On the mornings when I hate myself for having to drive to work, there is a cluster of four way intersections that become complete and total chaos on weekdays, due to school, small children, dogs, strollers, and incompetent drivers. Those hellish seconds spent near those intersections trying to figure out if the small child on the BMX bike is going to make a mad dash for it across the street while the driver who has the right of way is far too busy putting on makeup to pay attention to the road are usually one of the worst parts of the days I drive.
Today was especially spectacular though. Today, while at hellintersection with eight other cars and families trying to cross, a fully kitted out roadie blew through the stop sign, almost hitting a child who was crossing as well as almost getting hit by two cars himself. Obscenities were shouted, roadie ignored everyone and blew the light at the next intersection to continue on his merry way.
Now, I'm already bitter because I had to drive today, but this has put me completely over the edge.
There are those of us out there who are advocating for cyclists' rights, who peacefully try to explain to other drivers why it's okay to take the lane, who obey all traffic rules in hopes that it will make motorists respect us more. And then there are people like this ass-wagon who blows a sign thinking he's better than everyone else, making everyone who sees him lose respect for all bicyclists in one fell swoop.
On the rare times I manage to be able to talk to a cyclist that does this, it seems like my words fall on deaf ears. I've tried passing them and blatantly stopping at all signs and lights in front of them, only to pass them again, but that too just seems to piss them off. And this is only when I'm on a bike - when I'm driving, forget it. They don't want to hear it. And it doesn't matter if it's a roadie or some kid who doesn't know any better.
What does it take to make people care? To make people stop and listen? I hear cyclists cry foul at police who target stop sign runners, saying there are more dangerous motorists out there who deserve the tickets more than they do. Perhaps this is true, but I for one am sick and tired of playing by the rules and slowly gaining respect only to have one douchebag ruin it for everyone. Like the time I was hit because I'm fairly certain the motorist was taking it out on me in lieu of another cyclist that cut him off and was running all the signs.
Granted, it's never going to be perfect, but I'm sick of the stop sign runners, salmoners and light blowers crying for bicycle rights when they're doing nothing to help the situation.
If we want rights, we have to play by the rules.