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Facebook Cyclists Hate Group
Outcry against the Facebook Fan Page "There's a perfectly good path right next to the road you stupid cyclist!" (which frighteningly has more than 30,000 fans) is gaining momentum. Just yesterday, efforts to end the group culminated in the response group, "Help Remove this Hate Group Against Cyclists!". The Australian based anti-cyclists page is filled with violent comments about hitting cyclists, who the page refers to as "road hogging rats." The profile picture is even of a car dooring a cyclist. The page claims that bicycles only belong on bike paths and should not be allowed on roads. The about me box states, "No matter how far to the left you are, you're taking up my road. My car is hard, and i am not slowing down!"
The Facebook page is anger-fueled and misinformed. Cyclists have the legal right to be on the road in Australia and are considered vehicles, as are cyclists in all 50 US states. Endorsing violence should not be tolerated, and the ignorance endorsed on this Facebook page simply begets more ignorance towards cyclists. The page's crass content, "The road belongs to engine driven cars," and photos are legally incorrect - and offensive.
Read the League's Trash Talk entry to get more information on the real facts, the issue and how to take action/report the page for being offensive.
Tensions, clearly displayed on the Facebook page, between drivers and cyclists need to be diffused and hate groups only help to add fuel to a fire that is already
out of control. Christopher Thompson the enraged LA doctor who injured two cyclists with his vehicle last summer (picture right - courtesy of VeloNews), is scheduled to be sentenced this morning, Friday, January 8th. Guilty of six felonies, prosecutes are asking for eight years in prison (VeloNews)
Also during the summer of 2009, Charles Alexander, a retired Asheville firefighter shot at a cyclist, narrowly missing his head by less than an inch. He was sentenced to a measly 120 days in prison for attempted murder (Streetsblog)
We must diffuse the mounting tension of "us and them" before another cyclist is injured or killed by an irate driver and ending the Facebook hate group is a good place to start.