The Chainlink

Deadspin: Can You Ride A Bike In The City Without Being An A*@hole? (No.)

Fun little article on Deadspin today:  http://deadspin.com/can-you-ride-a-bike-in-the-city-without-being-a...

I read it for entertainment value, but this made me think -- "I found that bicycling is more fun when your purpose is to see things, rather than to exercise. The bike becomes what it should be: a means, rather than an end."

There are also a few Chicago-centric comments at the end of the article

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This is why I am often uncomfortable riding at speed on the LFT. It's not bad now in the mornings (or afternoons) during the week, but I rode with a bunch of other vintage bike people on Saturday, and honestly, I didn't really enjoy myself that much. I often can't go as fast as I'd like (which is actually not that big a deal as long as I can look at the scenery), and I'm always having to keep my wits about me for people clogging the way or darting into it. Consequently, I can't really enjoy the scenery either. So, "the end" isn't available, nor is "the means."

Ugh. All the people who are like "once I had to slow down because a bike was in front of me so bikes shouldn't exist!" 

I ride on the street enough to see a lot more bikers putting themselves into dangerous situations than cars do.  People just either don't pay attention or take stupid risks.  I see plenty of aware and decent riders, too, but like any group it's the idiots that you remember.

Motorists don't have as many opportunities to put themselves in dangerous situations (to themselves) with all that steel and what not around them. I'll occasionally see the dip hole on my commute that is riding stupidly though.

Tricolor said:

I ride on the street enough to see a lot more bikers putting themselves into dangerous situations than cars do.  People just either don't pay attention or take stupid risks.  I see plenty of aware and decent riders, too, but like any group it's the idiots that you remember.

There really aren't many options as a cyclists besides "put oneself in danger" or "take the bus" 

Drivers don't blithely bump and scrape their surroundings thinking they're in a safe cage.  At least not normally, and not with the frequency I see bikes weaving through traffic at intersections and risking getting right and left hooked downtown.

Davo said:

Motorists don't have as many opportunities to put themselves in dangerous situations (to themselves) with all that steel and what not around them. I'll occasionally see the dip hole on my commute that is riding stupidly though.

No, when drivers make bad moves it usually puts someone else in danger, not themselves.

That article was more about the author than about cycling.  There's a literary movement that's been around for a while... The Bemused New Yorker.  It gets old fast.

If he talked more about biking than himself biking I may have read more.

You know, I really liked this article.  I can relate to the point he makes at the end:  That despite trying really hard  not to be an asshole, given the challenges faced riding the city day after day, it is really hard not to be.  Just this morning on my ride into work I was buzzed super close by a CTA bus driver on Milwaukee Avenue.  Perhaps already a bit tense from the soaking headwind in my face, I shouted a profanity at the bus.  (It was really intended for the driver, but I'm reasonably certain he/she didn't hear me.)  I'm no zen master, but I usually remain pretty chill when I ride.  But sometimes (maybe even often) ..., I get pissed. I find it hard not to, as the author eventually points out.

I thought the piece was well written and funny.  I get that east coast literary snark has perhaps "jumped the shark," but for whatever reason the author nailed this for me.

I certainly get the point, but I'm with Juan on this one. For me, the NYC snark has jumped the shark.

Apparently warning people that you're coming up from behind them is rude in this crazy topsy-turvy world, Why Not. 

That's what confused me.  "On your left" doesn't mean, "get out of my way, asshole!"  It means, "ps, if you randomly walk left, it's going to end badly for both of us."

Edit: Well, sometimes it means "get out of my way, asshole"...

Peenworm "8 mile" Grubologist said:

Apparently warning people that you're coming up from behind them is rude in this crazy topsy-turvy world, Why Not. 

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