Don’t Slap If You Cannot Accept One

Background Reading


John Riley says:
Friday, April 5, 2013 at 9:49 AM  (Edit)
Yes, cyclists should obey all traffic laws, but the idea that some or even most don’t is some kind of justification for not accommodating cyclists is pure BS. ALL ROAD USERS BREAK LAWS. They just tend to break different ones. Momentum is king on a bike, so cyclists resist stopping. But peds jaywalk and ignore signal lights. Motorists speed routinely. In my city, cars run 4 way stops almost as frequently as bikes. There are plenty of you tube videos of car drivers and motorcyclists behaving badly too.

Gary Fisher and Chris Kegel

Gary Fisher and Chris Kegel

John is right. He is basically complaining that I should not complain about cyclists behaving badly because “All Road Users Break Laws“. When you think about it he makes a great deal of sense. Let’s ratchet down the rhetoric. Don’t point fingers at cyclists because like pedestrians and motorists everyone is guilty. So I am promising to stop “ragging” on Urban Cyclists.

In exchange I ask that we stop “ragging” on pedestrians and motorists. It’s a simple request and should be as easily to obey for everyone else as mine will be for cyclists. Whew! I feel better already.

So We No Longer Will Slap Cars

Like cyclists, motorists do some really stupid stuff. Don Joling explains what he did the other day:

Literally. I was rolling down Interstate between New Seasons and Fred Meyer and some car came over almost putting me in the sidewalk, so I slapped the rear quarter panel just hard enough to get his attention.

I hear you brother. When cars ride past me too closely I have the same urge. But I am turning over a new leaf today. The next time yet another cyclist rides down the middle of a line of stopped cars and darts in front of mine I will refrain from racing to the next intersection and slapping him on the helmet “just hard enough to get his attention“.

And as with tonight while riding along northbound on Jefferson a very nice cyclist heading westbound on Harrison roared through the intersection (on a red light, nearly colliding with me) and scaring the crap out of me in the process before he abruptly turned north on Jefferson as well. He raced ahead to Van Buren where he sat waiting for the light. But he got impatient and took off long before the light turned green and I had every intention of pulling along side him and giving him a piece of my mind.

But I have “seen the light brother” and will henceforth stop “ragging” on cyclists, because “All Road Users Break Laws“. I can almost hear the organist playing “Just As I Am” as I walk down the sawdust trail of repentance towards wayward souls on bikes. I no longer feel the urge to slap their helmets “just hard enough to get their attention“. I have found Jesus, brother and I am healed.

My New Mantra

All Road Users Break Laws“. Like the woman taken in adultery and brought before Jesus to be stoned, I like the Pharisees will walk away because I will not be able to cast the first stone. I know that thousands of ChainLinkers will follow me into the dawning light of forgiveness of all our fellow road users. It feels good to be cleansed of rancor over people doing things that could get them killed and involving me in their mayhem, uninvited.

I have seen the light brothers and sisters.” For “All Road Users Break Laws” and complaints are like stones and should be cast only by those who have not sinned.

Our New Focus

We will all walk hand-in-hand with our fellow road users and see only the best in them for that is what we want for them to do for us. I guess this is a kinda “Golden Rule” of the “Road Users“. We will focus on sunsets, sunrises, cool bicycle paint jobs and nifty wheel sets. Gone will be the venomous tendencies to either wish cars were banned from our city streets or wish that cyclists who fail to obey street signals developed impenetrable rust in their bottom brackets. Instead of slapping helmets and car hoods we will sing Kumbaya and openly weep at the very thought of the rancor that used to fill our hearts.

Bike thieves will suddenly show remorse for their thefts and quietly return all the frames stolen in the past decade. Where wheel sets had been sold separately they will seek to replace them with an equivalent set that has been hand-built to astonishing tolerances by Buddhist wheel builders wearing leis formed of fragrant flowers while sounding chants in rapturous tones.

Car drivers will no doubt suddenly realize the beauty and simplicity of brakeless bike and build stripped down dune buggy variants that are brakeless and have very tiny but efficient motors. They will ride the streets of the city without ever suffering a loss of momentum using only their combat boots to stop them in emergency situations. Ohm… And because they seek like their bicycling brothers to maintain momentum none of them will bother to actually stop at an intersection preferring instead to treat all traffic controls as Yield signs. Ohm…

It is a glorious day. Everyone will dress up as sexy as they want on either their bikes or in their dune buggy variants and freely ride around any neighborhood without regard for their personal safety. Ohm… And should a pedestrian attempt to steal the dune buggy or knock a nearly naked cyclist to the ground in an effort to steal their bike, we will merely reflect on the fact that “All Road Users Break Laws“. And will gladly allow our fellow travelers to share the use of our conveyances knowing that in due time they will return them in better condition than when they were stolen. Ohm…