2.02.2008

I am sorry... I am flawed

I am sorry... I am flawed
what I did was wrong... it was wrong what I did
trying to explain what I did to my riding partner
well... that did not make things any better

on today's ride I spat on a car
I flipped off several car drivers
I only spat on one car
spitting on cars does not happen as often as it once did
I try to control my anger
I try to control my frustration
I have bicyclist road rage
with my son in the trailer behind my bike that emotion is heightened
I am more sensitive to people's lack of consideration to the vulnerability of the human body outside of a car

bicycle road rage
it is a simple case of action and over reaction

this afternoon at the tail end of a thirty mile spin pulling the burley trailer I was on K Street in Georgetown under the Whitehurst freeway
I was trying to make a left hand turn up 28th Street Georgetown
I know that it is no left turn... and I did not make a complete stop before turning
that is not where I was in error
as I approached the intersection the timing was such that the oncoming cars each had stop signs
each car was stopped and checking about with enough caution that my flowing through with the left out of turn made most sense
there seemed to be an unspoken communication as the cars ahead held their position at the stop signs
I waved to the cars as they granted my passage
as I rolled off K Street onto 28th the car coming down the hill came rolling through the stop sign
not stopping at the stop line
when the car broke that line and looked as if was going to continue rolling right into the intersection
the trailer behind me was in the intersection
had she not stopped six feet after the stop line the trailer and my son would have been the point of intersection

there was never a point where I felt as she saw me
there was never a point where I felt she was taking into account me or my precious cargo
she was rushing to get no where fast
maybe a movie
maybe a coffee date
something important enough to bypass the notion of safety of others around her

I gave into an old habit
I spat on the windshield of the car that had run the stop sign

my riding partner of the afternoon Chris was appalled
I tried to justify my action

my actions are not justifiable

the spit was not so much on her windshield for what happened
but more for what could have happened
not because she rolled through that stop sign then and there
but because I am certain that she rolls through all stop signs with the same disregard
because she most certainly drives like this all the time
because a shrug of the shoulders and the words I am sorry mean nothing after causing injury or death to another

the spit was not so much directed for her windshield
the spit was meant for all the windshields of all the cars that drive around mindlessly everyday
never thinking about their actions
never anticipating what is around them
not looking out for the pedestrian
not looking our for the cyclist
then... not giving the pedestrian or the cyclist the space and respect that they deserve

people should come out of alleys as if there a woman with a stroller on the sidewalk about cross past the alley exit
people should approach all intersections as if there are children running towards the corner about step off the curb
people should drive around others how they would like others to drive around them
very golden rule-ish

I was wrong to spit on her windshield
nothing is gained by such actions
I feel no better
and this woman is no closer to being respectful of bicyclists or pedestrians

this car represented all of the cars that had wronged me on this day
all the cars that passed too fast and too close
all the cars the pulled in front of me and made a turn causing me to slow down or stop
all the cars that did all the things that cars do

it was wrong

I would dehydrate if I spat on every car that I want to spit on each day
I fight to be a person of thought and action
not a fool controled by action and over reaction
not an idiot in auto pilot
if only the car drivers could take their trajectory out of auto pilot


2 comments:

ridethewomble said...

I understand. It's very hard for me to attribute things to stupidity instead of malice, sometimes. It's also difficult to avoid punishing the specific miscreant for the sins of all the miscreants. It's a battle where your life is on the line out there, and it's hard to keep things in check when you're playing for those kinds of stakes.

In the end, the biggest regret comes from how being angry makes me feel, though. I, too, wish I could just let dangerous stupidity go.

fridrix said...

Without getting into the right and wrong of things, I think everybody who rides has moments where you make a little misjudgment and find yourself in trouble. Now when I find that happening I make sure I am not hurrying at all. No shortcuts for me; plenty of time, plenty of space. I still have angry moments though.