Zack and Dan and I had coffee tonight with Zack’s four month old son. Then Dan and I took a long walk around Hampden, Rolden and Roland Park, sipping root beers, talking about the direction this blog has been heading lately. When we started this website and our tongue-in-cheek bike “club”, we had nothing in mind but fun. Why blog? To spread the fun. Environmental issues aren’t going to get as many people to ride bikes as posting pictures and paragraphs about having a fun ride will. Maybe I’m just hedonistic?
I fully realize that I am largely to blame for the recent negativity. Perhaps some of my recent posts would have been better on my personal blog (five years and going strong!). In my defense, seeing a fallen cyclist in the road does tend to breed negative thoughts and feelings, and reading hateful comments on The Sun doesn’t help. But we have to work to get past what happened and to get moving toward remembering why we cycle in the first place: it’s fun. Yes, it’s good for the planet, good for your body. But the best reason to ride is that it’s the most enjoyable way to get anywhere. If we could hear Mr. Yates, he’d be telling us to get out and spread the cycling message through example and a smile, not through angry words.
We promised ourselves we would not use this blog only to complain about cars, about any segments of the cycling community (roadies, hipsters, Freds, etc.), about politics. While we’ve done (I think) a good job of not being divisive about cyclists, we’ve gone and slipped into some us/them mind-set lately. Cars/bikes. Drivers/cyclists. That’s just stupid. I only know two cyclists who don’t have cars, and I’m one of them. Hell, you could argue that it’s good for cyclists to have cars because each of them is one more driver who looks out for other people. That’s an example we could all use on the road. Everywhere.
And certainly lumping all drivers together because of people like The Sun‘s commenters and the people who yell at us is as bad as the folks who lump us all together because they see cyclists running redlights and nearly running over pedestrians.
Something gnawing at me says, “Mr. Yates just died last week! We can’t act happy when the police haven’t even found the truck yet!” But ask yourself this, as I have: What would you tell us if you were Mr. Yates? I‘d say to keep riding. To have fun and let everyone know it. I‘d say that focusing only on danger and tragedy forever isn’t going to get butts on saddles.
So, in the spirit of lightening up, I give you Roxy, who looks like she ran into a wall.
[Roxy photo by ElRo. Evil Crack Monkey drawing and photo by Johnny.]