Lance Armstrong Wannabes, Part 2

Last month’s “06880” story on Lance Armstrong wannabes generated over 65 responses.  Most sided with the post’s premise:  many Westport bicyclists are rude, disobey traffic rules, and look pretty dorky too.

Here’s a dissenting view, from a Compo Beach resident:

If you bike from Elvira’s around to Bradley Street, the bushes and trees stick out or hang into the road so much, a biker has to be in the middle of the lane just to avoid the greenery.

And that’s not the only place.  It’s like that on Bradley to Compo Beach Road too.

Yeah, the bikers (have their issues).  But the bike lanes are strewn with litter, leaves and sticks.  Add the foliage, and it’s no wonder folks are upset.

Westporters love our trees and leaves.  Sometimes though, they fall on power lines and cut our power.  They clog drains and cause floods.

Now they’re forcing bike riders into the middle of the road.

The solution is obvious:  Limit bicycle riding to between December 1 and March 1 only.

C’mon, Westport.  If we can ban plastic bags and bring nightlife back downtown, we can certainly solve our bikers-in-the-road problem.

What do you say?

52 responses to “Lance Armstrong Wannabes, Part 2

  1. Don’t blame the bikers………we walkers have a like problem.
    Many shirts, arms and feet are annoyed with the fact the bushes come out an bite us as we walker in hopes of better health. We need a town sewing machine to help with the repairs……….and an equal supply of good band -aids.
    Kinda guess it is really a jungle out there. Wonder when the home owners will use their clippers on the rambling greenery.

  2. WOW. After my fairytale wedding on Compo Beach turned into a nightmare life in Westport with a disordered person, I recently moved back to VT. For myriad reasons I am happy to be home, but I guess I’ll let the fact that cyclists roam our ever-winding roads and are treated with respect ~ not disdain and snarkiness, by judgmental “neighbors” in their shiny luxury SUV’s ~ serve as the ultimate metaphor for why life is good again.

  3. What freakin’ hypocritical pigs! I am ready to find a NICE small town. Oh, let’s take care of the environment and protect individual rights (entitlements!!!!) but make fun of people who are not polluting or increasing health care costs with their poor lifestyle choices! AMAZING how judgmental you all are ~ perhaps actually jealous that you would look like misshapen (and unsellable, God forbid!) sausage in described tight garb. Or guilty ???? for being lazy and driving the hundred yards to Starbucks? Oh, I know ~ just like the lady who dares pause at a stoplight ahead of you before you lie on your horn, this horribly inconvenient slowing of your monster machine will make you thirty seconds late to … your oh-so-important non-existent life. Look inside yourselves, Westporters. Maybe it’s too late for you, but your kids could be half-decent individuals.

  4. eminent domain where necessary in order to widen the roads so that cyclists, pedestrians, cars of all sizes that are regularly driven can be accomodated; or, accomodate everyone with the size of the roads as is (there are so few accidents it doesn’t seem rationale to focus so much on the issue, does it?).

    • More bike lanes would be a fantastic thing. Money and the will to do it is all that is needed. If I am remembering this correctly, the federal government paid for the installation of the bike routes on South Compo in the early 1970s, after we first got scared about foreign oil. . A shame that the tarp money we have gotten for the paving of roads couldn’t be used for making more bike lanes in town. Eminent domain, which should only be used in the most extreme cases, might not need to be used; the town already has a right of way to property that abuts public roads and bike lanes could be created in the right of way.

      • rare commentator

        Does the Town already own the right of way? That maybe true in many cases, but not in in some critical locations like Hillspoint Road. Bike paths would be great, but not sure there is sufficient land and not sure the Town is prepared to take land from property owners.

    • Yes of course, you want bike lanes so you are prepared to confiscate the property of others; a bit self-centered and totalitarian, but typical of the SM’s who are so numerous in this town.

  5. VERY interesting… the pattern continues: Motorists and walkers pointing out the bad behavior of bikers [running stop signs, side by side riding, wrong way driving, and overall rude insensitivity]. Bikers personally attacking motorists and Westport in a mean spirited way. One would think the bike riding would bring calmness and serenity to the exerciser, but apparently it either produces anger or bikers start out angry to begin with. Do ya think those costumes they wear are part of an anger management rehab program, but like AA, no one is supposed to know?
    The Town is responsible for either trimming or notifying homeowners to trim, but the current administration is busy & tied up revising their BoE [Book of Excuses] to blame all their past and present failings on the current budget crunch. “Gee, we’d be perfect if only we could tax you more.” Ha ha ha

  6. Ann Marie has pointed out another group for improvement… homeowners. But then, many walkers walk on the wrong side of the street, directly into the path of the oncoming bikers.
    Can you imagine what would happen if all these folks we talk about on 06880 met at one place? The texting or cell talking driver in a huge SUV, the side by side bikers running a stop sign, the side by side wrong way walkers, the homeowner out snipping overhanging bushes, the deers grazing on the side of the road, hidden by the double parked car with a flat tire from a broken bottle, and throw in some road kill.
    Lets have a picnic! Get to know each other 🙂

    • You forgot all the government officials who don’t do anything all day, and/or are out to make our lives miserable.

