September 24, 2013

Take a breath.

I found this lingering in my outbox from a few months ago... For the life of me I can't remember what set it off.  Oh well... But, after hearing about some unfortunate events occurring during a local Monday evening ride recently, perhaps there is a smidgen of relevance ... So, as an open letter to the motorist of your choosing, I offer the following love note:

Dear motorist;  
When approaching a bicyclist on our roads, regardless of your personal stance on whether or not we should be there, or whether or not we are in your way, or how ridiculous we look, remember:  we still have a right to be on that road, we know the risks, and we own them.  I know that all cyclists have the power to give all of us a bad name - but, we are not a group.  All cyclists are individuals, all cyclists are motivated differently...even when we ride together.  Just like motorists.  Remember, we are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, employees, students, friends, and human beings.  We all have weak moments, we all have bad days, and we all make mistakes - but, at the core of either pedaling or turning a car key, all of us just want to get where we're going safely.  Traffic sucks, yeah; but, we're all in this together.  Let's all do our part; put down the smartphone, take a deep breath, and arrive alive.  I am not the reason you are late.  I am not the difference.  I am not the last straw.  I work hard to do my part; to be seen, signal, make it easy to pass, ride predictably and by the book.  I know I look stupid in these pants.  I know I have a few pounds to lose.  Gimme 3ft., and I'll give you a smile and a wave.  Short of that, I give you both hands on the 'bars, and a cold stare.  You'll get no satisfaction from me.  Just remember... Four wheels, or two, I'm just going where I'm going, just like you.  We can coexist, and it starts by being decent to each other.  Whether or not you agree with the current laws or not - which is your right - is immaterial here: the laws are still in place, and I won't debate them.  I will defend them.  I try my best to practice good cycling and ride by those laws, and I hope good driving prevails, regardless of personal politics.  You can think or say anything to or about me that you like, but, using a car as weight to emphasize your feelings or opinions is wrong, dangerous, immature, and irresponsible.  You're old enough to know better.  Grow up.  If you want to change the laws, by all means do carry on.  Exercise YOUR right; but, do it by starting a campaign against the LAW, not against the person exercising their rights under that law.  Trying to exact your will against someone with whom you disagree by using brute force changes nothing, because I'll be right back out here tomorrow - same time, same place.  Keep it up, but know that I might be recording what you're doing, and that wouldn't be good for your case.  You're probably not reading this... but I don't need you to read this.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a family to ride home to.

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