Friday, October 23, 2009

An open letter... the random folks I passed on my bike ride to class last night.

Dear Rockin-Out D00d:

I totally get that your music is, like, so awesome that you have to listen to it ALL THE TIME, even when you're walking somewhere. And I totally respect you for wearing earbuds so we don't all have to listen to it.

However, if you are walking on a joint walking/biking path, it would probably be a good idea to make sure your music isn't so loud that you can't hear my bell when I ring it. Or, at least, if you're going to use it to block out the pesky noises of Pittsburgh, then dude, don't walk down the middle of the path. Pick a side and stick to it. That way, when I need to pass you, I don't have to hold my breath that I might hit you (since you didn't hear the bell).

And to the loving couple,

It's great that you're taking an afternoon walk together, and the river trail is a beautiful place to do it. But please understand that A) it's a mixed-use trail, which means I as a bicyclist have as much right to the trail as you do; B) it's not a very wide trail, which means I as a bicyclist pretty much take up half of it; C) it's a lot easier for you two to walk single-file or move over than it is for me to shorten my handlebars to avoid hitting you; and D) that bell ringing behind you means "Hello, I'm riding a bicycle, and I'd like to pass you because I'm traveling faster--can you please move to one side for a couple of seconds?"

I'm glad I didn't hit either of you. And I don't begrudge you your space on the trail. But if you're going to walk side-by-side, at least, please, walk on the right instead of in the middle. That will give the rest of us plenty of space to go by you.

And finally, to the buttmunch in the car who honked at me,

Dude, get over it. Bicycles are vehicles too. It's just as illegal for me to ride on the sidewalk as it is for you. (And seriously. Have you seen some of the sidewalks around here? Do you know how much it hurts to go over uneven brick like that on a bicycle seat?!?) I'm riding as far to the right as I can. Deal with it.


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