      Personally, I’d just like to sit down at the same table with the Dude and Jeffsx. We could share a beer, though there would probably be a ferocious argument over imported (protectionist trade policy) vs. domestic (tax policies regarding businesses).

    • RE: Walkers:

      When I walk on the “wrong” side of the road, it is to protect myself. Sometimes, depending on the curves in the road and my previous observations regarding the speed with which drivers take those curves, I move to where I’m more likely to be seen.

  7. The Dude Abides

    I bike 15 miles every other day down to Southport Beach and back from our home near Staples and sometimes downtown to the YMCA. It is a nice ride. With few exceptions (usually the elderly) drivers are always courteous and swing out. There are several trees bulging out into the street on Long Lots and the bike path diminishes to zero in a few spots. Not a real issue. I bike alone. Groups of bikers seem to gather their moxie in numbers for they do ride double and can create danger to everyone on the road. Contractors are also a hazard for they park on the curb or extend past the sidewalk into the road. I am not sure why the police don’t ticket said parked vehicles but perhaps they are busy shining the Hummer. Otherwise, I think the town is a very friendly peaceful biking environment even with the traffic. From my understanding, New York City is having issues with their expanded bike lanes and bikers going the wrong way, walkers using the lanes and bikers “salmoning” from lane to cross lane. I am just very glad to see bikers out there. A good friend, age 67, got some bad blood test results recently and now gets on the bike twice a day. His health has been restored in three short months. They have a million bikers in Amsterdam and few heart attacks. So bike on brother and sister!!!! It will get you in shape for the Chinese food menus that we will be delivering for work in the near future!!!!

    • They have legalized MJ as well as the world’s oldest profession in Amsterdam. Maybe that accounts for the few heart attacks.

      • The Dude Abides

        Men only live to 75.4 on average in Amsterdam so the drugs/sex must not help that much. Prostrate cancer is high from those damn bike seats but at least it ain’t the big H.

  8. Janice Higinbotham

    I am afraid to bike in this town. Crazy drivers. I do walk. The
    storm drains, sidewalks and plant growth near them as well as
    trash (mostly those damn yellow pages) need attention. I do
    what I can but don’t walk that far.

  9. The Good = Bikers who ride in one straight line and obey traffic laws

    The Bad = Bikers who ride in groups and think they own the road

    The Ugly = Any biker in Spandex

  10. Armstrong & Miller

    Yes, Dan, we know it is tongue in cheek. We know you are cheeky.

    The abiding view is that MY perspective is the correct perspective. I am smart (I must be because I am rich) and I see and understand ALL. May I challenge the Juan Manuel Fangio wannabes to undrape their large bellies from their steering wheels and actually SEE what it is like astride an unguarded set of tubes. I will tell you the world looks different. First you are moving at half the speed. Second, cracks in the road, grates, running dogs, chattering drivers, Staples soccer players attempting to get fit along the road make for hyper-alertness, third, you are amidst the elements. I wear loud clothes so I can be seen. I wear shorts with a chamois insert because it pads my bum and allows me to ride comfortably afar and enjoy the countryside in the hinterlands away from the rude coastal wealthy entitled and the occasional crotchety hardware store man who resents the former and fumes alone in his car because he needs the rich folks to sustain his store and dare not be directly rude.

    I have fantasies about Lance Armstrong as much as you have fantasies about Christian Ronaldo. I once was a superjock and occasionally I hoist an age-group trophy, but what I learned along the way is that the true joy is inspiring air the way man used to before the carbon monoxide belchers ran over the planet like vermin in Genoa harbor.

    Dangerous bike riding is self-limiting. If you get hit, you will come out second best. I’d say bikers have a healthy respect for those who work up a sweat switching their feet lazily from accelerator to brake while slouching in their lounge chairs in their steel isolation chambers.

