I have opinions on a lot of things. I spend my days coming up with opinions on things I previously held no opinion of. It doesn’t matter if it affects me, I need to have an opinion of whatever it is. I’m rarely coy when it comes to how I feel about things and really like to express my opinions. Normally, though, I don’t demand people agree with me or follow through with my advice. I do think it generally comes off that way since with even the most unimportant subjects I speak with conviction.
I imagine that, from time to time, people read or hear what I have to say and it sways their opinion. Gently. The thought of this gives me pleasure. Sometimes, however, I just want to shake a person until they’re forced to listen to me. Generally, these are my pet peeves that affect society, because I’m a man of the people! For instance, it really bugs me when someone holds open the doors of the subway to let one more person on. It’s really simple, if a train full of 100 people (5 cars of 20 people, easily achieved at rush hour) is held up 5 seconds, that’s over 8 minutes lost forever! If I was into macroeconomics, I could really dive into what a waste this is for society. (Although if that one person is of some importance…nevermind, not the rabbit hole I intend to go down.)
I consider myself a cyclist. I used ride much more often than I have in the past year, but after having carpal tunnel syndrome, followed by a broken arm, and an ailing shoulder, I haven’t really been healthy enough to do much biking. Still, I intend to ride again as soon as I can. I’m also one of those weird cyclists who obey traffic laws. So, far too many people, listen closely to what I’m about to say:
I’m very tired of people who don’t ride bikes hating on people who do ride bikes. This happens because a lot of cyclists are ruining everything for other cyclists and it gives people like me a bad name. Cyclists are all too often their own worst enemies.
I’ve stopped moving out of the way for people who ride bikes on the sidewalk. They can figure a way around me or move into the street like they should. There are very few places the road is so unsafe that riding a bike on the sidewalk is necessary. If that is the case, walking a bike is always an option. There aren’t special roads for people who can’t drive cars, same for bikes.
The other day I was driving my car and I approached a crosswalk that was not accompanied by a traffic light. Coming towards me on a bike path was someone riding a bike (on the wrong side). They got to the crosswalk and I continued to drive over it. As I passed the now stopped (but still bike-mounted) cyclist, he pointed towards the crosswalk sign in disgust. He was telling me I was in the wrong by pointing at a sign that indicates vehicles are supposed to stop for pedestrians. Up until this point in life, I had figured cyclists were just willingly breaking the law by disregarding most traffic laws. As it turns out, there are still people know don’t know what a pedestrian is. This is like people not realizing the movie Titanic was based on a true story. Walk the bike to use the crosswalk.
So, cyclists: when riding a bike, the rules are the same as driving a car.
I guess while I’m at it, motorists: cyclists have the same rights as any other vehicle.