Thursday, July 21, 2011

Me too!

Recently, in the public and political landscape, all sorts of "cyclists" have started to pop up like springtime dandelions. 
Cycling is cool. It's in. It's trendy. It's the newest thing to be a part of. Every public persona and their chiwawa cycles now.
All kinds of folks have been exposing themselves, "coming out of the closet" as avid cyclists. 

Of course, some of them are real and honest everyday cyclists, like David Byrne. Others are as ridiculous as ridiculous can be. Yet others are in just for the image and public relation benefits.

In addition of course to the traditional load of fair weather cyclists, Sunday riders, part-time fitness sports cyclists etc.
Somehow though, this new found status is supposed to give these people some sort of authority in discussing cycling issues. "Look! Me too, I am a cyclist so I know what I am talking about..."

Well no you don't. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, this is what being an urban cyclist means:
"We're talking hoping on your clunker and zipping left and right to the movies, to the theater, to the Jazz Fest, to have a drink with your pals, to go get some ice cream, to go to the pool, the grocery store, to the bachelor party, to the library, to the park, to the gym, to the guitar lesson, to pick up your kid etc. in addition to, of course, going to work. You've got your laptop  and gym stuff in a pannier or in that messenger bag, salad, bread and lemonade in that wicker basket and your cell phone within reach because, man! Those buddies of yours changed the plans again: apparently the lounge/restaurant sucks ass so you guys are going straight pool sharking at Ratty's. 
If that's not what you are doing, you're not in business. Period."
If you are not doing any of it, you have no authority in urban cycling discussions. Regardless of who you may be in your everyday life. You do not fully understand the issues. 
You are entitled to your opinions of course, but only as a bystander. You are no expert. Your opinions are as random and as valuable as anybody else's. And better even, we do not really care what you think or don't think. Especially when it is complete nonsense.

While not too much a fan of dorks, I can give all due respect to a lycra who knows his business. But someone who only puts his ass on a bike every freaking blue moon, to loose some cellulite while riding 15 min through culs-de-sac and back alleys has no relevant transportation advice to give to an urban cyclist.

The latest in that bullshit trend is STM bus driver Richard Dion reacting to Christian Déjoie's piece in La Presse. Christian was denouncing the bullying cyclists often experience on th road, coming for STM bus drivers. turns out that Richard Dion also cycles: yoohoo, me too, another one!
This so-called "cyclist's" advice goes as follow: "Park your bike". 
Yeah, you read that right. A "cyclist" telling another cyclist streets are too dangerous, don't cycle!
Any suggestions on improvements? New segregated lanes? Design arrangements? Speed reduction policies? Traffic calming measures? Police intervention? Urban reorganisation? 
No. zit. Just do not cycle!

That may make sense to a wannabe such as me-too-I-am-a-cyclist Richard Dion. To a person for whom a bicycle is the main transportation vehicle, this piece is a big load of horse dung.
If you ain't got nothing good to say...

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