Friday, February 4, 2011

Bike Lanes Are Your Friend

There are many things I love about my city.  It’s a big-yet-small town, which some love and some hate.  (Don’t listen to the haters.  They can’t afford to move to a true metropolitan area and they are taking it out on the rest of us, all the while enjoying low housing costs.)  But that’s not what this blog is about.
The city of Jacksonville has taken it upon itself to build and provide bike lanes and bike paths on many, many streets in our fair city.  I respect that and, in fact, have researched laws applying to bicyclists so much that I know I must have at least a three-foot space between me and a bicyclist when passing said bicyclist.  Which leads me to my problem, my what’s- stuck- in- my- craw, my big beef with bicycles. 
USE A BIKE LANE.  Enough already.  Even though there is a wide and smoothly paved bike path on a back road that I frequently travel, bicyclists travel in the street.  What? What is that?  Same pavement, different place.  Do bicyclists think that cars won’t take them seriously if they ride in the bike path?  Big news, bicycle people.  I don’t like you and I wish you would ride on the bike path so I don’t have to worry if you are going to accidentally veer in front of my car and get hit, which makes me look like the bad guy.  So being taken seriously is the LEAST of your problems.  That aerodynamic helmet that comes to a point behind your head?  Hahahahahahaha You make me laugh.  I’m not even going to the place to talk about lycra shorts with the padding to protect your posterior.
Since you got me started on this, let me further say that packs of bicyclists riding more than two astride are ILLEGAL in Florida.  But the worst part is that no policeman is going to stop a pack of bicyclists who are riding four and five wide.  It’s basically the honor system for bike laws.  And there is little honor among bicyclists!  Do you people wonder why you are not commonly liked by cars? 
Maybe if I were a bicyclist I would see this differently.  Maybe if I were a bicyclist I would be super patient and wait generously for packs of bikes traveling 10 mph less than the posted speed limit.  I’d wave and say encouraging things.  And then I would wake up.  (Insert laughter here)