Greater Greater Washington

Bicycling


The Ideal Cyclist

The Ideal Cyclist always wears a helmet. He wears it when he's riding, when he's thinking about riding, and up to 10 minutes after he has finished riding. He wears a safety vest and safety goggles. He cuts things with safety scissors. He rarely cuts things, as it might prove unsafe.


Photo by ☻☺ on Flickr.

The Ideal Cyclist follows all traffic laws. She even follows rules that are not traffic laws but should be. The Ideal Cyclist rides as far to the right as possible. Sometimes she even rides farther to the right than is even possible. She stretches the bounds of possibility when it comes to right riding.

The Ideal Cyclist stops at all traffic lights and all stop signs. He stops at all lights period, red or otherwise. You can render the Ideal Cyclist immobile with a flashlight. An octagon of any sort is paralytic. The Ideal Cyclist drops one foot to the ground and maybe a second. The Ideal Cyclist considers hurling himself to the ground at each stop light to kiss the turf, like an arriving Pope.

The Ideal Cyclist yields. She yields to cars and pedestrians and buses and trains and baby ducklings. She yields to yield signs.

The Ideal Cyclist only rides in bike lanes. On streets where there are no bike lanes, the Ideal Cyclist does not ride for fear of offending. He walks his bike along the sidewalk. If someone else is on the sidewalk, the Ideal Cyclist will lift his bicycle above his head and pretend to be an inoffensive street tree. He heeds all passers-by.

The Ideal Cyclist will sometimes drive her bicycle to a street where there are bike lanes to begin her trip and ask a friend to pick her up where the lanes end. She shares the road by vacating it. When the Ideal Cyclist chances upon something or someone blocking the bike lane, the Ideal Cyclist will stop and wait for the object or person to clear.

The Ideal Cyclist is patient. He has been known to wait upwards of days for the removal of a traffic cone. When the Ideal Cyclist reaches a four-way stop near the same time as drivers, he stops, looks, waves the others through and hails a cab.

The Ideal Cyclist will nod patiently and agree with friends and acquaintances who tell stories about the horribleness of non-ideal cyclists. He accepts the sins of the bike world as his own. The Ideal Cyclist is the one with the bad name, to whom it was given by the actions of others. He has endless empathy for the scores of people "almost hit" and beseeches the forgiveness from those who were startled in their cars that time "that guy came out of nowhere."

The Ideal Cyclist always comes out of somewhere. She gives ample warning. She uses a bell, but does not ring it in a way that could be interpreted as scolding or even suggestive of imploring action. She rings gently and the ding is sonorous and soothing.

When the Ideal Cyclist calls out "on your left" he does it in the romance language of your choosing because the Ideal Cyclist appreciates your desire for mellifluousness. He then declines to pass because there isn't enough room. That could cause a gentle wisp of wind and it could muss one's hair or perhaps wrinkle a shirt or maybe just make one's skin feel the breeze and no one asked for that.

The Ideal Cyclist does not ask for more bike lanes. In fact, she wants fewer. She wants to only ride on trailsideally, trails that go nowherebecause the Ideal Cyclist is a recreationalist. Though she rides for sport and pleasure, she does not ride in a group. Ever. She rides single-file, alone and hunches over her bike to form the smallest profile possible, like an animal hiding from a predator. If there are other users on the trail, the Ideal Cyclist goes home.

The Ideal Cyclist seeks penance in advance for the confusion he causes. Perhaps he volunteers his time to change the oil of poor drivers. He might pay other people's speeding tickets anonymously. The Ideal Cyclist knows that his appearance in the world is an unexpected shock. Seeing a cyclist on the road is a close encounter of the third kind. The Truth is Out There.

The Ideal Cyclist never asks for anything better. She opposes bike sharing. The Ideal Cyclist is an avid bicyclist who used to bike, but doesn't anymore. The Ideal Cyclist is too concerned about the safety of others to ever cycle near them. She cycles alone at home, preferably in the dark so the neighbors do not see her secret shame.

The Ideal Cyclist knows that he is a leech on society. He knows that he is using precious road space for his own selfish desires. He knows that he is getting away with not paying his fair share. The Ideal Cyclist registers his bike with the DMV. He encourages others to do the same. Even little kids.

The Ideal Cyclist recognizes that there's no such thing as false equivalency. Her rights and responsibilities are the same as everyone else's. Maybe even more the same. The Ideal Cyclist doesn't even know what hypocrisy is.

The Ideal Cyclist knows that cars are subjects and not objects. He never suspects criminality because accidents happen. They're unavoidable. It's not blaming the victim if it's a victim's fault and the victim should have known how dangerous it was before he did the thing that he did. After all, if the thing he did wasn't dangerous, how did he become the victim in the first place?

The Ideal Cyclist tries to blend in with normal society, but she cannot. The Ideal Cyclist sees things from others' perspectives, but never suggests that she has her own. The Ideal Cyclist does not wish to disturb the natural order of built things, nor does she question it.

