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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dear Fellow Cyclist,

I hate you. I really hate you. You are making life worse for all of us. Not only do you make the road more dangerous for vehicles and pedestrians, but you endanger my life and Michael's life with your ridiculous antics. Perhaps we should review some of the rules of the road together. Not that a jerk like you plans to follow rules, of course.

Rule #1: You are supposed to ride in the road, not on the sidewalk. Sidewalks are for people who are walking. The only way I will give you a free pass on this is if your bike is a tricycle or has training wheels. When you ride on the sidewalk, you can hurt pedestrians and encourage drivers to think that bikes don't belong in the road. Ride in a bike lane or bike trail if there is one; otherwise, get into the road. If you really need to be on the sidewalk or in the crosswalk, get off your bike and walk it.

Rule #2: Thanks for getting into the road. Now get over on the right side. That's where you belong. You stay on the right side of the right lane unless you need to make a left turn: in that case, you should be on the right side of the left lane. Basically, you should be on the right side of whichever lane you'd be in if you were driving a car. This means you'll have to look over your shoulder for traffic before you change lanes. You might have to wait in line to turn left, but this shouldn't be a big problem unless you're a jerk. Well, I guess that means you've got a problem, but I am not particularly sympathetic.

Rule #3: Since you're turning left, you ought to be signalling your turns. To signal a left turn, hold your left arm straight out. To signal a right turn, hold your left arm out with your fingers pointing at the sky, with your elbow bent 90 degrees. Signalling your turns shows respect for the other drivers who are sharing the road with you. If you can't turn left properly or signal your turns, get off your bike and walk it through the crosswalk.

Rule #4: Stop at stop signs and red lights. I don't think you understand how dangerous it is when you blaze right through the intersection without looking. You are not a pedestrian: you are a vehicle. When you come to a four-way stop, you should stop and wait your turn like everyone else. Then signal your turn and keep going. I can't tell you how jumpy I get at intersections, and all of the drivers around me are nervous, too. They're scared because you're such an idiot that you've trained drivers to think that cyclists can never be trusted to follow the law. I really don't understand why cyclists believe that all road rules are suspended just for them whenever they're on two wheels.

Rule #5: Wear a helmet, you moron. There is no reason not to wear a helmet. You are stupid. Actually, now that I think about it, please don't wear a helmet: our species would be better off if you didn't get a chance to reproduce. And when you crack your skull because a bus whacked you as you went through a red light, be sure to hit your head hard enough to die right away. I don't want my taxes to pay your medical bills while you're in a coma for ten years because you couldn't even die properly.


Ben Holsapple said...

Cyclists should encourage drivers to think bikes don't belong on the road. They don't. They can't keep up with traffic, they're difficult to see, uneasy to drive around, and, however idealistic you may be, they almost never follow the rules of the road when they are there. There are few things that make me more uncomfortable as a driver than driving my 2000-pound behemoth of steel and explosives 6 inches away from some kid on a bike. I would expect that the biker would feel the same way.

Torq said...

*grins* I have to say that you are really both right. Bikers can really be pretty dumb.

However, Ben, where do you propose that a biker rides his bike? If you have ever tried to bike on a sidewalk in a relatively busy town then one of the prominent things that you find on a sidewalk are walking people. Walking people have to obey certain rules and a bicycle moving at 30 miles an hour have to obey different rules.

Perhaps a better suggestion would be that if one cannot drive a car around a two foot wide (giving a couple of feet of room) obstacle they should not be driving at all!

Bikers should not be so dumb I agree, and they make me nervous while driving too. There is a really big difference between the two methods of conveyance; if a car bumps into a biker that biker is probably hospitalized (if not dead), but if a biker, being stupid, bumps into your car, you have a teeny little dent.

Just remember that you are driving a two ton death machine and there (hopefully) won't be any trouble. The biker should remember that too!

Steve & Megan said...

I was just in Victoria, where they have bike lanes on the streets and bike paths through the residential areas. I think this is the ideal situation, but until we can get all of the roads to be widened by four feet to add bike lanes, you guys in your gas-guzzling SUVs will just have to put up with bikes sharing the road.

In traffic, I can outpace a car on my bike, although I'd never suggest that it's a faster way to get around if there's no traffic.

I think most drivers wouldn't mind sharing the road if we cyclists could just get our acts together enough to follow traffic laws.