I'll never get it.

I posted this elsewhere, but thought it had relivance here...

I just don't understand what manner of insecurity evokes people to yell out of the window of a moving car towards a cyclist.

DNA and I were at some local bars tonight and on my way home I broke the chain on my fixie (try to avoid this if you can). For some reason, after retrieving my broken chain from Durston avenue, a drunken gentleman in the passenger side of a half-ton Chevy pickup felt the need to yell 'there's no blahblahblah in Bozeman, you Fuck'. In general, this would elicit a U lock thrown though the window from me, but on this particular night I only felt disdain tinged with ambivalence, yes I'm serious, I felt completely ambivalent.

The normal anger this act would elicit any other time just wasn't there. In that moment I went past feeling anxiety about drunken idiots driving motor vehicles to feeling far superior to those insecure enough that they feel the need to yell obscenities at people on bicycles. I don't really understand why people think driving a particular type of mechanical conveyance is reason to feel important. You bought a car? Great. That says nothing about your character, it only speaks to your credit rating. If you're not sure what the difference is between your credit rating and your worth to society, well, you prolly shouldn't be reading this blog.

I will state emphatically, at this point, that people who ride a bike to work every day do, in fact, think that people who drive everyday (you) are weak. You're not just being insecure, people on bikes feel superior to people in cars. We've tried to hide it for years, but to no avail. After enough passive-aggressive incidents, it's bound to come out. We think daily drivers are soft and pathetic, and that you have made yourselves unwitting slaves to that which makes you ripe for enslavement. Granted, that's harsh, but the world's a harsh place. Now, slowly take your foot off of the accelerator and put the power to the pedal. It'll be ok, I promise. I've done this for hundreds of miles now.

I am ambivalent to someone issuing inanity out of the window of a car because I find those who drive daily beneath my concern. So, pay four dollars for a gallon of gas America. You are weak, and soft, and you deserve to reap the reward of your slovenlyness.

C-Note

7 comments:

puddinpie said...

Word!

Capt. E said...

Word!

Anthony Fanthony said...

u-lock through the window haha.

oh also i found the nastiest old tennis court (POLO?). it has some trees growing out of the cement... ahaha. it's surrounded by a high fence.
if you want to look at it it is on babcock on the south side of the road within a few blocks west of pizza hut. i think it has a bunch of trees blocking it.

anyway, it made me laugh when i thought about playing polo there.

Anonymous said...

It's true. I’ve felt it many times on the ride to work. For better or worse.

There must have been something in the sun-soaked air today…a disturbance in the force, as:

a year-round bike commuter, recovering-racer, Campy nerd, and general lover of all things bike....I found myself in a strange place today.

I was driving (irony check #1) into town and it being a Saturday the roads were thick with bikes.

I passed without incident a group of lycra-clad types that were doing close to 25 - in a double paceline. No problemo for me...I didn't have traffic coming the other way. And, I was, admittedly slightly jealous of these folks zooming along in all their drafty goodness and my butt was locked into a car I that’s not even mine.

A few clicks down the road, as I was waiting at a stop sign and I noticed the cars behind me and the now split up paceline with a lone rider keeping pace with said autos.

Next thing I notice in the rearview mirror is the lone rider has clearly given chase to one of the cars and is proceeding to give her quite the lecture now that we are all stopped at the sign.

For whatever reason, I couldn’t believe it? What was this guy doing? I commute down this road by bike all the time and now he is - in front of several cars- telling this woman – something that from the rearview, didn’t look so nice. Oh man, now all these people are going to think this guy is me, the next time I am just trying to get to work.

Now here’s the freaky part: I put my car in park, got out and told the rider “hey man, if you guys would have just kept it single file, maybe they wouldn’t have had a problem getting around you.” I proceeded to introduce myself as a fellow rider and I didn’t think that scaring some person in a car was doing any of us any favors. He said he was just trying to “keep it friendly” and she just needed to give them a too of the horn if she needed to pass.

(Irony check #2)….did I just get out of my CAR and tell some dude on a BIKE what he should/shouldn’t being doing? Yes.

Here’s why, as best as I can figure, I saw this chap approach a woman, who was alone in her car (would he have done this to the huge red pick-up dude that strafes me each weekday right around 8:15?) and is making what look like fairly aggressive gestures towards her.

I guess I thought that his behavior just wasn’t doing anybody any good – especially other riders.

I am not sure what caused the exchange in the first place – maybe she cut them off? Did she give them the finger? Or maybe make fun of Levi Liephiemer?

Either way, it’s shaken me to the core.

To the rider: I apologize for the “advice” I offered – I couldn’t have known what the infraction was by the driver you chose to lecture; as I only saw your approach at the stop sign.

To the other drivers who witnessed the exchange: While I, as well, think of myself as superior to fuel-burning, leather-lined road users; I do try to keep it to myself and I do try to ride single file on the busy roads.

I feel sick; but I offer this confession as witness to the kooky irony the universe can toss you when you’re not looking.

Now to make it all better, I am going to get on the bike and go downtown to hand out flowers Hare Krishna-style to passing motorists.

Peace.

Singletrack Mind said...

Anon,

Well said. I think we could all do to remain as calm as possible in situations involving road rage, whatever type of vehicle we are operating. I understand the sick feeling you're experiencing, no altercation feels good, right or not.

I think the sticking point remains however, if a car hits someone on a bike, the cyclist very well may be seriously injured or even killed. Coupled with aggressiveness, any sort of altercation between a car and a bicycle is an extremely dangerous situation for the bike and a minor issue for the driver of the car.

I'm not proud of it, but I've yelled at people of all walks, types, and creeds. Regardless of whether I was in the right, I always felt bad about it afterwards. But, the simple fact remains that a person in a 3000 pound car acting in an aggressive manner towards bicycle needs to be informed in the most direct fashion that such behavior will not be tolerated. I don't think middle fingers are necessary or productive, and serious cyclists must obey the laws of the road, but at times it absolutely behooves us to stick up for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Bitchen manifesto you just posted, there. Here's someone else who agrees: http://www.riinsrants.info/bikes/ Me, I don't yell or lecture, I just try to blend in as zen-like a fashion as possible, while riding a 100 lb cargo bike that looks like it eats Dodge Chargers for a mid ride snack. They do yell now and then, and I just shake my head. Val

horn said...

i'm with you.

but, i'm now finding my usual aggressive attitude in such situations is turning to despair and depression.

why do people who drive think they are better than us? why do they think we're always to blame? why does everyone except us has right of way? and ultimately why they drive in a way that could kill us (both intentionally and through lack of attention).

i'm no car hater by the way, just an idiot hater.

that said, the angry me does come out to play, and i'm constantly amused by how someone hiding in their steel cage is all front until you stop, get off your bike and offer to discuss matters.

it's happened twice to me in the last couple of weeks... it's probably going to bite me on the arse one day... when the 7 foot wrestler climbs out of his car...

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