I was at a wedding reception. You always find yourself with a random selection of friends-of-friends at an event like that. I told the woman sitting next to me that I was in the bike industry, and that inspired her to tell me what she thought of cyclists.
Mostly she doesn’t like them.
She doesn’t understand why they run lights. She is afraid she is going to run them over. They’re unpredictable. They’re rude.
The woman sitting across from me knows me well, and we’ve had a litany of conversations about crappy drivers, crappy cyclists, crappy roads, etc. etc. She gave me her knowing smile, and I said, out loud, “She’s not wrong. Cyclists can be very annoying and rude.” I think, in that moment, my neighbor realized maybe she had expressed some slightly-too-candid opinions, and the death rattle of the conversation was drowned only by the obnoxious sound of silverware against glassware as someone rose to give an awkward speech about the bride and groom.
Saved by the bell, as it were.
I try to remain realistic and honest about cyclists. They are my people. It’s true. But it’s also true that some of them (us) behave badly. I’m not quite convinced that a few bad apples spoil it for the rest of us, but mostly because I’m not convinced it’s spoiled. My observations of our species suggest that, perhaps, where there are humans, there is mess. It’s how we are.
Having said that, I know what I think it’s wrong for cyclists to do. But what do you think? What are our worst habits? Pardon the expression, but what drives you nuts about cyclists?
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