Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Society on two wheels

In my wheeling about town, have come to the conclusion that there are three classes of bicycle riders:

The Enthusiast – the Bicycle enthusiast loves to ride bikes for fun and recreation. These people usually wear helmets and other safety gear. They stick to the bike lane in the street or available bike paths and share the road with other vehicular traffic. Mostly they know that in a confrontation with a car, they will lose. They avoid that.

The Activist – These folks feel the bicycle must be forced onto society to replace the evils of the internal combustion engine. They will ride in all weather conditions and spend hours commuting to work in full foul-weather gear. These folks think that their bike is an equal to the motor vehicle and will ride down the middle of the street… pedaling as fast as they can to keep up 25 mph in a 35 mph zone – cars lined up behind them unable to pass. Yet these folks are the most likely to blow through stop signs and ignore red lights. They are on a mission and the bicycle is their instrument of social change. And most of them are not very friendly. Should you just barely avoid hitting one of these guys with your car, they will usually flip you off.

The Suspenders – These are people who are riding bicycles because they are not ALLOWED to drive cars. For any number of reasons they either have had their drivers license suspended or are unemployable and therefore unable to even purchase a full carton of cigarettes at one time, let alone buy a car. These guys usually wear a dirty baseball cap on backwards, no helmet. If they got off their bike and sat on the curb, someone would likely hand them a dollar bill. These guys don’t stop for stop signs or red lights either, but for different reasons… they wouldn’t if they were driving a car either.

I like to ride my bike every chance I get. My wife doesn’t like to ride that much. I think she has ridden her bike about three times in the two years we have had them. I just concluded that she doesn’t fit in any of the above categories. No wonder bike gathers dust in the garage.


Charlie said...

I used to love riding my bicycle, purely for pleasure. Nowadays, though, cyclists are used for target practice—until a juicy motorcyclist happens by.

Phoenix, BTW, is known as the red light city; not for houses of ill repute, but because no one pays attention to traffic signals (or stop signs).

That's what happens when your immigrants are all from Mexico, California, and Texas.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I stick to the bike paths in town now... less cross traffic.

kara said...

yeah, brendan's like nancy...he doesn't love riding bikes. it makes me feel free and light as a feather and i love it. but your categorizations are correct and i think the last two are going to keep it as cars vs. bikes for a long long time.