It’s Time to Stop Sharing the Road

You’ve heard it ad nauseam: Share the Road – a mantra adopted much by cyclists and not at all by motorists. It’s become a passive petition: vulnerable bicyclists begging for enough street space to not be run over and killed from drivers largely indifferent due the empathy-crushing confines of the metal machines they drive. Even worse, groups like Please Be Kind to Cyclists have taken this kind of Stockholm Syndrome to absurd extremes, using language that would embolden any bully, ceding them power over their pleading victim.

The PC urban professional crowd you see on their corporate sponsored, helmet-required tours will shun assertive language and cling to a vocabulary of non-confrontationalism. For them, reputation and obedience are more important than responding to clueless motorists and their lethal driving habits with equal and opposite force. Whether in the streets or in our ongoing discourse, the tendency is to back down, to let the oppressor define the rules of engagement and debate. That kind of power dynamic has gotten us basically nowhere.

The burden of mortality is always on the person riding a bike, yet the burden of responsibility for using a car to kill or maim a person virtually never falls on the driver. If that pisses you off, it’s time to start acting like it. We’ve come to a point where all the soft-ball pitching of our needs has failed to deliver streets that are safer. Asking for permission to ride without fear doesn’t work – motorists don’t care, or they can’t hear you. It’s time to start adopting principles of two-wheeled liberation.

429615_316348148429285_1392845825_nStand your ground.

Liberation theories vary depending on the discipline, but most include language recognizing true emancipation can never come from above, liberation can only be derived from the self. Another major component is addressing the socializing that places normalcy on the state of oppression, or even places blame on the oppressed for their condition. How many times have you read a comment claiming if a cyclist gets killed by a car, it was their own foolish fault for getting in the way? And how many times have you witnessed people calmly appeal to said commenter’s empathy, only to watch them predictably prove they have none?

Even more horrifying, if a driver does in fact kill a person walking or biking, they’ll likely be conditioned to believe they were in fact the victim. A recent Op-Ed in the always anti-bicycle Oregonian by a woman (who previously drove her SUV into a man and killed him) warned people on bikes to watch out – she’s killed before, she just may kill again! Even though no bikes were involved in her lethal act of driving that day, bicycles and the people who ride them are now apparently the target of this woman’s misplaced guilt. Such is the pathology of entitlement that so many drivers adopt. Newsflash: if you kill a person with your car, you don’t get to lecture anybody else on their road behavior, EVER.

As has been noted before, the enclosure of the automobile and the anonymity of the internet have a common denominator in creating road rage and flame-warring. Those who employ rationality in these kinds of debates may be noble, but they’re wasting their time. Those who laugh at the idea of running down and killing people on bicycles have no better angles to appeal to. You don’t stop bullying behavior by trying to make the bully see the other side, you stop a bully by standing up to them.

So many cycling advocates have gone to lengths to stress there isn’t a war on cars for fear there could be an even greater backlash against us than already exists, as thought that were somehow possible. A war is here whether you like it or not, and it’s killing hundreds of people on their bikes each year. As The Stranger rightly pointed out in an article titled Okay, Fine, It’s War, “This antagonism traces directly to the creation of the modern car driver, a privileged individual who, as noted, is the beneficiary of a long course of subsidies, tax incentives, and wars for cheap oil. For cars we have paved our forests, spanned our lakes, and burrowed under our cities. Yet drivers throw tantrums at the painting of a mere bicycle lane on the street.

We’ve all had drivers come close to killing us. Many of us have been hit, some severely injured. I’ve lost count the number of times I’d meet a friend who’d just had their life flash before their eyes, retelling an F-bomb-laced story of how a motorist nearly took their life just moments prior. Personally, I’ve been deliberately hit by moving vehicles before, and have experienced a dozen more encounters where a driver swerved to hit me with their car but failed to make contact.

tour-de-fuckyouEvery day I ride the Tour de Fuck You.

While I’d caution most people about kicking and punching the vehicle belonging to a driver that almost just ended a life, I cannot stress enough how important it is to not let them simply drive away without holding them accountable – even if it’s only to receive a strongly worded scolding of their dangerous behavior. If they can almost kill you and get away with it, there’ll have zero negative feedback from which to form a lasting memory of the incident, and they’ll be that much more likely to do it again.

