Protest: It’s the American way

Local cyclist Michael Barraclough has had enough and he’s not going to take it anymore. This morning, Tuesday, June 28, at 5:00 PM, he will begin a ride in the city of Palos Verdes Estates to protest the city’s failure to address cyclists’ concerns about violence.

With three deaths on the peninsula since March, two of which occurred in Palos Verdes Estates, and with assaults occurring on a nearly daily basis, Barraclough has attended council meetings, written letters, and implored the city to take an aggressive approach to protecting those who cycle within the city limits.

The failure of the city to meaningfully engage has led to his call for a protest ride.

Unlike many protests, this one will be based on scrupulous adherence to the California Vehicle Code. Local motorists, many of whom complain that cyclists are scofflaws, will get to see the effects of numerous bicycles in downtown PVE as they stop at every stop sign and stay in a single file. Although single file riding is not required by law, motorists in PVE are fond of shouting “Single file!” at riders as they buzz them in their speeding steel cages.

The ride will make a series of loops through Malaga Cove. Everyone is invited to attend. Following the ride there will be a Palos Verdes Estates City Council meeting, which should be even more fun than the protest ride.

For ride details, click here.

In the words of one rider, “I’ve spent my life to this point sitting idly by while other people advocate for progressive social change. I’m proud to be involved. Every time we throw a leg over our bike, we accept the very real chance that we may not be coming home. It doesn’t have to be that way.

“As the protesters in Ferguson brought attention to the fact that it’s not okay to shoot a child, just because he dressed like a ‘thug,’ let’s let the PVE police know that it’s not acceptable for a motorist to murder a cyclist, just because he dressed like a ‘roadie.’

Three months ago, I lost my best friend Jonathan Tansavatdi because this type of advocacy was too late in coming. Don’t wait until you lose some one you love to step forward and do something about it. If you don’t show up, nothing will happen. If we work together, we can change the world”

Well, well said.



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17 thoughts on “Protest: It’s the American way”

  1. Single file, each rider stopping at the the stop sign, that’ll be fun.

    Claiming the line vs riding in the gutter will make the difference.

  2. I’m a strong believer in cycling safety the roads need to be safer for cyclists. I can’t believe somebody tried to compare cycling safety to the incident in Ferguson. That “child” was 18 years old and was a suspect in a robbery. When detained heand tried to beat an officer into unconsciousness. He was not just dressed like a thug he was a thug.

    1. Well, the police is very fond of categorizing the people they kill as suspects in crimes, otherwise they’d get in real trouble.

      I agree to your general point, that the reference is inappropriate though. This is more of a basic safety issue. Killing people with cars is generally okay as long as you aren’t drunk and that needs to end.

      One and done won’t do it. The organizer needs to do it once a week/month until you get some progress out of PD and city council.

      1. It’s totally appropriate. People who want social change have to advocate and show up for it. Blogging and tweeting and Facegagging don’t count.

      2. People who want social change have to advocate and show up for it.

        We agree. That’s why the event should be repeated.

    2. You missed his point, which is that advocacy for social progress matters. If you want to debate Ferguson, maybe you’ve landed on the wrong blog.

    1. Yes, I saw this. The fact is that no protest means anything unless the protesters follow it up with engagement in the political process. Otherwise you’re just screaming to make yourself feel better. Michael Barraclough is a guy who has spent lots of time in meetings and will be spending many more. But in this case, enough is way too much.

  3. Pingback: Morning Links: Good news on LA bike collisions, and Floyd Landis goes from doper to dope purveyor |

  4. So, essentially, Critical Mass, without the dreadlocks, fixies, and weed.

    I’m sorry, but I will never understand ‘deliberately piss off motorists’ as a tactic to get motorists to stop being pissed off at us.

    1. If you had shown up at the protest, seen the cops’ and city’s response, then attended the city council meeting, you would understand. But that is a lot harder than commenting on a blog.

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