As you already know, I spend a certain amount of my day wandering the mean streets looking for cycling-related tidbits to post here. It was in that process that I stumbled upon the following webular comic from Doghouse Diaries. Click upon the following image to see it in its full resplendence at its home site.
That webbonical cartoon apparently sparked the ire of some cyclist with a copy of Photography Shoppe, because I found this retort on Reddit. Click for the full image.
Now, the problem here, as I see it, is not that one is right and the other is wrong. It is that both are equally right and wrong. In this way, a simply drawn web comic and a cobbled-together mockery thereof come together to form what I consider to be a kind of elegant metaphor for our American two-party political system… but let me not digress.
The Doghouse Diaries web comic is completely correct. Cyclists are known to occasionally act like the rules of the road do not apply to them and they’re wrong to behave that way. It’s wrong to split lanes, wrong to run lights, and wrong to blow through stop signs. They get away with it because, for whatever reason, they aren’t policed. I don’t know why cops don’t ticket cyclists, but I wish they would. I think it’s only fair.
It is ridiculous to condemn drivers for not following the law if you yourself don’t follow it.
I’m not completely sure what the main point of the cobbled-together retort is, unless it’s to state that drivers are NPR-loving homophobes, but it does seem to want to reinforce the commonly-held belief among riders that they deserve to ride like jackasses because they’re singlehandedly doing the entire earth a favor by not driving. Yes, bikes are an excellent green alternative to motorized transport, but riding one simply does not make a person above the law, and it does not excuse anybody from common courtesy.
That’s not to say that drivers don’t perform their own special acts of ass-headedness, oftentimes while holding a cellphone to their faces, willfully drawing their attention away from the road.
The problem described in both web comics is that people sometimes act like jerks, regardless of their chosen mode of transport, but really, what better time of year than Thanksgiving to come together and start treating each other with a little more respect?
Let’s get ourselves some turkey and dressing and stuff ourselves silly, and maybe on a full stomach we can all agree to be a little more considerate going forward.