Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Another annoyed motorist rant...

It's one of those "I ride a bicycle too, but..." kind of posts. An obviously exasperated motorist is put out that many cyclists ignore the rules of the road. Excerpts follow:

Same Road, Same Rights, not the Same Rules

The mantra of bicyclists who ride in busy areas seems to be same roads, same rules, same rights. I personally loved riding my bicycle to work for the three years it was truly amenable.

...But...I am sick of bicyclists who want their cake and plan on eating it too. For goodness sake! Same rules. That what YOU keep telling me. The hardcore bicycle brigade around here wants me to ignore a third of THEIR message. I am sick of watching near misses as the rule about stopping at a red light is ignored. One way streets? Those rules do not seem to apply, either.

...With every near miss you make me angrier that my tax dollars are funding enhancing an activity for those above the law. (ie bike paths and the such)Like smokers, some leadership by example is necessary. C'mon y'all. If part of your platform is same rules, start abiding that. I know there are responsible cyclists out there, there just has to be. Will you guys please get out there and show the rest how it is done?

...C'mon y'all, teach these yahoos same roads, same rules, same rights. Put some emphasis on rules. Or just add another R. Same responsibility. I just want what you all want.Make cyclists live by their mantra.

Madam, I feel your pain. I can't count the times I've wondered why I continue to support all those motorists with my own hard-earned tax money - money that goes overwhelmingly to build infrastructure that reinforces the dominance of motor vehicles as a transportation mode and increases our dependence on foreign oil, pollutes our air, yadda yadda yadda.

Look, let's just cut to the chase. It's ridiculous to suggest that the actions of any individual reflect on those of his peer group. It's a false generalization. If one cyclist runs a red light, all cyclists are lawbreaking fools. It's the same as saying that one speeding motorist reflects badly on all motorists. You would likely object to being characterized as a road-going menace because I encountered another motorist doing something stupidly dangerous on my daily commute, so I won't attempt to tar you with that particularly wide brush. Please, if at all possible, return the favor.

I'm an instructor with the League of American Bicyclists. We teach people how to ride safely and comfortably in traffic, and no, we don't teach them to ignore stop signs or red lights, and we never condone wrong-way riding. Chances are, you've met us 'vehicular cyclists' on the road and you didn't give us much thought, just like you don't think about the 99% of motorists who operate safely and competently on our roads. It's the fools and nutcases who get our attention, regardless of their transportation mode. The rest just slip under our radar.

But if you really want to influence people in a positive way, ride your bike. Ride it legally, observing all relevant cycling laws. Learn when it's best to share the lane and when it's better to take it for your own safety. Take a Road1 course from the League and learn to be a confident, skilled cyclist. We can change our cycling culture, but we'll do it one cyclist at a time. Trust me, when passing motorists see the same cyclist everyday on their commute, a few of them will think, "Hey! I could be doing that!"

It's all part of our plan for global domination, but failing that, I'll take a bunch of skillful cyclists on our roads instead.


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3 Comments:

Blogger Drew said...

Well said. I couldn't agree with you more.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I understand and agree with everything said here, BUT, it still irks me that each day for the past 3 years that I've ridden to and from my office, Tulsans still don't get it. Most everyday I come close to not making it to work or home. I know it's discouraged to ride the walkways, but I tell you, I feel 10x safer. Things probably won't change until one of us is flattened while riding in the street.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Fritz said...

In our "Mr Roadshow" column in the local paper, the big motorist-rant-of-the-day is about the legion of fellow motorists who fail to stop at red lights and "when are the cops going to do something about this." People are calling for $1000 fines and one guy even proposed amputating the fingers of red-light violators.

5:08 PM  

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