You’re doing it wrong: Red Lights

Right. Let’s just get one thing straight before we start. Some bike riders are morons. And they jump red lights even when they don’t need to.

Take this idiot, for instance

idiot

I pulled up at a red light on Lilyfield road this evening, and this idiot turned up. Here’s how out little exchange went

Idiot: <creeps forward as if to jump red, winds up as if to start pedalling>

Crankset: Don’t jump the red light, it makes us all look bad.

Idiot: Wuh?

Crankset: See this guy next to us? <points to taxi>. He’s going to see you jump the red light and in his head he will say “see, bloody cyclists, they’re all lawbreakers”. So don’t.

<light turns green>

Idiot: BUT I’M A PEDESTRIAN

Crankset: You are NOT A FUCKING PEDESTRIAN <rides off>

I really have few words for how vacuous his response was. “I’m a pedestrian”? Newflash, fucker. You are not a pedestrian. When you’re on a bike on the road, you’re a vehicle. You want to be a pedestrian, get off and push.

And I’m not joking when I say it makes everyone look bad. I’ve had the conversation, more than once, where a driver – or an actual pedestrian – kicks off and tells me that I’m a lawbreaker because cyclists always run red lights, even when I’m demonstrably NOT running a red light. I’ve even had punishment passes put on me in “revenge” for me running a red when in fact I’d gone through the same green light as the offending driver.

So don’t you fucking tell me that routinely running red lights is a completely victimless action. It gives fuel to bogan idiots who see riders as little more than obstructive meat.

Now, having got that out of the way, there are times when you probably have an excuse for jumping a red light. Here they are

  1. It’s raining, there’s no traffic around, and the electromagnetic sensor that should turn your light green isn’t detecting your bike.
  2. It’s six in the morning, the road is completely empty, and you’re riding in a fast moving bunch that could stack badly if someone stops suddenly
  3. The driver behind you has expressed an intent to run you over, and you need to get the jump on him
  4. The apocalypse has happened and you’re being pursued by zombies

That’s the lot. Now fucking stop it, you arseclowns.

 

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