I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my bike

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride it where I like

Okay, so corny opening using the lyrics to a Queen song, but I thought it was appropriate since I’m going to talk about bicyclists today.

Bicyclists are starting to annoy me. They’ve always been around everywhere I’ve lived and for the most part they were off my radar completely. Occasionally one would pop up on the state highway and I’d think “Gee, what a dumb thing to do—you could get hit by a vehicle traveling 60 miles per hour. Worse yet, that vehicle could be an 18-wheeler!”

With the move to Orlando and traveling back and forth between two campuses (I live near one and travel to the other, a distance of about 12 miles), I see a lot of bicyclists. Ordinarily, it still wouldn’t be on my radar. But many of them are just plain rude…AND—if I remember my bicycle safety classes—they break the law and then get mad at car drivers. I nearly hit one recently (which spurred this blog post) and it was his fault! Unless the laws have changed, and I realize that is a real possibly—and no, I didn’t google it before making this post because I’d rather write about it than look it up. That is, after all, the way of the internets, right?—what I remember of the law is that you GET OFF YOUR BICYCLE AND WALK IT ACROSS THE STREET at intersections. This to keep you safe. Only yesterday I witnessed a car hit (not hard) a bicyclist—but the dude was bookin’ through the intersection trying to beat the flashing “walk” sign and then he swore at the car driver for hitting him!

And see, there it is again: WALK. It’s a “walk” sign, not a “ride your bike through this intersection” sign.

It’s hard for me to feel sympathy for folks who act like idiots. And while I’m talking about bicyclists right now, that’s close to a blanket statement for me. NO, I don’t want them to get hurt, but when you point a loaded gun at your foot, don’t complain to me when you shoot your toe off.

One question I have is where did this come from? I realize my own bicycle safety training program was a long time ago…but don’t they still teach that? Or is it that—unlike cars—there is no “licensing” process for bikes. And no, I’m not advocating that, just thinking out loud here.

I saw another guy just this week that shocked me and made me think the same as the highway cyclist mentioned above. As I was sitting in the left turn lane waiting to turn left, the traffic to the left of me began making their left turns (so they were moving from my left to straight ahead). After about 4 cars, a cyclist came zipping through—must have been moving 45 miles per hour. Granted he was traveling faster than most of the cars in the lane and his garb told me he’d logged plenty of miles on a bicycle…but it still struck me as both dangerous and idiotic.

With all of that idiocy, I’ve only once seen people in a vehicle yell at bicyclists. A pair of well-dressed Mormons were crossing the street—walking their bikes—when a car sped by and called out Jesus and some words that I won’t repeat here. To their credit, the pair of well-dressed cyclists ignored them and continued to move through the crosswalk…WALKING.

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3 Comments

Filed under Columns

3 responses to “I want to ride my bicycle

  1. I share your frustrations on cyclists, both bike and the motor kind. We have bike lanes on some streets in LR with “Share the Road” signs. I try to watch for them for their sake and mine. I wonder if some of the behavior comes from our “Do your own thing–do what’cha wanna do” culture, along with an arrogant physical fitness persona that sees the rider as superior because he/she is sweating while our fat rear ends are sitting in the cool car. I just don’t want to hurt anyone.

  2. There are lots of bikes in a college town for sure. I am more frustrated with the motorcyclists on the highway who zip in and out of my blind spot.

  3. Agree with both Dots and you, Roland. There seems to be this ‘I’m smaller than you, so it’s your problem’ mentality, and along with that, an invincibility belief. Wonder if they think because they are smaller and, arguably, quicker, they can zip in and out without consequence?

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