It’s okay to get mad, it’s okay to curse. Don’t get out of control, and always be aware of your surroundings. First and foremost, keep yourself and your comrades out of harms way. But remember, you don’t have to take shit from anyone. Somebody rides your ass with their two-ton death machine blaring the horn, that’s a threat, and you have every right to defend yourself from that kind of aggressive action.

Just because you’re at risk out there doesn’t mean you have to be a victim. Remember, you’re on a motherfucking bike.


2010-06-1Courtesy Yehuda Moon.


  1. I like that the guy riding down the middle of the Granville street bridge in that picture isn’t wearing a helmet.

    1. Well, I like that he isn’t wearing a helmet, too. We should all be so confident.

    2. I’m not sure which bridge that is, but it can’t be Granville, as Granville has four lanes in each direction. It does look a little bit like it, but there are also no over-head trolly wires for the buses in that picture, and Granville has two sets of those. Trust me, I rode over the Granville bridge today (without a helmet). Wish I had a T-shirt like that;-)
      Maybe it’s bridge in Portland, but it could be almost anywhere.

  2. I hate the fact that cyclist think that it’s alright to go through stop signs and red lights, and get pissed off at motorist for not stopping, when the motorist has the right of way.

    1. Aye… well fuck ye Billy Ross… comes out from behind all that metal protection ye seems ter need little man, and see how ye stands up ter thee likes ov mi an’ mi blade.

      1. I ride every day and stand by Billy’s comment. This was a great read and I agree, but if you’re in the mindset of burning through lights when the motorist DOES have the right of way you’re going to have issues. Laws are laws, and if you get hit burning a red light and then play the victim, fuck you, you have no right to complain when others break the law when you do it multiple times a day.

        1. Stop signs, signals etc exist for no other purpose than helping car drivers go faster. They create a tilted and dangerous playing field. So don’t be surprised when bicycle riders break those fucked up rules that actually make their ride more dangerous.

          1. The last accident I got in on my bike was when I got T-boned by another cyclist who ran a red light as I was going through on the green. Broke my hand and kept me off the bike for a month. Signals aren’t just for drivers. If we want to claim the roads (and we should) then we have to play by the rules.

          2. Bikemiliria, you further the point of your opponent. Cry foul when you get crowded, but act like all the traffic lights and signs and warnings are just for the driver. Drivers can share the road, but cyclist need to share the stop signs. -a cyclist

    2. it’s like jaywalking. it’s breaking the law, and i don’t give a fuck. at least i’ll treat them as yield signs, if that makes you feel better.

      1. Interesting history on “Jaywalking”. It was a crime created solely to making walking illegal – in order to make killing pedestrians with a car LEGAL. I shit you not, Wiki that one. It’ll make your blood boil.

    3. As for running red lights, it’s actually safer when someone on the other end is about to make a left turn because more than likely, they don’t notice you on a bike. The other reason is that its safer for vehicles to pass you down the street. Too many times, vehicles pass too close to me in a intersection.
      Now get on your bike and ride around your neighborhood and tell me how many stop signs you stop at. Nuff said.

  3. Yes! YEs! Yes! I think this EVERY DAY! What’s wrong with people in the USA? They should be happy that I am one less car clogging their street, one less soccer mom stealing their parking spot at Publix, one less vehicle polluting the air they breathe. Why do I get so much hate and aggression from drivers when I’m being pretty nice to them?

  4. As a car owner I would like to say that I am a strong proponent for bikers and pedestrians alike. While driving, or when I open my car door to get out, or make a turn, I remind myself to look for bikers. I am never in that much of a rush where I feel the need to “thread the needle” through a group of people who have the right of way. The road is not just mine. As a pedestrian I am annoyed at both bikers and cars. I don’t feel that I am treated with the same respect that I give out. I have been screamed at by bikers who felt like charging through my walk sign, been close to being hit by impatient a-holes in cars. I am aware of the jackass pedestrian as well, walking slowly through a green light at an intersection. No one is above the rules of the road. So, anyone on here with a holier than thou attitude can go screw. If I can wait a second to follow the rules, be it driving or walking, so can you. It doesn’t work otherwise.

    1. ahhhhh…another saintly “car-driver” who never speeds. it’s funny how there are so many of those on the internet but not on our streets.

      the “rules of the road” favor casual killing, toxic pollution, and environmental destruction. fuck these rules.

