Since cars seem to be constantly crashing this week, how about a bike?

Next logical conclusion for this week


So for god knows what reason, vehicles keep failing this week. A public bus burst into flames, a UPS truck crashed into the Hirshhorn Museum, and a car crashed through the window of Rhodeside Grill in Arlington (hopefully sparing some of their delicious chicken wings and clipping some UT fans). No, not killing the fans, people. I am not terrible. I just hope one or two may have been startled as they were doing that stupid longhorn thing with their hand, that’s all.

So, in a wonderful coincidence for cyclists everywhere, these failures are coinciding with the month of May, which is Bike Month in the district. May 21st is bike to work day, and May 23rd (Saturday) is Bike DC when tons of streets around the city are closed to cars. There are also talks about the Giro d’Italia race coming to DC, a tip my dear (now ex) friend decided to give DCist instead of DCspy, because he is useless. Anyways, the whole month is supposed to make the idea of biking to work more accessible to people, dispelling myths traffic navigation, bike lanes etc.

newsies riding bikes


To be honest, this whole thing gets mixed reviews from DCspy. On one hand I am an environmentalist, so I love public transport, carpooling and anything that gets cars off the road. However, as someone who walks to work, I despise bicyclists. Sorry, I do. They want to be cars, yet they run lights, stop signs, weave in and out of traffic, and go up on the sidewalk when the streets are too crowded (something that they are apparently legally allowed to do in the District. I have also been hit by a bicycle head-on once and almost hit by one numerous times, mostly when bikes decide to do their sidewalk-street weaving. In short, my patience has worn thin.

But bicyclists of DC, despite my objections, I have decided to support your bike month as it promotes cleaner air and fitter people. However, I have three conditions. 1) If you say you are a car, then be one dammit. Don’t go all Sarah-Palin on traffic rules and endanger pedestrians 2) Dress appropriately for day-to-day bicycling. No crazy neon cycling suits, you are not Lance Armstrong, and no flowing dresses that expose that which is not meant to be seen in the wind.

yikes

And finally 3) Ditch the snobbery. Look, I understand that bicycling is undergoing a hipster throwback renaissance, but it is just one of many things you can do to help mother earth. Should you encourage people to try it? Sure, just remember to leave the smug eco-persona at home. You don’t want to be this.

3 thoughts on “Since cars seem to be constantly crashing this week, how about a bike?

  1. Long time reader, first time commenter. I wanted to share this example of smugness, which the Washington Area Bicycle Association thought they could use to get a donation out of me a while back.

    http://www.waba.org/pacecar/

    It is a special sticker for your car so that other people know they should be emulating your careful, socially conscious driving.

    Also, bikers shouldn’t have to unnecessarily stop at stop signs, especially not four way stops, because they have an interest in conserving their momentum. I know I rarely do, and when I am driving I don’t expect other cyclists to, either.

  2. I’m also seeing this bicycle hipster throwback renaissance. Here in NYC most of the bicyclists were food delivery guys, but now we have a whole new population of skinny-jean-wearing cyclists (which can’t be comfortable.) Having been in a pretty bad bike crash when I was 13 (I know, I’m pretty intense), nothing annoys me more than seeing these hipsters WITHOUT HELMETS ON. I get it: you’re too cool for school, but that doesn’t mean you’re too cool for brain swelling.
    Also, stay OFF MY SIDEWALK. If you have wheels, get on the road.
    Hope you’re having fun in Asia! I’ll bet there are some crazy rogue bikers there. What with the population congestion and all.

  3. Neil, thanks for the comment, smugness evidence (of course they have bumper stickers) and the readership, much appreciated! Cari, good point about the helmets. In my view, that’s basically natural selection at work. Too many hipsters in NYC, so nature will self-correct.

    And god are the motorbikes bad in Indonesia. It takes me like 45 minutes to cross the street. Am petrified.

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