Thursday, March 27, 2008

Honest I wouldn't....

I would not so frequently provide links to Dave Moulton's blog site if Dave would just stop writing great posts. Here as you'll see he has done it again.

Dave wrote in this post about the mistreatment of cyclists in traffic by (the significant minority of) insane motorists. Bob Mionske's article in today's VeloNews Online talks about the very same subject. When we ride on the roads, we are elbow-to-fender with Americans at their worst.

Between us, I am afraid that thinking about our exposure on the roads to hostile motorists is not good for me personally.

As the years have passed and incident piled on incident, I have felt less and less welcome on the roads and happier on off-street bike paths. Luckily we have 100s of miles of them in Denver. Hazards are limited to rude cyclists and inattentive pedestrians - pesky but not homicidal.

I do okay on city streets or lightly traveled suburban roads, but if I had to ride on fast, wide streets lined with multi-exit strip malls, I'd have to quit - for my own emotional wellbeing.

As fuel prices rise, distractions multiply, the housing crisis deepens, as millions of boomers realize that they aren't going to live or remain society's darlings forever, as dependency and depression spread across our socio-economic spectrum, life on our streets will be scary.

God forbid it gets worse.

Blaming the victim is stupid and transparent. Drivers treat pedestrians and one another just as badly as they treat cyclists. We don't have to do anything. We're just there.

I don't know how to stop thinking about this and I don't know what to suggest we do about it. If I did know a way to put it out of my mind, trust me: I would.

Read Dave Moulton's blog post and Bob Mionske's VN piece, both thoughtful and well presented. I'm going to try to think about something else.

No comments: