberals? Did you get a hold of one our secret phone books? Dang.

We rode through Homewood, Homewood west, I don’t even know where, I never felt like I was in any particular danger. I talked to a couple of people on the street, they seemed alright. I just don’t accept the culture of fear that idiot wingnuts push in order to maintain divisions in society to their political benefit.

And it’s not so much opposing opinions that makes me angry as it discussion of going after other human beings with baseball bats. Yeah, that bullshit makes me angry.

So go live in your cave with your target on your back and don’t dare tell me what my own delusions are you fucking asshat.


Hermit
Participant
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SO the concept of hurting some dude who hurts others makes you angry?


salty
Participant
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This board only has two rules, one of which is “be constructive”.


edmonds59
Participant
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H; absolutely. Vengeance isn’t justice. Violence perpetuates violence. This is the real world, this isn’t “24”.

Apologies to everyone excepting “our hero”. I’m done on this issue.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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“I know there are people in this world who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!” — Prof. Tom Lehrer on National Brotherhood Week (from the LP “That Was The <del>Week</del> Year That Was”).

Here’s a video of Lehrer doing the tune.

P.S. How do you do strike-through text, if it isn’t using the strike, strikeout, strikethrough, s or del tags?


HiddenVariable
Participant
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don’t feed the trolls, guys.


brian j
Participant
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P.S. How do you do strike-through text, if it isn’t using the strike, strikeout, strikethrough, s or del tags?

The board’s software strips most HTML tags (besides IMG, EM, STRONG, BLOCKQUOTE).

You’ll have to use the old skool unix way:

Week^H^H^H^HYear


stefb
Participant
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off topic also, my gravatar isn’t working. i have no clue why.


JZ
Participant
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Yeah, don’t feed the troll.


erok
Keymaster
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@ everyone:

advocating for violence is unacceptable on these forums.

don’t waste your time arguing with me on this.


CPollack
Participant
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I am down to give a day out of one of my weekends to go set up with a bunch of people in a parking lot, have a neighborhood ride thru, cookout, tune up some little kids bikes, maybe even invite some BMX riders to do some tricks? Ever do a trick for a group of kids? They instantly are your best friends. We need to show these kids we aren’t some ‘rich white people’ or whatever the term being thrown around is.I lived in some bad neighborhoods before,and have seen my share of not so nice places..Not sure what i am getting at, but i say we plan a day or two, gather up some young kids,teens if we can and fix their bikes, grill some dogs, play some music, and just have a fun day. The earlier you show these kids how fun bikes can be, the more likely they will stick with it, want one,ride one and not fuck with a person riding through their neighborhood when they see one.

Sorry for my insanely long run-on sentences.I just type how i think..


bikeygirl
Participant
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@CPollak: I think this is a great idea :)

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