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I don't like them on the roads or off. Where I live, the converted an unused railroad into a "bike path". It supposed to be for everyone. There are parks and playgrounds along the way as well as ice cream stands in the summer. Its called a bike path but there are quite a few roller bladers, walkers,some people even commute that way in nice weather. It would drive me bananas to take the children I babysat for for a nice walk ( they even rode their bikes sometimes as there was no car traffic) to have some arse come barrelling at us at 50 mph (don't know the kilometers per hour so lets just say too fucking fast) screaming "ON YOUR LEFT!!" as though we had time to figure out our left from right never mind move a couple of meandering preschoolers.

I get it, its a bike path but still. Maybe those types need a bike highway or something.

My husband tried the bike riding thing. But he had the good sense to wear some cargo shorts and a long shirt so the motorists wouldn't see his heiny.
And he would never hog the road. He wants to hit those bastards as much as you do.

Ouch--Tertia, let me preface by saying I love your blog, but I would like to respectfully ask you to look at the other side of the story regarding road cyclists. I live in the U.S., in a part of the country that is very "bicycle friendly" as country-parts go, but cyclists here routinely have things thrown at them from passing cars, are screamed at, sworn at, have exhaust revved in their faces, and have cars swerve dangerously close to them in "jest." Every year cyclists (who WERE riding on the shoulder, by the way), are killed here by reckless drivers. Last year a 28 year old man (married one year) was killed by a teenager who fell asleep while driving his SUV on a mountain road. Another was killed while a driver was text messaging on his cell phone. This is an issue very close to my heart, because while I am not a cyclist (though I do ride a bike once in a while), my husband is, and I am always a little nervous when he goes riding because of the above-mentioned issues. Yes, there are arrogant cyclists, sure, that are road hogs or otherwise behave badly, but I think they are way outnumbered by arrogant drivers. My husband always wears a helmet when riding, and on group rides always tries to enforce the single-file rule in busy car areas.

In the U.S. we have become such a car culture that we forget there are other valid means of transportation. I have nearly been hit several times by cars at intersections as I was walking across the street because they forgot to check for pedestrians. I have also nearly hit someone walking across the street when I was driving because *I* forgot to check for pedestrians! When we get behind the wheel of a car, something turns most of us into impatient a-holes (myself included, in spades, which is why I loathe driving, and if I lived in a place with reliable public transport, I would give up my car in a second).

Also--I may be a complete perv here, but I think the shaved leg look is really sexy. I hate furry legs on a guy. I always try to convince my husband to keep shaving in the off season, but no go! :-)

Anyway, thanks for listening!

Are you for real on this one? Had to re-read to see if it's really a joke, but apart from the odd line I think you're serious...

Well, if they're behaving badly (because we all know car drivers never, never do that!) that's one thing, but Tertia, at least the cyclists aren't giving asthma to your precious kids, or using all the fossil fuel resources up so that they'll have to go without.

Yep, I'm a cyclist. Now you can really hate me... :-)

Just had a little daydream about cycling along a stretch of road in Africa. Sigh. Someday...

Ouch here too. I'm mainly a lurker, and I love your blog and your wit, but like Anne I'd like to ask you to consider another point of view on this subject.

Roads *weren't* built for cars. First of all, they were built for pedestrians, horses and carts. Cyclists were using them long before motor vehicles. I'm not sure about SA, but in the UK, cyclists have a *right* to use the road. Drivers don't have that *right* - they use the road subject to license. That's a reflection of the harm that motor vehicles can (and sadly so often do) cause.

As for positioning, a cyclist who confidently occupies his/her space in the road is safer than one who cowers in the gutter. A gutter cyclist is off the drivers' radar and likely to get sideswiped at junctions by a turning car whose driver 'just hasn't seen' him. If slowing down now and again frustrates drivers, sorry, but that frustration is the driver's problem to deal with (and yes, venting on a blog is one way to do it! :-)

Sorry if this sounds overly serious and you meant the post as a light-hearted way to let off steam - it's just that I think the threat to cyclists (and other vulnerable road users) from motor vehicles, and the constant drip-drip of deaths, is a serious matter. I wish we could create a culture where road users accepted their responsibility to safeguard others' lives.

I wish you & your family all the best.

This was rude and not only in tone. Hoping that no cyclists but only fast, very fast drivers come in your way.

