Bicycles and Vehicles: Let’s Not Get Along
March 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
Once in a great while I like to take a ride on my bicycle. I stick to the trails meant for bicycles, few as there are. I wish there were more of those. I like to ride along with the wind rushing through my luxurious hair, smelling the sweet scented flowers as I float by. Popping a wheelie here and there when the moment takes me. A butterfly drifts by and flits about with it’s funny oscillating patterns. A little bunny hops through the grass to my left, chirping a friendly “Hello!” as I roll by. I do a bicycle hop of my own in a return gesture of friendliness. The summer sun warms my skin and the sky is a brilliant blue and I see harmony in all things. It’s fantastic. There are no bumps on my road. There are no obstacles in my path. No people on their roller skates or scooters or jogging to get in my way. And most importantly, no cars. Because I understand that on a road meant for cars there is no room for a bicycle. Not even a little bit. I said no room. And this is why when I ride my bicycle I stay off of the roads where cars and trucks and buses are all making a mad dash to their destinations, turning left, turning right, and pulling out of driveways at a frantic pace.
So why the hell do these people get on their fancy bicycles and try to compete with cars?
That question was rhetorical. I don’t want to understand why they do this because if anything this blog is about angrily pointing fingers. And I’m starting to boil now. Not a full rolling boil, but one where the little bubbles are starting to float to the top. The potential energy is building, beginning to take kinetic form. Watch out. I’m making my transition now from carefree bicyclist to worried motor vehicle operator. And worried motor vehicle operator turns quickly into road rage-aholic beast when I see these bicyclists in my way. The “Mr. Wheeler” cartoon I am becoming.
First they come one by one, confident in their importance above all other vehicles. Then they come in packs, using sheer numbers to assert their dangerously mistaken authority. Share the road they cry. Share the road with us! No I say. Stay in your freaking bike lane where you belong so that you don’t end up a greasy spot on the road. I don’t want to hit them. Nobody does. Nobody wants to see you hurt so stay out of the way. Some do stay off to the side where they belong. You guys I am marginally ok with. The ones I hate with a passion are those who feel they are above the law. Steven Seagal should have kicked their asses in his movie with the same name. These guys ride in packs in the middle of the road pretending to be oblivious to the cars stacking up behind them. Why don’t you stay in a nice single file line like your kindergarten teacher so diligently taught you? I saw one the other day pointing at cars and gesturing to let them know exactly in what manner the car was supposed to go around them. In the jungle do you see the dung beetle commanding the panther? Does a CEO cringe in the path of the mail room worker? Does the philosopher seek wisdom from the town idiot? Short answer? No. Long answer Nooooooooo! I’ve seen many of these bicyclist running red lights when they don’t feel like stopping. I wish I could do that in my car. But somehow they are allowed because they are on a bike.
And so the pendulum too far has swung. From one place in time where there were no protective laws for bicyclists, to a time where bicyclists feel they can openly break the law. Why can’t the pendulum come to a rest in the center? Until this time comes I will work against you. As you can see I am a coil wound up tighter then your biker shorts and I will spring up against you with all the combined violence of Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and Matt Damon (Bourne Supremecy Matt Damon, not Good Will Hunting Matt Damon). Mr. Cyclist I will seriously road rage you’re ass. I will rage against you like a diseased man with unfinished business rages against the dying of the light. My rage will run hot and heavy on your heels and no matter how fast you ride you will never escape it. And by that I mean I will sit in my car quietly cursing you under my breath just in case by some magical law of physics you can hear me if I yell too loud.
What does all this ranting come down to? One sentence: you scare me because I don’t want to hurt you, and that makes me want to hurt you. Catch my drift?