While San Francisco’s public transportation and parking situations are certainly a good argument for bikes; chilly weather, mandatory exercise at 7am, and death are not.
Which puts us all in a weird situation. We hate bike riders, car drivers, Muni, and quite honestly, we hate pedestrians too. We’d like to all stay in our apartments and not have to travel anywhere during the day, but we need to get to our jobs running the world so that isn’t really a possibility.
The Guardian recently devoted its cover story to the plight of the bike rider in a city, which, from the tone of the article, is filled with Hummers piloted by demons. While it’s true that bicyclists, whose only protection is their skin and the helmet that they may or may not be wearing, will always come up short in a car fight, that doesn’t mean they are completely innocent in the Battle for Our Streets.
While it’s my understanding that the two wheels, free wheels, and trikes are supposed to behave like cars, it’s my observation that they do not, or at the very least they behave like very bad cars. They swerve around pedestrians in the crosswalk instead of stopping, go slower than the speed of traffic, and ride two by two like animals boarding Noah’s Ark.
Finally, they make unintelligible hand movements that literally mean nothing to the average motorist/pedestrian. What is crooked arm? Does middle finger mean ‘turn to the sky’?
I think we all understand by now that bikers are better people than motorists. They are cooler, fitter, care about the planet more, are more socially aware, prettier, smarter, better in bed, more creative, better at math, more likely to become president of the United States, really good at fencing, bilingual, able to hold their liquor, great writers, and just plain nice people.
In short they are the self-chosen ones, and as such, maybe everyone should look the other way when they make a mockery of street signs and crosswalks, like you might if you saw a nun chewing with her mouth open or going all crooked arm at a stoplight.
Or maybe we should just get some more designated bike lanes and look whichever way we want to.