Something something arseholes.

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It’s grarragr o’clock on a Sunday morning. In less than two hours, I’m starting a 10K run at an inconveniently located venue, so I have to keep this short.

I’m not especially well prepared for this race. I mean, I can do 10K, but I’m not gonna break any records this morning. For one, I have been incredibly lazy lately. I fell off the fitness bandwagon for awhile after Ride the Rideau (hey, did I mention that I biked 100km last month? In one go? ‘Cause I did.) I did go running a few times, including a 10.5km pre-work slog, but, by and large, I’ve (again) not trained as thoroughly as I could/should have. As usual.

It’s a shame, though. Running was the closest thing I did to meditation (the odd yoga class I take is more about stretching out kinks and trying to make my chiropractor happy), though now I find that biking is usurping its position. I don’t even have a road bike, just my awesome workhorse hybrid, and I dread the days when I don’t get to bike commute (for reasons of monsoons or work-related errands). I literally don’t understand why more people don’t bike everywhere always. Until I get road rage. On a bike.

As in most situations, I wish people were kinder and more observant on the roads. It would improve my commute tenfold if pedestrians didn’t just step out into the street with no regard for traffic lights, nor even the most basic rule of the road, ‘look both ways before you cross the street’. When did that become a thing to ignore? I am that dickhead cyclist who will yell “IT’S NOT YOUR LIGHT” if someone steps in front of me. I will never do this, however, if there isn’t a chance to ride off before they can reply. I don’t actually want to get into a fight. I just want to get to work faster.

Speaking of which, I also get ragey at the slow cyclists. I don’t mean people who are just slow, though, but largely the people who bike slowly but ALSO go through red lights and stop signs. So I will struggle to find (safe) opportunities to pass them, stop for a light, and they will just sail (slowly) by. Then I’ll have to find another opportunity to pass them. Later, rinse, repeat. This annoys me more than getting stuck behind a frequently stopping bus, because at least buses are predictable. (Other cyclists who annoy me include those who bike on the wrong side of the street or sidewalks, who think one-way signs don’t apply to them, and who ride with their seats so low that they have to bow out their knees ridiculously so as not to hit them on handlebars.)

Most cyclists blame drivers for woes on the road, and they are not blameless, but if one assumes that all drivers (and cyclists and pedestrians) are clueless, generally things are fine (though,  driving past a line of parked cars is now even more terrifying). This is not ideal, obviously. It would really be nice if people knew what they were doing.

Anyway, I’m not sure what my point is this morning. Let’s all get along? Don’t be an arsehole on the roads? Be careful out there? Man, it’s early.

2 thoughts on “Something something arseholes.

  1. Jackie

    I share your troubles with both peds and irresponsible cyclists. There’s a lot of debate here over licensing cyclists, which gets all the cycling advocates on my Twitter feed frothing that The Man is only doing that so as to be able to blame us! And I’m thinking, well, yeah, since a decent number of us are riding like entitled idiots.

    I don’t come out clean in this, either. I am aggressive and opportunistic, a product of fighting crazy cabbies for road space for a decade and a half. I stop at all red lights but only slow down at certain 4-ways. I obey one-way signs everywhere else in the city but at the end of the day I salmon up my own street. Mind you, if I were issued a ticket, I would sheepishly admit I’ve more than earned it over the years. I try to only lawbreak where I won’t inconvenience or endanger anyone else, but I probably do.

    I don’t know what can be done about the peds, though. On Friday a guy made eye contact with me from half a block away and then stepped off the curb into the bike lane. And stood there, unmoving and watching me bear down on him. When I braked hard to a stop, feet away from him, he said ‘sorry’ and hopped back up on the curb. Surely people that stupid deserve to be mangled.

    GOOD LUCK IN YOUR RACE!

    • megan

      Oh, I am definitely far from perfect, but I am definitely a nerdier rider than many. At infrequently changing lights, where there is no traffic anyway, I will stubbornly wait even as a half-dozen other cyclists go around me. Because I don’t want the drivers waiting with me to think “That jerkass cyclist thinks she’s above the law”. Of course, they’re probably thinking “That idiot cyclist shoulda gone ahead with the others.”

      There is a segregated lane pilot project downtown. I’m going to start yelling at more pedestrians, I think, to say “IF YOU DON’T WANT US BIKING ON THE SIDEWALK, DON’T WALK IN THE BIKE LANE”.

      That, along with my hairdresser’s suggestion of yelling “THIS IS WHY THEY HATE US” at douchebag cyclists, should solve the problem, right?

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