The Ideal Cyclist's priority if the priority of others. The Ideal Cyclist never mentions that others might enjoy cycling. He will not speak to cycling's potential appeal. He is no evangelist.

The Ideal Cyclist doesn't even ride a bike.

Cross-posted at Tales From the Sharrows.

Brian McEntee writes the blog Tales From the Sharrows, where he talks about his daily bicycle commute from Capitol Hill to American University or many other subjects. 

Comments

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bravo.

Putting your foot down to show your "stopped" is dumb. That's like if it was required that cars shift into park at every stop sign.

by drumz on Apr 25, 2013 2:32 pm • linkreport

The Ideal Cyclist is also an Ideal Pedestrian. When a pedestrian is hit by a truck driven up onto the sidewalk, she says "I'm sorry this person was hit and urge pedestrians to be extremely careful."

by Ben Ross on Apr 25, 2013 2:41 pm • linkreport

The ideal cyclist chuckles silently to herself at this post.

by thump on Apr 25, 2013 2:41 pm • linkreport

The ideal cyclist remembers that the helmet is a magic totem that will save you from a broken arm or leg if struck as well as cushion your head.

by drumz on Apr 25, 2013 2:44 pm • linkreport

Bravo.

by MLD on Apr 25, 2013 2:45 pm • linkreport

I put my foot down when I stop to keep from falling over, and can't imagine any other way of riding, but maybe I'm just uncoordinated.

by Mike on Apr 25, 2013 2:48 pm • linkreport

The Ideal Cyclist is not the smug, self righteous caricature which he/she thinks they're unfairly portrayed as in public. Not at all.

by Fitz on Apr 25, 2013 2:55 pm • linkreport

Nor is the Ideal Commenter.

by BFM on Apr 25, 2013 2:57 pm • linkreport

The Ideal Cyclist does not write such pompous drivel.

by Andy on Apr 25, 2013 2:57 pm • linkreport

I put my foot down when I stop to keep from falling over, and can't imagine any other way of riding, but maybe I'm just uncoordinated.

I usually just slow down enough that I am coasting and have enough time to check that nothing is coming that would hit me. I've had cars roll up, definitely stop and carry on through before I go through an intersection. So my wheels were still moving but I spent longer at the stop sign than the car.

by drumz on Apr 25, 2013 2:59 pm • linkreport

The Ideal Cyclist considers hurling himself to the ground at each stop light to kiss the turf, like an arriving Pope.

Damned holier-than-thou cyclists!

by oboe on Apr 25, 2013 3:05 pm • linkreport

+10,000

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 25, 2013 3:05 pm • linkreport

I do a one-handed trackstand while sipping a venti Frappuchino.

by oboe on Apr 25, 2013 3:06 pm • linkreport

The Ideal Cyclist doesn't like bike lanes, seeing them as selfish in taking precious road space away from the drivers who truly need them.

by bobco85 on Apr 25, 2013 3:08 pm • linkreport

the ideal cyclist is not a stupid , typical , male racing oriented vehicular cyclist like the author of this nonsense - but is someone who stays away from car traffic and lives a nice long life

by yru on Apr 25, 2013 3:11 pm • linkreport

Is the Ideal Cyclist always a guy?

by Ward 1 Guy on Apr 25, 2013 3:12 pm • linkreport

@yru
the ideal cyclist is not a stupid , typical , male racing oriented vehicular cyclist like the author of this nonsense - but is someone who stays away from car traffic and lives a nice long life

y r u so mad?

by MLD on Apr 25, 2013 3:14 pm • linkreport

Ward 1 Guy: The Ideal Cyclist alternates genders each time he or she encounters a paragraph break.

by David Alpert on Apr 25, 2013 3:15 pm • linkreport

Nor is the Ideal Commenter.

Who? You?

by Fitz on Apr 25, 2013 3:18 pm • linkreport

I don't think yru is angry. He/she merely disdains pompous gibberish.

I can only imagine the hysteria on GGW if someone posted "The Ideal Driver" with a similar tone....

by Andy on Apr 25, 2013 3:20 pm • linkreport

David Alpert has posted a followup comment on the Greater Greater Washington post The Ideal Cyclist:

Ward 1 Guy: The Ideal Cyclist alternates genders each time he or she encounters a paragraph break.

Yeah, I was confused/distracted by that. Guess there's no way around it. Plural? I would have gone "she" all the way through. I'm pretty sure we can agree that the ideal cyclist is a woman.

The post is fantastic though.

by Ward 1 Guy on Apr 25, 2013 3:22 pm • linkreport

I guess a little satire is just too much for some people. It is unclear to me what is "pompous" or "smug" about this.

by MLD on Apr 25, 2013 3:24 pm • linkreport

As an occasional cyclist (a few times a week) I often feel that I am at "war" with other cyclists for the good graces of the motoring and walking public. I am someone who obeys most of the basic laws, but often it seems that I do this 25% of the time to keep myself safe and 75% of the time to try to show others that cyclists are capable of following the rules.

