Maybe Philly Drivers and Bicyclists Actually Like Fighting With Each Other

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A few weeks ago, after tipping back a few too many beers, a friend of mine opened up about his girlfriend and their loving but altogether contentious long-term relationship. The one constant? Non-stop arguing over topics big and small (mostly small). Though they’re rarely super-serious, purée-each-other’s-emotions heavyweight bouts, the scraps are consistent enough to merit front-and-center billing on the cute, weird Pinterest board that is their romantic life.

Talking, and drinking, about it helped him come to a realization.

“Dude,” he said, eyes bugging in terror like he’d just spotted the crest of Godzilla’s head rising from the bay. “I think she actually likes fighting.”

This got me thinking about two local groups whom I’ve long suspected secretly get kicks out of battling each other: Philadelphia’s motorists and Philadelphia’s bicyclists. Now that the weather’s finally broken, plenty of locals are pumping their tires and greasing their chains in preparation for three full seasons of city biking. And just as quickly as the bipedal crowd has emerged from the freeze, so too have the bad attitudes. Bikers screaming at drivers! Drivers screaming at bikers! Pedestrians screaming at both of them! Quick, everyone — corner the urbanite closest to you and tell them how much they fucking suck!

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Another Day, Another Incoherent Stu Bykofsky Rant About Bicycles

Stu Bykofsky is the Pavlov’s dog of Philadelphia journalism. He has been programmed to do the exact same thing every time he reads a newspaper column espousing vaguely pro-bicycle sentiments. Namely: Bashing bike lanes and decrying the WAR ON CARS. In today’s edition, Bykofsky reads a column by Philadelphia Weekly writer Randy LoBasso about biking in the cold, calls LoBasso a City Paper writer, composes an incomprehensible piece of bike-related doggerel, then rushes over to ride on a few of his favorite hobby-horses.

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15 Dandy Get-Ups From Saturday’s Tweed Ride

Dawn Petty and John A. Petty II from West Philly

Dawn Petty and John A. Petty II from West Philly | Photo Layla Jones

If you were downtown on Saturday, chances are you may have seen an unusual group of cyclists.

Philadelphia’s sixth annual Tweed Ride took place over the weekend and about 100 participants suited up in vintage looks straight from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s.

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Two Dudes Will Bike the City’s 72-Mile Border Tomorrow

Shawn McKenna–a triathlete (and market researcher) and a friend, James Huth, are embarking on a 72-mile (give or take) expedition tomorrow to cycle the entire border of Philadelphia. (He came up with the idea while bored on jury duty.) They’ll start at the Yards Brewery, and they’ll end at the Yards Brewery. Here’s McKenna’s map–which they’ll try to follow as best they can.

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Undercover Officers Set up “Stings” for Philly Bike Thieves

The Daily News reports today that Philly Police set up occasional “stings” to trap bicycle thieves. This is normally where we’d make a joke—”Now that the murder problem has been solved, they have time for this!”—but honestly: We’ve had two bikes stolen in the last five years, and anything that might suppress that particular crime rate is welcome at Scoop Headquarters.

Bike enthusiasts support the stings – but say cops could be even more successful if they followed the lead of agencies elsewhere that hide GPS trackers on bait bikes – and then follow the thief back to his or her lair.

Such a strategy could help nab serial stealers who operate or supply bike chop shops or other organized theft rings, said Alex Doty, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

The issue is especially important in Philly, Doty said, because bike thieves increasingly prey on riders at a time when the city has dedicated bicycle lanes on many city streets and otherwise encourages the public to pedal.

“We have almost twice as many bicycle commuters as any other large city in the United States,” Doty said. “There are crimes that certainly rank a lot higher than bike theft, but for bicyclists this is a big problem. It certainly deters people from bicycling.”

We do wonder how the advent of Philly Bike Share will affect all of this. On the one hand, we’re waiting for it to get started instead of buying a new bicycle to replace the old one that got stolen this summer. On the other hand: Will the non-profit program simply end up as a supply chain for thieves? We’re kind of worried.

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