Judgment Time

I’m an incredibly judgmental and self-righteous bike commuter. Clad in my fluorescent shirt, with my various flashing lights and my ostentatious turn signal hand gestures, I have a lot of disdain not just for bad drivers but for bad cyclists. In that spirit, I offer the following suggestions to both…

1) First, for the motorists out there:

Please don’t actively try to kill me. I know that might seem like an unreasonable request, but think about it for a moment. Do you really want a death on your conscience? I’m just asking ’tis all. Some of your actions can, frankly, only be interpreted as part of an active intention to end my life. Admittedly, I tend to operate on the assumption that all drivers are homicidal, but it’s fairly clear that some really are.

For example, please don’t pass me by quietly sneaking up right behind me, honking your horn as you’re right at my back wheel, and then aggressively speeding past me at a high rate of acceleration, barely missing my handlebars. If you can avoid doing that it would make things much easier. And safer. People actually do this sort of thing.

2) For cyclists:

Wear a sodding helmet! I know, in a way, that it’s none of my business, but biking without a helmet makes you look bad. And it makes me look bad by association.

Don’t bike with headphones on. Or iPod earbud thingies. What are you, some sort of moron? There’s really no excuse for that sort of thing. How are you going to hear the motorists who rev their engines loudly after sneaking up to try to kill you?

And don’t, for the love of God, bike into traffic. What the hell?! A lot of people tend to do that. Why? Were they told that it was safer when they were five and just sort of stuck with it? Biking directly into traffic not only makes you – and, by extension, all cyclists – look like a complete bonehead. It also means that occasionally you will bike directly into me. Just stop it, okay?

On the other hand, DO smoke while cycling. People who smoke while cycling are cool, because it means that they’re biking for transportation purposes, not out of some sort of bourgeois leisure impulse.

Okay, I think that’s all the ranting I have in me today. Consider yourselves warned.

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7 Responses to Judgment Time

  1. BikeLeft says:

    I’ve been observing Boston cyclists, and I am just amazed to see cyclists not wearing helmets. I saw one late 50s/early 60s-something fellow weaving along through traffic, baskets on both sides, no helmet, tweed jacket… talk about some balance of utter stupidity & some remarkable cojones.

  2. dickumbrage says:

    and get off the fucking sidewalk, shitforbrains! i live in “america’s walking city,” and, to protect the integrity of the motto, i am prepared to clothesline a motherfucker.

  3. unsquished says:

    Somehow I neglected to mention biking on the sidewalk in this rant. Clotheslining is perfectly justified. The same goes for people who bike while wearing tweed.

  4. bgraef says:

    I’ll bike anyway I damm well please.And its usually the lycra wearing retards who insist on trying to go faster than the traffic that look so damm stupid and dont give a hoot about personal safety, not the guy in tweeds smoking a ciggy

  5. unsquished says:

    Well, if you were a member of the Tweed Cycling Club, your wearing of tweed and gentlemanly manners would preclude cycling on the pavement or into traffic…

    http://thebikeshow.net/2007/06/05/tweed-cycling-club-debut-in-the-chap-magazine/

  6. cycledork says:

    As one of those lycra-wearing retards, at least on weekends, I may pass you but I’m not trying to pass cars. When I get to the light I’m happy to accept my place in the queue. Trust me, as desperately as I don’t want to die on a bike, I can outsafety anyone, bgraef included. Stupid is a fine way to look since it may get me noticed — and not hit. If you’re wearing tweed when I pass you, I’ll commend your sartorial flair.

  7. ladymacsquish says:

    Just substitute the word “drive” for the word “bike” in bgraef’s first sentence. It’ll become instantly clear what’s wrong with his logic. Also, the tweed wasn’t really the point of the post he’s replying to (neither was the cigarette).

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