The other day we my boyfriend and I were discussing the plan that DC has to expand bike lanes across the city and he noted how the Express poll showed that only 46% said they agreed with the decision. “Must’ve been all drivers that voted,” he said.
After reading some of the comments below the poll, I have to agree with him.
But, as a driver, I kind of understand that. It’s not that I dislike cyclists, it’s just that they scare me a little bit. I’m afraid of hitting them as they dart in and out of lines of traffic. And even when they’re just riding along the side of the road I find myself inching toward the middle, just to give them their space. They might appreciate it, but the cars in the left lane don’t.
It’s times like those that I wish they’d ride on the sidewalk.
But there’s another part of me that wants cyclists to be on the sidewalk, as well. And that’s the part of me that wants to be a cyclist.
I’ve thought about it for some time now and I really think it would make sense for me to get a bike. Warmer weather is fast approaching and biking would be a nice alternative form of transportation. Not to mention a speedy one. Now, setting aside storage space and cost, there’s one itty bitty thing holding me back: it has been easily 10 years since I’ve ridden a bike.
I know they (whoever they are) say that you never forget how to do it. But I still worry that I’ll get back on one and I’ll pull a Phoebe:
(right about the 2:50 mark…)
I’d like to practice. But I can’t practice without a bike to ride in the first place. And even if I could borrow one, after practicing in the park, I’d want to start off on the sidewalks. Parents spend years teaching their children not to play in the street. Why shouldn’t we carry that life lesson into adulthood?
So, while I think it’s great that DC is catering to its bike crowd by making more lanes (which, presumably, will make it safer for cyclists in the street), maybe there could be another plan to widen the sidewalks, too, so the amateurs among us don’t have to worry about wiping out any pedestrians in our travels.
In my case, I don’t think that even a bell would be enough of a warning.
P.S. 5 days ’til the marathon…