I Am A Cyclist, And I Am Here To Fuck You Up
kelly catchpole

To those of you who’ve missed her point, she’s giving you back your (unsympathetic drivers) what we as riders get everyday. That said, Kelly, your approach is less than successful.

I can also tell you I’ve ridden on urban streets more years than you’ve probably been alive, and things aren’t so black and white for either side. Catchy approach, and you got your comments filled to the brim, but you’ve kinda screwed up.

First, it is imperative we riders actually follow the rules of the road — like those pesky red lights, turn lanes, sidewalk riding (!) and crosswalks. Besides the inevitable brain-dead four-wheeled driver (who mostly are simply not paying attention) I see the complete rejection of riding rules every damn day in SF. It is incumbent upon us to set the stage. If we don’t try to squeeze between the curb and doors in a right-hand turn lane as traffic is moving, we’ll all benefit. The vast majority of drivers aren’t hunting for us. Trust that.

Last year I was heading to BART on Market between 3rd and New Montgomery. It was 5P and traffic was pretty dense. I was probably scooting along at 10mph and was about to pull over in front of the Sheraton Palace to head down to the train. I don’t remember what happened, but I do remember when I woke up and what I was told: Just as I was passing a cab on the right — between the curb and passenger side door — the cab decided to drop his fare in the middle of the block. The passenger blindly opened the door just as the car was coming to a stop. Just like in a cartoon, I hit the open door, launched into one of the cemented signs on the sidewalk and everything went dark for several hours.

Guess what? Yes, the taxi driver and passenger fucked up. No question. But, I was also culpable. Simply shouldn’t have been where I was on the road. Yeah, I got compensated, etc., but it was stupid.

I’ve seen in just the last couple of weeks literally dozens of riders blow through red lights, cut off pedestrians on crosswalks and even cut off a woman with a stroller. That’s a really disgusting combo of ignorance and arrogance.

I’ll roll through a stop sign like everyone else — in car, truck or on bike — but stop lights and intersections and crosswalks and sidewalks are all treated the same way as all other wheeled vehicles are required to.

Nice try with the tone, and I’m sure it was fun to write, but (as a journalist) there’s a lot more responsible work to do.

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