A Paved Utopia



So there's this article that's been circulating about a guy that got sentenced to five years in prison for assaulting some cyclists with is car out in California. (Here's the link.) And like any cyclist might react, I conjured up all these images of d-bags (short for doody bags) that cut me off, honk, yell insults out their car windows, or make a variety of other gestures in an attempt to suck the fun out of cycling. But there is another side to this - the doody bag's side. To drivers, we are the d-bags for running red lights when there's openings in traffic, weaving through cars that are stopped at lights, and sometimes holding up traffic on larger roads by riding in large packs.

As a cyclist that doesn't even own a car, I'm inclined to side with the cyclists in the battle for the road. Both parties bend the rules of the road a bit when it comes to dealing with each other, but the drivers that honk and cut of cyclists are endangering the lives of others, whereas the actions of cyclists can be more likened to those of j-walking pedestrians. But despite my bias, the reality is that this battle is not ALL cyclists vs. ALL drivers, just a select few from each party.



For those jag-weed drivers out there: CHILL OUT! I'm truly sorry for the fact that on average you arrive at your destination 30 seconds later because you got caught behind cyclist for a half a mile. Clearly your time is more important because you can afford to buy a car and the stupid commuter cyclist riding in the rain in front of you cannot. Whatever your beef is with the cyclist in question, I'm sure you can get over it simply by thinking about how much better of a person you are. And as you are such a better person, surely you have the self control to restrain from honking, swerving, or shouting all sorts of profanity at the window. As a better person I'm also sure you know that such lowly behavior could result in the startling and possible crashing of a cyclist in the path of your front tires.



For those cocky commuter cyclists: HUMBLE YOURSELVES for cryin' out loud. Despite your trendy messenger bag, super tight jeans, and short-brimmed cycling hat, you're not that cool. You don't even own a car. I can sympathize with your need to ride through red lights when the coast is clear, and even to weave your way through cars when traffic is bad, but like I said you're not that cool - so NO ONE is impressed when you ride through traffic with no hands, when you buzz old ladies in the cross walk, or when you do your fancy track stand in the middle of an intersection.

And lastly, for those elitist competitive cyclists: The road is not just YOUR playground, it serves purpose for everyone. You know those signs that say "share the road," guess what - they're not just for cars! So next time you're riding 3 or 4 wide flippin' off cars that honk as they go by, get over it and consolidate.

For everyone else - I know you don't believe that any of these stereotypes apply to you, and that you are solely the victim to enraged drivers and cocky cyclists. But hey, if they take the first punch - who says that you have to hit back? If you don't think you fit into any of these categories, then you probably think you're better than all of them - in which case you should have no problem growing up and holding your tongue, or at least handling a situation in a mature manner. FYI throwing up the middle finger would NOT be the mature thing to do (Gered), nor would honking (Dad), nor would cutting off a cyclist and sending them through your rear windshield (crazy Californian convict). I know that sounds crazy, but clearly that's where this feud is headed.

Imagine a road of mutual respect if you will - wouldn't it just make driving and riding that much more pleasant?




3 comments:

  1. When it comes to cyclists i am one of those courteous drivers who believe that cyclist have a right to the road as much as drivers do. I realize that should I (God Forbid) ever even touch a cyclist with my car he/she would go flying and get seriously hurt. I also like to take a look at the cyclist as I go slowly by him just to check out and see if it's someone i know (who knows maybe it's Brett taking a ride down to Jersey to visit his Momma:-). However i am wondering what inspired you to write this post, have you been flipped the bird lately?

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  2. It was the article about the guy in California that prompted this entry... and maybe a little bit... all those d-bags that honk at my when I go out for my rides. It hardly ever happens in Jersey, maybe I SHOULD take a ride down there. :-)

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  3. I'm waaaay too busy texting to care whether the bicyclist is flipping me off while he goes over my roof.

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