Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Proof: Threading Is For Idiots

In cycling, some riders like to perform "threading" whenever necessary. This means weaving in and around parked cars, or passing loads of people on the right along the shoulder when there is NOT a dedicated bike lane. Other forms of threading are "bike messenger" types where riders slip in and around moving cars like a KY slathered dildo. Well, these cyclists may not be slathered in KY - but they ARE dildos.

Maybe they are just in a hurry? Maybe they are "too cool" to just follow the rules?

This procedure - I will opine - is idiotic at best and serves only a few solid purposes:

1. Piss off motorists who already have a disdain for cyclists.
2. Piss off cyclists who are trying their hardest to follow the rules of the road and not piss off more motorists.

Of course, the "hardcore," or those who think they are Lance, or those in too much of a hurry to wait in line like everyone else just don't seem to get it. They squeeeeeze past people just wanting to keep that momentum going. God forbid they have to brake a bit and switch a gear.

The primary reason this is BAD is as follows: it inevitably leads to a "right hook" where a threading cyclist has a car suddenly turn right cutting the cyclist off. This can happen any time for sure, but when a rider is threading on the right, a right turning driver is not expecting a sudden pass on their right by a "oh I cannot slow down because I am a wannabe" cyclist.

A secondary and worse thing that can happen due to threading through slow moving traffic in urban areas is what I will coin the "steel cage squeeze." This is even more ridiculous than the stopped traffic/right shoulder situation. You going to fly between to moving vehicles where you don't know if they are about to move closer together like the walls in an Indiana Jones movie? Darwin would be proud of you.

Motorists simply cannot know what the hell you are doing as a cyclist if you are riding all over the damn place like a hipster idiot. You are operating a vehicle - yes the bike is a vehicle - and by law should follow the same rules as other vehicles. Why? Predictability. That is a primary operational procedure on a bike that keeps you safe in traffic. Buzzing all over every lane on all sides of the road at three times the speed of traffic in an urban setting is asking for it.

I present to you this following evidence I came across via another site. Threading is BAD and DUMB. Threading can get you KILLED. BOTH of the cyclists in this video clearly play with fire (threading) and this my friends is how you get burned.  

This guy needs to take at least one life off of his nine for this idiot move. I had to watch this a handful of times to just absorb it all. I know this goes on a lot - I see it in my own hometown - but this takes the cake. Lets do a quick play by play of these guys moves - maybe any childrens who happen upon this post will learn something - that riding a bike like you are in a Jackass movie will make you look like just that.

Here our intrepid cyclist decides to make his first wrong move of the day - cutting off a moving van. Nice. Strike #1.

Like a lemming, our chase cyclist follows suit. God forbid anyone get ahead of you - everything is a race, right? Anyway, if the van driver wasn't already hating cyclists he is now double hating them. Thanks guys. Take note that our lead race-commuter has drifted into the oncoming lane around a tall white van with tinted windows. Good thing a huge truck was not right there. Strike #2.

There is that truck! Lucky the cosmos arranged it to not be a handful of seconds earlier (see pic above). Of course, at this awesome speed, the rider has to choose: A) slow down. B) plow into the pedestrian island. C) Without looking, cut off the car you just passed likely startling the driver. Add up all the rest of these drivers who have a new morning loathing of cyclists because of these guys behavior. Sigh... Strike #3.

In a head shaking move the guy tries the squeeze play. Must be really late for the office. Well, now he's going to be really late - already has three strikes - now he is OUT! Im not entirely sure, but putting your hips between a steel Nissan pickup and a massive double decker bus that is closing the gap is asking for a bad day. I wonder if at this very second he is wondering what a double decker bus or Nissan truck feels like when it rolls over his face. Or pelvis. Or leg. Or hand.

Ooopsie poopsie!! Looks like he didn't make it, based on the tire flying into the air. Now we have all the previous drivers, plus a handful of pedestrians, plus a pickup driver, plus a double decker bus full of commuters ALL likely thinking "WHAT AN ASSHAT!" all at the same time. Great cycling PR.

Cyclists: Don't thread. just slow the hell down and enjoy the ride. The WORK will still be there when you arrive. Your BOSS will still be a dick face wether you are five minutes early or five minutes late. The hip coffee place you are going to will still be there. Sheesh. Ask yourself: "Is it worth my life?"

1 comment:

  1. Since the guy walked away from it I can say it was funny to watch him get sandwiched. Dare I say he deserved it...yes I do. When cycling I always give a wave to thank a motorist when they give me a break hoping they'll give the next cyclist that comes their way a break as well. If we want non-cyclists to support cycling infrastructure we need to show them that we're nor a bunch of careless numb nuts. Thanks for the vid.