These morons who want to put on a clown suit and ride a bicycle uphill, and delay those folks driving automobiles, and then scream and cry they have the same rights to be on the road, have evidently spent all their money on clown suits and can't afford a tire repair kit because their little bikes get flats driving on the new road surface. Boo hoo.
These same folks who claim rights to be on the road and obey traffic laws are all liars. Every morning when I get to the foot of Signal Mountain at Mountain Creek and Signal Mountain Road, one clown will ride up as we sit at the red traffic light and cross five lanes of traffic when no one is coming when the light is red. Obey the laws? That red light means stop.
I get over to Signal Mountain Road and Dayton Boulevard and another little clown with little blinking lights runs this red light while all us motorized vehicle drivers obey the law. And I'd have given a hundred dollars to have been over at the tunnel the other day and saw the little clown scream at the car that passed him, and when the car stopped a police officer got out and read him the riot act. I'd bet the little clown had to walk over into the woods and shake his little clown suit out. The officer should have jerked him out of his little clown suit and put his stupid butt in jail.
These clowns need to learn that $3,000 or $4,000 aluminum Barnum and Bailey bicycle are 'no' match for an automobile. Stay off the roads. No one wants to drive home at two or three miles an hour and watch you sweat and turn red in the face.
Go to a gym and get in shape. And when you can keep up in traffic, ride your B&B kiddie bike on the road, morons.
* * *
Call it a hunch, but I have a feeling Mr. Dempsey might be up in his years. Times are changing and Chattanooga is one of the most biker friendly cities in the country. Combined with gas prices, Chattanooga is taking the correct steps to adapt to the change this country is going through.
All this anger coming out in an opinion email to Chattanoogan.com combined with little exercise might cause Mr. Dempsey some heart trouble.
Get on a bike and get some exercise. Besides, what's Mr. Dempsey in such a hurry to get home for....The Matlock marathon on TBS?
* * *
Mr. Thomas' attitude is a prime example of the arrogance about which Mr. Dempsey complains.
Just like me, Mr. Dempsey has been stuck behind Michaelangelo riding his bicycle up the W Road on Signal Mountain in his skinny nuthin's and holding up traffic. We're no longer allowed, by law, to honk our horn at Michaelangelo because he's holding up traffic. By law we're no longer allowed to pass Michaelangelo unless we can maintain at least three feet between our vehicles and his expensive aluminum bicycle because he's riding in the traffic lane. By law, we're supposed to afford Michaelangelo all of the same road courtesies we would a motorized vehicle ... including using our whole hand when waving as we pass going the other direction.
However, by law Michaelangelo is also required to adhere to all rules of the road just as any other vehicle using it. Michaelangelo is required by law to abide by all traffic laws including stopping at traffic lights, providing a signal when turning or making a movement while on the road, and yielding the right of way. Michaelangelo is also required by law to pull over and allow traffic to pass when he has three (that's like tres, son, tres, or 3) other vehicles behind him because he's going slower than the speed limit.
If the police were to hold Michaelangelo to the same standards as the motorists with whom he wants to share the roadways, there would be some tickets being issued. Many of us would probably cheer any cop who did that and I doubt he'd have to worry about coffee for the rest of his life.
So what if Mr. Dempsey has, as many of us, reached an age at which he's entitled to be a curmudgeon. So what if he's in a hurry to get home to watch the Matlock marathon. So what if he wants to use the roads he is legally entitled to use and for which he has paid. That is his right.
As for this curmudgeon, I'm going to go try to figure out why Volkswagen has to borrow American money to build their plant here in Chattanooga rather than bringing something of their own to the table. Do we, Americans, have to give them everything?
Royce E. Burrage Jr.
* * *
When I read letters like the one from Mr. Dempsey, I cringe. Yep, I realize our nation is built upon the right of free speech and free exchange of ideas, but hate filled tirades such as this accomplish nothing. Between paying the bills, learning new things, seeing new sights, enjoying a beautiful day, and reading a good book, I just don't have enough time to get wrapped around the axle about bicyclists.
If anything, bicyclists (and other green initiatives) make our city more enticing for forward thinking companies to locate here. I've followed bicyclists and waited to pass them and it was really no big deal. They are exercising and not polluting the air. That's a good thing. I've got one word for Mr. Dempsey: Valium.
* * *
Sorry to disappoint you, it's not just the elderly that want the bike
riders off the road.
Maybe you wish Chattanooga was the bike friendly capital of the South.
