My friend Wayne prompted me with a post idea: “Why pedestrians hate bikers and why bikers don’t care.” I challenge this notion. I grapple with thee, Wayne! Maybe they do hate us, but I think we care, we’re just going by too quickly to show it. There are biking jerks out in the world, certainly. And there are pedestrians who make sudden, unexpected movements that beg for a collision.
But I think those are the exceptions. There’s a kind of solidarity in being out there on the path, especially in the winter. If I see a jogger at 6:30 a.m. making her way along the path in the cold, wet darkness, I think, good for you. You’re stubborn like me. And then I give her lots of room. I have my prejudices, certainly. I really like the joggers who wear lights. The vast majority of these, by the way, are women. The men hardly ever wear lights. Maybe they are too cool to be blinky. But I certainly appreciate the extra visibility.
I ride with so many lights I look like a circus train. There’s a certain goofiness there, for sure. But I’d rather be goofy and alive than cool and dead. So far this philosophy has gotten me two decades past Jim Morrison’s lifespan.
In the summer, I’m not so fond of the pedestrians, mainly because there are so many of them. So I sometimes avoid the paths altogether and take to the roads, where I fight for space with cars. Now cars, they probably hate me. They’re probably losing like, I dunno, EIGHT WHOLE SECONDS every time they have to slow down and pass me. And I don’t care. Because I can almost guarantee that I’m 90 percent happier on my bike than anybody fighting traffic in a tin can.