Doo-Dah’s Idiotic “Parody” Taps a Nerve

This story is making the rounds in the bike advocacy media… this fellow apparently has it out for cyclists – He took the time to create this elaborate “float” for the Columbus, Ohio Doo Dah parade – his sign reads “I’ll share the road when you follow the rules” – He depicts his car smashing into a cyclist, with the cyclist landing on the roof…

http://www.thebikecomesfirst.com/ill-share-the-road-when-y…/

Doo-Dah-Parade-1
Of course, his point was to tick off cyclists – the Doo Dah parade likely attracted a demographic in Columbus that tended to support cyclists – the motorist likely certainly succeeded wildly in meeting his goal. And because this is a “free country,” his First Amendment rights were thoroughly protected, of course & the Doo Dah parade has a long, rich history of parody, aggressive parody, political incorrectness and “edgy humor.”

From the Dispatch article on the parade – “One example of the parade’s edgy humor involved an appearance of Harambe, the gorilla of the Cincinnati Zoo, coming back from the grave. Dragging along a man dressed as a toddler, the gorilla preached the importance of being a watchful mother.”

Cyclists are often accused of getting their sox in a bunch over stupid stuff. I get the call from WLW to joust with Eddie and Tracy, drive time “shock jocks,” whenever a cycling issue is in the air… I try to not get caught up in the emotional arguments and stick to the facts and the numbers… We CAN come across as sticks in the mud sometimes, but many of us have lived through some horrific scenes as well… losing friends, family or fellow cyclists tends to make one’s reactions to inflammatory crap like this pretty crisp.

I do try to acknowledge our foibles and follies, but really… Is running over and killing someone now somehow funny? Is it “satire” or “politically incorrect” to recommend the lawless maiming of others? As someone suggested in another post why not just “put a baby carriage on the hood” and call it a “satire” of drunk driving…

So what do we learn from this fellow?

Clearly he portrays himself as someone hates cyclists and feels that they don’t obey the rules. He chose to “express” this by connoting that he intentionally runs over cyclists – His cowardly approach to this was cover up his license plate for the parade … and yet, despite the horribly inappropriate nature of the image he created, he “speaks” for many folks in some subtle ways – The “they don’t follow the rules” whine is probably the biggest and most consistent whine we we hear from motorists – “they want to use the roads but they don’t follow the rules” –

Whining about Cyclists
Do cyclists care about this demographic? Should they? The answer is absolutely … Yes – we should care. Why? Because this demographic influences folks in power. Not the “intentionally run them down” angle, but the more subtle whining about cyclists abusing their right to use the roads.

During our many political forays into the legislature in Columbus, or into local city councils, we are often met by politicians telling stories of how they “saw this cyclist run a red light” or phone calls from angry constituents whining about cyclists blowing stop signs or whatever… these anecdotes can have, or gain, traction – as cycling advocates we cannot ignore the biggest whines coming at us… we have to deal with them straight up with facts and figures…
This much is true – Cyclists are People – and People Screw Up – There ARE cyclists who don’t obey the rules- there are many many more motorists who don’t obey the rules, who are caught each day and who are ticketed or, when their behavior qualifies, prosecuted criminally.
While we continue to preach “Safe Cycling” and “Legal Cycling” we know that in Ohio each year 300,000 motorists run into other CARS [820+ per day] – while only 1,500 car/bicycle crashes occur… so please, tell me how cyclists are ruining your life…
Cyclists have exactly and precisely the same rights and responsibilities and motorists… cyclists caught disobeying the traffic rules are subject to exactly and precisely the same punishment as motorists… run a stop sign, you can pay a fine. Speeding on a bike? You can pay a fine. Run into a van filled with kids and kill or maim several…wellll… that’s not going to happen on a bike is it?
And that’s the kicker…when a cyclist screws up they don’t generally put anyone else at risk but themselves… a rogue cyclist who is texting, drinking coffee [or liquor] or putting on make-up on the the way to work is likely to be the one maimed – folks encased in 2 tons of steel have nothing to fear.

Cars hitting cyclists cuts very close to the bone – I’m working on several horrific fatal crashes now – pickup truck turns left across an oncoming group of experienced riders, killing two, including one with a baby who celebrated her first birthday a few weeks later… a drug-addled woman goes 8 feet onto the berm slamming into an experienced cyclist and leaving his widow without a husband and his babies without their daddy…

So yea, hooray for ‘Murica, land of the free and home of the First Amendment – pardon me if I don’t giggle at the “joke” here… too bad this fellow wasn’t brave enough to stand up and make his presence known so we could exercise OUR right to ignore him, his business, his employer and anyone who would use or employ him… Such a Big Man, “brave” enough to be in a parade with an horrific message, but not so brave to reveal his secret identity – I guess maybe “cowardly” is more the word I was looking for

Any cyclist who has ever been cursed at by a motorist, had stuff thrown at them by a motorist or  intimidated by a motorist probably does NOT see the “humor” in this float… which is just about everyone who has ever ridden a bicycle on the road.  Like most motorists, most cyclists follow the rules, they don’t WANT to engage with cars or fight for space with cars… they just want to ride, and come home safely…

If you figure out who the coward is, please let him come forward… I have some folks he can look in the eye as he tries to make his point…

 

 

 

Martha Shaw Obit

Brenda Hoffman Killed while Cycling on State Route 60 in Ohio - 4/23/15

Brenda Hoffman Killed while Cycling on State Route 60 in Ohio – 4/23/15

Dale TusenScreen Shot 2015-05-22 at 11.44.38 PMInjuries caused by Dr. Thompson -Michael Prater

Printed from: http://www.ohiobikelawyer.com/bike-law-101/2016/07/doo-dahs-idiotic-parody-taps-a-nerve/ .
© 2016.

10 Comments   »

  • I liken this display to picture postcards of lynchings sold in the American Deep South. The person or people responsible have no idea how deeply offensive this display is to survivors of this exact kind of violence.

  • Wendy Hess says:

    I’m strictly a recreational cycler who sticks mostly to bike paths and trails and still, this parade entry disgusts me. You don’t need to be Einstein to see that a lot of drivers just don’t want to be inconvenienced in the least. It’s not even about the bicyclists “following the rules,” it’s about them even expecting to get to share the road with cars. I know of too many people who’ve been hit by bad drivers for this to be funny. That guy must be a real charmer; only hope that karma finds him.

  • Jana says:

    A commenter on The Dispatch web site suggested it was targeted at DRIVERS. Big SUV, attitude about cyclists, and the ‘following the rules’ quip, when it’s vehicles that are typically breaking the rules of the road/common courtesy. I’m hoping that was the real intent on this entry.

  • Steve Magas says:

    It would be nice if the facts shook out this way – that the whole thing was an elaborate or overly clever prank – you’d think that the perpetrator would not be afraid to take credit for such a thing – I’d be happy to be “punked” on this rather than concluding that the motorist was serious in his hate for cyclists and desire to take them out…

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