An Open Letter to SF Cyclists

Dear Cyclists of SF,

I should be your biggest advocate.

I'm a progressive educated lefty who is opposed to motor vehicle use in cities.
I'm a bike owner and bike rider who grew up riding and racing and worked in a bike shop.
My bikes have included "cred building" rigs like a '70s Holdsworth Custom Criterium frame with vintage campy set up and a Voodoo SS MTB set up as an urban trials bike.

I want to be your supporter.

But you are making it really. fucking. hard.

This morning I was hit by a cyclist while walking in SF.
This is the third time in five years.

The first time I was walking on the sidewalk in the Mission and went to step around a slow walker and was hit from behind by a cyclist I hadn't heard. Neither I nor the cyclist were injured and I started getting a lot more paranoid about bikes around me.

The second time I was crossing Mission St and was hit by a cyclist who had run the red light and was trying to turn through the crosswalk (he had to swerve to avoid hitting an older woman in front of me). In this case I strained a knee and the cyclist suffered a concussion. And I started to feel more conflicted about bike riders.

Today I was walking in SOMA and went to cross a one way street. I looked the direction traffic was coming from, stepped off the sidewalk and was hit by a cyclist riding the wrong way up the street. I have no idea if they were injured as I simply walked away to avoid a confrontation given my rage at this incident.

Seriously folks.
I really, really want to continue to support cyclist rights in SF.
But there is a reason why the rules of the road and vehicle laws apply to you. You may think that rules saying you can't ride on the sidewalk are stupid and constrain your rights. You're wrong. Vehicles can't drive on the sidewalk for a very fucking good reason. You may think that you shouldn't have to stop at red lights because "control" and "speed" and so on. Well guess what? You're wrong again. You may think that you should be able to ride up a one way street the wrong way. You should not. For fucking obvious reasons.

Yes... I know that the vast majority of cyclists in SF are good, decent people. But you - the good decent cyclists out there - are turning a blind eye to the bad apples amongst you. You defend the indefensible. And until you stop doing this - people like me are going to stop supporting you.

Do the right thing.
Make it so people like me can support you.


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