Often the aggression directed toward cyclists stems from a core belief that cyclists consider themselves to be immune to laws, if not above the rest of society. And in my experience, I don't disagree. We need to take off our blinders and recognize that many of us fail even the basic notions of common sense riding, particularly as the weather warms. I can give you many examples of what I have seen but you probably already know what I am talking about.

At this point the onus is on the cyclists to prove everyone else wrong. I can't say that I am the ideal cyclist, but I try harder than most.

by Scoot on Apr 25, 2013 3:25 pm • linkreport

Well, you may want to step outside of the bubble and consider why many dismiss GGW as smug and elitist. This would be Exhibit 1.

by Andy on Apr 25, 2013 3:27 pm • linkreport

We need to take off our blinders and recognize that many of us fail even the basic notions of common sense riding, particularly as the weather warms.

Confirmation bias: 90% of what I see fellow cyclists doing on a daily basis is safe, legal, and common sense riding.

by MLD on Apr 25, 2013 3:28 pm • linkreport

I think I got 20 points out of a possible 87.

by JimT on Apr 25, 2013 3:34 pm • linkreport

The Ideal Cyclist does not make left turns. The Ideal Cyclist make four right turns all within bike lanes to avoid automobile traffic.

by h_lina_k on Apr 25, 2013 3:35 pm • linkreport

you may want to step outside of the bubble and consider why many dismiss GGW as smug and elitist.

I suck at that. Why don't you just give me the answers? Why do many people dismiss GGW as smug and elitist?

by David C on Apr 25, 2013 3:37 pm • linkreport

Maybe if more cyclists ditch common sense and ride erratically that'll force drivers to slow down and pay attention to what's going on around them. Thus making cycling safer.

by drumz on Apr 25, 2013 3:39 pm • linkreport

Ward 1 Guy: The Ideal Cyclist alternates genders each time he or she encounters a paragraph break.

Life finds a way.

by worthing on Apr 25, 2013 3:44 pm • linkreport

Confirmation bias: 90% of what I see fellow cyclists doing on a daily basis is safe, legal, and common sense riding.

I don't doubt that I have a confirmation bias, as everyone else does, including you. Of course I think we could trade data, scholarly articles and surveys back and forth all day to argue about the various rates of compliance among cyclists.

I do however think that we should focus on improving the behavior of offenders regardless of how many there are -- as most drivers and pedestrians are already looking for examples of poor cycling to confirm their own confirmation bias. And there is no shortage of anti-cyclist bias in this region.

by Scoot on Apr 25, 2013 3:45 pm • linkreport

Snark like this does nothing to help.

by ceefer66 on Apr 25, 2013 3:46 pm • linkreport

Well, you may want to step outside of the bubble and consider why many dismiss GGW as smug and elitist.

"Smug" and "elitist"...like a cyclist?

by oboe on Apr 25, 2013 3:47 pm • linkreport

This is a bit ridiculous. I've biked to work three days this week, 5-6 miles each way, most of it riding mixed in with traffic.

If drivers did the following three things, I would be satisfied: 1) use turn signals, 2) put down their cell phones, and 3) cut out the illegal u-turns.

Finally, I don't know why so many people think wearing a helmet is a big joke. Again, if you fall and hit your head on asphalt going 12-15 mph, you'll be glad that you were wearing a helmet. Helmets might not be able to prevent an abrasion or a bruised knee but preventing serious head injuries is a good reason to wear them.

by 202_cyclist on Apr 25, 2013 3:49 pm • linkreport

@yru - "the ideal cyclist is not a stupid , typical , male racing oriented vehicular cyclist like the author of this nonsense - but is someone who stays away from car traffic and lives a nice long life"

This comment is particularly hilarious for anyone who knows the author of this piece, who loves bike lanes, cycle tracks and trails so much that he often goes well out of his way to ride them. And as for racing, only if you count racing up the Massachusetts Avenue hill, on his Brompton, in work clothes.

by Jacques on Apr 25, 2013 3:50 pm • linkreport

As an occasional cyclist (a few times a week) I often feel that I am at "war" with other cyclists for the good graces of the motoring and walking public. I am someone who obeys most of the basic laws, but often it seems that I do this 25% of the time to keep myself safe and 75% of the time to try to show others that cyclists are capable of following the rules.

