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!
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.
off to train.