Cycling advocacy: building a better tomorrow TODAY

I rarely read VeloNews online because it is such a worthless piece of shit. Plus, they fired the only people who know how to write. Plus plus, they put little bios after each writer saying things like “Andrew Hood cut his journalistic teeth on…” Cut his journalistic teeth? What, is he a tiger cub?

And then they get these li’l wet behind the ears pups like Nick Legan who, we learn, “jumped into wrenching straight from college” after studying French and journalism at the University of Indiana. They make it sound like he joined the Marines instead of being hunched over some greasy bike stand for minimum wage listening to a rich douchebag customer with a $12,000 bike drone on about alloy spoke nipples.

Why can’t they just say, “Facing unemployment, huge student loans, and no demand for French speakers in Indiana, he took whatever job he could get”?


Occasionally, though, someone posts a link to a VN story and I read it, always expecting the worst, and never being disappointed. Until today. VN has come up with a checklist for how to be a responsible road cyclist. It is flat fucking awesome. I’m reprinting it here in its entirety, with a few little additions of my own to grout in the cracks.

1. Be courteous and share the road. Being courteous gains respect and helps make the roads safer for all cyclists.

–Wankmeister adds: Be sure to smile and wave at the crazed asshole/texting bimbo/roadraged teen stoner as they smear you all over the pavement. Respect! It has to be earned!

2. The law allows you to ride two abreast, but it may not be the courteous or safe option. If you hear a vehicle approaching from behind, ride single file. Don’t ride three abreast.

–Wankmeister adds: Courtesy is key! Safety is sexy! You never get a second chance to make a first quadriplegic.

3. If you’re blocking a whole line of cars and there’s a place to safely pull off be courteous and stop.

–Wankmeister adds: Again, courtesy is key! Cars are often in a hurry and can be frustrated by little fleshy organisms on plastic bikes that make them late for their mid-morning adulterous tryst. After pulling over, wave at each motorist and bow your head slightly in a downward direction so they know you didn’t mean to hold them up. [Note: don’t “pull off” where people can see you as this is a misdemeanor in most jurisdictions.]

4. Don’t wander all over the road. Try to ride predictably and as far right as safely as you can. This does not mean to ride in an area that is littered with road debris or places you at risk.

–Wankmeister adds: However, if you do have to ride over rocks, glass, gravel, barbed wire, fence posts, car axles, sheared off rubber strips from 18-wheelers, land mines, or broken penises, do so with a smile and a wave. Also, “road wandering” refers to people who do ginormous figure “8’s” in the middle of PCH during rush hour. This is bad and discourteous. Unsafe is unsexy.

5. Do take the lane if it safe to do so if there is a blind corner, high-risk junction or narrowing of the road.

–Wankmeister adds: When “taking the lane” do so with a smile and a courteous wave to the livid motorists you’re now blocking. They will calm down shortly after impact.

6. Use common sense — don’t pee in people’s yards or hang out across the entire road if you’re waiting for a regroup.

–Wankmeister adds: Peeing in yards is a no-no, however, No. 2 is occasionally unavoidable if you had the Arby’s Double Cheese Beef Bomb with Onions and Chili Sauce the night before. Reminds me of the time that Hector G., a buddy from Texas, was forced to answer his gastrointestinal distress in a farmer’s dirt driveway. There he was, crumping a hairy beet, when ol’ Farmer Bill came around the bend. Things got ugly. And stinky. But that’s a different story.

7. Stop at stop signs and signals. By law, cyclists must obey all traffic control devices.

–Wankmeister adds: Har! Good one!

8. Signal your intentions if you can safely do so. If you are turning, point in the direction you plan on going. If you are slowing, put your hand out behind you.

–Wankmeister adds: The proper hand signal when communicating with a motorist is always a raised middle finger.

9. If you wave a car around you, don’t get impatient. Remember that it is their decision to make as to whether it is safe to pass.

–Wankmeister adds: Also, remember that they can kill or maim you easily with little or no harm to them or their vehicle. And don’t think that just because you’re with Stern-O you’re off the hook. As soon as some big goon jumps out with a tire iron, Stern-O will already be on his third latte at the coffee shop.

10. If you’re in a group, take leadership, set a good example and do your best to make everyone ride courteously.

–Wankmeister adds: Groups are sheep-like and must be driven with a whip of oaths. “Pull through, you sorry fuck!” and “Hold your line you fucking idiot!” will establish your position as the chief douchebag and make everyone live in terror of being called out. Be sure to smile when cursing.

11. Pay attention! While it is the responsibility of drivers to avoid hitting you, ride defensively to minimize risk!

–Wankmeister adds: Adding exclamation marks to little lists like this is an excellent way to make you remember them and understand how important they are!!!

12. Remember the 5% rule. 5% of drivers are jerks. Don’t let that 5% get to you. Take a deep breath and move on.

–Wankmeister adds: Remember the 95% Corollary to the 5% Rule…95% of all cyclists are complete morons, so if we could somehow get the 5% jerks to run over all the 95% morons, and then have the police incarcerate the 5% jerks for manslaughter, it would be paradise.

13. Be friendly. If someone is courteous to you and does the right thing, wave and smile. Everyone likes to be acknowledged for doing the right thing.

–Wankmeister adds: Hugs are even better. When someone fails to act like a complete numbskull, give them a little hug. People also like a little peck on the cheek, especially women, and especially accompanied with a friendly tap on the fanny. But you know what people really like? Full-on, leatherclad, bullwhip-toting biker sex with chains and a hammer. The next time someone does the right thing on the bike, acknowledge their behavior with a tie-down and an ol’ fashioned humping. But only between consenting adults.

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