There seems to be three kinds of people in this world: people who love guns, people who love cycling, and people who don’t give a flip about either. At the moment I belong to the third group. However, I have been teetering around the border of the cycling enthusiast group for a while now. What is it that has been holding me back from taking the plunge? Dressing like an aerodynamic dork for one. Followed by my lack of a sense of superior ownership of the road. A sense that apparently needs to be ten times greater than the one possessed by motorists. I love the smell of burning rubber!
I live in British Columbia. In the part that is pretty much always warm. At least warm enough to don some full legged and armed tights and hit the road. Perhaps there are four days a year that are too snowy to exercise outdoors. Look, we can pretty much get out and do whatever we want, whenever we want.
For this reason we have a lot of cyclists. A lot a lot! Sure there are some that are really good. Those who follow the rules, come to complete stops, and use proper hand signals. I have probably driven passed one and simply ignored them because they were so good. However, for every one of those cyclists there seemingly has to be a zillion terrible cyclists. I mean how could there not be. It rains in Vancouver all the freakin’ time. And Much like a mogwai, when good cyclists get wet, other cyclists start shooting off their backs. Then all it takes is the one with the douchebag haircut (I know, like there will be only one, right?) to get them to eat after midnight.
Ta-da, bad cyclists! Hot rodding on sidewalks, popping wheelies through crosswalks, and using Idaho stops even though we don’t live in the great state of Idaho or have the procedure legalized – although we should. In other words, being a vehicle yet behaving like a pedestrian. Either they are uneducated or, worse yet, educated and simply do not care.
To add to the hot mess, no one else knows what the hell cyclists are supposed to do either. Pedestrians and cars just roll the dice and scream “Evasive manoeuvres!” every time they have an encounter with cyclists. Cyclists do the same. Although they shouldn’t when it comes to pedestrians. I don’t care about crushing records or maintaining momentum. Pedestrians get the right of way!
With all of this in mind – and the fact that the city needs money – it is no wonder that the city council is proposing bike licenses. Although, educating may be simpler and all that is truly required. Education on everyone’s part. Pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers should all know the rules. Hell why not throw in some motor vehicle rules as well. Like how a freaking four way stop works!
On the other hand, licensing could open the way for insurance, which I do believe cyclists should have. There are a lot of them and they are all uninsured. If an accident happens it is up to the other persons insurance or pocket to fix it.
I don’t know if there should be a difference between athletes, commuters, and casual cyclists. I don’t even know how to enforce it. I also don’t know how six year olds who are learning to ride are going to be licensed. I don’t even know if kids ride bikes anymore or just hang out inside for five minutes between piano lessons, soccer, karate, art, hockey, and school. Honestly, it sounds like a logistical money pit!
What I do know is that when news of licensing got out, the arguments sounded similar to those of gun enthusiasts. “You can’t take my bike!” “Good luck licensing me!” “You’ll never take me alive coppers!” Were all yelled at the top of the gluten free, physically fit warriors lungs as they stormed city hall with rolled up yoga mats. Prepared for glorious battle. Prepared to ride the bike lanes of the afterlife.