It's no secret that there's a bit of a Cold War brewing between bike-riding persons and car drivers.
It usually stays bottled up, left unsaid. In the mind of every cyclist, there's a score of near-miss stories; in the mind of every driver, there's a handful of stories of douchebag cyclists blowing a red light, riding on the sidewalk, or impeding a car from turning right on red (GASP!).
And every time a driver almost hits a biker, both parties are instilled with rage. And the irrational feeling washes over that all drivers, all bikers are the worst people every.
Rationally, I hope, we know that these are isolated incidents. For every memory I have of a car buzzing by me at high velocity, I have thousands more of feeling totally safe by a car that leaves at least 3 feet (as required by law).
But there are some out there go irrational and then go further.
Never mind that most of the situations don't make sense (did he mean right side when he said left?), he hysterically stereotypes and demonizes the whole lot of bikers based on the actions of a few. A totally bigoted car-ist, he assumes the supremacy of cars and drivers and is irked by the oppressed masses of cyclist asserting their rights to the road.
[Riding on the sidewalk is, however, totally immoral and deserves to be punished.]
Suffice it to say, if a cyclist pulls a bonehead move (illegal) and gets hit, it's their fault.
But if I'm stopped at a light on my bike and you can't turn right for 20 seconds, you can just wait. Though I always try to position myself so people can turn right, it's often a non-issue because there's so much cross-traffic. Think of it as if a car was ahead of you. You might be annoyed that they weren't more considerate, but you wouldn't run them over.
We are traffic and we have rights. And, just like car drivers, there are those cyclists who break the law. Let's try moving together with more mutual respect.
Filed under: Cold War