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July 23rd, 2008 WW Editorial Staff | Rogue of the Week
 

Outlaw cyclists

Road rage rides on two wheels.

     
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The Rogue Desk gladly credits the vast majority of cyclists for the good they do in our bike-happy city. They conserve resources and reduce pollution and traffic—and they’re usually more physically attractive than drivers.

But in the string of high-profile conflicts this month between bikers and motorists, we can’t help but notice in looking at police records that most of the fights featured outlaw cyclists as the ones Roguishly ramping up the conflict.

Here’s the scorecard:

Cyclist Steven McAtee, 31, allegedly throws his bike at driver Colin Yates, 47, in Southeast Portland after Yates yells at McAtee for blowing through a stoplight.

Driver James Millican, 21, allegedly tries to ram cyclist Jason Rehnberg, 37, in Southeast Portland after Rehnberg yells at Millican to slow down.

Biker Adam Leckie, 22, allegedly keys an SUV in North Portland after passenger Patrick Schrepping, 30, yells at Leckie for cutting off the vehicle.

An unidentified male cyclist allegedly smashes the window of a TriMet bus in Southeast Portland after the driver waves at the cyclist to move aside at a stoplight.

Notice a pattern? In three of these four incidents, the biker is accused of aggressively escalating the conflict.

Jonathan Maus, editor of the website bikeportland.org, says bikers are getting unfair treatment in the media. “The tone is to show that bikers are totally out of hand,” he says.

But Karl Rohde, spokesman for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, says any rogue cyclists give all bikers a bad name. “You suddenly get all the cyclists lumped into one group,” he says. “It just fuels the fire.”

The Rogue desk agrees with Rohde: Chill out, cyclists.

 
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