5.23.2013

note to the guy who honked at me and my nine year old son to get out of his way on the residential streets of Cleveland Park...

you did not need to honk...
I could hear your car stereo from two blocks away

I heard your car stereo as we passed you while we were on the sidewalk on Wisconsin Ave and you were fighting car traffic on the street
then minutes later when we were migrating through the neighborhood of Cleveland Park on the street
we could hear you then

blocks away... 
we could hear you blocks away
we could hear you as you got closer
we could hear you as you followed close behind

why did we not ride further to the right?
why did I ride along side of my son taking the full lane of traffic making it difficult to pass?

a few reasons...
I can not have my son riding on the sidewalk all the time
it is not fair to the people walking on the sidewalk
and 
it is unsafe for my son to ride his bike on the sidewalk where he would have to cross all the driveways
people pull out of their driveways and do not stop at the sidewalk... they roll past the sidewalk and stop after they enter the street

the potential for danger is too great... we are trying to put ourselves where we are most safe
where we are most easily seen
and where we are furthest from danger
trying to avoid that worst case scenario

then... 
once on the street...
I can not force my son to ride so close to the line of parked cars that he is at risk of being doored
so... I have him ride a little further away from the parked cars
just as I do not ride in the door zone
I try to teach my children to watch for people opening their car doors and to stay clear of riding in the door zone



then...
why was I riding along side of him?
well, I was blocking for him
as I do not trust cars to pass my 9 year old son on his bike

cars pass me too fast and too close
I can not take the risk that someone passes my son so fast and so close that if he were to move a little to the side he would be clipped by the speeding car

it is clear to me that car drivers do not care about anything but themselves and arriving at their destination
no respect for pedestrians
no concern for cyclists
and 
no care for other car drivers

this is the era of ME ME ME
and car driving behavior is one of the greatest examples of this selfish short sighted behavior

driving is a selfish task

so... in the name of self preservation
that is why we ride how we ride

you... the guy with the loud Go-Go music
funny... your music hurt my hears when I was close to your car
not sure how you can enjoy the music so loud
maybe you are already legally deaf and need it that loud so you can hear it

either way...
when it made sense and was safe... we allowed you to pass
then...
when back on Nebraska Avenue we took back to the sidewalk
well, we passed you again and got to our destination several blocks away
arriving long before you... as you were stuck in a long queue of cars... even with your effort to make good time at the expense of others
we did not slow you down
the cars slowed you down

did you honk at the cars to clear the way for you?
maybe you did

give cyclists a right to space
give extra space to children on bikes

SUBMISSIVE CYCLING ENABLES AGGRESSIVE CYCLING
if cyclist ducks and pull over for cars... then car drivers will expect this behavior
share the road... but hold your ground
be logical and fair

we did not slow this guy down
we had a right to our space and we were moving at a good pace

the speed limit on these roads is 25MPH
although we not going that speed
we were within the limits of the law
while this car driver was agitated because it was not so easy for them to SPEED through their cross town shortcut

this was not the first or the last car driver that wanted us to clear their path
we held our ground in each situation
trying to move forward fast and fluid all while trying to stay safe

image snagged from here
www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk
it has nothing to do with our ride
just thought it was interesting

No comments: