Thursday, May 17

A Moto-Fascist By Any Other Name

"Share the road."

Motorists--of the fascist persuasion--like to scream that phrase at cyclists just before they fender them.

And when those same self-entitled moto-fascists get out of the car at the trailhead for the local green belt trail they carry that same attitude with them.

A quick caveat, I know there are maniac cyclists that use MUTs (multi-use trails), and while I acknowledge that they are menaces on two skinny wheels, I am also not going to further address their behavior in this post.

I don't mean for this post to be mean spirited. This is my answer to the scowls I am subject to when other trail users are forced to reel in their dogs on 20' leashes so I can squeeze past on a 10' trail. This is my answer to those walking clubs who cry out in unrighteous indignation when I finally have to scream "Coming through!" to their party of four abreast that completely blocks the trail. This is my answer to those who use the public trails as a patio for private leisure activities (i.e., loiter in the middle of the trail to catch up with old friends, languish mid-trail while letting their cluster of dogs untangle their leashes, breast-feed their infant, etc, etc)

This post is about trail etiquette for pede-fascists.

C'mon, really? Would you stand in the middle of a busy street and have a knitting bee? Well, you might actually... But does it make sense to non-oblivious people? No! Please, step out of the trail for your high school reunion organizational meetings.

Your fishing pole is a monster at eight feet, but I promise if I get a hook in the eyelid because you whip it across the ten foot trail as I pass I will shove it somewhere and break it off.

Who am I kidding? I'm no transportational Erma Bombeck. I am continually annoyed because the same people who scream at me on the trails for going too fast (at 15mph) might also be the people who scream out their car windows at me on the road for going too slow (at 20mph). The sloe-eyed gazes are the same. Sheeple, look up!

Cyclists are continually marginalized by non-cyclists. We're not wanted on the roads or the trails. What is truly baffling to me is that the "Us versus Them" mentality that pervades the issue (from both sides) falls apart the second we stop moving. Moto-fascist, pede-fascists, equestro-fascists, AND cyclo-fascists are all clearly bipedal carbon based life forms with dubious political imaginings.

Can't we all just get along?

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