Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How nice of you to say

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,



  1. *hugs* yeah people can be real jerks. i'm one of those drivers who if i see a cyclist on the side i even go to the lane to the left to give them room and not freak them out that they might get clipped.

    why don't you have a license though?

  2. I live in OKC near the capital. DH won't let me ride a bike-1. because we live in the ghetto and 2. because he's an EMT and sees the results when cars hit them. Be careful!

  3. Be careful, my husband bikes, rain or shine, and has for years. It's scary how people in cars can be so rude.

  4. Next time yell back!! You're following the LAW, you're doing the RIGHT THING!! And good for you. You don't deserve to be verbally abused for it! My husband and I are always complaining about the cyclists who are blatantl breaking the law by riding on sidewalks, running into pedestrians, riding across crosswalks. You are a shining example of AWESOMENESS!!