May 9, 2011

Can't We Share?

Man! I forgot how much joy riding my bike brings me. I had a lovely, lovely ride to work today. The sun was shining, the blossoms were fragrant and the breeze helped me forget I was sweating. But I forgot a few things since my last bike commute in the Fall.

  1. Think you smell a ginormous, neighborhood-wide skunk spray? You don't. More people than you could imagine smoke the weed while driving. It's terrifying. And makes me hungry.
  2. Motorists hate bicyclists. Just a fact. They don't give you enough room to ride on the road let alone to avoid getting hit by a parked car's opening door. And they honk at you for no reason startling you from your concentration. School buses are the least forgiving. City buses? Surprisingly cool.
  3. All potholes are located in the exact location that's safe enough to stay out of traffic and out of the way of the parked cars. I get long-lasting, jarring headaches all the time from hitting some pretty intense, otherwise avoidable potholes.
  4. Pedestrians are just as douchey as motorists. They forget that they are supposed to treat bikes like any other oncoming traffic. And in the same vein, other bicyclists who don't follow the traffic laws and ride around like their the king of the cross-walk/sidewalk are also just as douchey. I almost t-boned a dude today who didn't care I was coming at a faster speed than he and that his slowing me down put me dangerously in the way of oncoming traffic.
  5. Every ride is a dance with Death. See above.
There are plenty of drivers who give me more than enough room on the road. And I wish I could thank them. But for every one of them, there are at least three who make me want to wave the finger at them because they are so close to clipping me. And if you read any local blog forums concerning making the area more bike friendly, it gets unnecessarily, incredibly heated. All because motorists don't want to share the road. It's not hard. Plenty of motorists do it with no problems.


Teresa said...

I always give cyclists WAY too much space. I am terrified of hitting them. Because if I hit a car, most likely, the car gets hurt. If it hit a cyclist, the PERSON gets hurt.

I am sorry people are not better. I always find cyclists very courteous on the road. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, always seem to be taunting my fear of hitting them with "I DARE YA!"

Wish I could bike to work. But I just moved ridiculously far from my work and I am not allowed to bike whilst knocked up. Alas. I also don't own a bike anymore.

belleshpgrl said...

You can't ride while preggos?

Tina Winston said...

I'm with Teresa, I tend to give too much space. There are a lot of cyclists in the Chapel Hill area, but it seems the biggest problem is that not every motorist or cyclist knows what the rules are for sharing, or don't care. Be safe and happy cycling!

belleshpgrl said...

Oh yeah. There are some TERRIBLE cyclists out there. I actually knocked one down by accident when he was riding on the sidewalk- which is illegal- and there wasn't enough room or time for me to get out of the way. But I'm the kind who signals where I'm turning. 'Cause I'm cool.

Teresa said...

No, cycling is one of the few things on the no-no list. Almost all exercise is encouraged (though its all very difficult!) but anything that can cause major falls is OUT OUT OUT. Including cycling, downhill skiing and any extreme sports are not encouraged. Running, yoga, and swimming are the most popular. I found it hard to continue running because I got so sluggish. Most women get out of routine because they're just vomiting all the time. Which is kind of hard to do whilst keeping up a cardio-vascular workout. Some women are super-awesome and do it all.