Yes indeed, we just managed to get in our 3rd after-work tandem ride this week and it’s been great! The mileage isn’t anything to crow about, but getting in a solid, moderate-pace, hour-long ride three times on weeknights stands as a real milestone for us: I can’t remember the last time we were able to do that! Of course, seeing that tomorrow is Friday there’s ZERO chance of scoring a 4th; “Finally a Friday” celebrations always take precedence.
Related to our last two nights out on the tandem…
As a follow-up to a previous item dealing with our noisy White Industries MI5 front hub, the tear-down, minor clean-up and reseating the retaining collar eliminated all of the noise coming from the front wheel; how nice is that! Noises that shouldn’t be there always drive me nuts and take away from the enjoyment of a ride, so I’ve been a pretty happy guy the last two nights out.
However, I finally lost my cool with motorists who haven’t got a hot clue how to share the road with cyclists. It seems to run the gamut from:
(A) motorists who are simply intolerant of cyclists and feel it’s their duty to try and make sure we feel uncomfortable — perhaps even threatened — sharing the road, to
(B) the nervous Nellie motorists who become absolutely paranoid any time they encounter a cyclist on the road.
Of the two, I guess I’m less bothered by the intolerant, aggressive drivers because at least they’re actively engaged in the driving process, have clearly seen me/us on our bicycle and have the mental awareness to develop and execute their plan to “buzz” the cyclist, blow smoke as they pass by flooring their diesel, or offer a friendly gesture on those rare occasions when they have a free hand that’s not holding a smart-phone up to their ear: yes, we experienced all three of those over the past three days.
On the other hand, the nervous Nellie’s are completely unpredictable: you have no idea what they’re going to do, because they have no idea what they’re supposed to do! Here’s a clue, keep your eyes on the road, your mind on what you’re doing, and follow the rules of the road at all times. Just because someone destroyed all hope that you’d one day be able to find enjoyment and independence via leaning how to ride a bicycle as a mode of transportation on public roads doesn’t mean that everyone who is out there riding a bicycle in traffic is petrified and about to do something stupid… because, well, you certainly wouldn’t know any better!
Seriously, I really get tired of motorists who almost cause accidents when they suddenly decide to patronize me/us by “waiving” us through an intersection when we’re simply trying to follow the rules of the road. Or, worse yet, as happened yesterday, heading through a four-way intersection from a stop and then suddenly stopping as we then take our turn and set-up for a left turn around the back end of the car anticipating its continued movement: yeah, that was special. I still have no idea why she freaked, but suspect it was an equally nervous Nellie sitting in the passenger seat who suddenly realized what an outstretched left arm meant as we entered the intersection: unbelievable.
Yes, the list is long and, no… I don’t expect that things will get better in the future. There are just too many people driving cars today who have never ridden a bicycle on the street and who have had it beaten into their heads that “bicycles don’t belong on the street”, “bicycles are dangerous”, “anyone riding a bicycle on public roads is an idiot” while riding in a car where the adults utter these things every time they encounter a cyclist. Is it any wonder why so many of the Gen X, Gen Y and Millennials are oblivious, intolerant or sometimes hostile towards cyclists? Yes, they’ve been trained to be that way.