Another cyclist to ask you to please chill out. I agree that cyclists that ride several people across are obnoxious but most of us are more respectful of traffic than that. Cycling is good and there is always enough road if the car drivers could just sacrifice 5 minutes of their oh so precious and busy lives to slow down until they can pass safely. It really isn't that hard - share the road! We'll all be happier.

The road is for all vehicles, not just cars. Bicycles are vehicles of trnasportation too and are entirely appropriate on the road. Thank heavens this is not a typical attitude in Vancouver where we pride ourselves on our strong biking culture.

"35,000 mentally insane people forget they have a car" and go out of their way to inconvenience the mighty car-owner.

May be there's a valid element of indignation in your rant (obey the rules, provided there are such rules, etc.) but it's lost in the general lack of coherent and convincing arguments. All you are saying is that you hate the cyclists because they are strange and slow you down. Oh, and they are "fuckers", too.

What is more troublesome is the fact that one can extend the list of mild annoyances to include pedestrians, slow drivers, cleanly shaved drivers, marching protesters...

Lastly, consider educating yourself by watching the documentary "Inconvenient Truth". It does a splendid job at explaining the perils of carbon dioxide emissions. Don't do this unless you care about the future of your children.

Marta

Bikers do tend to be rude. If drivers are expected to move into the right lane when they are being slower, why shouldn't a biker move over when THEY are clearly being slower? While I was driving 20mph in a school zone, a male biker (30's) lost control of his bike and almost landed right on top of my car. Tell me: how is that safe?

I am all for alternate means of transportation for those who have the ability to do so. Especially in an obese country like the USA, it would do people a lot of good to engage in some physical activity; it is for that very reason that I frequently rollerblade in the summer. However, I have come across more than one biker, roller blader, skateboarder and so on who were anything but polite when on the road.

I highly doubt you were trying to generalize in this situation, but it's impossible to not offend somebody with any post you write.

And by the way, it is those polluting vehicles that provide people with quick pizza deliveries, overnighted mail, emergency services, and dozens of other necessities society finds so pertinent.

Laughing so hard Tertia, I thought your post was hilarious and your commenters are even MORE hilarious. I think the Australians really get your sense of humour.

I love riding my bike, but can't stand when 3 or 4 line up and hog the road. I hate going through roundabouts or narrow bits and stressing over keeping out of a cyclists way. I can't stand cyclists who stop at the lights and grab my car for stability. And I can't stand the lycra.

But, I think cycling is very cool, good exercise and good for the environment. And I think people who feel personally wounded by your post should go take a sedative (but please, no bike riding whilst under the influence).

I wonder if this was written after a glass of wine or two. V v funny. No doubt some very earnest cyclist will take you on Tertia but you made me smile. Cheers! ;-)

I agree with you Tertia. Cyclists irritate me with their "holier-than-thou-because-I'm-biking-and-saving-mother-earth-and-getting-healthy-at-the-same-time" attitude.

I'm a part-time cyclist. In the summer, I love to ride to work. It's beautiful, good exercise, and a better way to spend time with b/f than a three minute car ride. But I also make sure I'm not pissing off any drivers.

As a driver, it's not a matter of "sacrificing five minutes" as another commenter said. It's that a lot of bikers I've come across deliberately will NOT move over when there are cars trying to pass on a narrow road. And if I had to follow a cyclist for FIVE MINUTES before being allowed to pass them, I probably WOULD swerve at them, throw things, and swear.

(Kidding, no nasty emails please.)

"And lets be honest, that shaved legged thing on men is v v unattractive. Lots of closet shit going on there."

This kind of stereotyping and borderline gay-bashing is really disappointing.

I too hate cyclists who think they have the right to bike very slooooooooowly down a road.

BUT you really lost me with the "shaved legs ... closet shiz" remark.

Tertia, you take such great offense when someone criticizes you or your blog, but that comment was really immature. (I won't say gay bashing because I trust you didn't mean it in that way)

I have to back you up on this, Tertia. I don't "hate" cyclists, but as a driver, they make me *nervous* to share the road with them. Because they can't ride on sidewalks like pedestrians we can't treat them like pedestrians, yet by definition they move slower than cars! I'm always anxious to see one on the road and know that either I have to a) slow down to their speed and drive behind them (which is ridiculous, that's why I'm driving a car) or b) move over to another lane to pass them, and I don't understand how that is supposed to work - obviously they're supposed to be able to share that lane with motor vehicles, but at two disparate speeds that's not realistic. My dad's a cyclist and so's one of my best friends' mothers; I don't want to see a cyclist get hurt because someone couldn't swerve away to get around them, or misjudged the distance between their sideview mirror and the bike handles or whatever. I just wish they had their own private lanes (not bike lanes on the side of the road, private bike lanes) to peddle around on. It'd be safer for both drivers and cyclists alike (and less resentment in both directions, I'd wager).

