Sympathy for the Douchebags

April 23rd, 2012

I’m so sick of holier-than-thou cyclists applauding the recent attention we have been getting from the po-po. Oh, really? This means we have arrived? You don’t say? So what you’re saying is that if I call the police today and tell them I’ve been hit by an MBTA bus, and that I’m on a bicycle and not harmed physically, they won’t respond with, “What do you want us to do about it?”. And if I am knocked over by a car making an unannounced right turn and I phone the Allston police, I  won’t hear, “Sorry, there is nothing we can do unless you’re injured.”

That would be great! Unfortunately for all of us, it’s a pile of shiny crap. If I am in a motor vehicle of any kind, and I am hit by another motor vehicle, or hell, even a cyclist, the cops will respond within minutes. I’ve tested this and so have you, as do hundreds of drivers every month here in good ole’ Beantown. Try it if you’re on a bike, however, and the tune changes completely. Unless the cops are called by a startled bystander who just watched your head go through the windshield of an SUV, or as they watch your crumpled, broken body bleed out onto the pavement in the wake of an MBTA bus that made a quick and unannounced stop right through  you, you are going to be left high and dry by the same establishment that wants you to believe that you are ‘recognized and accepted’.

I hear a lot of bullshit every day, but rarely does such a whiffy grade of dook affect me so intimately.  Let me reminisce…

Do you remember not so long ago when I was hit by MBTA buses making sharp turns into their stops, while I was in the bike lane  not one or two but THREE times in two months? If you ride, you know exactly what I mean: you’re tooling along happily in your lane, and suddenly you hear a roar from  your left as a bus passes you at about 25mph. Just as it gets exactly half it’s length past you, it brakes and pulls sharply to the right, knocking you over, pinching you to the curb or sometimes knocking you fully over the curb. Each time this happened, I called the police and was told, “that’s not our jurisdiction”. Interesting. I called the MBTA police and was forced to leave a message. I never got a response. I left complaint after complaint on the MBTA website.  I never got a response.  After that I started chasing these buses myself trying to retrieve the identity of the  driver. “Give me your name, you just HIT ME!”, I hollered through the closed door. “I DON’T HAVE TO!” the portly bus driver lady hollered back. She had hit me intentionally, after a threat that she’d do so. I’m sorry, but if you are in your car and another car rams you intentionally, I daresay that is ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON.

Or how about the call after call after call, and television spot, and email complaints, etc that I’ve sent to everyone from the Allston police to the Mayor, regarding the intersection of Cambridge St. and Harvard St.  At every single round of lights, all day and night, all year long, vehicles run this red at a rate of between 3-10 vehicles each time. This includes police vehicles, fire engines, schoolbuses full of children, MBTA buses, you name it. What has been done about this known issue that endangers the lives of hundreds of people, including myself, every day? DICK. SQUAT.

And then there was the time when, during a rainy, dank monday, a BMW driver taking a sharp right onto Waterhouse ST. from Mass Ave hit my wheel, stopped, and rolled down the window to shriek, “I oughta run you off the fucking road!!” and peeled away as I picked up my bike, retorting weakly, “…you just did.”  I called the police and they told me I could ride over to the station, with my taco’d wheel, if I wanted to give a statement, but that in all likelihood they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.

I feel so accepted! XD

(FYI, every single time I have been hit, I was following the law to the letter. Go figure.)

As far as I can see, cyclists are really a type of untouchable caste, undeserved of the same protection and attention as their ‘betters’ in cars or on foot. If I’m going to be untouchable, I’m taking all the perks, thank you very much.  As an invisible two-wheeled peasant, I am happy to look after myself, as long as I don’t have to kowtow to the same institutional bullshit as the vehicular vaisyas and the bureaucratic brahmins.

The cops’ methods of enforcement are similarly insulting. They will wait at particular ‘trouble intersections’ (read: wherever it’s easiest to park and reasonably close to a cafe) and hide behind a vehicle, watching for cyclist that run lights, who the cops will then grab bodily as the cyclist rides by.  I’ve only ever seen them at intersections through which it is completely safe for bikes to proceed through a red – great visibility, long pedestrian lights. I also only see them on bright, sunny days. It must be really swell to be able to avoid the streets during days like today, with the constant downpour and the foot-deep road lakes. Color me envious.

How about putting a patrol in Harvard Square Southbound, where I can flag you down and indicate the taxis parked in the bike lane, or the bus that just ran me off the road during the curve in front of the COOP? Oh right, it ‘s because you’d end up giving more tickets to motorists than cyclists. Man, life is hard for the long arm of the law.

The situation is like a heavy-handed after-school special on Lifetime. The protagonist is a delinquent teenager (la cyclistas, obvs), disobedient and destructive. We want them to shape up and we wonder why they act out so ferociously.  And then we’re treated to a snapshot of their home life. GovernMom is preoccupied and removed, preferring to buy the child’s love with gifts and privilege, while the Police Dadpartment is abusive, dismissive and hypocritical. Who will steer this kid through the confusing and traumatic journey through adolescence? Will Cindy the Cyclist give up her coke habit, dump her bad news boyfriend and finally apply to her college of choice?

I wouldn’t keep your fingers crossed.

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2 Responses to “Sympathy for the Douchebags”

  1. dotriderblog Says:

    Dude you might try looking in the mirror for why you keep getting hit. If you’re getting whacked so much it might be that you’re going too damn fast and you expect buses, cars and cops to actually THINK you’re a vehicle. Slow down. Chill out. EVERYONE on the road is an asshole. Until you start to behave as that is a fact you’re going to get whacked and whacked and whacked until you’re done. Meanwhile we hear you on the cops in general… Since they live in cars with full computer screens why would they have any sympathy for you? That means they’d have to work and fill out paperwork with not much chance of renumberation through OT at court. The ones on the street are a bit better, but they come from that American “prevailing wisdom” place that puts cars as paramount over people. Bikes? They’re kid toys… So keep it cool.

  2. Grimlocke Von Hecht Says:

    Actually Dude, if you had read a little about me before flapping your lips, you’d know that I am slow, courteous, and I actually follow the rules of the road more often than not. NOT everyone on the road is an asshole, and therein lies the issue: the Asshole Majority is making the street hell for the Good Guy Minority. The fact that the assholes have majority does not give them carte blanche to whack away at the rest of us. Bikes are no more kid’s toys than a hummer; you absolutely can not marginalize a person because of their chosen mode of transportation, especially if that mode is more economically, environmentally, socially and physically advantageous! Cool is dead and buried, Dude. I am powered by white hot anger, so you and your kind best stay out of the bike lane.

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