Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Seventh Sense

The Seventh Sense

“I see stoopid people!”

Sometimes I’m tempted to give up on trying to persuade or educate people. Those are the bad days. Sarcasm and sheer viciousness win out over my usual sunny nature. I’m a regular Pollyanna…with a switchblade in my pocket.

Cyclists meet an astounding collection of mouth breathers on our roads, people who must have received a driver’s license as a prize in a box of cereal. Surely they couldn’t have passed any sort of test! I’m talking about those who seem to believe that in their personal universe the laws of physics do not apply. The motor vehicle code is merely a list of suggestions. For that matter, motor vehicle laws are whatever enters their thoughts at the moment, sort of a psychic approach to legal issues.

“Get up on the sidewalk!” What cyclist hasn’t heard this one? It’s common here in Oklahoma too, except that I’ve had people yell that when there isn’t actually a sidewalk anywhere nearby. In fact, there may not be a sidewalk for miles. It makes me wonder just what they’re seeing out that side window. Oklahoma does have a reputation as one of the methamphetamine capitols of the country, after all.

“You need to ride your bike on some road that doesn’t have cars!” Just where would that imaginary road be, I wonder? And would it have sidewalks? Maybe I should just imagine myself riding there.

“There’s cars behind you!” I never knew that there could be cars behind me. Honest. I expected that I could travel on public roads and never encounter a motor vehicle of any sort. It was a rude shock to discover that I had to share the road with them.

On a morning commute, a UPS driver nearly pulled out in front of me from a side street on my left. I was turning into that street at the time. “Look first!” I yelled. “I did!” he yelled back. I know, I know. It’s easy to miss a 200-pound cyclist in a bright yellow windbreaker when he’s only fifty feet away.

“Young man, you shouldn’t be more than eighteen inches from the curb!” This was from an elderly gentleman and his wife as I waited to make a left turn at a signalized intersection. How could I make a left turn if I were only eighteen inches from the curb? I liked the ‘young man’ bit, though.

“You ought to wait until they build some bike lanes before riding out here!” I won’t hold my breath. My town will build bikelanes just after all the Baptists parade naked down on Main Street. Not that I’d want them, anyway. Bike lanes, that is, not naked Baptists. Oh, never mind.

One co-worker said that cyclists shouldn’t be on the roads because it’s too difficult to pass them in narrow lanes. I suggested that if he couldn’t figure out how to pass something as small and slow as a bicycle, he probably shouldn’t be behind the wheel in the first place. He was genuinely angry at the suggestion! His wife has totaled three cars. She’s still driving, but it’s the CYCLISTS who are the road-going menace?

It’s hard to maintain my sunny disposition while fingering the edge of that knife.


Blogger Fritz said...

If you want stupid and angry, read this.

7:01 PM  

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