I am continually surprised by the amount of venom drivers display when they talk about bicyclists. They’ve all seen a bicyclist run a stop sign or stop light, and can harp about it for what seems like hours. Or they once had to slow down for a damned bicyclist because there wasn’t enough room to go around.
What a bunch of big babies.
I don’t blow through stop lights (unless there’s no traffic and the light obviously isn’t going to sense a bicycle), but I won’t halt for a stop sign if there is no traffic coming. Naperville has about three million gratuitous stop signs sprinkled at random intervals throughout its back streets. These signs are not elements of a rational traffic control plan: they’re intended to prevent cars from speeding. Whenever some whiny suburbanite calls city hall to complain about those crazy kids screeching down the back street with their thump-thump music blaring and endangering the children, a stop sign is born. I doubt that any stop sign, anywhere, was intended to slow down those crazy speeding bicycle riders.
I earned my kinetic energy with my own personal sweat. I can’t stop and start with two ounces of pressure from my big toe. Half the time I’m lugging 25 lbs. of groceries as well. I’m not gonna stop and start up again for no damn good reason if I don’t have to.
As for once in a great while a driver having to actually touch the brake pedal, twitch the steering wheel an inch to the left and back again to go around a bicyclist: awww, you’re so deprived by being delayed for 10 seconds. My heart bleeds for you.
You know what it is? Jealousy. Yep, I’m healthier than you. I’m losing weight and my wife is finding me more and more attractive. I’m actually enjoying my commute. I smile when I blow past a line of cars, knowing that the drivers are watching me and feeling envy and annoyance because they’re trapped in their expensive metal cages and here comes this handsome, fit bicyclist who’s getting lots more great sex than they are.
Neener neener neener.
Ah, that felt good.