Oh, and if I may in typical American fashion get a bit more serious/indignant for a moment: to those who rightly point out the state of our environment as a result of emissions from the vehicles we drive - I'm sure you realize there are valid reasons to choose to drive and are reacting from emotion. I'm sure you realize that plenty of people live in places with poor transportation, live an hour's drive away from their workplaces, need to carry their children/pets around, have poor balance, are afraid of heights/falling off bikes, never got the knack of biking, don't have the time, live in dangerous areas, etc. etc. or any combination of innumerable reasons you have no clue about that influence their decision to drive. :)

To ASM,
I don't believe any of the commenters were suggesting that we all should ditch our cars and ride bikes -- but were just saying that maybe we shouldn't criticize those people who are willing and able to make an environmentally correct commuting decision.

I agree with the other commenters who are offended. The tone of that post was extremely rude and entitled. Geeze, god forbid people go outside, breath in fresh air, get some exercise and get in the way of your gas guzzling, road hogging, murder machine! We could all use a reminder to slow down on the road; hundreds of thousands of people are killed in cars and by cars each year, including young children. Can't remember the last time a bicycle ran over and killed a two year old. Children on bikes die because of people in cars who feel so entitled that they neglect the safety of other people by drinking and driving, and as a matter of fact a girl in my elementary school was killed that very way.

Bad form.

Ooh, Tertia, looks like you've hit a nerve. :) I'm a cyclist who happens to agree with you. At least in my experience, where I live, too many cyclists act as though they own the road. The point is, isn't it, that we're talking about sharing and being considerate. In other words, don't be an unconscious jerk. Be aware of the people around you--on bikes, and in cars.

That's my 2 cents.

P.S. Forgot to mention that I got creamed by a car once. A drunk. That hasn't stopped me from riding. Or driving. Or being considerate when using either vehicle. Or getting angry at asses on bikes or in cars.

This is awesome! I thought the only way to inspire such heated commentary was to touch on those issues that draw out the mommy drive-by action. Cry it out vs. attachment parenting, bottle-feeding vs. breastfeeding beyond age 2, pursuing fertility treatment instead of adopting, circumcision. Or telling people their religious beliefs are ridiculous—that always provokes. But taking a little road rage out safely via keyboard? Sheesh.

I find I can complain about any form of ground transportation. That biker ran the red light! That car turned on a "no turn on red" sign! That pedestrian in the crosswalk could totally walk faster and get out of my way! That double-parked truck is in my way! That asshole is driving too slowly and holding me up! That asshole is driving too fast and is clearly a maniac! "Look at that asshole driving while talking on her cell phone," I tell the person I'm talking to on my cell phone. Pfft, I can't believe that taxi didn't pull out of my way to let that passenger out! Argh, I'm stuck behind a bus! Wow, that minivan is really filthy. Those SUV headlights are blinding me. I can't believe that asshole honked at me! (Er, when I was completely in the wrong and they were right to honk at me.)

That said, I do try to allow bikers a safe path on the road. It's easiest on the Chicago streets with marked bike lanes, but generally, the most I'll be inconvenienced is 10 seconds, so I can stand it. I became much more considerate to bikers when my friend's brother was a bike messenger. He actually got hit by a car one evening, thrown off his bike and over the car, bouncing off the car and onto the pavement. Fortunately, he's very light, or he'd have landed harder. As it is, he broke his pelvis. Could've been worse—many pelvic fractures involve internal injuries and genital damage.

Another Australian here, who *gets* it, and also found if funny. And true.

As I read it, you weren't talking about people who ride for transportation, but the myriad of riders who have suddenly come out of the woodwork, inspired by the upcoming cycling event.

I have witnessed that phenomemon myself, so I know I just what you mean! People who probably haven't sat on a bike in years suddenly get the urge to become the new Lance Armstrong, and appear all over the place!
The worst part is, because they aren't regular riders, they have no idea about how to conduct themselves properly on the roads, and end up all over the place. And they're often in groups, which makes things worse!

