Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bruce Rosar: Not an Asshole

I did not know Bruce Rosar personally, but from what I’ve seen in comments about him, he was highly regarded, well respected and an all around really good guy. He was a leading cycling advocate in the Triangle area of North Carolina who allegedly turned left in front of a car last weekend, got hit and was killed. It is without a doubt a tragic event for all involved. His death has lit a fire under the “Share the Road" debate. And opinions are strong on either side of the argument. I’ll give you one guess as to which side I’m on.

I’ve been reading through the comments on the article related to Bruce’s accident and I have to say that the self-righteousness of it all is startling. “Well, I had a motorist chase me with an ax handle.” “Well, I saw a biker run a stop light.” “Well, just yesterday someone honked at me.” “Well, 2 days ago, I had slow down for a cyclist.” “Well, this just proves bikes should NOT be on the roads.” “This is a public safety issue.” “Well, I pay taxes on these roads…”

SHUT UP! Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Listen to yourselves.

The motorists accuse the cyclists of being the assholes. The cyclists say, no, it’s the motorists who are the assholes. Get off your fucking soap boxes. We’re all assholes. We may not be assholes all the time, but we’ve all had our moments and we’re all assholes (with a rare exception here and there). We would all be better served to check our egos at the door and realize that the people on those bikes and in those cars have moms and dads, sons and daughters, families and friends who love and care for them. And every motor vehicle death, whether it involves a cyclist or not, is tragic.

Admittedly, I will never understand what it is about a cyclist that drives some motorists into a frenzy of hate and anger. Reading through the comments though, two things seem to be the big culprits - cyclists slowing down traffic and cyclists disobeying the rules of the road. Like I said, we’re all assholes. I’ve broken the rules of the road in my car and on my bike and I’m certain you have, too. I mean come on, nobody, and I mean nobody, drives the speed limit except maybe my grandmother. So, since we’re all breaking the laws, let’s just call that argument neutralized.

Cyclists piss you off because they slow you down. You know what slows me down when I’m driving my car? Here’s the short list:
  • Other cars.
  • An accident during rush hour (as if the stand still on the Interstate isn’t enough).
  • Dump trucks on slim country roads.
  • 18-wheelers trying to make their way up a hill.
  • Pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Stop lights.
  • Drivers who don’t understand how a traffic circle works.
  • People who drive the speed limit.
  • People who turn right.
  • People who turn left.
  • Squirrels.
  • Deer (although I hear they're willing to start paying taxes).
  • Possums.
  • The occasional skunk (actually, I usually speed up for skunks).
  • And assholes.

Unfortunately, the roads weren’t built for me alone. Hence the whole “Share the Road” concept. I like to extend the philosophy beyond just cyclists. And it’s my opinion, when you’re granted the privilege of a driver license, you assume the responsibility of respecting all vehicles and pedestrians on those roads. And if you can’t agree to that, well, take the bus…or get a bike.

But, the accusations have got to stop in lieu of more constructive conversations. Conversations like the ones Bruce Rosar used to have. Because Bruce wasn’t an asshole.

1 comment:

57 said...

Well stated!

-- Robert Hurst