Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Get into the Road

I don't own a car, and for all that I waxed on about the cars that I've owned, I feel happier in my current lack than owning a rolling bomb that threatens my wallet with desecration on a regular basis.

For those of you who think I'm being a bit sour on the principal of car ownership, I point you to the record of vehicles I've owned. The only issues the PT Cruiser had were from an ex's bad driving. I prefer the simplicity of taking care of my bike and getting around on it.

I just wish the other people on their bikes didn't annoy me quite so much.

I rarely go a day without seeing someone that I want to shout at for one thing that is all too common: people riding their bikes on the sidewalk. I don't mean coasting to a stop at the door or the rack, but full-out hell-for-pedal riding on the sidewalk.

I've seen people do this even as there's a separated bike lane three feet away from them.

The other common thing I've seen is people riding against the flow of traffic instead of with it. I think both of these stem from a belief that a bike isn't what it is: a vehicle. It lets you go much faster than any person on foot, and get quite a bit of power and motion behind you.

The thing that keeps me from screaming (aside from not wanting to look like a crazy person) is that I can't really remember when I learned these things. Somewhere in the past twelve years, I picked up the basics of what the rules of the road are. And some of it was through trial and error: moving into the street was pushed by the fact that riding on the sidewalk was hell on the spokes in my old bike in addition to it being the law.

But that's no way to run a system. I think we need to have some kind of basic education, maybe some kind of booklet in bike shops? I want more people biking, and biking in the roadway because the more of us there are, the easier it is to get infrastructure and support.

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