“Bike to Work Day” Sets Me Off, Too

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Posted in category Uncategorized
Comments Off

This caught my eye because I had meant to blog on it all week, and Nikoley beat me to it.

Some people may already know that I am a cyclist – a serious cyclist. I’ve raced or trained on the road, on the track, cyclocross, and off-road (mountain biking). I no longer race, but I train often. I love city biking, and I even have two bikes that I built specifically for that purpose. Mountain bikes built into city bikes – higher gearing, racks and bags, slick (or center-ridge) tires, and faster wheels. This is one of those bikes.


This is a 1991 Fisher Supercaliber, with a custom paint job (copper and blue), XTR components, front suspension fork, clipless pedals, Nuke Proof carbon fiber hubs, etc. It’s old, but it works. When my expert painter friend said to me “I can’t fade copper into blue!”, I said, “Oh yes you can.” You can see that the result was spectacular.

I was scheduled to join the “Bike to Work” event, but I tore my hamstring and got the flu (in the same day) just a few days before the planned ride, so I dropped out of the plans. Several different groups (including some tv news reporters) were planning group rides downtown. It’s a big event here.

Now I work right in the center block of downtown Detroit, and live 20 miles away, in the ‘burbs. The route is straight through the heart of the city’s worst ghettos, so this ride could never be attempted alone. It’s fun to do it for a special event, or so I had hoped.

But even being a cyclist, I have always had a hard time fitting in with other cyclists. They are too often watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside), and they are into the whole “sacrifice” thing, for sure. All this crap about riding your bike to work – this is not even an option for 99.9% of working people.

- Our roads are not built for such a thing. You WILL get killed.
- The time issue is an instant bike-to-work killer. All other conditions being perfect, how the hell could I spend an extra hour, each way, getting to and from work?
- Most people just live too far away from their workplace to even attempt it.
- I don’t know about most of these bike-to-work advocates, but I have to dress pretty nice for my job, and so I’d have to take a change of clothes, keeping them wrinkle-free in a bike bag (impossible), get to work and shower and do my hair and dress and spiff up. There’s another hour or more right there.
- Some of us *don’t* live in California or Florida (hint, hint).

I could go on and on, but wise folks know that biking to work, for most people, would be impossible, inconvenient, or, as in my case, just plain stupid.

Now, back to cyclists. I am a bike advocate, but only to a degree. What I hate is when cyclists try to insist that everyone has some kind of moral obligation to not clog up the roads, pollute, or otherwise trot out their transportational independence. And cyclists DO this. They think because they are avid cyclists, that everyone else should transport their daily lives on two wheels, just like them. They stress that it’s a sacrifice that needs to be made, if we are to save Mother Earth.

But it’s really just another human-hating scam. Cyclists hate you and your independence-granting vehicle. Just because they are fine with pedaling their commie asses every day, in the rain and snow and wind and traffic, they think that YOU are obligated to give up your steel steed for the inconvenience of a bike. Let me quote Nikoley (bold is mine):

I love bikes. We got bikes. I use mine often, particularly so since the weather has warmed up. Why do I use the bike? Because it’s the best thing for me, according to the context of the particular facts of the specific event in which I intend to use it. I live downtown, and it’s usually far more pleasant, for me, to take the bike — not the least of which is parking. And, it’s just plain fun.

I know cyclists and their ideas for the rest of us. I’ve been around ‘em a long time. Many of them are in favor of progress — that is, when technology produces, for them, $5,000 titanium or carbon frames, with the most lightweight components imaginable. But then they turn around and preach wastefulness and greed to the rest of us, and they claim that capitalism is killing us all off and that we should be ashamed for our ugly material desires. These types are two-faced, greenie commies that want you to conform to their ideal way of “sacrifice.” I’ve known these types – Marxists, actually – who preach hatred toward materialism, but own $4,000+ bicycles.

These people need to enjoy their hobby, build an advocacy that will keep them safe and allow them to enjoy their rights to the road, and then they need to leave everyone else alone. ‘Cuz I love to ride, but for reasons that are important and/or unique to me, the individual.

Be Sociable, Share!
Both comments and pings are currently closed.