- Published: Saturday, 09 August 2014 00:00
- Written by Administrator
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“The feeling is mutual,” exclaimed the car driver after being told that cyclists hate him. It’s hard not to agree when you see cyclists running through red lights, cycling on sidewalks, or going against traffic on the wrong side of the road. Ask any cyclists if he has violated any traffic laws made for motorized transport and you’ll likely to get a reluctant but an affirmative answer. And while we all know that this is not good at all for anyone using the road, the question remains, why do cyclist do what motorists hate and why do cyclists, knowing that they are breaking some laws of the road, continue break them knowingly? We posit some plausible explanations here so motorized transport drivers may understand a bit about what’s going on inside a cyclist’s mind while on the road.
|Entitlement – that’s the drivers’ keyword while for cyclists it’s taking advantage of the opportunity that they get on the road.|
1. It’s not a case of wanting to put one over the other; it may be a case of like “gusto kong bumait pero di ko magawa.” A quick translation of this phrase would be “I want to be good, but sorry, I just can’t.” It’s a rather rough translation but nevertheless, a quite exact expression of a cyclist’s sentiments and of one who just can’t resist the temptation to get ahead quicker than the cars caught up with him in the red light at the intersection. An empty crossroad is a no-brainer for cyclists. There is no question that it is an invitation to go ahead even if the light is still red. With one foot at the pedal and the other foot acting as stand, a cyclist is always ready to bolt ahead and leave the motorized legion behind. He knows he can’t win a race against them, but being able to sprint ahead quickly is simply the action of someone using his little advantage to the fullest. Which brings us to our second law that rules the cyclists brain.
One of the things that make cycling so enjoyable is that it gives you a sense of freedom and power. You can pedal till you drop and at the end of the last kilometer...
2. It’s taking the opportunity and using it to their advantage. As we have said in another post, cyclists will always be at a disadvantage compared to cars – what with their four wheels, tons of weight and speed. So for most cyclists, any opportunity to get even or at least up their score against their bigger brethren on the road will be taken, and unfortunately, it is often times perceived by them as abuse or misuse of the road. A cyclist going past other cars to get as close to the corner of an intersection as possible is seen by drivers as an affront to them. They ask, “How can this puny little two-wheeled bike get ahead of me while I am here stuck in traffic?” These drivers are offended because they feel their superior heft and price of their car entitle them to all the space they could occupy on the street. Entitlement – that’s the drivers’ keyword while for cyclists it’s taking advantage of the opportunity that they get on the road.
Image from here
3. The third law is a bit obscure or confusing but let us try to explain it in a comprehensible manner. If drivers feel entitled to use the road, cyclists are actually begging to be allowed to use the road. You are right to think that beggars can’t be choosy, but cyclists aren’t actually beggars; they contribute to society in subtle but effective manner. Drivers might accuse them of not paying road users tax but cyclists, especially those who bike to work pay their individual tax as workers and in advance, too. The BIR collects tax from them in the form salary deductions on the 15th and 30th of every month! How’s that for paying taxes? Ooops, we digress... But going back to the point we are making: cyclists are beggars on the road and they see themselves as Davids against Goliaths who can simply crush them by their sheer weight and size. So beggars and small fries they are, eh? However, we have this saying that small things can cause irritation in the eyes. Nakakapuwing, as we say.
Cyclists may be small compared to cars, but even small as they are, they are sure of their niche and purpose on the road. And it’s not to annoy or irritate drivers. It’s to show them by example that there is more to life than being enclosed in an air-conditioned, heavily tinted car while you are on the way to your destination, wherever that may be.
Your cyclist's brain may have other laws ruling it right now. It would give us a great relief that someone else have some other thoughts on this subject. If you do, please share them with us in the comments below.