Smarten up

If I could take you by the ear and drag you around the block a few times, I would.  No, not YOU. YOU’RE awesome. I mean that twit. The twit who insists on driving in the bike lane.

You see, this started out as a rant about cyclists who ride on the sidewalk, cyclists who ride on the WRONG SIDE of the sidewalk, and cyclists who, in general, don’t follow traffic rules. Because that really pisses me off. You know that already, though, because you have read every single post on this bournal. But just in case you’ve forgotten about why it twists my knickers, I’ll remind you:

  1. We WALK on the sidewalk. It’s called a side WALK, not a side RIDE.
  2. When you’re driving, you can’t see cyclists who ride on the sidewalk, because you expect people on the sidewalk to be travelling at a certain speed.
  3. Folks who ride on the sidewalk are ALREADY doing it wrong, so they don’t bother to ding their dingers or ring their fantublers or tootle their horns. So if I’m WALKING on the sideWALK, and someone needs by, they just swear at me. Nice.

But. This started out being a rant about cyclists who are doing it wrong. I think I’ve expressed how much folks who do that piss me off. And make me want to carry a bunch of rebar around just to toss in their spokes.

I’m a HUGE fan of the seventeen cyclists who do it RIGHT. Who ride *with* traffic, who abide by traffic laws, who signal and wear proper equipment and who DESERVE bike lanes and who deserve my respect. THOSE folks make me HAPPY.

But. Again. Not about the cyclists who do it wrong.

Today, I saw no fewer than TEN cars toodling along in the bike lane. The bike lane that, granted, the city hasn’t bothered repainting the lines for. The bike lane that is marked with signs all along the boulevard, and with instructions on how to avoid it, during what times, and how to share the road with the cyclists who do it right.

It’s people like you, jerkfaces, who convince the cyclists who are doing it right to commence doing it wrong. And not only do you drive in the lane reserved for cyclists, you drive BADLY in that lane. I figure you probably got your driver’s permit from the bottom of a cereal box, and that’s not cool. Not cool at all. Because it means you don’t know how to merge, you don’t know what to do at controlled OR uncontrolled intersections, you don’t know what “Pedestrian crossing” means, and you couldn’t figure out a right-hand turn if your life depended on it. Because right-hand turns are so difficult to figure out.

So.

The little bike symbol with the diamond? It means “THIS IS A BIKE LANE. DRIVE OVER ON THE LEFT, YOU MORON, BECAUSE CYCLISTS NEED THE LOVIN’ TOO.”

I commend our town on creating a number of great bike lanes, and I wish they’d do more of it. And do more painting of the lines so that motorists might be able to figure it out. While in the other city this weekend, I noticed a dearth of bike lanes. One could argue that city needs *more*, not fewer.

cenobyte
cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.

3 Comments

  1. As a cyclist, I completely agree, and couldn’t disagree more. :) How’s that for a conundrum?

    I agree that all cyclists should follow the rules of the road and engage in safe cycling. I ALWAYS signal my intentions to turn, and usually do so for stopping to (emergency stops aside). I do however, ride on the sidewalk in a few locations – and do you know why? Because I have nearly been hit by cars far too far over to the edge of the street. I do not ride my bike on heavily travelled sidewalks, but there are a few locations where staying on the street is tantamount to playing russian roulette with five of the six chambers loaded. After being clipped about four times and hit twice, I have swallowed my ethics and slipped up onto the sidewalk.

    1. But you’re probably not a dick about it, and I can even see, in my mind’s eye, you *walking* your bike if there are lots of pedestrians on the sidewalk…or at the very least, *yielding* to them. Not swearing at them and spitting at them because they don’t **walk in the street** so that you can use the sidewalk for your own personal Autobahn.

      I’ve been clipped and hit while riding my bike, too, and while following all the proper traffic laws. Once, I was hit so hard, my handlebars ripped the douchebag’s rearview mirror off. Luckily, I’d leapt off the back of the bike or else I’d probably be dead. And so sure, sometimes I walk my bike on the sidewalk, if the traffic is bad. But I still don’t ride on the sidewalk.

  2. I definitely ride on the sidewalk. Sometimes, just so that I can go the wrong way on a 1-way street (even if it has a bike lane, that lane is for bikes going WITH traffic).

    HOWEVER. I am never a dick about this. I am well-aware that I am not supposed to be there, and that cycling is some strange hybrid of driving and walking that the General Populace and City Planners don’t seem to have entirely figured out yet.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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