After the long gray winter, it is nice to see the sun once again. Yes, according to the Weather Widget on my desktop, it is a balmy 72 degrees outside. Part of me wants to go out for a ride to enjoy the weather, the other says, “Ahh, I don’t have to work until tomorrow, gonna’ enjoy being lazy.”
With spring though, the cyclists start coming out of the woodwork. They’re greasing up the chains, dusting off the bad habits, shaking the mothballs out of the Lycra and heading out. I’m all for it, some days. The other day though, epitomized the kind of cyclist that makes the average Joe Public see red. Hell, I’m a dedicated cyclist and bike commuter and they pissed me off.
After enjoying a nice brunch at a cafe downtown, the wife and I are walking back to our car. She turns to say something to me and as she does so there’s a “whoosh” of air as a cyclist zips past her, less than an arms breadth away. In the classic Portland hipster cyclist fashion, no helmet, rolled jeans, day-glo colored fixed gear, she blows the stop sign at the intersection, weaves through the moving traffic on the wrong side of street and continues on her way. Had my wife gestured wrong, slightly wobbled out of step she would have ended up a road jam underneath the turning wheels.
What makes me mad though is the blantant disregard she displayed towards everyone one but herself. I’ve been known to run stop signs (usually with a California stop) and go fast in crowded areas, but usually I’m looking out for those around me. She wasn’t. For a second as she skated through the intersection I thought she was going to end up as road kill. Cyclists have image issues in Portland already, mostly a mild form of “us vs. them”, but many regular folks plain hate cyclists due to actions of a small group of folks. Small groups of folks who act this way tend to sour the opinion of normal everyday folks, which is really the last thing we (normal cyclists) need.
Oh well, karma’s a bitch…
And for all you folks who stayed inside all winter, the real cyclists rode all winter, not just in the fair weather.