Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Like Momma Bear

I'm pissed.
Not the casual pissed,
or the over-stating for emphasis.
It's the split second contemplation
of is it worth jail time?
YES! It is!
That kind of pissed.

The pissed where you think back
to the movie "Falling Down", and
say to yourself "I can fucking relate".

The back story:
Before summer starts we ask the kids
what do you REALLY want to do?
Skipping the replies of "being lazy
pigs & sleep in & eat ice cream all day".
They want to ride bikes.
So this year I have the Tag-a-long
for the little guy.
And we've been trying to make every
thing a biking adventure.
And I've been trying to instill them with
some street smarts and rules.
Passing in the left, right of ways, etc.

Now as much as motorists bitch about
cyclists. Drivers where I live are not
doing themselves any favors. The
other week my son almost got clipped
by a guy in a pickup hanging a hard
and fast right onto our street. Luckily
both of them stopped quick as I

Can't really teach him right of way
when drivers don't yield. So that
became a lesson in watching for
blinkers and judging speed. A hard
thing to teach a ten year old with Lego
and Star Wars on the brain.

Today our bikeavan pushed off. Again
with looking all directions, cross at
cross walks, etc. Often times he rides
ahead of me while my daughter rides
behind. At this particular crosswalk, we
waited for the light, with plans of a
water stop after we cross.

Teach him to watch the signals.

Now check for the crosswalk signal.

Is anyone turning right that might hit
you? No.

Okay let's go.

I roll halfway through & stop so no one
makes a right & hits my girl that moves
at a turtles pace. Just as my son is passing me, I spot a car coming
towards us, and it's NOT slowing!

I quickly grab him and continually scream stop! Twenty feet and closing,
suddenly the screech of tires as it
skids through the crosswalk. Right
where my son would have been.
Fucking hell!

"What the hell!?"
"You fucking idiot! You're gonna kill
somebody out here!"
"The hell is your problem?!"
"You see him? You could've killed him!

The whole time the light was red
I stood at her bumper and proceeded
to unload on her. She would look at
me. No apology. No eye contact.
Just looking straight ahead, waiting
for the light to change. Waiting.

And that was it.

Had I not assumed drivers are idiots.
Not looked at cars with a skeptical
and jaded view, expecting the worse.
Then my kid would be in the hospital,
if we were lucky. And that fucking
idiot would still be driving, just with a
higher cost of insurance.

It would be labelled an "accident" so
the driver could continue on in life
with less remorse. Cause no one
actually does time or looses a license
due to being too fucking stupid to
operate a motor vehicle.

I apologized to the kids.
Those were not words we use....

Harder though was reality setting in
on my son.

"So she wasn't going to stop?"
"Why? It was a red light!"
"yep. Some people are just stupid."

And not apologetic about it either.
So I guess I need to teach him to
assume the worse in drivers. They'll
run red lights, turn without signaling,
swerve towards you, even run you
over without stopping.

Sorry son, assume all drivers are
stupid assholes that are out to get you.
Is that what I need to say to make him
a little safer out there?

Had it been just me I probably would
have kicked her car and rode off. Or
pulled my valve stem remover and
yanked the core while she ignored me.

"What are you gonna do? Call the
police after you nearly killed some

So you can argue about clueless
cyclists. I'ld rather get hit by 200 lbs
of clueless going 15 mph then 3000
lbs of stupidity going 40 mph.
Simple physics.

I vow next time,
I will physically remove them from their
They WILL be scared.
They WILL learn.

Assert yourself,
and safe pedaling!


Jason Thorpe said...


This is exactly why my wife won't let me take my kids out riding on even the quiet streets.


Sarah said...

I have an 11-year-old and a 6-year-old and have been having a very hard time figuring out how to teach them to ride safely in traffic. Basically I've decided I can't yet, and keep them to the sidewalks and crosswalks (not that that always helps, as you saw). I don't like it but don't know what else to do.

So sorry- I'd be shaking, with anger and dear, for days.