As an occasional pedestrian, I often feel the same way. You can't imagine the time I spend upbraiding other walkers about staying right, not jaywalking, signaling their intentions when turning into building entrances. The way they look at me, you'd think I was nuts.

by oboe on Apr 25, 2013 3:50 pm • linkreport

Thank you for posting this. If I ever need to explain the logical fallacies of reductio ad absurdum and straw man arguments I now have a perfect example.

by Jacob on Apr 25, 2013 3:50 pm • linkreport

Brilliant piece. Jonathan Swift would be proud.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal

by Kirstin on Apr 25, 2013 3:52 pm • linkreport

This comment is particularly hilarious for anyone who knows the author of this piece, who loves bike lanes, cycle tracks and trails so much that he often goes well out of his way to ride them. And as for racing, only if you count racing up the Massachusetts Avenue hill, on his Brompton, in work clothes.

The Ideal Commenter is careful to use correspondence bias and emotional projection as his/her indespensible tools in developing an argument.

by oboe on Apr 25, 2013 3:53 pm • linkreport

Snark like this does nothing to help.

Neither does demanding that cyclists do a number of contradictory (and sometimes illegal) tasks in order to satisfy those who feel as if their is some sort of war being waged on cars.

by drumz on Apr 25, 2013 3:56 pm • linkreport

Snark like this does nothing to help.

No, you're wrong. It helps a lot to laugh.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/laughter7.htm

by Tina on Apr 25, 2013 4:00 pm • linkreport

I certainly don't think cyclists are faultless nor are pedestrians, but if this is some kind of cyclist, I see way more drivers do dumb and dangerous things on a daily basis. They do this even when no peds or bikers are around, (ever take I-95?) so I am really not that sympathetic to their plight. There is something wrong with society when the majority seem to think that talking on their cell phones, putting on makeup, and eating are reasonable things to do while piloting a 2 ton piece of metal at high speeds.

by Alan B. on Apr 25, 2013 4:01 pm • linkreport

"Finally, I don't know why so many people think wearing a helmet is a big joke. Again, if you fall and hit your head on asphalt going 12-15 mph, you'll be glad that you were wearing a helmet. "

the ideal cyclist not only wears a helmet ALL the time, they pass up on opportunities to cycle where a helmet is not available (like a spontaneous CaBi trip) because dying from head injuries is so much worse than dying from cardio vascular disease. And the ideal cyclist never points out that there are far more dangerous practices widespread in the area, like biking without lights after dark, or biking against traffic, because that might deflect disdain from themselves to less privileged cyclists of different origins.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 25, 2013 4:02 pm • linkreport

There's a whole lot of "I resemble your comments" complaints here. That's a sign of good satire hitting its mark.

by DC on Apr 25, 2013 4:06 pm • linkreport

the ideal cyclist never uses satire. Its hurtful.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 25, 2013 4:09 pm • linkreport

Let me contribute to the conversation by pointing out that you have excellent hair (as the ideal cyclist should).

BTW, whenever I say, "on your left," I break out my southern accent with a "excuse me sir/ma'am, but I'm going to be coming by you on your left side in just a second." No joke!

by Lolo on Apr 25, 2013 4:17 pm • linkreport

The Ideal Cyclist wears a helmet if he chooses.

The Ideal Cyclist follows traffic laws.

The Ideal Cyclist stops at all traffic lights and all stop signs.

The Ideal Cyclist yields at yield signs.

The Ideal Cyclist only rides the correct direction while riding in bike lanes. He rides his bike properly on the sidewalk ensuring he slows down while passing and provides a safe passing distance between him and the person being passed.

When the Ideal Cyclist chances upon something or someone blocking the bike lane, the Ideal Cyclist will properly assess the blockage and maneuver appropriately.

The Ideal Cyclist is patient.

The Ideal Cyclist ensures they are visible to all road users and does not weave from sidewalk to street to sidewalk simply to get to the end of the block faster.

When the Ideal Cyclist calls out "on your left" he does it with enough time for pedestrians to act appropriately. He then declines to pass if there isn't enough room for safe passage.

The Ideal Cyclist asks for more bike lanes, as pedestrians ask for more/safer crosswalks and drivers ask for improvements in traffic light timing.

The Ideal Cyclist seeks penance for the confusion he causes.

The Ideal Cyclist recognizes her rights and responsibilities are the same as everyone else's.

The Ideal Cyclist mentions that others might enjoy cycling, but is not obsessive about it. He will speak to cycling's potential appeal if his audience is appreciative. He will not constantly blather on about cycling to people he knows are not interested. He is not evangelistic about cycling.

by satire-or-snark on Apr 25, 2013 4:17 pm • linkreport

The ideal cyclist (which is me, btw) rides however he considers safest for him at any given moment and doesn't worry about people who insist on some sort of morality test when they're not the ones sitting on the bike seat.

by drumz on Apr 25, 2013 4:24 pm • linkreport

@satire-or-snark, but your piece isn't funny. So its not satire. Its just a boring patronizing lecture.

by Tina on Apr 25, 2013 4:25 pm • linkreport

"He will not constantly blather on about cycling to people he knows are not interested."

