I haven't been so steamed in a while. I was tooling away in the bike shop, listening to the Current (89.3) because I mostly do enjoy the music, when Mark Wheat proceeded to put his foot in his mouth yet again. This time, it was a comment about cyclists in Minneapolis. Here's the email I sent to Minnesota Public Radio:
Mark Wheat's comments of approximately 10:10pm were simply deplorable. I paraphrase him: "I'm a cyclist but it was simply too hot to ride today. And since the Big Race has begun, you cyclists who were riding need to remember the 'rules of the road.' There were bikers out running red lights. In fact, while driving into the station today I almost hit a bicyclist because they were riding two abreast in the bike lane. Now, that's just not smart. Come on, cyclists, don't let us down."
I would like to remind Mr. Wheat that those of us who ride daily to work, run errands, and otherwise rely on our bicycles for transportation ask a different question: "Come on, drivers, don't let us down." After all, Minneapolis yearly vies for the number 3/4 slot for most bicycle commuters in the nation. Yet, those of us who ride everyday are privy to the worst (and, thankfully, often the best) motor vehicle operators our fair city has to offer. I would also like to remind Mr. Wheat that Minnesota state law allows bicyclists to ride two abreast -- in the lane of a roadway. It is a challenge at best for bicyclists to be recognized as legal, rightful road users in even such a progressive town as Minneapolis; it is truly sad to hear an on-air admonishment from a bastion of our town's "most progressive" radio station.
I would like to close by issuing a challenge to Mr. Wheat and all employees of MPR: ride your bikes regularly to work. Steer away from the frolicking gaiety of the bike paths and actually use your bikes for a purpose. If you are going to proclaim yourself on-air, to millions of listeners, as someone who “loves cycling," then take this challenge. Don't do it for a few days -- try a week or two. Report back and quit passing judgment on those of us who are struggling each day to be recognized and respected as legal users of the road.
Are you a member of Public Radio?
No, because I refuse to contribute to a radio station whose chief announcer can't properly recognize the season of the year (Summer begins on June 21st)
That last comment was purely driven by emotion. The bloke made at least three references to "gorgeous summer days" back in May before the solstice had even graced us with the longest day of the year. Enough. He must be stopped.