As some of you may or may not know Pat and I live in the grand old city of Portland. No not that one, the one in Oregon. And one thing our Oregon based city strives for is making itself bicycle friendly. In Oregon.We have many streets with separate bike lanes and numerous designated bike routes. And if you have spent any time in our city you will have noticed that every other car here has a bumper sticker on it with a silhouette of a bicyclist that says, “Share the Road”.
Typical Portland vehicle.
I understand the benefits of having people ride their bikes. It means less gasoline being burned and less pollution being put into our atmosphere. I appreciate the fact that these people are putting aside convenience and are not only making themselves healthier but are also making the environment we all share healthier.
But as a driver, I myself can’t stand these insufferable assholes. They obey no traffics rules. They weave in out of traffic between cars and if you happen to get anywhere near one them they are more than happy to scream some unpleasant advice to you. All in all they behave as if all these roads were originally built for themselves and how dare I drive my car on them.
Of course I know not all bicyclists are like this. I’m a reasonable person and understand that it’s unfair to group all bicyclist into this single asshole category based on just a few bad apples. However, I deeply hate them all.
How do you feel about them Pat?
Pat: Two things I don’t mess with, man, when it comes to the road. Public transit buses and cyclists. Not that I admire them. Far from it. As you said, they break rules, they tend towards self-righteousness, and they can be kinda’ stinky in a way that could get on you if you get too close to them. But they are not to be messed with. So I want to stop talking shit about them.
I’ve been on a cycle before (the pedal kind, not the motor kind...can we get an official wordsmith to nail down that distinction?), and tend to really enjoy it. And I’ve done all of the annoying things to which you’ve alluded. And I’ve done them with the smug self-righteousness of someone who knows that their carbon footprint is smaller than yours. But I did them all KNOWING I was being an asshole, which I think makes me better than the cyclist assholes who don’t know they’re assholes! Right?
But bus drivers, man. That’s another league altogether. Those people are not to be tampered with. Wrong them, and a whole world of shit and hurt will befall you. I have no empirical evidence of this, mind you, just a really good gut instinct. Scary people, bus drivers.
Christian: Yes I agree that bus drivers are at a whole different level. The law says that we must always yield to them and they take that very seriously. I’m pretty sure that if my car was legally parked in a parking lot and was hit by a bus it would be my fault for not getting my car out of its way.
But back to the assholes that can’t run my car off the road. The thing that bicyclists do that most annoys me is the failure to stop at stop lights or stop signs. I can’t stand it when I get stuck behind a bicyclist riding down the middle of the street at 10 MPH in a 40 MPH zone. It takes me forever to finally pass them only to have them pass me at the next stop light because they blew right through the intersection and now I’m stuck behind them again. I’m not exaggerating when I say this happens to me about 300 times a day.
Listen bucko, if you want me to share the road with you, then you need to obey the traffic laws. Can I get that put on a bumper sticker?
And by the way, the next time this happens to me I will try and think about whether or not I’m less annoyed if the biker is aware that they are being an asshole. SPOILER ALERT! I’m not going to be less annoyed.
Pat: Well, I’m proud of you for trying!
You can try the bumper sticker thing too, but unless they have wide fenders I don’t think you’re going to be able to fit it anywhere on their bikes. You could try a new kind of really narrow bumper sticker, I suppose. Or you could try to develop a bumper specifically for bikes. Hey! There’s an entrepreneurial idea!
You know what else you could do? Get next to them and play with them a little by swerving towards them just a little and then swerving back. When they look at you and flip you off or mouth “H-E-Y-F-U-C-K-E-R-!” just smile and swerve into them again. I tried it and it’s fun. Kinda’ like playing frisbee with a border collie.
Think any cyclists read our blog, or are we more of a driver’s niche blog? In any case, if there is a cycling reader out there, please know that I was only kidding, but that Christian is really the kind of car-weilding asshole who would actually do something like that.
Christian: I think we should take a step back here. I may have lost my way at some point. I started off just wanting to vent my frustration with these environmentally conscious bastards but all of sudden I had flashes of Death Race 2000.
For those not in the know Death Race 2000 was a movie that came out in 1975 starring
David Carradine whose futuristic character raced around the country in a government sponsored race running over people for points in his lizard car. It predicted the year 2000 to a tee.
Look, I don’t want to run over any bicyclists. Right now. I just want them to obey traffic laws like those of us in cars do. Is that too much to ask? If that is too much to ask, then please stop it with the whole “share the road” attitude. Because Helloooo!!! If we are sharing the road then we are also sharing that stop sign asshole.
I think I’m going to go try and calm my nerves now and watch Death Race 2000.