Thursday, February 01, 2007

We All Learn It At Age 5. Some Move On.

In an age of militant, perennially-aggrieved, entitlement-oriented special interest groups, one has become so utterly obnoxious that it stands heads and shoulders above all the rest. I am speaking, of course, about bicyclists.

You know who I'm talking about, at least if you've ever tried to drive to the grocery store on a Saturday morning. There they are in their ridiculous spandex shorts, bullet-shaped helmets with Hubble telescope mirrors jutting out all over, and bottles of fluid fastened all over the bike frame. Breezily they ride along, oblivious to the throngs of drivers stuck behind them gripping the steering wheel, muttering curses, and calculating intricate cost-benefit analyses between the satisfaction of running one of them over and the inevitable prison time. A five minute trip to the Wal-Mart to buy some wiper blades becomes a two-hour, heart-exploding debacle.

I personally blame this jerk Lance Armstrong for all of it, of course. Before this clown came along, the world was as it should be, with eccentric, spandex-clad geeks confined to the gravel shoulder of the road where they belonged, not venturing out for fear of being knocked into a ravine never to be found again. Now we have to treat them as delicately as if they were a flock of baby ducks crossing the road, practically required by state law to jump out of our cars and genuflect as these herds of yuppie scum ride by gnawing on their power bars and clogging traffic for miles.

Everywhere you drive now, you'll see a lane at the side of the road specifically for bicyclists. Think about this for a minute. State and local governments have spent billions of dollars nationwide in creating these extra lanes in order to support somebody's little hobby. It would be as if the government came by and put a publicly-funded pool table in everybody's basement. How did these people become so powerful that their hobby is not only ceded a chunk of public roadway, but is also mandated to be treated with the kind of wide-berth deference normally reserved for bald eagle nests and visiting presidents? And yet it's still not enough. Despite being given their own lane on the road (which raises the question: Where is the go-kart lane? How about the roller-skating lane? Why isn't there a pogo-stick lane?), they still like to gather in groups of, oh, say about fifty, and ride in flocks about five wide, expecting us to simply drive back home and hang our heads in automobile-driving shame until they've decided they're finished using the road.

And yet it's still not enough. The amazing thing about these bicyclists is that they still think society owes them something more. They become huffy and indignant if someone drives too close to them, even when they're practically pedaling right down the striped line in the road. They say stupid things like this, published in today's South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
...Clemente rides with a group every Saturday with up to 50 cyclists on A1A who take up a lane of the road. He acknowledges the large group is inconvenient for drivers, but he also feels they have a right to be there partly because there are few places in Palm Beach County for cyclists to ride safely.
Think about this logic for a minute. The state hasn't provided me with a good place to do my bungee jumping. Therefore, I have a right to do it from the top of the Empire State Building. The city has failed to provide us with a good venue for our jousting matches. Therefore, we like to gig each other off our horses in the middle lane of the Interstate. Of course, this makes perfect sense, because the world owes you a place to practice your little hobby.

Talk about a sense of entitlement. Blue-haired Social Security geezers and militant affirmative action gurus look like meek, hat-in-hand wallflowers compared to these rubber-pantsed, ankle-socked, pedal-pushing tyrants. And come on, do we really have to wear the little outfits? Isn't getting dressed up in a costume to go out and play a little childish? I rode my bicycle for miles every day when I was a kid, and I never felt like the blistering speeds required me to shave myself and put a spoiler on my head to reduce drag. I mean, these goofballs are pedaling down the road at 15 miles per hour, not hurtling through the stratosphere into orbit. Although if I can draw a good bead on one and have enough room accelerate up to fourth gear, maybe I can make that happen for one of them.

Hey, I'm feeling better already. I can hardly wait for Saturday morning to come.

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