Sunday, August 17, 2008


Tonight while riding down North Ave with the Immaculate Heart messenger bag, a woman in the back seat of a car said "That's a good looking bag" to someone else in the car as they went past.

Not only is that cool, it's so much better than "Get off the road!"

I've gotta say, with all the stories in the news, biking is getting just a little scary for me. Maybe not scary... but I'm definitely much more wary of cars now. The stories in the news I'm referring to are the ones where drivers get mad at bikers and decide to 'give them a bump', or gun it ahead and then step on the brakes right in front of them. This is like speeding up to hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk- we're just as vulnerable and are obeying the law by riding on the road. It shocks me how few people know that its illegal for adults to ride on the sidewalk!

For the non bikers that read this blog, I've got to explain that when a biker gets hit, it doesn't just knock them over. It rips noses off (as was a case in CA), breaks bones, twists fingers, ruins bikes and gives the victims some serious emotional scars if they survive. Even if a biker is 'just' knocked over, they could fall into the road in front of traffic.

I haven't heard any very bad incidents in the Midwest, but I'm definitely a little on edge. When I hear a car gunning it, it occurs to me that they could be trying to scare me, or side swipe me. Do I quake with fear? No. I know it's very unlikely that this scenario would actually happen. But the fact is that a few months ago I would hear a gunning engine and think someone was in a hurry, not that they could have malicious intentions. It's a shame that everyone's suspect.

There are a lot more new bikers out there on the road and I just don't think biker/driver relations are the best right now. To all the non-cyclists, please know that most bikers are just trying to get home, run errands, meet up with friends, etc. Just like you.