Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bike Riding

I ride my bike nearly every day. I am fairly respectful on the road, I always give the right of way to pedestrians and I move over if I feel its safe and there is enough room to let cars pass by. I respect red lights and stop signs for the most part. Whats more is that I wear my blinky lights at night, I have reflectors and a helmet.
I'm no bike punk, bike messenger, or bike culture fiend, though I have flirted with the idea from time to time. I can't really fix my bikes all that well, though I get how to change a tire and patch a hole.
I ride because its cheaper than paying for a subway ride, faster than walking, a more fun way of transportation, I'm doing my part in reducing carbon emissions and its a good exercise.

SO WTF WITH ALL THE CRAZIES BEHIND THE WHEEL IN THE BK!? Seriously! I'm not really aggressive. I'm biking in heels half the time! Today a van zoomed past me at 30 mph with one foot of distance between us. I don't think he's thinking about that I'm on two wheels, not four and thus if I hit a bump on the road (thank you NYC for taking such good care of your roads) I may swerve, perhaps a whole foot, right into his windshield.
Earlier this month a car, playing a game with me drove by with his hand out the passenger side trying to swipe me. Luckily the passenger missed, and the driver had to stop at the red light just ahead, so I rode up and educated the nutsos.
His excuse?
"I'm sorry, I've been drinking alot."
The driver's excuse?
"You were riding in the middle of the street, not on the side." Which FYI I have every right to.
Basically I explained that while he's protected by a metal cage, I have nothing more than my clothes and helmet protecting me from the street, and what he did could have signifgantly changed not just my life but his own. Hopefully I have saved someone's life out there in the future and he will never play games with bycylists again.
Last month a school bus ignored a stop sign and drove right ahead. Luckily I slamed on my brakes to avoid what would have been the equivlent of driving full speed into a wall. Unfourtantely the cyclist behind me, in the bike lane, coudl not stop quite as fast and crashed into me a half second later. The worst part? The driver behind the wheel of the bus HONKED his horn at US. Even though he caused the mess.
Everyone was okay, but my ass still hurts weeks later. Bruised tailbone.
Can we all just chill out? Accidents happen, but perhaps if we all just loose some ego and take care of each other the roads will be safer for everyone. Behind a wheel is just not the place to prove your machismo, weather it is a car wheel or a bike handle bars.

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