Dear Motorists: I Don’t Ride With Your Convenience As My Top Priority

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 19

This is a continuation of my Dear Motorist Series (see other entries here, and here) This open letter was prompted by the discussion that occurred in this post.

Dear Boston Motorists,

I feel the need to inform you that your expectation that I ride my bicycle with your convenience as my top priority is completely fucking irrational. I ride my bicycle with my own personal safety as my top priority, followed by the personal safety of those people I am sharing the road with. In fact if I were to make a list of my priorities while riding your convenience would hover around the bottom of that list. And yet I hear what seem to be well educated people constantly use arguments of convenience to justify dangerous, often deadly, behavior from motorists.

I am sorta amazed that anyone would ever uses arguments like this:

“I’m not quite sure why cyclists feel the need to take the entire lane. He could have been over to the right 3-4 feet, and the driver could have passed him with enough room.”

or

“I suggest “sharing the road” instead of hogging the road. In many cases a car and bike can safely share a lane. Hogging an entire lane for no good reason will antagonize motorists. As a result all cyclists will suffer for the selfish (albeit legal) actions of a few. If you do not possess the skills, judgment, and/or temperament to share the road I suggest that you either learn from someone who knows how to do this or give up riding your bike.”

Here’s the thing about those kind of arguments they miss three very important points.

1. Cyclists have the full legal right to use the entire lane. Get over it.
2. You do not, as a motorist (or anyone else using the road), have a “right” to go as fast as you want.
3. Go fuck yourself, seriously. You’re in a car, is it really going to ruin your day if you have to wait 5 extra seconds before you get to that next red light?

Cyclists take the entire lane for any number of reasons. They might be trying to avoid a car pulling out, they might be avoiding the door zone near parked cars, they might be avoiding debris on the road, potholes in the road, other cyclists, pedestrians, or turning cars. They might be setting up for a left turn, they might feel the road is too narrow and don’t want you to pass them, they might be approaching a red light and don’t want to lose their space in line, or maybe they just fucking feel like utilizing their legal right to use the lane.

If you can’t handle that, it is my sad duty to inform you that you are a douche bag piece of shit who has no business driving a large deadly hunk of metal around other people. You are a danger to other human beings, be they in car, on a bike, or walking. Your self important hissy fit is going to get someone killed. Your honking, your close driving, your intentional hitting, your bullshit bravado and threats are all sure signs that you are not qualified to drive a car, or for that matter interact with other human beings. You should stay home until you can put your big boy pants on and play nice with others.

Yours in Cycling
Boston Biker


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Posted in bostonbiker, Uncategorized | 13 Comments »


13 Responses to “Dear Motorists: I Don’t Ride With Your Convenience As My Top Priority”

  1. By Bob on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    wow 3 fucks…and that not bullshit bravado?

  2. By William Furr on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Thank you!

  3. By Jazz on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    You rock….

  4. By Ted on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Well, thanks for being entertaining. Most idiots are just boring. *sigh* Will the partisans please whack off out of the way, in their respective corners, while the rest of us do our best to share the road? Bike On!!

  5. By John W. on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Also,in what crazed system does “share the road” mean both people use it dangerously instead of both using the road safely by allowing one to be ahead of the other. Sharing the road means I get to be in front of you sometimes, and sometimes you get to be in front of me.

  6. By Paul Schimek on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Yes. And it’s even harder to make folks understand that bicyclists have the full legal right to use the road when there is a bike lane and the bicyclist is not riding in it (for any number of good reasons).

  7. By Jeff on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Hopefully the day will come when more cyclists ride legally 99% of the time so drivers will no longer think taking the lane for safety reasons is the same as blowing through a red light or weaving in and out of traffic.

  8. By J on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for posting these; I appreciate an outlet to share my story and I hope blogs like this help to raise awareness for bicycle safety.

    I was hit on 9/9 at 8:20(ish) AM in Arlington by a man who purposely ran his car into me: We were stopped at the corner of Mass Ave & Route 60, in the right turn only lane. That lane had a red arrow, which we all know means no turning until it’s green.

    The center lane got their green arrow to move and almost immediately, the car behind me (in the right turn only lane) starts honking and the driver is yelling/cursing at me. I was very confused because the light was still red for us, until I realized he wanted to actually go straight and hadn’t felt like waiting in the long line of traffic to be in the correct lane (I see it all the time at this intersection–cars don’t want to wait in the lane’s traffic, so they swerve into the right turn only lane, blow by everyone who actually is waiting, then cut over at the last second and go straight).

    I pointed to the red arrow and calmly told him that we couldn’t turn right on red here. His response to this was to get out of his car and try to hit me. I ducked and tried to get my bike over to the sidewalk ASAP, but I was too slow and in that time (3 seconds??), he got back into his car saying, “I’ll get you to move the f*ck outta my way!” and floored it. He hit my right leg but somehow I managed to keep my balance (I had been standing with my bike between my legs while waiting for the red light to turn green). I got to the sidewalk and he zoomed across the intersection, through the straight lane light that had already turned red, and cut off at least 5 other cars.

    I don’t have a helmet cam, and I unfortunately didn’t get the plates. But I did file a report with the Arlington police (who seemed shocked by this and called to follow up with me). I hope to see this guy again so I can update the report with his plate #!

  9. By DOUBLG on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    WELL PUT SIR ! One of your BEST blogs ever !!! As ‘Jazz’ said above, you ROCK !

  10. By Tim on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Did anybody see the police on Beacon/Hampshire street in Cambridge today stopping bicyclists for running red lights? Be careful out there.

    Speaking of red lights. I was waiting for a red light at the intersection of Washington and Court streets in the financial district today (right in front of the old state house), mostly because there was a Boston police car behind me. Shortly after the light turns green, I start moving and a woman in a Porsche convertible pulls through the red light on Court street, directly in front of the police and myself. The siren starts to wail and I ride on with a huge grin.

  11. By Jacob on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Stay the fuck off my roads and ride on the fucking sidewalk with your pedestrian transportation. You’re no different than a skateboard.

    /BostonBandit

  12. By notbikesnobnyc on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    The problem is poor law enforcement, pure and simple.

    If the police would ticket cars and cyclists for running red lights, things would get much better quickly. Ditto for pedestrians.

    right now it’s chaos because everyone knows you can be a dork on the road and it won’t matter.

  13. By michigan biker on Sep 22, 2011 | Reply

    I wish I could somehow have this message sent to everyone who passes me speeding, honking, and driving too close. I especially hate it when people pass me when there are on-coming cars.

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