Despite the name of this column (blog is such an unattractive word) I cycle as much as I drive. After a particularly great week biking, and following several weeks of quality Fords, Mazdas and BMWs, here are some tips for all the 2- and 4-wheeled boneheads out there.
Being alive trumps being right.
Your principles bore us. There will always be lousy drivers cutting you off. Don’t chase them, screaming. Scientific research proves that in the fight between steel and flesh, steel typically wins. Get over yourself and let them be.
Shut up with the bell, already. You sound like an ice cream vendor.
Unless you’re mute, use your voice to warn others that they’re in your way. Better still, Tinkerbell, simply slow down and go around them.
Wear a helmet or forfeit your healthcare.
Head injuries are permanent. Think you look silly in a helmet? Picture yourself in adult diapers. When nervous drivers see bareheaded daredevils taking chances in traffic, they illogically become more nervous and consequently a greater danger to you.
Signal, you putz!
You’ve chosen the lazier option by choosing to drive. But that’s more than lazy when you can’t move your finger to warn everyone else of your intentions. It’s two steps from manslaughter.
Yes, the bike didn’t stop. Neither did you.
Many drivers get irate at bikes ignoring stop signs. (Big shout-out to suburban soccer moms in foreign crossovers!) But it’s really unfair to call out cyclists when you practice the same sins. ‘Stop’ happens when the earth and the sky both are no longer moving. Try it sometime.
You want get to work faster? Move closer to work.
Few joys beat captaining your own vessel through choppy urban waters. But it’s often not the fastest way to work during rush hour. While being rude to other drivers can make you feel right, being rude to cyclists, even when they’re wrong, can make you feel the claustrophobia of the backseat of a police car. Cyclists can skim around traffic obstructions. You can’t. Accept it. You chose to drive.
If you really want to get to work faster, use public transit or get a bike.
Image courtesy of Troy Holden.