8.11.2008

crash test dummies

I feel like Jan Hoffman has been biking with me on my daily trek to work. I believe this article should have been published in the Health, Safety, and Why Can't You Fucking Yield section, and not Style.

Now, I'm not a perfect biker. Nor am I a perfect driver. No one is. But when I'm nearly doored twice in a single mile of bike lane (bike lane! not just biking on the street! designated bike lane with lane lines and "bikes only" graphics!), I tend to get a little defensive about my safety as a biker and some drivers' ridiculously aggressive attitudes towards cyclists.
For example, if you are parking next to a lane of traffic, perhaps you'd like to CHECK TO SEE IF THERE IS ANYONE SPEEDING TOWARDS YOUR DRIVER'S SIDE DOOR before you open it and send me veering into traffic and to my death under the wheel of a Lincoln Navigator.
Also, if you are driving on the left side of a bike lane and must make a right turn crossing the bike lane, PLEASE MOVE YOUR EVER-SO-IMPORTANT HEAD SLIGHTLY TO THE RIGHT TO CHECK BEHIND YOU to make sure you don't cut me off and send my front tire spinning directly into your car because my brakes, like all bikers' brakes, are controlled by my hands, some tiny cables, and four pieces of rubber. Your brakes are controlled by a highly engineered machine, and I promise, your life will not end if you must brake and wait for the bike traffic next to you to clear before you can pull into Walgreen's.

Fun fact about those funny-looking two-wheeled contraptions that are moving faster than you during morning rush hour: yes, we have our own designated lane. This lane is designated for bicycles, not scooters, not rollerbladers, and not motorcycles. This lane is designed to keep bikers out of your way, so we don't slow down your lane one bit!

Not-so-fun fact about biking: the only thing between me and the skin-shredding, bone-snapping cement (or the front wheels of your car) is a bike helmet and, on most days, a dress.
So, for the love of $4.57/gallon regular unleaded, please attempt to obey the laws that say "yield to bikers". Or I'll leave a gigantic, oddly-shaped dent in your passenger-side door, and a nasty stain all over your grille.

1 comment:

a lady said...

...which reminds me: I need to buy a helmet.

also I hate stupid drivers who don't look out for cyclists. you/we watch out for other cars. and pedestrians. why don't you watch out for other people on vehicles too?