Remember the Black Hawk, Colorado bicycling ban? Black Hawk is a big casino town. Ameristar advertises on local Denver TV all the time. Think this commercial is a jab at the cycling community?
Okay, I have some major problems with this. First off, there is some clear tension between the cycling community and Black Hawk over the ban.
I say tension, not animosity, not vitriol, not hatred. I'm sure those terms apply to some cyclists and probably a lot of the moto-fascists in Black Hawk that pushed this thing through and still vehemently support it. My personal views is that the corporate interests of the big casino money in town mandated the ban and the town fathers went along gleefully because secretly they wanted to stick their peglegs in all the cyclists' wheels.
My own feelings are hard to describe as "tense" in the matter. But overall I believe cyclists are not out in force in anger and hatred. I think there has been an effort at mutual understanding, at least on the part of the cycling community and the effort on the part of Black Hawk and the anti-cycling contingent is to hold the beachhead at all costs.
But in the current climate of tension this ad is a clear slap in the face, an escalation if you will, a jab at the lycra-clad cyclists who've taken over the roads. Fascists.
On the other hand, even though it is a fairly cartoonish representation (at least of the pirates) it does advocate violence against cyclists. I don't see anything positive in the advertisement. The pirates intentionally cause the cyclist to crash and then laugh uproariously.
Basically Ameristar is advocating violence against cyclists. I typically hate it when people make these kinds of connections. But as someone who fights for space on the road every day and who faces angry motorists that act as if they'd like to cause me harm I don't like to see this type of imagery on TV. As someone who is only inches from serious injury or mangled death each day I take deep offense to this bit.
I would say I'd boycott Ameristar for the ad, but I don't patronize casinos in the first place. The best thing I can do is to avoid spending a dime in Black Hawk for anything and to start writing a lot of people. We can't ignore this in the cycling world. Its an attack. Its media terrorism. It will incite a lot of hillbilly justice on the roadways. And I don't think I'm overreacting by saying that.