The Chainlink

Edit: Thanks to Peenologist for the Worst Thread Ever crown.

Edit edit: D'oh! he said Worst Possible Thread, not Worst Thread Ever.

7/17: "was Fight with Gabe" removed from subject line for the sake of beauty, privacy, and security.  Representative images added (too bad threads can't have their own custom avatars):

 

 

Picked up on OPCC listserv per Bill W; presumably posted today.

I don't know why Active Trans didn't put a warning out about the previous incident mentioned here.

===

Authored by Tom McGee and posted on the Oak Park Cycle Club facebook page.  :
LAKE STREET WARNING: With the warm weather, and newly added bike lanes on Lake Street, there have been more bike commuters heading into the city...unfortunately, there are some rough neighborhoods people need to cycle through and area street punks see the increase in riders as well.

On my way home from the city to Oak Park last night I was jumped by 2 male teens in an attempt to steal my bike. This occured at Lake & Lavergne. One guy was on the sidewalk, the other hidden behind an L pillar. As I was approaching, I sensed it was bad, but it was too late to react. They came at me from the left and right and pushed me off the bike. I was clipped in and went head first over the handlebars, landing on the right side of my face and shoulder. They did not go for anything but the bike, so when I realized that, I wrestled with them and kept my bike. A motorist stopped to help me, and seeing this they ran.

A number of good samaritans stopped to help me, called 911, and paramedics were on the scene within 10 minutes to get me to the ER. I'm stitched and bumped and bruised, but it could have been a lot worse.

I strongly suggest that riders get the word out to friends who commute, try to ride w/others (there are a number of group rides to/from the loop from what I've heard), and try not to ride too early or too late when other people may not be around to help. 

I've already spoken with John Lankford, Bikeways Campaign Coordinator w/Active Transporation Alliance. He said there was a similar incident on Lake the morning of Bike The Drive. So they are aware of the problem, and will be approaching people @ CDOT and the city to try and address it.

Ride safe,
Tom McGee
 

==

Views: 6287

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

I'm loving how many people LOVE this thread. We have gotten away from arguing with me which is disappointing but DAMN this is good drama! :-)

I think they just see "Gabe" in the subject line and are drawn to it.

As an experiment I will be starting various threads with "Gabe" included in the subject line over the next few weeks to test this theory.  Stand by for "Help me figure out my Gabe ratio," "Do you wear a helmet on your Gabe, and if not, why not," and "What to do about cyclists riding the wrong Gabe in the bike lane?"

Riding the wrong Gabe is really a shame. ;-)

After reading this entire post I realized that no one from the Westside has commented on what Gabe said. From living on this side my whole life, I can honestly say that it's the truth. I can't even understand why someone would even want to drive their car let along ride their bike down Lake street. It's dark and gloomy and just has too many places for someone to jump out and jack you. But I guess I think like that because I was born and raised over here and you have to think defense at all times. Take it from someone that lives in the middle of the hell whole, don't take Lake to Oak Park. If you call the police they take their time to get there because they really don't know what they are getting into. The police station was on 4 blocks from where this poor guy was attacked and it took them 10 mins to get there. That's a sign people. 

Love ya Pat! Welcome to the biking community! :)

I used to ride on Lake and Augusta. I figured the cops weren't likely to show up quick/at all if I got jacked or hit. I had to admit I was taking a big risk in riding thru the west side; I could not expect the cops to rescue me if something happened. 

Pat said:

After reading this entire post I realized that no one from the Westside has commented on what Gabe said. From living on this side my whole life, I can honestly say that it's the truth. I can't even understand why someone would even want to drive their car let along ride their bike down Lake street. It's dark and gloomy and just has too many places for someone to jump out and jack you. But I guess I think like that because I was born and raised over here and you have to think defense at all times. Take it from someone that lives in the middle of the hell whole, don't take Lake to Oak Park. If you call the police they take their time to get there because they really don't know what they are getting into. The police station was on 4 blocks from where this poor guy was attacked and it took them 10 mins to get there. That's a sign people. 

Corey Brooks is a pastor from the Inner City of Chicago. Rather than spending a good deal of his life on forums like this he has chosen to do something positive.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/15/rev-corey-brooks-rooftop-_...

