Are cyclists increasingly becoming non compos mentis? I ask this because there’s been some reaaaaallllly thick-headed trash talk this weekend about the unreasonable costs ($39) attached to riding in the annual LA County Bike Coalition River Ride — one I’ve not only done three times as a participant/LACBC member, but also this past three years I’ve volunteered my time to help with the route marking.

My obvious bias* for the ride aside, what’s really gotten my goat is people not only criticizing the ride and the LA County Bicycle Coalition for daring to charge a fee to do it, but that they are failing to grasp that the event is a primary way that nonprofit gets the funds SO THEY CAN PURSUE THEIR MISSION TO PROMOTE BICYCLING.

I’ve been pretty reasoned and quiet as this has developed, but a comment that I just read at L.A. Metblogs talks about being unable to “…justify paying money” when there are all sorts of free rides to chose from such as Midnight Ridazz, RIDE-Ard, Crank Mob, and it put me over the edge in my own counter comment:

All you cheapskate haters need to go cork the intersection of STFU & Now. It’s like crying about giving blood to the Red Cross because all you get is a fucking box of juice, some cookies and a sticker that says “I Gave Blood.” Fucking Red Cross ripoff scamsters!

What’s to justify? The river ride isn’t some novelty ride on the freeway/”Let’s go to Scoops and lay down elitefixie skids on Helio” ride. It’s the LACBC’s lead fundraising event — and a highly organized one at that. Support it and you’re helping enable one of the lead nonprofit cycling orgs in our county in their cause to promote and encourage cycling. Or don’t. Either way just try to get in that overtorqued headsets of yours that it ain’t some spur of the moment trek that they just pulled out of their saddlebags and stuck a pricetag on. GAH!

I’ll tell ya. If this kinda mentality persists and perpetuates, the only group rides I’m gonna do are organized fee-based rides because being affiliated with the velo populi is becoming increasingly frustrating.

* Further disclosure: I’ve been demeaned as an idiot by some crashers to the past couple L.A. Marathon bike tours because I willingly pay for it. Have every year since its inception and will until I can’t ride a bike anymore — and not a dime of that money goes to any nonprofit cause. Why? Because I chose to support it for the great event it is.