Friday April 2, 2004

A'ight, I'm no transit angel, but I do try to be a safe and defensive biker.  I stay to the far side of the street (often the gutter) if there's no bike lane, I have blinky red and white lights, I wear a helmet, and I try to obey the general rules of traffic.  Yes, I occasionally run a stop sign/California stop, and I don't do those arm-motion-turn-signal things because I'd usually just hit a car with my arm.  But there's no excuse for some people today.

I was yelled at twice in a span of 5 hours while biking downtown.  The first time, I was stopped at a red light, waiting to cross the street to where the bike lane begins.  A van wanted to turn right, and I was in their way, so I moved to the side so they could get by.  The van pulls up next to me and yells "why don't you get off the street"?.  Um, because I'm traffic, and the street is where I go?  You, sir, have a car!  You automatically win in this situation.  Then, biking home from work, I'm in a pretty good mood, it's nice out.  I'm going down 4th in the bike lane and see that the light is going to turn green.  I keep going, and about 1 foot past the crosswalk, the light does turn green.  This BMW pulls up by me on 4th and yells:  "You son of a bitch!  The light was red!".  A:  I'm not a son of an anybody (though my mom's character is occasionally up for debate on the latter charge).  I'm kinda obviously a girl, thanks.  B:  I was not in your way.  I did not slow you down, cut you off, threaten your lane.  I see a hundred eighty-seven cars each day turn right on red counter to the "no right on red" signs (in fact, tonight, after the incident on 4th, I saw a cop do so), do rolling stops, not use turn signals, cut people off, etc etc etc. 

By virtue of having a bike, I lose.  My bike vs. a car?  Car's going to win, no question.  My bike is not a threat.  A car will crush my ass (and torso, and head, and legs, and bicycle).  I can't possibly be speeding.  (Though if I were going over 25 mph, that'd be pretty fucking sweet.)

And I love biking, I do.  I think I've lost weight due to the bus strike getting me off my ass and my ass onto a bike seat.  I love my blinky lights and my pretty black helmet.

But man... sometimes I remember why I hate people.

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