Thursday, April 26, 2012

An Open Letter to Cyclists by Alex Snider

My Fellow Cyclists,

It's that time of year again when we will once again be riding our evil, law-flouting, rage-inducing machines en masse, tearing up the pavement to the horror of small children, the elderly and hapless motorists. Before you ready for the season by greasing your chains with the blood of the innocent, here are a few things to remember:

  • We are a monolith. One asshole cyclist = all cyclists are assholes. It's pretty simple math if you don't think about it.

  • ALL road rules must be followed by ALL cyclists to ensure our safety in the vicinity of motorists. 

  • There is a war on cars and leading the charge, pedalling furiously, are cyclists. Cars: the two tonne David to our lightweight, environmentally friendly, healthy alternative Goliath. 

  • Cyclists will continue to be demonized and bear the brunt of the responsibility for the strained relationships between the various transportation classes.

  • We must earn respect from motorists. We must earn our safety. The onus is on us.

In short, thinking about callously and horrifically breezing through a stop sign at midnight with no other vehicles or pedestrians in sight? We will ALL suffer or at least when cyclists get into accidents and are injured non-cyclists will cluck their tongues and say, well weren't we asking for it just a little? Op-Eds will be printed about the Linda Blair-esque cyclists, calls will be made for great culls, people will beg for someone to please think of the children. And what can we do? Absolutely fucking nothing. 

The asshole cyclists, much like their asshole buddies who drive cars, will continue to be assholes. The rest of us will continue making the call of which antiquated, non-bike friendly law to follow to the T and which to tweak. Motorists will continue getting a free pass when they door us, when they cut us off, when they graze us, when they simply don't look for bikes and hit us with their cars. 

So get on your bike, ride carefully and thoughtfully. Follow the rules (mostly) and keep yourselves safe. Just don't expect anything but disdain from your fellow non-cyclist citizens (and sometimes from even your fellow cyclists).

Good luck.

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