But there's a subset of cyclists who have somehow missed this lesson. These people think that the bicycle's advantages over wasteful, polluting car traffic grants them not just moral superiority but also a kind of physical immortality, maybe bestowed by Captain Planet. Once when I was driving in Oregon, a young cyclist cut directly across my path and I had to slam on the brakes to avoid having to pick blonde dreadlocks out of my grill. I hit the horn, and the guy stopped and gave me a "Why do you hate PLANET EARTH?" look before riding off. That's far from the only time I've run into the "let's deliberately goad the unhip motorists" attitude.
Why We Hate It
This isn't just about some cyclists being dangerous and irresponsible: After all, the world is also full of dangerous, irresponsible people driving cars. It's that cyclist-douchiness is so much more likely to end with the cyclist's horrible, gory death. In a cyclist vs. motorist douche-off, one of the competitors is clad in 4,000 pounds of metal armor, and the other has nothing but a layer of clothing between the car, the road, and their squishy, meaty self. If a dumb teenage driver pulls in front of me and I can't brake in time, the result is most likely going to be an awkward exchange of insurance information. If a dumb cyclist does it, he ends up bespattered on the front of my hood. It doesn't matter if the accident is 100 percent the cyclist's fault: I still have to live with killing the guy.
Vengeful cyclist ghosts are the worst, as well. All that ectoplasm-stained spandex.