For some people, cycling is a healthy way to get around. For others, it's a thinly-veiled excuse to act like a self-righteous, affronted jackass as much as possible. I think this Chicago woman who lashed out a car commercial shoot partially in a bike lane falls into the latter camp. Worse, she did it in the lamest way possible.
I'm not exactly sure what it is about putting someone on a bicycle that causes the parts of the brain responsible for secreting agressiveselfrighteousatonin to go nuts, but it seems to happen. Maybe it's connected to the inner-ear balance mechanism?
Photographer Brad Sillars says he was helping out with a commercial shoot for an unnamed Teutonic luxury car maker when this happened:
I was assisting my good friend Jeremy Cliff yesterday on a shoot for a well-known German premium car maker. We were shooting on the lakeside bike trail in Chicago near North ave beach. We had a permit to be there and even had a CPD escort. We were shooting an angle that had us taking up a good bit of one of the bike lanes, but not so much that most people couldn't pass through with ease.
Anyways, one very special lady decided to ride past and proclaim "geeze you assholes are blocking the whole lane??" To which we replied "we have a permit to do so, I hope you have a great day. Watch out for the puddles!"
We carry on our business but some time later this woman returns and decides to throw the water from her bottle out on us, our gear, and the 2015 demo car as she rides passed. Little did she know that our police escort was watching and jumped out of his car and immediately detained her. She about shit her pants as the officer threatened to have her arrested and in jail over night. He eventually let her go after the humiliation, but not before I snapped some pics.
For me, the infuriating thing here is not the overblown rage over what seems to be, at best, a pretty minor inconvenience, but rather the half-assedness of the attack. Water? From your bike's little drinking bottle? Come on, lady. If you want to be the dickhead, perpetually angry cyclist stereotype, do it right! There must have been dog crap around you could have flung, or at least commit and fling yourself on the hood, maybe yanking off a wiper or grille badge or something.
What was she expecting to happen? A few drops would moisten the car, which would then burst into green flame as the whole crew collapsed, screaming "Why? Why? Why did we partially block this bike lane for a little while? Forgive us!" and then they'd break down, sobbing, and bodily carry the woman and her bike to her destination, whereupon they'd pledge their lives to creating a better culture for cyclists globally.
I bet she at least imagined that outcome, just for a second.