Every year around this time, we see the the n00bs come out.

What do I mean by n00bs? Oh I think you know. They’re not a homogeneous group, but they went on a few bike rides last summer and are planning on biking to work on every nice day. Inclement weather might be a surprise to them and once it rains, we won’t hear from them for a few months.

They violate traffic laws (ok, so do I) but in a less savvy manner than the more seasoned cyclists. I’m talking wrong way down a bike lane, diagonal street crossing when one light is green and the other is red, and riding on the sidewalk like it’s OK.

The bikes: comfortable

The attire: for generic exercise

The body: sweatless

The face: either scared or bizarrely placid

On your left! "What? turn to my left?"

But the thing is that we need these assholes. In order for urban cycling to become more safe, it has to grow and these are the little green shoots of real cyclists. The tiny buds that will, one day, blossom into a differentiated member of the urban cyclist menagerie that we see every day. They are our stem cells… and cars are the ….electricity and… cell growth promoters…. whatever.

The point is that they are annoying, but important.

Treat them well, and we’ll have a better, bigger, bolder presence on the road.

[outro: song from the sixties about teaching children well].

2 Responses to “n00bs”

  1. Marianna
    May 12th, 2010 | 7:39 pm

    I only just started reading your blog, but I totally want to be your friend. “We need these assholes” and “Hearts and Minds, you asshole” are the two best things I’ve just about ever read about biking in Boston. You have liberated me to acknowledge that incompetent n00bs suck.

  2. cyclostat
    May 12th, 2010 | 7:51 pm

    Thanks Marianna!
    I’m totally down for being friends, and I’m sorry to hear about liberating your condescension.

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