[Deadspin] Maybe I’m in the wrong but I get annoyed whenever I’m walking in the park and I hear, at my back, a bicycle bell. The call of “On your left!” also gets on my nerves. My fight instinct kicks in, and I have to force myself not to punch the bicyclist soon to go by. A single jab would do it.
This is indefensible, not only because punching people is wrong, but also because the person on the bike, in such a case, seems to be making an effort to be considerate. (I said seems.) The law agrees: bicycles without warning devices are not street-legal in New York City. And yet the plink of metal-on-metal triggers a voice in my head that goes, “Just because you got a bell doesn’t mean I’m moving.”
Why can’t I rise above my inner libertarian and persuade myself that the ringing of the bell (or the utterance of words of warning) is not only in the public interest but in mine as well? After considering the question at some length, I have figured out why I feel the way I do. It’s because bicyclists in New York City are huge assholes.
Hey Deadspin, get off my lawn! You can’t just cut straight to the top of the bike hate blogging game! You gotta pay your dues! Spend a couple of years trudging along in near anonymity and fielding furious, venom spitting emails from psychotic meth head bicyclists, then come talk to me!
In all seriousness though it’s about time someone like Deadspin got into the game. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about bicyclists it’s that they’re essentially a highly organized shadow militia. Gangs of them roam every major city in America. Hordes of sociopathic bikevangelists overwhelm every blog on the internet with their battle cries of “share the road!” and declarations of war against anything with a motor. I’m just one man. A brave, heroic man to be sure. I won’t argue with you there. But there’s still only so much I can do. I can’t take on every bicyclist on the internet or in the street on my own. All it takes is one of the bicyclists on the more violent end of the spectrum to get a bead on me and the whole anti-bicyclist movement is kaput.
So I’m proud. This is a great day. Deadspin just became my insurance policy. And it feels good. It feels good to know that when I am inevitably taken out by a cabal of bicyclists frothing at the mouth and charging me on their $16,000 carbon-fiber bicycles, the movement won’t die. And yeah I know that this article gets sort of sympathetic towards these bicyclists. But this is a baby steps type situation. I’m not thrilled that the author is an admitted bicyclist. I’m not thrilled that he admits to falling into some of the bicyclist behavior he professes to hate. I’m not thrilled about any of that. But if you’re going to be a bicyclist, you might as well be a self-aware one. And this guy might be the only one of those around. Baby steps, friends. Baby steps.
PS. Still not sure why everyone throws Lance Armstrong’s name out there with all the asshole street bicyclists. Ummm name one time Lance Armstrong blocked traffic or ran a red light or hit a pedestrian. You can’t. Get your hate straight, guys.