THE VAST CAVALRY of Portland's bicycling citizens are the enlightened ones. I'm not saying this sarcastically, I'm not saying this so some girl with total beef-castle thighs will read this and kiss me in public (wink), I'm not even saying it because I'm happy about it—I just think it's true. It has to be true. Bikes are so much better for the city, the world, the bank account, and the health of the populace than cars, that it's scarcely a debate. As long as Portland isn't Jacksonville, bicycles are the future. Do you want Portland to be Jacksonville? Do you want to eat Walmart bananas, listen to the Zac Brown Band, and pretend that teal isn't a stupid color for a football team? Me neither. Bikes are the future.
So what do we do about it? There's an uneasy peace between bicyclists and motorists. ("Motorist" makes it sounds like you're wearing goggles and a scarf and your eldest son, Randolph, recently took ill with consumption. "Motorist.") However, there are a lot of cyclists who act like their moral superiority will protect them from the dangers of a crowded road. They slam the back of your car and shout about being entitled to a whole lane, all while ignoring the fact that cars should also be entitled to a whole lane. They death-clock you like Ice Cube if you creep six inches past a stop sign, then blow through stop signs with impunity. And you fucking hate them, or you're jealous... like when some dude with a nose ring tells you he's in an open relationship.
They break laws all over the place and couldn't be more carefree, because they're on a bike! As though using a canvas shopping bag gives you free rein to shoplift at the greengrocer (where you're picking up ingredients to make a poultice for Randolph.) They bike up Burnside even though ANKENY IS RIGHT THERE. IT'S RIGHT THERE. IT'S RIGHT FUCKING THERE. I CAN FUCKING SEE IT. I CAN FUCKING SEE ANKENY. GET ON ANKENY, YOU FUCK. I get it. I very get it.
But of course they roll through stop signs! Because you know what sucks? Stopping and starting a bike every other block. Unlike motorists, they can't summon dinosaur ghosts to reestablish momentum. Yeah, bicyclists glare and huff and act like the road belongs to them, but so do we. Plus, wouldn't you glare? Bicyclists are naked out there, protected only by a helmet (hopefully) and some kind of microbrewery apparel (probably). What's the reward? Big calves... superiority? You're all dry and comfortable and get to sing along REAL loud to some Melissa Etheridge and nobody is the wiser—isn't that enough? Do we need to play lane sheriff and bully bikers off the road? Do motorists need to exact revenge for every injustice they've ever experienced? Naw, dawg.
Instead, let's try to empathize. Are you cycling 10 MPH on a major street? Maybe that lady behind you had a lousy day, and all our good radio stations keep getting fucked up so there isn't anything decent to help her pass the time. Let her by... feel good about your generosity. Did that cyclist just slam your Subaru's hood? It's metal—it'll be fine (plus you kind of drifted into their lane with your 3,000-pound block of screaming machinery). Just give him that "Hey, sorry pal!" wave. Wow, what a levelheaded person you are! You deserve oral sex.
Listen, we're all going to end up at the same bars on Friday night, anyway. We're neighbors! Let's act like it, cheer our civility, and then get on/in our bikes and cars and head home... way too drunk to drive ANY kind of vehicle.