POV

Don’t Be an Asshole on Two Wheels

There are ways of being a gentleman while doing the wrong thing. (Like the mafia)

Story by By Andrew Roderiguez - andrew@kodezero.com Photos by Icarus Blake

Moose Vs. Duck Photo ©Icarus Blake

As a cyclist, I’m glad more and more people are starting to join the bike community in New York City, but lets face it, we all don’t get along when we hit the street. We all have our opinions and interpretations on what’s wrong and what’s right while making moves on two wheels. Here’s a working list from my book of etiquette for riding a bike. (For live examples of assholes in action, please refer to your local delivery men)

Riding the Wrong Way the Right Way (applicable to bike paths)

If you do this regularly, other cyclists going the right way may have yelled at you, but don’t worry, you’re not an asshole just yet. There are ways of being a gentleman while doing the wrong thing. (Like the mafia)

Duck Kong Photo ©Icarus Blake

First, you want to avoid going the wrong way whenever possible, but let’s be real here, if your destination is in the middle of the block and you’re on the wrong side of a one way, chances are you’re not going to ride all the way around the block for the sake of etiquette. I know I wouldn’t.

Second, when breaking this rule you should always reduce speed. Even though people have been told to look both ways before crossing, they don’t. You always want to keep a speed that allows you to react to pedestrians and other obstacles who’s view of the matter may seem a bit one sided.

Dead Duck Photo ©Icarus Blake

Cyclists and other vehicles traveling the right way down the road ALWAYS have the right of way. This may mean you getting off your bike or pulling in between parked cars to let them through. Just because you want to break the law for your convenience, doesn’t mean you should inconvenience others.

When you reach the end of a one way, SLOW DOWN and GET OUT OF THE WAY. There will be cars and cyclists turning onto the street and they won’t be expecting to run into you since… YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE!

Sidewalk Cycling

DON’T DO IT. End of story… Unless you’re under twelve years old.

Ducxting While Driving Photo ©Icarus Blake

Breathing Room

As the weather gets warmer in the city, more and more cyclists pour onto the streets. This is all fine and dandy, but it also causes some congestion.

Most of these new bike paths are enclosed between parked cars and the sidewalk for our safety from cars. However, I find that it just makes me feel trapped and limits my space maneuver in the event of a potential collision.

Which brings me to my next point, DON’T BE AN OBSTACLE FOR OTHER CYCLISTS. If you like to go slow, move to the side and ride in a straight line. There’s nothing more annoying then trying to overtake a sloth-like road hog. Conversely, if you like to fly fast, make your presence known. A simple “On your left.” or “Watch your back.” will do when overtaking another cyclist.

What an Asshole! Photo ©Icarus Blake

When approaching an oncoming obstacle with another cyclist, give each other space. I have to worry about what’s in my way and I don’t want to have to worry about you saving your own ass at my expense.

Last, but not least, if you’re not moving forward, you shouldn’t be in the bike lane. Stopping your commute to dick around on your iPhone in the middle of a throughway is not the most considerate action.

Let’s remember that, as cyclists, we have enough bullshit to deal with daily. Help out your fellow riders by following these simple rules.

2 Responses to “Don’t Be an Asshole on Two Wheels”

  1. Ebuuu says:

    Fun story and more fun pictures. Great. Thank you.

  2. JJ says:

    This was a much needed article. Thanks.