I climb well for my weight. I need to eat a salad, so I can climb better. I believe these glasses would be more aerodynamic, don't you think so? This weather may seem perfect to you, but it means too many pedestrians on the trails. Carbon fiber is so much better.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 25, 2013 4:25 pm • linkreport

@satire-or-snark; See comment by @AWalkerintheCity 4:25 for an example of the genre.

by Tina on Apr 25, 2013 4:30 pm • linkreport

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJAsUHsmJAo

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 25, 2013 4:32 pm • linkreport

The Ideal Driver wears a seatbelt.

The Ideal Driver follows traffic laws.

The Ideal Driver stops at all traffic lights and all stop signs.

The Ideal Driver yields at yield signs.

The Ideal Driver does not use bike lanes as passing lanes. He knows how to properly merge into a bike lane when taking a turn, and he knows not to merge into a cycle track.

The Ideal Driver ensures a safe passing distance between him and a cyclist being passed.

When the Ideal Driver chances upon something or someone blocking a car lane, the Ideal Driver will properly assess the blockage and maneuver appropriately.

The Ideal Driver is patient.

The Ideal Driver ensures they are visible to all road users and does not weave from lane to lane to get to the end of the block faster.

When the Ideal Driver declines to pass if there isn't enough room for safe passage.

The Ideal Driver asks for improvements in traffic light timing, as pedestrians ask for more/safer crosswalks and cyclists ask for more bike lanes.

The Ideal Driver seeks penance for the confusion he causes.

The Ideal Driver recognizes her rights and responsibilities are the same as everyone else's.

The Ideal Driver mentions that others might enjoy driving, but is not obsessive about it. He will speak to driving potential appeal if his audience is appreciative. He will not constantly blather on about driving to people he knows are not interested. He is not evangelistic about driving.

by satire-or-snark on Apr 25, 2013 4:32 pm • linkreport

@SoS, just as boring and just as patronizing. May I suggest:
http://www.dcimprov.com/comedy-school.html

by Tina on Apr 25, 2013 4:37 pm • linkreport

The ideal satirist has a sense of humor.

The ideal satirist is alert and lawful, but NOT predictable.

The ideal satirist take the others assertions, and stretches them to the illogical conclusions.

The ideal satirist does not point out that well, children in Ireland are poor. And England might do a better job of governing Ireland.

The ideal satirist has read Swift, at least once. And taken something from that.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 25, 2013 4:38 pm • linkreport

No thanks.

If the Ideal Driver and The Ideal Cyclist existed, life would be easier for us all.

by satire-or-snark on Apr 25, 2013 4:39 pm • linkreport

@SoS, if wishes were horses beggars would ride.

by Tina on Apr 25, 2013 4:43 pm • linkreport

Let us opine on what the Ideal GGW Commenter would write...

by dirteng on Apr 25, 2013 4:45 pm • linkreport

and everyone would yield the ROW to them on the W&OD

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 25, 2013 4:45 pm • linkreport

Of course Tina.

Glass houses and thrown stones as well.

by satire-or-snark on Apr 25, 2013 4:46 pm • linkreport

oh snap.

by Tina on Apr 25, 2013 4:48 pm • linkreport

As a dedicated pedestrian and transit user, that only dabbles in cars and bikes, there are valid points on both sides. The fact is though that erratic behavior by drivers is much more inherently dangerous. Everyone needs to share the road, but we should hold drivers to a higher standard. Most drivers are fine, I've noticed especially that drivers with DC tags actuallyseem to do much better than out of state drivers. My hypothesis would be that they are more likely to be sometimes pedestrians and bikers. Driving needs to be seen as a privelege that you maintain by conducting yourself properly.

by Alan B. on Apr 25, 2013 4:52 pm • linkreport

I want to shoal you all so very very badly right now it hurts! Best thread in a while!

by thump on Apr 25, 2013 4:53 pm • linkreport

Driving needs to be seen as a privelege that you maintain by conducting yourself properly.

HaHa! That's ridiculous!

by Tina on Apr 25, 2013 4:55 pm • linkreport

@Jacques "This comment is particularly hilarious for anyone who knows the author of this piece, who loves bike lanes, cycle tracks and trails so much that he often goes well out of his way to ride them. And as for racing, only if you count racing up the Massachusetts Avenue hill, on his Brompton, in work clothes."

