a brief public service announcement from your friends at jaded
over the past couple of weeks we have noticed that there is a positive correlation between the rising gas prices and the increased use of bicycles in our communities. this trend is, in general, a good thing insofar as bicycling is environmentally friendly, beauty enhancing and fun.
however, before you join the growing legions of cycling citizens please consider these friendly admonitions.
1) "it's called a sidewalk, not a sideride!" as this little nugget of wisdom from our good friend junkyard reminds us, bikes belong in the streets, not on sidewalks. if you are under 12 years old or live in a carefully manicured, SUV infested subdivision, riding along sidewalks is acceptable. however, if you live in any sort of urban environment you should not be riding upon a sidewalk under any circumstances. if deplorable street conditions, construction or narrow roadways force you to take the sidewalk, please walk your bike. if you are avoiding the streets because they feel dangerous or you are uncertain of your cycling abilities, please take a bicycle safety course, strap on a helmet and sack up.
2) all together now: "it's called a crosswalk, not a crossride!" people who fail to follow this admonition will be impaled upon industrial plastics in short order.
3) if you are wheezing, bobbing and weaving and/or generally interfering with traffic you should tighten things up by riding a stationary cycle and/or practicing your riding in a parking lot until you are ready for the road. while driving a motor vehicle sideswiping is considered a crime. the rules for pedal powered vehicles are no different.
4) in regards to spandex, compression shorts and underarmourplease use discretion. if you don't want to look at it in the mirror, rest assured that the general public doesn't want to look at it either.
5) learn to communicate effectively with other vehicles. relatively few of us remember the funky hand signals for right hand turn, stop and the like that we were taught in fourth grade. however, the overwhelming majority of us know how to point to our left, point to our right and point with our middle finger if need be. please put this basic knowledge to good use.
since we do not know the variations of biking laws and customs in other communities throughout the country, please feel free to add additional friendly admonitions below.
SARTRE WROTE that "hell is other people," but if he had spent less time eating croissants in Paris cafes and more time downing wings in sports bars, he probably would have written that "hell is other fans." All fans are insufferable to those who don't have an affinity for the same team; being forced to listen to, say, a Kansas City Royals buff regale you with the exploits of rookie shortstop Mike Aviles is no better than listening to a grandmother go on and on about her little darling's toilet training.
That said, there's one group of "other fans" that stands out in its tediousness. Think Matt and Ben. Think Sweet Caroline. Think Sartre pronounced without the r's.
i am a thirtysomething worker bee who hails from massachusetts. by day i find jobs for individuals with significant disabilities and by night i spend time with my pixie-like wife and share life with my friends at the gathering in salem. my deepest passions are following Jesus Christ, extending God's compassion to the poor and obsessing about the Saint Louis Cardinals.