Saturday, September 24, 2005

You Cyclist

A road cyclist in the USA gets a taste of what it's like to be in a minority. And if you happen to be in an actual officially-recognized minority on top of being a cyclist, I really salute your courage.

We find, on the road, that some people are sympathetic, many are tolerant --though not necessarily pleased with us-- a fair number are contemptuous, and a few are down and out cross-burning, lynching bigots.

I stress that the most virulent are rare. The contemptuous are less rare. Much of what gets thrown at cyclists, verbal or actual, is just heckling from people who consider themselves better than the idiot out there pedaling. The hecklers don't usually go the next step, though some do, thinking the sight of a cyclist sprawling in the gravel is as thigh-slapping as an episode of The Three Stooges.

It's easy to get caught up with worst-case scenarios and forget that most rides are peaceful. Your results may vary, depending on local custom, but most of the time we get where we're going with few, if any, ugly incidents. It's just that the ugly ones point out uncomfortably ugly truths about human nature. Those people need to ride a bike. If it didn't open their eyes, it might at least numb their genitals and keep them from reproducing.

1 comment:

Adullamite said...

Car drivers here can be apain also! The UK driver does not go out of his way to get cyclists, but in the centre of towns and cities does not like them. Jealous at the way the bike (or Motor bike) can squeeze through the traffic, annoyed at those that jump lights and ride dangerously, and more annoyed that they pay no raod tax!
Human nature is horrid really!
Cycling, when the bike works, is a great joy on a sunny day, on quiet back roads. Enjoy when you can.
All the best.