Identity Crisis on the Open Road

You’d think that with the skies clearing up & the weather changing, driving might get a bit simpler – Without the concerns of black ice or ominous snow plows. But, Spring & Summer in the Northwest bring with them our own “fair weather road hazards” – *sigh* bicyclists. Let me start by saying that cycling is a great form of exercise & one that I enjoy myself – in a park, on the mountain, or in the security of my own home (stationary recumbent bike – great purchase for our winters here). It’s a favorite pastime for many of us, dredging up memories from our childhoods. Peddling up & down the neighborhood cul-de-sacs, skinned knees & elbows, streamers flying in the breeze, spokes clicking, annoyingly announcing our arrival…

Nowadays though, not only are folks riding out on the open road as a means of regular transportation, but they’re doing so without much common sense. I mean, I’m ticketed for not wearing safety precautions in my vehicle – shouldn’t they have the same threat? It’s also illegal for my vehicle to make a turn, change lanes, drive on the sidewalk, down the center of a street, or in the crosswalk without first having reasonably signaled as such to my fellow vehicles. I know it’s been a few years since I was enrolled in drivers’ education but honestly – are they really expecting all vehicle operators to be psychic these days? More & more cyclists tend to act as though these stretches of pavement were laid down for their enjoyment – and not as a means for the real vehicles on the road to get from point a to b.
But, I digress.

My real pet peeve and reason for this rant is the complete lack of respect, from cyclists for their fellow drivers. Please, try a bit harder to tackle those identity flips you seem to have while riding down the road. It is physically impossible for you to be a car one moment – driving along on the road, side by side with other vehicles – then in a flash to transform into a pedestrian – using crosswalks & sidewalks to zip through red lights assigned to keep all moving vehicles in check – then before you reach the next city block – to have jumped the curb & morphed back into a vehicle – one that I’m supposed to share the road with. Oh, and when you get the urge to ride down the middle of a road, at 11pm, wearing your sleek new all black workout attire; realize that just like a vehicle lacking headlights, taillights, break lights, or flashers – you are putting yourself in a bit of a risky situation, one that a driver in a 4 wheeled vehicle would be ticketed for.

So, if you’re a cyclist, and you happen to be in the midst of morphing or swapping personalities on the road – be warned that we drivers are onto you. And while the law may side in your favor if an “accident” were to happen – you may not be able to enjoy the thrill of the ride for quite a while if you happen to get smashed by my bumper, or trapped under a tire. This isn’t a threat, not even a warning – just an honest observation in hopes of keeping us all a little bit safer.