I used to hate the cyclists that ride in front of my house at all hours during the spring and summer time. I have grudgingly grown to accept their right to the narrow roads in my neighborhood (though I still hate those that insist on riding side-by-side). I haven’t ridden a bicycle in years, and yet lately I’ve had the strange desire to hop on one and go for a ride myself. Maybe I am just growing up?
Then again, maybe I am having a mid-life crisis (at age 24!). According to research from the UK, affluent, educated, mid-life men are twice as likely to be cyclists… and to own multiple cars! Has bicycling become a new way to deal with a mid-life crisis?
The Guardian talks about the “us vs. them” mentality of cyclists and car drivers. I’ll admit, I’ve certainly shaken my fist (and flipped the bird) at inconsiderate cyclists. It helps knowing I’ve got two tons of steel to backup my anger while all the cyclist has is a helmet (and probably a better lawyer). Turns out I have a lot in common with many of these cyclists though. In fact, many of them might even be car guys like me!
It seems that buying an expensive bike has become, in this economy especially, equivalent to buying a sports car in mid-life. Except the bike will actually get you into shape. Then again, seeing as how many cyclists are more likely to own multiple cars, maybe they have decided they have enough cars already. It is a positive trend in my eyes, and perhaps it will lead to more bicycle lanes popping up all over the place. Then again, with cyclists often also being drivers, it makes me wonder why this “us vs. them” attitude prevails between cyclists and drivers. Maybe not enough drivers are biking? I know for me, I hate having to move my car over the yellow line, which makes me liable should an accident happen. Cyclists don’t have to worry about that… just getting creamed by a car going 50 mph from behind them. Right now it seems like a no-win situation for either party.
I still think I’d rather have the Porsche for a mid-life crisis…but maybe my mind will change in another 10 or 15 years.
Source: The Guardian | Image: Graeme Robertson