      1. I’m sure that it’s true that ever single car you have ever encountered is driven by a homicidal asshole actively trying to kill you. I respect your experiences. They are yours and you should own your victimhood.

        1. “I’m sure that it’s true that ever single car you have ever encountered is driven by a homicidal asshole actively trying to kill you.”

          Thanks for sharing, borgville. Unlike you, I do not believe every car is driven by a homicidal asshole trying to kill me. Most motorists in PDX respect my right to *illegally* take the lane or *illegally* roll a traffic signal. They understand that bikes are not heavy machinery and should operate under a *DIFFERENT* set of rules.

          1. spare_wheel i take it you’re another saintly bicyclist who never rides fast and never “threads the needle” and never speeds down pedestrian lanes. it;s funny how there are so many of you on the internet but few on the streets.

  5. Drivers who feel obligated to “teach that biker a lesson” by passing closely get my blood boiling but even more dangerous are the drivers who are just not paying attention.

    i used to keep an old tennis ball in my water bottle cage. if a driver passed too closely that ball was going flying.

    It works because:
    A) It woke the driver up
    B) Makes me feel better
    C) No chance of property damage
    D) No need to yell at driver
    E) Catches up to driver quickly
    F) The drivers behind me pass with a lot of room

    Thanks for the exciting words

    1. Brilliant idea, Bikesmut. I am a pacifist when it comes to most things, biking included. I have to say I may be in the minority on this thread in that I DO wish to continue obeying traffic laws both on my bike and in my car (as much as makes sense – I observe stop signs in bad neighborhoods as yield signs). And I DO wish to reserve my anger and assertiveness for moments where it will be effective and not just cause a sick feeling for me. The tennis ball gives a cyclist the opportunity to have MORE of those moments, perhaps getting a motorist to even pull over. I see this as a great chance to educate and if necessary, verbally retaliate. I may just adopt the tennis ball habit. Thank you.

      1. Thanks for the comment, Sway. Hopefully my article didn’t come off as though I was encouraging people to break the law – and hopefully people on bikes don’t think that confronting dangerous drivers is somehow illegal. Being assertive should always be effective if done thoughtfully, whether verbally or via tennis ball.

    2. I’ve had a similar idea (rotten orange) but I’ve been hit intentionally and fear violent retaliation from drivers…

  6. Outstanding! It’s great to see someone pointing out how reinforcing d-bag behavior by remaining passive in its presence just compounds the problem. I try to ride in a way that’s respectful of other people (that is, I blow off traffic controls, but not when it violates someone else’s right-of-way, etc.). If some cage jockey can’t manage to give me the same consideration, screw ’em. I don’t mind letting them know they just pulled a dick move. If they want to take violent exception to my commentary, well…I’m also a CCW permit holder.

    1. Play my way or I shoot you? Wow, thanks for adding another talking point to the anti gun crowd jack ass. I’m all for stronger back ground checks if it keeps people like you away from guns.

      1. so i guess you are also in favor of background checks for motorvehicles too. after all, motorists casually slaughter human beings with their motorvehicles far more frequently than cyclists with guns.

  7. i have no problem with you on your bike…just get on the sidewalk with the rest of the children. Your going 15-20moh on streets with cars weighing 3000 pounds going 40mph+….what can possibly go wrong?

    1. This is a joke, right. In most cases, it is ILLEGAL to ride a bike on a sidewalk.

      Why don’t you drive on the sidewalk and see how efficient that is.

    2. It is actually a lot safer to ride on the street, compared to the sidewalk. Most (about 80% or more) accidents happen at intersections, so when bicyclists ride on sidewalks then enter intersections, motorists have far less time to see them. So the no riding on sidewalks law, is for bicyclist safety as well as pedestrian safety.

  8. lll show respect the day cyclists have to pay insurance, require a license, and HAVE to wear a seatbelt. Those are required for driving these fine paved roads, should also apply to cyclists. Easy enough compromise.

    1. I’d say its probably more even once the cars cost more and heavier taxes are levied on their usage. And honestly once oil reflects its true price more vehicle operators will bike instead of driving short distances. But whatever. You’re obviously a douchey-troll. Angry too. Y’know, a little cycling would clear that right up. 😉

    2. You pay insurance for your VEHICLE, a liability that can take multiple lives. That’s why you have to pay insurance. Bikes do not kill people. I also have a quick fix for you having to pay insurance; stop paying for it! If you’re not comfortable with breaking the law, get a bike and take the lane.

