Oh, Please. Thank You.

I feel I should respond to Name Withheld from El Cajon who wrote in with the suggestion to “Save Our Brizzolara” (Letters, January 6): “let’s show thanks for this guy who’s facing tough times.…Whoever knows how to set up a fund for this sort of thing, take the time, make the effort, and I and others will make that donation.”

I was very much moved to see this but can’t let it pass without a response. Thank you much, really, but as long as I can continue working, I will be more or less all right financially. Meanwhile, I’m trying to secure a two-bedroom apartment for my son and myself — a battle due to a hopeless credit report reflecting insane medical bills. I would welcome any suggestions or a sympathetic hearing from a landlord with a vacancy. Other than that, I’m probably no worse off than too many of us in this, uh, Great Recession. But, good Lord, thank you, Name Withheld.

John Brizzolara

Wheelier Than Thou

David Lesser’s letter in the January 6 issue exhibits the sanctimonious, holier-than-thou attitude that has turned many locals against the biking community. That makes his letter a rhetorical failure, unless his purpose in writing was to demonstrate how judgmental and full of himself he is.

Markel Tumlin
via email

If We Share, You Share Too

When I saw the cover of the December 30 Reader (“Pedaling Diego”), my blood pressure immediately went up. I rode a motorcycle (street bike) in San Diego County for almost 30 years. When bicyclists ride side by side, or too far out into the car lane, and other cars have to go around the bicyclist(s) on a narrow two-lane road, all of a sudden that car is into the oncoming lane. If I’m riding my motorcycle in that lane, it could be my last ride. If it’s a choice between me getting hit head-on or a bicyclist getting hit from the rear, guess what my choice would be? Even if our roads were a bit wider to accommodate bicyclists, they (bicyclists) still seem to ride too far over into the car lane. The author sums it up in the last paragraph: “and you ride right down the middle of the street, king of the road, it’s a great feeling, isn’t it?” Backcountry signs say to “Share the road,” showing a picture of a bicycle. Fine, as long as bicyclists stay far to the right and obey the traffic laws, especially when the speed limit is 50 miles per hour and bicyclists are struggling to go 10 miles per hour.

Allen Stanko
via email

Pedaling Good Karma

Re “Pedaling Diego” (Cover Story, December 30).

Forty years after learning to ride my road bike on the mean streets of Los Angeles, this seasoned rider and former racer would never find himself in the company of the Critical Mass crowd. I’ve learned a few simple courtesies toward motor vehicles that keep me safe and breed goodwill wherever I ride. Don’t be a Fred and block right-hand-turn lanes when you stop at signals; get over to the left and give autos their right to turn. Conversely, don’t block left-turn lanes with your slow start; stay to the right and let cars through. Turn around when you are at any stop to see how to facilitate your fellow driver. Most of them are nervous around you, so wave them through tight spaces with hand signals to assure them that you’re not. If you can go fast and not impede cars, they won’t be hostile. If you can’t, ride straight, hold your line, and signal more often. It is not us against them. Spread good karma. Except for the poor state of the asphalt in this town, relations with cars are much, much better than they were 25 years ago.

Douglas Widmark
via email

Critical Mess

As both a driver and a regular cyclist, I was interested to read Bill Manson’s article on cycling in San Diego (“Pedaling Diego,” Cover Story, December 30). Although I love cycling — and when driving always give cyclists a wide berth — I am completely opposed to the monthly Critical Mass criminal rides. They will never do anything to gain respect for cyclists, and I believe they cause greater animosity. I know because I found myself stuck in the middle of one on the way to work one night.

Growing up, I was taught that cyclists are required to obey the same road rules as drivers. Yet, I constantly see cyclists blowing through red lights and stop signs and ignoring other rules of the road.

This is taken to an extreme during the Critical Mass rides. These irresponsible riders take up both sides of the road, ignore lights and signs, and terrorize people in vehicles as though every car owner is guilty of running cyclists off the road.

While I agree that many drivers don’t pay enough attention to sharing the road with bicycles, respect begins at home. If cyclists want to be respected on the road, then they should lead by example and respect the rules of the road. Stop at stop signs, obey traffic signals, and always travel with lights on their bikes at night. Respect is earned, not demanded.

Paul Kenney
via email

It’s Canada, Eh?

Returning from a holiday visit to the snowy Midwest this week, I found a copy of your December 30 issue to catch up. In the cover story, “Pedaling Diego,” your author leads off with a common mistake. On my visit I saw hundreds of Canada Geese, and I can tell you they object to being called Canadian Geese. If you need a reference, read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_Goose. It’s Canada, eh!

Now all my feathered friends will feel better.

Tim
La Jolla

Give Respect, Get Respect

Let’s check when the last time I saw cars driving two or three wide, running stop signs, swerving into oncoming traffic to avoid a rock, and blocking entire intersections once a month to send a message. Really????

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