Big Metal Things

When I bike, I’m pretty by the book when it comes to the rules of the road. It used to be that I expected everyone else to do the same. But experience has made me more empathetic. So when I hear someone demand something like:

“We need all cyclists to follow the rules of the road. They’re giving us a bad name!”

I roll my eyes.

You won’t get everyone following the rules. Take a look at drivers. And the “bad name” is more complex than just stopping at a red light- it’s a generalization from a car-centric culture.

Once you’ve biked in a city you quickly realize one rule trumps all road rules: self preservation.

Big Metal Things

However, people who bike may have varying opinions on how to safely keep away from the big metal things. And it’s chaotic. Why? Because the infrastructure and rules are built around cars, not vulnerable road users.

If you really look at what people are doing (without judgement) you may catch a glimpse of where the real problem lies.

Big Metal Things

Yes, there will always be those to do what they can get away with. But perhaps some are just doing what they feel they need to get away with to get to work or school or back home safely.

Big Metal Things

I still take care to follow the road rules, but I’ll also take care of myself if needed.

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33 Comments on "Big Metal Things"

March 14, 2014

This is a really valid point as I can attest, as frustrating as it is. The last three times I was hit by a motor vehicle, I was stopped at a traffic signal or stop sign, and hit from behind. In one of the three I was knocked off my bicycle, and injured. I use a mirror now and watch more carefully for the clueless, ignorant, and mean assholes in their metal cages.

In retrospect, it was silly of me to not bother getting a mirror until after the third one.

Still livin’; still learin’

One a these days…

March 15, 2014

I’m glad to know that, after being hit three times by automobiles, you haven’t been seriously injured. You’re smart for getting a mirror.

Stay safe, friend.

March 14, 2014

Great post. So true. So pity.

March 14, 2014


March 14, 2014

Nothing to add beyond “Oh look, Watertown Square…”

March 14, 2014

As usual, you nail it.