|A Rant I sent in to...
||[Sep. 6th, 2006|01:56 pm]
▒▒ Car Punchers Unite ▒▒
...My favorite radio talk show..
I love the show, I've been listening for a long time. I just
heard your promo for the show and it was a clip of you both talking
about 'Militant Cyclists.' I am not sure when you actually had that
discussion and since it is a promo, I heard it entirely out of context.
*I* am a militant cyclist. I commute daily by bicycle through
all four seasons, rain or shine. I average approximately 30 miles a day.
I do heavily advocate folks using alternate transportation such as
bicycle, train, bus, carpool, or a combination.
When I pass by highway 50 and I see all those single-occupant
metal coffins crawling along bumper to bumper, yes.. I do have some
disdain. There are so many alternatives out there but these people
choose to spend so much of their lives locked in a metal box. Why do
that when you can be outside getting some exercise along with your
commute? Why not carpool or take the bus or light rail and interact more
with your peers? What a sad life.
You leave your cookie-cutter tract home, get into the metal box,
go to work and sit in a box for 8+ hours, and then climb back into the
metal box for the return trip to the tract home. How sad.. You miss out
on the people, on the sights and sounds, the weather, AND you are using
fuel that we depend on getting from foreign sources.
Yes, as a parent, I do understand that some folks have limited
options for commuting when that commute includes taking your kids to
school or daycare but there are options. There are some days where I too
am out there in my metal coffin (though not often, if I can help it).
Regarding "I can do any damned thing I want".. well, yes..
within the law, I can. I can use the left turn lane, I could go down the
center of the lane (if it is too unsafe to be in the bike lane or all
the way to the right), and I am subject to the same rules on my bike
that you are in your car.
What drives me nuts and drives me to want to commit an act of
violence are two things: Stupid drivers and Stupid cyclists.
Folks (Drivers)... The bike lane is a BIKE LANE... it is not a
When turning right or changing lanes, LOOK OVER YOUR DAMNED
SHOULDER!!! I've had too many close calls.. I just love the dumbfounded
"what? what did I do? Oh..there's someone there!" look on peoples' faces
when I punch and dent the fender that they nearly grafted to my body.
It is not necessary and NOT appreciated when you come up behind
us and honk or yell at us. That will earn you the universal "you're #1"
hand gesture. -or a water bottle thrown at you.
No.. we do not like to play the game of "lets see how close I
can get to the guy on the bike." Not long ago, a jerk in a Honda CRV
actually brushed my arm. I was doing 21 mph, he was doing at least 45.
(If I could have caught the guy, I'd be writing to you from my cell at
the Sac County Jail right now).
I could go on about drivers but I have to balance it out with
* The laws apply to us too.
* Go WITH the flow of traffic
* STOP at red lights and stop signs.. they are there for a REASON.
* SINGLE FILE on the roads. Yes, it is nice to chat but not during
rush hour on Folsom Blvd.
* Don't be an idiot, pay attention to the world around you, there
are hulking metal and plastic death machines zipping past you, they'll
survive the impact better than you will.
* Helmet lights... BAD idea. One.. they look stupid. Two.. you are
blinding EVERYONE you look at.. oncoming cyclists, cars, pedestrians.
Put the light on your handlebar like a normal person. You look like a
bunch of dorks.. trust me.
So... Thanks for your time, guys.. if you read this on the radio
or not doesn't matter for me personally.. you do mailbag loooong before
I am at work in my box listening to you guys on the internet but you
might consider it anyway.. as a public service.
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