Dear Hipster Bicyclists

Bicycles are a fine mode of transportation, excellent exercise, and an absorbing hobby. As such trends go, the current fashion for bicycling among the children of the rich is laudable. I greet you from my own bike as we pedal along! Ting ting!

However, I do have some nuggets of truth to share with you, in bullet point format:

  • Use a real bicycle. The fete champêtre use of imitation 30-year-old bicycles is painfully precious. Good bicycles with more than three gears are available cheaply on the used market. The esthetic distinction between “retro” and “broke down rusty-ass old” eludes the Mexican gentleman pedaling to work on his 15-year-old Huffy. Conspicious consumption is for tools.
  • Use a helmet. If you manage to survive a severe head injury, you’ll wish you hadn’t.
  • Stop at stop signs. It’s totally uncool to do so. You lose your momentum, it feels way less Easy Rider, and you feel like your mom. However, when you blow through an intersection at full tilt out of my left blind spot as I’m pulling forward, I’ll hit you with my car, changing our lives forever for the worse.
  • Use lights. This is, again, uncool. Big dorky flashing lights on your messenger bag, headline in front, light in rear: christ, it’s like wearing black socks with shorts! Except that you get killed otherwise. Just do it.
  • If you are unwilling to follow rules 2, 3, and 4 above, stop already with the activism. Yes, cars hit bicyclists. It’s awful. Drivers should pay more attention, and better bike lanes and education are necessary. But if you’re gonna head out on Saturday night with no helmet, no lights, and no sense of traffic safety, your Paul Frank Tinkerbell Spanglebutt Special Cruisy Cruiser is gonna get wrapped around a Camry.

24 thoughts on “Dear Hipster Bicyclists

  1. Yes, totally.
    Also, A real bicycle=One with BRAKES. You are not the champion of the velodrome! If I almost run over one my 17 year old douche on a track bike without brakes I will go back and try again.

    1. Critical mass, I’d probably just shut off my engine and turn on the ipod. It’s a show.
      Sociopathic rich hipsters? Rifle butt to the head.

  2. My attitude is that no-one looks cool on a bike, especially not myself, so it’s not going to matter what you wear, so I wear all the dorky shit so I’m actually seen.

  3. now that I’ve been commuting for 2.5 weeks now, the behavior of other cyclists blows my mind. I want to run them down, and I’m riding too.
    here are a few of my own rules:
    1) dear old guys, when riding in a pack on the trail, opposite my direction, get your old asses into single file when we pass each other, next week, I’m going to start knocking you all down.
    2) dear guy that turns left in front of me, when I’m in the bike lane cruising through a green light… I asked all my big mean motorcycle friends about you, and have since purchased a box of spark plugs.
    3) cyclists in the dark, with no lights in the middle of the back bay, next week I’m going to start kicking you off of your bikes as well, if i have the dork light, you get one too, or a skinned up knee.
    4) when I call ‘on your left,’ that does not mean veer left.
    5) to the little girl i scared off of her scooter in the bike lane, I’m real sorry about that, but meandering between the lanes while mommy chases her purse-dog around is bad form, and I hope we both learned a little something from that incident.

    1. Ok, I have to tell you, if you’re walking and a voice rapidly approaching you from behind yells “on your left!” it’s very difficult to react quickly and appropriately.
      Also #5 made me laugh. Out loud. In the literal non LOL sense.

      1. I agree. It is confusing when someone shouts ‘on yer left.’ It can be a bit jarring. But then I get yelled at for not calling it sometimes as well. I think I’m just going to mount an air horn.

  4. I’m with you for the most part, doctor, except on point one. Although there may be a correlation between riding HipPhatTudeBike and assaholic behavior, “real” bikes wouldn’t fix the real problem any more than forbidding kids to wear black clothes will keep them from being depressed, pissed-off, emo-listening detentioneers.

  5. I don’t care what they ride as long as then wear a helmet and obey traffic laws. Why are they so trusting? How can they not know how easily my automobile can snuff them?

  6. I saw a tweener on his fancy/cool/stud bike blow through a light transitioning from green to red at top speed. He passed directly in front of a car that had just begun moving when the left turn light turned green. This kid was literally inches and seconds away from a spectacular slam into car head over heals brain lasagna (thanks for that by the way, nice.)
    Punchline: No helmet. Far too dorky for such a tweeny stud. I wonder if the ladies in middle school find brain damage sexy. Perhaps drooling is the new football.

  7. boot to the head…
    The day of my brother’s bachelor party I ran down a 13 year old girl on a bike (no helmet). Her friend narrowly escaped being hit as well. She broke her leg, got a ticket, and had to pay for a new front bumper and hood. Kids, riding down the middle of the on-coming traffic lane on a busy street is NOT a good idea. Cars coming around corners cannot see you. Even a previously stopped car, when accelerating around said corner, packs quite a wallop.

    1. Re: boot to the head…
      This happened to me when I was sixteen. A CHP wrote me a ticket while I was strapped to a backboard. It hurt like a motherfucker. I probably deserved it.

  8. I strongly disagree with you about the helmet. Hipsterbrains splattered all over the side of the road is natural selection at it’s best. I see it as God’s little way of vacuuming the scum off the bottom of the gene pool.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.