Thursday, February 3

Giving Back: Who Took It Away In The First Place?

Oil Supremacists (moto-fascists) have all kinds of good anti-cycling rhetoric that really accomplishes nothing. I mean, the car rules the road. What war are they really winning by railing against cyclists?

What I'm talking about is common decency. We're all at least citizens of the same planet, if not the same race, country, state, county and hopefully community (burg, town, city, etc). So why is it okay for someone behind the wheel of the car to behave in a menacing manner toward ANYONE else on the road, be it other moto-fascist, cyclist, pedestrians or puppies out walking their kids?

Why aren’t motorists more accountable for their actions and behaviors? I understand that enforcing polite behavior on the roads would be totally unfeasible. But why is the general, run-of-the-mill attitude toward the carless one of blatant disdain? How many buzzers (those who buzz cyclists) would behave the same way toward me if we were walking alongside each other in Walmart? Would they shove me out of their way and yell "HEY!" as I perused the home d├ęcor section? Well, actually, I have been hit by carts before. So maybe they would?

But how is this acceptable behavior in public? Some people's kids, man! It's the Parthian Shot mentality. They think because they don’t like MY behavior (riding a bike on a public road) that they can terrorize me quickly with a horn, revved motor or shout out their passenger side window, and then they can speed back up to 40 (or 70) mph and leave me in the dust to stew.

That's not cool. No, that's rude, childish and accomplishes absolutely nothing. And when a moto-fascist behaves in a menacing manner, recklessly endangering a cyclist's life with their steel behemoth there is absolutely no excuse. Threatening serious injury or possibly death because of some perceived superiority or smug self-righteousness goes beyond mere bad manners. It's sinister and evil. And believe me, when a moto-fascists uses their vehicle to intimidate a cyclist the only way to take it is as a threat to life and limb. It's no laughing matter. It's not fun or funny. And I believe using a motor vehicle to menace another human being should be punishable as terroristic threatening, assault with a deadly weapon, and in the case of death: murder.

The reality is that most of the arguments moto-fascists use to rationalize their barbaric behavior are related to selfishness and pettiness. Cyclists aren’t slowing you down!!!
This is a misconception you have deluded yourself with! The problem of traffic is a CAR problem, not a BIKE problem.

So the moto-fascists will beat their breast in superiority with their status as property owning tax payers and as card carrying licensed driver. They'll come up with the most absurd arguments against cycling to suit their own perception of the world. They'll insist that the problem is that bicycles are not registered like their beloved automobiles. What they fail to accept is that the cyclists they scream at and about also own property and also carry drivers' licenses. And what their arguments don’t address is that if we gave in to all their demands and paid MORE taxes, got special bicycling licenses and license plates is that it would not improve the situation for either the moto-fascists or the cyclists. There would not magically be five extra feet on the road, motorists would not be expected to behave any better, nor would they suddenly decide to adhere to pro-cycling safety laws. If they're not going to do it now out of spite, what is going to magically change when I get a license plate on my bike? How will they know if I have my riders' license? Do they check to see if I've paid my taxes before buzzing me?

It's a car problem and I'm going to continue to argue along those lines for years to come. There was much resistance to the automobile when it was still in its infancy, and due largely to slick marketing campaigns the car won out against all other forms of transportation, not because the market demanded it, but because those who wanted to supply the car to the masses didn’t want any competition. (There is a link to an article that I just read that I am having trouble finding, when I do I'll add it here)

Let's give the roads back to the masses.

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