3/9/11

Ride In 3/9

As soon as I left the building this morning, I went to cross the street in a crosswalk. I got to the median and fully expected to have to wait for the cars to pass before making it to the other side. Instead, a driver decided that she would stop. That prompted the driver in the other lane (because it's a four lane street, with two travel lanes in both directions) to stop as well. Those drivers' rewards? Getting viciously honked at. I hope they've learned never to do that again.
I spend a lot of time behind cars and accordingly see a lot of bumper stickers. Here are some of today's notables:
  • I am the parent of an HONOR STUDENT SWANSON MIDDLE SCHOOL. What I like about this is that it really focuses on the parent's achievement rather than the child's. Sure the kid went to school and "earned" the grades, but who feeds them? Huh? That's right. 
  • I Love Ferrets. Not much to explain here. 
  • Gore/Liberman 2000. This is akin to having a Boston Red Sox 1986 American League Champions bumper sticker. Joe Lieberman and Roger Clemens are essentially interchangeable in this metaphor.
  • COMPOST HAPPENS. It really does, doesn't it. 
  • Share the Road. hahahahahahahahaha. assholes. 
Pretty mundane ride otherwise. Tried to pay it forward by stopping at a crosswalk by yielding to a waiting pedestrian. The oncoming car stopped too. If only the car behind didn't swerve around me, we could have had a real moment of cooperation there.
On the positive side, I've noticed that drivers with DC and Virginia plates (sorry Maryland) tend to pass me with more room and go a little bit slower than out-of-state drivers. Maybe it's just coincidence, but I'd like to think that their behavior is shaped by regularly seeing bicyclists and knowing how to deal with them (i.e. not run them down). In my opinion, it's this kind of habituation of drivers more than any kind of bike infrastructure that makes cycling safer. That's why having more cyclists on the roads leads to safer overall outcomes- drivers are more accustomed to them and know to look for them. The reason why bike infrastructure can be important, though, is because it gets people on to bikes in the first place to denoted a dedicated space. Anyway, enough preaching.

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