My best friend, “Sue”

Everybody’s so pissed off at the dude whose old lady is suing Strava. “Frivolous lawsuit!” they holler.

“Bullshit fucking plaintiff’s lawyer!” they scream.

“End of democracy and the free world!” they yowl.

Etc., etc.

Well look here, pussies, that’s not a frivolous lawsuit. In my world, that’s an awesome lawsuit of the most meritorious sort. You want frivolous? Come to me. I once sued a murder victim for littering a park with his blood. I sued the City of Torrance for failing to prevent drunk drivers from hurting themselves when they crashed into pedestrians. I sued a blind little old lady with Alzheimer’s for trespass when she tripped on a hose and fell onto a supermarket driveway.

You fucking want frivolous? What about the time I sued the federal government for making its forms too hard to understand? Or the time I sued all the teachers’ unions for failing to reduce the incidence of work-related blowjobs? I even sued RuggedMAXXX2 for compensation after all my jeans burst at the seams.

Yeah, baby. You fucking want some more of that frivolous shit? Come to poppa. I ain’t never met a douchebaggy, shitfucky, spitsticky, snotgnarly plaintiff with a trumped up claim who I couldn’t massage into a full blown, 15-inch, blue-veiner federal case. So don’t come crying to me about frivolous.

One, two, flush

Now then. Although I’m known far and wide for suing anything and anybody who hasn’t already been tossed into a wood chipper, there’s one tiny little thing you need to understand: all my frivolous cases lose. Yep, that’s right. The time I sued Big Honkers Gentleman’s Club for causing excessive sexual tension? Case got tossed on demurrer, and the defendants sued me for malicious prosecution and intentional stupidity. They won on all counts.

The time I sued Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan beaches for maintaining overly hot sand and scorching my soles? Laughed out of court and slapped with double secret probation along with multiple fines, sanctions, costs, attorney fees, and having my name written all over the bathroom walls at Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Go check ’em out. They all say, “Wankmeister = WANKER!”

Funny how the knife only has one cutting edge

On the other hand, I’m racking my brain trying to recall the last time I saw an outraged article about some douchebag insurance company that rejected a valid claim by some poor cyclist bastard who’s now a quad due to the poor judgment of some drunk driver. Or the angry posts on cycling forums about the thousands of people who get life-altering injuries, yet walk away with nothing because the wrongdoer was uninsured, or under-insured, or a deadbeat fuckwad, or represented by an all-powerful insurance company who put the blocks to the crippled, maimed, or permanently disabled victim.

Fuck all those people. They’re just cyclists. What we’re really pissed off about is the occasional douchebag lawyer who files a shitty case and gets thrown out of court on his dingdong.

Please, therefore, make a mental note: Life isn’t fair. So you better be ready to fight hard.

What’s up with this Strava bullshit

I used to do Strava, just like I used to do meth, crack, and bike porn. But I quit. Why? Because it’s STUPID. I post my best time on Ol’ Wrinklesack climb, and then some wanker on a moped, or some wanker who can actually ride, or some chick who’s totally badass, whales the shit out of my time. So then I go back and whale on her time. Then she on mine.

At some point somebody ought to be asking, “Why don’t we just meet up halfway between our apartments, take off all our clothes, and fuck each other until we’re too tired to stand?” [Note to the curious: in my case, that’s at least twelve full minutes, counting foreplay and post-play discussion/analysis/video review.] Wouldn’t that be pretty much the same thing, only more fun? And think of all the clothes we wouldn’t have to wash!

I didn’t just quit Strava because of the misplaced sexual tension. I quit it because after a few months it confirmed what I already knew: I suck, and there are a zillion people who are faster than I am. Well, fuck all of you. I’m still taller than you, and look better than you in a tailored Italian suit. Once I can afford a tailored Italian suit you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Why the Strava lawsuit sucks

It doesn’t. I hope they get sued all the way to Ghana and back. I hate them because they send me nasty little goading messages saying, “Droopy Festersore just took your KOM! You gonna let that happen? Get out there and take it back!”

My first response is, “Fuck you, you spammer motherfucker, for cluttering up my fucking inbox.”

Then, after I cool down, I think, “Fuck you, you spammer motherfucker, for making me feel like a piece of shit just as I was about to really enjoy my day evicting some poor old blind lady out onto the streets.”

