VEHICLE is a standard legal term
Whose definition's really fairly firm,
But drivers can't be bothered by the facts,
Indulging preconceptions to the max.
A left turn on a busy major street
Is quite a bold, intimidating feat
For someone who is riding on a bike,
An act some honky's certain not to like.
To see a cycle swoop across three lanes
Is guaranteed to cause some drivers pains;
They get outraged and angry, lose their cool,
Forgetting what they learned in traffic school.
It's not that there's real danger, I'm convinced;
No narrow miss is why the driver winced.
It's more like drivers settle into grooves,
And they are not expecting cyclists' moves.
Some semi-conscious goober's SUV
May be a quarter mile away from me,
But when he dully sees me cross his lane,
He'll pounce on his horn button to complain.
How dare some pedal-powered kiddy toy
Presume to pull ahead of his bad boy?
He thought the pecking order was in place,
But suddenly a bike gets in his face.
There's no way he'd have hit me if he tried,
No traffic law with which I've not complied,
It's just that I don't recognize that he
Expects respect for his huge SUV.
Vehicles come with motors and without.
Despite convictions utterly devout,
A BIKE IS A VEHICLE on the street,
Entitled to its space – and I repeat:
ENTITLED! – to be part of traffic flow,
To occupy a lane, to boldly go
Across two lanes to make its next left turn;
It's not a toy for motorists to spurn.
Bicyclists have the right to ride on streets,
To intersperse with automotive fleets.
It doesn't matter that we're slow and small;
There's nothing in the law that gives a tall
Humongous SUV some special right
To rudely HONK at each imagined slight.
Yet drivers of these gross, ungainly tanks
Indulge in BEEPS and other pointless pranks.
They HONK and TOOT and yell at all of us;
The worst offenders often even cuss.
I sometimes think these buttheads who aggrieve
Us cyclists must at heart somehow believe:
God gave their trucks dominion of the roads.
In fact they're just a plague of bloated toads,
Fat, ugly, squat, square lumps festooned with warts,
Designed by dorks who trained on shopping carts.
In Ojai in a parking lot one morn,
A Cadillac Escarpment HONKed its horn;
Its driver snarled, "You're pretty low down there."
'That's right – in your exhaust polluted air.
Are you the kind of jerk who compensates
For something undersized by buying crates
Like this, that steer like boats and guzzle gas?
You need attention? HONK again... dumb ass!'
I thought, but didn't say it; I ignored
Temptation – just another mouse who roared
From safety up inside his gilded cage...
Another player strutting on his stage.
Another cyclist putdown on the street –
For his IQ a most impressive feat...
Another prime example of a JERK;
More proof that evolution doesn't work.
These assholes ought to lose their right to drive,
At least a year or two... or maybe five.
They don't belong with folks of our kind.
I'd move them – out of sight and out of mind –
To some remote location if I could;
Northwest of Salt Lake City might be good.
Their four-wheel drives would get some use out there;
Do cell phones get reception? I don't care.
Okay, I know... I'm ranting, but I'm peeved
At all the pointless honking I've received.
Let's print some cards with this and other links
And hand them out to anyone who thinks
He has the right to blast away at bikes,
Wherever, for whatever whim that strikes,
Whenever and however much he likes,
To scream at us like screeching, swooping shrikes.
Of course, I doubt these jerks would ever heed
The cards; I doubt that most can even read.
It may be more unlikely they've evolved
To Homo internettus... I'm resolved
That there's no valid reason for this rhyme.
I guess I've only wasted idle time
In venting my resentments, bile and scorn...
But DAMN! – I'm tired of jerks who HONK a horn!
Last updated Nov 9 2006