After I mentioned my road rage swearing fit on Facebook, Spouse sent me this message:
Today a driver pulled up alongside me as I was biking down Ives and engaged me in a little friendly conversation about how I should watch out for car doors, because he got hit by one recently while on his own bike. This didn’t seem to be a response to any imminent danger or my observed biking behavior; he was just sharing his advice, thereby requiring me to pay attention to him rather than the road as we both passed through a number of intersections.
I was reading one of my favorite bike blogs, Suburban Bike Mama, the next day where she mentioned this incident:
…as I am biking down a quiet street I hear a car coming up behind me slowly. I inch over a bit to the right to let them pass quickly before I come up to a parked car. However the minivans slows right next to me with window open. I look over and she calls out that she loves my Raincoat. um thanks. But now I’m stopped so I don’t run into the parked car and a car is waiting behind her. Way to try to kill me while giving me fashion compliments.
The lesson: if you are driving past a cyclist and you really want to say something to them – don’t do it. The only exception is if you know the cyclist. Then you can say, “Hey James!” but make sure you do it in a cheerful voice or they will think you are another driver trying to run them off the road. That or a Rhode Islander carrying on this state’s peculiar tradition of car passengers yelling random things at people on the street.
In a previous post, I included a sign I saw on a recent trip to Cambridge, MA. It looks like Cambridge has been getting more bike-friendly since I lived there about 5 years ago. Check this out:
Of course, the car in the illustration is a Prius.
A little further down the street, I saw this sign as a follow up:
Yes, even Cambridge cyclists need to be reminded of things as simple as “stop at a red light.”
Both of these signs were posted on bus shelters, where it seems unlikely that they would be seen, read and understood by motorists or cyclists (except for cyclists who like to ride on sidewalks). In theory, I guess it could be seen by someone walking by (like me) who will eventually drive or bike. I checked out the City of Cambridge website, and it turns out there’s a whole series of these posters. It’s always a Prius that is the offending vehicle in the posters. There’s a Prius parked in the bike lane, a Prius about to door somebody and the Prius about to turn right on top of a cyclist. The message here is, “Hey Prius drivers! Get your self-righteous head out of your ass and watch out for cyclists!”
I kid, I kid!
I kid because I love.
And because I covet.