  11. Hi, Ric… how’s it going?

  12. The GOOD: “World looks different,” “hyper-alert Staples soccer players,” “fantasies about Lance and Christian;”

    The BAD: “Juan Manuel Fangio”, “cracks in road”, “crotchetry hardware store owner”, “Genoa harbor”, “second best,” “rude coastal wealthy;”

    The UGLY: “cheeky, “chamois insert,” “fumes”, “superjock”, “steel isolation chambers”

    Humor on the blog: priceless.

  13. The bike riders, who want to confiscate land they do not own and pave it over to suit their purposes, claim those who ride in cars feel entitled. That’s rich. If bike riders want to use the roads, then they should bear the same obligations to obey the rules of the road, and pay for the roads. I can’t wait until some government nitwit starts adding more safety devices to bikes; doubling their cost and adding 50% to their weight.

  14. Speaking of added weight, the added weight of your own extreme habitual sourness must be tough to bear.

    • Does the truth hurt? Deal with the substance, if you can. I did notice that you did not take issue with any of the more hostile comments made by the Cult of the Bike.

      • time for decaf, dude

        • Thanks for the advice, but coming from a guy named PaulyG, I don’t think it’s worth much.

          • tastes just like your ample bile…

          • Paulyg: And how would you know? Try and deal with the issues.

          • I have discussed my opinions of these issues in the previous set of posts on cyclists, their riding habits, and their fashion choices.

            I am still waiting for all the armchair experts and terminally angry-at-the-world types such as you to join me in a bike ride. So far, no takers.

            BTW, I don’t see where Jeffxs is significantly more witty than PaulyG as a nickname. But hey, I am just a poor moron.

          • Pauly: You should try and pay attention. I have not commented on the merits of bike riding or the attire chosen by those who do ride bikes. I did comment on the rediculous suggestions that we condemn private property, and then pave it over to improve the lot of biker riders. Moreover, it is just a bit hypocritical to proclaim a concern for the environment on one hand and then suggest that trees and greenery be cut down and more of Westport paved over. There is no sustainable logic underlying your bike ride suggestion. My views on hypocrisy and the comdemnation of private property would not be changed.

        • The Dude Abides

          Dude? Please.

  15. “Speaking of added weight, the added weight of your own extreme habitual sourness must be tough to bear.” I love you, Jake.


    This is my thank-you gift for keeping me sane during my brief stint as a Westport wife. The world needs your blog now, more than ever.

    Best Always,

    • The Dude Abides

      Peaceful, Vermont. Very nice. May the Chicapee North
      American Indians bring peace upon your world as the
      Peuquot Trail Injuns have done here. Don’t forget to
      burn your smudge stick before your spray for bed bugs.

  17. 06880 is a great great blog!
    Dan keeps pokin’ us, and then we squeal at each other, but I love all you guys & gals [pen names as well] who make me laugh, think, and adjust my views and previously held positions… especially if you have a contrarian view:-)
    Thanks Dan

  18. Thanks, Dude. What a coincidence I was just given some white sage! I’m afraid, though, that no amount of herb could begin to soothe the ghosts of the “savages” we robbed, slaughtered, and marginalized all over this country. So hard to understand ~ I mean, we even NAMED so many places to honor them! Oh, that’s right, we did it to show our conquest. Silly me, so forgetful… better put some ginko biloba in the smudge pot.

    P.S. I heard you can catch more bedbugs with maple syrup than vinegar.

    C’est vrai?

  19. The Dude Abides

    Was it not you, the philospher, who stated that we have to look to our culture to determine why we do things??? My understanding is that it is difficult to sleep when covered with maple syrup. See you at the Montreal Jazz Festival in July. Indeed, “crest prevails” among toothpastes.

    • Dude… you gotta be kidding. Everybody knows you get up and shower after you catch the bedbugs… then ya go to sleep:-)

  20. To answer Dan’s question: I sure hope so.

    It appears that everyone (bikers, drivers, walkers) is busy and stressed and has been so screwed over by contemporary life that moving over/slowing down or otherwise accommodating others makes us feel like chumps.

    Short of changing the culture, throwing money at the problem (putting in bike and walking lanes) may be the only answer.

  21. The Dude Abides

    Take a ride in the MS150 from Houston to Austin sometime. Chilled out bikers with no need to look like Lance in Clarabell outfits. I do believe that A-type personalities have discovered “the bike” and dragged their meathead mentalities to the sport. The true biker finds the trail without much whining as seen hereto.

