Does this man hate cyclists? The inaugural Thomasthethinkengine interview.

The debate regarding cyclists’ rights and responsibilities continues. On the one hand the ‘vehicularists’ believe cyclists should behave (and be treated) like cars – on the other hand – (the inexplicably named) ‘facilitators’ believe cyclists should take advantage of their unique attributes and since ultimately it is their own safety at stake, they should feel free to bend the rules at their discretion. You can read more about these various views here.

Today this debate will take a new direction, by considering the input of another road user. In order to protect his identity, we will call him Gerald.

TTTE: Good morning Gerald, can you tell us what happened today?

Gerald: Thanks for having me Thomas, and for giving me the opportunity to speak out on this important issue. Today I was travelling along a quiet road in the hills behind Berkeley and Oakland in California, considerably below the speed limit I might add, and a cyclist on a mountain bike appeared from a grove of trees, as if from nowhere, and began riding across the pedestrian crossing in front of me. He was almost halfway across the road before he looked in either direction for traffic.

TTTE: That sounds quite dangerous. Were you able to avoid a collision?

Gerald: Luckily I was able to swerve out of the way at the last second.

TTTE: Do you think this cyclist expected you to stop at the crossing for him?

Gerald: I am not sure whether he expected me to stop. But like I said, I was able to avoid a collision. Maybe he was one of those ‘facilitators’ I hear about, He “exercised his judgement”* and concluded that he could not spare a second to look each way for traffic. He probably also jumps on and off the curb, goes through red lights and rides on the wrong side of the road.

TTTE: Finally Gerald would you call yourself a hater of cyclists?

Gerald: Only a hater of dickheads Thomas. Unfortunately dickheads can pop up anywhere. There are dickhead cyclists as well as car drivers. These ‘facilitators’ that I have heard you talk about are just dickheads, people that think they are too clever for the rules to apply for them. Well they are just making the roads less safe for the rest of us.

When it’s all said and done, I almost crashed into a dickhead today, the fact that he was on a bike is irrelevant.

TTTE: Thanks Gerald.

* Facilitator lingo for disregarding road rules and common sense.

4 thoughts on “Does this man hate cyclists? The inaugural Thomasthethinkengine interview.”

  1. (For those who perceive a certain schizophrenia in this blog’s point of view on this issue, I refer you to the ‘About’ page, where the dual authorship situation is clarified in full.)

    So, having established that I am not the author of this post, I want to say that being a facilitator is about safely going with the traffic and then applying common sense where the road rules don’t feel sensible. I feel like some (although not all) road rules exist to coddle those who can’t apply common sense.

    Disregarding both road rules *and* common sense is the trademark of the species #cyclistus dickheadus# and can be rather dangerous, as ‘geraldo’ found on his leisurely drive this morning….

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  2. A case of doing unto others etc. Cyclists want respect from motorists need to offer it to pedestrians.

    Councils who build little scraps of disconnected concrete and call them bike paths need to be hung. Most are no more than glorified footpaths and no suitable as bike paths. Maybe for 4 year olds learning to ride – but not for serious riders.

    the target of previous heat used to be the couriers (what’s happened to that?) basically the northern European backpackers (who didn’t want to obey any rules) or the jocks who ride gearless bikes (don’t get in the way of me showing off my prowess on the bike)

    Now more people are riding to work they seem to be copping the heat.

    I detect some jealousy from the car-bound who don’t want to face their fear of commiting to ride.

    Paying thousands a year in car costs versus essentially nothing but a healthy breakfast for the bike rider, must irk quite a few people.

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