Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Are you a cycloterrorist?

I spent the last weekend in NYC (Manhattan) and, man, this is the city of bikers. They are everywhere! The most striking however, was the number of electric bicycles I have seen. Which is interesting, given the fact that they are... illegal.
 Electric delivery bike in NYC (Source: WSJ, photo by Michael Nagle)

Apparently, these vehicles used mainly by restaurant delivery men, are too fast and too... quiet (i.e. too stealthy) causing too much disruption in city traffic. NYC pretty much banned them considering their riders "cycloterrorists".

Then I read another opinion on how cyclists like to execute their rights on the road with no regard to other vehicles (i.e. cars). They ride two abreast on narrow roads preventing cars from passing them, they take too much space on the road (i.e. ride too far away from the curb) or they try to stay on the road at all cost in a heavy morning traffic while right next to them is a perfectly safe, wide sidewalk. It looks like those type of cyclists are being called "cycloterrorists" now as they disturb traffic flow. From drivers' perspective they are just a slow-moving obstacle, like an excavator (With the difference that no driver would ever want to crash into an excavator, while some of them would happily hit a cyclist). From bikers' point of view, they just do what the law requires and allows them to do.

I guess a little courtesy on both sides would be welcomed.

I do not think about myself as a cycloterrorist. I usually stay more to the right (Maybe I am not brave enough), I let cars pass by me, I stop on all red lights and I don't trample pedestrians on sidewalks. But what about you? Are you a cycloterrorist?

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