Take heart, only a month or so before they disappear again, no doubt crawling back into their regular lives and nursing some very sore hamstrings!

don't you want your kids to have a world when they grow up? you seriously went through all that heartache to have them and now you don't care what air they breath or whether climate change devestates the world they live in? sad.

Just a comment on the area you live in from a cyclist. Unfortunately the roads in the area around you don't have a shoulder and are currently under construction. But are quite popular for cyclists based on location, challenge and scenary. Most cyclists try to go ride at 5am, when you're sleeping and there aren't too many arrogant rushing fools in cars trying to get to wherever they need to be as fast as possible (more commonly known as rush hour). It comes to mind you have generalised your comments based on a few since you're not around in the early mornings to see the majority of us.

When the Two Oceans Marathon comes to town, do we get to see another blog where you rave about arrogant runners dressed in tiny shorts and vests as well??

More exercise would do many people the world of good. May I suggest more people should try it and maybe their tolerance levels of others around them would improve. Maybe the air would be a little cleaner, and young children would not be prone so so much illness.

PS My shaved legs never bothered you in the past, in fact you commented most positively once.

One more thing...

"gas guzzling, road hogging, murder machine"

I'm sorry but this made me laugh hysterically. I truly hope they were trying to be funny.

As another commenter said, there are lots of reasons why people *must* drive cars instead of bike or use public transportation. In my situation, I live in a very small town with NO public transportation. It's also EXTREMELY snowy in winter - it's just not possible to ride a bike or walk in that kind of weather. I'm not going to suffer frostbite just to avoid driving my "gas guzzling, road hogging, murder machine".

(Which, by the way, is a Scion xB, a tiny, quirky, 35 mile-per-gallon box on wheels.)

There are a lot of choices in cars and yes, some people are idiots and drive Hummers. That's life. But some of us drive sensible cars. My next car will be a hybrid (or full electric if they ever come out with one).

And why is this turning into an environmental debate? This was not a post about loving to pump chemicals into the air and our drinking water! It was about annoying cyclists and the irritation they cause drivers!

One last thing - it is NOT the *machine* that kills/ruins the environment. It's the person driving it. If there were no drivers, there would be no cars. So instead of ranting about the "gas guzzling, road hogging, murder machine", rant about the idiot drivers who misuse them (picking a car that gets awful gas mileage, has horrible emissions... driving drunk/not paying attention while driving... driving the two blocks the the store... not maintaining their vehicle... etc).

RELAX PPL! Tertia has the right to her own opinion. No need to get your knickers in a knot over cyclists! Pathetic how some people get offended so easily!

There's little that makes me (as a driver of car) as nervous as a bicycle. Cyclists can be very unpredictable. I've many a time had to swerve out of the way to avoid hitting one. I don't hate cyclists, I'd just really hate to drive over one.

My hubby is a very keen cyclist, and I worry about this mentality that some motorists have to 'teach them a lesson'. My hubby himself isn't that keen on cyclists. He goes cycling on his own, early in the mornings, and on his way back, on the popular cycling route, he meets up with the cycling club on their way out, in the opposite direction. They are as arrogant as hell, and take up the whole road, never mind just a lane. They basically force him off the road, not one making way for him. And he's a fellow cyclist. So it seems as if it's the group mentality that's to blame.

Very entertaining post and comments ;-)

Tertia - You are right on. They totally annoy me too. I came across a pack of them today and they took up the entire lane. What ever happened to biking single file??

Right on! It's your blog you say what you want to!

PMSL... Note to all the budding enviromentalists, tree huggers out there... (who I'm sure by the tone of their comments suggest they have never driven or been a passenger in afore-mentioned murder machines!!!) This wasn't an advert announcing that Tertia had suddenly decided pollution etc was the 'new black'!! God she merely pointed out how irritating cyclists can be - at which point in her commentary did you lose the plot?? Go back... have another look - re-assess... Yup - not a word condoning the use of 'gas-guzzlers' anywhere...

Get a grip, or if at all possible go to CT in the run up to the Argus cycle race - and then make a statement based on personal experience.

I'm a cyclist / jogger - and there is an over inflated air of importance when a group of runners or cyclists take to the roads... And despite all your health-concious opinions on cars - they are the reason roads were built, so take a deep breath, assume you're NOT invincible, and accept cars need to get by!! And get your skinny asses onto the verge where they should be...

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