building a sustainable and resilient community

Don’t get mad, get wordy

Posted on | November 26, 2009 | No Comments

This Thanksgiving holiday, I can’t stress enough how lucky we all are for our health.  When I think of the hot mess that is our healthcare system, I am amazed and grateful that I have remained mostly healthy and have not had to go through what some people do to get treated.  When I think about riding my bike, I have to knock on wood that I haven’t been hurt or hit by a car, and I’m glad too that I’m OK when I could have really messed myself up in a stupid fall I had over the summer.

And then there’s stories like this:  a former Asheville firefighter shot a cyclist after stopping to argue with him over the cyclist’s son, who was in a secured child seat, because apparently the firefighter didn’t like the fact that the child was on a bike in a busy street.  As the cyclist turned to walk away after their verbal exchange, the aggressor shot at his head… and the bullet luckily lodged in his helmet, so the cyclist is fine.

And the guy who shot him was just sentenced to 4 months in jail.

Yeah, you read that right, 4 months in jail.

Soooo…. this is disturbing.  Someone tries to murder a guy on bicycle in front of his family because he doesn’t like him riding around with his child on the back, and the guy ONLY has to serve 4 months in jail?  Why does it always seem like crimes committed against people who are riding bikes are somehow rendered justifiable in the eyes of our courts?  OK maybe not but situations like this are very, very disspiriting, at best.  (And at worst, a total failure of our justice system.)

Anyway, rather than ramble on vaguely about it, or post angry comments on Treehugger, I’m going to suggest, like I always do, that if this upsets you as much as it does me, you should take action on it.  Write a letter to the editor of the Asheville Citizen-Times to tell them that you think their justice system has failed the cyclist and his family.  Or to tell them that you won’t be riding your bike, or anything else for that matter, in North Carolina any time soon.  In fact, forget me, write whatever you want, but the point is… act on it.  Don’t let that community, or any other for that matter, bully cyclists off the streets.

I have to go write my letter to the editor now.  Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving, everyone.



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