Monday, July 20, 2009

More's better, but on the other hand...

A couple of days ago, as I was riding the increasingly godforsaken Cherry Creek bike path, most-traveled bike path in this fabled Mile-Hi City, I noted a young gentleman on a bicycle featuring for his riding pleasure only one selectable gear ratio.

I would not have noticed him at all, single gear or howevermany, except that he was not steering. One hand held a phone to his ear while the other waved stylishly in the air, emphasizing his points quite invisibly to his listener.

I have always felt and often written that the more cyclists the better. More cyclists means more respect, more acknowledgement from motorists, more political know the song.

I guess I thought that "more cyclists" meant more thinking human beings on bicycles, not more surly motorist types who've parked their Civics and bought old Fujis and new knickers.

If there are a few thinking human beings who would like to begin riding their bikes in our cities, they are sure to be shocked and discouraged by the scowls and disregard displayed daily by our friends the New Urban Cyclists. Keep the paths safe for anarchy! WE rule! Your bike sucks!

I take it back about more being merrier. I wish we could take back the Cherry Creek bike path.

I will say that if you ride a very few miles from central Denver, the bike paths look as they have for years. They're not safe as church, uh-uh, but they're far safer than the close-in paths.

The New Urban Cyclist evidently does not stray far from his/her haunts. It's a blessing and I'll bet it's the same where you live.

NUCs on the bike paths make you miss our old friends the motorists out on the streets. At least they don't pretend to be something they aren't.


Earle said...

The NUC is such an unpredictable and dangerous beast, I will take my chances on city streets more often than not. At least the car drivers do predictably dumb stuff that you can avoid most of the time.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is my size, [huge quads, really], but I don't think I have ever come in contact with a [an ?] NUC. I mean, who is gonna F**K w/me? Or maybe it's my timing or route. The bike paths here in Portland, OR must be geographically different. I.e., not located near a denizen's retreat.

Are tattoo's involved?

B. Wally

philcycles said...

The cell phone using. arm gesturing no hands riding NUC is a familiar sight on the streets of The People's Republic Of Berkeley and The Shooting Gallery That Is Oakland. But because there are no bike paths they do it in the road and defy the cars to avoid them. Mostly they do.
Phil Brown

Anonymous said...

Glad to see a notable cycling blogger mention this. Different city, but one with a fairly large cycling population... and the same problem here, especially noticeable since a couple of summers ago. There may be more people on bicycles, but they are giving all cyclists a black eye rather than gaining us more acceptance.

Frankly, I think that even the apparently more "serious" converts to road cycling are merely transferring their motorist thinking and attitudes to road bicycles. What they can't do because of the inherent limitations of their motor vehicles on the streets, they are doing on their bikes.