Yesterday Facebook brought this image. Lots of likes. Then the reasonable voices started posting comments. A call for balance. A smattering of condescending lecturing about cyclist behavior. Appeals for us all to just get along.
This triggered my inner militant. I made a few replies, trying desperately not to be sarcastic and snarky. Partial success. Mostly failure. Yes, there are jackasses on bicycles. I’ve been one myself on occasion–forgive me, I was intemperate in my youth. But it is far more common to see petulant, impatient motorists with skewed senses of entitlement and misperceptions about time delays. It is far more common to hear horns honk and see the exaggerated displays of braking, lane changes and engine revving of the internal combustion version of a exhausted sigh.
Militant? Inciting? Most likely. But it speaks truth about some who use motor vehicles. Many do believe they own the road. Many believe that bicycles don’t pay their fair share. Many believe in licensing and fees for bicycles. More than a few actually believe that injured cyclists got what they deserved.
They don’t own the road. Some would argue they don’t pay their way (by the way, I’m not buying the 51% thing – sounds way too high), especially considering all the externalized costs of motor vehicles (pollution, injury and death, paving over productive land, etc.).
Would I wear a t-shirt like that? Not sure. I think I might be afraid of triggering a response, like flashing red to a bull. I’m more likely to wear a shirt that begs the bull not to run me over in their distracted, lethal haste. The balance of power and influence is decidedly on the side of the car. Until the balance is restored, I’ll support out-spoken militant comments like this t-shirt.