3.31.2006

tit for tat? show-n-tell? one up ya?

in the world of converstation things can be a bit competitive
while one person is talking our minds may deviate from the words that are being spoken to the thoughts in our head
the speaker will present a point
in our minds we then get a valid point that we feel is worth sharing
rather than interject with our point
we wait politely
we phase out what is being said
we focus on repeating a catch phrase or the core of our response in our head
by the time the other person finishes speaking the point in our head is no longer relevant
well, that is what happens in my head... among other things

in polite conversations we try to listen and talk
let the avenue of conversation be a two way street
the ratio of ears to mouth is 2:1... but our exchange does not always go that way
when time allows conversation can get into a battle of "one upping the other"
you know the way.... one person tells a story on a topic then the next person wants to tell their story on that same topic to extend it
I hate when these stories involve sickness, injury, or death
honestly... these stories do not entertain me.... keep it to yourself
I don't need to watch FACES OF DEATH or hear about some surgery
I have had surgery, I have seen child birth, I have been a victim of many accidents...
I do not need a visualization of another accident
I also am not a fan of the show-n-tell situation where someone has to tell me their bicycle story...
more specifically a car driver wants to tell me their story of a confrontation or incident with a cyclist

so often people talk about cyclists as if we are one ameboid mass that shares a unified brain
that we can understand and explain the actions of other cyclist
the ability to generalize about cyclists and the things that they do boggles my mind

honestly, if I ride my bike for 30 miles
I am confident that I am spending far less of that duration breaking laws then a car is
if I happen to roll through a stop sign... more than likely I was was within the limits of the law leading up to that point
while a car driver can be speeding excessively, talking on a non-hands free phone, drinking a beer, before they run that light
okay, I am getting out of control here
but, my an old friend of mine just told me a 20 year old story of an incident he had with a bicyclist

the car drivers often attack the cyclist saying things like.... "they want to a bike... then they want to be a car."
trying to state that we should either ride to the right or stay in the center
that we should line up in the queque rather than cutting lanes
well, my simple response is... it is up the the cyclist to put themselves in the place on the road that is most safe
and to their credit the cyclist also wants to put themselves in the place that is most efficienent
in the course of my ride I will certainly take the full lane at certain times and split lanes at other times
most often I share the road and share the lane when it is most safe for me

it is vital for the cyclist to make the decision for the car behind them
when I am on a winding road I will not ride all the way to the right
I will help the car driver make the intellegent decision
I will aid them to fight their impulse to pass blindly on a curved section of road
as I do not want them to choose between running me off the road or having a head on collision
we know what they would choose
so, I choose for them

do I alter their destiny?
I hope not
they may be slowed for a few seconds before there is an opening to pass
at which point that can push that pedal and make up for lost time
if I am altering their destiny... they need a new program

this car/bike fight will continue as long as their are cars and as long as their are bikes
each side thinking they are right in their actions
the failure of most car drivers and their opionion is that they are only looking at the cyclists and their wrong doing
but, most cyclists are also car drivers thus giving them the perspective of both sides
seeing how other car drivers behave has guided me to be a better driver
as I know I do not want to behave like the drivers I see each day

there is the old saying
something to the effect of "until you have walked a mile in my shoes"
well, I think it would be a good lesson for car drivers to commute via bicycle
it will open some eyes and create some empathy
because there is a saying that has not yet come to be but there should be one that goes something to this effect, "do not judge me and my bicycle until you have ridden many miles for many days in my saddle"
or something like that

enough on this less than structured rant

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