  22. Let’s simplify … if you ride a bike, follow the rules of the road and be respectful and aware of your surroundings. If you drive a car, follow the rules of the road and be respectful and aware of your surroundings. Wear whatever you want. People will always judge, that’s just human nature. If you like wearing bright spandex, rock it and have fun. It is not my style, but I dressed like Madonna and Prince’s lovechild in the 80’s, so never judge anyone for their style. I also taught aerobics in the 80’s and wore spandex all the time, I loved it! It’s just not for me now, as I’m pregnant and nobody wants to see that! It’s a personal choice, and, for now, America is still a free society, so go on with your bad-self 😉

    I don’t ride bikes, I prefer other forms of exercise, but would rather not be judged as someone who lives an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s really an unsafe assumption, that those of us who don’t ride bikes are lazy or unhealthy. It’s not only an unsafe assumption, it is silly, baseless and judgmental. As to the “freakin’ hypocritical pigs” comment, I think that language and the tone and demeanor of the post speaks in volumes.

    If the worst thing in your world is the overgrown trees, leaves, etc., in Westport hindering the most perfect biking experience, then your life is wonderful. My husband is a cop in Bridgeport, had two DOA’s first thing this morning. There have been over 20 murders in Bridgeport this year alone. That keeps my world in perspective. A few weeks ago a fifteen year old and an eighteen year old SHOT at a police officer. I think the citizens of Bridgeport, many of them really hard working and good, tax paying people, would love it if the main gripe was overgrown trees and not having pristine biking conditions. I think many of them are scared to take a bike ride or a walk for fear of being caught in crossfire. Keep it in perspective, people.

    The Town of Westport could not pony up a couple thousand dollars to leave the American Flags flying over the bridge downtown Westport. They took them down and a private donor had to step up to the plate to assure our Flag kept flying. As my husband says, “the flag is the LAST thing that should come down”. If the Town can’t afford to support the flag, I doubt they’ll spend hundreds of thousands of dollars redoing the roads to make bicycling conditions perfect for those who enjoy it.

    If you chose to ride a bike, do so. This is your choice. You know the conditions, you know there are cars out there, so enjoy it for what it is. If your are so troubled by the overgrown trees and you find it impossible to enjoy your bike ride, you can move, find a new hobby or just learn to deal with it. This is not a tragedy, this is a slight inconvenience. If it is something you feel so strongly about, be involved. Not just by expressing your opinions here, but start a committee (all volunteer of course) and find out how much it would cost, exactly, find out what roads would be best and easiest to change and see how many private donors would be willing to donate money, including you, since this is your passion. Oh, and as suggested, get ready to be taxed if you want to share the roads. Perhaps all bike owners should register their bikes with the Town of Westport and pay taxes. I’m sure you would be DELIGHTED to do so! Being treated fairly and equally on the road could mean you should be treated fairly and equally in the tax office. It just makes sense to me.

    Enjoy your day!

  23. Thanks, Judi.
    Only 21 more comments and we beat Lance Armstrong Wannabes, Part 1.

    WE CAN DO IT… !

    Judi, you should get credit for 5 🙂

    Dan, can we have a ruling ?

  24. I tend to be wordy, I also type over 100 WPM, so can ramble about endlessly! I used to be a big facebooker, but can only read that people “love Fridays” or “hate Mondays” so often. This time of year I see an abundance of “OMG so cold” or “UGH snow”. Well, it’s New England and it’s fall/winter … it’s what it does!! Anyway, instead of facebooking, I now stalk 06880!! Oh, and I get a lot more work done 😀

  25. The Dude Abides

    Judi, Judi, Judi: Love the flag bit. Mine never comes down and actually got a light to shine on it at night (solar! from the “crocketry hardware owner”) .

  26. I love our flag!! I was appauled with Westport for taking them down.
    As far as the comment of our local hardware store owner … I shake my head and roll my eyes. I support our local stores, what’s left of them. I have better things to do than to boycott a local store, a tax payer, and someone who employs people, just because his opinion differs from mine. I help my fellow Westporters, shop locally, and am a team player! I may agree, I may not agree, but I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to boycott, name call, and CERTAINLY would not pass judgment on someone.
    I may be silly, but I happen to like people who bring jobs to our community, keep our stores occupied, pay taxes, and make a living! Especially a store that has been here for decades!

  27. Judi, you’re not silly,you make sense.

    Dude, Nammers don’t need to light a flag at night. We have a CIB dispensation.

    AND… That hardware Gentleman should be 1st Selectman. Love the way he thinks and speaks his mind.

  28. The Dude Abides

    ACE is the place. AJ and Jimmy are the best. My lady is a General’s daughter. Need the light, Tom. Believe me, need the light.

  29. Roger on Ace, AJ & Jimmy. Great goin’ there.
    OK on the light. You are correct. I do have an immediate streetlight from dusk till dawn. My lady is an Army nurse who also served in Nam… Vung Tau [we met at Fort Polk, LA] .