Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

16 March 2009

Caught! In the midst of a self destructive rage spiral...

Someone is wrong on the internet!

from xkcd.com

You have by now seen lots of blog write-ups about how to behave in traffic. Too _ucking many. And they all share the same conceit- that "cagers" actually pay attention to what you are doing. Leaving aside for now the bullshi_ name-calling from internet bike riders posing as self sufficient heroes who never use a car nor have any use for motorized transport of any kind, this is wack. As has been pointed out by Fxdwhl- to any passing motorist, a cyclist is either a kook forgotten as soon as passed or "that guy" (the one who lost his license due to DWI) forgotten as soon as passed. Full stop.

When I read some (I'll be generous) enthusiast write something about how they are going to ride and "smile all the time, so the 'cagers' will see how happy I am to be riding" and that will change the minds of the motorists and convince them to give cyclists 3 feet of space and drive right to the recycling plant to ditch their car for good, and probably plant a garden too...it makes me hotter than global warming caused by all of you/not me.

Oh, for the love of ___________.

Either just ride your bike, or don't. That's all there is to it. You are not an "example" or an "early adaptor" or anything else catchy...you are some kook on a bike. Just ride.

I lik to ride, and that's why I'm doing it. Some days I can commute, some days I can haul some stuff, some days I can zip around in fancy pants, some days go camping by bike. It's pretty much all fun- lucky for me. At no time am I an example, nor do I expect to be. If there is a red light and it's clear, I'm running that bitch. No waiting so as to maintain cyclists position as legitimate vehicles, etc. If the street is one way and I want to go the other (and it is not suicidal to do so) I am riding the wrong damn way. I try and ride predictably in traffic for the sole reason that cars outweigh me and I will lose in any confrontation- it's common sense. I don't expect them to be careful around me, and I ride to reflect that. I'll take the dirt option if there is one. I also don't expect special treatment. I paid my nickel...

That's the world, cyclists. Shut the fuck up and ride in it.


Well, there is always this:

24 comments:

Andrew said...

amen.

also, blowing red lights is fun. riding is fun. way more fun than driving.

Gunnar Berg said...

The snow melted suddenly here, just vanished, and the streets are rivulets of mud and water. Not to worry, I was out in it, playing... splashing about, with my pretty fendered bike - happy and dry. The young wannabe racer boys passed me by, with mud stripes up their backs...envious of my slow dry comfort I suspect, although they would never admit it. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

WERD MUTHAFUCKA!

Fxdwhl said...

everyone is someones elses asshole on the road. I pedal for selfish reasons; enjoyment. my actions don't change the minds of others. want more riders on the road? hassle your buddies who have bikes already but only use them for recreation. bikes can be more than gold clubs.

Fxdwhl said...

make that GOLF, not gold. this damn iPhone is both a blessing and curse.

Anonymous said...

I'm in it for the fancy pants riding mainly.

Juancho

Freewheel said...

On some of these nice spring days around here, when everyone and their mother seems to be out for a bike ride, I can't help thinking that there are too many damn cyclists. I'm no longer a kook when everyone is doing it.

Freewheel said...

In an emergency situation, when you're lost deep in the woods with no hope of finding your way out, you can use a piece of bark to open your beer.

Little_Jewford said...

thats a lot of yipping for someone who is shuttin up....

Tom said...

Brimstone aplenty at the Church of Rugged Individualism!

Entrenched curmudgeon or relentless cheerspreader? Either side's complaint can be summed up as, "Other People are Impeding My Good Time, and I'm Sick Of It." All that's different is the manner in which that complaint is uttered: grating diatribe or flipped bird. Both fall embarassingly short of making you feel better.

Yes you are someone's asshole; yes you are an example; yes your actions change the minds of others. Whether you like it or not! Whether you want to be or not! Why? Because people love stereotypes, and will cling to them in the face of all reason.

My testimony, Reverend, is this: forgetting my humanity is what gets me into the shit with people. The catch-22 is that forgetting my humanity is what I love about being in the saddle. That probably goes a long way to explain the popularity of cars as well, and horses for that matter.

So when I can, I play nice. Say thanks. Make eye contact. Wave friendly. Smile. Forgive. Then I run the red. Golden Rule.

reverend dick said...

