Wednesday, October 22, 2008

For What It's Worth

I'm telling ya right now kiddies you better fasten your seat belt because this is going to be a bumpy ride. If you hate it when I spout off about travails of being a cyclist in this part of the world, I am giving you a guilt free pass, to change the channel. You will not hear one ounce of rebuke from me. Go ahead I'll give you a minute to switch over to Jill or Bike Snob.

Here's the quick breakdown of why I am fuming. In the past two weeks I have been splayed on the pavement by a guy walking against a light. I had a group of subhumans, open a car door intentionally on me. I was lectured by a guy (with his dog off the leash on Fern) for going too fast. I am not even going to delve into all the stink eye/no replies, I get on Tom Brown and surrounding trails, when I say "hi" to all the "other" users. I guess today I am a little sick of being part of the most hated minority on wheels. I get a little tired of following rules and still getting treated as though I have no rights anywhere on a bike. Tonight on my solo ride I was: flipped off, cussed at, and swerved at, by some fat F%$# in an S.U.V. who hasn't exercised since the Nixon administration.

Now you would think that I would spend the rest of this blog telling you the sorted details and putting a funny spin on it, but you might as well get your money back right now, cause it ain't going to happen. Instead I want to relay one message to all my brothers and sisters, because I know if you are still reading this you must be a dyed in the wool cyclist or at least a sympathiser. Don't bother trying to educate non riders. Don't bother telling anyone (other than cyclist) your stories. Don't expect anyone to be sympathetic to anything that happens to you, on the road or trail, because the reality is this: They think we are idiots for being out there. To them, we are all over zealous tree hugging, lost cause collectors, that have nothing better to do than get fired up about an issue they see as petty and boring. If they do listen to you beware: it's only so they can tell you a story of an asshole cyclist, they encountered on their ten minute commute.

I am through trying to talk any sense into anyone about this subject. I am also through accepting any responsibility for my part in it, to appear objective. I have tried to see all sides. I have been obeying the traffic laws like Sergeant Friday. All to no avail. I am of the opinion that Gandhi himself would resort to murder if he had to ride in this city for more than a week or two.

Just once in my life I would like to see one of these F#^*'s, get a ticket. Then I could mail off my money to the IRS with a smile. But lets face it...It's not going to happen and we should all stop expecting a good result in this debate. National, state and local government does not give a shit about us or the airways would be littered with P.S.A.'s on the subject. In the very least there ought to be a section of the drivers license test on cycling rights and laws. Don't hold your breathe though, because it is never going to happen. There is no money in it for the stooges, and there are a lot more of them than there is ever going to be of us. We will NEVER have the lobby power, as a group, to change this shit. Get out your spoons kids, cause if you are going to ride a bike, you are going to eat shit.

Bon Appitit!

Thanks for listening.



BIG JIM S. said...

So, you had a good ride?

juancho said...

I wish you had been with us a couple years ago when two guys passed my un-identifed compatriot on the parwkay and shouted M@#$FU%K#!@R in his ear for funsies. He caught them at the Blairstone light unawares and punched the passenger in the face, then rode off clean.

Riding bikes is punk rock, don't let anyone tell you different.

*Please see disclaimer on my site about me being a liar if anyone intends to use this in any official capacity.

reverend dick said...

You are right. Ride however you need to to get through.

People who only drive do not understand the danger a several thousand pound sharp edged vehicle presents to a cyclist. And they don't care. They're accustomed to treating other dehumanized metal cages with rudeness and "teaching" other road users lessons about imagined transgressions by any aggressive and petty means that occur to them in their entitled haze of righteousness.

There's a lot of internet bullshi_ about being a role model and representing cyclists well so motorists don't take out their aggressions (due for example, to you running a stop sign or similar). That's ridiculous. Look out for yourself, because cars won't.

Magnum said...

I kept a sharpie on my handlebars and wrote down tags that swerved, hit me with things, etc.
It only happened once that a cop called me back concerning one of the reports, I made a statement, and he said a reckless driving ticket could be issued; I don't know if it ever was.
Call them often and they'll get the point.

OR, you can do as my friend "D" did once, he threw his bike down and belly flopped onto the hood of the car screaming-it was hilarious and frightening at the same time- I don't recommend it; you'd have to know "D", he's been tore up by cars bad.

nicol said...

It's like they only see an annoying bike, but not the person on the bike. Especially the ones like the guy in the SUV who swerved at you. That's just crazy.


Magnum said...

next week is commuter week meaning: state workers on bikes and buses. There's an event on Friday midmorning getting as many as possible to ride around downtown streets.
I signed up to win a new bike-I think it'll be a sweet Titus!

Anonymous said...

Scott Simms email:

sasquatch said...

So can we at least forget the idea that obeying traffic laws is going to help?

Of course you don't want to run a red light if a car is coming or break a law that actively inconveniences or even confuses a driver, but hey, it's a bike. I'm not stopping for a red light just to say I act exactly like a car. I don't get the respect of a car, so I'll take it out in freedom of movement on the paved trails.

Steve said...

Word. Cheers, my brother, and all the best to us, the minority.