Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cyclist Self-Loathing



Share The Road signs piss me off. It's not that motorists don't need a reminder that cyclists have a right to their own piece of the road, but that so many cyclists see those signs as their excuse to take that extra chunk. Cyclists riding side-by-side having a conversations on sections of PCH that have shoulders barely wide enough for one cycle... WHAT THE FUCK? If you want to chat, pull off in a turnout and share gossip - I'm trying to get to work.

A buddy of mine told me about a run-in with a pack of cyclists in Santa Barbara that had me in stitches. He made a full stop at a four-way stop intersection. From his left, a group of seven or eight cyclists were approaching the intersection, obviously with no intention of even slowing. He pulled his pickup out, directly in their path, ending up with two cyclists in the bed of his beater work truck. A CHP motor officer rolled up on the scene as he was exiting his truck to examine the state of the cyclists and his Chevy. Faced with a group of very put-out cyclists and one motorist, all who agreed that the stop sign had no effect on the cyclists' behavior, the CHP officer informed them to get their bruised bodies and bent bikes home, and that they were lucky that my buddy didn't believe he needed any compensation for just one more in a series of dents in the side of the truck.

Riding a bicycle does not make any of these fucks BETTER than the guy next to them in the gas-guzzler, and I just wish they could remember that traffic laws apply on both the environmental/health high and low roads.

The next time I have the need to suddenly panic running my gravity racer down Tuna Canyon because some idiot decides that ONE WAY doesn't apply to bicycles, maybe I won't bother to miss him/her. Everybody makes noise about wanting to make STATEMENTS promoting cycling. How about promoting cycling by being a responsible rider, and not making a nuisance/hazard out of yourselves.

END OF LINE.

2 comments:

  1. Oh yeah - regarding ArtPredator's Santa Cycle Ride on Friday night in Ventura:
    A bunch of people in Santa Suits riding bikes in DECEMBER would bring positive attention to cycling and it's mass appeal. A bunch of red-clad lunatics riding through the steets in JUNE is just going to annoy and confuse people. It's only going to be fun for the riders, and isn't a social statement but a pointless stunt.

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  2. Ok, this is where we differ. I am a road cyclist who ALWAYS follows the laws of the road. I am also a driver who lives in the busiest bike city in the U.S.

    I agree that many road cyclists are snobby assholes who think laws do not apply to them. I get very frustrated here in Portland when I see a fellow rider run a light or stop sign.

    But, there are just as many asshole drivers who do not pay attention, while talking on their cell phones, putting on make-up, eating, etc...

    I have been in scary situations several times from drivers who decided to pull out in front of me or turn at the last minute without looking to see if anyone was there...in a bright green bike zone, no doubt.

    But, when I'm going down a road on my bike at 35mph, I will take the whole damn lane when no cars are present and get to the side if it is safe for me to do so.

    The reason "Share the Road" signs exist is to remind drivers that they are operating a lethal weapon and a missed stop sign could kill someone.

    If nobody is present as I slow at a stop sign and then go, I'm not hurting anyone. I'm not hurting you if I hit you in your car. We are not better than anyone else because we ride bikes. But, it is our right to ride and be safe as long as we follow laws.

    I really do think you hate cyclist, Dave. So what if you have to slow down for five seconds for someone. Get over it.

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