#49 Cyclists vs. Drivers

Road Rage is a TAPTS original series.
Part 1: Cyclists vs. Drivers
Part 2: Drivers vs. Cyclists
Part 3: Pedestrians vs. Cyclists/Drivers

Visitors to Portland frequently comment about how nice we Portlanders are. A friend visiting from NYC actually made a comment about all the niceties: “It’s starting to freak me out!” Portland is also recognized as one of the country’s most bike friendly cities. And even though a rare 20 minute hold up in traffic will send any seasoned Portland driver into a full on panic attack, LA this is not.

However, the cyclist versus driver war has erupted into irrational levels of general madness. Since everything else about people’s lives is so… well… nice, are we just hating motorists because of the potential threat they can cause to our lives due to their cell-phone/child-rearing/food-eating vehicle experience? I realize some cyclists suck but I’m convinced that every driver operates a mass murdering vehicle of death.

People, I drive and I bike – and I have personally sucked at both at one point or another. I have ran stop signs in neighborhoods. I have used sidewalks and other non-designated “safe” bike lanes (cycling is an improvisational art!). I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen motorists run red lights without considering the damage that he/she could cause to others. At least when I cut corners, I’m only putting myself at risk.

So for all you motor vehicle operators out there, start paying a little more attention to where the *expletive deleted* you are *expletive deleted* going. Not only do you have a responsibility to your passengers, but you are obligated to SHARE the road with others. Just because you drive a 2004 BMW doesn’t mean you can cut me off therefore putting my life in danger because I wasn’t going 10 miles over the speed limit.

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10 thoughts on “#49 Cyclists vs. Drivers

  1. Portland motorists are complete jerks, especially in the SE where people seem to exibit no class. If you are in a rush and on a car you are doing it wrong. Get real, do not honk at someone who is getting excersice and saving the environment and not running over the kids in the neighborhood because they are late to work. I get up early to bike to town during the week days and because I am in work clothes on a bike does not make me a tweaker or a person to be angry at from behind the wheel of your junked out trash broke down gas guzzling car. Get a clue, in the last few years portland motorists have become non complacent gas holes. When I moved here I was told by a resident to always stop well in front of the cross walk because of the many pedestrians enjoying the day not in a car. Now I almost get run down daily making my commute to work. If you don’t enjoy a better and slower pace of life that respects bicyclists then move out. The bicycle deserves the right of way no matter what the law says, any other mode of thought is simply homicidal.

  2. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen motorists run red lights” …seriously? I don’t know what part of the city you live, but in 45 years living in Portland I can probably count on one hand the times I’ve seen this. The issue with cars v. cyclists, is one of entitlement, or rather, perceived entitlement. I have no problem sharing the road, but when a cyclist chooses to bike on a major artery (see Caesar Chavez Ave), they hold up traffic and put themselves at great risk. This is a scenario I see every day. How many times have we seen a cyclist riding in a car lane, then ignoring all traffic signals? You can’t be a car and a bike. Pick one and act accordingly.

  3. My way of being an ambassador for all of us cyclists is to wear one of those bright day-glow shirts with “Safety First!” written on it, along with a flashy “see-me” light on my helmet, handlebars AND my seat. That earns me the right to ride like I want: weaving in an out of traffic, blowing through stop signs, bombing down sidewalks and riding against traffic on one way streets. Cuz thats how I roll, PDX-style y’all! Yeh.

  4. You’re right. We should all share the road. However I think you’re missing the point. BMW drivers suck. When someone purchases a BMW some trigger in the head is tricked and the driver thinks they’re above everyone else. Cheers to you German engineers!

  5. Ha. Try riding a bike in Vancouver, Washington. That’s a much more interesting experience. Why is there not yet a post about how Vancouver is one of the things about Portland that suck? After all, that’s where both Lars Larson and Tonya Harding live.

  6. Ah, the age old argument. You lose when you pretend to know what is in the mind of the other. Wait, I forgot, this blog is about stereotyping and broad generalizations. I’ll move along now.

    • The thing with broad generalizations, is that there is often some truth to them. We all have personal anecdotes regarding one side of the argument or another. The real issue isn’t bikes or cars, but the self-entitled a**holes who use them.

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