In the olden days, the term “cager” was commonly used as slang for a basketball player. In early games of professional basketball, the court was literally enclosed in a cage due to the rules for out-of-bounds (first person to get to the ball got it instead of the modern last-team-to-touch-it-loses-it). More information is available in this SI Vault article.
But, clearly that is not the direct reason why I posted this today. I’m not good at basketball unless it is in the water! Instead, a more modern version of the word “cager” refers to the driver of a vehicle. I first learnt of this term on The Chainlink, and it is the cyclist’s definition of a driver: one who is trapped in a cage. In that sense, it is certainly intended as a pejorative term. However, I guess that I am facetiously referring to myself as a cager today.
I am not a bike purist, as I did spend a lot of time in cars when I was younger. Furthermore, I understand that they can be helpful for faster transportation than bikes over long distances. For example, today I rented a Zipcar to go to a Pre-release Pokemon TCG tournament, because of not realizing that it was today until I was online this morning and it suddenly dawned on me. That’s called renting in a pinch, and is something I would be unlikely to do again. If I forget an optional event on my calendar, it’s as if it didn’t happen.
Thankfully, I was not a “cager” to any cyclists–saw none on my sides of the road at any time today. Despite having short notice, I still had time to get there, without speeding or driving recklessly.
I believe that drivers become better drivers if they have ridden a bike on the road, and cyclists become better road cyclists if they have driven a car. It need not be an either-or proposition: this is one rare case where you can have your cake and eat it too. Though I drive infrequently in the Chicagoland area, I am still comfortable behind the wheel due to my experience behind the handlebars.
Today is the twenty-seventh day of O.C.T.O.B.E.R. That makes three weeks and six days.