    3. So, asshole – I cycle, but I also drive, pay for insurance on my car, and purchase gas. I just don’t want to destroy the roads that I help pay for by driving my gigantic, unnecessary car on them all of the time. They are my goddamn roads too, so go fuck yourself.

      1. When did a motorcycle riders have to wear a seatbelt and like us cyclists, we all payed for the pavement.

    4. Drivers licenses for cyclists, while it’s motorists who kill 100 Americans a day, every day for the last 60 years.

      Four of those drivers every fay scurry away and leave innocent people to die in the street.

      Drivers licenses aren’t working. Time for speed governors on all cars, and GPS trackers to solve the hit & runs…

  9. Nice article. I’m not so nice once my life is threatened but a few honks and shouting “get off the road” don’t phase me anymore. I like to blow those guys kisses.
    -I’ve got a few friends that carry telescoping billy clubs on their bikes, they can often shatter a window and put the little club away before the car drives all the way past them, then act like the car window broke when it clipped them. I don’t know that I have it in me to be that aggressive but a few more intentional attempts on my life and I might get there. Maybe a paintball gun…. hmmm.

  10. What a completely irresponsible article. This will probably get a lot ore cyclists killed…considering they are already at a disadvantage when you compare a car to a bike. All you are doing is provoking a fight with the assumption all cyclists are correct. You don’t pay shit in taxes or fees for licenses or roads, why do you deserve the same exact rules. Sure people should not go out of their way to kill you, but by the same token, man the fuck up and realize you are a slower distraction on the road.

  11. My position is universal 25 MPH and removing personal automobiles from a portion of our roads equal to the percentage denied us taxpayers as “limited access” highways. Necessary message.

  12. I actually drive down Comm Ave in Boston (amiright?) every morning with a terrible fear of killing or hitting a bicycle. I look every time I turn and before I change lanes and open my door. I am super careful about bikes, and at 8:30-9am there are nearly as many bikers as there are cars flying down the road shared with two bus lines, a t-line and two lines of traffic cars. I have many friends who bike and my mom was in a bicycle accident due to a reckless car driver. Car drivers are not the victims of an accidents I understand, BUT 1) Bikers are completely capable of making the same operating mistakes that cars make and 2) when any 20-something y/o bearded jackass screams a profanity a 8:30 am, flips the bird, and rides away like he just saved the world, the more negative reaction I have to bikers vs drivers conversations like this. The war between bike vs cars is super obnoxious.

    1. You can’t kill a bicycle, it’s an inanimate object. And it’s not a war between bikes and cars, it’s a war between cars and people.

          1. this is an honest, non-snarky question! Please answer sincerely? Cars are operated by people. Bicycles are operated by people. Why should we discuss cars as somehow entirely inanimate as though the actions of cars aren’t the responsibility of drivers? We have to hold drivers accountable, if it’s “war” we want then it has to be about drivers and cyclists understanding (or killing) each other. The machines are secondary, no?

    2. As someone who lived in the burbs (Bellingham) and worked in Boston. And had a car. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO DRIVE IN BOSTON. You just mentioned all of them in your comment. I either took the train from Franklin or drove into Alewife to the T. I was a marketing mgr. Meaning I traveled to dif stores. A lot of travel. By T. Never took a bus actually. The T is amazing. You should use it. I haven’t owned a car in over 5 years now.

  13. I normally come close to the person who almost killed me, and ask him, -Dude, didn´t you see I was coming? Depending on their reaction I can just tell them to be careful, shout, throw them some water or just trash their rearview mirror!

  14. I noted that the language used for cyclists mirrors that of advice for rape victims. It is all about blaming the victims… protect yourself or you’ll get hurt, wear bright color, use lots of lights, ect. You know what the single most common factor is when a motor vehicle injures or kills a cyclist… THE MOTORIZED VEHICLE. So, let us stop telling cyclists not to get hit and tell drivers not to hit cyclists.

