Antelope Love Fan

I refuse to let this city beat me

The last few weeks of cycling to-from work have been pretty brutal. I'm not sure what it is but, since the weather got nice, people have been driving so aggressively.

Yesterday was kind of a tipping point. It was the closest I've come throwing in the towel and buying a bus pass.

I was riding down the dedicated bike lane on Kentucky Ave. There was a backup of cars in the car-lane and a guy in a black SUV decided he was going to skirt the backup by swerving into the bike lane.

Unfortunately, he decided to do it right as I was alongside him.

I swerved and ended up leaning against the SUV with my hand on the hood to keep my balance. I somehow stayed upright until he swerved back over. I could hear him yelling at me so I just rode away. He pulled up alongside me just past Shelby St. screaming obscenities out the window. Despite my usual instinct to engage, I ignored him and kept riding.

As I crossed the railroad tracks at Steve Magre Alley, I noticed that he had pulled over a block ahead and was blocking the bike lane waiting for me. I stopped, pulled out my phone and started recording a video as I rode toward him.
Predictably, he drove off as soon he saw the phone in my hand, flipping me off out the window one last time before he turned onto Swan St.

This was a slightly more extreme case but I encounter versions of it almost every day. Someone does something illegal/inconsiderate/careless that puts me in danger and then they freak out at me.

And that's what kills me more than anything else. The sense of entitlement that so many drivers have and how many people are willing to risk my live to save 10 seconds.1

The common refrain at this point is always the whole law-flouting cyclist thing. And I'll be there first to admit there are absolutely assholes on both sides. The big difference though is the consequences between a momentary lapse on a bike and piloting several thousand pounds of steel. 2

I'm endlessly frustrated by the lack of understanding when it comes to cyclists and pedestrians. Despite the clear benefits to the environment, the economy, and public health, so many people argue against dedicated, protected bike lanes or want to tax cyclists.

I'm tired of living in a city where cyclists & pedestrians are second class citizens. I'm tired of reading about the endless injuries and fatalities with no consequence. I'm tired of getting yelled at for trying to cross the street with my kids.

This is just me venting after too many close-calls and arguments in too short a time. I don't know what the solution is so I think all I can do is keep fighting and keep riding.

I refuse to let this city beat me.

  1. For example, there have been 5 incidents where I would've been hit if I had entered the intersection when the light turned green in my direction. One day, I counted 9 cars running the red light at the intersection of 4th and Broadway. 

