Urbanism

Alt Weekly Dallas Observer Hates Bicycles

What is the deal with old-ass Patrick Williams?

Patrick Williams has worked at the Dallas Observer since, like, forever. He is 56 years old and holds the title of editor of the alt weekly. And it seems to me that he hates bikes. Here’s part of what he posted to the weekly’s site today:

[S]omeone has to say it: Dallas will never be a city of cycling commuters. Give up already. Roads are bad, drivers are worse, and we’re too spread out. Putting bike racks on DART buses and trains is just encouraging us to mix two bad forms of misery.

Oh, and except for a few weeks in spring and fall, the weather is always inclement. It’s … too … goddamn … hot. Mid-50-degree temperatures and light rain? That’s a good day for cycling to work in Dallas.

Let’s talk about this for a minute. First, you should know that I am 48 years old, and I try to cycle to work twice a week (from East Dallas, mostly on the Santa Fe Trail, a distance of 11 miles each way). So my immediate response to Patrick, whom I’ve known for a long time, was violent and unfair. I called him and said bad things. I asked him how much he weighs. He declined to give me a number, saying only that he was “fat.”

But here’s the deal: Patrick is (or was) an experienced cyclist. He has commuted to work on his bike. In a previous life, before he got fat and ugly, he did the Indiana TRIRI, which is about 400 more miles than I’d ever try to ride. So, actually, Patrick is a guy who is hard to dismiss when it comes to his opinion about cycling to work in Dallas.

And yet that’s what I’m doing here with this post. Eff Patrick Williams. Dallas can become a city of cycling commuters. I’ve been doing it for a little more than a year. In that time, I’ve seen an uptick in cycling commuters. It ain’t a huge increase. But it’s there. The other day, three of us pulled up to a stoplight on our bikes, all headed out of downtown. We’re doing it. Despite what old, dumb Patrick Williams says.

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