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1

Mmmm. Intriguing. Very, very intriguing. Can you take a picture if she rides by tomorrow? Use the telephoto if you have it.

Posted by elenchos | January 22, 2008 9:02 AM
2

Was she holding the phone in her left or right hand? Knowing which hand she was breaking with would add to the image. Or maybe was she a fixie hipster?

Posted by stinkbug | January 22, 2008 9:02 AM
3

So from 11th and Pine you saw this woman ride all the way downtown? Amazing!

Posted by DOUG. | January 22, 2008 9:03 AM
4

The risks bike riders take often shows a lack of respect for health, not only their own but that of others.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | January 22, 2008 9:04 AM
5

So a skirt wearing, mac fan, biker rebel.

HOT.

Posted by joey | January 22, 2008 9:08 AM
6

So what? She dies, she dies. Boohoo.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 22, 2008 9:09 AM
7

@3,read it again. It says

And she kept right on riding, one-handed, with no helmet, past cars and buses headed downtown on Pine Street.

Not that she was headed downtown... but the vehicles were.

Posted by brappy | January 22, 2008 9:11 AM
8

I like how whenever a bicyclist does something stupid, they're representing the "bike community" but the eight million times a day some fucking car commuter blows through a crosswalk, that's just a single "bad driver."

Posted by Judah | January 22, 2008 9:15 AM
9

@7: Oh, I know how to read. For all Dan knows she pulled into the KFC, but he wrote this to invoke the image of her flying past Linda's doing 25 one-handed.

And every time I see a middle-aged, skinny, white, gay dude do something stupid, I'll be sure to assume that he represents Dan and his "community".

Posted by DOUG. | January 22, 2008 9:24 AM
10

Asshole drivers that honk at people in crosswalks do make all drivers look bad. And idjit cyclists that do idjit things make all bikers look idjiotic, unfortunately.

As for middle-aged gay men, well, I guess they'll make me look idjiotic when, you know, I get all middle-aged and stuff.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 22, 2008 9:27 AM
11

PITBULLS!

Posted by Something's missing from this post | January 22, 2008 9:27 AM
12

You know she runs through red lights, too.

Posted by tsm | January 22, 2008 9:29 AM
13

And, hey, I don't know where she was going -- besides under the wheels of a bus at some point if she keeps riding like that. The cars and buses, though, were headed downtown, which seems pretty clear from my post. But for all we know she did blow past Linda's and Pony (RIP) doing 25 MPH. I've seen dumber shit.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 22, 2008 9:29 AM
14

Put on a jacket, your mother's cold!

Posted by dennyt | January 22, 2008 9:30 AM
15

I like how whenever a bicyclist does something stupid, they're representing the "bike community" but the eight million times a day some fucking car commuter blows through a crosswalk, that's just a single "bad driver."

I've seen drivers get pulled over for blowing through a crosswalk or a red light far, far, FAR more than a biker doing the same thing. Shit... I've seen pedestrians get ticketed for jaywalking far more than cyclists getting tickets for cutting through traffic or bowling over people on the sidewalk.

So if you can propose a way that the "bad cyclist" will get as many tickets as the "bad driver", I'll quit my bitchin'.

Posted by bma | January 22, 2008 9:33 AM
16

Judah, the drivers aren't approaching the bike community with their hands out asking for anything. There are far too few bicyclists for their votes to matter. Whereas, bicyclists are continually asking drivers to tax themselves and to give up lanes for the benefit of this tiny sliver of the commuter population. So the small group that wants to be given something and offers nothing in return probably needs to worry more about its image than the large group being asked to give something up. Drivers have no need to make bicyclists like them because it doesn't matter that much what bicyclists think.

Which is why bicyclists so desperately need more women in white skirts billowing around their lithe, taut legs, rising and falling in a hypnotic rhythm. Especially if the harsh winter morning light falls on her alabaster skin in a way that accentuates every contour, or backlights her legs in the skirt's translucent fabric. Yes... yes, that would definitely win people over. Definitely.

Posted by elenchos | January 22, 2008 9:33 AM
17
Asshole drivers that honk at people in crosswalks do make all drivers look bad. And idjit cyclists that do idjit things make all bikers look idjiotic, unfortunately.