  2. Cyclist Fatalities in Traffic Crashes, 2003 - 2012 

  3. This story is also published on Medium 

comments powered by Disqus

All posts

  1. Let's talk about interruptions...again.
  2. Bardstown Rd Businesses That Don't Care About Pedestrians (part 1)
  3. Bikejoring or, How to Wear Out Your Dog as Fast as Possible
  4. Thoughts on wasting time
  5. Tragedy and Perspective
  6. On the idea of admiration
  7. The joy of waiting for things
  8. Advice for junior developers
  9. The 4 common ways cars try to kill me
  10. I ran a marathon
  11. The Madness of Saturday
  12. Keeping a daily work log
  13. A frustrating Web.config transformation error
  14. My first century
  15. How _not_ to compare file versions in C#
  16. Auto-incrementing build numbers in Visual Studio 2012
  17. "The definition of the report 'XYZ' is invalid."
  18. Side effects of bike commuting
  19. By the numbers: Coldest ride ever
  20. The difference between 'git fetch' and 'git pull'
  21. Freshman Lunch Shenanigans
  22. Getting an '__doPostBack is undefined' error in IE10
  23. Noticing an odd difference between different implementations of JSON.stringify
  24. How not to make a sale
  25. Prayer for the repose of the dead
  26. You Meet All Kinds of People Cycling
  27. So iBooks Have a Hidden Unique ID
  28. The Three Most Important Pieces of Information for a Kid
  29. 20 Years Later, I Still Can't Read Ramona the Pest
  30. In which I decide not to bother with New Year's Resolutions
  31. I kinda regret deleting my Instagram account
  32. Hacking my eating habits
  33. I have been a dad for 10 years
  34. The most uncomfortable training session ever
  35. Minor hiccup with Google Drive
  36. I love living in The Highlands
  37. A dark start to the day
  38. Renting an Apartment in Boston
  39. I think I need to get over myself a little bit
  40. Making a mobile site behave like an iOS app
  41. Picasa data API fun: Creating albums and uploading images
  42. SVN working copy is nested?
  43. My one, feeble attempt at being a cracker of software.
  44. My Own Personal Daily WTF v1
  45. Get on your bike. No excuses
  46. Pixel level drawing with the canvas element
  47. New Year's Resolutions
  48. How to write a very simple jQuery Plugin
  49. Must-Have Chrome Extensions
  50. Preserving the $ with jQuery.noConflict
  51. Can't load XRegExp twice in the same frame
  52. Converting a Unix timestamp to a real Postgres date
  53. HTML5 Data Attributes and
  54. Memories Wrapped Up in Music
  55. A poem for our daughters
  56. Handling Windows API Callbacks in VB .NET
  57. My Favorite Explanation of clip: rect();
  58. Basics of QR Codes
  59. Adding/Deleting Events with the Google Calendar API
  60. Basic Authentication with Titanium.Network.HTTPClient
  61. Even better overriding the Firebug console in IE
  62. SQL Management Studio 2008 says Saving changes is not permitted.
  63. Revert to a previous revision with Subversion
  64. Catching Ajax errors with jQuery
  65. Fun with Vim movement commands
  66. Copying ADODB Recordsets Across Databases
  67. The Proxy Pattern in Javascript
  68. Snippet for popping up a jQuery UI Dialog
  69. A Caveat When Declaring Javascript Arrays
  70. With jQuery, Awesomeness Abounds
  71. One-liner to syntax check a Python script
  72. Coding for Doctors in Haiti
  73. Changing an application's favicon in CherryPy
  74. Localizing PHP with gettext
  75. Running a CherryPy app with Apache and mod_python
  76. Basics of the Alternative PHP Cache (APC)
  77. Converting an RFC 3339 date to a Python timestamp(plus an update to my Google Docs backup script)
  78. Flickr REST API Basics
  79. Short list of required web developer tools
  80. Getting the caption of an image attached to a WordPress post
  81. Simple tabbed HTML navigation buttons
  82. Making sure FireBug console calls don't bomb in IE
  83. You have to be able to talk to people
  84. Not breaking the rules, but still being a jerk
  85. Fear
  86. Growing Up Pyro
  87. Locking Down Facebook
  88. Automatically blocking Twitter spam accounts
  89. File modification date/times in Python
  90. SSH Tunneling: Taming the series of tubes
  91. My single-handed destruction of an Ecuadorian cafe
  92. Basic page routing with CherryPy
  93. Demystifying Python Decorators
  94. Handy VBScript ASP syntax shortcut
  95. Twitter Trends: Experimenting with Adobe Air
  96. Getting started with CherryPy
  97. Installing things on Linux is still a pain in the tuchus
  98. Facebook's OpenID Support: Much Improved!
  99. Basic Lighttpd Setup
  100. Be Safe and Don't Be a Jerk
  101. Facebook's OpenID Support: It's cute and all but...
  102. Basics of the PHP PCRE functions
  103. This Bash trick will make your brain explode
  104. Saving the world with PHP array functions
  105. The PalmOS Browser War That Never Was
  106. 8 years today (and 14 years last March)
  107. It's not hard to avoid sounding like a moran moron
  108. Premature Optimization less harmful than Immature Stupidity
  109. Where am I? Where are you?
  110. Using PrototypeJS with Greasemonkey
  111. Yes, it's a camera. No, it doesn't need film
  112. Backing up your Google Docs
  113. Twitter Search API: Make millions, wow your friends.
  114. The shapening
  115. Writing a simple Twitter-bot in PHP
  116. Event handling with PrototypeJS
  117. Sometimes being a dad is all too real
  118. A refugee from the world
  119. HTML Emails for fun and profit
  120. Javascript awesomeness with Prototype
  121. Regular expressions in VBA
  122. Manipulating PDF files with Visual Basic .NET
  123. Google Client Logins
  124. Your data is your life. Why aren't you protecting it?
  125. RAID basics
  126. My .vimrc file
  127. I'm just a little bit starstruck
  128. In which handiness ensues
  129. It begins
  130. Profiling PHP with APD
  131. Fun with Branching Merging
  132. Comment Engine: Round 2
  133. Comment Engine: Round 1
  134. Foray into the Google App Engine
  135. Un-befuddling OpenID
  136. From Javascript to PHP and Back Again
  137. The fun solution is not always the right one
  138. Good Lazy vs. Bad Lazy
  139. Search Replace with vim
  140. The Editor War
  141. Interviewing is hard and annoying
  142. Further Adventures of a Domino's CSR
  143. How I Single-Handedly Further Disgruntled a Disgruntled Domino's Assistant Manager
  144. Further Tales of a Disgruntled Domino's Manager in Training
  145. Domino's Nightly Stoner Encounter
  146. Most bizzare lack of tip on a delivery
  147. The Saga of an Uhappily-Married-Disgruntled Manager at Domino's: Part 1