Next, I get on Strava, look up the douchebag who bested my time by some ungodly interval, and find out that it’s a fucking avatar. “Piddly Bojangles” is the Strava pen name for some asshole who you’ve never seen on a ride, never raced against, and never heard of. But he just urinated in your Strava coffee and made you glower and snap at your nice secretary before she even got her bra completely unhitched.

The lawsuit is also awesome because, unbeknownst to you, Strava has an indemnification clause that you automatically agree to when you become a user. What’s that, you say? You can’t spell “indemnification”? You think it’s a kind of adult diaper?

No, my friend, Strava has a sweet deal where, when they get sued, they can then turn around and collect the money from you…plus attorney fees! Sweet! That dry scraping sound that’s accompanied by sharp, blinding pain? It’s your asshole, and Strava’s probing it with a rusty legal pipe.

The nasty facts of life

If you do something that affects a lot of people, you’re eventually going to get sued. Hire people and give them jobs? They’re going to sue you. Invite people to join your group ride? They’re going to sue you. Create a foreclosure meltdown that destroys the world’s largest economy and sends the planet into a 5-year financial tailspin? You’re getting a raise. But that’s a different story.

Cycling is cool and fucked up because people get together to do it and have accidents. The getting together part is cool. The accidenting part isn’t. As long as we demand the right to be compensated when other people hurt us, there will always people people who stretch the limits of who-caused-what-to-whom. The flip side is that you could live in a country like Germany or Japan, whose civil law systems provide modest compensation for victims and bulletproof protection for corporations.

You want a few frivolous douchebags to skate through the cracks so that truly meritorious cases have a chance? Our system’s pretty fucking good. You want a steel-reinforced-concrete bomb blast barrier around corporations so they can fuck you at will? There are lots of foreign countries like that. Texas comes to mind…

Instead of pillorying the lawyer filing the frivolous lawsuit, why not take a deep breath and have a little bit of faith in the system? If it’s frivolous, it’s headed for the door.

Trust me. I know.

19 thoughts on “My best friend, “Sue””

  1. Yep. Like that.
    Also, Strava wants you to DESCEND faster than anyone ever has. Fuck them.

    1. I will follow this up with a description of my sole remaining Strava descent KOM.

  2. YIKES! – half of north-county are STRAVA junkies (me included) and likely non of them hath read the TaC of using STRAVA (me included). now what… Can you rep me WM??

    1. Only if it’s off-the-fucking charts frivolous. In other words, of course!!

  3. WM – if you need a court reporter for all the fucking frivolous depositions, we can take them at my office and set up bike trainers – you can ask questions while pedaling and i will write while riding! Thanks for the great write-up – very interesting -and true –

  4. Love it! Big words, bad words, & as always a big dose of knowledge. Off to clean my screen as I laughed so hard it’s covered in spit.

  5. Dick Fitzenceider

    As part of the outdoor/fitness industry they are doubtlessly aware that their waiver is more of a first volley than a game ender. Bungee jumping, indoor rock climbing, bike rentals, and even spectating all have tons of precedent setting cases with waivers being basically disregarded in court. Besides, where would FB be if every kid who got busted for underage drinking sued them for allowing them to come to ill effect. There is no way to protect against someone who has displaced any reasonable thought with a disregard for repercussions.

    1. Poor analogy. FB doesn’t actively ping you when someone has drunk a keg that you should top.

      1. It would be an awesome feature, though, wouldn’t it? “Uh-oh! Betsy just blew the football team PLUS the head of the economics department! Better get out there and get cracking!”

      2. Dick Fitzenceider

        FB is plenty invasive even into the lives of non-users. Say you are walking to get a ball that little Johnny kicked at the park and get picked up by the face recognition software in a photo of a tranny flashing his dick while shooting up. Look at you caught unaware yet somehow looking very involved. Unluckily, for you are a non-FB user who got tagged at some point and it keeps popping up in background checks unbeknownst to you. Since you don’t have an account you can’t even see it if you try searching. Strava, much like FB, was bound to have some issue of legality and morality/public safety creep in and that was the point I was trying to make. My favorite part of strava though is how little right now matters. I can take a segment with data from 4 years ago as easily as I can by setting a new one I’m guaranteed a high placing on. Socially none of that holds true.

        1. I was talking about that this morning with a buddy. On Strava you can be whoever you want to be. But on the group ride or in the race, you’re still going to be pack filler/wank fodder/78th loser.