So, do black people who commit crimes make all black people look bad? Does Israel make all Jews look bad? Do the actions of Seung-Hui Cho reflect on all Korean Americans? I'm just trying to figure out where you're drawing your lines here.

Posted by Judah | January 22, 2008 9:37 AM
18

Keep going, elenchos. Another couple of paragraphs ought to do it.

Posted by Fnarf | January 22, 2008 9:38 AM
19

@16: Learn something about local tax policty: The sales tax this chick paid on her iPhone fills the potholes on Pine Street, while her bike causes none of them.

Posted by DOUG. | January 22, 2008 9:40 AM
20

@17

Yes, yes, and yes.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 22, 2008 9:43 AM
21

Riding a bike without a helmet while talking on a cell phone? Dan, you just described half the population of Amsterdam.

Posted by Mahtli69 | January 22, 2008 9:47 AM
22

You know, I didn't want to stop, but Dan had to go and report the fact that she was wearing a hoody. What can you do with a hoody? There is no way for a hoody to not look dumpy. Given how much Mr. Savage cares for factual journalism, I don't think it would have killed him to say she was wearing a white peasant dress instead of the skirt and hoody. I could have written all day about a girl in a white peasant dress on a bike. All. Day.

Maybe she'll be back tomorrow. Maybe it will warm up to 30 or 35 degrees and she'll be wearing something really special.

(DOUG: I know bicyclists pay more in taxes than they use up in road damage. My point is, what are the going to do about it? Become an anti-car voting bloc? Woo, that should send tremors of fear through the body politic!)

Posted by elenchos | January 22, 2008 9:48 AM
23

@18

lithe, taut legs, rising and falling in a hypnotic rhythm.

That did it for me.

Posted by PA Native | January 22, 2008 9:49 AM
24
Judah, the drivers aren't approaching the bike community with their hands out asking for anything.Well no, that's because drivers have already taken what they want.

Roads existed in cities for thousands of years before cars came along, and everyone used to have equal access to them. The idea that roadways are the exclusive domain of motorized vehicles is new and, in the long run, poorly conceived. Drivers don't own the roads, and the unquestioned dominance of motorized vehicles in public rights of way is ultimately contrary to the public interest.

But nevermind all that. Trying to convince an American that cars haven't ruled the earth since the age of dinosaurs is like trying to pound a copper nail into a piece of oak. Carry on.

Posted by Judah | January 22, 2008 9:54 AM
25

@22: No, your point was that "bicyclists are continually asking drivers to tax themselves and to give up lanes for the benefit of this tiny sliver of the commuter population," which is total bullshit.

Posted by DOUG. | January 22, 2008 9:55 AM
26

@21, nope, in Amsterdam her equally cute friend would be riding side-saddle no-hands on the bike's rear cargo platform, also talking on a cellphone and possibly smoking.

Posted by Eric F | January 22, 2008 9:55 AM
27

Stereotypes are so cool when they become reality...

Posted by michael strangeways | January 22, 2008 10:00 AM
28

Oh yeah, Dan, you're not middle-aged at ALL. This post might as well be about the whippersnappers on your front lawn.

Posted by Colin | January 22, 2008 10:42 AM
29

As a fellow biker, I approve of this posting. Fuck all the hipsters riding around like a bunch of retards.

The most annoying thing was the bike rally after the kid got ran over by a truck on Eastlake (while not wearing a helmet), his surviving 19 year-old friend friend rode in the rally helmetless.

WTF?

Posted by seattle98104 | January 22, 2008 10:46 AM
30

FACT: Geared-bikes spread STDs.

Posted by Bicycle Jihad | January 22, 2008 10:49 AM
31

Please Doug show us links that prove your point. The under three percent of cycle commuters do not pay for the streets with their iPhone taxes or any other taxes.

BTW most cyclists also use products brought to market by trucks and they use transit which are the causes of most road damage.

Posted by whatever | January 22, 2008 10:57 AM
32

@29 - As a fellow biker (who always wears a helmet), I'm pretty sure a helmet won't do much if you're getting run over by a truck.

Posted by Mahtli69 | January 22, 2008 10:58 AM
33

@32 Yeah, except when you're at a rally promoting bike safety and awareness, you look like a giant tool when you are at the helm riding helmetless.

