6.09.2015

bike-ists and their ignorant anti-bike logic

people
people and their opinions

the other day at work I was having a nice conversation with an older woman as I did some work on her computer

she was a nice woman
not only nice... but friendly and out outgoing while also being a woman high up the ladder in our work environment
see was bright and full of energy

energy and opinions



there was mention of our organization 
then talk about her unit
she had an unexpected opinion on things
I had no opinion on this topic

this was the second time I had visited this woman in a few days so there comfort level just above stranger
we were making small talk
we were talking about the weather... trying to keep it light

it is rapidly becoming a DC summer which means hot-humid-chance of thunderstorms all at once
this gave us much to talk about
even if we were just talking about the weather

so...
we were talking about the weather
when I mentioned... the weather is no great issue
I told her... "I try to stay my course... I try to ride my bike either way"
while making mention how I can appreciate that the plants can use the rain but I prefer it to be dry so that I can go mountain biking
as responsible mountain bikers only ride natural surface trails when they are dry

then it happened
she displayed her ignorance
it turns out this woman had an opinion on bikes
more specifically she had an opinion about bicycles on the roads

"oh... so you are one of those people who slows down traffic"
excuse me? I replied
she repeated the same thought
"oh... you bikers move too slow... you just get in the way... you move too slow"

oh man... this statement... any anti-bike statement has the risk of throwing me off
well... I did not contain myself... I did not hesitate
I told her
our streets are not made for cars... our streets are made for transportation
cars are just one form of transportation
bicycles are another form of transportation
when a cyclist is on the road they are within the limits of the law even if they are not going the speed limit... they do not have to be going the stated speed limit... it is accepted that they will go slower

this may be frustrating to you... but that is not fair
in fact...  it is ironic because you are frustrated because the slow moving cyclist is preventing you from going the speed you want to go... A SPEED THAT IS OUT OF THE LIMITS OF THE LAW... because in most of the city the speed limit is 25MPH and you are trying to go faster than that slated speed limit

she really did not have any response

my response was more than likely a little longer and a maybe a little curt
and maybe even better worded
hopefully it was better worded

I continued working and waited for a rebuttal
I thought to myself... the hypocrisy of car drivers
then also how it agitates me that older people can be so impatient
so often I see older drivers in a rush... honking their horns... banging their steering wheels... 
it is odd... not old people are impatient... but the ones who are shock me...
I try so hard to be patient with older people
the way old people drive... the way old people shop... the way old people walk
yes... I try to be patient with old people.. the slow speeds they move... the slow speeds it takes them to pull out their wallets and make their payments at the cash register...

old people... old people... old people
of course I jest
I am Type A
but I try to be patient with all people... young and old

this morning I saw that older woman
she was going out a doorway while I was going in a doorway a few doors down
I saw her fumble with her overly large sun hat
she slowed as she pushed the door open
it took her longer than it would normally take a person to go through a door

does it always take her that long?
what if someone expressed their frustration with her in the same fashion that she would express her dissatisfaction with the speed of a cyclist?
we all need to share the space
we need to accept that other people move at their own rate
young and old... not everyone is in such a hurry
everyone has a right to their space
everyone has a right to their safety 

we need to be more respectful of one another
one day I will be old... hopefully people will be patient with me 
patient with me on and off the bike
no matter what speed I am going

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