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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Let me cross the road!

I believe we are all familiar of the universal rule of the road:

Pedestrians hate drivers; drivers hate pedestrians; but both parties can agree that nothing is worse than a person on a bike.

Although I have plenty of experience with pedestrianism and driving, my bike riding experience is limited to the times back in the day when the neighborhood kids would form a mini bike gang and patrol the streets. This being said, I apologize in advance if I offend any of those out there who brave the city streets via bicycle.

Now to address the reason for this rant of sorts; I am fortunate enough that I live only a five minute walk from the building I work in. This allows me to walk home everyday for lunch instead of having to take those extra ten minutes in the morning to pack one. Yesterday as I was walking home I got closer to the intersection I had to cross in order to reach my building. I’m about five meters away from pressing the button that makes the little crosswalk symbol light up, when out of nowhere a ninja on wheels zooms by me, nearly resulting in the releasing of my bowels.

That’s right, a ninja on wheels or what is commonly known as a biker. I don’t know what it is but all the bikers around where I live seem to have invested in super quiet bikes. If I had been wearing headphones and jamming to some awesome tunes and did not hear the pesky biker approaching from behind, I would deserve the inevitable fright about to be inflicted.

But no. I was not wearing headphones and the bugger indeed startled me. Nothing like a mid-day heart attack to re-energize ya. That is why when I’m walking I dislike bike riders. I know they are helping reduce carbon emissions and getting some exercise to boot, but they ALWAYS sneak up and scare me. Not so much if they happen to have a bell to give you some warning, but when they seem to materialize out of thin air like a ninja assassin, I am not impressed.

After recovering and mumbling a few profanities, I press the button and wait for the lighted red hand to change into a little man. When the man does appear I begin to take my first steps towards the curb when “WHOOSH!” A big ol’ blue truck zooms by, clearly going through a red light, and would have made me a pancake if not for my slow response time to crossing the street.

This time I was not so much startled but infuriated, “That’s right buddy you better keep driving. You-” I’m sure you can use your imagination and finish the response.

All I wanted to do was go home and have some lunch. Instead I was dodging bikes and nearly getting run down by big ol’ blue trucks. It kinda made me realize what a vicious circle these three modes of transportation make. When I’m driving my car and a pedestrian seems to jump out of nowhere to cross the street I respond with, “Look BOTH ways moron!” If I was the pedestrian in this situation I’d respond with, “Hey! I’m walking here! Keep your eyes open moron!” Throw a bike into the situation and it doesn’t matter if I’m the pedestrian or driver, the guy on the bike is always going to be the moron.

Sorry bikers, it’s true. When I’m driving you refuse to use the sidewalk even though the road is not equipped with a bike lane meaning I must hug the yellow line so I can drive by without hitting you. When I’m walking I have to be on my guard because you are either going to sneak up behind me or turn a corner too fast and nearly hit me.

I realize I’m being a bit harsh and I’m sure you can come up with plenty to say about me while I’m driving my car or while I’m walking, but for now you are always going to annoy me just the tiniest bit on an everyday basis.


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