Let Freedom Ring – Dingaling!

The two letters below represent a dichotomy that need not exist on our streets. There are ways to make the streets more accommodating for all vehicles, with or without bicycle lanes. 
How ironic that idiots who have total freedom to say things like “Cyclists make good hood art”, have the freedom to drive unencumbered by fear that a motorist may mow them down at any minute. Yet they can’t afford cyclists the freedom to ride the vehicle of their choice on the same roads. 
For him to presume that cycling is Luddite, and has no place in the 21st century is expected of a moron closed up in his own selfish little world. Even if he’s wrong, he’s entitled to his opinion. But to assume that cyclists are begging to become hood ornaments? (dingaling) That’s a threat. If true justice could prevail right now, Andrew Matheson (second letter below) would be confronted by authorities for threatening the lives of cyclists, have his drivers license forever revoked, and sentenced to riding a bicycle for the remainder of his “adult” life, or until he becomes the hood art of a like minded moron. 
John LaPierre

NOVEMBER 10 – 16, 2005  VOL. 25 NO. 11
Another cyclist dies in vain
I was enjoying my Thursday morning ritual of breakfast and NOW when I came across the article about Ryan Carriere (
NOW, November 10-16 ). I had seen the flowers marking his passing at the corner of Queen and Gladstone. But it was when I saw his photo and read about his two young daughters that I found myself crying. Toronto is growing rapidly, and there is more traffic, congestion and smog all the time. Cyclists are a great asset to this city, yet Toronto does next to nothing to raise awareness or to offer cyclists protection. Life happens, accidents happen, but when a young life is taken tragically, I believe it is meant to have a great impact — to create change. If it doesn’t, then these deaths are all in vain.
Eden Hertzog

Cyclists make good hood art

Despite your furry-headed sense of entitlement, city roads were not made for cyclists, but for a little invention we call the automobile. If you want to play with your bicycle, go to a park, ride along a bike path and ring your little bell. Have fun – just leave the streets to people engaged in adult pursuits such as earning a living. Bicycling Luddites at play in the 21st century are destined, nay begging, to become hood ornaments. Dingaling.

Andrew Matheson

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0 thoughts on “Let Freedom Ring – Dingaling!”

  1. RL Policar says:

    Hey Andrew Matheson of Toronto. You’re a moron!

  2. Chris P. says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Andrew Matheson’s piece and I extend my gratitude for his inspiring prose. What Mr. Matheson lacks in intellect he makes up for in creativity. I especially enjoyed his use of the term Luddite.

    Luddites were originally a social movement of English workers in the 1800s who feared that changes produced by the Industrial Revolution might threaten their jobs. Luddites, probably named after a mythical leader Ned Ludd, began their movement in 1811 and often protested the aforementioned changes by destroying textile machines.

    Since then, the term Luddite has been used to describe anyone opposed to technological progress and technological change. I don’t fault Mr. Matheson for calling a cyclist a Luddite. However, I suspect that he intended to use the word as a pejorative in effort to attack those who are perceived as being uncompromisingly or unnecessarily opposed to one or more technological innovations. Perhaps he should have used a more appropriate term, Neo-luddism, often perceived as a modern movement of categorical opposition to technology. Even then however, I doubt if Mr. Matheson could have used the term correctly.

    The bicycle demonstrates the height of technological design. Even more, thousands of bicycle commuters use their two-wheeled products of the industrial revolution to access their homes; their grocery stores; their jobs and more importantly, their “adult pursuits” each day. It seems that the word “cyclist”, especially as it relates to a working commuter, would demonstrate the perfect antonym to neo-luddism. On a personal level, I often stare at a computer screen for 10 or 12 hours a day before my little toy helps to relieve a bit of stress on the way home. I even ring my little bell if the workday extends to, (though rare), 17 hours like it did last week. I thought that I contributed to the work force while I endeavored to earn a living, but I guess I’m mistaken.

    I’m not sure how things work in Toronto, but the United States heavily subsidizes transportation at both the federal and local levels. Colorado residents for example, recently approved a measure to eliminate our tax refunds so that we could spend more money on highway and state road projects. I helped approve the measure. Not only do my sales taxes help to subsidize winter plowing; highway widening; new pavement and more, they even pay for parking spaces and for the salaries of the people who enforce them. Even more, our town recently approved a 3 million dollar measure, financed by our sales and property taxes, to install a new roundabout. I helped to approve that measure as well. I would like to think that automobile owners are the only members of society who deserve a sense of entitlement to the road. I would like to think that gasoline taxes generate enough revenue to pay for traffic signals and roundabouts. Unfortunately,such ideas are simply false. I truly hope that things are different in Canada but somehow I doubt they are.

    Finally, I cannot reiterate enough my gratitude for Mr. Matheson. He confirmed as many people do, that we should continue to ride our bikes and to ring our little bells. Mr. Matheson is a grumpy person and I extend my heart to him. If nothing else, we should ride because people like Mr. Matheson can’t. Dingaling.

    Chris P.

    Telluride, Colorado

  3. Moe says:

    It is letters of morons like Andrew’s that inspire me to ride my bike even more. My bikes have given me a bigger sense of freedom that a car could ever have. In a sense Andrew is right, I do feel like a kid when I ride my bike, it is a feeling of rejuvenation and euphoria when people tell me that I’m crazy for riding 100 miles on a bicycle. I find it rather ironic that one of the best athletes of our time is a cyclist, hell, even the President of the most powerful nation of the world rides a bike. So Mr. Matheson, why don’t you connect a hose to the exhaust of your car, attach it to your window, turn on your beloved car and seat in it for about an hour.


  4. » Hood Ornaments says:

    […] a driver wanting to make hood ornaments out of cycling, click here! Permalink […]

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