I think if you took a county-wide survey of the people that live and
drive here, Not the interest group that is pushing this to get tourism
dollars, the Chattanoogans, you would find just about all of the
drivers don't want the bikes.
I was told that there is law that says bike riders can run red lights,
as long as it is clear?? this also pertains to motorcycles. Obviously
that wasn't a good choice yesterday! A man lost his life.
If that law is true, who do we petition to change it?
If bikes cant ride on the sidewalk, then bike lanes only. Use some of
those tourism dollars, instead of paying thousands of dollars for a
bag of rocks, to put trendy bike lanes in downtown, so we can impress
the tourists, and leave the residents in peace.
* * *
How can people call Chattanooga a "bicycle friendly" city when all the cyclists do is hold up traffic and complain they have no place to ride? My better half and I took a brisk stroll at the Riverpark on the walking path last Sunday afternoon and spent the entire time dodging Lance Armstrong impersonators from ages 5 to 80. So much for following the bicycles at three to five miles per hour as is posted on the signs. Of course, who would expect them to follow the rules of a park when they cannot even follow them on the main roads.
Maybe if the city would create bike lanes then that is where the spandex crowd would be expected to ride. For those who say I do not know what I am talking about; I actually own a very expensive mountain bike, but I know where to ride it and how to act when I do.
* * *
When did it become illegal to use common sense to get off your bike and push it through a tunnel on the sidewalk? No law says you can't push a bike on the sidewalk. Oh I forgot. You’re within your rights.
One day you may be dead right. With age comes wisdom. If you live long enough, hopefully you'll acquire some of the wisdom Mr. Dempsey is trying to share. He just has a brash way of sharing. No matter how right you think you are, use some of the good sense God gave you. When it rains you drive your car according to conditions. You can get a ticket for driving too fast for conditions no matter the posted speed. The same applies to riding a bike under unsafe conditions.
Get a bike and join the fun you say. Unfortunately it's not that simple. Not everyone shares your health. My knees are long gone. One is artificial and does not work well. Oh, did I mention this is the result of a bike accident? And no car was involved. The other knee is nearly gone now.
So don't tell me to get a bike and join up. I rode bikes when I was young. I was involved in no less than five bike vs. auto accidents over a 25 year period. None my fault, but anyone could have been deadly. Been there, done that, wiser now.
I wholeheartedly support your cause to make Chattanooga bike friendly. Until bike lanes are built and proper space is available to ride it ain’t happened yet. Right or wrong, cars will run over you.
* * *
I think the cyclists are crazy but I admire them. We, my son and I, almost took a couple of guys out the other day in the fog on the way to school at about 6:30 a.m. Sorry, but fog in the morning is a little nutty, guys. But who in the world am I to complain about people who can motor up the Ochs Extension or Burkhalter Gap on Lookout Mountain using only pedals? I see that all the time and it is amazing to me. I don't mind waiting to pass and I'll give them all the real estate they need. I would love to be that fit. I think it's pretty cool.
But we're forgetting about the other half of Mr. Dempsey's gripe: the clown suits.
I wish we as a species could become aware that when a given body rides the streets of a given U.S. town on an obscure Saturday morning, said body is not actually in France racing Lance. What is it that makes a human want to wear a costume and become somebody else? Look at the Harley culture. You really think those fat guys with their fat heads in itty-bitty helmets are tough and mean? Could they even walk a mile? I doubt it. But they sure do look mean and tough because once they put on the cowboy suit and get on the hog, they're not who they were five minutes ago. They're mean and tough high plains drifters now.
If I sported a Michael Phelps outfit pool side would I be Michael Phelps? Would my wife provide me with a first class one way ticket to Moccasin Bend? I sincerely hope she would.
What I mean is that I seriously don't believe the wind resistance savings these little suits afford is worth the shameless display of, well, vitals. At a distance it's pretty silly but it’s okay because my eyes aren't as sharp as they used to be.
I say ride your fanny off and if you want to make believe you are Floyd or Lance or whoever and do amazing endurance things then its a free country and I applaud you. But unless you are an extremely fit member of the fairer gender (even women would agree that they much more beautiful to behold) and if you must wear one of those things, please don't run out of water. Men are ugly when naked and I would never force my birthday suited glory into anyone's field of view unless I was very woefully and irrevocably altered. And I dang sure don't think I should be forced to see your sober glory in an otherwise public place.
So save me from painful embarrassment and motor on through those red lights. I don't care. And please, for heaven's sake, put the foot to the pedal when you approach a Favorite Market. Ride on off into the sunset. Don't stop for anything.
