You can always tell when the first day of spring has arrived when Stu Bykofsky professional opinion writer and grumpy old man writes his first bicycle column of the spring. Here at the offices of the Philadelphia Bicycle Journal we have found a way to show Mr. Bykofsky's thought process.
What Stu thinks is going on inside his brain when he writes a bicycle column:
What’s really going on inside of Stu’s brain when he writes a bicycle column:
As usual Mr. Bykofsky likes to vilify his targets, instead of treating them as people he lumps them into a single category by name-calling. He uses words like; pedalphiles and bikehead. By dehumanizing people it always makes it easier to write columns like this since they are no longer people, just a target. Much in the same way that bullies at school use this to threaten and intimidate their targets.
Stu loves to down play actual facts, in this column he claims there aren’t enough people riding bicycles in Philadelphia because only 1.8% of city workers ride their bicycles to work three days a week or more. This sounds pretty bad until you do the math; the 2012 estimated population of Philadelphia is 1,547,607 and 1.8% of that is 27,856. All of sudden that number isn’t so small.
Mr. Bykofsky loves to make claims that cyclists are engaging in massive red light running, with no evidence to back up his claims. By Stu’s logic more cyclists should be getting tickets for running red lights because of their increased numbers. But his proof backfires on him: he cites the increased numbers of tickets given to car drivers and pedestrians. But when it comes to cyclists they received 80 tickets in 2012 and 88 this year. He never entertains the possibility that cyclist are not running red lights like they do based on his anecdotal evidence.
To that end the Philadelphia Bicycle Journal offers proof as to how severe this problem is. In 2009 this video was shot at an intersection off of Rittenhouse Square, which has three stop signs and a flashing red light.
Mr. Bykosky’s columns are getting stale. Every year we have come to expect a standard collection of recycled columns; bicycles, stories of his vacation, sidewalk cafes blocking the sidewalk, and his annual Christmas conversation with God. Instead of writing about the same non-issues repeatedly we can only hope that Stu will get out from behind his desk. He could go out and explore Philadelphia and find a new world of topics. Or he could take the lazy man’s approach and keep yelling at clouds.