Wednesday, September 07, 2011


You know how people say that the reason the terrorists attacked on 9/11 is because they hate our freedoms?

I’ve come to believe that this is the same reason some car drivers get so incensed about bike riders, as well.

Read the comments section in any online article remotely related to bicycles, and you’ll come across lots of postings that rail against cyclists flaunting the law: running red lights, zooming through stop signs, being intoxicated at the helm of a moving vehicle. The general sense I get from these complaints from car drivers is something like: “Hey! We can’t do that, so neither can you!”

It drives them mad to see people getting away with something they’re prevented from doing. What car driver wouldn’t enjoy cutting onto the sidewalk to avoid sitting in traffic? Show me someone behind the wheel of an automobile who woudn’t love running red lights. And man, wouldn’t driving be more fun if you could occasionally get away with doing it while buzzed?

But you can’t!

So no wonder drivers gnash their teeth and rend their hair when they see cyclists getting away with this shit.

They hate our freedoms, see?

A couple years ago, early on a Sunday morning, I was pedaling to my local coffee shop and came upon a red light at a six-way intersection on Capitol Hill. Caddy-corner from me was a car, who also had a red. I slowed, looked both ways, saw that no one was coming from either of the directions that had the green and rode on through.

The guy in the car started honking at me and yelled out his window: “Hey! That’s a red light! You’re supposed to wait! What if I ran the light?”

I looked at him and smiled: “Get a bike and you can.”

This probably didn’t make him view bicyclists more favorably, but if he didn’t hate my freedom as I pedaled away, at least, I hope, he envied it.


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