Three Things You Should Never Say to a Driver while on Your Bike

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bikevsjeepneyRegular or frequent bikers to work or any cyclist who have logged thousands of kilometers on board their bikes on Metro Manila’s streets would have one common experience: an unforgettable encounter with a driver who thought he/she was a better person on his/her car. That driver would have thought that the cyclist shouldn’t have been where the driver’s car would pass or cross on the street. He/she would have preferred that the cyclist should have stopped and given way to the bigger creature on the street. And the driver would have been right – except that between what is right and what is proper at that moment, there is a chasm that could never be bridged. Vehicle drivers are pre-programmed in this country to think that they own the roads while cyclists’ minds are being conditioned to think that they are children of a lesser god when it comes to using the same road. Cyclists around the world are secretly coordinating with representatives from other countries in order to device a way on how they can assert themselves and prove once and for all that it makes sense to share the road. Here are five things that cyclists everywhere should never say to a driver while cycling:

Vehicle drivers are pre-programmed in this country to think that they own the roads while cyclists’ minds are being conditioned to think that they are children of a lesser god when it comes to using the same road.

 

1. #$%^&@) and &^%$#@ - shouting expletives will never convince them that you are as much entitled to use the road as any car driver. As mentioned above, they are already pre-programmed and anything you say will be used against you in their court. They seem to be possessed by a dark force that goads them to eschew road courtesy. Cyclists on two wheels will always be at a disadvantage when confronted by any of their four-wheeled or more kind of motorized transport. So what is the best way to convince them that as a cyclist you have as much stake and share in road space as they have? Try a wide smile even as your inner mind is seething with murderous intent. This is hard of course, but just like anything in this life, practice makes perfect. (Please avoid thinking that nobody is perfect so… you know the rest.)

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2. See number 1 above – more expletives to the nth degree might catch the offending driver’s attention for a while and you could rightfully, probably merit similar expletives or something worse than what you have eloquently expressed but again, all drivers are virtually blind to any cyclists, even brightly dressed ones, except those that are already directly in their line of fire …err sight. All you would get from them are excuses, if you are still conscious and able to hear them after being hit – that they didn’t see you at all and that’s why they simply continued to turn right or zoom along with barely an inch from you on the street. They would even blame you saying it's your fault because...#$%^&@) and &^%$#@... So what’s a cyclist to say to this kind of driver? Try a wider smile even as your hands are itching to bash the vehicle’s side mirror or all you can think about is throw your bike and all to his/her car’s windshield. This obviously needs great strength of character, which all gentleman/lady cyclists have.

3. See number 1 above, again – we have proven that shouting expletives will never work at all and that a cyclist will only make matters worse for himself and most probably turn everything against his/her interests. However, we have to admit that there might be some occasions when you are not in the mood to smile and all you could do is just curse the driver, call him/her names impossible to translate to English or any other modern language, or just resign yourself to the fact that there will be drivers who lack civility, or what the good previous MMDA Chairman Bayani would say "walang urbanidad"; drivers who were never taught to be polite to anybody on two wheels, or have never been aware that cyclists are people just like them who have rights to share the same road as them.

Indeed, we all have to be polite to one another, drivers and cyclists alike, while on the road. This will help us be safe on the road and allow us to get to our destination peacefully.

 

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