EDITORIAL: I wouldn't mind cyclists if they weren't so smug about getting maimed and killed - The Beaverton

EDITORIAL: I wouldn’t mind cyclists if they weren’t so smug about getting maimed and killed

By Herb Fentle

Look, cyclists are fine. I get it, you want to exercise, and do it in a way that everyone can see you do it. And you want to make it very clear to the street that you really care about the planet. Honestly, that doesn’t really bother me. But if I have to listen to one more cyclist speak in that smug and self-satisfied way about how he’s getting maimed and killed on his bike, my patience will run out.

I know some cyclists claim to use bikes because these are a convenient and cheap way of getting from one place to another. But it’s safe to assume the main reason people do it is so they can lord over everyone driving cars how great their calves are, and how they get so high-and-mighty when they break they collarbone after colliding into my car as I make a right turn.

Let’s look at what they wear. The vast majority of cyclists in urban areas wear helmets. And believe me, they’re not doing it because helmets are comfortable. (I picked one up off a parked bike and tried it on to see how it felt. Then I left an empty coffee cup in it to make it clear to the owner that he inconveniences me by biking.) They wear helmets because they want to make it very clear that “I’m Mr. Wonderful! I ride around on a very special wheel machine! I have a good chance of my head breaking if one of you swerves into me!”

Why not just wear a t-shirt that says, “I’m better than you”?

Now, do motorists get injured in car ? All the time. But they didn’t choose accidents, the way cyclists do when they make the active decision to signal how special and virtuous and vulnerable they are to they are.

The most annoying type of cyclists are young cyclists. The ones who ring their bells when they pass you just so you don’t door them. Not only do they want to make it clear they’re at a stage of their earning career where transportation options are limited (we get it—you’re youthful), but they also want to communicate, in the most sanctimonious way, that they have their whole lives ahead of them and would be extra important if they died in a traffic accident.

Personally, I think it’s time to stop encouraging them. The more we set up or PSAs we promote about not hitting cyclists, the more we’re encouraging them to look down on everyone else. The strain on our healthcare system can’t take it either. We need to focus our resources on taking care of pedestrians. Who cannot help but brag to everyone how likely they are to get run down at a crosswalk.