Cycling Smugness

This is an open letter to my new friend Brendan O’Neill.

Hello, Brendan, my new friend.

You do not know me yet, but you will. I have the confidence that I can make you like me. Perhaps I am right, or perhaps, I am just pompous.

“…truckers and the other big bruisers of road travel who are apparently careless and reckless and a threat to their surroundings.”

I would not say that all truckers are reckless, it would be foolish–wouldn’t you agree–to say that everyone is reckless when you have not met everyone. However, I would say that if you are on a bicycle, every truck feels like a threat.

Oh, and sorry that cycling does not pollute more. I don’t know why people talk about how cycling doesn’t pollute as if they are missing out on extra exhaust or something.

As for the “millions spent on cycling”, you did check the fact that cycling is underfunded, everywhere, didn’t you. Nothing in your article about that. Nor was there anything about the vast amount of money spent on cycling is for those who are too afraid too cycle because it’s bloody dangerous. The cyclists who cycle now would do so no matter what.

“Of course, if road safety can be improved to reduce the number of cycling deaths, then let’s do it (though anyone who thinks such tragedies can be wiped out entirely obviously doesn’t understand the indefeasible combination of risk and human error that will always lead to accidents).”

I liked this sentence at first, but then you made an error. You seem to think that traffic deaths are inevitable. That is totally wrong. Traffic–autos and roads–are the work of human hands. If people die, it’s because people were not careful. They literally chose speed and convenience over human life.

Sorry if that makes me pompous and smug, but I think it’s wrong to let people die because we are too lazy to ride a bicycle, too cheap to build decent roads, and too thick to know the difference.

Plus, as your research would indicate, if you did any, cycling pays for itself.

The whole thing about saints and sinners in your article is mighty entertaining, but it’s a bit confusing and silly, too. Lorry drivers ride bicycles. Cyclists drive trucks. So to defend cyclists is to defend lorry drivers, too. The world isn’t as black and white as you make it.

You will soon find this out, when you go on a ride with me!

Yes, I invite you to join me in my smugness on your morning commute in San Diego. It should be so easy for you to live such a pompous and smug lifestyle.

I will even lend you a bicycle! I am awaiting your response when you come to ride with me, and what a huge egos us cyclists have.a




2 Responses to “Cycling Smugness”

  1. Steve A Says:

    In my experience, professional truck drivers are much more considerate and careful about cyclists than most drivers. And I think I get my fair share of pollution – perhaps it is because I stop at red lights and am often BEHIND cars in that situation.

    • Fred Says:

      I have said for years that you should trust a professional to do the driving.

      Unforatunately, it seems that for many, when we drive too much, mindfulness is lost. Then the reptillian part of the brain takes over, and the motorist is agressive.

      Thus, I have experienced motoring agression from all types on the streets of all races and all modes: agressive motorists, cyclists, and even pedestrians.

      Thus, we should not demonize the mode, but rather focus on making things safer.

      I felt that the article was not helpful to this discussion as it had few facts, created a strawman argument, and it attacked cyclists in exactly the same way the he claimed that truckers were attacked.

      Plus, there are no truckers nor cyclists. Truckers ride bicycles, cyclists own trucks. It’s not us vs. them, but making things better for all modes.

      Accidents are preventable and not inevitable. Road rage and agreessive are also preventable.

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