There has been a lot of talk on this show, multiple blogs, legal document and courtroom dramas, even coffee shop chats about the ongoing battle posed on the roads between cyclists and cars.
Apparently, somewhere between getting home from work and pulling on the chamois, a genetic alteration takes place plunging the wearer into some altered state of consciousness that, depending on which side of the steering wheel you are on, is either a hippie know it all, jack hole, or a brain dead redneck preparing for a heart attack. Either way, when the bike is on the road, the battle begins.
I am tired.
I am tired of hearing about car versus bicycle moments on the road, that inevitably finish with a moment of silence or roadside tribute. I am tired of screaming the rules of the road, that apparently have multiple meanings, again, depending on your stance in the altercation. I am tired of flying 40’s, burgers, Marolboros, and words that would make a sailor blush.
So here’s my thought. Chances are, if you are listening to this show, you spend time on a bicycle. In traffic. With sponsors that have PAID to place their logo on your clothing in a prominent area TO BE SEEN. Heck even if that isn’t the case, you, wether you like it or not, have a responsibility to represent all cyclists, from the critical mass fixie with no brakes and a hoop earring to the elitist on a trek that costs more than most people make in six months. You are one of us. So don’t screw it up. I want to get home from a ride in one piece, see my family, and tell them about how my legs cramped up a bit less than last time. I want to go to my kid’s games, races, or performances. I want to grow old as a cyclist.
The thought is this: Be nice. (Taken from the book of Dalton) A car cuts you off, I want you to wave and smile. A fixie flips you the bird in an intersection because he couldn’t stop (duh), I want you to wave and smile. A truck with a confederate flag flying calls you something that actually has more syllables than the driver has likely used in the entire week, I want you to shrug your shoulders. Hit in the head with a 40, grab the bottle, and pour some out for your homies.
Getting mad back will simply perpetuate the behavior. Getting hit by a car will simply hurt, or kill you.
Develop a sixth sense.
KNOW that the car likely either can’t see you, or doesn’t care. KNOW that the cyclist may be sporting headphones (dumb idea) or have a brain caked with bong resin or EPO.
Adjust your thinking, take a breath, and get home to tell another tale.
I’ll shut up now.