1.09.2011

people respond differently to a person on a bike obstructing them

it is curious
I am not sure why
but I witnessed first hand for countless years
the bicyclist gets no respect

I am not sure why but people respond differently to a bicycle obstructing their path more than they would if the obstruction were a car

people can double park all day long
but if a cyclist stops on the side of the road to say hello to a friend
well... the car behind them is sure to honk
and quickly...
rarely granting the cyclist a minute to exchange pleasantries with their friend on foot or their friend on bike

the other day when I rode my bike to Old Town I stopped to take three series of photographs
each time there was some obvious non-verbal communication

first I stopped out in front of Wingnuts... I was blocking a vacant parking space
just as I was about to snap a photograph I saw a woman pull up
she had not even stopped yet and she already had a look of constipation on her face
there was no turn signal

not even a gesture
just a very annoying series of facial expressions

I read her expressions and was able to interpret her needs and snapped my shot then moved out of her way so I could then take another photograph
allowing her to take her space without me taking up her time
had I been in a car... I could have blocked her all day long
while somehow on the bike I have less right to be an obstruction

then as I rolled back to Big Wheel Bikes with Bennett after grabbing some Thai chicken with coconut soup... I went wide into the other lane so to try and get all of Bennet in the shot

again... I get a series of expressions from a car driver
only this time it was a man... but a man in a similarly obnoxiously large vehicle
he too had an initial look of constipation followed by a series of other expressions
none of these expressions made me think that he would take his foot off the gas pedal and place it on the brake if I did not clear out of his path

he was agitated
he was frustrated
he was on the verge of being enraged
the series of facial expressions continued even after he passed

then finally...

after hanging out with Bennett at Big Wheel I rolled over to Velocity Bicycle Coop...
they were closed... so I snapped a few photos of the outside

well... guess what
I stalled in the road to take a photograph
another obnoxiously large vehicle rolled my way
this time the expression was different
it was pleasant and calm...

allowing... accepting... and welcoming

just as I had with the other drivers... when noticing the on coming car I moved out of their way
only this time the driver was more accepting of me and my presence in their path

okay...
so not all car drivers are obnoxious
but if that is the ratio of good to bad

well... 2 to 1 is not so good

it still strikes me as odd how people are so easily frustrated by the bicycle... even when it is within the limit
s of the law
while being so accepting of the car when it is blatantly breaking the law

double parked... parking in the no parking-no standing during rush hour... rolling through stop signs... speeding etc.
none of these actions get the same response as a person on the bike
even if that person on the bike is within the limits of the law

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