Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hey Jealousy

Are you traffic?
Am I traffic?

Riding by yourself,
maybe leaves to much time to think.
No, not maybe. Definitely.

People seem to either understand cycling,
or are bothered by cyclists.
Bothered, like cyclists are mosquitos.

The comment was thrown at me the other day,
“I’m sure you’re not one of them, but one thing I can’t stand is cyclists passing me on the right, and especially running red lights”.

Well, neighbor. I’ld like you to like me.
But I have the feeling,
I may be that guy.

I’m sure my neighbor has forgotten the comment. It was probably a quick fill in the akward silence comment, and bike stuff is an easy one with me. But it’s been stuck in my head for the last week.

I don’t run red lights*.
The little * is the “except on little side streets, three way stops, late at night or really early in the morning, raining and always WHEN THERE ARE NO CARS AROUND”. That’s my legal disclaimer. Anyone that says otherwise is mistaken, maybe.

I will also put in the other disclaimers – I always ride with a helmet, blinkies on the bike and bag, no ipod or phone, I ride with traffic, I hold my path and watch the road and listen to the traffic behind me. I would consider myself a decent maybe even ideal “roadway user”. I’ve even mastered the bike ninja skills of watching headlight beams on the ground to figure out how close the car is to the shoulder at night. That paid off! Me - 1, Tahoe halfway in the bike path - 0.

But I’m gonna pass the crap on the right with you! I may even roll up to the front of the intersection. And then do it all over again at the next light. And again. And again.

And I spent the last week trying to figure it out.

The red light stuff is nonsense.
I really can’t listen to a driver complain about cyclists running red lights, when I can count multiple cars daily running the light in front of my kid’s elementary school. With the crossing guard yelling at the drivers. Tell me which is an “issue”.

Yeah, that’s a bigger problem.
Funny too, that I never hear complaints about other drivers running red lights. Probably because everyone seems to do it. You don’t complain about actions that you do, and I see plenty of drivers running reds.

But passing on the right?
Look, that little crapped out twenty inch wide path next to the curb is my lane. You get the other eight plus feet. If traffic is at a stand still, well I’ld be an idiot to just stop and sit in traffic with all the cars. Right?
Especially if I have a rideable shoulder or side of the road.

And I’ll ride up to the intersection,and I’ll wait until the light turns. Then I’m off. Why?
Because it’s safer than sitting in blind spots.
And I really don’t need to watch my back for someone to make me part of a rearender sandwich while at a light. I’ve seen that play out while commuting home. Thirty seconds and the decision to not wait behind a car kept me from being a Flat Stanley. You can argue otherwise, but I’ve got earmuffs on!

I guess I also look at passing on the right as the only way I can pass. Not going to do it on the left, obviously. And since I’m not occupying an entire lane (that has more to do with drivers not understanding the definition of “share”) then “my lane is open and moving”.
If you want me to stop when you stop,
that’s fine.
I will demand the entire lane width,
and you’ll have to pass me legally.
Now I’m sure no driver wants that!

And now that we see the double standard,
don’t get mad.
If you’re not gonna give me a lane,
don’t expect me to sit at your bumper huffing exhaust.

That hate you have as I pass you on the right,
that’s jealousy.

It’s ok though,
soon the light will turn.
You can stomp on the gas,
and race to the next light.
And wait,
as I pass you again on the right.

It’s a silly little game.
And I laugh as I sing that Gin Blossom’s song.



gwadzilla said...

I love Flat Stanley
I do not want to be Flat Stanley

funny... so many cars hate being passed on the right
they pass me... I pass them... they pass me
and then they fade over to the right
trying to block my passage
expecting me to fall into the queue
like I am that car on the shoulder not waiting my turn

but I was to the right
maybe just to the right of center
but I was enough to the right that they could pass
but they do not give me safe passage

so I pass on the left
I go to the front of the queue
like the baseball player I never was I wait for the light to change
like that baseball player I never way
if there is a chance to steal that base... I take it

I am gone

like the hockey player I could never be
no blood... no foul

like pre-school age children the car driver moves about with their simple mindedness

they don't share well
they don't play well with others

they are egocentric
they lack object permanence

it I stall for another second I can dig up another ten cent word to flex that I spent four years studying psychology with a massive hang over... okay not studied... majored... I was not much for studying

yes... the car driver is a simple beast
unable to share
unable to care
there is something about that box that degrades people to something that they are not

I have spat on priests and flipped off nuns
I have been run off the road by cars filled with ladies who are dressed in a way that someone would only dress if going to church or a drag bingo

mosquitoes get more respect

gwadzilla said...

sorry... I guess I should blog on my own blog

sadly... similar to my own blog
I am too slack to proof my rants
double negatives and mistypes jumble my thoughts