Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Can't we all get along?

In the words of Rodney King after the LA riots in the early 1990s: “Can’t we all get along.”

When I took the post by a local Charleston blogger; (See my blog yesterday.) and posted it on bike forums, I was hoping for the response I got. His blog received over thirty comments, most of them pro cyclist. I wanted to show that cyclists are people not some anonymous sub species.

Most of the comments were intelligently written and to the Blogger’s credit, he posted them. There were a few he didn’t post that had hate comments like: “I hope you die,” or “I hope you get a cancer.” This was extremely unfortunate because the blogger’s wife happens to be a recent cancer survivor.

If some of the responses were juvenile, it is because many of the people who frequent online forums are juveniles. I am very sorry that happened.

After writing yesterday’s blog I went out for a ride. During the ride a woman driver passed me leaving inches to spare, this was particularly annoying because she had about five feet of space on the driver’s side between her and the next lane.

Now I am one of those people who have a very short fuse; I tend to blow up very quickly. I shook my fist at the woman; which was pointless because she was not looking in her rear view mirror, and was probably oblivious to the fact she had passed me so closely anyway.

If I blow up quickly then my other trait is that I get over it just as quick. I realized to shake my fist was a dumb thing to do. She didn’t see it but other car drivers did, and that did not create a good impression. I made myself a mental note to try not to do that in future. Road rage only brings on more road rage.

I am a road rider with a helmet and Lycra clothing (To set the record straight it’s Lycra not Spandex; let’s get our man made fibers correct.) I am in effect wearing a uniform, that of a professional cyclist.

Although strictly speaking I am not a professional, I am not paid to ride a bike; that is how others see me. If I want respect and if I don't want to be lumped together with every other turkey who rides a bicycle, then I must show respect and dignity.

I guess I’m starting my New Year Resolutions early this year.

1 comment:

VintageSpin said...

In my opinion, saying things is not the same as doing them. In Mr. Lee’s case (from your other post), does he deliberately see how close he can come to every cyclist he has the opportunity to? If so, he hasn’t hit one yet (I hope), so the odds are still in the cyclist’s favor even with someone acting as aggressively as he speaks.
Fortunately, there are few citizens of our nation that will cross the line to kill someone. That is the reason these accidents that do kill cyclists are just that. Whether they are due to inattention, inexperience, or other factors the result is that someone was killed accidentally.
We live in a world where most people respect life. Talking, and writing without respect to bicyclists’ rights won’t change most people’s minds about human decency; they will still show respect because that is what most of us want to do.