Note to Self:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Inappropriate Car Behavior

Photo courtesy of sustrans

Like many neighborhoods, the one in which I live was built before the invention of the automobile...many of the streets are narrow and crowded, and for that reason cars sometimes feel out of place (to me)...sometimes the streets simply are not wide enough. Anyhow, I was on my way to work this morning riding the Mundo...going about two miles an hour as usual (even though I was late for work). I had just passed this intersection when I heard a crunching sound followed by glass hitting the pavement. I turn to look and it was a van making a right turn, and it had turned too soon (or quickly) and tore the side view mirror off another van that was parked there. I slowed to a stop and watched (because I thought they were going to keep going). They did stop ( I think because they saw me watching them) and observed the damage. I heard them mutter a few expletives then head back to their vehicle; I assumed they were getting something to write a note on. I started pedaling again. Then to my amazement, as I looked back (they were a block behind me now), they got back in the van and took off. I really do think that driving, particularly in an urban setting, makes people a little crazy at times. I know that when I'm behind the wheel and I hit traffic light after traffic light I immediately become annoyed, and if someone cuts me off it makes the hair on the back of my neck bristle...but I never feel that way when I'm on one of my bikes (or walking). I'll be the first to admit that I am far from car free, but I ride or walk as much as possible...and when I walk or ride it makes me feel good, not mad. I'm fully convinced that walking and riding bikes are good for a person's psyche...not just their physical health but mental as well...when is the last time you witnessed bike rage.

5 comments:

WestfieldWanderer said...

"There's no such thing as path rage".

Mmm.

I don't think so. I've witnessed many an altercation between path users, usually different user groups; pedestrian v. cyclist...

Adrienne Johnson said...

I have seen much bike rage, but it is usually over pretty quick with less dire consequences.

Cars give the illusion of control. When we drive, it seems like we control the machine, but when something even tiny goes wrong, it becomes quite apparent that we do not control them. I think that a lot of the time, road rage in cars comes from fear when drivers realize just how little control they really have.

John said...

on this one sustrans might have a bit of wishful thinking going on, but to be fair from what i have witnessed in my cycling around yorkshire for the last 6 months there really is no such thing as path rage. i did have a kid on a bmx bitch at me for going too slow up a hill with a food laden panner though, the road was free and the cycle lane wide but still he decided to mouth off, even though it was obvious i had 30lb+ of food on the back. cycling is still relaxing though even in fast busy traffic i still find it relaxing.

Joe said...

I personally have never witnessed bike rage...but I guess that I'm not surprised others have. Probably the closest thing that has happened to me was to have (on a few occasions)someone yell something stupid from a moving car. I guess the actual point of the post was not so much to focus on the negativity as much as the positivity (about biking)...I own a vehicle, I am far from car-free, but simply said: I feel good when I ride a bike. This line in the post, I think, really sums up what I was getting at, "when I walk or ride it makes me feel good, not mad. I'm fully convinced that walking and riding bikes are good for a person's psyche...not just their physical health but mental as well." Thanks for reading and commenting.

Ride on,
Joe

Jeff said...

I wish that I lived where there were actual bike paths. :-(