I recently came across this article from Slate. Commuting by bicycle is on the rise which means that car drivers are going to be cursing more people on bicyclists. Or does it? According to a couple of recent studies, bicycle commuters are becoming more tame in their riding habits. Currently, the author of the article is describing himself as a fairly aggressive rider:
“I’m an asshole cyclist. I’m that jerk weaving in and out of traffic, going the wrong way down a one-way street, and making a left on red. I’m truly a menace on the road.”
While I wouldn’t include myself in this same category of riding, I do tend to be more aggressive when I ride, but I respectfully obey all traffic laws. I feel that my tendency towards aggression is to make myself be known while I’m on my bicycle during traffic. I want that car next to me to know that I’m there, so I push the envelope. Maybe this isn’t the best thing, however. As the author insightfully points out:
“I’ve recognized that my bad behavior keeps others from taking up riding, and keeps politicians from investing in things I care about, like more bike lanes. So I’ve stopped riding on sidewalks and try to keep my illegal lefts to a minimum.”
Maybe we should all take this approach for a while and see how it pans out. Maybe we should be more courteous to the cars that share the road with us. I’m sure that there is some happy medium between cars and bicycles. One way to find it: get out and ride. But be safe.