The PC urban professional crowd you see on their corporate sponsored, helmet-required tours will shun assertive language and cling to a vocabulary of non-confrontationalism. For them, reputation and obedience are more important than responding to clueless motorists and their lethal driving habits with equal and opposite force. Whether in the streets or in our ongoing discourse, the tendency is to back down, to let the oppressor define the rules of engagement and debate. That kind of power dynamic has gotten us basically nowhere.
The burden of mortality is always on the person riding a bike, yet the burden of responsibility for killing or maiming a person with a car virtually never falls on the driver. If that pisses you off, it’s time to start acting like it. We’ve come to a point where all the soft-ball pitching of our needs has failed to deliver streets that are safer. Asking for permission to ride without fear doesn’t work – motorists don’t care, or they can’t hear you. It’s time to start adopting principles of two-wheeled liberation.
While I’d caution most people about kicking and punching the vehicle belonging to a driver that almost just ended a life, I cannot stress enough how important it is to not let them simply drive away without holding them accountable – even if it’s only to receive a strongly worded scolding of their dangerous behavior. If they can almost kill you and get away with it, there’ll have zero negative feedback from which to form a lasting memory of the incident, and they’ll be that much more likely to do it again.
It’s okay to get mad, it’s okay to curse. Don’t get out of control, and always be aware of your surroundings. First and foremost, keep yourself and your comrades out of harms way. But remember, you don’t have to take shit from anyone. Somebody rides your ass with their two-ton death machine blaring the horn, that’s a threat, and you have every right to defend yourself from that kind of aggressive action.
Just because you’re at risk out there doesn’t mean you have to be a victim. Remember, you’re on a motherfucking bike.
read more: rebelmetropolis, 15.10.13.
you can cop the hoodie (or tank) in the photo above @AWLF.