Posted: Jan 13, 2010 5:27 PM
Updated: Jan 13, 2010 5:27 PM
Polite drivers are taught to "share the road" with bicyclists.
But not everyone agrees, as evidenced by a growing on-line community expressing hostility toward cyclists on the roads.
One of the most active and controversial is on Facebook. At last check, the group has more than 33,000 members.
The Facebook profile features a picture of a cyclist being knocked down by a car door. Another picture makes fun of a real collision during a road race in Mexico, where a drunk driver crashed into a group of cyclists, killing one and injuring 10 others.
Signs like "I don't share the road" are also featured on the site.
The vitriol prompting pro-cycling groups to petition Facebook to take down the page. They say it violates the Facebook policy against hateful or threatening content.
"If they are really like advocating violence, I can see why people would want Facebook to take it down," says one person we talked to.
But cyclists in Berkeley say they're not surprised at the sentiment, or Facebook's decision to allow the page to stay.
"Sort of I guess a free-speech sort of thing. Like if these people don't like bicyclists, they have every right to about it in an open forum such as Facebook. I don't take it personally," says cyclist Rennie Putnam.
Adds Catherine Collins, another cyclist, "It's a waste of time, but I don't think they should have to take it down, I guess."
And it appears people who support cycling have found their own way to deal with the haters by joining the group and populating the page with messages and photos that promote cycling.
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