Whats with us cyclists these days? I’ll tell you. I will start my rant off by saying that I have been an avid road and mountain bike cyclist in Colorado for about 30 years. I was active in the cycle tourism industry for many years, so I think this qualifies my observations. Many cyclists are inherently elitist. There, I said it.
First off, you can’t have it both ways. You collectively say that you have the same rights as cars, but you don’t want to adhere to the same rules. You run stop lights, stop signs. You ride against the flow of traffic. You ride on the sidewalks, cut through traffic and ride three and four abreast on the roads. You ride the wrong way on a one way. You become indignant when you get a speeding ticket coming down some crazy hill. You believe you are better than non-cyclists because you are single handedly saving the planet, Tibet, the ozone layer or something.
I am all for more bike lanes. I love my road bike and would like to be able to get to more places on it safely. There are simply places I have no business riding it. I work in an industrial area and for me to try to ride my bike to and from home is at this point too risky a proposition. I do not pretend that I am impervious to being run over by a semi. Some roads are far too narrow and crowded for safe passage of cyclists and therefore we should stay off of them regardless of how wonderful we think we are.
Cycling is a great sport and I enjoy riding as much as the next guy. I love the exercise. The part I don’t subscribe to is that I am changing anything but my own frame of mind when I ride. I don’t ride to the grocery store because I am buying for more than myself, and my ice cream will be soup before I get home. I ride my bike when I want the experience of riding it.
When I am on the road riding I am not better than the cars, or the people driving those cars. I am actually more of a threat to everyone’s safety. Think about it. A car driving on a freeway at 25 miles per hour is creating a danger to others because people have to slow down and create a wide berth for that vehicle. This creates disharmony in the flow of traffic, which is proven to cause accidents. Bicycles cause the same disharmony on some roadways. I am not saying that I don’t ride my bike on roads. I am just careful at which roads I travel. Are they wide enough? Do the roads have a safe amount of room for me to travel on the side so the cars don’t need to swerve too far around me? Are the speed limits high? I ask these questions because I have concern for myself and others safety. The elitist biker has no concern for these matters, they only wish to make a statement of their own superiority.