Why I will not ‘Share the damn road’

Last week I got an e-mail from a group asking to ‘share links’.  This is when one blog/site wants you to link to them, in exchange for them linking to you.  These are somewhat common requests, and normally, I ignore 99.98% of them.  The e-mails are usually semi-automated and most of the time it’s just beneficial (commercially) for the other site.  If you take a look at my sidebar you’ll notice that the links to sites I do have, are for triathlon peeps I read.  You know, normal non-commercial humans like you and me.

(Do note however that I do reserve the right to be a complete sellout if someone comes along and offers me $1,000,000 worth of cupcakes…I mean, that’s only common sense)…

Anyway…

So, this organization started by a pro cyclist, they do bike jersey’s that say on the back in big letters:

“SHARE THE DAMN ROAD”

Which seems like a perfectly logical thing to put on the back of a jersey.  Primarily because, yes,  there’s no better way to try and convince an already antagonistic driver to not hit you, than to piss them off as they get within 10-20 feet of you…from behind.  Because that’s just…

BRILLIANT

In the never ending contentious relationship between drivers and cyclists, the one thing we don’t need is one side purposely riding with a billboard on their backs saying how much they hate the other side (drivers).  As now instead of dealing with a small handful of unsympathetic drivers per ride, we get to deal with every single car passing us being ticked off.  Naturally, such language would only serve to anger a driver, as no part of the phrase illustrates a caring and compassionate individual.  Nor does it help to try to help turn the tide of the stereotypical ‘angry cyclist’ mantra that many drivers portray spandex clad folk as.

I have many little rules in life that I try and following. One such rule that seems applicable here would be: Thou with the smaller and non-deadly weapon shall always lose to he with the larger and more deadly weapon.  So picking a fight with 4,000 pound car while  riding your carbon-fiber frame(clocking in at 14 pounds), does not seem particularly bright.  Actually, it seems downright…

DAMN STUPID

But I’m not the only one that thinks this.  A few weeks prior Simon Whitfield (you know, two time triathlon Olympic medalist) got the same request, and had roughly this to say:

ARE YOU CRAZY?

Actually, he didn’t roughly say that.  He said exactly that.

Now, there are a ton of great jersey’s out there that do a good job at being friendly in reminding motorists to give them a bit of extra room – or just even the space allotted by law.  There are even new fangled lasers that draw out the cyclist’s bike lane on the ground behind them for cars to see at night.  These are tactics that help make drivers aware of cyclists without ticking them off.  At the end of the day, most of us are both drivers and cyclists, so when you do something on a bike – be it wearing a jersey or an action – think about it from both sides of the fence.

Oh, and as for the link exchange…no, I will not be linking to you.  Though, it appears that hasn’t stopped you from linking to me.  Funny. :)  Of course, you’ll receive some hits from people reading my post and then Google’ing you, but I’m not linking directly to your site anywhere (including this post), and since you don’t do any advertising on your site, you really have no benefit there either.  But thanks for the link exchange offer, I appreciate that the compliment that my blog is in the same sphere of influence as a two time Olympic medalist!

Anyways…I end this Rainmaker Rant and get you back to your regularly scheduled programming…

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14 Comments

  1. So true, not only is he making himself a target by wearing the jersey but every other cyclist whether they follow his creed or not. I hope he can do us a favor and figure out a better way to create awareness for cyclists. Maybe support bike lanes or something. Quit making everyone on two-wheels a target!

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  2. well said!

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  3. Couldn’t agree more. Might as well put a bulls-eye on the back of a jersey.

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  4. Oh, brother. I’m sure there’s an ounce of good intentions behind those jerseys, but your take on it is spot-on. Hopefully they can tweak the message just a bit and make another go at it.

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  5. I got the same request, and like you I also ignored it for the same reasons. Why antagonize a driver? For those guys that are going to try and drive past you as close as possible while honking their horn at you, it isn’t going to stop them from doing that. Excellent post.

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  6. Anonymous

    The LightLane is very clever. Thanks for the link.

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  7. Greyhound has a great jersey that is bright yellow and says Yield 3 ft. Please with arrows on it when we go riding. Short, to the point, and effective.

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  8. I agree. While I may be crazy, I don’t think I’m stupid.

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  9. I most whole-heartedly agree. Wearing that jersey like that is like saying “Hit Me, I dare Ya” and there’s plenty of cyclist-haters who’d probably do it. No thanks!

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  10. The jersey must be one of those ideas that seems great on paper but turns out so wrong in reality. Picking a fight with a car, whether riding or running, is a really bad idea.

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  11. Totally concur. No sense antagonizing strangers, any of whom might be crazy and/or violent.

    Now if I can just get my wife to stop flipping off aggressive drivers I’ll be set.

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  12. yeah….good choice!! :)

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  13. I have a Share the Road license plate. I’m not sure this serves any purpose whatsoever :-) Maybe a gentle admonishment from another driver is effective?

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  14. Brian B

    You worte exactly what I have thought for some time!

    Reply

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