Monday, July 26, 2004

So, last night I watched a show on, among other things, Critical Mass. If you don't want to visit the website, the long and short of Critical Mass is that a bunch of bicyclists get together and ride down a main street, blocking all lanes of traffic. It's meant to be a protest against not only our over-reliance on cars, but getting back at all those motorists who seem to think bikes do not have a place on a road. I believe one of the people interviewed for this story said it best:
"Critical Mass is a good idea like Communism is a good idea. It's great..until you get humans involved."
As an increasingly avid cyclist, I'd like to get behind Critical Mass and I, certainly, see where it's coming from. My route to work involves Rockside Road, perhaps one of the most bike and pedestrian unfriendly stretches of pavement this side of I-90. Buuuut...I watched this show and you know what I saw:
* Shitheads riding through Grocery Stores and then claiming that "the man" is harassing them for "no good reason" when they get arrested at the end.
* People blocking all lanes of traffic on a busy road during rush hour.
* More self-righteous little pricks than I ever care to see.
The whole thing just = a bunch of pissed of motorists. Look, people aren't going to give up their cars and, you know, they shouldn't have to. Yes, people need to walk/cycle more and drive less and yes yes YES we need to make out cities more friendly for this! But, blocking a bunch of people coming home from work and pissing them off isn't going to do that. If you want to affect change and get people to respect cyclists, give them something to respect. Obey traffic laws, ride safely and consistently, be aware of the cars around you and make sure they are aware of you. Do not ride through the fucking grocery store. 'Cause it's stupid and it's dangerous. I mean, what are you saying when you're asking for the same rights as motor vehicles, but then ALSO want to be able to be a pedestrian as well. It makes no sense. Unless you want people to be able to drive their Honda into the supermarket, don't suppose that you should get ADDED privileges.
These are people who do NOTHING for the positive image of cyclists. Instead, they make all cyclists seem like self-righteous assholes. Look, I don't want to get hit. I don't want people to skim me, I want to be able to safely ride where I need to go. But this is something that involves: intelligent and thoughtful city planning, programs to enhance bicycle friendly opportunities and a community which will co-exist with cars, not ones which will try to dominant over them like they do over us.