Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just a clarification

I feel like I need to add a clarification on behalf of PLSB due to a few words from a comment Jamie made in her talking to strangers post. We're not bike haters over here at PLSB, quite the contrary actually. Before Jamie got to writing about OMS resident/bike rider/mean dude, I was actually already mentally trying to formulate a post about bike riding, because it has slowly over the past year become a welcome new hobby in my life.

First of all, totally with you Jamie! There was nothing to warrant bike dude to say f**k off at 7:45 in the morning. But, technically he was following the right rules of traffic. Bikers are supposed to follow all traffic laws and when in high traffic areas, they are supposed to be like a car and follow rules like a car and take the place of a car while waiting at the light. Living in the same neighborhood and knowing the 7:45 am traffic rush, "I just need to turn right!", "Damn! I got stuck behind the bus that won't turn right on red", he should have gotten in the left lane.
But, at the same time, I feel like there is a lot of pent up aggression drivers have against bike riders which I totally don't understand.

Aggression #1: "Get out of my way, you damned biker!"
Me, riding comfortably in the SHOULDER of a country road, no traffic or cars around, massive ranch truck comes barreling behind me (and yes, we can hear you come up on us and yes, we know you are there), HONKS repeatably as if I was in the middle of the lane or something and then speeds up to pass me swerving way too close to me and glares at me out the window. I'm sorry, am I offending you? Is gracing your rural country road with my 'I'm saving gas by riding this' urban symbol of a bike offensive in any way? (yes, I know all the good ole boys out there think it is offensive...we are in Texas after all. I just don't understand it)

Aggression #2: "Look at all that fancy shmancy gear they have to show off"
I'll be the first to admit - bikers come off as pretentious and elitist by their choice of clothing alone. Then even more so with their exclusion of all who do not partake in only the best sport out there. When I first got into biking in college, I was riding my parents 20 year old mountain bike and wearing cotton (volleyball-style) biking shorts with no padding. I thought "I'll show them, I can still bike and have fun without all that shiny gear and padding!" But then I collapsed under pressure. It's so much more fun and less work when you are riding a bike made for the road. And once you experience a padded butt, I promise - you won't dare go back. But, you don't have to break the bank to get there! I ride just about the cheapest, on-sale road bike know to exist, and I can now pretty much keep up with some $2,000 titanium frame beasts.

Just to get this in here again - my sister and I are riding the MS150 this year! Go check out her's and my site.

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