Friday, September 02, 2005

But wait! There's more!

“Vote for Barbarino and nobody gets hurt!”…John Travolta as Vinny Barbarino in “Welcome Back Kotter.”

A woman I’ll call Miss Road Rage of 2005 posted this to one of the local e-mail lists.

I live in the great metropolis of Owasso, OK and like everyone else in this fast growing town, always searching for the fastest, shortest route through town when I come home from work in Tulsa Monday through Friday.

I quickly realized that exiting 169 N. off to 76th street, east to 129th and then back North on 129 (WAS) the fastest route home.

Well biker bubbas, this is no longer an effective route for me and the hundred other vehicles in front of and behind me that had the same ideas.

Now, I have to admire anyone who can get out on a bicycle in 100 degree temperature and try to kill themselves cycling but frankly, according to my Doctor, I can get the same health results on an exercise bike in the comfort of my A/C, but hey, each to his own and everyone has to have that "something" in their lives that feeds their pride and allows them to be part of a group or club and there is the scenery..

Anyway....I digress....Out of the brush comes this little guy with a grey beard, dressed in every bicycle accessory know to man, tooteling North on 129th. Now, when I say tootleing...that's what I mean. My definition of tootleing is 15 to 20 miles per hour. Unfortunately this happens to be a 2 lane road. Now folks, do you think this guy would take 1 minute to move off the road way so that the 80 cars behind him can actually go the speed limit and get home after a hard days work?? Well guess what? It AINT happenin! I mean, isn't there some kind of bicycle etiquette or courtesy that you folks practice? Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against bicycling, Like I said, I admire the tanacity, not to mention the O-Zone friendly rides that you have. But...there is a limit to one's patience. Imagine the road rage experienced in my car not to mention the other 79 behind me.

So...one day my son, on his way to work get's behind this guy. And yes...he too experiences this often on that road. He notices that a Deputy Sheriff has the guy pulled over and apparently an argument is ensuing. Now, being the good citizen that I am and trying to instill in my children the importance of respect for the public as well as law enforcement he was a bit confused but otherwise elated that perhaps he would not be late for work anymore following this guy.


So let’s see here…we have a mild implied threat of bodily harm from the ‘road rage’ motorist horribly trapped behind a slow-moving cyclist, along with eighty or so other road raging motorists. We have someone doing something important – driving home from work – delayed by a slow moving cyclist (also on his way home from work, but motorists, by definition, have more important objectives than mere cyclists). We have someone cheerfully applauding the actions of a law enforcement officer trying to force a cyclist off the public roads.

Maybe we should encourage our public officials to round up all these nuisance cyclists and send them to re-education camps, or the ovens, whichever is cheaper.

Isn’t it amazing that people who loudly assert their own rights are so quick to deny those same rights to others? You have the freedom to do just about anything you want to do in this country, except ‘delay’ traffic.

It’s interesting, in a perverse way, that motorists accuse cyclists of being discourteous when we take the lane. It’s always the responsibility of the overtaking driver to do so in a safe manner. Nothing in Oklahoma law requires a cyclist to dive out of the way of overtaking motor vehicles, yet some motorists seem to believe that they have that obligation. The public roads are just that – public – and they’re open to all lawful users, none of them superior to any other road user. Here in Oklahoma, it’s still legal to drive livestock on the roads! I’d like to see our impatient driver try to force her way through a herd of cows! But cows can total a car. Cyclists can’t.

‘Courtesy’ in this case means get the hell out of my way!

As I write this, gasoline just reached $3.19 per gallon. By the time I post it, the price may be significantly more. So far, I haven’t noticed fewer cars on the roads, or cars traveling at less than the speed limit. Miss Road Rage undoubtedly has her panties in a wad now due to the costs of fuel. She’ll be really ticked off at finding that same cyclist riding the same route again.

I’ve said before that I see the same commuters day after day. I didn’t realize I’d get the chance to piss off the same commuter day after day! And all I have to do is ride legally and responsibly. This is better than Critical Mass!

3 Comments:

Blogger barenakedbiker said...

Critical Mass?? Critical Mass?? Why, Ed, you seem to be getting more and more subversive with every post. Before you know it, it will be felony throwing.

You, subversive miscreant, blocking all that traffic, getting the locals and popo all riled up. You bad bad boy!

5:05 PM  
Blogger Fritz said...

Paul & Ed, I'm a critical mass of one! ;-)

11:27 PM  
Blogger Mikhail Capone said...

Hi,

I couldn't find a email address so I'll just write it here:

I just want to point out that I've written a post about your blog on Treehugger.com

It can be found here:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/09/satirical_tutor.php

Regards,

Mike

6:56 PM  

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