Friday, September 3, 2010

The 8 types of cyclists you'll encounter on East Village streets

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...


Anonymous said...

I don't like any of them. They are rude and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I'm not rude or dangerous. Dangerous how? Just how many pedestrian - bicycle accidents you think happen? Oh, you mean when you're crossing the street against the light after having shot a quick glance to see if a cab is going to run you down and missed seeing the cyclist with the green light who narrowly misses your not-paying-attention-ass, but DIDN'T hit you because I"M paying attention so I don't get killed? Right. I see.


elkue said...

Way to miss the point, 11:07am.

Bowery Boogie said...

i'm always surprised at the number of cyclists without helmets. in such a traffic congested city, it seems irrational.

blue glass said...

oh, here we go again.
let's see how long we can go without cursing each other out.
let's put this into the three categories there are:
stupid: people who don't know the rules, or don't care. delivery folks, tourists, the blind.
self centered: those that think riding a bike is something special and expect everyone to get out of their way because of political corectness, being green, etc. and can therefore bike wherever they want whenever they want. rules be gone!
heroes: those that obey the rules, ride a bike because it's green, or because they save money, or because they just like biking, and in addition they like other people and respect their right to also have space in our common world.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

How about just regular bike folk, like the guy who rides around the EV with a basket of flowers and Gloria Estefan blaring from his rear-mounted stereo? I've never seen him using a bike lane (mostly the sidewalk), but have also never had a problem with him.

Anonymous said...

Most of the bicyclists are fucktards.

Anonymous said...

You're missing "cyclists who can't stop properly because they have no brakes because brakes aren't cool." Native habitat is WB and Bushwick, but they venture out to the East Village frequently. Notable feature: will argue to the death that they can skid-stop just as quickly as those with a break, making one wonder: "Why was the brake was even invented in the first place?"

Anonymous said...

Yes, all of us who ride our bikes are fucktards. I can always count on this blog when I'm in the mood to encounter ignorant people.

HippieChick said...

I've seen more bikers in the past month or so than I ever have in the EV.

Most of them riding the wrong way, in bike lanes or not. ALL of them without lights after dark. None of them with helmets.

I yell at the ones going the wrong way or not riding in bike lanes or going the wrong way IN the bike lanes.

HippieChich has officially become a Crazy Old Hippie Lady. And doesn't care. So watch it, you cycling morons, or I'll whack you with my umbrella!

blue glass said...

googla, you'd have a problem with him if he ran into you.
perhaps he fits into stupid.
or maybe another category is in order.
what would you call him?

Anonymous said...

I just came home from dinner and realized how scary it is to cross 1st and 2nd Avenues now with all of the new lanes.

And has anyone else noticed a lot more motorized bikes out there in recent weeks? A lot of delivery guys have them and they're fast. Not so sure it is safe for them to be speeding down the bikes lanes on these things.

Anonymous said...

Skateboarders too.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to encounter a "Responsible Commuter". They are all terrorists. They know that they are breaking the law and are dangerous and they do it anyway. Thus they must intend to terrorize and harm us. They ride on sidewalks (and train their children to do it too), they zoom through red lights, ride the wrong way on one way streets - all against the law. I don't care what "kind" of rider they are. As for the commenter who says he's watching: HOOEY! I have been hit on the sidewalk more than once. There are a lot of accidents and there have been deaths (I think murders since it is against the law thus there must be intent there).

Anonymous said...

Pedestrians have the right a way--meaning--you must stop for them--pedestrians-motor cyclists and cars obey the rules of the road--but bicyclists do not--heads up fellows--get your head out of your ass cause we have had enough.

Anonymous said...

@9/4 4:24 - where, may I ask, are the pedestrians obeying the rules? where they stand IN the bike lane looking to see if it's safe for them to cross against the light? on Broadway north of 23rd where they stroll through the entire street like it's a personal walkway?

Also, hyphens and dashes don't replace periods and commas. Please get your head out of your ass.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:07--you sound like you are on the rag.