You know what's been missing from the media-amplified anti-cyclist hate-fest? Religion. Thankfully, along comes the Brooklyn Paper to remind us of where the bikelash began: on the atavistic streets of Orthodox Jewish Williamsburg, where the local Hasidic community threw down the first gauntlet in the great Bike Lane Wars way back in Aught Eight. Then they vowed to block traffic "all the way to Long Island City" to protest the Kent Avenue bike lane. Now they're getting physical, one cyclist claims.

South Williamsburg school bus drivers have for some time now been pulling into the bike lane when they drop kids off to force cyclists to stop. But one cyclist, Christine Sandoval, tells Brooklyn Paper that as she was biking to work on April 15th, she was "trapped against a parked car" near Flushing Avenue. "The driver and another man grabbed my arm and masses of Hasidic people started to gather around,” says Sandoval. "I needed to flee. I was in a lot of danger." Other cyclists, according to Brooklyn Paper, have been "grumbling" about getting harassed by Hasidim as they ride on Bedford in South Williamsburg.

We spoke with local activist Leo Moskowitz, who has been involved in the bike lane debate since the beginning. He says his neighbors are fed up with inconsiderate cyclists, but he hasn't heard of any instances of physical force. "A Hasidic man is not allowed to touch any woman," Moskowitz tells us. "There's no way someone grabbed this woman's arm. Let's be realistic. And I understand cyclists feel they'll being cornered by the yellow buses. But the buses keep complaining the bikers are not following the rules. If you are driving a bus and have 55 kids, it's your responsibility to keep them safe. So my advice, basically, is to educate cyclists.

"The Greenway [on Kent Avenue] is also very dangerous because it's two ways. Do you know how many times they've knocked over small kids? The community and the people are very frustrated and they [the cyclists] don't have any feelings." Moskowitz argued that cyclists should take Kent instead of the part of Bedford where the city removed the bike lane after community pressure. Moskowitz says, "If the city is providing a Greenway for the bikers, yes you have a detour, but why not follow the rules." When we pointed out there's no rule (yet) against cycling on a street that doesn't have a bike lane, he replied:

Well, no it's not a rule. But it takes maybe an extra minute or two. Bedford Avenue is a very wide avenue, so there are a lot of schools and institutions from Flushing to Division. It's overcrowded, and a tight community with big families. So I keep asking the bikers to follow the little rules and regulations. Like waiting for school buses. Unfortunately the bikers totally ignore that. Bikers are knocking over the kids. The bikers give us the finger, they use bad language.

On Bedford Avenue by Willoughby, my father-in-law was knocked over by one of the bikers and had to go to the hospital with two or three stitches. The biker didn't even have the decency to stop! They don't have any license plates, no insurance, this happens constantly and they just bike off! So the community is very frustrated with how the bikers are taking over the streets. A year ago they put the bike lane on Flushing to reroute cyclists on Kent, but 99% of cyclists still use Bedford Avenue.

We're not sure that Moskowitz's statics are 100% kosher, but his complaints do suggest that cyclists and Hasidim are locking horns in South Williamsburg again. Clearly, we're long overdue for a topless bike ride to smooth everything over.