Warning: This post may piss you off. Good.
Can you spot the problem(s)?
I’m torn. On the one hand, I am a supporter of everyone enjoying bicycling in all of its many forms. Get out there and have fun!
This video represents more than simply the predictable results of running a stop sign.
This is also an illustration of sport bicycling hubris. I have discussed the hegemony of sport bicycling in the U.S. bicycling culture many times (example). I believe it is largely from the behavior and experience of sport bicyclists — such as those you see in this video — that drive the idea that, among other things, bicycling in traffic is dangerous (it is not) and that one needs expensive equipment and special clothing to ride. The hegemony of sport bicycling also sets up expectations for bicyclist behavior in traffic.
Part of what I hope to achieve with Carbon Trace, in whatever small way, is to break this hegemony — to make transportation bicycling (same roads, same rules, same rights — in normal clothes) the driver of bicycling culture.
(Full disclosure: I am not a sport bicyclist. I do not own a racer. I have no interest in riding bicycles fast for exercise or any other reason. I neither follow, nor care about, bicycle racing. If you love that stuff, that’s great.)
We need to get to a place in our culture where we snicker at such antics as a sign of being out of touch — a place where sport bicyclists enjoy their sport, but where they follow the rules of the road because the hegemonic pressure dictates it.
Noted: Plenty of transportation bicyclists ignore traffic laws, too. But who is more visible in the culture? And who might be the most likely to effect change?