    1. I pride myself on producing only the finest, highest quality journalistic work. Of course I also pride myself on my four consecutive TdF titles.

  6. This will not be the last suit against Strava. I read on teh Gore (so it must be true) that Chris Bucchere, the cyclist who hit and killed pedetrian Sutchi Hui in San Francisco, was also trying to beat a Strava record.

    What duty of care does Strava owe its users? What duty of care does Strava owe pedestrians and other road and trail users? If the lawyer for Flint’s family can find a duty of care, look out. Encouraging people to break records that can only be broken through illegal conduct like speeding or red light running sure sounds negligent to me. And with California being a pure comparative negligence state, I’ll bet you a quarter that Strava is found 10-20% responsible.

    Right now, Strava needs to ban downhill records outright, or at a minimum cap downhill records at whaterever time the speed limit permits. In the future, they need to look at banning any timed segments with stoplights or limiting the timed segments to climbs. If they continue egg on their users through email without changing their practices, some lawyer in the future is going to have a field day with exemplary damages.

    There have also been accidents between mtbers out for Strava records and other trail users. That will cost those of us who ride off road precious trail access.

    To those who think this is frivolous, would your opinion change if Strava kept records for motorcyclists and egged on motorcyclists to break those records?

    Before you tell me how ridiculous that is, Kim Flint, the late cyclist in this case, posted a pic online of his garmin showing his max speed on the day he got the record. It was 49.3mph. A couple of weeks later, he died trying to take that record back after someone broke his record by 4 seconds. The speed limit on South Park Road where the accident happened is 30mph.

    1. The worst thing about it is the egg-on emails. Those things are fucking crazy. “Hey! Someone beat your KOM! Get out there and take it back!”

      On a downhill? You kidding me?

      Strava will be found to be negligent in some degree; you’re right. Even though the motorcycle analogy is slightly inapt, it’s apt enough to draw the conclusion that Strava’s beating the drum, and the idiots are answering the call.

      This is taking us to a new place, though, that has nothing to do with Strava: it’s the fate of the group ride and the training race. Who’s responsible when someone gets hurt on one of those? Do you have 10% liability for posting the time and location and acting as the ride boss when someone ‘tards out and does a faceplant? Or when someone fails to point out a rock and someone dutifully following along in the paceline hits it? The possibilities are endless and THEY’RE ALL BAD.

      So now clubs that have regular group rides are going to be on the hook, too? Shops that try to encourage cycling and build the grass roots are facing legal action for accidents that happen on “their” rides? Training races that have been around for decades turn into pin-the-lawsuit-on-the-deeppocket when someone gets hurt? Suddenly, we have to sign waivers just to hang with our buddies? It’s really fucked up, but it also really makes sense, and this doesn’t even begin to consider the universe of liability when the person who’s hurt is the driver or pedestrian rather than the cyclist.

      In many cases we can expect the rider to man up and say, “Fuck it, I know it’s dangerous, I’m not suing.” What about the motorist who’s involved in an accident (cyclist’s fault) and gets hurt? Sure sounds to me like he’s got a claim against whoever assembled all these two-wheeled idiots and got them out on the road together.

      Finally, the worst-worst-worst-worst case scenario: The sky is falling and we’re all going to die tomorrow from AIDS and dangling participles.

      Fuck this shit. Fuck Chicken little. Fuck the lawyers. Fuck the insurance companies. Fuck the defendants. Fuck the cyclists. Fuck the motorists. Fuck everybody. I’mma go ride my fuckin’ bike.

      1. The legal risks of which you write have always been there. I was on the board of a local SoCal cycling club for a few years about a decade ago. During a routine audit/update of bylaws, procedures, insurance, etc., we discovered that only club members were covered by our insurance for regular club rides as well as the few event rides (paid admission) the club held each year. The insurance company couldn’t or wouldn’t expand our coverage, so the solution was to ban non-members from club rides and include a 1 year membership with a paid admission to an event ride.

        When I found out that the E&O coverage for directors did not cover those of us who practice a certain profession, well, I had to resign from that board and the board of another non-profit. The additional cost of carrying malpractice insurance just to hold an unpaid board position wasn’t worth it. Insurance companies are the scum of the earth, but large scale civilizations can’t exist without them.

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