Another Lame and Indeed Canned Response Is, ‘So Sad’

Background Reading


Sun-Times file photo

Sun-Times file photo


I am tired of reading about fellow cyclists who manage to run red lights and pay the ‘ultimate price‘. But we are in an age when instead of finding ways to keep people off of heroin spiked with fentanyl we instead are ordering more narcan doses to help revive the near deaths that have plagued our cities. This is a sure sign that we have become a permissive society in which we act more like ‘enabler‘ than as ‘protectors‘. I guess we can thank the permissive Dutch for the import of their hard core drug attitudes as well as their ideas regarding ‘bike lanes‘. On these two issues they are batting .500.

But the problem is that we have upped the ante by proclaiming that our mission is Vision Zero. That is a tall order because it means that you have to bat .1000 or you fail. So it seems to me that the last thing you want to say with regards to another cyclist losing their lives because they ran a red light is ‘so sad‘.

I would much rather a response akin to the #BlackLivesMatter. We need as cyclists to get fed up with business as usual. We need to stop the ‘batshit‘ talk and quash the mentality that has us fighting to keep laws off the books that require helmets while holding fundraisers for the Urban Cycling Movement that disallow riders who fail to use a helmet.

This is a bit like trying to fight alcoholism with an ‘open bar‘ fundraiser gathering. We need to develop a stance that is more like that used by sponsors in the Alcoholics Anonymous world than the one we use now.

Nobody Deserves A Participant Award

You may have seen the commercial where the undefeated team winner get a ‘Participant‘ trophy rather than one that says ‘Champion‘. Well issuing a ‘so sad‘ comment to the death of a cyclist who runs a ‘red light‘ is a bit like patting a relapsed addict on the butt and saying ‘nice try‘.

We are in essence a movement that is full of ‘bullshit‘ excuses for never being able to do what is right and lots of ‘batshit‘ crazy reasons to keep up the same behavior. We are a group that wants to crucify every driver who parks in the bike lane because it supposedly forces us to ‘swerve into the traffic lane‘ but has nothing but a fucking ‘so sad‘ to offer when we deliberately into across a busy intersection against the light and get killed.

Urban Cyclist "Idaho Stop" Two-Step Variation

Urban Cyclist “Idaho Stop” Two-Step Variation

We are a movement who reserves more condemnation for the driver who manages to hit the asshole performing the Idaho Two Step. That is wrong on so many levels. It bespeaks a movement that is shallow and spineless and in dire need of a hormone injection to increase the size of its cojones.

But we will likely never get there. We will still be issuing ‘so sad‘ mumblings for the rest of eternity rather than ‘calling out‘ the Idaho Two-Step practice for what it is, a form of ‘public suicide‘. But what is really sad is that we are using ‘everyday people‘ in our plan.

Every time we ride in the ‘Door Zone‘ we invite an opportunity for a collision with someone who cannot see out approach. And we know this, but we don’t give a ‘flying fuck‘. Some of us are depressed and instead of having the gumption to climb to the top of a tall building and leaping off decide to involve unwilling participants who are merely heading home to cook dinner for their family or watch Monday Night Football.

If we are going to continue this practice of crossing busy intersections against the light then at least we need to have the decency to carry letters pinned to our clothing explaining what we did. It seems only fair because sometimes there are no witnesses to back up the driver’s account of things and so their record is in jeopardy.

A Mere Suggestion

Me, I am going to remain fight mad at the complacent behavior of a movement which is self-righteous and stupid by turns. I am going to ‘call out‘ the practice of crossing against red lights in the same way I would people who decide to go for a stroll on train tracks.

If you want to kill yourself, find a solo means of doing so. Go buy some fentanyl-laced heroin and call your family and friends into the room and go out with a bang and a smile. But do not presume to act like an asshole and cause someone who has done nothing to you to become embroiled in your death.