Re-Cycle that News
Back pedal: In regards to the Night and Day item for Pedal Monster Weekend, written by John Graham ["Cyclecidal Tendencies," 9/24]: Normally we would have been ecstatic about being listed in your paper, as we have been in the past in many good articles. However, this one does not honestly reflect the definition of our group.
To say we are a bunch of alcoholics and that we are only about beer is an unjust description of our club, show, and organization. We are gearheads and bike freaks who like to drink beer. We are also a professional traveling, touring bike carnival. We have been doing this for 13 years. Our shows are fun and safe and inclusive.
I think John Graham had the best intentions and was trying to be kitschy-cool. I have nothing against SF Weekly or Graham; I just wish he would have consulted us before posting this event.
I also believe had he done this, he would have gotten a more accurate picture of what Cyclecide really is, and not the fiction that was written about us.
Cyclecide Bike Rodeo
No pass for addicts: As a professor, I've had many drug-addicted students ["Higher Education," Trey Bundy, Feature, 9/17]. Their "reason" for coming to class sessions can sound noble on the surface. They may very well believe that they are trying to do something good for themselves.
Alas, most of the time it is indeed just wasting their time, since they don't often retain any information from one class to another. What is worse than this self-delusion, however, is that they waste the time of their classmates with interruptions and off-topic or previously asked questions.
I am a strong believer in access to public education, but this story points out why many of us struggle to have faith in the system.
Waiter, There's a Community in My Study
That's du-bias: The most disturbing aspect to Matt Smith's article ["A Dubious Proposition," Column, 9/10] is his complete ignorance and dismissive stance toward community-based participatory research, which is what the study incorporates into its design.
Moreover, bias exists in all research, whether it is driven by the funder or the investigators, the social or political climate, or by other reasons. Bias is not inherently bad. It usually affects the design and questions that are being asked in the survey. In the case of many vulnerable and marginalized communities, outsiders come into their community to set an agenda and list of research questions that may not be in their best interests. That Alexandra Lutnick and UCSF are supporting a study that demands sex workers have active participation in the study design and implementation should be applauded, not ridiculed.
Of course sex workers would support any measures that would "benefit" their community. Benefits such as increased physical and emotional health, less social stigma and isolation, increased social capital, and the end of being constantly policed are normal and understandable. Are you really suggesting that only outsiders be allowed to research communities and at-risk populations? Or that only government and corporate-driven studies are "unbiased" and thus should be believed and accepted without question?
Moreover, Smith's bias is obvious. It's the pot calling the kettle black in my book — or just an idiot with access to dubious press.