I ride my e-bike into work daily for as much of the year as I can. And daily I witness fellow cyclists acting like complete buffoons. Most simply do not thing the rules of the road apply to them at all. While some are just plain living inside their own selfish heads with no idea that they are creating an angry mob in their wake of idiocrity. Here is my list of the most heinous biking sins that I have to endure on a daily basis. And before you even ask, yes, I am a perfect cyclist who never does anything wrong so it is definitely my place to judge everyone else.
1. Red Means… Stop?
I stop for red lights. I think that’s a fairly commonly understood signal. Small children understand that they should not cross the street when the light is red.
Many cyclist approach the red light and proceed to meander into the intersection when they see there are no cars coming. The red light is, clearly, for others, not them.
Let me say once again, even a small child knows you stop for red lights. It’s probably the first thing you’ve ever been taught about traffic rules. Cease being a total douche and stop at the light with the rest of us before you get someone (most likely yourself) hurt. Or keep going and hopefully you’ll be run down. At the very least, just know that everyone watching you is hoping you get crushed by a bus.
2. The Funambulist
This is the person who refuses to come to a complete stop and put their foot down. They will do everything in their power to balance on their bike until they can start moving again. Twisting their front wheel, jumping and bouncing around like a fool.
You could not look like any more of an idiot. Unless you were also naked, then maybe. Put your damned foot down, fool.
3. Slow Ri-der
If the Slow Ri-der was going any slower they’d be riding backwards. I’m not the fastest cyclist on the road; however, I have a rear-view mirror and I try to ride close to the curb. Thus I can see people approaching and they have room to pass. But why is it that they guy who’s plodding along at -0.25 km/h is the one who just won’t give you a millimeter to get past? Get out of my way. I want to murder you.
I hope you’re not slow riding to your home because if I am stuck behind you till you turn into your driveway, I’m going to come back in the dark of night and burn your house down. That’s how much I hate you.
4. Leap Frogger
This is also a slow rider, but this is the person who keeps passing you. You are stopped at the red light (remember? That red light that you Actually Stop for?). The light changes to green and before you can get up your speed the tortoise you passed one block back sweeps past you. Within 10 seconds you are up to speed and trying to maneuver past him once again. This game of tag repeats 4 more times until you clothes-line the tortoise with your bike lock.
As you approach a side street or intersection you might think you have the right of way; however, the Glider does not see it this way. As a matter of fact, they don’t see you at all. This is because they glide right into the bike lane without even checking for oncoming traffic. They just assume all is clear because they are the only person who exists in the entire universe and the world apparently revolves around them. At least that is what I assume this person is saying to me when they nearly t-bone my bike while giving me a quizzical look as to why I didn’t slow down or seem to be looking where I or, more importantly, they were going.
6. The Bully
I don’t thing I need to even define a bully. They ride right up your arse, are erratic and aggressive in every action they do. Generally they think they are the King of the Road and do everything they can to make all other riders feel like they are unwelcome in what they consider to be their personal territory. Bullies are terrible people who should be banished from civilized society.
Just because bikes do not have signal lights does not mean that you shouldn’t find some way to tell others what in the hell you are planning on doing next… like, let’s say, come to a sudden stop because you forgot to text your friend that funny joke about the badger. Stopping, turning, and passing me, are all things I’d just love for you, Mr. Incommunicado, to convey to me. And, amazingly, people have invented these ingenious things called “bike signals” and a “bell” to do just that!
Learn them, buy one, tell me what on god’s green earth you plan on doing next.
8. Identity Confusion
There seems to be a group of cyclist that do not quite understand their role in the world of traffic. They are lost and confused as to who they are. What does “cyclist” mean, they ponder.
Well, firstly, it means you are not, in fact, a pedestrian. Secondly, it means, that you need to follow the same traffic rules as any other vehicle. Yes, you are a driver of a vehicle. Shall I repeat that again- VEHICLE. You do not get to choose when you’d rather follow pedestrian rules and when you’d like to use road rules.
For example, you don’t get to just pop up onto the sidewalk whenever you’d like to avoid traffic. Think about this as if you were in a car. See what kind of chaos that would be if the driver of a car- a vehicle- just decided to take the sidewalk home because the road was too backed up?
I hope this helps to alleviate your existential dilemma. You are not a pedestrian.
If I see one more woman with a bike basket covered in shitty dollar store plastic flowers I’m going to scream till my ears bleed. It’s such a sad plea: “Look at me! I’m original and creative! Just like the other 10 Hippie riders you saw this morning!” Please, decorate your bike all you like, but for f*&% sake be original rather than pretending to be original.
10. Trendy Pants
Trendy Pants dresses like a modster for their 10K ride to work. They ride a dutch bike. If they are a woman, they ride in heels. If they are a man, they wear a fedora. Neither sex of the Trendy Pants variety rides quickly or conscientiously. Let’s face it they wouldn’t want to muss their hair and being constantly self-aware takes a lot of your attention away from menial matters, like others.
I don’t disdain TP purely based on their ensemble, it’s the fact that they’re only riding this bike because it matches the look they want. They bought the bike yesterday because it was the absolute perfect accessory for the pea coat they’d purchased the week before. And now they are on the road, looking “just so” but with not a clue as to how to actually “ride a bike”. And so they mosey along getting in everyone’s way, cutting people off, and generally not giving a sh#t about those of us who genuinely need to ride our bike as a functional part of our lives rather than as a statement on post-modernism.