"Sometimes I even blow a kiss or wink at the next stoplight. . . . [T]his seems to really piss off a car driver who . . . does not get the response he expected."

DING IF YOU HATE SPANDEX

Bethany [Jean Clement], thanks for your wonderful "My Bike Buddy" article [May 16]. Among the cycling articles, it struck the strongest chord with me. Like nearly everything these days, cycling as a sport and commuting method has become commercialized, organized, and legalized to the point that newcomers don't feel welcome, which is extremely sad. Thank goodness for people like you, who use cycling as the most efficient way for getting from point A to point B, fashion critics and bike gear geeks be damned. I keep hoping that we'll someday see a Tour de France rider on an old, rusty bike with tassels, a bell, and a basket, but I guess I'm dreaming.

I think your words will go a long way toward comforting those who feel left out of the spandex crowd.

Phil Hutchinson

via e-mail

THANKS, NAVIGAT0R MAN!

Awesome article ["The Bicycle Diaries," May 16]. I'm in Cleveland, Ohio, and have encountered any number of the types of drivers you reference—especially drivers like Navigator Man, who could easily merge into the other lane but choose not to just so they can get angry. For some reason, I think people want to have road rage; it probably helps them work off some tension from work. My pedaling usually does that for me, but if I've had a bad day, look out: I become Navigator Man on a bike, just looking for trouble.

Lately, I've tried to manage my anger at others by yelling "Thank you" and waving all five fingers. Sometimes I even blow a kiss or wink at the next stoplight. I don't know why, but this seems to really piss off a car driver who knows you should be pissed at him but does not get the response he expected.

Brian Altenbaugh

Cleveland, OH

UNHEALTHY EXERCISE

After being injured twice, "doored" once, suffering many near misses and being verbally assaulted more times than I care to remember, I finally quit commuting by bike ["The Bicycle Diaries," May 16]. For me it was not the healthy, stress-relieving activity advertised by the promotors of Bike to Work Day (which I made a point to boycott when I was riding). Bike commuters in Seattle must resign themselves to being sandwiched between traffic and parked cars and sharing the few bike lanes that exist with more parked cars, delivery trucks, and buses. They face a driving public that is loathe to share the road and that voices its displeasure at having to do so in the rudest of ways at every opportunity. I can't say that I blame motorists; there should be separate lanes for riders. And people should not be encouraged to take up bike commuting until there are.

Cathy Ludlow

Seattle

INJUSTICE IS SERVED

Nice article. ["Whistle-Blower's Trial," May 16]. I don't know all the details, but the injustice in the situation is blatantly evident. I hope that [attorney Doug Schafer, who faces suspension for breaking an attorney-client trust to expose a corrupt judge] will go on to see that his life will become better for trying to do the right thing— even if he has to struggle through it now.

The quote from [state bar association counsel Christine] Gray astounded me: "There should be no retroactive relief for someone who, she said, 'believes in his own moral code. . . .'"

The comment alone explains what kind of person Gray is. It tells me she doesn't believe in her own moral code. It brings to mind the saying, "If you can't stand up for something, you'll fall for anything."

Anna DeWine

via e-mail

LAWYERS' JOKE

Thank you for getting it correct on the "Cadillac" Judge Anderson case ["Whistle-Blower's Trial," May 16]. I followed this case to the point of actually attempting to provide citizen input to the Washington State Supreme Court. The court dismissed my input with a paternalistic attitude of "children are to be seen and not heard." More specifically, only members of the Washington State Bar are to be heard. What this case made perfectly clear to me is that one-third of our government was stolen from us and delivered to the American Bar Association and its local affiliates. The power of a single private organization to influence—nay control—every aspect of our lives scares me far worse than bin Laden. To paraphrase Joseph Stalin: Who casts the vote is not important. Who counts the vote is. In the case of our system: Who makes the law is not important. Who interprets the law is. Through the quiet seizure of power, only bar-admitted attorneys interpret and thus say what the law is. The concept of equal protection and equal access under the law is a joke, but the only ones laughing are lawyers.

Michael B. Murphy

Gig Harbor

GIVE US A BREAK

Right on, [Steve] Wiecking—I, too, am sick of that Roy Orbison concert, Charlotte Church, and don't forget that Moody Blues show, which has got to be a decade old [Small World, May 16]. Maybe it is just me, but it seems like [KCTS'] Pledge Month is every other month, not once or twice a year like it used to be. That HDTV upgrade they did a few years back must have cost a pretty penny, because they are constantly begging for cash!

I must admit, I am a fan of George Ray. He may have an occasional on-air fumble, but considering he has to basically ad-lib for several minutes at a time, I think he does a remarkable job. Just watch any of the other KCTS personalities hold down the fort during the pledge break, and I'm sure you'll agree!

Michelle Moye

via e-mail

GET REAL, GET RAIL

Monorail opponents, including myself, know that our position is not nearly as bleak as writers like George Howland Jr. make it out to be ["Fight the Monorail!" May 9]. After all, in each of the two votes taken so far on monorail expansion, more than 40 percent of the voters said "No"—and that was when a "Yes" vote carried no painful prospect of higher taxation or obstructed views. The initiative being planned for this fall will be the first to really test Seattle's seriousness about embracing this rather whimsical idea. I say we build light rail first, then decide whether we like what we've got and want to expand it; if not, only then should we look at more exotic stuff. May the best plan win.

Russell Scheidelman

Seattle

RICH M'S FANS SUCK!

My name is Jesse Bernstein, and I'm in the sixth grade. And I think Mariners fans suck! I've been a Mariners fan for many years now. It used to be that the people behind home plate would cheer and be rowdy, but now since the 116 game wins last year so many people have become Mariners fans. But now these people are rich so when the ticket prices skyrocket, they move the "true fans" to higher or cheaper spots. The "new" fans hardly pay attention to the game (usually they're too busy playing with their Palm Pilots) and don't even cheer when a game-winning grand slam is hit by the Mariners.

I have been thinking about these crappy fans, and I think THEY SUCK SO VERY MUCH! So the people who think Mariners fans are cool, I've got something to say to all of you: WE need to be like Yankees fans. The M's do horrible when you're not cheering. SO rich people, start cheering!

Jesse Bernstein

via e-mail

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