Then there will be peace.
* * *
This is to all the Arlos' out there:
I'm going to assume that Arlos was just in a bad mood because he had just come from Wal-mart where he had to wait one hour 23 minutes just to get a prescription refilled. The "clown suits?" Very colorful shirts, but you saw them. The "blinking light" may look like something from a Shriner's parade, but you saw it. That's what they are for, for your safety as well as the riders.
As far as not coming to a complete stop at traffic lights or stop signs? True, true. However I have seen you and others like you here on Signal Mountain pulling out of the Ace Hardware, other businesses and busy intersections in Walden without coming to a full and complete stop. And then ride my bumper. Remember me? I'm the guy you pulled out in front of that had to slam on his breaks to keep from hitting you on several occasions.
The bicyclists have every right to the highways. Get used to it. Chattanooga just made it into the top 10 in places for outdoor activities. There will be more bicycles out there in the years to come. (Especially with gas prices)
I don't ride a bicycle. But I give them all the room and time they want on public highways. I am positive that I will never see one of these bicyclists in later years parked in a handicapped parking zone, on some sort of subsistence simply because they are overweight and now have diabetes.
* * *
The saddest part of this story is that most people think like Mr. Dempsey. So what if it takes you one minute and 24 seconds longer to get where you are going? Does this cyclist really cause you to be late or do you just not like them?
I try to ride as often as possible. With the fuel prices the way they are I have found myself making short trips with my bike.
Would these same people be as upset if a child was in the street to pick up a ball that was thrown in error? The problem is most drivers think they need to use the entire opposite lane to pass a cyclist. Give us three feet and go on. We know you're there, no need to honk and wait. Hang up your cell phone and pass.
It is a fact that people are drawn to Chattanooga for its outdoor sports. Our area is blessed with excellent mountain bike trails and a seemingly never ending supply of country roads. We all pay for these roads whether we ride bikes or cars. Let us ride, don't be so angry, and move on.
* * *
I've never found anything really free in this world, especially when it comes to the government and anything they are in charge of. They make sure that I pay them hard earned money for the privilege of using the roadways that they have built, and use that money for upkeep of the roads.
The same is true of the extra money I have to pay for the fuel to power my vehicles – maintain the roads. They even require me to spend even more money to insure my vehicles in order to legally use their roads. How much money in taxes do the clown suits pay in order to use the roads?
Only an idiot would argue that they've already paid it when they paid for their automobiles. I have two cars but pay for both even though I am only driving one at a time. Bike paths are for bikes and highways are for automobiles – period. Otherwise, you're taking a big chance, not to mention the arrogant inconvenience.
I've traveled Highway 41 around the river only to come up on a pack of bikes literally stopping traffic – no way to go around such a long line and certainly no alternate route other than try to turn around. No warning sign saying that once you head into the river gorge you will come to a near standstill and your travel time will be doubled (at best). If they feel that they have every right to the road as anyone else, tax and tag them, and arrest the offenders. Isn't that what will happen to the rest of us who don't dress for Halloween when we hit the road?
* * *
If your desire were to have bicycles taken off of the road you would petition your representative in congress. It is likely you will get no response or at the least a form letter. I hope our members of congress are busy concerning themselves with much bigger matters this week. I also doubt you will find a law maker willing to take away the right of the public to travel public roads under human power. How un-American. Open up your wallet, look inside, that’s a license that you had to take a test to acquire. The motorists’ use of the roads is a privilege that can be taken away. Cyclists young and old are not required to have a license because their use of the road is a right.
Letters to the Chattanoogan.com in opposition to bicycles on the road are becoming increasingly common, yet they all typically site the same reasons. I will attempt to list the most common reasons given and provide the reader with the flaws of each of those arguments.
The most common argument and the one used by Mr. Dempsey is it is an inconvenience for him to have cyclists utilizing the roads. Motorists must (let’s hope) slow down when approaching and passing a cyclist and this is often reason enough to irritate the motorist. If delaying your trip down the road for 15 seconds to a couple of minutes is adversely effecting your life there are several steps a responsible adult can take such as better time management, get out of bed 15 seconds earlier and wave as you pass the cyclists. If we were to exclude all users of the road that created an inconvenience I’d be the only one driving down the road. To this argument I say, “No one wants to hear you whine.”
