TBT: A Tale of Two Cyclists

My good online friend and regular commenter/contributor Pontiac Dream 39 wrote a great piece for The Conservative Woman about the new Highway Code in Great Britain.  Apparently, the Highway Code is the document that deals with all that tricky driving stuff like who has the right-of-way in what situation, etc.

The new code features a bunch of carveouts and privileges for that most odious of roadway users, the cyclist.  Ponty details how these “reforms” will result in increased cyclist fatalities, car accidents, and massive traffic jams, all in the name of giving cyclists more precious roadway.

That’s a trend all over the Anglosphere, it seems.  Cycling nuts—the same people that want us all crammed into cities and getting around by public transport and aluminum bikes—keep pushing for not just more recognition on the roads, but more actual road space!  Bicycle lanes pop up all over on congested city streets.

Cyclists also seem to have a total disregard for the massive vehicles barreling down on them.  Few things make my blood boil and my eyes roll like seeing a a cyclist in full Spandex in 5 PM rush hour traffic.  They seem to possess this notion that because there are laws allowing them space on the road, they are somehow invincible from harm.

But in this piece from 2019, I note there are some people who have no option but to ride a bike to get around.  I consider these folks to be honest, hardworking dudes who just need a way to get to work (that, or they have DUIs or suspended licenses, so…).  I am also not opposed to bike riding, per se—I desperately want a bike myself for running small errands around town.  But I’m not going to be schlepping ten miles up US-401 at 7:30 AM in busy traffic, jeopardizing my life and making everyone else late for work.

But I digress.  Read Ponty’s piece—it’s quite good!

With that, here is 17 September 2019’s “A Tale of Two Cyclists“:

I hate cyclists.  “Hate” is perhaps a strong word, but seeing spandex-festooned cyclists riding in the middle of a busy lane during rush hour raises my hackles almost as much as seeing the US Constitution written in Spanish.

This topic came to mind on my morning commute.  The South Carolina Department of Transportation is working on a large section of US 401, which means my normal drive has been diverted onto some rural State roads, some of which are so narrow that two vehicles can barely squeeze past one another.

It was on one of these rural side roads—SC 48, I believe—that I drove past the first of the two cyclists mentioned in this list.  This type of cyclist deserves better than the name, because this gentleman was not the spandex-spangled rider that so attracts my ire.

The rider was a black man of indeterminate age.  He was wearing street clothes, and riding what appeared to be a fairly rundown bike—something that a teenager would ride through the dewy meadows of suburbia.  In his left hand he was holding some kind of light, either a cellphone flashlight or a little portable electric lantern.  I gathered that this light was to signal his presence to drivers.

I have no beef with this gentleman.  I see bike riders like him all the time in the rural South.  Due to some combination of poverty and necessity, these men—they’re almost always men—simply have no other choice but to ride a bike on dangerous country roads to get around.  Yes, they represent an inconvenience to drivers, as they slow down traffic, and they are engaged in dangerous activity, but it’s out of sheer necessity—they have no other choice, and need to get to work.

It’s the second cyclist—a group, I should say—that earned my early morning rage.  As I drove past a rural fire station, there was a fleet of SUVs, each massive vehicle unloaded by impossibly thin, middle-aged men in skin-tight Lycra.  Fortunately, I did not have to sit behind them in traffic as they rode—inevitably—three abreast in morning rush hour traffic, refusing to yield the lane to the very same massive automobiles they all drive.

These cyclists disgust me for a number of reasons.  First of all, what arrogance!  These guys always push for bike lanes—a huge waste of money and asphalt—and think that their rinky-dink racing bikes are the equivalent to a Buick.  “Share the road”—bah!

Secondly, who has the freedom to ride around on a bike on a Tuesday morning?  Shouldn’t you be working?  What kind of job gives people the flexibility to ride expensive bicycles around in the middle of the workweek?

Thirdly, and lastly, you know anyone riding around in form-fitting athletic wear with a big gay helmet on his head is a simpering progressive.  I hate to be this way—I’m sure there are conservatives who engage in this annoying, dangerous, elitist activity—but we live in an age when lifestyle choices are a statement of political and ideological affiliation.  It’s why these aloof hipsters expect public funding to go to widen lanes to accommodate their incredibly niche activity.

At least the guy riding with the phone in one hand, sans helmet, looks kind of cool.  Motorcyclists annoy me slightly, too—if you need an entire public service campaign to tell people to watch out for you on the road, you’re essentially forcing me to pay to educate people not to hit you thanks to your ultra-dangerous mode of transportation—but at least that’s super cool.  I mean, I will never own or drive a motorcycle (unless my back is really against the wall), but they are the coolest form of transportation.

Put another way:  motorcycles are like cigarettes:  cool, but dangerous and life-threatening.  Professional bicycling is like vaping:  a cheap knock-off that’s lame, and still likely to blow up in your face.

Stop cluttering streets with your stupid hobby—or at least try to do it when it’s safe and there aren’t thousands of cars on the road—and scolding me for not wanting to subsidize it.

16 thoughts on “TBT: A Tale of Two Cyclists

  1. Cheers Port and thanks for the link to your 2019 piece. I really enjoyed it. 🙂

    Talking of lunacy, our government has hit the last nail into its own coffin today by hiking up energy bills by a massive 50%. That means the rise for the average household is £693 per year. That’ll really be a problem for the poorest in our society who will have to make a choice – do they stay warm and healthy or be cold and sick? Last year, MPs voted to give themselves a pay rise and they’ve been spending money (on useless Covid related enterprises) like it’s Christmas every day yet they’ve put up national insurance payments and now have increased energy bills. The cost of living will go through the roof for the proles but at least MPs will be comfortable. Our parliamentarians are evil – there’s no other word for what they’ve done and what they continue to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Now Port, you have that wrong when you say, “cool, but dangerous and life-threatening. “, it really should read, “Cool equals dangerous and life-threatening.” Always has and always will.

    As for vaping, it’s what one does when 40 years of 2+ packs a day ruins your lungs, to keep that sweet, sweet nicotine level up. Never mind the frou-frou idiots who think (Well, maybe it’s possible) strawberry is an appropriate flavor, there are some good cigar and pipe substitutes out there.

    As for cyclists, a 3/4 ton diesel with a snow plow alleviates the problem. Helps deer overpopulation, too,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Everyone knows that being cool requires a little stupidity, Audre. And all the greats struggled with some addiction or another.

      Me? I’m addicted to frozen pizzas. Neo? Anglophile history. Alys? Cooking. Ponty? Tina. Audre? Commenting on blogs and watching YouTube videos.

      We all have our crosses to bear. Some are just fortunate enough to have a cool cross, like cigars. ; D

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually my vices are commenting, smoking, and gaming. Lately, I’m drinking more than is probably good for me but every morning, when I flick on the news, there’s another story that makes me want to reach for the bottle. Today is no different.

        Liked by 2 people

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