Posted by seattle98104 | January 22, 2008 11:00 AM
34

31 - well said. A semi brought the bike you ride to the store you bought if from. Ta-da!

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | January 22, 2008 11:03 AM
35

@31: In Seattle city roads like Pine Street are paid for via sales taxes and property taxes, which we all pay. The notion that cyclists are looking for a "hand out" by "asking drivers to tax themselves" to use the roads that they already help pay for is ridiculous.

Now that the MVET fees have been scaled way back in this state, drivers pay no more for pothole repair on Pine Street than cyclists do.

The "your bike was shipped on a big ol' truck" argument is so, so very weak -- a one-time delivery of dozens (or hundreds) of bikes is a drop in the freaking road-damage bucket.

Posted by DOUG. | January 22, 2008 11:15 AM
36

i don't understand how anyone thinks bicycles in the streets, even with helmets, pads, the works are ever safe. the speed and safety differentials are just too high. until we build bicycle sidewalks/dividers like in europe; biking in seattle will always be a death wish.

Posted by Judith | January 22, 2008 11:19 AM
37

Over the weekend (during one of those grey/raining hours) I was about to cross a two-lane one-way busy street (I had the right of way and light). All of a sudden a car from the cross street started turning towards me. She was using her phone. I started waving my hands in a "what the hell?!" kind of way because she was turning the wrong one onto the one-way street. But she blew past me. About 30 feet later she noticed the two lanes of oncoming traffic. She got lucky and found an empty parking spot to pull into. Ugh.

Posted by stinkbug | January 22, 2008 11:19 AM
38

judith, what the hell are you talking about? all of europe doesn't have "bicycle sidewalks/dividers" - in many places bikes and cars get along fine.

Posted by stinkbug | January 22, 2008 11:21 AM
39

You think, Doug? Maybe in the future it will be a drop in the bucket. But currently it is indeed the opposite of a drop in the bucket.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | January 22, 2008 11:32 AM
40

When I drive down a one way street and see a bicyclist coming at me the wrong way, I honk and flash my headlights and they look at me like I'm the one who's crazy. I suppose they're right: it's not like they'd get a ticket for it, and if they did get a ticket, it's not like they have a license to lose. And when a car hits them, the driver or their insurance will be the one to pay, never the bicyclist. Which is not to say that more bicyclists will drive up car insurance rates for everybody. I wouldn't want to be the one saying that.

Posted by elenchos | January 22, 2008 11:36 AM
41

@39: Is that some sort of riddle?

Posted by DOUG. | January 22, 2008 11:43 AM
42

@35 -

The "your bike was shipped on a big ol' truck" argument is so, so very weak -- a one-time delivery of dozens (or hundreds) of bikes is a drop in the freaking road-damage bucket.

But it's not just your bike that was shipped on a truck - it's also the food you eat, the clothes you wear, and most of the consumer goods you buy. To pretend you've liberated yourself from the petro-industrial complex with your fixie, and have therefore earned the moral high ground, is laughable.

Posted by tsm | January 22, 2008 11:54 AM
43

@42: Uh, yeah, I get that. I'm not delusional. I'm simply responding to the assertion made @16 that, "bicyclists are continually asking drivers to tax themselves and to give up lanes for the benefit of this tiny sliver of the commuter population."

I'm not taking any sort of moral high ground, just trying to educate. If more people understood how roads are paid for in Seattle, they might stop making the "bikes get a free ride" argument.

Posted by DOUG. | January 22, 2008 12:09 PM
44

DOUG. - I see what you're saying about the bikes/bike lane argument. Where you're off is that semis beat the crap out of roads a lot more than cars do. You're implying that cars are the main cause of that in your comment. The bike-laned Alaskan Way, south of the ferry terminal, is a good example of a roadway continually trashed by semi traffic in and out of the port.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | January 22, 2008 12:43 PM
45

Doug, you aren't offering any facts. You're not educating. You're just contradicting. Contradiction isn't an argument.

My argument is that bicyclists are no more the two percent of the commuting population, and if we moved heaven and earth to cater to the demands of bicyclists, as Portland has done, we'd be lucky to push that number to 4%. Which is pathetic.

