Need an edge in the pod of cyclists on your to-and-from? Feel the need to demand the respect of your fellow street users in the war for commuting dominance? Try these well established techniques used morning and night on the famous Market Street of San Francisco.
Visibility: Blinkies! Bright Blinkies! You will need at least one super bright flashing light in front and three in back. Yes, the weight will slow you but the combination of epileptic fits and blindness inflicted on others will thin the crowd of both fellow competitive cyclists and those pesky pedestrians from around you. An effective blinkie will light up reflective street signs at least six blocks away; aim your rear blinkies for the eyes of following cyclists.
Pass as closely as possible!: If you don’t rub elbows as you pass you are not intimidating the competition. Bike lanes are not just for one bike at a time single file. Jam on through!
Let them know you are there! ON YOUR LEFT! does not get you anything. Bells are ignored. Use a survival whistle. Carry it in your mouth at all times, like a pacifier, but a pacifier of the competition!
Get to the Front!: At every stoplight filter and shove your way to the front. Blocking the crosswalk is a given, and stopping in the cross traffic lane is a necessity, and certainly should be acceptable to like-minded competitive bicycle commuters in the cross traffic.
Do not obey traffic control devices!: Ignore stop signs, red lights and cross traffic – rules are for everyone else, not you, the competitive commuter. Remember, rules are meant to be broken. If caught, deny everything; blame the system, your parents, or your fellow competitive commuters, but never admit fault. Use politicians, pro sports icons, and CEOs for your role model here. Might is Right and you are Mighty!
Demand your space!: Hang a huge bag, yoga mat or tennis rack off your bike or back pack that sticks out so you can inadvertently smack your fellow commuters into submission. When getting to the front at the light, wobble a lot as you slow and nearly fall over when you stop – this is more effective than a wobbly track stand to get you extra room and respect.
Show them your ass!: When coasting, do not sit – stand on your peddles and stick your butt out! Say to yourself ‘Fear This!’ when doing so. Waggle it a bit too, or at least jump on the pedals a bit.
Sprint! Sprint! Sprint!: Total dominance is not enjoyed just by blinding and shoving to the front! Pedal!
Show them your competitive commuter face!: Squint! Wrinkle your nose! Mouth open! Work it!
Do not speak!: Verbal communication makes you vulnerable to others repartee and reduces your focus on winning.
Swerve a lot when starting from a stop!: Either wobble side to side or swoop over into the pedestrian crosswalk. If you don’t hear people swearing at you, you are doing it wrong! Practice this on recreational rides too, until you perfect it.
Remember, if you are not winning, you are losing. Ride fast, losers are last. Chapeau!