Walkers vs. Bikers?

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.


7 thoughts on “Walkers vs. Bikers?

  1. kale says:

    I love it that you’re not too cool to be blinky. Blink! Blink! Blink!

  2. dougkimster says:

    I am the blinky man. I actually need more blinkies.

  3. Waynkster says:

    Congratulation on the circus train decision (and a great metaphor). I agree the problem is with the minority, the same people who let their dogs crap in the park.
    I am particularly torqued with bikers who ride before sunup, on shared trails, with little or no lights. I’ve been nearly killed that way too many times. It’s a way to raise my heat rate that I’m not interested in while I’m out raising my heart rate.
    I also peeve at bikers who think sidewalks are biking trails. Aren’t. They’re for pedestrians. Bike belong in the street or on shared trails. (Or in segregationist communities, on bike-only trails).
    We can join hands in common cause on those damned cars. If we got rid of them, there’d be plenty of space for all of us.

  4. dougkimster says:

    Let us all be circus trains, and avoid untimely death together. Do you have a blinky light, Wayne? If not I will send you one posthaste.

  5. Waynkster says:

    At the moment my only working bike is a stationary one in the back room. It blinks not, neither does it move, but it is well lit from the ceiling. The trash guys driving down the alley behind my house seem to have no problem seeing me on my daily sweat. They seem amused.
    I wear no blinkers on myself on the one day a week that I run, but I always wait until after sun-up for the warmth in the winter and the vision. My favorite running paths are somewhat under construction at the moment, and you need full light to see the trip wires and rusty nails left behind by the construction dudes.
    I’d take any spare blinkers you’ve got though. I’m a gear geek and you never know when they might come in handy.
    I’m swimming once a week now, and fantasize about triathaloning someday. Funny how our fantasy change as we age.

    • dougkimster says:

      Triathalon? You go wayne! But you need a serious blinky for that kind of activity. Serious blinky. You’re a better man than I…

  6. Waynkster says:

    it’s more fantasy than plan at this point.

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