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Let me expand on that:

It is not that a PRO racer needs be a responsible public figure for themselves or their team’s own good.

It ties into the responsibility of every human being to act decently and with awareness of others.

It never made sense that people cruise through life not realizing (or more to the point, not giving a shit) that their actions affect others.

I spend 20 hours a week on my bike and I can go all winter long without a single incident of car/bike or bike/bike drama.

The second the sun comes out everyone starts acting like they own the road. Or at least the piece of the road they are on at that second.

Recent car happenings this week:

*Yuppie gives me a smug, dismissive, blank stare (the I could care less that you are on a bike) while driving past me in the Pearl district in his beamer. Took me a second to realize it is a local frame builder. Nothing wrong with beamers…

*get passed by a woman in a Subaru while training down in Canby/Oregon city. We are in the bike lane and she is shouting something about “staying on our side”. She swerves in and out of the bike lane slamming on the brakes, menacingly. I slow down and dial 911. Give her auto description and plate # and hope they pull her over.

*riding bikes down N Vancouver ave. see a customer who gave me an earful about being car-free and living super “green” loading his track bike into a giant Suburban.

*we have some really awesome neighbors who like to play basketball on the street in front of our house most evenings around 3am-ish. Now we park our hippie eco car (aka: Spacehawk) underneath the basketball hoop.

*saw a video linked from this site. I agree, and that is why I do not participate in Critical mass anymore.

*riding to get coffee with Pete on a quiet SE side street. hear the telltale rev of the engine of an impatient driver who proceeds to pinch us out of a tight roundabout. As policy, I don’t give drivers the finger.

I gave him the finger.

it is Saturday morning and you almost ran my girlfriend into the curb trying to get past us just to park in front of your house a 1/2 block later.

*while driving some chairs and equipment home from work on Thursday eve I get hollered at by a superfan in a lowered Volvo!

“hey Molly!”

pretty awesome to bump into a rad pal. be it in car or on bike.

After a week of bullshit interactions with automobiles it was great to have a nice one.

It is not cars are inherently the big assholes, it is the smug jerks that drive them.

Scarier than car drivers are the righteous commuters. I ride pretty slow while commuting. The days it stops raining I have to start being hyper-aware of all of the unsafe riders that come out of the woodwork.

I like giving pedestrians and joggers a lot of room, give them a heads up, move a couple feet away from them while passing. And without fail there will be some yahoo barreling past screaming “on your left asshole!” (generally with the expletive), because they are so appalled that anyone would slow their progress.

Then they buzz me and freak out the pedestrians. making all cyclists look like douche bags.

I wish I could count on the bicycle riding folks out there to treat others with the same respect they would want an auto to treat them.

Pretty sure they would consider the move they just pulled on a bike totally fucked up if an automobile did the same to them.

slow down.

end rant.

off to train.

Discussion

Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. Molly!

    sounds like it’s been a rough summer. Shitty drivers are so discouraging. Keep on truckin’.

    BTW, I sold my car and am now living carfree. [/high-horse]

    G

    Posted by Greg | July 5, 2008, 7:29 pm
  2. All I can say is “Amen.” There’s been so many times where I’ve almost been taken out by some jerk using the bike lane as his/her private TT route, going with traffic, against traffic, all of the above….I guess I expect the drivers to suck, but I kind of hope the cyclists will be okay, usually not the case though.

    Posted by Jason | July 5, 2008, 8:04 pm
  3. Very good rant! Remember when we commuted because it was fun and we loved to ride our bikes? Now there is a new group that says its cool, and lacks respect for riders, pedestrians and drivers alike.

    Posted by Guy | July 5, 2008, 11:01 pm
  4. Assholes are assholes. I want so much for someone not to be an asshole just because we share the love of bicycles, but more and more often that’s not the case. Totally justified rant.

    Posted by Matt | July 6, 2008, 3:29 pm
  5. Hear, hear on all that, Molly!

    And I’m totally with Matt.. Assholes are assholes. There are lots of really nice drivers, and lots of total douchebag cyclists. Unfortunately automobiles are more popular AND have far more potential for injury/death. But yeah, too many self-righteous cyclists have a 100%, militant hate rule for all cars. It’s unfortunate.

    Posted by Wes | July 6, 2008, 5:04 pm
  6. Now you’ve got me curious about what the *Spacehawk* looks like . . .

    Posted by Nick | July 7, 2008, 9:06 pm
  7. Amen. We call it the “Commuter 500″ and it’s seemingly at its worst traversing west to east to go to Tabor on Wednesdays. Commuters see you in a racing strip and they just have to pass you, closely and quickly.

    Posted by Dave | July 8, 2008, 1:33 pm
  8. Yeah seriously, I get toasted by almost every yellow jacket that is riding over to downtown when I stay on the east side.

    The spacehawk also looks like what you’d think a spacehawk looks like.

    Posted by Andre | July 9, 2008, 7:36 am
  9. I don’t like to fan the flames on this issue – so I’ll try not to. Though I just have to say I simply cannot comprehend why the sight of a cyclist, or group of cyclists, riding safely along the side of the road turns an otherwise reasonably law-abiding driver into a reckless, profanity-uttering, hate-monger. I could go on…

    Posted by Sasha | July 9, 2008, 8:15 am
  10. Good thoughts and all, but you sound a little smug yourself for calling out a local frame builder for a blank stare. The blank stare did it for you, huh, and you had to throw in the BMW part. I mean, didn’t he know that you are so PRO and have superfans?

    Posted by Callingyouout | July 9, 2008, 7:24 pm
  11. I don’t understand the comment, anonymous.

    A smug jerk in a BMW is a smug jerk in a BMW. (be it racer, frame builder, me or jesus)

    It just took me a second to recognize it was someone I knew and not an anonymous pearl yuppie.

    It really all ties back into my feelings in this post:

    http://www.mollycameron.com/2008/05/25/heroes/

    We live in a small town, the bike world is a small world, the racing world is a small world.

    I don’t take myself too seriously and like to acknowledge and be friendly to people I know.

    When you see someone on a regular basis and even have something of a relationship with them yet, they keep acting like one of the cool high school kids giving you sideways (or blank) glances…

    It gets boring.

    Calling it as I see it, blogs are for ranting.

    And calling out.

    And shout outs.

    Posted by Molly | July 9, 2008, 7:31 pm
  12. Thanks for the polite response. You sound a little pretentious. You’re a PRO, like it matters or something. The guy’s a smug jerk in your book, simply for not being friendly and acknowledging you this one time. Like he owes it to you or something. And anonymous Pearl yuppies. They must be anonymous since you don’t know them. And dodgy cyclists swarming the roads and paths in the warm weather might be tarnishing how others perceive cyclists including you. And you decide that they should all be going slow when commuting. Life must be rough in Portland when the righteous commuters are scarier than the car drivers.

    Posted by Callingyouout | July 9, 2008, 8:20 pm
  13. I never said I was a PRO.

    yikes!

    Posted by Molly | July 9, 2008, 9:19 pm
  14. Thanks for this post, been pretty down on our crappy area (RI) and sharing the road as of late.. It reinforces the knowledge that it can be lousy everywhere (even though I like to think it’s inherently better somewhere else).

    I think you should smoke the next asshat who passes you like that though, just for shits and giggles..

    Posted by Brendan | July 10, 2008, 12:24 pm