Monday, October 29, 2007

Things I hate: cyclists

While some of the best people I know are fabulous cyclists (shout out of awesome to Margaret, Paul, Jillian, and Charlotte), I pretty much hate other cyclists. I believe this is because the good ones, the ones who obey the rules of the road and all pertinent laws, escape my notice--both as a pedestrian and a driver. To you, I apologize for my prejudice and loathing.

Asshat cyclists are another story.

I was walking on the Burke-Gilman to work this morning, minding my own business, no headphones, not reading or knitting, walking completely distraction (and caffeine!) free. I looked over my left shoulder to "change lanes" and cross the trail to my "exit." There were two cyclists, with lights, but they were far away. I started crossing and some asshat cyclist screams at me: "Hey. Hey! HEY!!!" He came whizzing by, nearly running me down as I leapt back to the right side of the trail, and then he proceeded to give me a dirty look over his shoulder. He was going about 20 MPH, treating the Burke-Gilman like his own personal freeway. No "On your left," like the nice cyclists, no "Watch out," no brakes. Asshat!

Upside? I didn't fall over, drop knitting, or get hit.

Downside? I didn't have a stick to shove into his wheel as he passed me. >:(


Paul said...

As one of the "good" cyclists that obeys all the rules, I have to totally agree with Jen.

FYI: The speed limit on the Burke-Gilman in Seattle is 15 mph. There is no speed limit currently on the trail outside the city limits (i.e. the rest of King County).

Also, this incident is exactly the reason why I walk on the left side of the trail. And no, there is no law that specifically states that pedestrians on the trail absolutely HAVE to walk on the right side. Just like walking on the left side of a street with no sidewalks, walking on the left side of the trail will allow you to see those freak speed-demon cyclists coming at you so you can be prepared.

Incidentally, I wrote to the Cascade Bicycle Club about this and their Commuter Specialist agrees with me (although aknowlegdges that it would be nearly impossible to change the behavior of the pedestrians on the trail anytime soon). Regardless, if I feel safer walking on the left side, that's what I'm going to do!

Anonymous said...

Maybe your column should be more aptly entitled, "Things I Hate: Asshats on Bikes".

TheJenmeister said...

Rebecca, you are so right! My apologies to good cyclists everywhere.