Why such Misplaced Hatred for Cyclists?

by Kerry Benefield,  The Press Democrat


It happens every time. Every time a news story appears in which a cyclist is harmed in a collision with a vehicle, people come out of the woodwork condemning the cyclist.

Take Tuesday’s Press Democrat, for example. Aaron Michael Paff, 22, was sentenced to three years in state prison after pleading guilty to two felony hit-and-run charges stemming from an incident on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road last fall.

Driving a large truck, Paff struck four cyclists who were participating in The Jensie Gran Fondo on Oct. 7. Then Paff drove away. Witnesses who saw him crash into four human beings told CHP investigators at the time that it appeared Paff had done it on purpose.

That was never proven. Only Paff knows for sure. Maybe he’ll tell his cellmate.

But what is proven is that Paff struck four people and left them for dead. One victim had to be airlifted to the hospital because of the severity of his injuries.

When Paff struck those four men, he already had another hit-and-run charge pending against him. In that case, he was driving with an open container of alcohol.

And yet, many comments online contend that cyclists, who were participating in the charity event to benefit the Marin County Cycling Coalition, have no business riding on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road, that people who ride bikes are “self entitled road hogging arrogant bicyclists,” and that anyone who chooses to ride on narrow roads is “by definition a risk-taking fool.”

Complete article here

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