Urban Velo

Urban Velo Loves Hate Mail

Trying to please everyone is a lost cause; luckily I learned early on that if my work wasn’t offending someone, somewhere, it likely wasn’t really exciting anyone either. In turn, I’ve learned to love self-righteous hate mail, such as this particular gem that appears to have been actually written on a typewriter and wishes death upon Jakob Santos for showing us his middle finger in the Burro ad opposite the Editor’s Statement in Urban Velo #30. Apparently this former Urban Velo reader has never seen anything more disgusting than this man’s middle finger before—not even the mangled bikes and the tale of a hit and run drunk driver on the opposite page. The rest of us human beings have seen far more disgusting things than the middle finger, for instance the graphic death wish of this former reader for finding a photo distasteful.

Subscriptions are in fact refundable, and the check is in the mail to the writer of this letter. A small price to pay for a piece of mail that will hang on my office wall indefinitely, and has already provided an afternoon of entertainment and reassurance that people do care what we are doing.

Please send all hate mail to: Urban Velo, PO Box 9040, Pittsburgh PA 15224


  1. D~March 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Hahaha. Oh lord. I don’t know what’s more concerning, that this person took the time to write this or that they used a typewriter to do so. Maybe the reason they were so offended was that they actually still live in the 1940′s… Keep up the good work!

  2. CurtMarch 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Its unbelievable that he gets that upset over something like that, there are much worse offenses to our sensibilities, like wishing someone a violent death. That guy is an ass and I appreciate all of the good that Urban Velo has done over the years. Keep it up.

  3. scottMarch 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Bwahahah! He responded to a VISUAL fuck you with a WRITTEN fuck you….because that form of fuck you is appropriate. The next ad should just say “Fuck You” – Burro. Maybe he’ll subscribe again. Awesome!

  4. Lane KagayMarch 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    This letter came from Burro. Pretty clever!

  5. J.O.BMarch 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I assure you Burro didnt write this letter. I picked this photo bc of the middle fingers but assumed since they were upside down it meant “Have a great day.”

  6. J.O.BMarch 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Just in case you were curious, I talked to Jakob and he is alive and well.

    P.s. Fuck Yeah! Typewriters.

  7. drinkslingerMarch 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Wow. It always amazes me when people get offended by something as trivial as a middle finger(or even two) and decide the best course of action is to go off the deep end. This person’s offended by the bird, fine. Wishing “agonizing death from a gang member’s bullet” seems a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

    Keep up the great work guys!

  8. horaceunitMarch 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    OK- a little perspective here- i’m 54 years old, and commute to work 8 miles each way to try and loose weight and get in better shape (that would be a less round shape in the middle). While the middle finger is not my personal choice for expression, I can understand that it might be for those a good deal younger than I. To each his own. I can say that I use a set of Burro straps and pedals on my Trek hybrid, and they are great. So while I wouldn’t describe how much I like them by flipping the bird, it really doesn’t bother me that someone else would. It does bother me that someone would be so unhinged by it that they would wish death and pain on someone who did happen to use the bird as their personal choice of expression. That is much worse than the percieved offense, and proves the author a narcissistic maniac who should be locked in a little rubber room where he can’t injure himself, or anyone else. To urban velo, and all the entrepreneurs, and hardcore riders out there changing cycling every day, thanks for making cycling something an old fart like me can enjoy, and be a part of!

  9. Harry HugelMarch 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    He must have missed the photo spread a few issues back with the dead NYC bicycle messenger. I dig what Urban Velo puts out whether I agree with it or not. I’ll subscribe for an additional year just to help out with pissing off another person.

  10. KirkMarch 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    This rules. Hahaha.

  11. TerryMarch 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    As for myself, I think the ad is stupid. But other than that, I don’t really care.

    However, the guy in the ad doesn’t look like the bad sort to me, so I hope he lives a long, happy life. Even if he is the bad sort, I hope he reforms to the good sort and still lives a long, happy life. Well, even if he is the bad sort and remains the bad sort, as long as he isn’t screwing with other people, I still hopes he lives a long, happy life. Or even…oh, forget it…

  12. TerryMarch 15, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Oh, and if that guy who wrote the letter is really, really pissed off an refuses the refund just for spite, I’ll take the $$$.

  13. yikesbikesMarch 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Then again, he is the type of guy to use a semi-colon AND a colon in the same sentence. I think that explains a lot.

  14. Leroy JenkinsMarch 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Probably used a typewriter because he didn’t want his hate mail tracked by the codes placed in the ink pattern of his laserjet. I would add “paranoid” to the other adjectives grouped with this guy. I’d also be more upset by the people trying to run cyclists down while burning $4 per/gal gas than the gesture in the ad. Keep up the good work UV.

  15. MattMarch 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I just recently got my first hate-comment on my site, and I share your feelings. It’s really just a sense of pride more than anything else.

    Well anyway, glad you got a little treat from someone who gets offended by a digit. Maybe soon you can feature someone grabbing their own crotch and get another.

  16. IanMarch 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I think there may be another ‘sub-compact’ cabin in the woods somewhere that we need to be looking for, as Kaczynski’s long-lost brother has popped-up..

  17. RaiynMarch 16, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Haters gonna hate.

  18. BeeMarch 16, 2012 at 3:47 am

    It’s an urban thing…he wouldn’t understand.

  19. NeilMarch 16, 2012 at 4:21 am

    How bizarre? Still the ad worked as it has provoked a response. Keep banging the rocks together folks.

  20. WergraphMarch 16, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Traumatizing childhood … there are talk groups for this kind of problems

  21. scottMarch 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    young rebelion, meet old intolerance.

  22. RaiynMarch 17, 2012 at 12:05 am


  23. g-toeMarch 17, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I think the guy should watch this… and get some perspective… or at least a sense of humor…


    (oh, and wtf is with all the semi-colons? ellipses are the way to go)…

  24. Joe PeraltaMarch 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Uses a typewriter – finger averse – obviously a bad reaction to digital communication. Prozac.

  25. Alex BMarch 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

    I have no problems with the ad, but for my 2 cents, the practice of blogs publishing hate mail is getting pretty tired and lame. I get it. You don’t care he disagrees with you and that’s he’s a dick. Let’s get back to the bikes.

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