Saturday, August 30, 2008


We are nearing the end of summer and doing some random travels throughout our state and a bit beyond. We have recently re-discovered the "joys" of family bike riding. It is even more enjoyable now because all of our children are actually riding bikes and we don't need to tow anyone in a seat or some other child-friendly bike accoutrement. All said, biking as a family is fun. Outside of our own state, there are some differences. Namely the lack of what I like to call the "psycho-bicyclist." This bicyclist has invaded my geographic area and when I am out of state biking, especially with children, I relish is the lack of this type of cyclist on the bike paths that were, when I last checked, designed for everyone.

The "psycho-bicyclist" believes that family friendly bike paths are for their use only, to go fast, race, and take up as much room as they think that the need. This is done with complete ignorance of the slower bikers in the under six set that may just be learning how to navigate on a bike for the first time. This is also done with complete ignorance of the parents who are trying to help and protect younger bicyclists from this rude invasion. We encountered a virtual stream of such cyclists on our local bike path one Labor Day. Mind you, this was in the middle of the day on the official last day of summer. These cyclists had set out on a serious race/ride after 12:00pm and many of these groups were seriously pissed that they had encountered families using the bike path, some even made comments complete with foul language for the benefit of the children I am sure.

Another "psycho-bicyclist" belief is that all persons should be on bikes all of the time and that cars should not be used at all. We see this in my area in the form of mass rides where the bicyclist congregate together and congest the city streets for hours on end to prove their point. The odd thing about this belief is that the "psycho-bicyclist" set is not keen on teaching young children the joys of cycling. In fact they don't even seem to want young children around. They don't believe in family friendly bike space, yet they don't want parents to tote their children around in cars. It makes no sense. I will be damned if I can figure it out.

The "psycho-bicyclist" does not believe that the rules of the road were intended for them. This makes sense, as they believe that there should be no cars and therefore no rules of the road. It is then within the purview of the "psycho-bicyclist" to take over the entire road and operate as though they are in fact motorized vehicles. If a car happens to veer anywhere near their said path, the "psycho-bicyclist" then feels it is within their right to hit the car, yell obscenities at the driver, or rant in some inappropriate fashion regarding their rights on the road.

Now I consider myself an Eco-friendly person. I appreciate those who are willing and able to do most of their commuting via bike. This is good for our roads, the environment, and helps improve the general quality of living all the way around. What I am against and don't miss when I am out of my home state, is the following; decidedly unfamily friendly behavior, lack of cooperation with the rest of humanity both on the bike paths and the road, choosing the most crowded times of day to speed bike, and the use of profanity that tends to accompany these folks. Isn't physical exercise supposed to be stress free? A little cooperation and love for their fellow bicyclist (the non-psycho sort) would go a long way in increasing their popularity with the local population.

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