Op-ed laments the entitled bicyclist

Minneapolis author Steve Stratman is roiling the peaceful waters that typically surround the cycling scene in the Twin Cities.

“Bicyclists are becoming unlikable, even to other bicyclists,” he writes in his op-ed in today’s Star Tribune, “Six Signs You’re a Twin Cities Bike Jerk.”

You are quietly stymied when you realize there are people out there who don’t share your infatuation with yourself. It’s true. After you’ve zoomed past cowed mortals who flee your directives like peasants in a pogrom, you hear the wails and lamentations in your wake and you think, “Don’t they understand that I’m the god of special pants?”

Ouch. It always comes back to the spandex.

Stratman suggests that bicyclists are responsible for the disappearance of some “no biking” signs on Minneapolis park trails.

If riders can’t maintain their speed, they should get off the bike path. I used to think that when something bad finally happens to me, it will be at the hands of an addled meth fiend in a cloud of vapors or society’s most popular boogieman, the “hooded youth.” But now I believe my personal safety depends on a random score of fierce-eyed cyclists with bulging adrenal glands and legs the size of Maryland bearing down on children with pink helmets in a brume of caffeine and attitude.

Ease off on the power bars, Stratman writes.

“As usual the few are the cause of the cursing of the many,” a commenter astutely observes.

Related: Pedal Hub: Don’t be a jerk!

  • MrE85

    There was a similar thread on this topic yesterday on MNSpeak.

    • I didn’t even know MNSpeak was still around.

      • Kassie

        It is a Facebook group, but you can join only if you are special enough to be recommended and don’t piss anyone off and they ban you.

  • Gary F


  • Kassie

    While I think a little etiquette goes a long way, this seems more about people enjoying something differently than someone else. I imagine in the motorcycling communities there is the same thing with those on scooters against Harley riders against crotch rocket types against your average guy just trying to get to work. They all think the other one is doing it wrong.

    • Mike

      it boils down to a ‘me’ world and people caring not of others. We could go through every aspect of life and find these people. The bycycling topic pops up more often becuase we forget about it for 6 months of the year around here and when they pop up again it stimulates the rage! If they were inconsiderate 12 months of the year it wouldn’t sneak up on us, and we would be mentally prepared. I presume this is how people make it through the daily grind of work, because people are already prepared for the 5% of jerks.

    • Guy Ross

      Excellent comment! I witnessed a ‘rice burner’ dropped from a crane and subsequently burned at a Harley rally when I was a kid. It really is about tribalism.

    • jon

      As both a motorcyclist and a bicyclist, I feel like the idiots on motorcycles are more offensive to me than the idiots on bicycles…

      Put the muffler back on, stop riding between lanes to pass people, and keep the front tire on the ground.

      I’m not sure if it’s the fact that there is a test to be able to ride a motorcycle and thus people should know better, or just that bad motorcycle behavior effects me far more often than bad bicyclists…

  • David Brauer

    Honestly, on my list of daily aggravations, smug bicyclists rank 1,422nd. Yet we incessantly get media pieces about it. It just seems weird to me. I get that it generates heat, but just like it has become this big political/ideological fiscal issue, I’m left scratching my head.

    • Kassie

      Though, after going on a bike ride around Lake Phalen last night, the hoards of pedestrians in the bike lane ranks about 96 on my list right now.

    • Yeah, but Joe Mauer is high on that list, I hear. :*)

    • Guy Ross

      Clicks man, Clicks. I work in media and there is NOTHING that will get the clicks like parking issues or bikes. These quantifiable results effect decisions about employment and promotion.

      Here I am leaving a comment, doing my part for Bob Collins. Although I hope you don’t face these pressures Bob, you’re welcome.

  • Hiawatha

    How DARE people use urban amenities differently than I do! Shame on them!

    You know, sometimes I get the sense that we’re not all cut out for this “city” thing. Part of living in a city involves dealing with strangers who have different lives than yourself. We all have to share the same space for all of our different uses, a bit understanding that we’re not the center of the universe goes a long way.

  • Greg W

    At least now I know what’s going to take up about an hour of Barreiro’s show this afternoon.

  • Jonathan Foster

    There are jerk car drivers, jerk pedestrians (yes, you group of six people blocking the bike path to have a long chat) and jerk bicyclists. The thing that seems most important is that the jerk bikers and jerk walkers have never killed anyone.