Yup, it's time for another in the installment of Freakin' Cars. "Why?" you might ask, and I'd be glad that you did. So I had a ridiculously busy weekend and thus an unfortunately limited amount of time to ride. So I did what I think any logical cyclist would do. I figured out what errands I could run by bike and went out to be productive. I decided I could take some of the trails into town, and get some things done. Once I got a couple things done I'd then be able to ride some streets in town and hit some trails on the way back.
So I set out to do the errands, got them done and started some urban assault on the roads on my mountain bike. Like I always do, had the jersey on, the MTB shorts, helmet and I was cruising around the roads. Same -ahem- stuff different day. The post winter pot-holes (you need to live in a cold weather city with plows and salt to appreciate this), the people who don't think it's obligatory to chain up their dogs, and basic overall people who aren't paying attention to the fact that they're in a one and a half ton proverbial bullet. I'm used to these things, they happen, most of the time people feel bad for them when they do, often you get an apologetic wave or something. On the other hand, you have people who I will just call clown shoes. You know them, you hate them. The person who feels it necessary to get as close as they can and lean out of the car window yelling sh__ at you. I want to take one moment here to point a few things out if you are one of these people and you just accidentally wound up here.
OK first off, incase you haven't noticed by the dazed look you get when you do this, not only could we not hear what the hell you said, we just don't care. Along similar lines, we just don't think it's funny. Second, while grazing a cyclist is a riot to do (it may not look like we enjoy it as we give the one finger salute, but we enjoy the training you're giving us on how to dodge a Dodge... OK, that was sarcastic), you're going to kill someone, and it's still a chargeable offense. Third, what you might not realize about cyclists, we are vigilant for you types. We have to be alert to hear cars around us, and hence are attentive to our surroundings. That is to say the first thing on our mind in most cases when there is something that arises on the road is "license plate" as a first reaction to everything. I just thought you'd like the heads-up on that.
I mean, seriously, I could go on and on, but I don't think I should have to. Just click one of the other blogs on the sidebar and look hard enough and I'm sure each of them would likely have a similar story somewhere on them about these types of instances. With gas costing what it does there are already far more cyclist on the road, and people in car are going to have to adapt. All we ask is that you put down the phone, news paper, coffee, whatever and pay the hell attention to what's going on in front of you. Hell, think of it this way, one of us could be your (future) kid coming home from his friends house. How do you like that visual, your kid getting creamed by a Lexus SUV?
Bottom Line: Cyclists don't want special treatment, we just want to be able to share the road and not worry that we won't be going home to our families that evening.
4 months ago