What motivates humans to do certain things will never be medically or psychologically quantified…at least in an exact sense that covers everyone. Everyone is different. That’s why we hate stereotypes so much. I am a cyclist. I love bicycles. I have no idea why. Maybe I was born that way. With some sort of a willingness to get out on the road and experience the un-conditioned air on a hot day. Maybe I am genetically predisposed to appreciating the taste of sweat. Maybe I have a psychological compulsion to exercise or not spend money on gasoline. Who knows? All I can say is that I cannot stand driving a car. Whenever I do, something changes. I become tense and stressed and I feel a need to mutter horrible things under my breath whenever something doesn’t go my way. So I am guilty of stereotyping motorists. Based on my experience in a car, I default into a line of thinking that all drivers are assholes. I shouldn’t.
Maybe that is why it came as no surprise to me that a reserve police officer in Los Angeles chose to post a YouTube (since removed) about how she “hate[s] cyclists…every single one of them.” Before I start my rant, I have to ask this officer and former actress what criteria she uses to determine if one is an actual cyclist or not. Is it because a persons happens to be riding a bike when she crosses paths with them? That cannot be the case. That would be profiling on the level of the smelliest of assholes. Is it because they are riding a road bike and wearing kit all tight and aerodynamic looking? That certainly can’t be it either as that would be downright discriminating. She did mention that she hates “every single one of them” as if she were grouping all of us into a small internment camp in her mind where she wishes us to suffer the pain of having our bikes taken away from us, never to ride again. So when a child rides her bike to school because her parents work, does she classify her as a cyclist? Does this officer hate them, too? Or does she merely hate those who choose to be a cyclist? If that’s the case, how can she tell.
<rant>Surely she can study a little history (it’s easy these days what with the Google Machine and all) that bicycles actually predate the automobile. They were being used for transportation and racing and general all-around awesomeness for years before cars became affordable enough for the average consumer. Nothing says class unity like a bicycle. Cites that choose to give bicycles more rights than cars have shown dramatic decreases in injuries and, one could assume, stress and depression. Anyone who assumes they are doing anyone else a favor by driving a car by themselves to work, polluting the air and letting their bodies wither away needs to have their head examined. Now I am not saying that bicycles have the right to own the road. What I am saying is that sharing is caring. Realizing that everyone is different and some of us just don’t drive would go a long way to fighting bigotry in our country. Especially by the police. They have enough problems dealing with their authoritarian complexes and their reliance on a government paycheck rather than actually protecting and serving while issuing tickets to cyclists for riding too far into the road (which is not illegal in California, by the way).</rant>
It’s a sad world when the police, after being called out so many times for abusing their authority that they have to take to the internet to complain about cyclists. Use your YouTube chops for something else more important, Blue like crimes that are actually happening. Real crime destroys families and psyches. Cycling makes people happier. Endorphines, you know?