Even if 4% of commuters biked, all the taxes of that 4% would not pay for all the things they are asking for.

Bikes get a free ride. Granted, the ones not wearing marble bags look fairly good while getting that free ride, and I'm happy to express my appreciation for the way their skirts flap and snap against their thighs, riding up like a rising curtain, falling down with a flutter. That's the good part there.

Posted by elenchos | January 22, 2008 12:45 PM
46

@45: i do not believe bicyclists get a free ride. i think every motorized vehicle gets a free ride. we do not charge for the environmental toll these vehicles inconvenience all of us with, let alone overcrowded roads, the infrastructure necessary for cars to get everywhere, and on and on. until the actual cost of owning a motorized vehicle is paid by the driver/owner of that automobile, we are all subsidizing cars.

Posted by infrequent | January 22, 2008 12:52 PM
47

Fuck! I love cyclists like the one you're describing. Why? Because they're the future organ donors of America. Seriously, I see those messengers downtown, the ones with less than 10 percent body fat who weave in and out of traffic on their fixies while not wearing helmets and I think "Damn! There's my next set of kidneys". Some times I just want to go up to one of them and casually inquire as to his or her blood type. We need to make a law that says that if you're in an automobile accident and not wearing a seatbelt or a bicycle or motorcycle accident and not wearing a helmet that you become a mandatory organ donor upon brain death. That would be awesome!

Posted by wile_e_quixote | January 22, 2008 1:02 PM
48

I was reading a DOT report that the majority of damage to roads (like 80+ percent) is the semi tractor type vehicles. And depending on state, the businesses using those vehicles don't pay 80% of the road taxes.

So yeah, that huge f'ing truck that brought in the bike is doing more road damange than 8 cars.

Posted by Just Some Guy | January 22, 2008 2:19 PM
49

@44: I never said that semis don't damage the roads, just that bikes do not. Cars do, though. And since cyclists pay the SAME amount to use city roads as drivers do, shouldn't cyclists have equal access?

@45: I guess I'm unclear as to what you mean by "all the things they are asking for". A can of paint to stripe Stone Way doesn't cost very much.

Posted by DOUG. | January 22, 2008 2:44 PM
50

Now you're just being silly. They wanted to take away the entire turn lane from Stone Way. That's one third of the road! What is it about bike advocates that makes you so dishonest? Is it because you're better than the lowly drivers? It must be something: your cause is righteous and if it takes a few dirty tricks to win, so be it.

Posted by elenchos | January 22, 2008 2:57 PM
51

Dude, you've got it backwards. The bicyclists (and pedestrians) were trying to ADD a center turn lane on Stone Way. It was Suzie Burke and her people that killed it.

HERE'S more info. In case you actually care.

Posted by DOUG. | January 22, 2008 3:09 PM
52

OK. Granted: they wanted to take 4 lanes and turn it into 3 lanes. So they only wanted a fourth of the road, not a third. Still seems like the bicyclists, only two percent of commuters, wanted to take big slice for themselves and offer nothing back.

Except for the tale they were trying to sell about how traffic would actually be better off with 3 lanes instead of 4. That's nice of the bicyclists to be so concerned with improving car traffic. They're so selfless. In fact, they are too good for us. Seattle doesn't deserve such humanitarians. Really: we're not worthy. Ascend to a higher plane. Leave us in our wretchedness, because the pearls bicyclists offer are too good for us swine.

I hear Portland is bike friendly. I'm just saying.

Posted by elenchos | January 22, 2008 3:49 PM
53

Not a problem.

Posted by DOUG. | January 22, 2008 4:08 PM
54

Portland has the same arguments about bikes and people still get killed on bikes in Portland too. Although, there are a ton of bike freaks in Portland!

Posted by Kristin Bell | January 22, 2008 11:50 PM
55

@52 - So-called "road diets" are pure bullshit - and I love getting in City traffic planners faces about that fact when they are sent to community meetings to try and sell them to a rightly skeptical public. You're going to take a traffic lane away and congestion is going to improve? Right. I suppose the check's in the mail too, eh?

Posted by Mr. X | January 23, 2008 9:26 AM

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