Assigning labels to entire regions of the country, state or city based upon your limited experiences is regrettable. Spending so much time on swearing at one another and the usual "put down antics" some prevalent among those who feel a strong sense of entitlement is what makes this thread seem sorely in need of something real to talk about.

Rather than spending so much time churning around the North Side of Chicago during Critical Mass rides, why not come on down to the South Side or better yet ride the West Side en masse. Find a pastor whose church could be a stop on your journey and listen carefully and decide whether there is anything you can do to help.

But if you feel like telling him and his parishioners that they live in a "shithole" fine. You will have at least said it to the faces of those who matter.


Pat said:

After reading this entire post I realized that no one from the Westside has commented on what Gabe said. From living on this side my whole life, I can honestly say that it's the truth. I can't even understand why someone would even want to drive their car let along ride their bike down Lake street. It's dark and gloomy and just has too many places for someone to jump out and jack you. But I guess I think like that because I was born and raised over here and you have to think defense at all times. Take it from someone that lives in the middle of the hell whole, don't take Lake to Oak Park. If you call the police they take their time to get there because they really don't know what they are getting into. The police station was on 4 blocks from where this poor guy was attacked and it took them 10 mins to get there. That's a sign people. 

O, if you're from the neighborhood (like Pat is), I think you have license to give your honest opinion on cycling in the area.  My impression is that on the Northside, you're more likely to get run over or hit by an oblivious driver as the streets are more congested, and there are more people and cars.  On the South and West sides, you're more likely to get accosted by ne'er-do-wells, as there is more poverty and as a consequence, more crime.  The former is clearly more likely wherever you ride.  

Corey Brooks is awesome, for sure, but many of us volunteer in our own communities, or nearby communities, and pointing out problems for ourselves as a group (cyclists) with a certain part of town is not the equivalent of painting every person in those areas of town as less than human.  I can do good for people less fortunate than myself, and still alert others to the fact that if you bike down Lake at night, someone might assault you. The same goes for much of the south end of the LFP at night (and certainly some of the north end of it, to be fair).  I will also warn people of dangerous areas of the North Side, and bad intersections/stretches of road all over town.  

I understand and accept that I might be hurt by a car, ped, or other cyclists on my rides (or f*****g pothole, which was my first crash in 4 years last August). I also could get mugged, particularly by myself at night. I try to stay away from cars as much as possible to avoid the former, and I avoid higher-crime neighborhoods at night to avoid the latter.  

Really elegantly said, Daniel G. Thank you. I completely agree.

 

Gail



Daniel G said:

If you let ghettoes form, don't be shocked when people get territorial about their shitholes. It's all they have. Just another hazard I don't dwell on. If I let myself become preoccupied with whether cycling was "safe" on Diversey or Clark or Lincoln, I probably would stop riding in Chicago altogether. We are all basically activists treading a new trail and it is not safe. People get drunk and violent past 6pm, so ride fast. Segregation by race and income is a costly, bloody project, and we don't get to cross between the good and bad sides of the tracks for free. Maintaining a presence there is very important and positive though, and the westsidecommuters should consider sending a rep to a neighborhood association meeting on the west side once in a while. Bicyclists are uniquely invested in the conditions of a neighborhood and its streets in a way that other road users aren't, and nearly all west side residents will respect and acknowledge this.

Ride in groups, ride with mace, or take Armitage and just ride all the way around. Most parts of the west side are lovely at 7am, when I ride through. No parts are lovely for cyclists at 7pm.

In the thread http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/anyone-else-planning-on-au... the subject of our cities overall reputation for violence came up.
Dr. Doom asked about my reasoning when making the case that Chicago is fast becoming the Murder Capital of the Midwest in the eyes of many outside the city. After all if you don't live here or have much intimate knowledge about the city it is all one dangerous mass to you. But I think this thread apparently exposed a raw nerve where our cities reputation is concerned.
It puts the lie to the notion that you can point out inadequacies in the safety of an area without tarnishing the reputation of its denizens...
O, can you explain this Murder Capital of the Midwest talking point? The FBI reports that there were 430 murders in Chicago last year, 344 in Detroit and 113 in St. Louis. If Chicago were as kill-happy as Detroit there would have been over 1,300 murders here last year. Chicago has lots of murders because it's really, really big, not because it's particularly unsafe (especially if you don't live in a dangerous neighborhood. -- Dr. Doom

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/prelimin...

