Cycling Hypocrites on the Brooklyn Bridge
I am an avid cycling enthusiast who hates the cult of cycling. It is an efficient, pleasant form of transport not a fucking religion.
I often cross the Brooklyn Bridge either on foot or on a bike. There are two lanes, one for pedestrians and one for cyclists, with no barrier in between. The number of pedestrians largely outnumbers the number of cyclists, and there are a large number of tourists. This creates two situations where people naturally end up temporarily in the cycling lane: where tourists don’t realize and where pedestrians wish to bypass tourists who, quite reasonably, stop to take pictures.
When I ride a bike, I admit that I quite often ride on sidewalks (its impossible not to at the entrance to the Brooklyn bridge), and I rarely cycle in bike lanes (they actually seem dangerous in urban areas, having been thrown over a car door that someone opened into a bike lane once). I think rules can be broken, but I try and ride carefully and considerately, not breaking rules for the sake of it but because sometimes they don’t make sense.
For some reason, many cyclists on the Brooklyn Bridge ride like some car owners who hate cyclists drive, suddenly insisting on ridiculously strict adherence to rules like which lane you have to be in at all times, and cycling at speeds which are dangerous to others. I suspect that these people include those that complain about SUV drivers and like to do practical things like break rules and cycle on sidewalks. In which case they are not only selfish pricks, but hypocritical selfish pricks.
I don’t think I am exaggerating to suggest that one day a pedestrian is going to get killed. To illustrate, here is a video of a cyclist crossing the bridge who careers along hurling abuse and actually throws a punch at a pedestrian in his way.
Urban cycling is not a race requiring thousand dollar plus bikes and Manga inspired spandex, nor is it an alternative sub-culture for hipster liberals with latent Neo-Conservative rage. It is a normal form of transportation.