Monday, April 18, 2011

very very controversial

Q: What makes cars everywhere really really angry?
A:  Two bicyclists riding side by side. 

Two bicyclists get together and decide to go for a ride.  Or perhaps two bicyclists that know each other meet up while out riding and decide to continue on together.  Sometimes a mated pair of bicyclists will ride to work together.  In all of these instances the bicyclists are eager to ride side by side so they can talk to each other and enjoy the company of the other.

It really makes cars nuts to see this and I've wondered about it for awhile.

The car will tell you (I know because it's been shouted out the window at me) that they object to this behavior because it is against the law.   Because cars are so incredibly law abiding.  Not.  The driver of a car has not been made who can go twenty minutes without breaking the law.  As noted they speed, they roll gently though stop signs, they run yellow lights, they run red lights.  They aren't law abiding and they only read the rule book when it comes to bicycles.

So what is it?

Newsflash:  drivers do not want to "share the road."  Ask a car person to draw a picture of sharing the road and they will sketch a big wide road with a car speeding along (and no traffic lights, hooray!) and a tiny bicyclist crawling along close to the gutter.  Or possibly the bicyclist is safely on the sidewalk.  Cars don't want to be slowed down by a bicyclist even for a fraction of a second.  Sharing means "sometimes your turn and sometimes my turn" but cars see sharing as "I'm huge and fast and if you're smart you won't get in my way."

The next time you are leaning on your car horn and shouting obscenities out the window because two skinny little bicyclists are riding along together consider the following.

1.  People who shout out windows suck.
2.  Cars are big and fat.  The people in them always have the option of sitting across from each other and talking over their day.  Even side by side we take up less room than you do.
3.  We can't hear each other when we ride single file because the noise from traffic is fucking godawful.

Those signs that say "Share the Road."  What that means (and it is pathetic that I have to explain this to anyone) is that sometimes it is your turn and sometimes it is our turn.  So share the goddamned fucking road already.  Thank-you. And please don't say "well you should share too" because that is such a crock.  Bicyclists have no choice but to share.  We're skinny and vulnerable.  We're almost always on the side of the road.  YOU share.  It's your turn to do right. 



  1. Great commuting stories Chafed! I only know two other commuting cyclists in my little town. We all work together so needless to say we've all heard each others stories a hundred times.

    I see you've got your very own Contraption Captain - very cool.

    Ride safe.

  2. Wow, someone read something, wow! Thank-you =)
    I loved your blog name! My Contraption Captain favors the Tour Easy.
    Is bicycling in a small town nice even with just a few cyclists? I bet a recumbist really stands out.

  3. Hey Chafed,
    Sometime I'll post about how I got the name. I'll let you know. My bent ride is a HP Velotechnik Street Machine. (it's German) I'm sure the CC is familiar with it. And yes it attracts tons of attention. Kids especially love it. Often times I ride my road bike or my commuter rig just so I can move about anonymously.

    I really dig your writing style. I like how you refer to the cars in your posts as if they are animate objects on their own and not human controlled wrecking balls. Keep it up I'll stick around.