    1. I have a serious problem with you equating road interactions and problems with rape and systemic oppressions such as colonialism. 1. rape is a deeply interpersonal violation of interpersonal autonomy. It is most often perpetrated by people who have intimate relationships with their victim and leverage that personal relationship to perpetrate the crime and to mitigate the consequences of their crime. While drivers doing ILLEGAL things to you (a complete stranger) is ILLEGAL, they are not the same and to leverage the gravity of rape to enhance the seriousness of YOUR issue is just WRONG. 2. There are people out there doing good equity work. Do not EVEN equate systemic oppressions that have inflicted torture, group massacres, disease, and enslavement and economic disenfranchisement on indigenous people and people of color for FIVE HUNDRED YEARS OR MORE solely by virtue of their skin color and/or ethnicity. (trying to) be an ally of other social justice works doesn’t mean you get to use the seriousness of oppression to leverage the importance of your own perceived oppression. Throwing around those words “colonialism” and “patriarchalism” makes you look selfish, ignorant and like an asshole. (if the picture of a bicyclist shooting a driver didn’t already.)

      1. Their comparison was about victim blaming, not equating the two. C’mon, you know better.

      2. esther h, your entire rant is based on a strawmen.

        Strawman 1: No one here equated harassment by a motorist with rape.

        “I noted that the language used for cyclists mirrors that of advice for rape victims”.


        Strawman 2: Comparing is not equating.

        No one here has denied that colonialism and patriarchalism [sic] oppressed, murdered, tortured, and maimed countless human beings. Nevertheless, motorists *unnecessarily* slaughter several hundred thousand human beings each year (as well as countless animals). Moreover, motoring is *a* primary cause of the ongoing mass-extinction and the ongoing environmental catastrophe. I vehemently believe that our petro-chemical lifestyle, of which motoring is a large part, is a *worse* threat to humanity than colonialism or the patriarchy. So, IMO, these kind of *comparisons* are apt.

  15. Hey, Stoked on all the positive comments on this issue! That is me on the bike so I can verify the picture was taken on the Granville bridge at about 7 at night.

  16. During a bike race this year, I was rear-ended by a dumbass who was texting. The local police were dumbfounded when I told them she deserved a ticket, and they never gave her one. Since then, I’ve felt the same way you’ve described here. Fuck them.

  17. Its sad that people are so tough and full of vitriol when they comment in these articles. I have been riding bikes for over thirty years, and I have no desire to ride in the road with a line of cars behind me while I do twenty miles an hour at best.

  18. Dylan, I like that. I question the wisdom of cussing out a vehicle weighing an order of magnitude more than you. Not that I’ve never done it, in fact, far more than I should, probably.
    Here in Rhode Island I don’t know what it is but the drivers are like 99.9% nice. Nice to a fault in fact. I like “just take the right of way you have & I am obviously giving you cage jockey & we will all get there faster & safer & with our nerves in tact.”
    I take the lane when it makes sense — line of parked cars, planning on going straight when there is traffic that may “right-swipe” me, etc. Other times it I’m on the right. I’m not going to needlessly impede people just to make a douchy point. Other times I give it up when I don’t have to but it seems the right thing to do. Like recently on a long distance ride in a rural area where there was construction & it was one of those single lane things where a bunch of vehicles wait while the ones going the opposite way get through, then we all go, etc. well when we started I could see that the cage monkey behind me didn’t have the nerve to pass so I pulled over & let them all go, then proceeded. I mean “who by being anxious can add one cubit to the span of his life?” Or say there is a truck coming (down a hill especially) the opposite way with the left turn signal on. I slow up & motion the guy (usually) on. What the heck? I wanna risk getting squashed like a bug?
    A little off topic now but I used to hate motorcycles for their infernal racket but realized that my life had never been endangered by one.

  19. I liked your article but it is just too biased. I’m in Chicago, I bike to work but at times I also have to drive a car, and as much as it is terrifying to have to share the road with drivers that don’t give a shit about bikers, it is also nerve-racking to share the road with bikers that act like the road rules don’t apply to them, and man, we have a lot of both in this city. I’m not just saying that bikers don’t deserve to use the road as much as cars, but we also need to abide by the same rules; I’ve feared for my life a couple times while on a bike but I’ve also been put in dangerous situations by bikers running through red lights several times, the last time it ended up with me swerving into the oncoming traffic lane to avoid running over a biker that went through a red light almost hitting the car I was driving (it would had if it wasn’t because I moved away), and then had the balls to flip me off. Dude I’m not saying that there are not a bunch of a**hole drivers, but bikers as a community also have to acknowledge that there are a number of a**holes among us.

