Thursday, January 26, 2012

When I walk, I am sane

From inside the summerhouse on the Capitol grounds.

What a gentle "winter" we're having in DC. I can remember a time when I would find nice, warm 50 F. days in late January upsetting. For the life of me I can't remember why, because it's wonderful to be outside on a day like yesterday, walking around without gloves, a scarf, a hat, earmuffs, heavy coat, etc. Maybe for real I'm becoming a southerner! Is that possible?

May I name a very politically incorrect personal truth? Here goes: I don't enjoy sharing the streets with people on bicycles any more than the people driving cars. Some bike riders are calm, but a great many of them are just as likely to get all worked up about the flow of traffic as the people driving cars. They are far more likely to run red lights, weave in and out of cars and people, swear audibly and act crazy because a pedestrian (that would be me, for instance) DARES to walk and stroll, looking at the sky and taking pictures. No one in a car whips by me while I'm on a sidewalk, but bike riders do so all the time. No bell, no warning, no "on your left." Sometimes they come within an inch or two. It's as if they're entertaining the thought of running me down. It is unnerving.

It's better for the environment, but really what is up with people who ride bikes?

This morning the birds are singing and the squirrels are dashing around, hither and yon. It's going to rain today, but again the temps will climb into the 50s. After work, I'll be able to get out for at least a quick walk around Lincoln Park. I'll stay on the brick sidewalks where I stand the best chance of avoiding cyclists.

All is well. Shalom.

The green world is trying its best to go with the flow of this non-winter.


ellen abbott said...

uptight people are uptight no matter if they are on a bike or in a car.

Cyndy said...

Not all cyclists are the same, obviously, but I agree with you that it does seem to attract a certain "element." Or maybe we only notice the bad ones. And the laws seem a little looser when it comes to cycling etiquette. It's annoying that they go on the sidewalk to stay safe from the cars and subsequently endanger the safety of pedestrians.

The Bug said...

I think that cyclists try to get the best of both worlds - they act like cars AND pedestrians. Makes it hard to know how to stay out of the way!

Jo said...

It must depend on the city. When we were in South Carolina this summer, I was extremely impressed by the number and the etiquette of cyclists there. I heard "On your left" as well as "Coming up" and "Thank you, Ma'am" all over the place. The children were even polite!

But then again, I believe that cities all have their own ethos, and there is probably little that can be done to change it.

Continue to walk, but be careful, Reya! ♥

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes Dana! And there's a sense that they should ALWAYS have the right of way.

The SF bike people were just as bad. New Yorkers too. I like knowing that in S. Carolina, people are more gracious.

Kerry said...

It is really unnerving to have a bike zoom past you as you walk; it's like they don't understand that you can't hear them coming, and there's an assumption that walkers go in a precisely straight line. Dangerous! I hardly ever walk a straight line, meandering here & there to look at something. So when I'm on a bike I'm super aware of pedestrians.

Ah but I'm glad you're out enjoying the mild weather.

Val said...

stay clear of bikes and clipboards and enjoy your beautiful walk Reya x