I replied as follows:

This article which is covering the current years data might shed some light:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/16/chicago-homicide-rate-wor_...

S replied as follows:
Wow, you can not be serious.  I think Tim is right and you're just trolling now.  Your first hint that the article is bogus is that there isn't any byline so no one seems to be willing to take responsibility for the contents of the article.  First, comparing the number of homicides in chicago to the number of soldiers killed in Kabul has no meaning.  Last I checked there isn't any active insurgency in Chicago trying to kill foreign military forces so the situations aren't remotely comparable.  The article doesn't even bother to look at civilian deaths in Kabul or look at populations in Kabul or Chicago to determine per capita rates.  Second, talking about how 100-200 police officers were used to secure a wedding doesn't mean much when one of the attendees is the president of the US and his family.  He could be in a relatively isolated and secure facility like Camp David and his security detail would still be 100-200 or more.

Marcus then followed in this fashion:

Sigh. Let's break down the stats offered by that fine piece of Huff Po journalism...

144 of the 63,500 US soldiers stationed in Afghanistan were killed so far this year (2.267 deaths per 1000).

228 of the 2.7 million Chicago residents were killed so far this year (0.084 deaths per 1000).

Thus, US troops in Afghanistan are killed at a rate over 26.8 times greater than that at which Chicagoans are killed.

I call shitty, inflammatory journalism.

I replied with even more examples of the kind of bad press the city is getting:

You may wish to criticize Huff Po but this is the gist of what the folks outside the city are reading. The story was big enough that it made a few other outlets:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/26/us-usa-crime-chicago-idUS...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47778690/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/...

http://www.wlfi.com/dpps/news/national/midwest/chicago-homicides-up...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/markbergen/2012/06/26/chicago-summer-cr...

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-14/news/ct-edit-crime-06...

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/06/chicagos-grim-38-mu...

http://thegrio.com/2012/06/12/fractured-gangs-blamed-for-chicago-ho...

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/06/15/061512-news-chicago-murders...

http://source.southuniversity.edu/as-weather-warms-up-so-do-opportu...

Clearly if there is fear monger activity going on it is not by me. Unless of course I am more powerful than Rupert Murdoch and have the power to change the minds of reporters from far flung reaches. What is surprising is that these articles about the city never reached this forum. Either you read some of these and decided to ignore them or what would be worse is that you didn't and were arguing about my characterization of the city as the current Murder Capital of the Midwest out of ignorance.

Either way the genie is out of the bottle for folks who want to come to Chicago. I believe that the two physicians attacked on the Northside a few weeks ago were from China or some other Asian country. That probably got lots of coverage back home and a further black eye for the city.

Every time a forum like this pushes responsibility for something like "flash mob" activity or the supposed vandalization of the brush just south of the new 31st Street Harbor onto the backs of "urban youth" that is in my mind trolling. The burn appears (I went an saw it for myself) to have been a controlled burn. But the original poster let the story drop and never reported back.

Chicago's reputation is fragile with a lot of visitors. The very last thing anyone should be doing is making them feel unwelcome by lambasting the choices they have made in spending money with us in activities like the L.A.T.E. Ride.

You can try and silence me but you cannot unring the bell where media coverage is concerned. Keep in mind that the citations above are only for online printed outlets. This story about Chicago's murder rate for this year was widely covered on the air in both radio and television markets.

I note that there is a very different response on the part of folks who live in more "entitled" areas when they are getting lumped in with the rest of the city. Spencer "Thunderball" Thayer then came in over the top with this gem:

Dearest O, shut up.

Maybe if you demonstrated any sense of restraint we could have a reasonable conversation, but you blew that several rants ago. I understand that you have a concern that our little bike gang threatens everything you hold dear. Yet we do not respect your opinion enough to ever read your inane prattling. So why are you bothering? Perhaps, simply, you are a Troll.

Not a single person attending our fun little event could care less how our actions impact the ATA, FOTP or the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture markets. Why?

Because A) it's not our responsibility, B) many of us don't like tourists and C) only an insane person would think that 20 to 30 people riding around at night could destroy Chicago's image.