    1. “but we also need to abide by the same rules;”

      rule written for and by motorists.
      no thanks.

  20. This is fantastic! Bicycles are vehicles and belong on roads. When a person driving a car complains about my presence, I yell, ” I belong here- this is a vehicle!” Mild mannered but still standing my ground…
    Thank you for this post!

  21. this plays like class war. Plenty of people entrenched in their geography and circumstances use their death machines because that’s what they have and no one has enlightened them that they are in fact murderous assholes who need to be shot in their heads.

  22. Your piece made me think a lot.

    You may enjoy this piece on Authoritarians (especially their followers) by Professor Altemeyer.

    The specific issue is the submission to what is the dominant paradigm and a general fear of upsetting this paradigm (it speaks to the fear raised in national politics most recently and also in the context of who gets to use space on the roads: “I will kill you with my car if you don’t get out of the way”)

    An excerpt
    “Authoritarian Aggression. When I say authoritarian followers are aggressive I don’t mean they stride into bars and start fights. First of all, high RWAs go to church enormously more often than they go to bars. Secondly, they usually avoid anything approaching a fair fight. Instead they aggress when they believe right and might are on their side. “Right” for them means, more than anything else, that their hostility is (in their minds) endorsed by established authority, or supports such authority. “Might” means they have a huge physical advantage over their target, in weaponry say, or in numbers, as in a lynch mob. It’s striking how often authoritarian aggression happens in dark and cowardly ways, in the dark, by cowards who later will do everything they possibly can to avoid responsibility for what they did. Women, children, and others unable to defend themselves are typical victims. Even more striking, the attackers typically feel morally superior to the people they are assaulting in an unfair fight. We shall see research evidence in the next chapter that this self-righteousness plays a huge role in high RWAs’ hostility.

    1. Thanks for the link! I agree. The entitlement of car culture is very much engrained in our traditions of American exceptionalism, colonialism, patriarchal domination, Manifest Destiny, etc.

      1. Okay, my weakness. I just want to understand the emotional core of this conflict. We’re no different than drivers, really; why does the very act of driving, as ubiquitous as it is, constitute such a threat? Why is the idea of a shared agreement across all modes of behavior that is designed to preserve safety so frustrating? Social norms are a delight to disrupt, I get that and have been through it; but what, realistically, is the goal? Is perpetuating conflict preferable to consensus? I ask nothing because I want to argue, only because I want to understand.

        1. The core of this is that we are not different, that’s correct. The mode share is the lethal difference. The goal is not to perpetuate conflict, the goal is to abolish the conflict.

  23. if i have to read another website w/a black background and white text i’m going to kill the internet.. dig up steve jobs and kill him again.

    then i’m gonna tell you that every time i ride my bike (almost every day) i have plenty of positive interactions with drivers of cars/busses/18 wheelers etc. i’ve been almost hit, yelled, gotten pissed, had words, rolled my eyes at cars doing it wrong.. and as many cyclists who have a phone in one hand, no helmut and coast through intersections w/o even looking… but i actually worry more about some idiot kid throwing a traffic cone at my head while i ride by and knocking my teeth out than cars.

    i don’t care what you’re riding or driving… if you’re an idiot then your gonna have bad experiences.

    i wear a helmut because it doesn’t take much to ding up the brain.. it’s not cars i’m worried about.. a tire getting sucked into a pot hole or drain or whatever can send a 20mph rider into an instant header and that’s all it takes for a person to spend the next 6 months re-learning how to tie his/her shoes after a head trauma. if you’re riding and not wearing a helmut you just increase your chances of becoming a vegetable.

    also, portland is heaven for cyclists compared to pretty much every other place in the USA. try riding anywhere in miami at 4pm on a friday in december. try just being a pedestrian even. doesn’t matter. we’re doing a lot better here in the PNW when it comes to educating drivers and it gets better all the time and we have support of local government and cyclist are a big part of the economy. there’s a lot going for us here and more to come.

    i’m all for people getting out of their bubbles and riding a bike or taking public transportation or whatever connects them a little more to other people but being punk rock confrontational every time you ride isn’t going to do anyone any good.

    be alert, stay safe, let them know you’re there.

  24. i’ve given you some shit on bp, but this piece was brilliant. cyclists who believe they are equal road users do not kiss ass, they DEMAND equal access. fuck the mandatory side path law. fuck “as far right as possible”. fuck waiting at traffic signals breathing toxins spewed by narcissistic cagers.

