Poor Emily Katseanes. She likely figured she’d write this hilarious column and get a few angry dorks firing back at her. I can’t imagine she knew she’d run into what she got: a bunch, and I mean bunch of angry, repressed, overcompensating bike nerds firing away at her weight, looks and eating habits, and also wishing ill health and even death upon her. Such is life, I suppose.
Back in July, I wrote about similar things as Emily, and I drew a little ire. My point then was that bikes have rules, and they should follow them. But not enough care is taken to ensure bike riders know the rules. I put this squarely on those people who are promoting the bike culture as a great alternative and way of life. They should be teaching these people themselves! If more care was taken to learn and pass along the knowledge necessary to ride safely and legally as is paid to what clothes to wear and what bag to carry while riding, articles like Emily’s (and mine) would be completely unnecessary.
I think the comments following her column demonstrate two things: bikers are haters, and Emily is correct.
I think that when someone generalizes, the first reaction by the generalized is to claim it’s not true of all of that type. Of course not. But when so much bile is spewing out of hate-filled pieholes, it’s a little harder to believe. Here’s why. We all know the people riding around town on bikes are doing exactly what she says they’re doing. We know it because we all see it every day. We see the running of red lights, jumping from sidewalk to street and back, riding the wrong way, and all the other stuff. The generalized party gets defensive because they want to see their ilk portrayed in a more positive light.
Then they think about how they really act, and they can’t guarantee they always follow the law. Then they remember what their fellow bike dork told them the other day about how he successfully tricked his way through traffic and pissed off X number of drivers. And they realize their argument doesn’t hold water for shit.
So they get pissed.
And they focus on what the writer said about her own smoking, or her own eating things that aren’t on the Hipster-approved List™. And next thing you know, all hell is breaking loose. We have people who would probably talk your ear off at Satellite about how in tune with the environment they are, but they can’t be decent to another human. We have a bunch of dudes who wear girl pants telling a girl writing for her college paper she’s unattractive and should die an unpleasant death. We basically have the manifestation of the daddy issues they’re asking her about. Only they’re the ones with the issues.
The bottom line on all if this is that she was writing to be a bit funny, but the bike guys either don’t know funny, can’t handle a girl making fun of them, or are just generally law-breaking assholes. I think it’s all three.