When I started this blog, I figured I should just check to make sure no one else had beat me to what I feel is a clever name for a blog (I patted myself on the back). So, I Googled “Self Righteous Cyclist,” and while I was happy to not find any self-proclaimed smugly moralistic cyclists, I was inundated with post about such cyclists.
One of the many, similarly-themed posts was entitled “Give Me a Fu**ing Break Crazy Cyclists.” The author lamented that, “too many cyclists are self righteous bastards” who torment pedestrians – a common chorus among the ambulatory public.
It’s no surprise to anyone who bikes in Boston that the year-to-year increase in the number of cyclists on our streets further ratchets up the car vs. bike and bike vs. pedestrian turf war. The issue is that there just isn’t that much turf to go around. Many of Boston’s streets were built before cars and bikes (and maybe even shoes) were invented. Have you ever tried to bike through the North End when the restaurants are receiving their deliveries en masse? Fuhgeddaboudit. Luckily, the investment in cycling infrastructure has come quickly over the past three years.
- Boston’s bike infrastructure is improving rapidly, but it’s still a jungle out there. Photo credit:moominmolly
But has it come too quickly? I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so. An uproar in Charlestown over the mysteriously-disappearing bike lanes has led some to question whether the rapid outlay of bike lanes is turning the non-riding public from cautiously indifferent to actively indignant.
A commenter on a Boston Globe article about possible new bike lanes on Mass Ave. in Arlington stated he/she didn’t want her beloved Mass Ave (who loves Mass Ave, anyway?), “sliced & diced by some feel-good numbskull ‘planners’ looking to appease a relative miniscule, yet incredibly squeaky, group of [cyclists].” Other comments showed similar disdain for our squeaky minority.
So, we haven’t yet won the hearts of those who “share” the road with us, but have we done anything to deserve it? I know anyone reading such a highbrow bike blog as this one obeys all traffic laws and never yells obscenities at motorists. Sure. But, for everyone of us I see, I see four red light-running, sidewalk terrorists. (On a side note, these same people seem to have no regard for bike maintenance. Perhaps they are the “squeaky” ones that commenter was talking about.)
So, as a collective bicycling mass, we aren’t necessarily earning any respect from those who could easily kill us with their 4,000+ pound SUV on the way to Starbucks. However, we can’t just sit quietly, appeased by the current pro-bike administration. Political tides change quickly, and we need to be better organized in our attempt to be seen as legitimate users of Bostons roads. WHO’S WITH ME!?
I intend this blog to be a soapbox of sorts to share some thoughts, stories, ideas about riding bikes. You didn’t expect me to talk about trampolines, did you?
So what does this have to do with being self righteous, you ask?
Well, now you’re just getting ahead of me. This IS my first blog post. Give me a few days and I’ll get back to you.