I’m not sure what the correct term is anymore… Bikers or Cyclists. But, I do know that I’m seeing some crazy stuff in the cyclist community, and it’s getting bikers further and further from what they want, which is a more bike-friendly world.
There’s a real political tug-o-war going on with cyclists-versus-, well…. everyone else, it seems! In fact, many (bikers/cyclists) are making them look like a suppressed minority group, the way they act and talk. And, that sucks really, because they need to be joining forces with cars, pedestrians, city officials, cops, etc. if they want to share the road. And by “they” I also include me, since I’m on a bike too.
You can’t “share” when you’re “dividing”, it’s just not a working model. And, with all the hate comments and defensive positions being taken every time an indifference comes up, well… it’s just bad for the future of “sharing” the road together.
Let’s talk about SECRETS for a minute…
It’s no secret that bikes are slower than cars. Car-drivers often have road-rage just because CARS are driving too slow. So, no doubt, a cyclist in the middle of the road can piss a driver off. That’s no secret!
It’s no secret that cars crashing into bikes will most-likely take your life, or hospitalize you. So, through the mother-nature-act-of-God-science-or-whatever-you-use-to-realize-this… (as a biker) you better come to terms with the mind-set that cars just cannot see you, because once your mind-set is on “equal rights”, you’re riding at a much greater risk than bikers who live in reality.
I make a point to put efforts into bringing bikes and cars together on the road by trying to remember to NOT show my road rage when a car cuts me off, or doesn’t see me. Trust me, it’s hard to not raise a finger or a voice at them for nearly taking my life, but that’s just it, I’m riding in a world where 99 out of 100 transporting vehicles around me have the ability to take my life much easier than I have the ability to take theirs. Me not accepting that will most likely either get me killed from either ignoring it, or challenging it in a way of revenge.
Don’t waste your breath or blood-pressure talking about “how cars should be looking at all times”, because they won’t, the same way you don’t hold 100% to perfection on the road – simple as that! That attitude and complaint won’t change accidents, and it won’t change the size/weight ratio in that accident. Game over. You lose!
What will change accidents is “figuring out how-to” so we can actually share the road.
A cyclist just died here in Austin because she got a flat tire and lost control. THIS HAPPENS TO CARS ALL THE TIME! The difference is – in the environment in which it happens. The same way a cyclist in a bike race that eats it along side all the other cyclists. There’s a big difference in the outcome and chances or survival when you’re a cyclist among a cyclist accident, versus a cyclist among a car accident. That will never change.
But, I’m seeing a bunch of cyclists posting nasty comments about this accident, and taking a one-track-defensive “victim” attitude. And, this is a common occurrence.
So, Bikers, Cyclists, and Car-drivers, instead of arguing about who belongs where, let’s work on getting us to where we belong… in a shared-road-eco-system. This comes from joining forces to ask each other questions about what type of road conditions each commuter (bike or car) needs in order to be happy. This comes from surveys, and ongoing research. But never will it come from bashing the other person’s existence. I mean really, if you can’t handle co-existence, then take your a$$ out to the country and retire! The city-life just ain’t for you. You’re only making your life worse every time you refuse to seek a solution, or refuse to accept the fact that problems, accidents, and situations outside of the norm WILL ARISE!
Cycling is a way of life for many people. It’s a way to exercise, commute to and from work, get competitive, burn off stress, look sexy, feel like Kevin Bacon in the 80′s, have an adrenaline rush, get some fresh air, reduce your carbon footprint, reduce your expenses and fuel consumption, and probably a ton of other great reasons to ride. So, if you’re a car-driver, it’s time to start accepting biker’s need for speed… or exercise… (or any of the above), and start contributing to the plan to safely co-exist. I mean, really, you don’t want blood on your hands from an accident either, right? Can you imagine if a biker fell in front of you and you accidentally hit that person? I already don’t get enough sleep as is… I can’t imagine.