Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sacred Cows Rev 1


Again
I spot a whole herd of them rolling up from behind, approaching the intersection of two busy roads at full speed.  The alpha male yells rolling, and the group shoots through the red light barely missed by a woman in a car trying to obey the traffic laws.

I’m sick of the arrogance of bike riders.  I’m not going to call them anything else.  Anything more sophisticated.  How can the guys look in the mirror in those little tight pants and stupid shirts advertising some brand?  Did they pay for that?  And watching them walk when they manage to detach from the bikes, little mincing steps, a funny gait, funnier even than my halting limp when my hip is acting up.

You hear complaints all the time from these guys.  I know there are girls too, but most of what I see is guys or girls with too much testosterone who wants to be boys.  That asshole, they say, opened his car door right in front of me, almost nailed me.  No, I wasn’t in the bike lane; I don’t have to stay in the bike lane I can go in any lane I want.  

No.  it doesn’t bother me that I sound like a narcissist.  I guess I am. I’m saving the earth, reducing my carbon footprint.  But aren’t you causing vehicles to idle when you block their path, how does that make sense when you have convinced entire counties, entire regions to give you your own lane, but you choose to tool all over the place.  Sorry, bad choice of words.
Maybe I’m just ignorant, I say.  I thought the traffic laws were for everyone using public roads, but apparently I missed some exemption for bikes.  It’s just too common to see the bikes shooting through a red light for there not to be an exemption.

I have a bike.  A $400 Trek bike sitting in my garage.  I’ve got the helmet too, and a pump in case the tires lose air away from home.  I’ve ridden it once for 10 minutes- in the parking lot behind the bike shop where I bought it.  It’s been in my car twice, the first time taking it home, the second time taking it back for a tune up so I could ride it since it’s been sitting in the garage for so long.  I can ride a bike.  I can.  I just don’t find it that entertaining.  I like to walk.  When I walk I can actually look around at the scenery, at houses, at peoples garden’s, chat with dog walkers and random strangers reading books on benches, or feeding bread to the birds.  When you ride a bike, you can really only look ahead, if you want to ride safely that is.  Or you should only look ahead.
I live in a beach town, where herds are on the road every day.  Either they are all trust fund babies, self-employed, or lost their license to a DUI, they like to ride side by side and chat.  6 or seven of them, taking up the bike lane plus the right lane, the turn lane.  I particularly love it when I need to make a right turn, but there are 10 bike riders spread out chatting away, leaning on one leg, totally unaware they are holding up an entire line of traffic. 

Maybe there is some study showing you are less likely to be hit in a herd.  Maybe it makes you more visible for some nut that is sick and tired of waiting for you, who is sick and tired of being late for work, late for appointments, late for lunch.

I’ve heard that bike riders love hot tubs, they love getting naked with other bike riders and showing up their negative body fat ratio.  Jagged hip bones, bruised by his rib cage in an intimate moment.  Where did he go, rolled right off the bed, didn’t even make a dent in the mattress.  Hope he can get up.  And out.
I have friends who are bike riders, or acquaintances who are bike riders.  Seem like nice enough people.  They do lots of outdoor stuff like hiking and camping.  I got that out of my system in Girl Scouts, at church camps when I was a kid.  I prefer a comfy bed, and food without dirt and twigs in it.  Real food not rehydrated food.   

I think bike riders get to eat lots of carbs though.  Like runners, they get to eat pasta and bread, fuel they call it.  That part I would like.  I would also like it if there were bike paths and no car traffic, and no aggressive bike riders permitted.  I would give them fines if they hogged the lane, tailgated, or cut me off.  I don’t need any gears on my bike, I’m not going to go up mountains, or across open fields, or (gasp) up big hills, or even small hills.
I don’t necessarily think I’m better than a bike rider, or smarter, or more interesting.  I just don’t get it; don’t get spending my spare time riding on or in a vehicle, except as a means to get somewhere.  Just riding to get exercise, or to take up time on a sunny day when I could be reading, or drinking wine with friends, or meditating.  I don’t get it.  I just don’t.

But you know what.  I stop at red lights.  I look both ways before I cross the street, I try to be aware of everything and everyone around me, whether I’m driving or walking or sitting somewhere.  I use my turn signals so people don’t have to be psychic to understand what I’m planning to do.  If I miss my turn, or miss my exit on a freeway, I don’t back up into traffic.  That one, I’m sorry, is just stupid and bizarre.  I’ve seen people back up on exit ramps from the freeway because they were in the wrong lane and got caught.  So go on ahead and turn around, what can I say?
to be continued
copyright2012sharonjcorrigan all rights reserved


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