June 16, 2003


Why are peaceniks unable to accomplish even simple tasks without ending up in trouble?

A professor's plans to bicycle 1,300 miles to promote world peace derailed in North Charleston on Friday after, authorities say, he tried to get a driver's license with a bogus Social Security card.

Luis Rodriguez, a 52-year-old English professor from Cuernavaca, Mexico, said he was only a week into his planned ride from Miami to New York when he became scared of sharing the roads with Charleston's aggressive drivers.

Rodriguez said he decided to get a South Carolina driver's license so he could rent a car and haul his Trek bicycle to a safer environment. The problem was, he tried to use a phony document to accomplish his goal, authorities said.

"I have a clean, clean record. I have never done anything wrong in my life," Rodriguez said, his eyes brimming as he sat in a jail interview room late Friday afternoon. "I just felt very unsafe riding here. People have no respect for bicycle riders

Posted by Tim Blair at June 16, 2003 12:09 AM

I grew up in Charleston, and it's not that the drivers are particularly aggressive; it's that the roads were laid out at the turn of the century - the 18th century, as it happens - and they don't exactly lend themselves to blissful, easy commuting. The suburb of North Charleston is nominally newer but no easier to navigate.

Posted by: CGHill at June 16, 2003 at 12:20 AM

Is this a true story, or a sequel to What About Bob?

Posted by: Bill Herbert at June 16, 2003 at 12:51 AM

I thought that a bogus Social Security card and a Social Security card were the same thing.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at June 16, 2003 at 12:57 AM

It appears that dipzoid arrogant professors are a world-wide phenomenon, now!

Posted by: MommaBear at June 16, 2003 at 01:12 AM

Geeze, someone post bail and send him back to Mexico already.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 16, 2003 at 01:39 AM

"when he became scared of sharing the roads with Charleston's aggressive drivers."

This man has obviously never attempted a bike ride in Manhattan. As a resident of Charleston, and a driver with time on roads in Florida, Atlanta, and all along the eastern seaboard, I can assure you that we Charlestonians are of average aggression among American drivers. Mr. Rodriguez is safer in the Charleston jail than he'd be on NYCís Broadway.

Indeed, South Carolina drivers (and roads) demonstrate little Ďrespectí for bike-riders, and even less for people who attempt to obtain fraudulent identification papers.

Posted by: Ellie at June 16, 2003 at 01:58 AM

Please forgive the Perfesser. He doesn't realize that carry fake documents and not being able to buy one's way out of jail is not normal here.....as it is in his own country.

Posted by: Wallace at June 16, 2003 at 03:39 AM


Posted by: D2D at June 16, 2003 at 04:16 AM

Americans have plenty of respect for bicycle drivers. Its just that the secret neoconservative cabal tipped off South Carolinians that a member of the heroic underground resistence would be riding one in their fascist state.

Posted by: Agent X at June 16, 2003 at 07:32 AM

Ummm, I think using a forged document to obtain a driver's license is, in fact, one of those "wrong" thingies. Though maybe he meant "I [had] never done anything wrong in my life." He's only an english professor though, so the mistake is understandable.

Posted by: Robin Goodfellow at June 16, 2003 at 08:47 AM

Heh heh... bullshit.

It's more likely that he made it that far before getting tired of pedaling everywhere (probably ran into a typical South Carolina day... 100 degree (F) heat, 100 percent humidity) and gave it up.

But he couldn't call it quits, or he would have to answer to his investors... so he decided to rent a car, drive most of the rest of the way, and then pedal in the last few miles. Not only would he avoid heat stroke, but he would be admired for beating Lance Armstrong's top speed.

Apparently, the cops in SC weren't as willing to look the other way as his leftist buddies, and he got busted big time.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at June 16, 2003 at 02:20 PM

Lucky he didn't make it to Australia: otherwise, they'd be scraping him off the bull-bar, along with the roos and cane toads.

Every re-blooded Aussie driver hates cyclists (especially peacenik ones)and regards them as fair game.

Posted by: Rob at June 16, 2003 at 02:34 PM

It's a shame the vicious traffic of a 300 year old Southern town did him in before he could get to his goal, that Kingdom of Courteous Drivers .... Manhattan.

Posted by: PhotoDude at June 16, 2003 at 04:32 PM

What a pity he didn't make it to North Korea. They'd have eaten the bike as well. Bicycle Bulgolgi anyone?

Posted by: Fred at June 16, 2003 at 05:59 PM

Pffft. What a Nancy boy. "Aggressive Charleston drivers?" Give me a break. People in Charleston drive like they're afraid their tires will fall off if they get over 40 mph.

You want to see aggressive, Prof, spend some time in Atlanta. You get under 80 down here, you're run off the road. And that yellow light? If you see one in front of you and don't floor it, you're going to get a new rear end courtesy of the guy behind you...

Posted by: Will Collier at June 16, 2003 at 11:02 PM

Try riding in Boston, Luis!

Keep the rookies off the road.

Posted by: Roger Bournival at June 17, 2003 at 01:19 AM

Chicago Road Hockey.

Count your blessings, Prof.

Posted by: mojo at June 17, 2003 at 03:17 AM

I think lefties canít organize because they are inculcated with the idea that someone out there will help them. As a rightie, I have the idea that I am responsible for whatever I do and it is up to me to plan for an event.

Posted by: Julia at June 17, 2003 at 05:26 AM

What a dumb weenie. Hate to think what might have happened if he had run out of money instead of guts -- he probably would have stolen a gun and robbed a convenience store.

Posted by: Harry at June 17, 2003 at 02:54 PM