ah... sidewalks

as a cyclist I ride in a fashion where I attempt to put myself where I am most safe

it is my feeling that no one is concerned about my health or well being other than me

which forces me to think not only for me but I must also think for those around me
all the while attempting to put myself where I am most safe
this may aggravate the aggressive drivers around me

car drivers have proven that they can not be trusted to behave
their actions are often ignorant and dangerous
as well as illogical and ineffective

for the most part... I ride on the street
but... there are times when the sidewalk makes the most sense for me and for those on the road

it is a matter of efficiency... while also being a matter of keeping myself safe by putting myself where I am away from the danger

this notion of putting myself where I am most safe is expanded when I ride with my two children

in the situation of cycling along side my children I am forced not only to think for myself and the cars around me but I also have to think for my six and nine year old sons
things happen too fast for them to anticipate all the variables
kids can often be more focused on fun that the dangers around them

they are small... if car drivers are blind to my Sasquatch sized presence... well... then they are not likely to see my hood level children
so... I try to anticipate things for them
when we traverse the city we move in such a way to put ourselves where we are most safe

no matter where we are... the people around us feel that we are in the wrong place

if we are on the bike path or Beach Drive closed off to cars... sport cyclists get agitated by the young cyclists

if we pedal on the streets the car drivers bark at us saying we should be on the sidewalk

and well... you guessed it...
when we are on the sidewalks... pedestrians point us to the street

often when we are on the sidewalk we get attitude from the people that we encounter

hmmm.... I beg the question... where should young children be when on their bicycles?

no this is not me ranting about making the dirt trails of Rock Creek Park legal for mountain biking
this is a question of WHERE SHOULD WE BE ON OUR BICYCLES?
my neighbor told me that they should not ride in the alley behind my house

people on the sidewalks bark to us that we need to take it to the streets
and of course
as said... the cars on the street tell us to get out of their way and get off the streets

where are we to ride?

well... the answer... we must ride where we are most safe

much of our pedestrian frustration is actually caused by a contribution on the part of the walker
as we meander through the city on the sidewalks
the pedestrians repeatedly walk blindly about
never anticipating the approaching bicycles
never looking any further than the tip of their shoe
or more likely... not seeing any further than their smart phone
my boys impress me with their ability to weave through the people on the sidewalks

the pedestrians moving in an illogical fashion stopping and standing where ever they choose
walking as many people abreast as they care

not concerned with anyone else's right to space yet offended if anyone enters their personal space

sometimes there is an exchange of words

sometimes there is the flawed logic of Steven Wright

people try to use the word SIDEWALK itself to argue about where we should or should not be on the bike

well... I get the idea... SIDE
but... then what do we do when we get our car on the
or if we find ourselves on the
never when on the
BIKEPATH do I object to the people on foot

with this logic
I do think it is interesting that someone can be so shocked by the presence of a bicycle on the BIKEPATH
enough with the comedy...

the other night when pedalling back from the fireworks display the family weaved their way through the mass of people on foot a good number of people took a quick response of offense when they felt the bicycle at their side
but when the people saw the children... the majority of the people dropped their attitude and accepted our polite... "excuse me... on your left"
but there were those few realistically... we can not allow our decisions to be directed by those select few


No comments: