Wednesday, June 30, 2010

drivers vs. riders

There's been a lot of accidents recently around here, involving cars and bicyclists, and it just kinda gets to me. In every case, especially if it makes the news, people from both sides get their panties in a wad and I keep thinking....can't we just get along?

First there's the drivers. I hear everything from "bikes don't belong on the road, so stay off it" to "I don't mind sharing, but those cyclists hog the whole thing, riding two and three across...and they don't obey the law. They blow through stop signs/red lights, etc. etc." to the best one (and I'm paraphrasing, but this was actually the comment) "if the speed limit says I can do 55 and I come around a blind curve and can't see you and hit you, that's your fault for being there."

On the cyclist side, I hear "the law says we can take the whole lane, so shut up"

I'm not going to address the people who say we shouldn't ride on the road. We can. We do. Get used to it and please watch out for us. For the people who say we don't obey the rules, you're right and I for one, apologize. I do obey the rules for the most part, and I cringe when I'm in a group that blows through a light, or I see those people on the road. They give all of us a bad name, and that pisses me off.

One caveat - there are time I will blow through a light. I ride several routes a lot, and I know the lights. I know which ones have sensors that can detect me and my bike and which ones can't, and the chances are about 50/50. I've sat at lights, waiting and waiting.....and waiting some more, and have it just not notice I'm there, until a car pulls up behind me. After doing that once at a specific light, I won't do it again. If the coast is clear, I'm pedaling. Most of the ones on newer roads can figure me out though, if I park right over the center and wait for them to change. Stop signs, I'll slow to a near stop and if I'm clear, I'm going. Complete stops are a pain in the butt if I don't have to. If its an intersection and I'm not there first, I stop and wait my turn.

The other complaint is about us hogging the whole road, and here again, I side with drivers, and I cringe when I see cyclists riding 3 abreast and socializing on the road. Yeah, the law says we can take the lane and cars should go around us. Just because the law says we can, doesn't mean we have to. I went on a memorial ride for a rider who was killed by a driver. It's done every year and follows his route to the place he was hit. There was a brief by the ride leader before hand, and it sounded downright militant. "We'll ride two abreast, filling the right lane at 12 miles an hour." Well damn, people...are we trying to piss people off? We really can ride single file and share the road...really share it. Just because the law allows you to be an asshole, doesn't mean you have to jump into the role with both feet.

I guess, I'm just asking everyone to think of the other people on the road. If you're in your car, please watch out for us. If the speed limit is 55 and you take a blind curve, hitting something around it is your fault. Slow down and take responsibility for what you're doing. If you have to wait a second to get around some bicyclists, well, slow down. If you're bicycling, do your best to stay to the right and really share the road. Take the space you need, but don't hog the lane, and when you get to red lights...stop. I'm tired of living with your reputation.

We could make this work if we all try to be a little more considerate.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Generals and Presidents

Why is it generals only get called on the carpet for criticizing Presidents in Democratic administrations? Clinton fired a general for calling him a clueless, womanizing stoner (OK, it wasn't a LIE, but he shouldn't have said it) McChrystal. Coincidence?


Monday, June 14, 2010

steppin' it up a notch

OK, so the youngster has his first 'official' girlfriend. Oh, there have been 'girlfriends' in the past, but they never got to the point where we actually met them, and they went out on dates and stuff. It was more like holding hands at high school football games, and two weeks later you didn't hear about them anymore. Although one went through a few cycles of that. We were still never introduced, but we heard stories through the grapevine.

Now though, we've met this one, even if I've only heard of her for about a week (so who knows how long it'll last). On Facebook, they both have their status as 'in a relationship' with the other. They've been to the movies, and out for smoothies, and he spends a lot of time at her house. Oh, and then there's the hickey he was sporting Saturday. The wife noticed before I did (of course...wives notice that sort of thing quickly), and went ballistic.

Ahhhh, the teenage years....

update 7/9 - less than a month later, it's over, but they're still friends. Just your average teenage relationship....


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

putting it to good use

Coming up to the finish line at the Tour de Cure in May, on the new really cool bike.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

just a bunch o' stuff

It's been a month so I'll try to catch up, for anyone who still visits my little corner of the world.

The new bike thing is working out great. Had it for a month now and put over 300 miles on it. Part of that was Tour de Cure, a weekend charity ride benefitting the American Diabetes Association, which accounted for almost a third of the miles. Still don't have the pictures, but should soon.

The youngster is out of school for the summer and job hunting. It has hit me that we're going into his senior year of high school...damn time flies. I'm looking forward to the end of private school tuition, even if it means moving on to college tuition. I don't think the cost will change much, and the college thing we've somewhat budgeted for. Catholic high school has become a lot more expensive than I anticipated, and I'll be happy when that ends. As for the job hunting part, it's looking tough for kids in this economy. All the jobs kids used to get are currently occupied by people who used to have full time jobs elsewhere and can't find more substantial work, or kids who've had them for a while and aren't moving on. I'm crossing my fingers.

BP and the gulf - the fact that I'm very peeved at BP for getting us into this mess doesn't seem to make a damn bit of difference. Cutting those kinds of corners in the name of profit is unforgivable. I know a lot of people who are big on boycotting the company, and I can understand the sentiment. I'm just not sure that monitarily hurting the company, that is our best shot at fixing the issue, is our best approach. let 'em clean up their mess first. Then penalize them all you want.