Dear Jackass #1 & #2,
I understand you think bicycles belong on the sidewalk. Jackass #1(probably 14 year old boy, sitting in the passenger seat of a huge SUV, with your mom driving) I know you thought you were a bad ass by yelling at me and my five year old to “get on the sidewalk!” I would prefer to ride on the side roads to stay out of your way. I choose to ride my bike and haul ass up a hill with lots of traffic because Hendersonville, TN city planners built a section of road with little curb so that there could be four lanes of traffic. Yes, I did choose to get out in the full lane at the light. It is to protect myself and my son so that someone doesn’t sideswipe us. As soon as the light turned green, I pedaled fast and got to the right, yet you decided to ride my ass. There are two lanes, pass me like you would a car.
Shortly thereafter, jackass #2 came on the seen, a woman in her twenties, also in the passenger seat, yelling at me to “get off the road.” I so wish my five year old hadn’t been on the bike with me because there would have been a plethora of expletives to come out of my mouth, but unlike you, I am trying to set a good example (minus the fact that I do acknowledge, I’m calling you a jackass on a blog). I so wish I had this bumper sticker on the back of the bike.
But really, I plan to get this one, because even though people may not think I belong on the road, I have a legal right to be there. I prefer to ride away from cars. It isn’t particularly enjoyable to have cars riding up on a bike, especially when my children are riding along. The road noise with cars is horrific and it is stressful to make sure I’m protecting them and not getting hit by someone that is pissed because I’m temporarily delaying their journey. I will probably catch you at the next red light.
I would gladly drive on some side roads to get to the grocery store, but this part of town doesn’t have very good access for bikes, so I need to ride where I am. Here is a map where I’m having issues. I’ve tried riding side roads, but the problem is, they are two lane, busy roads to the lake or I have to try and cross four lanes of traffic with no crosswalk. I would cause more issues with traffic delays on the smaller roads than the larger road.
I just wish people would remember that I am a human being too. In another setting, would you scream at me and my children? I love the delight in most people’s eyes when they see us on the bike loaded up, but the screaming individuals in the passenger seats scare the crap out of me and make me want to tear up. Remember, there might be a cute little kid listening to you scream at their mother.