Wednesday, December 22, 2010


In comments to the article about the clusterfuck that was last week’s Thursday night Point83 ride, lots of people said something like, “I almost got hit by a bike rider x number of times, and so now, forevermore, I don’t trust those fuckers; they should all be run over just like I almost was.”

The operative adverb, of course, is “almost.”

What these commenters don’t seem to grasp is that almost getting hit by a bike is still NOT getting hit.

You can come pretty close to somebody and not clip them; you can weave in and out of pedestrian and/or vehicle traffic without coming nearly as close as it looks to hitting someone or something. Just because you almost crashed doesn’t actually mean that you were in real danger of crashing.

Now, I’m not advocating being stupid (most people I know who ride bikes do so perfectly well without any admonition on my part); but at the same time, most people I know who ride bikes aren’t quite as stupid as they look. Believe it or not, very few of them actually want to get into accidents and most will make every effort to avoid them; that said, “almost” crashing is usually good enough; as long as it’s still “almost,” you still haven’t.

Today, for instance, I probably rode a bit too close to a lady walking on the trail as I rode out to school; I guess you could say I “almost” hit her as I wove around two side-by-side walkers and cut inside her left shoulder as she approached me. Had she not been paying attention, and had I not made eye contact, I’m sure she could have been jolted out of a reverie with the realization that she “almost” got taken out by a cyclist. But there wasn’t really any chance I might have actually hit her.

“Almost only counts in horseshoes and dynamite,” haters take note: cycling's not even almost either one.


Post a Comment

<< Home