Often it is stated that cyclists should be excluded from the roadways because they do not pay a gasoline tax. Government determines which and how funds our allocated to cover construction, maintenance, law enforcement, and emergency response on the roadways in a manor that is favorable to the electorate. The argument that motorists pay for the roads and are thus entitled to them to the exclusion of other users is incorrect and misinformed. Often property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes are utilized for funding. Not just gasoline tax, although it is often that the cyclist on the road also owns an automobile and thus pays their share of that tax as well.
There is no hierarchy of users on the road. Users would not tolerate that sort of hierarchy in our country. Does the driver in the Prius have any more or less right to the road than the driver of a Hummer or vice versa? No. In fact if you think back to the early days of automobiles and airplanes neither would exist with out the bicycle coming first.
Another common argument is that cycling on the roads is unsafe. Statistically it is more dangerous to travel by car than bicycle or foot. The best way to increase safety on the road is by engaging all users with the knowledge to operate safely. Roads with wide shoulders are no safer for the cyclists than roads with no shoulders because motorists often stray into the shoulders if they are there. And as a cyclist I appreciate your concern for my safety but I’ll make my own decisions. To this point it is often brought up that a cyclist is “no match” for an automobile… There should be no match between them both are users of our roadways and both can and should be able to coexist. That is not to say that there will not be accidents but that is no more a valid argument for removing cyclists from the roads than it is for removing automobiles from the roads. Let’s not pretend that driving an automobile is relatively safe.
Mr. Burrage’s complaint is often the skinny nuthin’s worn by cyclists, the same material his Vols (I’m taking a guess the Mr. Burrage is a Vol fan here) will be wearing as they take the field tomorrow.
And finally it is argued that cyclists do not obey the rules of the road. If we are to say that the actions of a few people are representative of the majority it can just as easily be argued that motorists do not follow the rules of the road.
In my experience the majority of motorists I encounter on the road while cycling are friendly and courteous despite the letters you may read here on this website. Tensions are increasing on the roadways in ways we never imagined just a few years ago. The term “road rage” is relatively new. As a community we cannot condone “road rage” be it directed toward cyclists or other motorists. And in this vein I do not believe we should tolerate comments such as Mr. Stories comments in a letter from August where he suggests that if he had a paint ball gun that he would have fired it on the
The best we can hope for is responsible, cautious and courteous uses of our roadways by all users. There will be violations by both cyclists and motorists and we must hope that no one is injured in these instances. We as a community must work to educate cyclists and motorists of the proper use of our roadways and how to safely interact with each other because as time goes on the volume of bother user groups will increase.
Also of note Chattanooga is the birthplace of several of the most well made high-end titanium bicycle frames in the world. We need to support these bicycle-manufacturing companies that make Chattanooga their home.
* * *
Why are there minimum speeds posted on interstate highways for motorized vehicles? Why are bicycles and mopeds not allowed on interstate highways?
Obviously, it's to avoid large speed differences (a clear danger to both the fast and the slow). Do the laws of physics fail to apply elsewhere, or are they changed because of a "legal right"? Wouldn't it be prudent to avoid biking on heavily trafficked roads for the simple sake of safety?
Let's put the shoe on the other foot. How would cyclists feel about sport bikes on designated bike paths? Or, something a lot slower than a bike, like wheelchairs. Still have that warm fuzzy "share the road" feeling? Worried about safety now?
You should be.
* * *
I have my own opinion on this issue but I feel it best to keep it to myself since it was not the intent of my response.
If I am not mistaken, Arlos Dempsey is the gentleman that has acquired old discarded/donated bicycles and refurbished them to give to disadvantaged children at Christmas. I have heard of his efforts for many years and admire his concern for the less fortunate children in our community.
If this is the gentlemen, his commitment and generosity cannot be interpreted as being anti-bicycle. Bicycles are no more an issue than dogs are an issue at the park. It is owners of both and the responsibility and courtesy of same.
As Americans we are insured our rights under our Constitution and laws. Just because we have the “right”, I wish to think that we consider the affects upon the majority while exercising our individual rights. Whether it is viewing a hairy backside while passing a bicycle or a St. Bernard slobbering on your shoes, it all comes down to courtesy toward your fellow man.
Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Whether it be talking on a cell phone in a checkout line, pulling up and parking in the front door of a convenience store, slowing strolling across a busy street, parking in a handicapped space (when you are healthy) or scratch off your lottery tickets at the counter while others wait…it comes down to courtesy toward your fellow man
In closing, Mr. Dempsey has done more than most of us in his unselfish efforts to assist under privileged children. His opinion should not be interpreted as a measurement of his character or personality.