What a load of crap! I've Cat-6'd with the author a number of times on E. Capitol--the guy races fast (even in work clothes)! I would have soundly beaten that pompous button-laden fool if he wasn't on his tiny little Brompton while I was on my blue Big Dummy.

by locus on Apr 25, 2013 4:58 pm • linkreport

The Ideal Cyclist alternates genders each time

The Ideal Cyclist is Ranma 1/2?

by cminus on Apr 25, 2013 5:08 pm • linkreport

Wow, this thread got heated pretty quickly. Chill out people. Go ride a bike (ideal, or not).

by SJE on Apr 25, 2013 6:22 pm • linkreport

This post is inspiring me to go get my bike out right now, and ride it around the living room, in the dark, quietly practicing my sonorous bike bell sounds.

by Miriam on Apr 25, 2013 7:44 pm • linkreport

@satire-or-snark

I appreciate that you used verse instead of prose, which makes it easier for those counting points. I am disappointed though, that both you and the OP neglected to provide some sort of point system (e.g. 10-20 scofflaw, 20-30 negligent, 30-40 DDOT employee, 40-50 perfect, 50-60 saint, etc.)

Regrettably, however, you provided neither satire nor snark, but rather your distillation of a reasonable checklist from the OP.

With your handle (which I have never seen before) one would have hoped for a satire of how Lon Anderson might satirize what GGW expects of drivers, just as the OP provided a satire of how GGW might satirize what Lon Anderson expects of cyclists. All you have to do is keep saying "War on Cars" and "performance parking" and the satire almost writes itself.

by JimT on Apr 25, 2013 8:47 pm • linkreport

The Ideal Cyclist does not ask for new trails in areas that are considered environmentally sensitive by sensitive environmentalists. The Ideal Cyclist does not ask for trails in pristine natural areas, compromised areas that would be pristine if we just kept people out, or damaged areas that clearly have too many people in them already. The Ideal Cyclist does not ask for trails within 5000 feet of any home. The Ideal Cyclist asks for trails only on unbuildable, already paved, government-owned land in overdeveloped, environmentally ruined areas, i.e. in the gutter of an existing street.

by Jack C. on Apr 25, 2013 9:21 pm • linkreport

The ideal cyclist recognizes that repeated kowtowing to motorists is excellent exercise for the back and core. The ideal cyclist also recognizes that the ideal motorist is too busy talking on his cell phone to notice all that kowtowing. The ideal cyclist further recognizes that the ideal motorist wouldn't be interested in all that kowtowing or even understand it in the unlikely event that he did notice. But it is good exercise.

by Jonathan Krall on Apr 25, 2013 9:28 pm • linkreport

- The ideal cyclist doesn't act like a self-righteous prick pretending the world is out to get him/her

- The ideal cyclist doesn't doesn't protest sensible helmet regulation made to protect him/her [ironic since they pretend the world hates them] for life ending injury, and realize it is completely idiotic to disobey and ride without

- The ideal cyclist realizes that stop signs and red lights don't just apply to cars and peds

- The ideal cyclist recognizes that automobiles aren't evil machines designed to hunt down and run over cyclists, and that not everyone who drives one is an a$$hole

by K Street on Apr 25, 2013 9:37 pm • linkreport

Snark like this does nothing to help.

Just to define the terms:

Satire I agree with = wit
Satire I disagree with = snark

by David C on Apr 25, 2013 9:55 pm • linkreport

if you fall and hit your head on asphalt going 12-15 mph, you'll be glad that you were wearing a helmet

That's why I always wear a bullet proof vest. If I get hit by a bullet going (I have no idea how fast a bullet goes - 30mph?) I'll be glad that I was wearing a vest.

by David C on Apr 25, 2013 10:01 pm • linkreport

Does anyone else suspect that satire-or-snark is actually http://www.handbag.com/celebrity/i487284/top-outrageous-oscar-moments-sean-penn-has-no-sense-of-humour-at-the-oscars-2005.html">Sean Penn?

by David C on Apr 25, 2013 10:04 pm • linkreport

The ideal cyclist realizes that when someone talks about "sensible" helmet legislation that person doesn't realize that the thing that makes cyclig safer is more cyclists and requiring helmets works against that condition.

by Drumz on Apr 25, 2013 10:05 pm • linkreport

The ideal cyclist rides at least at the speed limit, and never breaks any laws.

by Crickey7 on Apr 25, 2013 10:50 pm • linkreport

I don't get K Street. Most cyclists would agree with 3 and of 4 but you need to be sarcastic here. If you want to say a lot of cyclists ignore stop signs and red lights you should say "Ideal cyclists treat stop signs and red lights like a bull in an bull fight: red = charge". Somewhere say Idaho is subversive too. Point 1 is pure trolldom, but if you believe only 1 in 100 drivers despise cyclists I'm okay with that -- trouble is a lot of riders encounter 100 drivers a day so it's hard to not feel persecuted. But point 2 is misguided rubbish. Helmet laws kill bike sharing (just visit Australia) and put people who already wear helmets (most of us) at greater risk of non-head-injuries (by reducing cyclist numbers) just to protect non-helmet wearers from themselves. At best you might say it punishes the smart to protect the dumb, though my opinion is that the Dutch must be doing something right, never wearing helmets but rarely getting injured.

by Jack C. on Apr 26, 2013 1:40 am • linkreport

The ideal cyclist must roll a will save to take half damage.

