"You can ride your bike on the road, and you can be right, but you may be dead right."
Sound familiar? Google "bicycle, dead right" and you get 9,000 hits. It must sound profound to those who say it, but what does it mean?
In context, the idea is that while you have the right to do a thing, it is foolish to assert your right because of the perilous nature of doing so.
In every case I can think of, the one trying to discourage the assertion of one's rights had a vested interest in its deferral. In that way, it is simply a veiled threat by a coward too timid to reveal the dark thoughts of his heart.
I find it interesting, since we are talking about rights, who has rights on our public streets. The right to operate a motor vehicle on the public way is a contingent right, which can be thought of as a privilege. One is granted the right to steer one's automobile on a public street if one meets many requirements. You must be of certain age, physically sound, have financial means in case of mishap, and posses a license provided by the state. This permission to operate in the public way can be removed with due process.
Bicycle operators, on the other hand, have no requirements at all! Based on ancient notions of free travel on the public way under one's own power, this is one of the natural liberties of free men. (Sadly, this liberty has been encroached upon by the city of Anna and the state of Texas.)
So those with conditional rights want to bully others for their own convenience from exercising their natural rights. I dislike bullies.
If cyclists take the bait, and cower in fear, deferring their rights to keep the peace, what good are they? Is an unexercised right a right at all?
I do have the right to take the lane. I know it because I do it.
Exercising my rights is keeping them from becoming dead rights.
Moderation EVEN in Portland
6 days ago