America! The Cyclist Is Not Your Enemy

Jason Gay, Wall Street Journal

Believe me, I understand why cyclists can be defensive. Cycling often feels like an act of self-preservation, because it is. People riding bikes die, all the time, and too often it’s treated like a blameless accident, when it’s not. Even if the greatest hazard on the road is distracted driving, the culture is conditioned to normalize the automobile…
 
… I suggest a corny old strategy of understanding and love—on all sides. If not love, maybe some empathy. Come on! You can pony up a modicum of empathy. It’s cheaper than  Netflix.
 
For cyclists, it means showing some restraint, and respecting rules of the road. It means cycling groups trying to police themselves from within. That idiot on the regular Sunday morning ride who constantly runs red lights, screams at pedestrians and spits at drivers? That idiot needs an intervention. (If the intervention fails, try a strong lock around their bike at the coffee shop stop, and flinging the key into a river.)…
 
And drivers: recognize that while you’re entitled to be on the road, you’re not entitled to all of it. Ease up on the aggression, and please—please—put that stupid phone in the glove compartment…
 
Here’s the truth: Bike Lovers and Bike Haters might love to howl at each other, but none of us are going anywhere. Bikes are here to stay, as are pedestrians, runners, skaters, rollers and the guy on the StairMaster that escaped from a rodeo. Cars, too, are staying, though it appears we’ll be getting a driverless version of those soon…
 
…Let’s all get home safe.”
Bent Fork 2016-3 - June/July 2016

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