there are going to be those that think that "this" is no place for a bicycle
no matter where this place is
this is no place for a bicycle
I admit... when I see that idiot on their bicycle on the shoulder of one of of the major Interstates... well I agree... THIS IS NO PLACE FOR A BICYCLE
even if cars drive on all roads as if they are on a major Interstate
be that cyclist adult of child there will be instruction as to where the bicycle should or should not be
in fact... for some reason people always feel comfortable giving instructions to a person on a bicycle
when I would not expect that same person to be so free with their advice to another car driver
"get off the road" is a phrase that I have heard so many times that I started to wonder if my bicycles had hover craft ability that I did not know about
how am I supposed to get off the road?
does this bike do things I am unaware of?
is there hover technology?
as of yet... no luck getting off the road
today on the post school bike ride with the boys we experienced some of this emotion
we were cruising down the way... me in the street and the boys on the sidewalk
it was a slight grade downhill and there was some distance between Stop Signs so the boys were flowing pretty good
the boys are moving
this is their home turf
they are comfortable
they are in their element
in a polite, sincere, and courteous way the boys give an audible warning as they approach people on the sidewalk in front of them
"on your left... on your left"
then they squirt by
often the people are oblivious to the approaching bicycle
oblivious to the kid on the bicycle warning or no warning
usually because the people on the sidewalk are too involved in their own world
lost in a cell phone conversation or a text message
chatting with their friend
or hypnotized by their own feet
the boys are usually here and gone before the space cadets on the sidewalk even see them coming or see them gone
in reality... the same goes for when I pass adults on the sidewalk, the bike path, or the street on my bicycle
people exist in a limited SPHERE OF AWARENESS
so... Dean and Grant are moving along at a good pace
not race pace
not some ballistic all out attack
the boys are not even racing each other
they are just cruising... in fact Grant and I are talking
me in the street and him on the sidewalk... 10 yards between us
there is intermittent eye contact as we spoke
both Dean and Grant pass a woman with a dog
she is alert to their approach and steps to the side with her dog into the grass
the boys move past
I give the word "IT'S CLEAR!" to the boys as they cross over a driveway that has a large gate that is closed which has us knowing no cars are coming
off the curb... crossing the driveway... then about to get back up the curb
but hey... there is a handsome older gentleman... not old... but older than me... this man is standing in the handicap ramp part of the sidewalk
almost trying to take up the whole ramp
what is up with this silver haired fox?
without thought the boys manage to find space up the ramp along side of him
then I hear... "slow down!" and maybe something else that I can not recall
to which I respond... "come on... share the space"
no emotion... no profanity
something more is said... and all I can offer is "aw... come on?"
really... it is just a matter of sharing space
this man and his blockage may well be more objectionable than the speed of the young boys on their bicycles
who was putting the other at risk?
we are here... we are gone
I do not disagree that there is the thought that the boys are going fast on the sidewalk
this may be true
but really.... WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN SUPPOSED TO RIDE THEIR BICYCLES?
on the sidewalk and on the street
be it here or be it there
the bicycle is in the wrong place
but really... this guy
if he had just stepped to one side or the other it would have been a far less dangerous situation
in fact... he made it more dangerous by consciously obstructing them
this man had his time to ride his bike down the center of the main street in his home town of anywhere USA
now... well.... now the streets are not safe for man or beast
not the neighborhood streets
not the side streets
so... we take it to the sidewalks
we take the sidewalks and when we can we take the quiet streets and the neighborhood alleyways
all the while dealing with the fast aggressive misbehavior of the ignorant car drivers
ignorant car drivers without any measure of the worst case scenario
it is about efficient transportation and it is about the pleasure of riding a bicycle
these are young children trying to enjoy the simple pleasure of riding their bicycles while getting home from school
the wind in their hair... their helmet covered hair
backpacks on their backs on their bikes instead of sitting in a car
man the world has changed... these kids and their limited freedom
not able to zip around like I did as a kid.... not like that silver haired fox did as a kid
not able to zig or zag
but forced to maintain order on the sidewalk
STRAIGHT AND IN CONTROL
my boys are in control
respectful and polite
always considerate and trying to be safe
sure they could crash... but they are trying not to
sadly enough... a crash would be worse for than whom ever they collide with
enough on this...
this is everyday
we hear it all the time
"off the street"
"off the sidewalk"
"watch where you are going"
without so much a glance in the mirror
the kids are alert and in control
they are aware of their surroundings and they are sharing their space
they know what is ahead of them and they are granting them their right to space
if only they got that same respect from the cars around them and the pedestrians on the street
well... then we would have a different world
we also had a number of people respect our right to space
giving us our turn at the four way stop
not trying to get past us on the residential streets