Although I might not agree with the method of delivery of his recent message, I know of his hard work and dedication to the needy children at Christmas.
To the bicyclist community that has responded to Mr. Dempsey’s comments, you might wish to contact him in efforts to assist his efforts to provide used bicycles to needy children. It seems like a “win win” effort to me. Mr. Dempsey might better fulfill his efforts to help needy children and the bicyclist community can perpetuate their sport.
* * *
My main concern is people using cellphones while they are driving. It seems no one really pays attention to anyone on the road because they are busy in deep conversation. I enjoy bike riding at the Riverwalk, but I would never ride a bike on any street in Chattanooga.
Cellphone users, please put your phones down and drive to your destination.
The other day a man was talking away on his cellphone. I noticed he was suppose to merge because his lane was running out and I slowed my vehicle down so he could get over. He still has no idea that he almost wrecked. He just kept driving as if the force was with him. No, it was me.
I think people who use cellphones while driving are a far bigger hazard to our streets than bike riders.
* * *
This raging road tempest borders on the tragi-comic. OK, I'll laugh along with the even-keeled but fiercely-named Savage as he expresses bemusement at our wannabee Euro skinsuits. I, too, as a hardcore runner, cackled as plump Maillot-Jeune clad roadies cranked up this area's splendid mountains. Then my knees went south and I bought a pink Maglia Rosa Italian jersey, picked up the bike, fell off the bike, but fell in love with all things bike.
Trust me, road ragers, we have plenty of accidents without your help. I've seen the aerial view of a guardrail and have the plates and screws in my elbow to show for my bravado.
But I'll tell you this: Chattanooga has, arguably, one of the warmest-welcoming bicycle communities in the nation. Perhaps this reputation helps our town get ranked in Outside magazine.
Cranks like Arolos Dempsey send us back to the Dark Ages of most-polluted city in the U.S. Does he, as he has crassly revealed in letters aimed at cyclists in the past, and others seriously plan to hit and harm bikers? Has he heard of "vehicular homicide"? His remarks are akin to me spouting venom such as "I don't like the way you drive, so I'll shoot you with my handgun."
Mr. Dempsey has his rights as do cycle roadies. I truly hope that his diatribe does not inspire car drivers to revert to a Ben-Hur-like circus of tragic road violence. This "Boulder of the East" city has come too far for us to let dinosaurs such as this 'clown' influence anyone in the 21st Century.
Signal Mountain and Walden
* * *
This is much ado about nothing. I've been riding a bike since my infantry unit was in France shortly after D-Day.
Yes, riders must be courteous to motorized traffic, but the real test of being courteous is given to those in motorized vehicles. They should always yield and give way to a man/woman on a bicycle, for his/her life is really at their mercy.
While my old body no longer allows me to ride on heavily-congested streets. I do still ride my bicycle on the farm and on the local side roads collecting cans and searching for Civil War and Indian artifacts.
Let me tell a little bicycle story for those that will listen. One terrible day in France shortly after the fall of Cherbourg I was ferrying a package of written field reports from the front lines to the company HQ on a stolen Frenchman's bicycle when a few officers in a Jeep raced by and ran me off the road into a muddy French ditch. Mad as a hornet and covered in mud, I said a few things that aren't fit to repeat here. I later came upon the same Jeep a few miles down the road and, to my surprise, it was full of dead and dying officers who had just found a finely crafted German tank mine.
I did what I could to comfort them, but all I had was a pack of useless field reports and a stolen bicycle.
The point is: Motorized vehicle drivers, don't be in such a rush to meet your fate. And riders, you should never wish bad things on those that don't yet know how to respect or share the roads with you.
Bad things can come of bad wishes.
* * *
The people going back and forth about the bicycles vs. cars are all missing the main issue. The main issue is people at their leisure vs. people on a mission.
The people in the cars are going somewhere trying to get something done. The people on the bicycles in the cycling garb are at their leisure and identifiably so. It would be the same situation if both parties were on foot and one was trying to get down the sidewalk with a purpose and the others were strolling along sightseeing and blocking the way.
People at their leisure have to yield right of way to people on a mission. If you were hustling down the sidewalk back to work after lunch and strolling tourists licking ice cream cones were blocking the way you’d be just as mad as if you were in your car trying to get to work and a cyclist in full garb was hampering the traffic.
The garb is infuriating to those like Mr. Dempsey, because the garb indicates the cyclist is having recreation. If the motorist was slowed by some boys on bikes huffing and puffing their way to school there would be less irritation, because it would be recognizable the boys were on a mission, too, and not recreating.
Cyclists, be warned. Those in the traffic you’re holding up who are not at their leisure are going to be put out with you. They’re under the gun, and you’re having fun. Watch out.
* * *
I truly believe that everyone related to this topic has the right to express and explain their point of view, and many Chattanoogans have done so. I am glad to see that Chattanoogan.com gives the community a chance to post the various comments, suggestions, praises, and even complaints about the bicycle population in our great city and surrounding communities - that is exactly how it should be.
I recently did some research on bicycles in urban environments and found something kind of interesting. It is called "critical mass" and it started in San Francisco during the early 80s. If you are not familiar with the concept, there is plenty of information if you Google it, or check Wikipedia.
I am not an avid cyclist, but the fact is that our city and surrounding communities will see a steady increase of residents choosing to ride rather than drive. Honestly, I am neutral to the arguments I have read in the past couple of days regarding automobile traffic and bicycle traffic in the Chattanooga area. Although, I thought it may be fun to try a "critical mass" gathering sometime in the near future in downtown Chattanooga. Let me know if you would like to support a ride for fun and awareness of the bicycle population in the "Scenic City."
* * *
This Dempsey fella is emblematic of the narrow-mindedness of many in this area.
I ride in a "clown suit," but mostly on the battlefield or Raccoon Mountain simply because of these types who show contempt (intentional tailgating, blowing the horn, screaming profanities, throwing things) for those of us who work to keep some level of fitness.
Most of those who gave me problems while I rode were usually fat-bodies and/or smokers who, if required to exert themselves to save their lives in a struggle of some type, would simply die. This Dempsey person most likely falls into that category.
Robin R. Flores
* * *
I agree with what Mr. Saluk is saying in his reply. The right thing to do is for both sides to exercise restraint and use some common sense. I own a nice bike and spend time on it, but I choose to stay away from high traffic areas. I also choose to leave the lycra and tight fitting garb at home, as I feel more comfortable and presentable in loose clothing.
I would regret not commenting that Mr. Flores exhibits why most of us think of attorneys as we do. The outlandish attempted correlation about Mr. Dempsey and his appearance and lifestyle habits, invoke an imperialism which make most of us "regular folk" cringe. To beat it all, he was kind enough to mention his occupation as to "mark" his self in the eyes of us poor minions.
Did anyone else mention their occupation as to command respect from the rest of the crowd? Any teachers, doctors, machinists, nurses, or salespeople who chose to follow their name with their title so that we might think higher of your opinion? Did not think so.
* * *
If biking for fun and exercise is such a problem, then build something like the Silver Comet Trail that stretches
from Atlanta to Anniston, Ala.
I would think that would be in keeping with all the other amusements, tourist attractions, drawing cards that have been added to the Chattanooga area. It would help keep the bikers safe and the raw nerves of the motorists in check.
* * *
I happen to be one of what Mr. Dempsey might call a moron who wears a clown suit while riding his little bicycle. I live in north Texas, and discovered Mr. Dempsey's opinion article and the responses of many who agree with him because a link to it was posted on a website forum that is used by at least 20,000 cyclists primarily in five south-central states.
Because I happen to enjoy riding my little bicycle up the largest hills and mountains I can find (which are lacking in my locale), I occasionally like to travel to regions that do have mountains for my vacations. Some of these areas have a tourist industry that caters to people like myself because there are plenty of us who love mountains but can't live near them. There are plenty other cyclists in flat states with my tastes in travel.
Wherever I ride I do my best to show respect to motorists by respecting traffic laws, moving over if I can for someone to pass me, and waving with all five fingers when motorists pass me politely. In return, I expect motorists to treat me with the same respect and dignity. I may not be dressed like you, but bicycling can be physically difficult and these clothes are designed to make it a little easier. They work, just like a football player's clothes (which would also look pretty funny if worn anywhere else) allow him to move and protect him from the hazards of his sport. My clothes tend to have bright colors, and it helps you see me in time to avoid running me over. I think our society generally values treating people with respect even if they don't look like everyone else.
I have a variety of choices of places to go for some challenging but scenic rides in the mountains, and most of these places are competing for my tourist dollars. I now know that I am not welcome in Chattanooga. For future vacations, I'll be considering cities in North Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and even Montana or Oregon. Chattanooga, however, has expressed its disinterest in my tourism dollars.
Fort Worth, Texas