Thursday, April 2, 2009

There's a fight a brewin'.

As I poke around the innertubes here, seeking news and the glad tidings of fellow cyclists, I hear a rumbling, angry noise, the noise that precedes a rumble, an angry, rumbling, noisy, pre-rumble sort of angry noisiness.

Conflicts at Critical Mass events, between drivers and cyclists. Radio DJs advocating the automotive assault of road bound cyclists. Cyclists removing side mirrors with u-locks. Videos of drivers buzzing cyclists. Pending litigation. Low-level carping. Waving of arms. Shaking of fists.

Perhaps this is part of a natural progression, especially in our more crowded cities. Cars, those tyrannical beasts, are encountering more and more unpredictable, little, flitting cycley insects. A populace already pushed to the edge by their car-bound isolation and sense of asphalt entitlement are being shoved into the abyss by our (sometimes) well-meaning society of cyclists.

Perhaps we are reaching some sort of actual critical mass, a point at which cars have to really deal with bikes. There will be some necessary conflict. The rough edges of both populations will be planed smooth.

Maybe there's even a future in which we, the two-wheeled, will outnumber the four-wheeled.

I certainly hope so, but for my part, I can't advocate violence, no matter how much I feel drawn to it. I have engaged in conflict. I have shouted and waved fists. I have also, on better days, forgiven those who have cut me off. By and large, these road confrontations are born more from simple human frailty than actual malice.

I am always happier when I forgo the angry response. There may be a fight a brewin', but we don't have to show up for it. We just have to try to arrive alive and hope for a more cyclistic future, life in a velocipedic utopia.


No comments: