Friday, September 23, 2005

The Friday afternoon commute...

Ah, Friday! It couldn’t be more perfect unless there was a full moon today too.

One of the great things about riding back and forth to work is that you get to meet some unusual, off-beat people, the kind you wouldn’t associate with in any other situation. I’m talking about people so profoundly stupid, it’s amazing that they’re able to breathe unassisted, let alone get a driver’s license.

I met just such a guy on the way home today, again, in that lovely stretch of 129th just south of 86th street. He came up behind me, gunned the engine a couple of times, and when that didn’t intimidate me sufficiently (or at all, for that matter), he passed in the right-turn lane, yelling something unintelligible as he went by.

My beat-up Bianchi is worth more than his clapped-out old car. But the gods smiled, and the light at 86th changed to red. I caught up to him.

“That’s a right turn lane back there!” I said. “I’m not supposed to ride through it.”

He was livid. “You’re not supposed to be on the road at all! You don’t have a license to use it, and if you do, you’re supposed to ride on the left, facing traffic!”

Then he hit the accelerator and went through the red light!

I couldn’t keep from laughing. I know I’m supposed to be more concerned about bicycling education, and I shouldn’t belittle some motoring fool simply because he’s as ignorant as a stone, but this was just too much. It’s appalling what some people believe to be true about cycling.

But what’s more interesting is the prevalence of irate motorists at that particular intersection. It’s like a magnet for loons. While stopped at the light, I’ve been told that cyclists must ride on the sidewalk. One guy said I wasn’t supposed to be more than 18 inches from the curb. Another said that I shouldn’t ride there until the city builds bike lanes. (I won’t hold my breath!) That was the site for the long, whining complaint from Miss Road Rage 2005. It’s also where I met the county sheriff’s deputy who wanted to get me off the road ‘for my own safety’ of course.

I can only hope that gasoline hits five dollars per gallon. It’ll make riding a bike so much easier after all that ‘unnecessary’ traffic clears off.


Blogger Fritz said...

Fewer cars = faster traffic, though!

10:29 AM  

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