Thursday, March 31, 2011

I do not ride a bike.

The following rant is not going to make me the most popular girl in Boulder. Which is a-ok by me. It's about cyclists. Sanctimonious, self-righteous, spandexed cyclists, specifically.

In this town, lots of people ride bikes. To commute, to run errands, to get to McYoga classes, to their salt spa appointments, reiki parole officer meetings, primal scream therapy support groups, and the grocery store. And that's great! People riding bikes is great! Bikes are awesome! Yay bikes! Know what, though? Just because you ride a bike, you are not better than people who don't. Riding a bike does not make you a morally superior person. So then what does it make you? 

It makes you a person who rides a bike.

Riding a bike (in and of itself) does not make you a raging douchebag either, though many cyclists are -- it's been scientifically proven -- extremely douchy. And in Boulder, even more so. But there's no causal effect, just some suspicious overlap as illustrated in the below artistic and complex venn diagram:

So, riding a bike clearly does not make you a jerk. Then what does it make you?

It makes you a person who rides a bike.

I do not ride a bike. That's right. You heard me. I don't ride a bike. Here's why: when I was 12, I rode a bike. Head on into a moving car. I flipped up and landed square on my chin. Broken teeth, broken jaw, heinous concussion in which I apparently said awful things to my mother. I had amnesia and still do. And every single time I try  (and believe me, I have tried a LOT) to get back on a bike, I get panic attacks.  My muscles freeze up, I can't breathe, and I feel like I am about to vomit. Guess what? It is not fun. 

After years of trying, I have realized and accepted that I do not give one shit whether I ever ride a bike again. I am not a bike rider. And for their own valid reasons, many other people are not bike riders either. Does that make us "worse" than cyclists? Does that make us bad, gas-guzzling, unhealthy, lazy jerks? No. Know what that makes us?

People who do not ride bikes. Period.

Thank you.


  1. OH how this makes my heart sing!!!

    I am a person who sometimes rides a bike.

    I am also a person who usually hates people who ride bikes.

    Even if you think you are morally superior, it does not make you lawfully superior. Follow the damn traffic laws. Stay in your bike lane (or better, the sidewalk!). And it may be wise to take those earbuds out so you can hear me honking and screeching my brakes to avoid hitting someone I would actually prefer to hit.

    Thank you for this.


  2. Amen to that. We have douchey street bikers here in DC. The kind that make you feel like a complete idiot for going into the bike shop to pick up XYZ. What do you mean you don't want to spend $3,500 on a bike? But it's the BEST ONE.

    Melanie@Unravelled Threads
    Follow @UnraveldThreads on twitter!