by J. Jo. Jonah Johannesburg on Apr 26, 2013 3:33 am • linkreport

Awesome, in that you have inspired awe. Thank you.

by DE on Apr 26, 2013 8:23 am • linkreport

By any chance was the original statement posted by someone conveying a message on behalf of the local AAA or one of its media team members?

by Lindsley Williams on Apr 26, 2013 8:41 am • linkreport

You know the satire is perfect when the satirized group yells louder and complains about tone. A fundamental ingredient of satire is a mocking tone. That's the point.

by crin on Apr 26, 2013 8:47 am • linkreport

this piece is pure and unadulterated vehicular cycling propaganda- Forester is all about the highway lobby and is backed by them and so are the exclusively male vehicular /athletic/racer cyclists- in the USA the sheer majority of cyclists are male - and so are vehicular cyclists. We will NEVER see great numbers of cyclists here as the vehicular cyclists have highjacked the planning and lcycling legislation- it is all about them. No owmen, no children, no elderly need get on a bicycle [ or anyone who seeks to avoid certain death from automobile traffic].

by yru on Apr 26, 2013 8:50 am • linkreport

@yru
I suggest you read the author's blog:
http://talesfromthesharrows.blogspot.com/

Your accusation couldn't be further from the truth.

by MLD on Apr 26, 2013 8:54 am • linkreport

worthing: Life finds a way.

Well played, sir or ma'am.

by Jon on Apr 26, 2013 8:55 am • linkreport

@yru,

What 'w' was taken?

:P

by oboe on Apr 26, 2013 9:13 am • linkreport

Go right ahead with that false indignation against cars and drivers, your smug "lifestyle superiority", and assumed righteousness. It won't help you when the law of averages catches up with you and you blow off a stop sign or a red light or hog the road once too often and end up under a car.

The Ideal Cyclist understands that thinly veiled threats made anonymously on the Internet are likely therapeutic for the sad, thwarted bullies who make them, but ridiculous to everyone else.

by oboe on Apr 26, 2013 9:24 am • linkreport

the ideal cyclist knows that no matter how much they advocate for and use bike lanes and bike trails, they are still Forester drones if they ever advocate for cyclist rights in mixed traffic, anywhere, at any time. By advocating for such rights, they are enemies of upstanding drivers, by delaying them, but they are also allies of the highway lobby, by not standing up sufficiently for off road bike infrastructure.

The ideal cyclist also knows, that despite riding in mixed traffic and advocating for bike rights in mixed traffic, they are captives of the mode apartheid lobby, if they ever advocate for or use segregated bike infrastructure, which is much like segregated water fountains. In doing so, they are allies of AAA and the oil lobby, by conceding the roads to cars. OTOH they are also enemies of beleagured drivers and taxpayers, by expecting funds be spent on bike trails, and that valuable road surface be devoted to those idiotic bike lanes.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 26, 2013 9:37 am • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by Brian on Apr 26, 2013 9:45 am • linkreport

Where can I buy the T-shirt, Brian?

by Crickey7 on Apr 26, 2013 9:47 am • linkreport

The ideal cyclist is a member of both WABA and AAA

The ideal cyclist is a pacifist in the War on Cars.

The ideal cyclist complies with all parking laws when she bikes to church.

The ideal cyclist stops for every disabled motorist and offers to tow the car to the nearest service center.

by JimT on Apr 26, 2013 9:55 am • linkreport

the ideal driver is a cyclist. And not just an occasional drive to the trail one either.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 26, 2013 9:58 am • linkreport

'but this [deleted] lowers the conversation '

at least it didn't suggest roasting and eating anyone.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 26, 2013 9:59 am • linkreport

there are very good reasons why we have such low cycling participation from women in this country and in all of the Anglo countries. Much of it has to do with the image of the cyclist as a jock-racer- vehicular cyclist- and this is clearly intimidating and not supportive. Also- the measure of a civilized country is how they [ we] treat our old and our youngest members of society- and clearly- the vehicular cyclists have not included women, children or the elderly in their plans for domination of both freeways and the world

by yru on Apr 26, 2013 10:07 am • linkreport

Except lots of jock racers are not strict vehicular cyclists (as any weekend afternoon on the W&OD would tell you) and lots of transportation cyclists ARE Forester fans.

