Friday, January 14, 2011

You Are Not Lance Armstrong.

As I was driving to work the other morning, thinking about how excited I was to start my new blog, some of my thoughts centered around what my first entry should be about. I was at the red light at the intersection of Alumni Drive & Tates Creek Road and I saw this:

Do you see that? Can you see what that is?! I tried to zoom in as much as I could without compromising the quality of the picture. Yes, that is a man on a bicycle, stopped at a red light, sitting in a lane of traffic as if he were a passenger vehicle. And then, once the intersection had cleared (but the light was still red,) he rolled around the cars and right through that intersection as if traffic laws didn't apply to him. And then I realized, well, he probably thinks traffic laws don't apply to him, since they were written for cars and not for bicycles who try to act like cars.

I should be making my first blog entry a comprehensive introduction to my life, the people in it, and perhaps a funny story or two to get the ball rolling. But instead, reminded the other morning of one of the top 3 fastest ways to get me up on my soapbox...I would like to discuss a topic that hits close to home for me as I have encounters similar to this one every day as I drive to work in the morning, as I drive home from work in the evening, and basically any other time I leave my house. You know what I'm talking about....bikers. And I don't mean of the Harley variety.

Don't get me wrong. I am a bleeding heart liberal and therefore I am all about anything I can do to help preserve our environment. I am not, however, a tree hugging hippie and so that means I am allowed to be irritated about this. With gas being over $3 a gallon as long as I can remember, I completely understand and can appreciate why people would choose to ride their bikes instead of driving a car. Heck, if I didn't care what I looked like when I showed up to work in the morning, I'd probably ride a bike too. (Yeah right....who am I kidding?)

My issue with these wannabe Tour-de-Francers is that they decide to ride their bikes in the road as if they are part of traffic, but then forget to obey the traffic laws that everyone else around them has to follow. But the worst, by far, are the cyclists who ride their bikes along the side of the road. God bless America, people, use the sidewalk. I know, I know....I hear this all the time. Sidewalks are for pedestrians! Maybe so, but I'll tell you this - if I was on a bicycle, I'd much rather risk having to dodge a pedestrian on the sidewalk than I would take my life in my hands by riding on the side of one of the lanes of Nicholasville Road (yes, I actually witnessed this firsthand.) Better yet, how about the daredevil who road his bike across Nicholasville Road in morning rush hour traffic? I just don't think this is a safe choice. Also, I would hope that the Lexington police have more to do than drive around citing bicyclers for riding on the sidewalks (just in case this really is against the law.) If they don't, I will be more than happy to make them a list of things that they should be working on.

Now if Joe Schmo wants to risk his life by trying to cross rush hour traffic on a Huffy, that's his business. Of course, like most people, I usually only get irritated about something when it affects me personally. I'm sure we've all been driving down the road when traffic becomes backed up, and like everyone else, we all start craning our necks 50 different ways to try and see what the holdup is. Do you see where this is going? Many times I have been the first car in the line of traffic, going at a snail's pace because I am stuck behind a bicycler. It's always the same story - I get stuck, and am then faced with the uncomfortable internal argument - do I try to pass them and risk hitting the person? Do I stay behind them and continue to hold up traffic? Uggghhh....this drives me insane. Usually I end up passing the person just because I am tired of hearing people honk at me. Of course, if people rode their bicycles on the sidewalks instead of the middle of the road.....this wouldn't be a problem. The best part of the whole process is driving past the bicycler, who always seems to be completely oblivious to the facts that a) they are holding up traffic and b) there are moving motor vehicles literally .3 inches away from their body. At this point, I usually crack up as I watch their facial expressions.

Now that I think about it, it probably wouldn't be such a good idea for me to ride my bike to work because I would be so scared about the prospect of said cars so close to my person that I would probably fall off my bike.....and then get hit by a car. Until the day comes when gas is $45 a gallon, you'll see me firmly planted behind the wheel of my car, dodging the bikers. Stay alert - it's a rough world out there.

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