    PS: the BTA can take their “bike ambassador” stockholm syndrome bullshit and shove it.

  25. Hell yes if someone (purposely)threatens your life with a deadly weapon they shouldn’t be surprised when they get shot in the face.

  26. If you want to share the road, share the rules of the road. Yes, car vs bike is a mismatch. But cyclists that ignore the rules and the signs often make me as a motorist want to ignore their existence, especially after I’ve been respecting their room and even protecting them from other speeders from behind. When you say you want to be respected on the road, and disrespect the rules of the road, you look like a brat.

    1. so i have to follow your bull shit auto-centric rules…or else:
      “make me want to ignore their existence.”

      “and even protecting them from other speeders from behind.”
      if you really want to protect human beings then STOP DRIVING!

  27. I drive a truck and a harley plus an ATV and a very nice TREK bike. I, too, have had close calls from jerk-offs either not paying attention or just being rude, but to see guys like the ones in the picture blatantly riding in the middle of the lane, running stop signs and breaking laws pisses me off to no end. Much like the ass that cuts me off in his car, I want to beat YOUR ass too. Stop being a jerk-off and behave. If we all show respect and treat each other civilly we won’t have this crap. NONE of you are “elite” in my book, we are all the same. Treat me with respect in whatever mode of transportation I am in and I will do the same. To the rest of you trying to incite anger and violence, suck it!!

  28. I’m not sure why you think if it’s not ok to use a car as a weapon, why you think it’s ok to advocate cyclists to shoot drivers in the head. Either both are ok, or neither are ok!!!

  29. So get this, a car almost clips my elbow, I ride up to the guy at the next red light and tell him he passed awfully close. He’s wearing some sort of security uniform and he says oh yeah, why don’t I write you a ticket for running a light. So the people charged to protect us don’t even care about bicyclist.

  30. You know I broke a window or two already using my Ulock since the last time I did that,drivers around here have been giving me some respect.

  31. Hey I made that graphic! (the yellow “stand your ground” one).

    Appreciate its use in this great commentary.

  32. I’ve been riding in the street for 40 some years. This is a good article on how I survived. I always claim the lane. Cars hate it, but they have to hit me on purpose, not pretend they didn’t notice. I’ve broken a few car mirrors – totally by accident of course… I am a reasonable man who rides his bicycle in DC. We have terrible traffic. Even bicyclists have a tough time plying the streets. We have to push back when dealing with the motor mentality.

  33. good for you. it doesn’t help to encourage trolls except in my case – i ride a surly troll…

  34. Joel, I just pull up next to ’em at the light and whack their mirror. I can disappear into traffic faster than a bicycle in traffic. After 50 years of riding I get fed up with the physical threats of motorists ignoring my right to life. Barring my vandalism I’ve been assaulted, hit and robbed while out on my bike. None of those incidents was due to anything I’ve done wrong. I ride because it’s fun, but I take my lane – it’s legal here. I’ve had an excellent safety record by and large. Don’t feed the trolls

  35. FWIW, I’m from Philadelphia and I’m a part/sometime commuter cyclist – and while it’s true that I have had close calls with motorists, every single one apologized and was visibly shaken. So, I’m not exactly feeling like it’s a war, at least not in Philly. So have your war, but keep it in your own city, please, because my son is learning to ride his bike.

  36. If you, or anyone, refuses to stop for things like a red light and it results in an injury or death, that’s your own damn fault and you can’t complain. Everyone deserves a safe commute. It is absurd to think any person on the road can ignore something like that and be upset at the consequences. Car, bike, motorcycle, etc. run a red light or stop sign in ANY vehicle and you put yourself at a massive risk for being t boned. If you don’t like that, don’t ride/drive like a douche and stop for safety like everyone else.

    1. Angry motorist is angry.
      But, we knew that empirically already didn’t we?

      So, dear Angry Motorist, all next week I’ll drive instead of riding. Instead of a nice, easy to pass bicycle, you’ll be stuck behind me in my dually F-250 extended cab diesel that burns more motor oil than fuel. You won’t be able to pass me, and you’ll need a rag to breathe through.

      But I’ll do that for you. Just for you. You want my cycle off the road? Careful what you ask for.

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