May 30, 2004
Use the Sidewalk!
The other morning when I was biking into work it was beautiful. It was cool but not cold, sunny and quiet. My ride was about 7 miles and it felt good. As I was riding I could see the river and birds flying along and a few cars passed me. I had just ridden across a bridge, and there was no shoulder. Although this road has a bike trail along most of it, there are places like this where there is no bike path. I was biking along and a few cars came up behind me on their way to work, I presumed. There was one person driving a truck who was tailgating the others. One car after another swung out around me and passed by. When this truck passed me, someone rolled down the window and shouted, ďUse the Sidewalk!!!Ē
My first reaction was surprise, then I thought, ďwhat a jerk.Ē Regardless of whether there was a bike path or not, unless itís posted bikes are allowed to ride on the roads. At that moment I thought that it would be interesting to have a tape recorder and play back his voice to him some day when heís sitting in church or just after someone was rude to him. The funny thing is, other than these few cars at this time of day, there was almost no traffic on this road. Going toward downtown there was no traffic coming at us either, except for a few more people on bikes enjoying the morning.
I can understand that commuterís frustration and impatience. Traffic stinks sometimes, itís dangerous, and people drive like maniacs. When we are running late it causes us to be tense. Road rage seems to be increasing all over the country. Iíve been frustrated by delays in the past also. In todayís society we too often donít leave ourselves enough time to get where we need to be. But this is not a problem I can help that driver with. I can only keep biking and hope that he has a change of heart. I can also choose how I react to people like that and what it does to me.
I bike for exercise and for clean air. I combine commuting to and from work with my exercise and at the same time Iím reducing pollution and helping our environment. One personís negative attitude does not negate the benefits of biking for me.
There is an ancient belief that says each of us gets to experience all of our actions and attitudes, from the recipients viewpoint. Indeed! What if thatís already happening? That guy yelling at me was probably the attitude I gave out many years ago toward a biker that was holding up traffic and making me late. My attitude toward bikers didnít change until I became one and saw how dangerous it is on our streets. It helps to Ďput yourself in their shoes,í before yelling, ďUse the sidewalk!Ē
Posted by carl1236 at May 30, 2004 9:04 PM | Love your Neighbor