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View Full Version : Weary of anti-bicycling comments? Here's comebacks.


manao
01-08-2007, 12:48 PM
An anti-biking co-worker loved to volunteer snide remarks about bike commuters to me and others in our office, but I thought I would share the two things that finally stopped him:

Once, when he was telling me how he was on a sidewalk with his toddler daughter, a cyclist came up from behind and was _this_ close to hitting his child. Doing best to copy his wide-eyed look and expressing concern, I said, "Well, it's a good thing he wasn't driving a _car!_"

After my co-worker kept offering other similar anecdotes about misbehaving cyclists (admittedly, it'd be easier if we all showed courtesy out there, but oh well), I made a point of telling him how I saw a bike commuter that morning who was merrily pedalling along and then, lo and behold, the light turned red in front of him.

"That's when the cyclist slowed down, braking at first, and then came to a stop, right there at the light. Then the cyclist waited there until the light turned green and, amazingly, the cyclist just started pedalling again." (It works best if delivered dramatically.)

The point being that we're always attuned to noticing bad behavior but we often don't see the good. And it's particularly unfair to cyclists; when motorists complain about other drivers' failure to, say, yield, the actions of that bad seed are never interpreted as describing the entire class of motorists. So the same leeway should be given to bike commuters, most of whom know the laws are more there to protect than limit us.

Anyway, I used to get really pissed when drivers whined about cyclists, but the above coping humor tactics seem to have done the trick, for both me and him. Peace.

jami
01-08-2007, 03:36 PM
the "what if it had been a car" comment is great re-framing. george lakoff would be proud. it's good to remember that whatever minor traffic infractions bikes commit, cars kill over 100 americans a day.

i find that drivers do notice me stopping at lights and stop signs when another bike has just run it. i think this is overall a plus, because they realize that we're not all the same.