As a driver who often saw (and, to be fair, will probably sometimes continue to see) cyclists as a nuisance on the road, I am so SO sorry. I got annoyed at you weaving in and out of traffic, and even more annoyed when I thought you weren’t going fast enough, thus causing me to go slower – especially uphill. I thought that helmets looked goofy and couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t just ride on the sidewalk. Roads were for cars.
As a pedestrian, I wasn’t much better. When you flew down the sidewalk I was walking on, I wondered why you weren’t in the street. After all, sidewalks are for walking.
Well, I rode to work today, and tested out the route last night, and I have some new insight.
I’m now jealous of those of you who are comfortable enough to weave in between cars. I was far too scared this morning. And, because of that, I became a sidewalk-biker (just for a couple blocks!). I’m sorry. I just couldn’t see how [yet-to-be-named] and I were going to fit on 16th Street amidst all that morning traffic. I’ll get better.
I also know that I wasn’t going fast enough. If I had been the car behind me, I would have been sighing loudly (to no one), and possibly cursing (myself, I guess) – particularly last night, when I was chugging up 16th and my legs were burning. I have a new found respect for that hill – and the bikers who climb it regularly.
And I still think the helmet looks goofy. But after feeling so vulnerable next to all those cars on the road who I’m sure are feeling the same things that I felt as a driver, there’s no way in hell I wouldn’t wear it.
So, bikers, I really am sorry. I can’t promise that I won’t revert back to my old ways, but I really do get it now. Drivers – please be patient and try not to hit me. And pedestrians, also please be patient if I take up a slight portion of the sidewalk.
There’s a learning curve on this thing, and I really am doing my best.