This evening, I had the dubious honor of being cussed at for being a law-abiding citizen--the first time a truly nasty action was directed as me as a road cyclist.
"Why don't you stay on the bleepin' sidewalk?!" shouted a young man from a passing car.
For the same reasons you don't, sir. I am a wheeled vehicle whose slowest safe speed is considerably faster than most pedestrians can walk, and the more often I am in the midst of slow-moving crowds (and I spend most of my time on a college campus, the definition of slow-moving crowds), the greater chance I have of wrecking and injuring myself and/or other people. Plus there is the minor detail that sidewalks do not go everywhere I need to go.
I'm a law-abiding citizen, keep to the right and clearly signal when I move left or intend to turn. I stop at the same stop signs as every car, and I am easy to pass because I keep as far right as possible without endangering my tires with the road debris swept to the curb (unless I am turning left, in which case I have signaled). But people still find it necessary to yell at me, beep their horns while going round me, and, in one instance I can only describe as idiotic, pull up in the right lane even though they are turning left, because I am already in the left lane like THE LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN THAT I AM.
People have no idea what it is like to be carless. For me, I either walk or ride my bike. There is no third option--I don't even have a driver's license. There's theoretically a bus system in Norman, but I doubt there's a stop near Boyd & Berry (where my local church is) at 6:30 and 9 Wednesday night. Or at 10 o'clock and 12:15 Sunday morning. So I follow the law while taking city streets, which is whenever I can, because I hate driving through crowds of people--and to the clueless young man in the white car, I say sincerely,