Uneasy Rider: Put Up or Shut Up

Uneasy Rider August 2016. Photo: Gwynne Fitzsimmons

Photo: Gwynne Fitzsimmons

Remember when we here at CityBike admonished overly cautious riders for splitting with their hazards on (“Splitting Lanes Is Not a Hazard” – News, Clues & Rumors, August 2015) because lane splitting isn’t a hazard if you’re doing it right? This right here is another commandment straight from the gentle but firm hand of God, or the vintage typewriters of CityBike, whichever you prefer—it’s the same, doncha know?

It’s hard enough not blowing a gasket over the anti-unification, mine-mine-mine attempts at controlling information and contacts, behavior which ironically is often exhibited by the same people that say stuff like “it’s all about control, man” when condemning helmet laws.

But even worse: every time we moto-activists have some success, whether it be land access, legislation, or whatever, the peanut gallery starts chortling and chattering, taking credit from those that actually put in the work. This bullshit comes one hundred percent of the time from people who are uninvolved, and even more uninformed—I haven’t seen a single one of these self-satisfied told-you-so artists in the meetings I’ve been in, and their lack of knowledge of the topic at hand double-confirms their lack of involvement.

But that doesn’t keep these Monday morning road captains from congratulating themselves over the progress on AB 51, as if they had a something to do with it: “Oh, this is exactly what I proposed last year…”

Really? Who’d you submit this oh-so-thoughtfully-considered proposal to? Oh, that’s right—you just ran your gassy, garrulous mouth on the internet, which is the functional equivalent of doing nothing.

Please—put in some work, or kindly shut the fuck up.

What’d Henry Rollins say? Knowledge without mileage is bullshit? Not so different from pimping your self-perceived smarts without riding to the capital…you dig?

This talking-never-walking behavior certainly isn’t new or unique to the moto-world. The internet has unfortunately and unpleasantly amplified the voices of the ne’er-do-nuthins in the same way it’s somehow given billions of people the inaccurate impression that their photography, or poetry, or miscellaneous musings are somehow worthy of being published, even important.

Oh, you’re doing yoga—aren’t you enlightened? You’re offended by someone else being offended about a headline that neither of you even read beyond? Why not write an irresponsibly ill-informed, meme-heavy opinion that some other dumbshit will take as fact and share, share, share! You’re at a restaurant? Oh fuck yeah, we definitely need to see pictures of your mediocre meal—you fancy yourself a foodie!

Here’s the thing: although this behavior is someone-needs-a-good-throat-punching-level annoying—probably almost as annoying as some small-time misanthrope “moto-journalist” wasting hopefully-recycled, certainly-recyclable paper on his opinion of it, I don’t really want you to choose the shut up option.

Really.

Actually, that’s not true. I really don’t want to listen to, read, acknowledge, or even be aware of most of the dimwitted drivel being expelled instead of the thoughtful, reasoned discourse that certainly ruled the days before the internet.

But… I’ll pretend to care, or at least not scream in your stupid face, if even a few of you will start walking just a little with all that talking.

I’d much rather you put up with the rest of the folks that are bustin’ ass on the community’s behalf. We need more voices, more pencils, keyboards, sharpies; we need more bodies showing up.

And for the love of baseball, apple pie and stupid-loud-because-it’s-all-about-control-so-fuck-your-ears American V-Twins, please don’t split with your hazards on.

This story originally appeared in our August 2016 issue, which you can read in all its high-res glory here.

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