Brisbane – you shame me

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Mr Miyagi (aka Thatch) always discouraged the being of mean on the Internet. I agreed. There are enough people being mean on the Internet without me adding to it.

But seriously, peak hour Brisbane commuter bike traffic is embarrassing. Having recovered from the terrible inconvenience of waiting two or three minutes for the stop and go man, we have now begun hooning up and down the Go Between like maniacs.

I don’t want to be unkind, but really you make me ashamed to be a cyclist some times. Fat Dads with attitude, mean triathlon wannabes, oblivious mums, nutters on electric scooters (dude, ride on the road please, you’re cracking 40km/h) and garage rescued shitters that are threatening to fall apart under the squealing pressure of your exertion.

Please slow down.

We are doing ourselves a disservice. Each time we disobey traffic we alienate drivers with whom we share the road. Why would they want to become one of us if all we appear to be is a group of ridiculously dressed idiots with an inflated sense of our sporting prowess and an overstated sense of entitlement. People can feel entitled in their cars already and listen to talk back radio.

Every time we disrespect each other on the road – you are going too slow, I have to pass you, I want to suck your back wheel for three kms of flat bike path, I will not slow down as I corner off this ramp – we alienate each other. We make it apparent that we ride bikes because it’s good for us, not because it’s good. How selfish.

For every time I have been one of you, I apologise. I will try to ride better each day. I will acknowledge your presence on the path. I will give way to pedestrians. I will wear lights. I will not blind you with my unnecessary head lamp lights. I will use hand signals. I will act like traffic so that you can treat me like traffic. I will pass nervous newbies with a cheery “passing” and cede to faster riders with a courteous acknowledgement. I will wait for the lights to change. If I am running late, I will remember that running rude – or worse running injured/dead – is way worse.

I cannot change your behavior, and I’m conscious my own record is muddy and grey, but I am seriously prepared to work on mine.

End of rant. Sorry Thatch.

*ps the riders above have done nothing wrong, they are just there to fill up the white space. The actual wrong riders are already showered and at work because they were riding so fast they got there in plenty of time to start hating their lives and saving up for another flat screen TV.

*pps okay this is really the end of my rant.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

2 comments

  1. I’ve noticed this happening more and more here in Melbourne as well.
    As more and more people take up cycling we are getting the car-driver mentality permeating through to cycling as well.
    That same sense of entitlement: “It’s MY road/bike path”, “You are too slow”, “You are in my way” has flowed through for driver behavior to cyclist behavior.
    It’s a big generalisation but to all you car-driver, but now cycling, idiots out there: leave the attitude at home, take it easy… and get the f%^& out of my way, it’s MY bike path afterall!

  2. heheh, it’s funny Norm, I guess we’re all on both sides of the ride sometimes, but I agree we gotta all chill out!

    Ride safe and friendly…. Might see you on the road when I am next in Melbourne!

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