If it bleeds, part 28

Some of you may have seen this dramatic photo of a group of cyclists who were just riding along when they stopped to assist the occupants of this overturned vehicle at Twin Peaks in San Francisco, CA.

Twin Peaks car crash cyclists help driver

The caption at the Wheels of Steel Facebook page where I grabbed this photo says:

Motor vehicle overturns at Twin Peaks, San Francisco. So do other people driving stop and help? Nope – you know the excuse, too busy, late to work, please move or I’ll cross the double yellow line. First response? People riding bikes, legs drenched in lactic acid, lungs burning, busy racing in an unsanctioned alleycat race with MASH Transit – drop everything and offer a hand.

As of this writing, this photo has over 1,700 “likes” and nearly 800 shares (and if you’re on Facebook, please add your upvote if you’re so inclined.

This social media exposure is nothing, of course, compared to the news coverage following an isolated road rage attack during the August Critical Mass ride. The news of a pie biter smashing his u-lock through a Prius window went global, with stories and angry editorials in the LA Times, the Daily Mail, and the McHenry County Daily Ledger.

Several co-workers and acquaintances felt obliged, of course, to point out this isolated incident to the “bike guy” because, well, I don’t really know why. Am I supposed I supposed to discourage these buttholes from cycling so they can more anonymously commit their dangerous shenanigans from behind the wheel of a car? If you believe the editorials and reader comments, taking the 5 lb u-lock away from the guy with self-control issues, and replacing it with a 3,000 lb motorized cage of steel and glass will naturally make everybody else’s drive much more pleasant.

When I enter “cyclists rescue” in Google News, the top story is this two year old news from New York City. The DA declined to prosecute cabbie Faysal Kabir after Kabir hit British tourist Sian Green, who lost most of her leg after the “accident.” The story ends up — get this — blaming a cyclist who apparently exchanged words with taxi driver Kabir, which made Kabir so upset that he nearly killed a pedestrian.

When a guy on a bike gets stupid, we’re supposed to “police our own.” A taxi driver’s road rage, on the other, is still the cyclist’s fault.

Awesome, right?

Bonus: See my realtime map of hit-and-run incidents that are in the California Highway Patrol dispatch system right now.


  1. I’ll invite you to Google for “critical mass.” Titles like “own worst enemy,” “spins out of control again,” “dying of self-inflicted wounds,” “you can do better,” and so forth.

  2. Typo: “Am I supposed I supposed to discourage these buttholes from cycling so that they can more anonymously”

    Good write up. So true.

  3. If a coworker asks why you are not doing something about some random crazy biker, you could ask the coworker if they are doing anything about the hit and run that just occurred while you were talking (one every ~minute in the US). Then drop by their cube every minute to remind them that another hit and run just happened, and ask if they are going to be doing anything about that one also.

    When Googling rates of hit and run, top links were…
    “How will a hit-and-run affect car insurance rates?”, and “Will My Car Insurance Rates Go Up for a Hit and Run”. More hit and run perpetrators are Googling to find out if they will pay more insurance than there are people Googling to find out the rate or occurrence.

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