"the vehicular cyclists have not included women, children or the elderly in their plans for domination of both freeways and the world"

Oh never mind. this IS satire. very good.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 26, 2013 10:18 am • linkreport

are we seriously going to get women, children , elderly and regular people to bicycle by making all of them bicycle in the highways and roads with cars, wearing lots and lots of expensive protective gear for safety's sake? This is the question- has vehicular cycling reached it's limits? It has certainly NOT resulted in broader participation and it seems to appeal only to a very select group of enthusiasts.
Perhaps there is a better- more INCLUSIVE form of cycling we should be considering?

by yru on Apr 26, 2013 10:30 am • linkreport

Yep. It's called BikeShare, and by all accounts it's having a large spillover effect in promoting cycling for a variety of purposes.

by Crickey7 on Apr 26, 2013 10:37 am • linkreport

yru

I think you raise some good points about vehicular cycling and how it has the potential to turn off large swaths of the would-be cycling population, especially those groups (women, children, and older people) who have concerns about infrastructure and safety. What I fail to see, however, is how the above piece is "pure and unadulterated vehicular cycling propaganda."

by BFM on Apr 26, 2013 10:39 am • linkreport

This is a much more entertaining variation on this essay.

http://www.urbanvelo.org/issue36/p54-55.html

by moonoverpittsburgh on Apr 26, 2013 10:43 am • linkreport

the article above clearly emphasizes cycling in roads with cars and does not present a future of protected separated bikeways- it seems to be pushing cycling as dangerous [ helmets are seldom used in the safest cycling countries] so it comes across as very much in the VC camp. We need to move away from this kind of stressful cycling nad make it easy and low key for regular non athletic people if we are serious about expanding cycling. If not - then we will only have speed and road enthusiasts. the first point in the article was about helmet usage- which puts this author square in the VC domain. I am all for athletic cycling- but not at the expense of everyone else who might wish to participate.

by yru on Apr 26, 2013 10:45 am • linkreport

yru

Is it conceivable that the above article has been written in a satirical manner and that the author doesn't actually espouse these views, but rather highlights them in order to get people to think about how cyclists should behave and how other users of the road might think about how they and cyclists interact?

by BFM on Apr 26, 2013 10:47 am • linkreport

I'd just like to correct my prior comment: I meant a much *less* entertaining, more deadpan article about the same topic.

by moonoverpittsburgh on Apr 26, 2013 10:52 am • linkreport

@yru
The points espoused here are not serious.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire

by MLD on Apr 26, 2013 10:52 am • linkreport

@MLD,

'w' never did have much of a sense of humor.

by oboe on Apr 26, 2013 10:58 am • linkreport

Apparently, there is no such thing as an avid cyclist. There are only avid cyclist buts.

As in, "I'm an avid cyclist, but . . ."

by Crickey7 on Apr 26, 2013 11:23 am • linkreport

JimT:

Thanks! I haven't done pointing system games since high school... perhaps next time.

My "handle" wasn't about my comments. I was not attempting to be satirical. The handle was whether this post was satricial or snark. I found some of it witty and some of it whiny. Par the course I guess.

In hindsight, I should not have used the "Ideal", rather "Proper" would have been a better fit.

DavidC: if that were funny, I would have laughed.

by satire-or-snark on Apr 26, 2013 1:23 pm • linkreport

if that were funny, I would have laughed

And if it were not funny, you would have written a buzz-kill comment?

by David C on Apr 26, 2013 1:45 pm • linkreport

And if it were not funny, you would have written a buzz-kill comment?

Nope.

2.Comments should address the substance of the argument being made, not the person making the argument.
4. Comments should not discourage other commenters or contributors from posting their views.

by satire-or-snark on Apr 26, 2013 1:50 pm • linkreport

if that were funny, I would have laughed.

The ideal commenter can see you through their computer and know when you're laughing.

by David C on Apr 26, 2013 2:42 pm • linkreport

If that were funny, I would have laughed. I did smile, so's ya know.

by satire-or-snark on Apr 26, 2013 3:02 pm • linkreport

The ideal cyclist happily hands over decisions about his life and limb to the nearest arts commission.

by Bill on Capitol Hill on Apr 26, 2013 6:49 pm • linkreport

The ideal cyclist invents a time machine and goes back in time and kills the inventor of the bicycle each time it is invented, so that it never existed. He (oh all right, she also) works tirelessly for the goal of a completely automobile-centered world. Oh yeah - he/she wears a helmet as desired, and ignores all advice on the matter, having made the decision as an adult individual.

by dave on Apr 26, 2013 8:19 pm • linkreport

I love this. And I love the pain it causes those who have preconceived notions that are anti-cyclist.

The violin I play for them is microns in length.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Apr 28, 2013 11:07 pm • linkreport

The idealist cyclist rides around knowing there is a tear in her tire hopeful the flat won't come today.

by Tina on Apr 29, 2013 12:50 am • linkreport

Ha! Ha! Hilarious!!!

by Freedom Cyclist on Apr 29, 2013 9:14 pm • linkreport

the ideal is not real and never will be. we all do our best. our legislatures make laws that will get them re-elected. we have to do our best to do what's right. i cycle like a madman. i've plied the streets on 2 wheels since 1971 all year for the most part. i rode motorcycles for 18 years. i survived intact. i didn't use a helmet for about 20 years

by steve mohr on Apr 30, 2013 10:34 am • linkreport

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