12.24.2010

Kids and Bikes... Sidewalks and Bike Lanes

let me try to get this out quick
yes... I know this is the same set of images from a previous post
but... you get what you get
let me start typing and see what comes out


Kids and Bikes... on the streets... on the sidewalks... and yes... in the bike lanes...
the other day when I rode down to The National Christmas Tree with the boys we took the CONTRA FLOW bike lanes on 15th Street all the way down from Malcolm X Park to The White House
NICE!
our ride involved alleyways... streets... sidewalks... and then also the bike lanes
pretty much no matter where we were... if we interacted with another person... I got the vibe that they felt that we should not be there

in some cases... the people verbalized things... in other cases I could guesstimate their feelings by the scowl on their face

oddly enough...
this disfavor often comes from people who are putting us at risk
the judgment comes from people whose actions are a danger to those around them
speeding car drivers passing us fast and close telling us to get off the street or to ride single file
come on... I am doing what I am doing to protect my children from YOU

sure...

when I am riding along side my six year old on the street I can understand why people "may" think that a six year old should not be riding their bicycle on the street
but... with me riding with them... my son Grant is in the right place doing the right things
he is where he is most safe and where he is most respectful of the rights of others

and of course... we are slowing them down...
but really... are we slowing them down?
they may need to slow down for half a city block
slow down from their above speed limit pace
then after they pass us... they can resume their scoff law behavior
in the end... we do not alter their travel time... they will still get to their final destination at pretty much the same time

when on the sidewalk... we are on the sidewalk because that is the most logical place for us to be
we are not riding at race pace... but we do move
we each weave through... normally with me leading the pack and setting the pace
when this happens... it is usually a very predictable situation


the people moving on the sidewalk are as ignorant and as obnoxious as the people in their cars
people on the sidewalk do not do anything to anticipate the variables around the
their "sphere of awareness" is limited

rather than looking ahead they are all looking into their iPod or Blackberry... and I guess even their Droids

we ride our bikes riding through the mass of people
it is chaos... complete chaos

we fit right in
the boys take their own path and I take mine
all of us dodging pedestrians that move about like brainless zombies

we are riding and my younger son tells me by spelling it... "Dad, you use the word B-I-T-C-H too much"
he is right... I do... it may be inappropriate... but that is what people get

when we are doing our bike on the sidewalk thing it is not uncommon for someone to mouth off to me or my boys... "GET OFF THE SIDEWALK!" or "SLOW DOWN"
well... I am not riding on the sidewalk that fast... and... I am riding with my kids... so
... really now... where do you want me to ride... where do you want US to ride?

sure there are bike lanes... but we do not go a mile out of the way with a six year old on the bike so that we do not rub some joker the wrong way?
and really... if these people expanded their sphere of awareness and looked past me... they would see the two boys... one nine and one six
not really ready to be riding with traffic on Connecticut Avenue downtown

now... really... if these people were to EXPAND THEIR SPHERE OF AWA
RENESS they would be able to anticipate the world around them
the 6'4" man on the bicycle with 29 inch wheels
in most cases... the irate pedestrian was agitated because they got spooked... they stepped in front of one of us... altered their trajectory from walking straight to turning towards a store front right in front of one of us on their bike
only... they never looked up from their electronic device until one
of us was underfoot

I have little tolerance for them
for them to bark at me and my boys... well... I do not have the time to get into it
normally I do not say anything... normally I keep on rolling

as I have come to learn that these conversations never go well
but sometimes when it fits... I say BITCH

or so I have been told by my six year old son

people need to realize their contribution to the equation
in this situation the people are not angry by the biker on the sidewalk or the speed of the bicycle
they are spooked
they have been surprised

they are reacting... they are over reacting
their response is misplaced and inappropriate
if these people were aware of their surroundings then there would be no encounter
we would pass without conflict

but... since they are surprised
since they are spooked
they must find someone to blame
and well
no one ever blames themselves
it is always a case of someone else's fault


imagine in if I slapped cell phones out of people's hands as I went down the sidewalk

maybe that would get their attention
maybe that would help them to be more aware of their surroundings

enough on this...
I am spent
no time to proof this... just PUBLISH AND POST

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