Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stuff I am ashamed to admit that I think when driving a car

Someday, the recession will end for the rest of us, I will no longer live in a bone crushingly expensive town and my salary will return to it previously acceptable level.  Until then, I might not be able to afford the perfect bike trailer for hauling my 30 lbs Schnauzer-Petit Bassett mix to and from Petsmart for grooming.  As that was the primary mission of our morning, I had to drive the car today in order to accomplish that very task.  Upon returning to the house with the freshly shorn Ashby, I pulled on to my street and immediately found myself behind two "recreational cyclists" of the sunny weekend variety.  Neither style nor speed, I'm afraid.  Just meandering about the street in a lazy S-pattern, confident in their safety as their heads were both securely encased in the latest protective headgear.  They both glanced behind me but made no move to one definitive side of the road so that I could politely and safely pass them.  Heavy sigh. . . . I felt irritation growing within me.  For the love of god, will you both please decide which side of road you want to be on!?  Is this what it is like to be a driver?  Surely, I am never responsible for such thoughts in full-time drivers?  I am certain that I always pedal in a responsible, considerate manner. . . . I hope. 
Just trying to relax and exercise patience with other cyclists.
Suddenly, the pair make a u-turn in the middle of road and head out of the neighborhood.  Not even a simple hand single warning me of their next move!  "Losers!", I scream in my mind.  "Learn to ride a bike or stay off the road, nimrods!", I silently yell.  Yeah, I'll bet they stop in the middle of single track trails to adjust their Ipods during foot races, too.   Where is this hostility and impatience coming from I wonder as I pull into the garage?  Does the automobile bring it out or are my feelings the natural result of being behind two clueless people who rarely take their bikes out of the garage?  Perhaps, I'm just being unreasonable in my haste to get home with Ashby and be out of the car?

Much later, I am out on the multi-use path, taking Ashby and Daisy on a much needed walk.  Hurridly, I  pull in Ashby's fully extended retractable leash as a cyclists heads in our direction on the path.   Hurry, Ashby, hurry!  Whoo!  Just in time.  The cyclist passes unhindered but she doesn't smile at us.  I wonder if she thinks I'm just another dog walking idiot.  From elitist snob to thoughtless rube in less than one day.


SS:Mntbiker\Olskoolrodder said...

While I'm always tickled to smile at seeing anyone out on a bike....those two cyclists were making us all look bd,and making our rides potentially more dangerous....and yes,the automoobile DOES bring that out in all of us (don't take my word for it,ask around,LOL!). :)

Cruiser Dolly said...

a agree with the above comment. Although I do not drive, so I am more upset with NYC drivers more than other cyclists, those 2 seemed to annoy me a little. just by reading!

a funny tid-bit: I always react with a "wahhhh" sorta expression when my bike friends drive a car! I guess sine I stick to buses and bikes, I think everyone else does...alas I am still naive for 25. and still too broke for a car! :p

K xx

R.White said...

I think it is really about expecations. Had it been a car in front of you, weaving around slowly, you'd have been just as annoyed, and the expectation is that whether it be a car or bicycle in front of you, that they would behave a certain way - namely that they'd show road manners. :)

She Rides a Bike said...

Cruiser Dolly: I feel a bit guilty driving a car but in this small town, public transit doesn't come out our way. Grrrr . . . . I really love public transit too and vow never to live in a city that doesn't offer it.

R.White: I think you are correct. I would have been annoyed had it been a driver (although somehow not surprised).

Melanie Suzanne said...

My main experiences with being a driver behind cyclists is panicking about how to get around them safely on a two lane road. I hate holding up traffic behind me and following the cyclist too closely, and I don't want to squeeze him either. As an added bonus, I notice that a lot of vehicles with bike racks drive more closely to cyclists than I personally judge as a safe distance and I do not want to be that guy.

Cervelo Girl said...

This cracked me up. I am glad that Seattle has so many designated bike trails. It does help keep some of the very causal riders off the streets. Of course it is annoying to be behind them on the trail while on your bike. You're trying to pass, all the while they are weaving to and fro, or worse, riding 3 abreast with their buddies (completely oblivious to how rude that is.) lol

Cherilyn said...

I've had the same the same thoughts while driving, which is what I think makes me really paranoid when I'm biking with my dudes. Hot Husband and I are probably a little too vigilant with warnings to stay in single file and hug the white line.

I try to remember a couple of things as I ride or drive. 1. Common courtesy as a driver or cyclist goes a long way. 2. It's easy to criticize when you're the bike or car behind the other vehicle.

Here's to patience and safety for all of us!