Published Somedays

Motorists make the best cycling instructors

(updated: Jul 4, 2017)

You may find this hard to believe, but yes, motorists make great instructors on the riding of bicycles. In fact, motorists are all too eager to impart their vast and intimate knowledge of the laws of the road and where cycling fits in, which is not at all, to pretty much anyone they see on a bike. They often use techniques to help cyclists retain this knowledge, such as the liberal use of profanity, handwaving and screaming. It’s a great technique that should also be applied in schools today to help kids be learnin’ and stuff, otherwise they may grow up to become cunts just like these motorists.

The reason motorists are so knowledgeable about the laws is because only they drive cars, and you ride a bike, and you never drive a car, so how would you know that a red light means stop and a speed limit posting means that’s the fucking speed limit? Motorists never ever break these rules, so obviously when a cyclist goes through a red light it shocks them to their core. It’s like being a kid and watching Big Bird on Sesame street for years, and then one day Oscar the Grouch comes along with some gang bangers he met in the alley, and they just rip Big Bird’s head off in front of everyone. I mean you’re scarred for life now. So what do you do in the face of such egregious injustice?

Well, luckily the motorist has several distinct advantages: For one, they are much, much larger and also have four wheels instead of two. Secondly, the motorist sits comfortably and securely inside the vehicle vs. on top of it, protected by thousands of pounds of metal and glass. Thirdly, they have amplifying power of an internal combustion engine, hybrid, or electric motor with hundreds of horsepower (a typical cyclist can only punch out much less than 1 hp). And fourthly, they typically have a outsized sense of entitlement, stemming from paying a few hundred dollars per year on gas taxes which barely helps pay for the roads, versus cyclists who we all know pay nothing. After all, these roads aren’t free, and they’re certainly not a public space to be used and abused by 225lbs of bike and rider. Just think of all the wear and tear on that poor asphalt.

What all of this means, is that motorists feel completely unfettered in giving cyclists lessons in the ways of their roads, much like an internet troll hiding behind a computer can liberally spray hateful and racist shit all over message boards without worrying that a couple of goons are going to show up at his doorstep, cut him up, stuff him into a blender and make smoothies out of him for his remaining family members. So it really comes down to fear, or lack of it. Motorists are not afraid of cyclists, not afraid of retaliation, because if they want to, they can easily amplify their anger into the Hulk through the use of a small foot movement coupled to a large engine. It is EXACTLY like the small movement that is all that is required to pull the trigger of a gun, only with a gun you have some ‘splainin’ to do, whereas in a car you just say "I didn’t see him", and, "He came out of nowhere" and keep repeating that until they write "Accident" on a piece of paper, your insurance company takes care of the mess, and you go home and wash it all down with an internet troll smoothie.

So, armed with all this knowledge, this particular cyclist had to go a short distance to get to Wrightsville Beach a few weekends ago, on a bike, so he decided that not dying was worth more than someone else’s one minute of convenience, and chose to ride in the middle of the fucking lane. That cyclist was me, by the way (yes, I was back in the bike friendly hostile town of Wilmington). That way, should someone decide to run me over, my mediocre life ends quickly and my wife gets a big life insurance payout. Oh, and I was with a friend and he was right behind me and in the interest of minimizing time spent "running the gauntlet" through a hostile area we went 25mph. There was no way I was going over that bridge glued to the side of the lane because I don’t want to look down and see grated cheese where my legs were while oblivious texting drivers continue to run over the rest of me. You see, after I make it home alive from riding on the road in Wilmington, I savor that feeling of not dying.

They can get made at me … I don’t give a shit anymore. And get mad they did. But there’s two lanes. They can make a slight movement holding a wheel and go around me. So, just to prove a point, after I got back to my friend’s house where I parked THE CAR THAT I DRIVE, I decided to drive 30mph down Market St just to see if people would beep and yell at me to get off the road and all that. And guess what? Nobody did any of that shit. They just went around using the other lane. No beeping, no yelling. Wow. Maybe is has to do with the fact that I’m in a car like them, and maybe they know that I can retaliate. So it’s that unknown, the element of fear that keeps them from doing anything. This guy is driving a large performance SUV with over 300hp and 500ft-lb of torque … better not mess with him. Let’s yell at that cyclist instead.

Cyclists are so used to getting yelled at by motorists that the other night I was driving back to my mom’s house around 10pm, and there was a cyclist on the side of the road who looked like he was having some trouble with his bike. He had lights on his bike although they weren’t very bright. So I turned around to see if he needed help. I pulled up next to him and rolled down my window. And for a second there he looked as if he was preparing for me to yell at him. I think he was taken aback that I asked if he needed help. He was probably expecting me to give him a lecture about riding at night, and not being seen and all that. He said he was ok, he just dropped a chain. Then he asked if I rode bikes, to which I replied, “yes”. Shocking, I know.

Well, I am back in Wilmington this holiday weekend — the 4th of July. I’m riding up at Topsail. It’s a blast dodging small children who love to run to and from the water, and while running, stop suddenly and reverse course, and then reverse course again, and then again. It’s impossible to predict their movements. I am working on an algorithm but so far it has proved as fruitless as trying to predict the stock market. So far the best way to handle it is to stay away from peak beach times, much like the best way for me to avoid losing money in the stock market is to stay away from it. I didn’t get into town until Saturday evening so I missed the Ft. Fisher to Bald Head ride. But that’s ok, people quickly learn to regret riding with me.

-SBA



Julie ... my sister in law:




Michael:








Filed Under: Ride Reports > North Carolina > Topsail



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