TO BE (TRAFFIC), OR NOT TO BE (TRAFFIC)
Cyclists are considered traffic only when it suits the ‘bad cyclist’ story.
I base this observation on how many people ignored me today when I had right of way. In traffic. Not just drivers, but pedestrians. And yes, they saw me coming. They ALL saw me coming. By turning away and taking the ‘out of sight out of mind’ view, they threw the onus back on me to not hit them. And I was obeying traffic laws. I was in the right. Bet your ass if we’d collided, I’d be the one hung out to dry.
No, no. I get it. If a cyclist rolls through a red, it’s: “Obey the law, you reckless cyclist!”
But if a cyclist obeys the law and signals and has lights and stops for pedestrians on crosswalks and flows with traffic and moves through the streets when lights are green, it’s: “Fuck you, you’re just on a bike. I don’t need to treat you like traffic.”
That’s fair. That’s right. That’s life. Suck it up. Yeah, stick that lemon in your mouth and suck it. Suck that sarcasm lemon until the zest makes the insides of your cheeks raw and your eyes water uncontrollably and you smell like you could be used to clean a bathroom.
I don’t know. Some days I’m very ‘oh, that’s just the way it is’ about it and I’m happy and don’t really think much about it and just do what I do. I’m extra vigilant and just happy to be out there on my bike. It’s something I love. But today?
Today it really rips my sad, dropped-stitch knitting.
The directionless and misguided hostility. The snarled lips as I wait patiently. The honking because I’m making a left turn and apparently they want me to turn across traffic and just plain… what? Die? Is that it? You want me to die?
I am no saint. Let’s just get that out there. If I’m stopped or slowing down at a red on my quiet Brooklyn sidestreets and there’s nothing coming, I go. If I see you nearing a crossing on the greenway, I’ll slow down to determine what you’re going to do, but if you don’t step onto it, imma gonna keep going. But I also often stop and let you cross. Sometimes I have to wave you through and say ‘you have right of way’. The other day, one of my kind nearly ran one of you down and I said to him, after he swore at you and powered off, ‘Dude, don’t be a dick’. And you, pedestrian, you said thank you to me. That was a good day.
Give and take, people. Give and take. But today feels like the give is all one sided and the Take is a Lie. And I just, I just…
I need to be held. By someone who loves bikes.
</end whiny unpacking of head>
In New York City, everyone is at fault.
My first response was, “Man, I want to play this video game.” (Which I then felt bad about after the text at the end.)
Also, bids on “Agressive Yield” for a band/improv team name.
I hate New York City bicyclists so much. Especially the ones who ride on the sidewalk, which I suspect is all of them.
It’s not, but those are the ones you see. That’s half the problem: there are plenty of cyclists who obey traffic laws (like me), but you never see them, because they’re not in your way or inconveniencing you. It’s your selective memory that recalls the ones that do break the law. You’re not actively looking for the cyclists that don’t break the law, you’re actively looking out for the ones that do.
When you say something like “I hate New York City bicyclists so much,” I hope you actually mean “I hate New York City bicyclists who break the law so much.” I hate them, too, because they give law-abiding cyclists like me a bad name.
wow - interesting. This is at least a little selective: Notice they didn’t point out the multiple instances of pedestrians darting out into the cross walk when they didn’t have the light, also….
these bicyclists are retarded.