Friday, September 3, 2010
At several junctures during the summer, we've had posts updating the developments on the new First Avenue and Second Avenue bike lanes... and each post prompted a spirited debate in the comments: Pedestrians vs. cyclists. Cyclists vs. cyclists. Everybody vs. cyclists. Seemingly.
(You can find some of those posts here ... and here. And here.)
In many cases, all cyclists were dumped into one large "all cyclists are bad" category. While I like nothing more than grotesque stereotypes (woo!), it just seemed too easy to have people list problems that they've had with individual cyclists, which in turn made it seem as if anyone on a bike was a law-breaking cycling commando out for blood.
So! I enlisted the help of someone who knows more about cycling than I do — The Cycling Friend of EV Grieve (CFOEVG), who helped create and write these eight categories. However, CFOEVG is not totally confident that this list is a wholly accurate depiction of cyclists on the streets. So our intention is to illustrate that there is more to the NYC cycling community other than just 100 percent "rogue bikers."
Feel free to add your own categories. Plus, it's probably fair to, at some point, categorize the different types of pedestrians, motorists and bloggers too...
So now, to the list:
• Professionals — Those who work for a business outfit or courier firm. As CFOEVG says, they are "ironically, dangerous riders."
• Restaurant Delivery Workers — Often cooks or dishwashers who are put on a bike. Not to be confused with "all bikers." Some of the worst offenders for sidewalk riding.
• Pro/Amateur Racers — Usually on their way to a race, a park or New Jersey. Members of this group have a tendency to avoid bike lanes because they can't go fast enough in them.
• Triathletes — Typical greenway-variety, some of the most hated riders since they ride so poorly and can be so rude, says CFOEVG. Generally not a problem on surface streets.
• Weekend Warriors — Usually too slow to be of harm, but can end up on sidewalks. Occasionally a problem, but not to be confused with your average cyclists.
• Responsible commuters — Group members here are aware that cyclists are being watched, so they won't block crosswalks or ride on sidewalks. Increasingly, the majority of people you see riding.
• Irresponsible commuters — "Too good/too cool" for bike lanes who like to say that bike lanes are for wusses, but are actually more dangerous to pedestrians.
• Tourists — Uh-oh! Run! Tourists ride the wrong way in the park, too fast on the sidewalk. Just bad all around. Especially when the tourists are riding and unfolding a map at the same time.
P.S. As a bonus for making it this far... From 1986, the "Cocktail" of bike messenger movies...