Cars vs. Bikes – why isn’t it cars AND bikes?

I’m a little edgy today.  I set my alarm last night for 4:45am to ride to my first-ever CX practice, and then I forgot to turn the alarm on.  No CX practice.  Then as I was driving to my office from a meeting, I heard someone discussing the Bike Fed on the radio.  I turned it up, and heard exactly what I expected – us vs. them.

“There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.”

–         “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu

This crap has been going on forever – “lefty car-haters” against “right wing bike-haters”.  Really?  Does even the simple joy of riding a bike have to be identified with a donkey or an elephant?  In the words of Rodney King: “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”

I’m a car-driving taxpayer.  I’m a bike-riding taxpayer.  I drive to work.  I ride for pleasure.  I guess that makes me some kind of political hermaphrodite – an anomaly.  Here’s my perspective: Many car drivers do not respect other beings on the road – bikes, pedestrians, motorcycles and even other cars.  How else do you explain driving and texting, drunk driving, aggressive driving, etc.?  Many cyclists do not respect other beings on the road – pedestrians, motorcycles, cars and even other cyclists.  How else do you explain blowing through stop signs, flipping off drivers that don’t do what we want them to do, and treating the roads like our own personal bike path?  The elitist attitude permeates both camps – We’re Number One!

As my then-2-year-old famously said one time: “It’s all crap”.  Respecting other people is not a right.  The people on the radio were dismissing cyclists as kooks and loony tunes, while at the same time downplaying the severity of car/cyclist deaths.  One of the most influential people in my life was accidentally and needlessly killed by a motorist last year.  He was a cyclist, a motorist and a small business owner – not some goofy nut-job Hell-bent on writing a manifesto in his primitive mountain shack.  He was an honorable man, with a family and literally thousands of friends.  He did not deserve to die.  There were no winners in that tragedy.  It, and the thousands of other deaths like it, should serve as a red flag for unity.  As a society, we need to put our political views aside.  We need to mourn together, we need to work together to give each other the honor and respect in life that we are all too eager to bestow in death – regardless of what kind of machine you use to get from Point A to Point B.

Ridiculous.

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2 thoughts on “Cars vs. Bikes – why isn’t it cars AND bikes?

  1. Though I cannot dismiss the “kooks and loony tunes” comment in regard to myself, I’m in complete agreement with your well written post. Life is not a computer game…you only get one life to live; respect yours in order to live it to it’s fullest and all others even more.

    Man, you get really deep when you miss a ride don’t you; please ride tomorrow Jason!

  2. I totally agree with everything you have stated here. It is an argument that is had many times over in the shop I work at. I am saddened when I hear co-workers whom I call friends, lay most of the blame on the cyclist. It literally floors me when I hear this come out of there mouths. These guys can logically, and quickly trouble shoot Hi-tech million dollar heavy equipment but can’t understand the pure basic responsibility and privilege of driving an automobile on PUBLIC roads. If you replaced all the cyclist this year that were killed by cars and replaced then with Children, rest assured this drivers would be facing the minimum, jail time, if not mob action against them. The media would be all over it and politicians would be passing “Common Sense” legislation (what ever that is).

    YOU are in control of 3,000 lbs of metal, you had better be damned well in FULL control of it at all times. There really needs to be severe penalties for this actions and thank god they charge the girl in Kenosha who hit and killed the cyclist going home from work.

    I am often yelled at when I am on the road training “GET OFF THE ROAD IDIOT, or ROADS ARE FOR CARS, and my favorite “CAN’T YOU RIDE ON THE SIDEWALK”. My only reply is “Please read “Rules of the road”……..

    I now only ride road loops that have the very least car traffic and even though they aren’t the best loops for training, I have to give up my rights to share the road just so some lazy, inconsiderate, holier then thou, doesn’t have to lift their fat foot off the accelerator and lose a whole 5-10 seconds off there trip to probably McDonalds jerk doesn’t make me a statistic……This is a sore spot with me Jason and I discuss it frequently with others

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