Nope.There are more than 2 sides to this, and the complaint that someone is impeding me is a fact of living around other people that I try not to take personally, as it's just the way of the world; something to be lived with, like riding in the rain or sand. I don't get fired up and want to legislate the sand and rain away- that would be foolish. I avoid them when I can, or use equipment to mitigate them if I can't.

Either ride or don't. That is it.

IF (and it's a big effing if) other people pay attention they can draw their own conclusions and they're welcome to them. In NO Way however is my mindset in riding to BE something other than riding. However it flows is how it flows, though I'll try to influence it by riding more in some places and less so in in others.

What makes me feel better is riding my bike.

The popularity of cars is rooted in ease of use. That's it.

It's shut-up AND ride. Not just shut up.

Gunnar, goodness and mercy are just trying to save 30% of their energy and stay dry to boot. Plus, they are kooks.

There's a lot to be said for fancy pants. What can I say? The ladies lik them.

I chipped my tooth once trying to open a beer that way, so I'll take all the tips I can get.

Gunnar Berg said...

Goodness and mercy? Sorry. What I meant to say was that the blues are fallin' down like hail, fallin" down like hail, and there's a hell-hound on my trail. Surely a hell-hound will follow me all the days of my life.

Tom said...

NO WAY can the popularity of cars -- or any other society-shaping technology -- be reduced to "ease of use." They are not easy to use. They are heavy machinery with nice upholstery. They require lots of learning. They are crashed all the time and require loads of expensive maintenance. It's like saying guns are popular because they're easy to use.

No, cars are popular because they make one more powerful than he ought to be, and this is where the humanity is shed. What's worth, we have the notion that we're -entitled- to shed that humanity when we get behind the wheel. And that culture bleeds into cycling, unfortunately.

Shut up and ride? Why not let the complainers exercise their freedom to complain? Isn't that what made America great? 'Cause it sure as hail warn't cowboys.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

See Rev? All you gotta do is rant a lil' and the comments go throgh the roof!

Gunnar Berg said...

I like cars because they are warm in winter and dry in summer.

Fxdwhl said...

i think the day may come where cars are as popular as fixed gears. call me crazy bit I think it'll happen.

Tom said...

I saw the cartoon at the top and took it as a suggestion. Sweet Jebus, I'd be safer if I'd just shut up and ride!

(For astute readers, the timestamp tells the whole story.)

Cheers!

Jonny Hamachi said...

There is no external enemy.

Only external beer.

reverend dick said...

Tom, there's a world of difference in intent with cars and guns. Come on.

And it is the convenience and comfort of cars that have put them everywhere. I see your point about the dehumanizing effect of being the driver, but it is an unfortunate side effect of being surrounded by protective metal, not the motivation to obtain a Greater Authority.I fail to see where the bleed over into cycling is. Perhaps you are referring to my mouthing off about running red lights, etc. That my be seen as a sense of entitlement, I'll grant you, but it feels to me like reasonable behavior given the set of circumstances; i.e. a traffic system not set up to accommodate me (I can't trigger light changes as I'm too light/lack an alternator, many drivers do not recognize me as having a legitimate right to use the road and plenty of them are aggressive about it, in the event of a crash I am the loser every time, there's no safety save in avoidance and alternate use, etc.

Guns are popular because it is fun to explode stuff.

The complainers can complain all they want, I just wish they'd cut it out and ride, because there is little point to it. Reasoned discourse is what made this country great, along with corn liqour, pretty women and kickass mountain biking.

Good point, Senor Hamachi. We should all internalize the struggle.

Gunnar Berg said...

Cycling is like church. Many attend, but few understand.

Little_Jewford said...

If understanding is the prerequisite for a grad shift to cycling or other non-individual based fossil fuel transportation then we are fucked. I dont want people to love the bike, the bus, the train, the carpool or even the tele-commute I just want them to use those options....bring on the transportation alternative lemmings!

Tom said...

Rev -- it's not cars vs guns with respect to intent, but to effect. A small man, hand on wheel or finger on trigger, becomes a big man. The technology itself is neutral. It's people that kill people is my point. The responsibility is with all of us.

I'm rapidly coming around to your "shut up and ride" position -- I'd take direct experience over evangelism any day.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone missed the whole point: The dude didn't even open the beer with the paper. He cheated. There at the end, you can see it and hear it.

reverend dick said...

You think so? I'm convinced. The theory is sound. I would experiment myself, but cheap beers come in cans...