Cyclists' tempers rage after criticism

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Cyclists were out protesting Thursday after a Washington Post columnist called bicyclists in D.C. "bullies" and "terrorists".

However, just a few hours before the protest,a cyclist who was in a bike lane was seriously injured after being hit by a car. It happened at the intersection of 14th St. and Rhode Island Avenue.

Photojournalist Greg Guise was on the scene moments after the crash. The injured bicyclist was moving, but in a lot of pain. Witnesses told Guise that it looked like the driver of a Prius was attempting to make an illegal U-turn when he swung wide and hit the cyclist. The Prius driving would not talk to us, but the young woman who called 911 did.

Sarah Seanor said that D.C. has bike lanes for a reason and that drivers need to watch out for cyclists. An ambulance arrived and took the cyclist to a hospital. It appeared he was suffering a broken leg and that he would recover.

However, there was no sympathy for cyclists in this Washington post commentary by Courtland Malloy who called them bullies who take over roads. He even called them "biker terrorists out to rule the road."

The commentary prompted a protest ride from Dupont circle to the Washington Post Headquarters.

One mom was there with her 19-months-old daughter, "A biker terrorist in training," she joked, while urging everyone to watch out for each other and "stop name-calling."

Some 50 cyclists showed up to protest Malloy's comments. "We're protesting because we are not Bike Terrorist, but like to enjoy this city on two wheels instead of four," said Ken Schultz, one man who was "pissed off" by the Post piece. Several others said they thought the commentary was inaccurate and inappropriate for the Washington Post to print.

However, it is easy to find cyclists disobeying traffic laws. WUSA9 found many in just two hours at Haines Point. The stop sign specifically states that bicyclists must stop, and none of them do. Cars often don't stop either,but usually they at least slow down, which most cyclists don't bother to do.

Another cyclist turns left on a red light.

We caught one riding on a sidewalk.

Another who stops, then goes on a red light.

Then one drives into oncoming traffic, and nearly gets hit by a tractor trailer.

"There as many jerks on bikes as they are in cars as there are pedestrians. If you single the bicycles out, and say, well geez I'll spend $500 and get this cyclist off the road, it's just wrong," said Steve who was referring to Malloy writing that "It's a $500 fine for a motorist to hit a bicyclist in the District, but some behaviors are so egregious that some drivers might think it's worth paying the fine."

Steve said he's s been hit by vehicles four times.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment