Friday, May 15, 2009

Amateur Hour

I’d be willing to call myself a bicycling advocate; I believe, as Grant Peterson put it, that the bicycle is a rideable work of art that just might save the world; and I share Mark Twain’s opinion that whenever I see an adult on a bicycle it gives me hope for the future of the human race; I think that the bicycle is humanity’s most noble invention and I’m happy to go on and on about how superior a mode of transportation it is to the automobile.

So, it’s no surprise how pleased I am at the prospect of more and more people riding bikes more and more of the time.

But what is sort of eye-opening is how annoyed I can get when that happens.

Like today.

May 15, 2009 is the annual Cascade bicycle club-sponsored “Bike to Work Day,” the one day a year when cyclists of all stripes come out in force to pedal from their homes to workplaces, although many, I think, drive to some convenient location near the Burke-Gilman trail and then pedal in from there.

In any case, this morning featured a veritable glut of cyclists on my route to school, mostly weekend-warrior types on road bikes too small for them, nearly every single one wearing some manner of tights, most showing off way too much information about the wearer’s body-mass index.

Part of my crankiness emanated from having to swerve several times out of the way of some fair-weather rider who seemed under the impression that the morning commute was a training ride; a big component, though, of my annoyance was my inability to shake the notion that all these folks on two-wheelers—none of whom I saw out and about in February—simply don’t deserve, (haven’t earned the right, to be taking up trail space on such a lovely morning.

I know that’s a crummy attitude; it won’t last, though: they’ll all be back in their cars come Monday.


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