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The spandex thing is ripe for mockery, so cyclists should let that go. The "run them over" line, OTOH, will never be funny in light of the number of cyclist fatalities, many of whom are children.

The "run them over" line, OTOH, will never be funny in light of the number of cyclist fatalities, many of whom are children.

Especially because many drivers think it's perfectly legit to "bump" cyclists with their car. Which is also known as assault.

Also, Art, thanks for linking to me!

What was offensive was how lame it was.

I think it's worth noting the context of this strip. Jef Mallett, who draws Frazz, is a cycling enthusiast. So this strip is Pastis' of giving crap to a friend of his.

Pastis posted this after a 2009 strip: "For those of you asking about the comic strip Frazz today, the creator Jef Mallett and I are good friends. Jef is a cyclist. When he saw me making fun of a cyclist named Jeff a few weeks back, he called and asked if it was him. I said yes, but that I had deleted one "f" to throw him off the trail. I invited him to make fun of a rude lawyer named Pastis."

Anyway, I still don't think it works because:
a) Inside jokes don't make good humor in a mass-market comic strip.
b) A lot of people will take it seriously even if 1) it's "just a joke" and 2) the road rage thing comes from Rat, an evil character.

Anyway, people should be aware of this because, "OMG, you said it was OK to bump cyclists" can be legitimately met with, "you're missing the point." I'd advise more of a, "your attempt at making fun of your friend gives encouragement to idiots who actually think like Rat."

Having seen this comic a few times in Bicycle Times magazine, I've found that it's inside joke material, but often not very funny.

P.S. Not referring to that comic in the first link. That's just not funny.

this really makes me mad for all the obvious reasons. also it's widely circulated and a lot of people like this comic. It is giving legitimacy to all kinds of wrong stereotypes, standards (cyclist should ride in a bike lane only), and opens the door to running cyclists over. Yes, I know rat is an evil character, but when the cyclist is portrayed so negatively, it seems the message is that cyclists deserve such treatment.

very sad. very disturbing.

The comments below that comic disturb me.

Yes, Shawn. Lotta hatin' going on regardless of what the artist's intent was.

Anyway, I ride so that I CAN eat fattening food, at least occasionally.

And drink beer.

Never immediately before riding, of course.

That comic pretty much encapsulates the tone of the modern cycling community, of which I have been a part for over two decades (and of which I am increasingly becoming ashamed). A kind of unreasonable militancy has overtaken rational discussion and advocacy, which is why the community has been facing so much resistance as of late. Instead of (once again) expressing your self-righteous indignation, try considering why the great, great majority of the general public finds that stereotype to be so accurate.

Shannon: Yup, Art is a great guy. Very generous with the linkage. His co-blogger Crash is not as nice.

Asuka: Really? Finding jokes about running over cyclists unfunny is "unreasonable militancy"? The great, great majority of the general public has determined that you're full of shit.

I don't see any self-righteous indignation. There isn't even any indignation. In general I just see it as not-particularly funny comic strip (which is an admittedly difficult medium in which to be funny) with an offensive line uttered by an offensive character.

I also don't think that it "encapsulates the tone of the modern cycling community." Most cyclists don't wear spandex. Hell, most CaBi users don't wear helmets. Most cyclists aren't racers or fitness-oriented. So, that you think it represents the modern cycling community says more about which cyclists you're hanging out with. Try a Kidical Mass ride some time.

Finally, I've never seen a cyclist behave in a manner that even closely resembles this. Try asking cyclists why they don't use the bike lane and see if they reply with some non-sequitur (a much funny strip if you ask me).

This does represent what people think cyclists are like, but that has more to do with fundamental attribution errors than anything. The number of cyclists I've heard justify their behavior with claims of moral superiority (one, for those keeping count, and he was quickly shut down by other cyclists) is astronomically dwarfed by the number of people who think that's how cyclists think.

Why are they so wrong? I don't know, why do so many people think Obama was born in Kenya?

Um, lighten up, Francises (Francisii?)

You want arch, last week's PBS with the Jihad Jerry storyline was a heck of lot more potentially offensive.

Kolohe, other than the Stripes quote I'm not sure what you're talking about here. What is "arch"?

I stopped reading this comic strip--and I read comics most every day--probably 4+ years ago because consistently I don't find it very humorous.

Instead of (once again) expressing your self-righteous indignation, try considering why the great, great majority of the general public finds that stereotype to be so accurate.

Um, sure I know this one. The reason there are a lot of assholes that hate on bicyclists (but by no means "the great majority of the general public") is that the numbers of cyclists are increasing.

So more people are likely to experience the minor inconvenience of a cyclist on the road in front of them on their daily commute.

If every cyclist rode recreationally on a bike path, we'd never hear a peep from these people. Furthermore, fuck them. They're a sizable and very vocal minority. The only answer is to grow the number of people on bikes.

P.S.: I'm glad RL posted before me. I was going to put my foot in my mouth and ask, "Who the Hell reads the comics anymore?" Oops.


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