Even though you have ruined this topic by acting like a troll I must still thank you. By pissing everyone who read this topic off you have ensured that we will have more people attend the event simply so that we can collectively laugh at you while drinking at the bar.

Cordially in your face-
but still cordially,

Spencer "Thunderball" Thayer!

He even managed to include a graphic of himself as a Counter Troll (evidently my mentioning the problem of our city's violence is considered trolling).
I think a few points have to be made here:
  • If you think that the use of terms like "shit hole" in describing entire sections of the city is not racist or at the very least demeaning to the people who live there, then I suppose you would find the reactions of the thread participants above a bit curious.
  • If the ChainLink is to be a true representation of the Chicago Cycling Community then it needs to serve as more than a sounding board for intolerant bigots, cop haters, anarchists and folks who are generally not involved in making the city a better place in "real terms".
  • Because this is my city (I was born and raised here but live in the suburbs now visiting each weekend because virtually ALL of my family still live in the city limits) I am ashamed at some of the callousness that parades as intellectual discussion. It makes me wonder why such a power vehicle as this forum has to be used for such infantile purposes.
  • People all over the globe who happen to be visiting this site are for better or worse gaining perhaps their only impressions of the city by virtue of the conversations we are holding here on a daily basis. That fact alone should make us a bit more circumspect when we try to speak "openly".
  • But more to the point when folks try to "pushback" as some did in this thread on the raw bigotry and racist tendencies of a few the "Lord of the Flies" effect takes hold. People fall to character assassination and ridicule to somehow defend themselves or deflect criticisms.
I for one am not going to buy your explanation as stated below. I have lived far too long to let someone try to whitewash what is obviously at times a cesspool of critical thought. I only hope that the nightly news takes the time to air some of the raw verbiage present on these forums and includes the names of the thread responders.


Joe Schmoe said:

Corey Brooks is awesome, for sure, but many of us volunteer in our own communities, or nearby communities, and pointing out problems for ourselves as a group (cyclists) with a certain part of town is not the equivalent of painting every person in those areas of town as less than human.  I can do good for people less fortunate than myself, and still alert others to the fact that if you bike down Lake at night, someone might assault you. The same goes for much of the south end of the LFP at night (and certainly some of the north end of it, to be fair).  I will also warn people of dangerous areas of the North Side, and bad intersections/stretches of road all over town.  

Had a project in Oak Park running for over a month and Lake Street never treated me bad, aside from some bad parking jobs when the Bike Lane was installed.

Chicago... yeah, lil freaked out riding that stretch. Found Agusta to be OK till a woman decided that her mini van turning left had ROW over me riding along east bound.

Sad that there seems to be a rise in attacks on cyclists. 

REALLY surprised this thread is back and NOT REALLY surprised someone told a resident of the neighborhood in question that he's wrong. Proof we're wasting time on humanity??? People are dumber than I thought?

O said:

Corey Brooks is a pastor from the Inner City of Chicago. Rather than spending a good deal of his life on forums like this he has chosen to do something positive.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/15/rev-corey-brooks-rooftop-_...

Assigning labels to entire regions of the country, state or city based upon your limited experiences is regrettable. Spending so much time on swearing at one another and the usual "put down antics" some prevalent among those who feel a strong sense of entitlement is what makes this thread seem sorely in need of something real to talk about.

Rather than spending so much time churning around the North Side of Chicago during Critical Mass rides, why not come on down to the South Side or better yet ride the West Side en masse. Find a pastor whose church could be a stop on your journey and listen carefully and decide whether there is anything you can do to help.

But if you feel like telling him and his parishioners that they live in a "shithole" fine. You will have at least said it to the faces of those who matter.


Pat said:

After reading this entire post I realized that no one from the Westside has commented on what Gabe said. From living on this side my whole life, I can honestly say that it's the truth. I can't even understand why someone would even want to drive their car let along ride their bike down Lake street. It's dark and gloomy and just has too many places for someone to jump out and jack you. But I guess I think like that because I was born and raised over here and you have to think defense at all times. Take it from someone that lives in the middle of the hell whole, don't take Lake to Oak Park. If you call the police they take their time to get there because they really don't know what they are getting into. The police station was on 4 blocks from where this poor guy was attacked and it took them 10 mins to get there. That's a sign people. 

RSS

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service